My dating life has a lot in common with Taco Bell. Yes, I said Taco Bell. (Work with me here. . . .)
You know how you read all those stories about how Taco Bell supposedly doesn't use real beef in its food and you think, "How gross, I am so never going to eat there again?" But then 3 a.m. rolls around, you've had a few drinks, and suddenly that chalupa starts to seem a whole lot more appealing. I think you see where I'm going here. . . .
There's a certain type of guy I'm drawn to in those moments. I'm talking about guys who spend more time on their hair than we ladies do. Guys who basically have crafted a look for themselves that they believe is irresistible to the opposite sex. And, sadly, sometimes they're right. But don't let the packaging fool you. All that glitters is not truly gold.
Perfect example: A few summers ago, I was hanging with my cousin Christiane at one of our favorite places in Ocean City, Seacrets. Many regrettable examples of the Taco Bell-effect have gone down there, since our beach place is within walking distance to the bar. By about 10 p.m., we were dancing to our favorite local reggae band, Jah Works, when thirst called us back to the bar. There, standing next to me was a tan, dark-haired man with a killer smile. Let's call him Jay (even though his name is Elliot). Anyway, I had to talk to this guy. Throughout our conversation Jay seemed suave and kind of funny, and did I already mention gorgeous? Sure, a quick scan of him should have sent Taco Bells going off in my head—he was just a little too slick—but blame it on my romantic nature (or, more likely, the lemon drop shots), I was hooked.
We hung out one more night in OC, again at Sea-crets, before he had to head back to Baltimore. We parted with the idea that we were going to connect back at home. Once we got back though, I didn't hear from him that much. He told me he was busy with work, which I had no reason to doubt until I ran into him at The Cheesecake Factory . . . with some other girl. Awkward! And then he actually introduced me to her!
But here's the kicker: Even after this run-in, he still kept texting me to hang out or hook up. And the worst part? I went along with it. (I know, I should've run from the border!) My reasons were: he's hot and I enjoy his company. Who's going to get hurt? But ladies, take it from someone who knows. Continuing to hook up with a guy like that, even if you think it's you using him, will always end badly—for you. In the end, I was the one who got hurt. He got another notch in his tanning bed.
So what did I learn from this? That while none of us has a perfect dating record, if you want to win more than you lose, don't make the same mistake twice. And if you don't want to hate yourself in the morning, you should probably avoid those 3 a.m. Taco Bell runs.