Ten dead giveaways that
Prince Charming is a frog

Gloria G. Brame,PhD,ACS



By Gloria G. Brame

The following is excerpted from Gloria's Handbook on dating - WHERE THE BOYS ARE: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Mr. Right

Into every life a little rain must fall--and into every woman's life a frog will leap. More than a few of us have come to a first date expecting to find a heart-throb, and have gone home with only a pounding headache. Unfortunately, women seem to have a hormonal need to make excuses for men's quirky behavior. Perhaps this is a survival trait for our gender.

Nonetheless, save your mercy for the men you marry and remain skeptical about the ones you meet on blind dates. Knowing how to spot the warning signs of frogdom right away is the best way to protect yourself against future disappointment.

Here is our list of ten dead giveaways that your Prince Charming is actually an amphibian in disguise.

1. He Suffers From Vacant Room Syndrome:
He says he wants to meet you but he has absolutely no ideas about where to go or what to do. He shows up empty-handed and unshaven, wearing whatever he found lying on top of the clean laundry pile, he has to clear all the empty six-packs from the front seat of his car for you to squeeze in, and his number one question all night is "So whaddya wanna do next?"

What does this say? It should tell you that he either is brain-dead or that he is a selfish swine who has not devoted any time to planning out the date or trying to think of what might please you. Men like this never get better: you can expect them also to forget birthdays and anniversaries--and don't expect flowers or presents on Valentine's Day either.

2. He Shows Off His Disgusting Personal Habits:
We all have them but most of us have the common sense to indulge them only in total privacy. Men who feel comfortable enough to share their own weird personal quirks or intestinal gases with you on a first date are either such delightful iconoclasts that you can forgive them; or such unmannerly boors that you might as well prepare now for a lifetime of picking up their rancid socks from the floor. In fact, for some men, disgusting personal habits are almost a badge of pride--that beer-scented belch isn't a belch at all but a sign of their membership in the tribe of men.

Many of us, of course, see most men as in need of some domestic training. But why settle for a handywoman's special? If their mothers were unable to instill good habits in them, you probably won't be able to do a better job.

3. He Bears A Strong Resemblance To Scrooge:
One of the results of women's growing marketplace equality is that we have had to give up one of the perks of traditional femininity: getting the men to pay for everything. Still, though we now expect to pay our own way (at least some of the time), it is a good idea to avoid men who grip a dime just a little too tight.

If your date studies the food bill as if it were his bank statement, and then insists on splitting it down to the exact penny, raise an eyebrow. If he consistently asks you to contribute more than your half share, raise two eyebrows. If he asks to borrow money or tries to make you pay for everything, raise Cain.

Now, it is perfectly acceptable to pay for a man IF that was your agreement going in, or even if you feel spontaneously generous. But let that be YOUR decision, not his. Men who are stingy with you when it comes to money will probably also turn out to be stingy with other things--like emotional support, affection or sex.

4. He Acts Like El Bizarro:
We all make mistakes or say silly things, particularly when we're under the pressure of meeting someone for the first time. But begin lacing your Nikes if the stranger you're with shows signs of oddly disjointed speech or sociopathic behavior. Did he tell you on the phone that he has 3 sisters, whereas he now claims he has only brothers? Did he say he has a great relationship with his mother and talks to her regularly--only to inform you over dinner that she died three years ago? Are there odd gaps in his history which could be explained by extended stays in places with bars on their doors and windows?

A certain amount of eccentricity is entertaining. But if your date's facts don't add up, or if he starts telling you about the time he woke up on an operating table in Roswell, New Mexico....RUN!

5. He Acts Like El Bizarro/Part Two:
He knows everyone and everyone knows him. He's been everywhere and, while he was there, he did everything. He's phenomenally successful--and a genius too! In fact, he is working on a sensational idea which will make him a millionaire one day very, very soon. It's only by the sheerest of coincidences that he's never been more than 50 miles from Newark, has no friends, can't hold a steady job and lives off his invalid mother's social security checks...and, by the way, could you pay for dinner, since his companionship is well worth the price of the meal?

Or perhaps everything is just grand. He is successful and strong, and seems perfectly stable. He takes your hand and gazes tenderly into your eyes across the candle-lit table. And then he romantically whispers, "You're getting a really huge pimple on your chin. Did you know?"

What mad scientist created this strange species of clueless men who seem to be cloning about us with reckless abandon? We don't know. What we do know, however, is that if he SEEMS deluded or completely unaware of the effect his words might have on you, then he IS deluded and unaware--and not likely to change.

6. He Clock-Watches.
This is the 90s. We're all in a rush. That said, beware of the man who always has his eye on the clock. If he is rushing you through the first course as he glances at his wristwatch, either he is having a bad time or, more likely, he has another appointment on his mind. Natural female curiosity may compel you to ask why he is anxious to know the hour: natural male stupidity may compel him to confess he's hoping to catch the last innings of a ball game on TV. Are you ready for a lifetime of standing out in left-field?

If he offers an acceptable excuse, be gracious and cut him some slack--we all occasionally are trapped by that demon, time. But if he gets embarrassed at your question, and stumbles through a weak alibi, he is trying to hide something--possibly a wife and children who are expecting him home for dinner that night.

Meanwhile, if YOU find yourself glancing at your wristwatch counting down the minutes until you can leave, then the time for you to leave has already come.

7. He's Mr. Gadget:
Wendy went on a date with a successful psychiatrist who placed his cell-phone and beeper on the table, and proceeded to take phonecalls throughout the meal.

"The way he stuck all his gadgets on the table between us, I kept wondering if he was trying to put up a barrier between us. If he was, it worked," Wendy says. By the time dessert arrived, he had committed two people to institutions and Wendy was ready to go to one.

Is your date more interested in playing phone-tag with his office than in maintaining a conversation with you? Unless you have also thrown your gadgets into the ring, ask yourself what kind of a man invites you out only to ignore you? Wait, we'll tell you: a jerk.

8. He's Mr. Love-To-Love-Ya, Babee:
We all want an affectionate man. We want him to fall head over heels in love, to shower us with attention and demonstrate in dozens of romantic ways that we are the apple of his eye. But do we want it on the FIRST date?

There is a breed of men who, for reasons known only to themselves, feel it is their moral obligation to behave as if every new woman they meet is the only one they love.

Yes, there is such a thing as "love at first sight." It could happen to you. But generally speaking, if fifteen minutes into your date, he says things like, "If you play your cards right, you could be the next Mrs. Whoever-I-Am" or "I've been looking for a girl like you all my life!" it's time to ask yourself whether you are indeed the Queen of the Universe, able to inspire abject worship at the drop of a hat (perhaps you are, you vixen!); or whether this guy is softening you up for a sexual pass. Not that we would doubt you, dear reader, but the latter is, in all probability, the correct answer.

One thing you can be sure of: you aren't the first and will not be the last woman he has said these things to. Some men (and we know this will come as a shock to you) will say ANYTHING to get laid.

9. He Has Too Much To Teach You:
You say potato, he says potahto; you say tomato, he says tomahto. Even worse, he tries to make you pronounce it HIS WAY. Our advice: call the whole thing off.

Unless you are seeking a Svengali, beware of men who try to prove to you first that they are intellectually or otherwise superior, and then attempt to re-educate you to their liking.

Listen for such telling statements as "I know what you need." They may sound comforting on the surface (after all, we are looking for someone to fulfill our needs), but the underlying logic is that you are the Galatea to his Pygmalion, and the reason that you need him is because he thinks that you need him to change your life.

10. He Says He's Mr. Sex Machine:
Could anything be wrong with a man who craves to give us complete sexual satisfaction in bed? Yes: he could tell us all about it in vivid language on a first date.

While sexually explicit language is not automatically the sign of boorishness it once was, most of us do not particularly wish to listen to a man extol his oral sex skills over an introductory meal.

This is really a case of "don't tell me, show me."

But before you let him--are you supplied with enough disinfectants to kill every disease known to mankind? Let's face it: the man who boasts that he is an expert at tantric tongue techniques probably hasn't been hiding his gift from the world all these years, has he?


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