1. He’s a brand rep
In hindsight, you should have caught on when he asked you to split the bill via Fixr. What you thought was a coffee date is actually an exercise in subliminal brainwashing – if the Yik Yak baseball cap he gave you in lieu of flowers can be called “subliminal.” Afterwards, you find yourself on the mailing lists for Yoyo Wallet and Tilt.
2. She’s writing a novel
“It’s kind of Fitzgerald-esque, but more Paradise than Gatsby, if you know what I mean. The main character is addicted to the thrill of high society, but he also appreciates the struggle of the common man, so there are some Anna Karenina illusions in there. And after the apocalypse – sorry, I didn’t mention, there’s basically a worldwide disaster, but that’s all established in the prologue, very much reminiscent of The Road. He really loves this girl, who’s a metaphor for his own lost innocence, and obviously there’s a minor class struggle there. On top of that, they’re on opposite ‘reckoning groups’ – sorry, yeah, there are these things called ‘reckoning groups,’ which are subsets of the clans that people are placed into at birth, sort of like The Hunger Games but also totally different. And anyway, that’s why it’s all set in an aquarium.”
3. He’s the dentist who shot Cecil the Lion
His smile may be flawless, but his heart is blackened beyond repair. Prepare for an evening spent listening to Walter Palmer recount his past hunting trips, each more grisly than the last. Sure, he’ll probably pick up the check, but dating a social pariah would be a downer on any budding relationship. Also, isn’t he married?
4. She works there
First dates are stressful. First dates are even more stressful when the entire restaurant staff is along for the ride. Between the constant, teasing enquiries of Are we celebrating anything special tonight? to your date’s lengthy gossip sessions at the hostess stand, you feel like an unwitting participant in a reality television show. The blow is cushioned by her employee discount, however you can’t help but sense this is your last time bringing a date here.
5. He’s using you as a warmup for his summer internship interview
Enjoy a night spent listening to a verbal CV. Your date is on track for a 2:1, he speaks four languages, he’s on the first football team, he paid for GIG and Investment Soc memberships, and he runs his own night at The Rule. By the time the mains are served, you can’t help but wonder if he’s trying to get into you, or Goldman Sachs.