It was the first night of the NBA Finals, and I was meeting some friends at a sports bar. Since my friends knew some of the guys there that night, I decided to text one of the guys I met on Tinder a couple of weeks before to see if he wanted to join us.
My latest “Tinderoni” was a very nice blue-collar man, just recently out of a seven-year relationship. He was trying Tinder as a way to meet new people and we became instant friends after our first date.
This was our third time hanging out and I was going to determine if we were going to stay in the friend zone or try for more. He confirmed he would join us later in the evening.
Meanwhile, drinks and food were flowing when a group of guys we’d never seen before walked in.
My friend Summer immediately pointed one out and said, “Hey Ravid, he’s cute.”
Fifteen minutes later, my friend Rachel turned to me and said, “Hey Ravid, if you’re trying to get married, you need to date that guy.”
That guy. They were both referring to the same guy. And he was cute. But just minutes later, Tinderoni showed up.
Our table had become very full without a seat to spare, so I asked the next table over if I could steal a chair.
“Actually, you can’t,” was the reply.
I looked up and found that it was the guy Rachel and Summer pointed out. He made sure to repeat himself, “You can’t have that chair. You have to negotiate for it.”
Negotiate? I offered up Summer. Hey, she thought he was cute! But he refused and insisted we keep negotiating. “You have to tell me what you want, that’s the start of a negotiation,” I said.
“Well, why are you here tonight?” he asked. This started a round of small talk, which mostly consisted of me talking about the Lakers (my favorite team) and talking smack about the Knicks since he was from New York.
“Are any of the men at this table your suitors?” he asked. Our table was congregated with other bar regulars, including some police officers we knew. “Because some of those guys are big,” he said while he himself stood at 6’3” before me.
“No, those are just some guys we know. But there’s a guy at the bar I’ve been seeing,” I replied.
“Can I have your number anyway?”
I felt it would be disrespectful to give him my number given that I had invited someone else. And I think Tinderoni saw this interchange and decided to stay longer than he had anticipated.
The Negotiator and his friends started to head out, and my friend Summer kept motioning for me to look over. When I noticed him leaving, I quickly suggested to her with a smirk on my face, “Didn’t you think that guy was cute? You should go talk to him before he leaves.”
She followed The Negotiator outside and gave him my number. He called the next day and we scheduled our first date for Saturday night. It lasted for over seven hours!
We’ve been negotiating ever since.
That night the universe aligned to get us together. My friends pointed him out to me, and I said no twice. His friends pointed me out to him and he saw an opportunity despite the fact that there were large, “scary” men around me.
I realized that I had certain fixed ideas about who fit into my “type.”
My friends, who know me so well, saw things a little more openly. They saw that he was a nice guy. It was apparent from the second he walked in.
He smiled a lot. To me, that came off as cheesy. Even months into dating him, it would bother me… I was like “why are you smiling so much?”
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I learned that I was dismissing the very thing I had always said I wanted.
I said I was committed to dating a nice guy and not the jerks I had dated before, but when he was right in front of me, I judged him. And that’s what we do when we’re stuck on a type.
We judge. We judge someone because they smile too much, don’t dress the way we would have liked, or don’t have the career we’d always imagined. We can often miss out on a nice, honorable man in the process.
I was on a journey to do something that was uncommon and uncomfortable for me, so I gave him a shot. I can thank my friends for seeing how great we would be together before I did.
Sometimes it takes a village to find the right man for you.
Ravid Yosef is a dating and relationship coach in Los Angeles Read more of her dating advice and relationship tips on LoveLifeTBD and sign up for her weekly newsletter.
This article was originally published at LoveLifeTBD.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.