He Wanted To Date My Job, Not Me

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Ahyiana Angel Image By: Sean Pressely

Ahyiana Angel Image By: Sean Pressely

I had to learn the hard way that every date is not a date. How so, you may ask. If it looks like a date, talks like a date, and the man pays like it’s a date…then one would likely look to call it a date. Right?

I met him at an industry event and immediately thought that he was great eye candy. This girl is not good at being the aggressor so when I found myself standing next to my instant crush and he began to engage me in small talk, I was pleasantly surprised. Offering a little flirtatious vibe, I felt that my job was done. I had sealed the deal. However, he didn’t ask for my number, nor my email address, and forget the most generic of them all, my business card. Nothing.

I wasn’t disappointed though. I simply took the exchange for what it was: two people chatting at a great event. No harm in that. By the time I got to my apartment and kicked my heels off of my throbbing feet, he was a distant memory. To my knowledge we didn’t have any mutual friends so I thought that I would never see him again.

Wrong.

I bumped into him a few weeks later. This time when our paths crossed we smiled the smile that you conjure up when you see a familiar face. He extended his arms toward me and I secretly screamed inside. We were instantly more familiar than I had expected. I stepped back after the quick embrace and looked into his dark dreamy eyes. He could have asked me anything and I would have answered with a smile. Our conversation felt easy. Within moments we realized that we knew some of the same people. I had done some work with a friend of his. That’s when my line of work came up. I shared with him that I was a publicist at the National Basketball Association (NBA). His eyes lit up. This was the standard reaction that I received from most men though, young and old. He went on to comment as to how cool my job must have been. I brushed off his enthusiasm and we continued to make small talk for a few more minutes before my friends gave me the let’s go signal from across the room. After I announced that I was taking off, he asked for my information. My inner cheerleader did a toe-touch and I thought to myself, score!

To my disappointment, I didn’t hear from him right away. A few agonizing days passed before he reached out and I was geeked to hear from him. His conversation was mediocre but I looked past that. We began to exchange text messages pretty regularly. I started to wonder where our developing friendship was leading. Finally, he invited me out for dinner after work one evening. This was the break that I had been looking for. I was a bit confused about his interest at first, but once the date was set I figured that he had to be somewhat feeling me.

He picked the meeting spot. It was an upscale sports bar, which should have been clue number one.  Over-fried finger foods—with at least seven different televisions blasting sports of all sorts—we covered the normal first date bases. We talked about music, movies, families, and his favorite topic, my job at the NBA. He wanted to know everything. I started to feel like I was being interviewed for the Ahyiana Angel behind the scenes NBA tell all book.  He asked what I did on a daily basis, if I had met the commissioner, and even wanted to know the exact players I had met.

This line of questioning was the reason that I never wore my job at the NBA as a badge of honor. People thought that it was the coolest job, and some aspects of it were amazing, but I did not want it to define me. It was not who I was, it was where I worked for a living. Some people that I had known for years in passing didn’t even know what company I did PR for. People can be strange, and establishing a relationship with me romantic or otherwise because of my 9 to 5 was not cool. But in the moment, I did not see what was happening. I was smitten by the cutie sitting across from me. I interpreted his questions as being interested in my career and me. The date ended on a positive note. Although, I couldn’t say that I walked away having made a love connection. But even though the fireworks didn’t soar into the sky with promise, I was optimistic.  Ok, I was naive.

I thought that I really had a chance with him. Then came the reality check. I was tired of the ambiguous relationship that was developing. I’d encountered shy men before. The type that you knew were interested but they were not quick to make a pass. But this guy was a mystery.  I couldn’t figure out his angle. So after a few weeks when I became weary from guessing and debating with my girlfriends, I took the candid approach. I asked him if he was interested in me romantically. To my shock, he said no!  His exact words, “Uh, I just really like basketball. I’m a huge fan.” He didn’t need to say anymore. No further explanation required. I knew what the deal was. He had only gone out with me because he was a freaking fan! I had no time for fans and I wanted to smack myself for not picking up on his true intentions. I’d never been duped by a male sports groupie before. This was a first and certainly the last.

xoxo

Ahyiana Angel

About the Author: Ahyiana Angel is a Cali girl who has turned the Manhattan streets into her playground. This sassy storyteller—a former sports entertainment publicist at the National Basketball Association (NBA)—is anticipating the release of her first novel in October 2014, Preseason Love, about dating in New York, coveted careers, complicated relationships, and ultimate deception. Angel is the creator of the salacious and popular blog Life According to Her. It’s contrived like reality TV, fictionalized for fun (also to protect the innocent), and sensationalized for your entertainment.

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  • http://twitter.com/DamnPOPS @DamnPOPS

    Yeah I would've been pretty shocked too. I'm glad you peeped all this before you was in too deep.

  • langwichartz

    Okay but at least he told the truth when asked. I'm confused are you portraying him as the bad guy because he was a fan? It's never easy when interests aren't mutual, but I can think of many other issues you could have had if he played along. This is one of the reasons I'm not a traditionalist when it comes to romance, it creates unrealistic expectations in a ever-changing, modern society. Suppose you made the first move. He politely informed you that he wasn't romantically interested. I'm sure you would be disappointed, but you would've saved yourself the angst of pegging him as a "male sports groupie." It's what we guys endure all of the time, rejection. *waves Mutumbo finger*

    • lifeaccordingtoher

      Nope, not painting him as a bad guy at all. Just sharing an experience, or lesson learned. You're right, it was rejection and from a woman's perspective. I know that it happens to men all of the time and that's exactly why I shared :).
      My recent post He Wanted To Date My Job, Not Me

      • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan.

        It was refreshing to see a curve from the other side that didn't involve sleeping with him too early or him having a wife and kids on the low
        My recent post Today’s Word is… PASSES

  • Mr_SD

    He did keep it 100..that's rare..he wasn't even in it for bunz..not saying you're not bunz-worthy but ya gotta give him credit for being honest…

  • Smilez_920

    Lol. I think people who work in the entertainment / sports / fashion industry go through this a lot , male or female . You live you learn. I will say at least you got lucky and homeboy was just honest and said ” in a basketball fan, I’m not romantically interested in you”. Which brings up another great point, women can’t be afraid to ask important questions / intentions especially if something is bothering you. Now of course looking from the outside most would say ” girl he’s not that into you ” but when your the person on the situation you have to hear it from the horses mouth.

  • http://assoass.com dontavioun

    WTF!?!?!?!??!?!?!

    this site should be called "single bitter bitch" because everything this site posts ive only seen WOMEN DO.

    WOMEN DATE BASED ON CAREERS NOT MEN.

    WOMEN HAVE "WORK MARRIAGES", NOT MEN.

    AND LASTLY, WOMEN CHARGED THEMSELVES OUT THE GAME WHEN THEY TRIED TO BE SLICK AND DOWNLOADED EVERY TOO SHORT AND LITTLE SEAN MIXTAPE TRYING TO CHEAT AND BE PIMPS LOL.

    YOU DUMB BUM BITCHES CAN THANK YOURSELVES FOR RUINING RELATIONSHIPS.

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan.

      Tough crowd.
      My recent post Today’s Word is… PASSES

    • lifeaccordingtoher

      Side eye.
      My recent post He Wanted To Date My Job, Not Me

    • cynicaloptmst81

      She just said she was disappointed. She never said he was wrong for not being interested in her romantically. You seem very emotional about this…all up in your feelings with the all caps and such…and the name calling…

      This reminds me of our conversation about which traits are more masculine or feminine…

      …never mind. ;-)

      • ooh ok!

        Haha! @cyn

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan.

    He kept it 100, can't knock him. Also the telltale sign he wasn't interested was that he was blatantly shooting himself in the foot by sounding like a groupie. Perhaps I'm speculating, but I would assume you would be turned off by that sooner than later.

    • Smilez-920

      Sometimes when your into somebody or want someone, you ignore the telltale signs. Men do it to; I’m sure there’s some man interested in a woman who only hits him up when she’s hungry lol He can only hang out with her if a restaurant is involved, and she never pays, but she’s bad so, he lets it slide. Same here if she wouldn’t have asked him his intention he probably would have hung around until basketball season started to see if he could get a few pair of free or discount tickets.

  • amaris79

    A male. Sports. Groupie. I can't.

    Kudos to you for taking the lumps & asking the questions. You'd be surprised how much truth comes out if you ask a man directly. I ask every guy if he is in a relationship on the first date. You wouldn't believe how many were! Boggles my mind! I then ask why we are here, and it's "I didn't think you'd say yes" O_o
    In that vein I'm also not completely against asking "where this is going". Not that phrasing or in that exact sense, but it is nice to know you feel "we" have the same potential that I do. that "when a man really wants you, you'll know" has made many a woman misinterpret the simplest of gestures in an attempt to find out something that would have taken three minutes to ask. Sure, sometimes if you have to ask you know the answer…but knowing an answer means you now have a choice. I'll pick that over bruised pride any day.
    My recent post Moda por Menos-the Lupita Edition!!!

    • cynicaloptmst81

      "You'd be surprised how much truth comes out if you ask a man directly."

      Yes, indeed!!!!

    • Uncle Hugh, BP

      amaris79: " Sure, sometimes if you have to ask you know the answer…but knowing an answer means you now have a choice. I'll pick that over bruised pride any day."

      This.

      Great post, Ahyiana.

  • sincereluv4life

    Sounds like your intuition told you what was up w/ dude before he did. It’s always good to ask a guy what his intentions are upfront but every woman isn’t so blessed to have a guy be honest w/ her the way your groupie was lol- our gut is the best guide.

  • http://www.greaterunderstanding.net Anthony Brian Logan

    I don't see where he duped her or anything. Seems like they were just hanging out for a few weeks on a friendly level. Maybe the young lady had an idea in her head before they began dating that didnt come to fruition as she expected and got upset. Dude was 100% honest which you got to tip your hat too. By the way this blog post read like what I would expect a romance novel to read like. Great writing skills.

    • amaris79

      Yeah…I want to agree with you…except I can't. You yourself used the terms "hanging out" and "dating" in the same context, which is why I could see how it could be confusing. Plus, I don't hang out one-on-one with a man I just met if all I was interested in was being his friend, so I don't expect a man to waste that kind of time on me, either. Either way, it's a great example of how a simple question solves a ton of problems.
      My recent post Moda por Menos-the Lupita Edition!!!

      • http://www.greaterunderstanding.net Anthony Brian Logan

        you can use the term "dating" and "hanging out' interchangeably where there isnt a relationship or any relationship style activities like sex going on.

        • amaris79

          Eh, I hesitate to say that…mostly because when I "hang out"…I'm usually expected to contribute. I don't have guy friends that would take me out alone and pay every time, especially a man I just met and don't even know well enough to be "friends". Plus, if the shoe was on the other foot and a guy was writing this post, there would have been all TYPES of "goldigging fame wh*re" thrown around if sh let him take her out, pay for it and at the end admitted she was only hanging out with him to potentially meet basketball players.

  • James

    I’m in film so I can dig it. However as guy it clear from the moment he didn’t ask for your math. Even after you guys so incidentally bumped into one another he got your contact info and then stalled on calling you. He also was attempting to wow you over the phone (some people are natural conversationist. Other arent but the attempt is what’s key to me).

    Then he hesitated on a date. Then the location. Honestly as a screenwriter if I had to create a man and women where in this case the woman saw something that the man didn’t he’d be the perfect guy. And your job would be the perfect foil. It’s easy from the outside looking in. Yet I put myself in his shoes. If I’m at an event (happens all the time in film) where there is a crazy amount of fine women but I find myself attracted to one, like really feeling her. I’m going all out right there. Contact-and availability I need to know those things before we part ways. My thinking: “shorty is BAD better get on your job son like now!” I’d rather know you aren’t interested right there than spend the whole night and next week wondering what if?

  • James

    *he “wasn’t” attempting to wow you on the phone.

  • Bryant G.

    I dont think there was an ambiguous relationship of any kind (That was Friendzoning). This guy knew what he wanted from the get go. If he wanted this young lady's number, he would have asked the first time they met. It is just another case of friendzone but with the man throwing the lady in the friend cage. I dont think he made any pass at you or any gesture indicating that he was interested in you. He was honest in the end and that is what a real man does, tell it like it is. It was just that she was attracted to him, she pretty much wanted his interest to be in her period. That's all it is. Simple. INFATUATION Unrequited attraction. And her shyness when it comes to courtship didnt help, either.

  • jdoubleu

    I wouldn't go so far to label dude a groupie. Groupies will fake interest to get in and stay in your circle. If he was a groupie, he would've hung around until a) the season was over or b) you got hip to his groupie behavior. He called himself a fan and was honest enough not to string you along. I think it's just extremely rare to meet a woman who works in sports. So a black woman in sports? I could see why he zoomed in on wanting to talk about your job so much.

    Things are so much more easier when you ask the questions you really want to know the answers too. When it comes to your time, there's no reason to be timid about knowing what's what.

    My recent post “I’m Not Shy” & Other Things Introverts Say

  • http://twitter.com/AlacrityAmir @AlacrityAmir

    Damn. That must be tough. Thank you for sharing your story, though. Some people can be so disconnected to others in life. I do have a question…Are you sure that line of questioning is the only reason you choose not to wear the position with the NBA as a badge? I wonder if you shared it more often, you would be able to read right through the fake and phony much quicker than you had from this initial encounter.

  • langwichartz

    The thing about being direct to me is, its all about timing. That said, women in your profession will see this a lot simply because men love sports in general, and black men in particular love basketball or the percieved celebrity that comes with it. No harm no foul on this one, he was honest, you chose to move along. Such is life.

  • http://www.relationshipking.com Relationship King

    It's a shame that he only showed interest in you because of your job but unfortunately there can be those types of people in this world. You will definitely meet someone who genuinely wants to go out with you for just being you. All the best!
    My recent post Click one of the post titles above to include it at the end of your comment

  • Chris

    He dumb. He could have at least got some tickets out of the deal lol

  • https://www.facebook.com/Shawn.THEWORDADDICT.Richards Shawn Richards

    Bitter Brian… hmm, that's a new one. lol

  • Brian

    I don’t know whats wrong with dude. You are fine. (Please dont get a big head) lol

  • http://www.opinionatedmale.com cortonio

    I don't think you messed up at all, you just were caught up by a somewhat overzealous fan of the game that was smitten by your job. As I was reading this part of me was saying to myself you should have lied about your occupation just to see where his head would be. But all in all, although you didn't make a love connection, I'm sure you took something away from this. Maybe he didn't find you attractive enough to keep his attention away from your job and not you. I beg to differ though you are an attractive woman and maybe the next one won't be such a fan boy.
    My recent post Shhh…9 Secrets Women Won’t Tell Their Men

    • lifeaccordingtoher

      Thank you, and I definitely took something away from the experience. Hey, you can't win them all :).
      My recent post Second Week in London!

  • http://www.opinionatedmale.com cortonio

    And the good thing is, you kept it moving and didn't wallow in why there was no connection
    My recent post Dear Hip Hop, We Hardly Knew Ye (Part II)

  • Pinkrunner

    As soon as I read this article, I breathed a sigh of relief , thinking, “I am not alone.” I recently graduated from medical school and noticed how men that “dissed” me in high school and/or college were now starting to come out of the woodwork like roaches in the dark. One man took to stalking me and another had a kid and wife and made it his mission to follow me hundreds of miles to where my employment took me even though he was married! whilst still in med school, I dated a man who kept mentioning how one day I’d be a doctor and didn’t understand what he meant. I am a newly minted physician trying to stay afloat whilst training, but find myself laying low, for being wary of the leeches out there, who dream of marrying a doctor. Being a physician is what I do for a living, not necessarily who I am, and I STRUGGLED to achieve my goals. Thank you Ms. Angel for sharing your story/allegory. I really enjoyed reading this article!

    • lifeaccordingtoher

      Thanks for reading. I'm so glad that you enjoyed! Sometimes people don't take the time to look at your reality. Keep being selective honey. I get it :-).
      My recent post Second Week in London!