Meeting potential love interests can be tricky but I find it equally challenging figuring out how to proceed once you do. As reader santaboy surmised, it’s possible that some attractive women in their early 30s (my age) are not putting themselves out there because they don’t want to be “hounded by men since it is such a small town.”

However, I think there’s another reason why we girls tend to exercise caution. See, I know a lot of women with killer looks, interesting careers, and smarts to boot, who have gone out of their way to meet men, at nice places, like Blue Agave. During the first two to three weeks of dating, they discovered that they guy was: a) not quite divorced yet, b) living in a halfway house in Carpinteria, or c) recently convicted of stalking his ex.

After a few experiences like that, you become a little gun-shy.

In other words, safety plays a major role for women on a quest for that special someone. And it should, first and foremost because not all people are truthful about who they are. Therefore, when meeting a man online or at a pub downtown, you have to do your due diligence and get to know him before having him over for dinner or introducing him to your kids. Yes, even if it’s time-consuming and he seems like the knight in shining armor you’ve been waiting for all your life. There’s really no definite timeline for when it’s safe to trust someone you’re seeing, and if you were to ask Sandra Bullock, Elin Nordegren, or Regina Letterman they would say that time comes NEVER!

Of course, men are not the only ones capable of leaving out important information on the first five-plus dates. Women are equally guilty of forgetting to mention little things like their dependency on Prozac or lousy credit rating, which will almost definitely prevent the purchase of anything larger than a dog house in the foreseeable future. Also, people tend to have different perceptions of what rates as blatant dishonesty and what is merely a white lie.

Most people in their 30s or older have a bit of baggage, and it can be a delicate balance figuring out when to let the cat out of the bag. Personally, I prefer to hear about biggies, like prior substance abuse, an irreversible vasectomy, or a pending lawsuit from the ex-wife, up front. That said, there is such a thing as too much information, and frankly I’d rather not know about how:

• he continued to sleep with his porn model-ex for a year after the break-up because the sex was just too damn good

• he needs his internet porn fix every morning John-Mayer-style to start the day off right

• he’s never used dental floss in his life and just thinks it’s something Johnson & Johnson came up with to make more money.

Some information is flat-out unnecessary to disclose. And then there are conversation movers that just come out wrong, every time. For instance, as a Scandinavian transplant, I can’t count the number of times my date has expressed sincere and unabashed interest in whether or not it is really true that women “walk around topless on the beaches in Europe??”

While far from a deal-breaker, it is a topic that gets stale really fast for us Euro-chicks, and is actually not an optimal segue to nudity and sex with you. If you are hoping for some topless action this year, may I suggest either heading to Vegas for the weekend or turning up the charm a few notches. After all, those European beaches are awfully far away.


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