Red Light Special


Last weekend, a friend of mine asked an age old question that got me brainstorming.

“Where do you meet men?” Denise asked, genuinely perplexed.

She asked with the “you” meaning all normal, non-prostitute (sorry, but in light of the whole Spitzer debacle, I’ve got to address everyone), females in New York. After college, she pondered, where do you meet a nice guy and possibly start some type of dating situation? By now, you all know that I love the Friend Reference system because it’s easier to sieve out the psychopaths that way. But what if you’re relatively new to the city, like Denise is?

The nightclub situation is a no go, for obvious reasons. A bar or jazz lounge…ehh maybe. I prefer art museums, supermarkets, and even the gym. Okay, I sound like I live in a movie, but it’s true. I feel like when men are in an atmosphere when they’re less pressured to socialize, they act like their true selves. And that’s when you can pick up on subtle clues as to whether he’d be good for you or not.

The inevitable disclaimer: ladies, I only claim to know things about love and relationships. The only qualifications I can offer is that I’ve done pretty good up until Andre – and everyone’s allowed one tragic mistake (although to this day, I still stick to my story: I wouldn’t take a second back of that ghetto fabulous love affair).

Anyway, you might want to adhere to some guidelines if you do decide to pick up a guy in a public place.

Three (There are more but I don’t want to overwhelm you) No-No Red Light Signals

BTW, I’m not even going to mention wedding rings, because I trust you guys know better,

1. Anger Issues: If he throws something instead of placing it, is rude to a bartender, etc. steer clear of this dude. Sure, he might be having a bad day but he could also be (drum roll please) crazy. Crazy happens, people!

2. Too Sweet: Did he compliment you three times in five minutes? Did he buy your drink, walk you back to your table with his arms out so no one would bump into you? Yea, he’s trying too hard and it’s unnatural. Fake is not fun.

3. Too Much Information Syndrome: You know this guy. You just met him at the checkout line and he is already telling you his entire life story. Not kosher. Give him your shrink’s business card and be on your way.

On a lighter note (let’s not forget that there are great guys to meet out there) here are:

Three Signs that It’s Safe to Game This One Up

1. He’s Not Trying That Hard: Seriously, shouldn’t a guy find out if you’re a worthy woman to sweat? If this guy seems genuinely sweet but not too aggressive, give him some sugar (your phone number - not sex, you pervert).

2. He Opens a Door For You or Buys You and Drink - and then Leaves You the Hell Alone: Chivalry is alive! He knows that you can be sweet to a woman and not make her feel obligated. This one’s looking good.

3. My personal favorite - You Have Something Concrete in Common: Go to the same gym? Have a common friend? Bingo! Get a reference and get his number.

So these are just some of my theories. I’m suggesting you create your own and stick to them. All that “women’s intuition” stuff is so true – we’re actually very smart when it comes to love, but I’m the first to admit that I (you do it too) ignore the most clear cut signs sometimes. So open those gorgeous peepers, go forth and date.

And then come back and tell me all about it, because I'm still not brave enough to date a guy who hasn't given me a written recommendation from his mom or a benevolent ex. What? Baby steps, I always say.