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When you’re going out on short coffee meet n’ greet dates, don’t forget the golden rule. If there’s no connection during this 30 minute introduction or if red flags and bells start going off in your head, do not continue the date onto dinner. It’s easy to do. You think, well maybe it’ll get better, maybe I haven’t given him enough of a chance. Let me tell you, it doesn’t get better! I myself even forget this golden rule. Even when my head is saying no no NO! My heart is saying, well he’s trying.

I just had a short coffee meeting and I knew right away I wasn’t attracted to him. Attraction is an instant thing. Either it’s there or it’s not. I think men tune into this animal instinct more than women. As women we think more along the lines of is he educated, what’s his job, does he have kids, yadda, yadda. We should get back to the animal instincts. When you look at a man either he gets your juices flowing or he doesn’t. If it doesn’t happen right away it probably won’t happen down the line.

We ordered our coffees and sat down to chat. He was very touchy feely which I’m not a big fan of.  Keep the paws to yourself until we get to know each other better. I couldn’t really understand him. I didn’t know if he had an accent or wasn’t pronouncing his words properly. So it was hard to have a conversation.  The only thing I could understand was that he lied on his profile. He stated he didn’t have children under 18, which in fact he did, a daughter who’s 11. He said he put that because he hasn’t seen her in two years. I don’t know which is worse, that fact that he lied or that he’s not in his daughters’ life.

All kinds of bells were going off in my head. He asked me to dinner. I don’t know if my growling stomach was tuning out the alarm bells or if I was suffering from low blood sugar, but I agreed. As soon as I sat down I regretted my decision.  I wasn’t following my golden rule and I paid the consequences. He proceeded to tell me of his crazy ex and that he escaped from her and moved to Florida to start over and he has no contact with his daughter. Though, his ex always has a way of finding him knowing where he’s working, where he’s living and what car he’s driving.

When I tried talking about something he would cut me off and tell me I didn’t know what I was talking about. That I wasn’t doing the proper research, he was right and I had no idea what was going on. It didn’t feel like a conversation, it felt like a competition. It was exhausting. Finally I chose to be quiet, eat my food and just smile and nod my way through it.

As he walked me to my car, I unlocked my doors from across the parking lot hoping for a quick escape. Instead he pulled me towards him and I cranked my neck back. He says, “What no kiss?” Since I was held hostage I knew my only way out was a quick peck. So I obliged and pulled away.

Never forget the golden rule. If you’re not feeling it during the quick coffee date, have a plan to leave shortly thereafter. Don’t continue it. Trust your gut instincts. Listen to the bells going off in your head. They’re there for a reason. Don’t rationalize them away. No dinner is worth the torture you will have to endure.

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.