I met a cute lawyer named Derek while out with friends in New York’s Meatpacking District.  Drinks at One Oak led to hung-over brunch on Saturday and ribs while watching Vick’s Eagles whoop the Cowboys.  He’s great — sexy, funny, successful, humble and smells like a dream. All signs read “Go!”  Then we met afterwork mid-town for big eats at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.  I took kickboxing class at lunch and tend to go anemic so I’m far from a vegan.  I ordered a shrimp appetizer, petite filet mignon, scalloped potatoes, the banana cream pie and a bottle of Cabernet.  He’s giving me the side-eye and I shrug it off.  It can’t be about the bill.  It just can’t.  He orders, like, vegetables.  At a steakhouse.  Chopped salad and creamed spinach.  I say, “My treat.” He retorts, “No way.”  So I cop: “Then what’s the problem?  You’re all screw-faced after I ordered.”  He goes quiet for a minute to say grace.  And I lower my head and say, “Amen.”  And I’m just staring at him with my mouth open ’til he says what the problem is.  Derek goes into a trance and recites like Jesse Jackson on Vicodin: “But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you.” Leviticus 11:10 Shellfish shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination. Leviticus 11:11″ Then Derek says the Bible says God’s people are not to eat shellfish and that I’m a sinner.  I kid you not.  Loooooooooooooongest dinner of my life.

-Erica J.

I was hanging with some elitest ex-patriate Africans at Balthazar in the East Village.  Nigerians, Ugandans, South Africans, Senegalese, Cape Verdeans.  Great food, spirited conversation, many kisses on both cheeks.  My friend Chinesse from Cameroon introduced me to Francois a French lawyer working for White & Case (Rudolph Giuliani’s employer at the time).  Francois and I hit it off.  That weekend we went ice skating in Central Park, had Northern Indian food at Nirvana, went dancing at Nikki Beach Club. Francois was so courtly and charming — a perfect gentleman.  Divorced with a five-year-old son Laurent back in Enghien-Les-Bains. So we had Korean dinner at Kang Suh after the Opera during  the next weekend.  Then he asked me to come over to his corporate apartment to watch the French Open.  I thought that was an outstanding idea.  So we kissed for the first time that night.  It was amazing.  Leading by example, Francois took his shirt off.  All good.  Very warm, affectionate, nice vibe.  But then he started tonguing my ear which is like Def Con 3 in seduction warfare.  A little overwhelming but alright.  Until he bit my diamond & platinum earring in half.  Yes.  Bit. It. In. Half. *CRUNCH!!!*  Like a cartoon mascot of a heavily sugared breakfast cereal.  All I could think is, “I don’t want him near my nipples.”  So I made an excuse about having an early meeting and jetted to a taxicab.

-Ursula P.


Dating is sticking your toe into unknown waters.  It looks as beautiful, warm and inviting as the Caribbean Sea off the coast of the French West Indies.  But beware the sting of jellyfish, eel or shark.  You may, like the ladies testifying above, stumble into some belief or behavior that is just unacceptable in a man.

Pay attention and act according to what your gut tells you to do.  Safety and preserving all body parts first!


Additional tips as you determine whether he’s a keeper.

21. It is better to let someone walk away from you than to let him walk all over you.

Some of my girlfriends love to harangue me with tales of her man’s latest evil-doings.  I’m like: Why don’t you just get rid of him?  Men are like lightbulbs — if one is broken, you don’t keep it unless you’re a Hoarder on that scary A&E show.

22. Don’t look for someone to complete you.

You need to be a whole person relating to another whole person. Then your guy can complement you — not be a crutch.

23. Don’t give more in a relationship than you are getting out of it.

Don’t be high-maintenance but remember you ain’t his Momma.

24. When actions and words conflict, believe the actions.

And respond to the actions.

25. Don’t fully commit to a man who doesn’t give you everything that you need.

Keep him on your roster but get to know others.

26. Never believe a man that tells you he want to be with you, while he’s with someone else.

If he wanted to be with you, he would make it happen more sooner than later.

27. There is someone out there worthy to be your partner – so make room.

Weed out the losers and no-hopers to make room for the keeper.

28. If it don’t come easy, you gotta let it go.

Do you spend more of your relationship time happy or fighting?  It’s not worth it if your life is all strife with dude.

29. Be yourself & be true to yourself.

Reminds me of the fiance who wanted me to get breast implants.  Because his Momma had them.  I’m a 32 C to D.  What am I gonna do — become a 32 G?  He had to go, of course.

30. Determine whether there is room in your life for emotional cripples.

Everyone has problems but if a guy can’t handle his stuff, what makes you think you can do it for him?