Z is incredibly accomplished. I’m talking “ivy league-educated through law school and holding a judicial clerkship in the U.S. Federal Court” accomplished. And if there’s one thing that intrigues me, it’s an intelligent man. Our exchanges on OKCupid revealed that we share a love for fine dining, so naturally Z selected one of the top-rated (i.e. expensive) fusion restaurants in Los Angeles for our first date. A fancy first date is definitely not a requirement, but I let Z call the shots and I was happy to oblige.
I dropped off my car at the valet with my confidence booming. My flattering summer dress hugged my petite frame in all the right places. My tanned legs looked toned and my waist-length hair was perfectly coiffed. K had her groove back – that is, until I saw Z. To my dismay, the level of physical attraction was a complete zero. Z is relatively good-looking in his photos but, in person, not so much. His appearance is fine, but I wasn’t exactly drawn in or flooded with desire. For some women, this might not be a dealbreaker, but I simply can’t build a relationship without physical attraction.
The moment I saw Z, I probably instinctively knew this would be our first, and last, date. The problem with dinner dates is that there’s an implied time commitment. You can’t exactly meet someone in front of a restaurant, then turn around and leave. Luckily, I’m social by nature and I genuinely enjoy meeting new people, even if the exchange is short-lived. We sat down in the gorgeously-decorated Peruvian restaurant and Z ordered a number of delicious tapas plates for us to share. I was overly polite, requesting only water and explaining that I wasn’t very hungry.
Throughout dinner, something else turned me off. I want to say this in the most unassuming way possible, but…it was very apparent that Z was completely enamored by me. The entire time I spoke, he stared at me wide-eyed, his mouth in a crooked smile and slightly agape (he might have even started salivating at one point). It’s feels nice to be taken in by your date, but only when the feeling is mutual. Look, Z is a really nice guy and we shared a few laughs but I felt no romantic chemistry. When the triple-figure bill was delivered, I tried to split it (the guilt!) , but Z insisted on paying. After dinner, he wanted to take a walk so we strolled around the block then eventually parted ways.
Z sent the post-date follow-up text and made it clear that he wants to see me again. I plan to tell him that I don’t feel a connection and I think it’s best if we date other people. From my experience, you should always be up front about these types of things. To be honest, I went into this date with zero expectations, so I’m not disappointed. And I have to say, the food at this restaurant was mind-blowingly good. It was my first time dining on Japanese-influenced Peruvian specialties. Dishes like tuna sashimi with soy ceviche dressing and crispy sweet potatos. Black cod with miso anticucho. Quinoa pumpkin stew, laced with spices. If anything, I’ll always remember Z for giving me my first taste of Peru.