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Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

A Special Night in Vegas

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Of course.

The guy I met at the bar in Vegas, definitely stayed at the bar in Vegas.

When my best friend came out for a visit from Boston to Los Angeles, we made an impromptu trip to Las Vegas. After a long drive through the dessert, we were ready for a fun night out, but soon discovered that a random bar in a Vegas hotel on a Tuesday night in November…pretty dead. We were surprised too. But it was just us, the bartender, and a really lame all-girl cover band. And then a couple guys came in. We were saved! we thought. Not so much.



They sat next to us, and after a few awkward attempts at conversation (and my friend nudging me to tell me which one she thought was cuter) the initiator of the two, let’s call him Mr. Special, had the breakthrough comment of, “so what are you girls drinking?” Impressive work, Mr. Special. So we started talking, then he slyly told the bartender to get us a couple drinks, he was buying. Suave, buddy. This guy was on a roll, but it was all we had.

My friend really had her eye on his friend, so she was trying to keep up the conversation. But his friend, who we later found out was not his friend, but someone he met there at a business convention, was very shy. Which is why I will now refer to him as Mr. Sheepish.

So my friend Erin, yeah that’s her real name, Erin was pretty keen on talking up Mr. Special if only to get to Mr. Sheepish. But the more we talked to Mr. Special, the more we realized we weren’t having a conversation…we were merely listening to him talk about himself. Excuse me, I mean, talk very highly of himself. He’s so important in his job. We wouldn’t believe the amazing stuff he has done. And okay, we may be a little surprised that he is only 36, has 4 kids under the age of 18, and has been divorced twice, but he takes very good care of all of them. He’s so rich, he tells us.

He keeps talking.

I smile and nod as I turn to the bartender. No words need to be exchanged. He understands and gets me another drink. He puts it on Mr. Special’s tab.

Mr. Special takes a second to pull Mr. Sheepish in, who reluctantly and slowly tries to join the one-sided conversation. Erin and I later mulled over the fact that this guy was a dating nightmare because, as great as it was that he was so quick to share the many details of his amazingly wonderful life, he never once in the course of the night asked us anything about ourselves. And while maybe we didn’t want to tell him anything, a little small talk usually at least calls for a couple common questions—what are you guys up to? Where are you coming from? What do you do?

Am I annoying you? Yes, actually, you are.

Mr. Special was clearly proud of what he has done with his life, and that’s wonderful. Couldn’t be happier for the guy. But it’s a complete turnoff when a guy steps up next to you at the bar and starts spitting out information about himself and how it makes him so great. When you meet someone, it’s fun to find out what makes them so great through the course of dating. If you give it to someone all at once, the mystery is gone. All the exciting little things you were going to find out about a person have just been revealed to you. Why spoil the excitement for someone?

Dating is learning about another person. If they are great, you’ll find out. If they’re not so great, you’ll find that out too. Sure, you want to make a good first impression. You want someone to realize right away that you have something special to offer. But don’t think that you’re so special that you have to announce it to the whole room. If you’re that full of yourself, keep it to yourself. There’s no need to bombard someone with that information, because by the time you end up spilling it, there may not be anyone left to listen. When you feel the need to tout your many achievements, it may be that you’ve been burned before because someone didn’t notice or maybe you are hoping that your personal life might have a chance for as much success as your career has had. The thing about having good qualities is that often times, they can go unspoken. If you have them, you don’t need to tell someone—they usually shine through. And if you’re lucky enough to meet someone with those qualities, you’ll be happy to discover every one of them. And you definitely won’t be running away…or be befriending bartenders.

The funny part is that later that night, Mr. Sheepish told us that he too noticed Mr. Special’s failed attempts to woo ladies because of his overzealousness for himself. Shy and intuitive, what a guy.

So did Mr. Sheepish and Erin get together?

I’d tell you, but you know, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…

That, and she’d be mad at me.

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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