Out.com is proud to present the wacky and wild (and absolutely truealthough some names have been changed to protect the guilty) adventures of a 30-year-old guy in Hollywood who just wants to lose a few (dozen) pounds. And find eternal happiness and fulfillment. Is that too much to ask? Part Twenty-two: Why Men Suck What a difference a year makes. I can remember so vividly the state of mind I was in just twelve months ago. I had become despondent and emotionally empty. I had stopped caring about everything: My job, my weight, and, most sadly, my place in the world. Safe to say it was depression, but when I was going through it I couldnt even be bothered to care. This was also how my weight had tipped the scale a few times just over 300 pounds. On the rare occasion that I would ponder how I had ended up there, I just couldnt see it. A recent dating experience has shone some light on why men suck and how easy it is for any of us to want to give up. Thanks to some heavy treadmilling these last couple of weeks, I have headed back down to 245 pounds, my official 50-pound mark since January. I am feeling good about this. Of course I want more, but being happy and enjoying life has been more of a priority as my inner confidence has done a complete 180. A few weeks ago, I received a response to my personal ad from a handsome guy named Jeff. Id decided after the last few Internet dates that too much e-mail correspondence sets up too much expectation and that it was better to rush to the face-to-face date part. I barely knew anything about him other than what his profile said. Sure he could be a sociopath, but all of the emailing back and forth wouldnt have helped Amber Frey. So, I decided to meet him for coffee. I arrived at Starbucks and I couldnt believe it. He was even more handsome than his online photo. He was about 61, with blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. He wasnt ripped, he was height and weight proportionate, and I felt comfortable. He was polite and well-spoken, and on top of it all, he was an elementary school teacher. We were having this great two-and-a-half hour conversation where time was slipping us by, when he finally proposed, Hey, its getting late and I still have to get home and finish grading some papers. How would you feel about grabbing an actual meal tomorrow night? I couldnt believe my ears. A handsome, intelligent man has seen me and wants to see me againand in less than 24 hours. It took everything in my power to not scream Jackpot! I opted instead for, That sounds fantastic. The next day he called when he got home from work sounding exhausted. I offered up a raincheck so that we could have a proper date. I loved that I could even say the word date to him and not cringe in insecurity. He was thankful and promised it would happen the following night. The following night turned into two days. The reason he was so exhausted was that he had come down with a cold. I was patient and forgiving. Besides, its not like Im Jude Law with a full dance card of dating opportunities. For the next week, we watched our schedules conflict and we never managed to get together. We finally set last Thursday. Out of frustration, I decided to pick up the pace of our second date and have him over to my house for dinner so I could demonstrate what a good hus-wife I would make. I spent Wednesday night primping at home, manicuring my nails, applying a face mask, and shaving away unwanted body hair. I went to bed with romance dancing in my mind on my crisp clean sheets. I woke up the next morning to find that while I was at home with my avocado facial, he had been off getting his own sort of protein mask. His e-mail read: Heya Bob, Okay, heres the deal. I would love to come to dinner, but (theres always a but) to be blunt, I slept with my coworker last night. I wasnt expecting it or I would have told you about him upfront. I hadnt thought he was interested. Apparently, after work last night, he decided he was. So that is what has happened. I felt you should know and make your own decision about dinner. I cant say I wont see this guy again. Im also not in love with him. But its weird and Im not about to lie about the whole thing. Let me know. Sorry about the whole thing, Jeff Sorry about the whole thing? Oh, my God. I was crushed. But I put on my most mature face and sent him an e-mail, thanking him for being so honest, blah, blah, blah. Weve only met for coffee so far, it isnt like we signed nuptials, blah, blah, blah. Of course Id still love to make dinner, blah, blah, blah. But I could feel all of my insecurities pushing out of my stomach like the monster in Alien. Any moment Sigourney Weaver was going to come busting through my front door. Suddenly I felt compelled to compete. I was fine when I just needed to hold my own, but now I was competing with some mysterious coworker. I tried turning my frown upside down and psyching myself up. I stopped off at the market and grabbed some items to make a kickass meal that Wolfgang Puck, let alone Jeffs coworker, would never take the time to make. When I got home, there was a new e-mail waiting from Jeff: I didnt get as much work done last night as I had planned and have to work late. Ill call you later. I so badly wanted to respond with, Gee, maybe you didnt get enough work done last night because you were too busy fucking your coworker! But I didnt. Instead, I decided to wait for him to call like he said he would. Its now been over a week and he still hasnt called. I am not holding my breath. Instead, I am recognizing why and how we allow other people to make us feel insecure even when we are just trying to be our best versions of ourselves. If this had happened to me a year ago, it could have been the end of me and I would be wallowing in what is wrong with me? But now, I look at Jeff as an idiot and, yes, it is his loss. I almost feel like sending him a thank you e-mail for allowing me to see how far I have come in my self-respect. A year ago, I would have thrown in the towel, but now, I am just getting started.