Relationship Tip #8: Avoid Alcohol On Your First Date

There’s a reason why driving under the influence of alcohol is against the law:  it impairs your judgement.  Why should your dating life be any different?  I mean, we are talking about your life here, aren’t we?

All hail alcoholic beverages – the most widely-accepted social lubricant!  A shy guy comes out of his shell; one who is up-tight loosens up; if he has little personality, suddenly he’s the life of the party; if he’s afraid to speak to a woman, he’s got new-found courage to approach her; affection is abundant!  “I love you, man!”  What you’re left with when he sobers up is a silent, anal-retentive clam who can hardly carry a conversation with you much less give you a hug to say, “Hello.”

What I just described is the extreme, of course.  You have to really consider, though, why you or your date would require consuming an alcoholic beverage on the date in the first place.  More than likely it’s to ease any social tension because being with someone for the first time whom you don’t know can be a bit awkward initially, right?  Really tell the truth about it and you’ll find it’s simply someone trying to be something that he or she is not.  Add to that, it’s someone trying to make something happen that otherwise would not without the alcohol to get over the weirdness of being with someone new.  That’s tough for anyone to admit.  By the way, there’s no way you can say with all honesty that after you’ve had a glass of wine or two you are really being your true self.

When you consume alcohol on a date, your defenses are down.  That means you might say “yes” when you would normally say “no” to __________<fill in the blank>.  Think back on some past dating experiences when you woke up thinking, “Ugghhh!  I can’t believe I did that!”  What was it?  Did you say something stupid?  Sleep with a guy?  Go somewhere you usually wouldn’t?  Drink too much and drive yourself home?  For crying out loud, I’m famous for doing and saying stupid, annoying, offensive things that I regret even when I’m sober.  When sitting across from someone I barely know, the last thing I want to do is fuel that fire with a good, alcohol-induced buzz.

I can just imagine the response from readers saying, “Chrissy, that’s no fun.  You can’t expect me not to have a glass of wine or two with dinner.”  Oh, yes I can.  All I’m saying is take some time to get to know your suitor before you add alcoholic beverages to the mix.  If you really want to live on the edge, you can even wait a few dates.  Should you find that impossible to do, you have bigger problems than just your dating life.

Get over the awkwardness of a first date simply by acknowledging that it’s awkward.  Talk with your date authentically about what makes you nervous and ask him the same.  You’ll find that you can get past that initial uneasiness more quickly by putting each other at ease.  Honest communication like this will also open the flow of conversation so you can really get to know one another to determine whether or not this is a relationship you’d like to pursue or not.  Cheers!


21. Pei Wei – Brodie Oaks (At South Lamar and 360)

Helping Will Ross with his Dirt Remedy races has its perks.  First and foremost for me, I get to hang out with the guys.  The other benefit is that Will keeps me well-fed in the form of Pei Wei gift cards.  Other than the fact that the fortune cookie messages are quirky, completely lacking any insight into my future, I like the food so I would eat there anyway, with or without the gift cards.

After a horrible day at work, there are few things better than going to have my hair colored, cut and styled by my friend, Laura Wyrtzen.  Like most days, this particular Tuesday I forgot to eat.  While I wasn’t feeling particularly social, I wasn’t ready to go straight home to bed because my hair looked fabulous – plus, I was a little hungry.  That’s when, close to 9pm, I opted to make my way over to Brodie Oaks Pei Wei because it was close to the salon and on my way home.  With gift cards in-hand, this choice a no-brainer.  Having much of the day’s affairs to sort out in my mind, I had little desire for company over dinner.  So, I went alone.

Here’s my advice ladies: eat here and go late.  There is something about this zip code; a lot of guys must live around here.  I was the only girl in line.  Somehow my request for a “to go” order, even though I was going to eat it in the restaurant, really flustered the cashier.  In this case it was okay because, when I was in the back getting my ice water, it gave the cute, single guy behind me a reason to strike up a conversation with me.  At a table all by myself, I ate my beef with noodles and noticed there were tons of guys at this location.  There were a handful sitting at tables by themselves having dinner.  Waiting for their take-out orders, solo guys lined the wall.  On any other night, my new hair-do would have energized me to socialize at a place like this.  This is a terrific Hot Spot and it’s Pei Wei after all, where few people can resist the lettuce wraps.  Ladies, definitely put this on your list of eateries.

Relationship Tip #7: Get An Assessment

Huh?  What does that mean?  Well, I’m saying find out from others what’s up with you.  If you’re anything like me, this will probably put your stomach in knots.  Realistically, we (I include myself in that) don’t always want to know what others think of us, much less go seek out their opinion of who we are.  Believe me, this is one of those things that may seem to be a little difficult right out the gate, but could change your life for the better.  As you read this you might think that I’m completely out of my tree too.  That’s okay.  There’s nothing mandatory here.  If you want to do this, fine; if not, that’s fine also.  I’ve done this myself several times and I know it works.

Using myself as an example, I have this idea of who I am to myself.  This idea exists only one place  – in my own mind.  Who I really am in this world is how I occur to others.  Being perfectly honest, who I am to myself is a girl who is always flying by the seat of her pants, winging it most of the time.  Sitting on a bench in front of a restaurant waiting for one of my girlfriends to show up for lunch, I try to calm down.  In a rush to be on time because I have it that I’m always running late, I threw on a little chambray mini skirt, white t-shirt and black flip-flops.  Without styling my hair, I put it in a ponytail and put a white baseball cap over it and left the house with no makeup on.  When my girlfriend, Janet, finally shows up she approaches me sitting there on the bench and says, “There’s my friend who always looks so put together!”  Her view of me is so different than the view I have of myself.  Through a leadership class I took, one of the assignments was to do an assessment such as the one I’m suggesting and record their responses.  The results were so revealing.

I compiled a list of trusted friends and relatives who both know me well and whose opinion I tremendously value.  Each was given the opportunity to either decline to answer the questions or to proceed with my “interview,” both without any judgement or defensiveness on my part.  With their permission, I asked the following questions:

  1. What do you see are my strengths?
  2. What do you see are my weaknesses?
  3. In what ways can you count on me?
  4. What can you count on me not to do?
  5. Who am I to our community/family?
  6. Who am I to you?

Whether it was a friend or family member, what they told me was remarkably similar.  People know me to be honest, reliable, having my act together, late (dad even said, “last one out the door.”) smart and fiercely independent.  I found everyone had trouble saying anything bad.  However, what came up a lot is that I’m “perfect” to the point of being unapproachable.  The challenge for me then became how do I work on being not perfect, especially when I believe that I’m anything but perfect, so that I can welcome those who approach me?  Ugh!

Another example is a girl that I know who’s smart, cute and successful.  Yet, every time she opens her mouth she’s doing one of three things:  expressing her desperation for a date, criticizing others openly and loudly behind their backs or sharing with whoever will listen her vast knowledge of everything.  It’s easy for me and everyone else to see why this girl has trouble getting a date.  She has no clue.  If she were willing to hear it, what difference would it make for her to know how she occurs to the people around her?

The last example is a mother who is generous and loving to her family.  For years she’s been going through her life heartbroken from her lack of intimacy with them and she feels disconnected and shut-out from them.  She can’t figure out why they won’t include her in certain family activities.  Listening to her talk, her only tone of voice is yelling and persists at imposing her criticism and opinions regardless of the topic.  When she is finally able to understand their point of view and how she occurs to them, she is able to have deep connected, relationships with them that she never had.  She finally gets to have her family; they finally get to have her.

Whether you choose to do this or not is up to you.  It takes a great deal of courage to be willing to open yourself up to hearing others’ honest opinion on you.  There’s a tremendous power the comes from knowing some areas of your life that need work, especially when you have no prior knowledge of it.  Should you choose to have conversations like these with the people in your life, you have got to follow these guidelines in order for this to be productive for you and safe for them:

  1. Give them the opportunity and freedom to say “no” without judgement,
  2. Remind the person you’re talking that it’s safe to tell you the truth,
  3. Tell them that you will not hold anything against them and mean it,
  4. Choose people you trust to tell you the truth and whose opinions you value,
  5. Keep the questions simple,
  6. Ask only a few questions,
  7. When you’re done thank them for contributing to your life,
  8. Without allowing yourself to be hurt or offended by anything they said, use the information constructively,
  9. Figure out how you can use the feedback they gave you to supercharge an area of your life where you’ve been stalled.

As I said, doing this will definitely take some courage, but it is totally worth it.  My friends and I are able to make a joke about my being so “perfect” such that it really takes the edge off it.  It has also given me the opportunity to address it straight away with people I meet for the first time, putting them at ease.  When it comes to your assessment, it never hurts to ask.  Who knows what doors it could open for you?

20. Golfsmith Driving Range

Let me be perfectly clear, I don’t like golf.  I don’t like playing it or watching it or wandering a course for 18 holes.  Lord help me if I marry a man who does.  Having lived in Phoenix and West Palm Beach, I’ve spent my share of time on the golf course.  My clubs were custom made by Jack Wulkotte, who used to make clubs for Jack Nicklaus back in the day.  What that means is that in spite of my furrowed brow, a perpetual expression of my frustration with the things of golf, I look great from the neck down whenever I have a club in my hand.

My friend, Phil, gave me the tip that this would make a good Hot Spot.  You need to know it’s taken me about 2 months to go and I really had to force myself.  To make this happen, I had to get my golf clubs out of storage and they sat in the back of my car for at least a month.  All this to say, going to the driving range is waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone.  When I arrived at Golfsmith Driving Range, I was pleasantly surprised.

This particular Golfsmith location is the company’s headquarters and is totally decked-out.  I’ve been to my share of driving ranges and this is the nicest one by a long shot – pun intended.  Being crunched for time, I bought a small bucket of balls for $5 and proceeded to the green where I could hack away.  Right smack in the middle of lunch hour, I was the only woman amongst a good handful of guys, making this an ideal Hot Spot.  After exhausting all 40 of my little white balls, I headed into the pro shop to return my basket and have a conversation with the pro.

Ladies, if you ever had the inclination to take up golf at any point in your life, go see Doug Nelle at the Golfsmith Driving Range.  His passion for the game is contagious and he’s got a tremendous commitment to introducing others to the sport.  For women, he suggests getting a group together and taking one of the clinics he offers (they’re either free or a nominal fee) to give it a try.  He has all kinds of clubs on-hand for you to use if you don’t have your own.  This is by far the best way to try golf.

Since we’re most concerned with when the men are there, Doug suggests coming on a Saturday.  “That’s when the serious golfers come practice,” he explained.  The women are definitely outnumbered by the men so be prepared to stand out and get some attention.  It also doesn’t matter if you’re good or not.  Women are so rarely seen golfing around here that men just appreciate your effort; Doug said that too.   Due to its location, a lot of Dell-ies come there during their lunch hour.  In the evening, the clientele is primarily students and people in the surrounding neighborhoods.  Sunday is family day.  Saturday is your day.

Golfsmith Driving Range – I-35 southbound feeder road, just south of Breaker.

An Apology To My Readers. . .

As you know, the name of this blog is Hot Men Hot Spots.  You may also have noticed that it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted any new Hot Spots.  For that, I owe you an apology.  While I really hate hearing reasons of any kind from others and hate giving them out as excuses for my failure to follow through for others, I thought you might appreciate knowing what’s been going on since the beginning of August.

First of all, I’m taking my own advice.  Just like any other girl – or person for that matter – I got stuck in my comfort zone.  Creating this initial list of Hot Spots has been somewhat easy since they are places I already go.  Fortunately, for the sake of this blog, many of these places about which I have written are places that many girls never thought of or didn’t know existed.  All that to say I have exhausted my personal list and am now in the process of going outside of my comfort zone to try new things and find new Hot Spots to share with you.  I can already tell you that this works.

Next, I have just completed my first eBook that is a spin-off of the relationship material in this blog; all that I have left to create is a good title.  Essentially, it’s a collection of dating and relationship tips for women over thirty.  It took me all of a month to write and about three weeks to proofread and edit.  By mid-October I’d like to launch it, complete with its own website, in an effort to make a difference for women all over to be in wonderful relationships with awesome men who love them to pieces.  When everything goes live, I will be sure to announce it.

What you can expect from me moving forward are my posts reflecting my ongoing commitment to share with you some great, “new” Hot Spots along with relationship tips mixed with stories of my challenges, successes and failures all along the way.  I’m really loving this journey.

Thank you for reading.  I’ll see you at the races.