Everyone is a mixed bag, the kindest person will become irate at times, and the meanest person can be found every now and then throwing some change at a homeless person. Dating, that effervescent mix of loneliness, want, desire and impatience, leads to blurry vision.
How do you know when the person who is sharply ordering that second dessert to the slow waitress is mean or just having a bad day?
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(And please do not blame yourself if during this article you realize, 'Oh snap, I am dating a mean person.' It happens. The mean ones can be wonderfully seductive.)
So, first dates are the opportune time to utilize this first strategy, but if it is your 305th date, it will work just as well. Ask the person directly: Are you an A*#hole? They will usually answer you honestly without realizing you are taking them seriously.
Second strategy, watch how they treat someone weaker then themselves. If they are rude, snappy, belligerent when ordering that pastrami sandwich from the local deli to the poor guy wrapping up his 16 hour shift, you know you may be in prick-ville.
Third strategy, and this one is really important. Have your friends screen your date. Let’s just say you are a mean magnet. You just go out there, and the meanest person ever is the one who wants to take you to the New Kids On the Block 50th anniversary show you have been daydreaming about.
Are you to turn down such a fantastic opportunity? Well, maybe. Ask him/her if she would mind a quick stop at a bar or for coffee. Have your friends there. They can tell you in about 15-20 minutes, no wait, 3-5 minutes, whether this person is good or simply the Big Bad Wolf in Grandma’s Pajamas.
Another way, to really see whether this person is someone to invest in those little heart candies that can say so much with so little, is to get really sick. See how the person reacts. As you are vomiting into the nearest garbage can watch: Is he/she irritated? Kind? Caring? Holding your hair back? Or simply dead inside, i.e. mean.
To all you kind beans, who have managed to recognize yourself in the midst of mean-dom. Please, do not beat yourself up. Grab your raggedy ann bathrobe, that pint of Ben and Jerry’s and watch that oldie but goodie on netflix and give yourself have a break. It is not how many times you fall that matters, it is how many times you get up.
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In other words, tomorrow is a new day.