In my last post, I told you that part two of my story with The Chef, Francisco, might be coming. And, guess what? It did. After he randomly reappeared in my life several weeks after our first date, I decided to give him one more chance.
As I said, he wasn’t completely awful on our first date until the end. He did accept my feedback graciously and maturely and offered what seemed like a genuine apology. Plus, when we talked this time he promised that we’d get appetizers and actually eat this time. So I felt like maybe one more date wasn’t an awful idea. Was that the right call? You can be the judge.
We went to a bar that he suggested. He claims to have gone there multiple times over the past few months and it’s a new favorite. However, he didn’t know that it’s about to close. Plus, he needed Google Maps to get there. But anyway, onward we went.
The bar was okay. It’s definitely a local hotspot because it was very busy, which I expected since it’s about to close. They were out of a lot, so I got a seltzer and he got a beer. Then, we found a spot along a back wall to talk.
Pretty quickly, I was reminded of why I didn’t feel the spark. But, I was already committed and I didn’t want to be rude and bail. I wanted to give a real second chance, not 10 minutes. Fernando did ask me why I decided to go out with him again. I said because he took my criticism well and apologized. And I had nothing else to do that night. At least I’m honest, right?
At the bar, there was a guy that looked about my age, maybe a year or two older. He was with a girl, but I definitely didn’t get girlfriend/date vibes from either of them. And he kept talking to me. I felt like he was trying to figure out if I was on a date and/or taken. And of course, he was really cute and much more my type. And really funny. He kept finding ways to engage me in conversation, and he’d sort of include Fernando. Meanwhile, I would include the girl he was with – but he was mostly talking to me.
I could sense Fernando getting annoyed and he immediately started to get possessive. He also started asking me if I wanted to leave, even though he’d just said he wanted another drink. It wasn’t like this guy asked for my number, nor was I flirting with him, we were just being friendly. But Fernando’s reaction to getting possessive was a huge turn-off for me. I’m a “save the last dance for me” kind of girl anyway. But especially if you’re not my boyfriend – you have no right to start acting like it to keep me from talking to any other male in our vicinity (unless he’s creepy and I’ve asked you to).
Maybe I’m in the minority on this, but getting weirdly possessive before you’re “official” is a red flag. So, that was strike one.
Strike two came as we left that bar and talked about where we’d head next. He told me about this Peruvian place that he really liked but it was a bit further. I looked at the menu and honestly, I’m pretty adventurous but I didn’t see anything I was dying to have. Ceviche was on my list of things to try, but not that day. I also thought that we’d be getting real food, and considering how much he likes to drink – and pressure me to do so, too – I didn’t think raw seafood was the right thing to be in my stomach.
So, I told him I wasn’t sure about it this time and he said we could go someplace closer. We didn’t. He started walking towards where he had parked his car. I didn’t really know what to say because I didn’t want to argue, so I followed along. Honestly, I think he just wanted to show off his car. He’d already mentioned to me several times over text and on our date that he recently got a Tesla. I’ve been in that position before. It was pretty clear to me that he was just trying to show off. Not my thing.
We went to this Peruvian place, and it was cute. The drinks were pretty good. I did try ceviche, but he didn’t ask what kind I wanted to try. Whatever he ordered had a lot of squid/octopus – which is one of the types of seafood that I’m REALLY not a fan of. I tried one bite. It wasn’t for me. So I basically sat there and watched him eat. Not going to lie, I might have also thought about how I could find the guy from my bar once or twice, too.
Finally, we left there and went back to the area we had started in. He wanted to go to another bar that’s one of his new “favorites.” I’ve been there once before with The Cheater one time when I was hungry and made him buy me chicken fingers. They were pretty good, but this bar is not exactly one that I’d write home about. I wasn’t really sure why he loved it so much, but I figured at least maybe I’d finally get some food.
Instead, this is where strike 3 (but not the last strike) occurred.
By this point in the night, I was done but just didn’t have an exit strategy yet. Plus, I wanted chicken fingers. But it seemed Fernando forgot about the promise of appetizers. Again, all he was focused on was getting me to agree to another drink. He wanted me to have a tequila shot with him even after I’d said several times I didn’t want one. I don’t even like tequila. I literally have one friend with who I’ll do tequila shots with and that’s only because it’s her. Finally, I caved and ordered a cider just to shut him up. I told him I was looking at the food menu but he didn’t say anything. When the waiter came by, he told him we didn’t need anything. So I realized no appetizers yet again.
The real kicker, though, was when the bill came. To give him a bit of credit, at least Fernando consistently paid for me. But apparently, that’s where his giving ends because he didn’t tip the server.
I had kind of noticed something before, on our first date and the earlier bars from that night. He filled out the receipts REALLY quickly. I figured since he’s a chef and has worked in restaurants maybe he’s just really good at doing quick math. This time, though, I could see that he clearly didn’t write anything in the tip line. From what I could see, simply copied the total amount.
I honestly wouldn’t have minded if he’d asked me to cover the tip. It was better than the alternative. But I couldn’t tell for sure, so as we went to leave I lied and told him I needed to go to the bathroom. When he had his back turned, I looked at the check and realized that he had maybe tipped a dollar, but his handwriting was pretty bad. But to me, it looked like he didn’t tip at all.
This is a huge pet peeve of mine and a major red flag for me. It’s a zero-tolerance item. I mean, I’m the kind of person who tips 20% on a to-go order, but still. I went back by the restrooms and took out the few dollars I had in cash. When I found our server, I asked if he’d been tipped and he said he didn’t think so. I apologized that he hadn’t been tipped and gave him a tip myself.
Maybe I should have just left it, but that’s not my style. So when I went outside to Fernando, I decided to ask him what his dating dealbreakers are. He said people who don’t have a sense of humor and get offended by everything. That reminds me — he told me a joke earlier, after confirming that I don’t get offended easily. I honestly didn’t get it but I feel like if I did, I would have actually been offended by it. Instead, I was just offended by how stupid it was. So his was that and messy/disorganized people.
At this point, he kept putting his arm around me. He was clearly oblivious to the fact that every time he did I’d put my hands in my pockets. I’d basically recoil trying to make myself as small as possible. Or, I’d find a way to escape his very awkward embrace. He still kept trying.
But anyway, back to the dating dealbreaker. He asked for mine. I said that smoking was a big one, but I usually didn’t even go out with smokers unless I didn’t know before the date. But that really, my biggest one was bad tippers.
He got silent. But I carried on, saying that I think the way a person treats someone in the service industry says a lot about you. I was raised with the mentality of always treating the janitor with the same level of respect as the CEO. It’s important to me that the guy I end up with feels the same way. He tried to agree but it really didn’t sound very convincing to me. It also made me realize that I hadn’t seen him be particularly polite or respectful to any servers we’d encountered. Not even basic manners of making eye contact or saying “please” and “thank you.” That kind of thing. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that he didn’t even tip.
I figured I’d just keep going since I was feeling feisty. (Maybe that guy who found my blog is right, I am ruthless). I said that insecurity is also a dealbreaker for me. Basically, that I’m not into guys who feel like they have to “stake their claim” on me in public. Or that constantly ask me for validation or to reinforce that I do like them, and just have a general “pick me, choose me” vibe. I also don’t like cocky guys, but it is possible to be in the middle.
Finally, I tacked on that a dealbreaker for me is when a guy shows that he isn’t willing to impress me on the first couple of dates. I don’t need a fancy steak dinner, but if you’ve forgotten to make sure that I get food when I’ve asked (and would’ve paid for myself) twice now, it’s not going to work out. You know I’m traditional in believing that a guy should pay for the first date. After that, I’ll split but I still think that the first few dates a woman should be “wooed.” And I’ll woo you back! It’s a two-way street.
The way I see it? If a guy isn’t willing to spend more than the bare minimum amount of money or energy on impressing me and making me feel special at the start, how can I expect him to give me more than the bare minimum later on after he has gotten in my pants?
Just because I was in a “screw it” mood by this point, I mentioned that in my experience, it’s the guys that make a point to brag about their high salary, fancy apartment, and/or flashy new cars (*cough* Tesla) that tend to be the worst about making me feel like I’m not worth more than a couple of drinks. I value character and experiences over material objects.
After all of that, you’d think he’d have gotten the picture yet he still kept trying to hold my hand. I would basically dead-hand him, or only give him like 2 of my fingers. But he was determined.
Finally, I think he got it when we were close to where his car was parked. I said something about it being late and my apartment not being too far. He offered to walk me back but I politely declined, mostly because I wanted tater tots (but Tasty Burger was closed). He seemed to get it, though and walked away without trying to have any other awkward physical contact with me.
On the Chopping Block
The next morning, he did text me a bit and say some things about hanging out again. He’d previously offered to cook for me, provided I bring the wine/alcohol, MULTIPLE times despite me changing the subject every single time. But, I didn’t want to be mean and lead him on or waste either of our time. So I told him the truth.
I pretty much just said that I wanted to be upfront and that it had been fun hanging out, but I didn’t see us as a good match. Which meant I didn’t see this progressing. I said there’s no chemistry or compatibility there for me, and I wanted to respect his time by being honest and clear about that. And then I wished him the best.
Again, I give Fernando credit because he handles rejection mostly well (except the first time). He replied that he’d thought about it the night before and it doesn’t seem like there’s chemistry, nor are we in the same place in our lives. And that it was clear from what I’d said on our walk that he was not what I’m looking for. All valid. All true. I mean, I’m strongly leaning towards moving soon (surprise!) so I’m not sure it’s even the right time for me to get into something serious.
What I thought was kind of funny, though, was that he explicitly said that it was what I’d said about my dealbreakers that made him realize I wasn’t that into him. So he was admitting to being kind of insecure, unwilling to put more effort into planning dates that didn’t only involve alcohol – therefore making me feel like his only goal was to impress me enough to get me drunk so I’d go home with him. And essentially, he admitted to being a bad tipper. So, all in all, my assumptions and feelings were valid. We were really not a good match.
I thanked him for understanding. I said that I knew I’d find the right guy at the right time, and to have a good weekend. And that was that. I am glad that I gave him a second chance if only because it’s better to know sooner rather than later that it wasn’t going to work so he didn’t keep reappearing. toask.
So, thank you for the experience, Chef, but you’ve been chopped.