Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

— Maya Angelou

So I have a couple of short stories to share with you. And hopefully I’ll be able to tie them together in a coherent way.  Hopefully.

Story #1)  A long, long time ago (in a world that seems far, far away but is really just a subway ride from my apt) I used to supervise several departments/teams. And that means doing quite a bit of hiring and sadly, some firing. At one point, me and one of my team leaders were discussing a new hire.  She’d started less than 2 weeks earlier and both he and I were disappointed with her performance.  Especially since we’d done a lot of interviewing for the position and she really seemed a good match for the job and for the team.

I’ll never forget what he said (because it was just so damn smart). No one tries any harder than they do during their first week at a new job. People can learn new skills, but they don’t suddenly become more motivated or start working harder.

Skip to Story #2) I was having brunch with friends yesterday. And someone asked if I’d spoken to that guy I went out with a couple of times. And what, if anything, was happening with that. And so I told her that yes, we spoke (since I last wrote about it). And he knew that I was going to be out of town for most of the week, last week. And that, while there is a part of me that likes him, the smarter me is not willing to make an effort with him. Because his first few efforts have been so inconsistent. And I’m feeling like he might have shown me who he is. And that person is not someone I should date.  Or maybe I am misreading the situation because he reminds me of other people. And so I am willing to be open and rethink.  To a point.  Maybe.

Here is what I know for sure, everyone loses when you live in . There is no excuse for not firing the lazy employee who’s showing up late and slacking off on her second week of work in the hopes that somehow things will get better.  The sooner you fire her and move on, the better.  And there is no excuse for dating someone who has already shown you that they don’t care about you/your feelings and are completely self-involved in the hopes that that will someday change.

The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.  It’s damn smart advice. I just have to learn to live it. Everyday.

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23 to ““The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.””

  1. Ree says:

    Exactly. The sooner you realize that and accept it the better. we’ve all been there, just glad i’m mature enough to recognize when these situations arise.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’m not so maturity is the relevant attribute here.

      • Al says:

        Actually, maturity has everything to do with it. Immaturity on behalf of someone who is being rude or nasty on the date, maturity and confidence to the person willing to walk away from the bullshit. Believe me, I’ve been there.

  2. NotYetCrazyCatLady says:

    I’m a firm believer in second chances; but only 1 shot at it. Think back to all the times in your life (and I’m sure there were some) where someone gave you a second chance. We aren’t perfect and we shouldn’t expect it from others. In the case of the employee, 1 warning and then she’s out. In the meantime, you’ve got a pool of candidates to replace her. As to the guy; 1 REAL date will be all it takes to get the true read on him. Right now it’s all supposition unless, of course, your conversations up to now have told you that you two have nothing in common. I would just never discount such a reaction as getting vklempt at a first meeting like that..unless it happens to you a lot.

    • Simone Grant says:

      Hmm. I believe in 2nd chances. And sometimes 3rd chances.

      But if someone’s coming to work late, consistently, during their first 2 weeks they don’t need a warning. They need a better work ethic. And I’ve had a couple dates with the guy….

  3. single much says:

    This is very good advice. It’s so hard to remember it sometimes.

  4. This is, definitely, so true. I think it’s the same in dating and business, no one should be trying harder than when they are just meeting someone. You’ll put in the effort it it means something to you.

    • Simone Grant says:

      That’s what I think. And yet, people will protest when you call them on it (I can just hear the protests – I REALLY CARE). Let’s face it, people are just odd.

  5. Monique says:

    The old cliche is always the truest: actions always speak louder than words. Whether it’s a new employee, a new guy you’re dating, or your very own sister, how someone truly feels about something is always exhibited in his or her own actions. Unfortunately, I had to go through a divorce to learn that lesson, but man oh man did I learn it. :)

  6. Kelly says:

    I think it depends on the context. At speed dating, nobody is themselves so you can’t believe what you see. I think it’s the same on a first date. Also, people don’t want to look like they are trying too hard or desperate, so many play cool. Getting past all that to know someone is the only way to figure out what will work. However, if they don’t call or respond, then move on.

    • Simone Grant says:

      Oh gosh, I can’t imagine that anyone is truly themselves in a speeddating context. And few people are DURING a first date. But it’s the time after, the follow up, the communication that I think reveals a person’s character. Or lack there of.

  7. Samantha says:

    The simplest advice, yet so hard to follow! I’m in a similar predicament. I recently went on a third date with a guy that I was REALLY excited about. We spent several hours together, yet I didn’t sense that he was very interested in getting to know me (per se). We talked about a lot of things, but there weren’t many direct questions to me about my history, thoughts, etc. Then when the bill came, I couldn’t help but notice that he only tipped the waitress 14.5%. My heart sank because I realized that just maybe I was projecting my excited-ness (what I wanted him to be) on him and just maybe he wasn’t as great as I sold myself. Now, I’m not sure what to do. I’ve lost the giddiness I had, and feel I should give him the benefit of doubt. But for how long? Should I follow this advice and just sack him?

    • Simone Grant says:

      Hopefully one of the other nice folks here will give you some advice, if that’s what you’re after. I don’t do the advice game (I don’t really understand the whole ‘giving advice to strangers’ thing).

      Good luck!

    • jPb says:

      Samantha, I think I have a gem you can carry with you, with the permission of our gracious hostess. At first glance, your new special magic gem looks like a great sapphire. So take a look at the top of the gem. It is convex, palm heavy, brilliant. It reflects blue, true, but with a precious clarity. When light passes through it, all come to agreement. Long to short, you are the gem. The only real power, the only real knowledge you can ever count on is the power you have to decide. Trust your gut. The only one you can look to, if it goes badly, is yourself.

  8. TudorCityGirl says:

    I LOVE this post. You are soo right on with it all…It is very true. Although in the past I denied it… I can’t anymore.

  9. Charlotte says:

    So true! I’ve learned that with age, comes experience, and with experience comes a no-nonsense attitude where things like that are concerned. I don’t hesitate to walk away from someone who isn’t putting in effort in a relationship, and, though I’m not in a position of hiring/firing people, if I see someone’s true colors early on and I don’t like them, I make it a point to stay far, far away.

    Great post!

  10. Renaissance says:

    Where would the world be if we all listened/lived by M. Angelou’s quote. This post has brought you a new follower.

  11. Terry D says:

    I say that the closest a person ever gets to perfect in on his/her resume. First meetings are like resumes – All I need is thirty seconds to know if her best is anywhere compatible with mine……..How you care for yourself is usually a good indicator of how you’d care for me and that matters – a lot……
    Terry D recently posted..fade to blackMy Profile

  12. Sarah says:

    This is a great post. So many of us waste our time and energy trying to change other people. We have to learn to channel our energy into moderating our own behaviors and how we interact with people instead. For example, if a guy flakes out on you, don’t wish and hope that he’ll change. Adjust your expectations downward and mirror his minimal efforts by making a minimal effort of your own. If not, you will spend the energy you should be using for being happy and open to meeting others on a deadbeat!
    Sarah recently posted..Thunder Only Happens When It’s RainingMy Profile

  13. This is such great advice. People say this all the time, but how often do we actually listen? Loving your blog, you should check us out some time too. We cover events and issues around New York City – especially love, dating, and other mishaps. (
    New York Minute Magazine recently posted..Mother’s Day Chocolate Giveaway!My Profile

  14. I think you’d invested too much emotionally and psychologically into this guy whom you went out with. It doesn’t quite necessarily mean that a slacker will always be a slacker.

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