By Ericka Alston Buck,
Special to the AFRO

This week we’ll discuss how you transition from online dating, to a phone conversation to meeting in person and signing on the dotted line that takes you off the market! 

As we recently discussed last week, it all begins with your profile.

What are you saying? What are you showing? Are you being authentic? Or playing a game?

Is jumping back into the dating pool scary? Absolutely! There are still so many people playing the game and those of us who are serious about meeting our person this year have to navigate the good, the bad and ugly that goes with making ourselves accessible to be found. 

Don’t give up.  There’s hope for all of us that are currently “Single In The City!” 

Last month we proclaimed that 2023 would bring a “New Year! New You! New Boo!” I’m proud to announce: he found me!

How did I meet him? How did I determine that he was my person and he determined that I was his?

Well, we both knew what we were looking for. We both had already determined our boundaries and our non-negotiables. Most importantly– our vices match. 

Vices? I’m very social, so is he. I’ll always seek a seat at the bar, versus a booth. So does he. 

I venture into our casinos, he does, too. 

He enjoys a craft cocktail, me too! 

His baby is 19, my baby is 19– meaning both our nests are empty! 

He is absolutely committed to getting out of this horrid dating pool and so am I .

My initial communication from him was a very excited message that said he’d been waiting for me to match with him.  We are connected via Facebook dating. 

That was flattering.

We chatted. 

We exchanged numbers. 

He asked me out immediately. 

We made plans for our first date. 

He arrived with roses. 

He picked me up from my office.

Our first date was five hours long.

Our second date was the next day, the third date was the day after that, the fourth date was the day after that and our fifth date was the day after that.

We are intentional about our expectations, our desires, our dreams, goals and aspirations. 

Finding your person is simply about finding the person that sees you, your flaws and all – and still finds you perfect for them.  

Finding the person that makes time to be with you and not the person that makes excuses as to why they can’t. 

As cliche as “Good Morning Beautiful” text messages may be, they are an actual indication of the first thought your potential boo had when they awakened. 

I am open, available and absolutely vulnerable enough to see where this leads. 

He and I have an intentional and strategic alliance to each other, led by our hearts and not the expectations of others and are willing to travel this journey together.

I shall keep you posted.

Not so single in this city, today.

Found my person? We shall see…

Dating rating

 Keystone Korner Jazz Restaurant and Bar 4 out of 5 ★★★★☆

Keystone Korner Baltimore. (Photo by Keystone Korner Baltimore)

This week, I had six amazing dates, with the same amazing guy! I’m looking forward to dates seven through 1,000. It was difficult to pick just one dating experience with him to share with you, so I chose date number two, because it was impromptu and perfect.  Remember every date doesn’t have to be a whole production. Great dates take the investment of time,  intention, effort and energy. 

Because we had a sit-down meal the night before, he wanted to stir things up a bit on our second date and asked if I wanted to go out to shoot pool. Yes! I hadn’t done that in a very long time and I absolutely love when men use a little creativity in their dating choices. SOLD! 

As the day progressed, playing pool at the end of a long work day wasn’t my top pick, but I had already agreed and didn’t want to inconvenience him with a last minute change in plans. 

I did, however, scroll the internet for a more subtle experience. I stumbled upon Keystone Korner Jazz Restaurant & Bar, and kept it to myself. 

He picked me up from my office, opened my car door and had roses for me as I slid into the passenger seat. We began our drive to play pool and headed towards Harbor East, as we slowed down by Keystone Korner, he asked me if I had ever been. I told him the food was amazing, I’d been there twice before and assured him that he would love it. 

Quickly scrolled my phone to see who was playing and purchased two tickets for us, premier seating. 

We were led to a table, front and center of the stage. Best impromptu date in a very long time. 

Cocktails:  I had the Blues Margarita and he had an Old Fashioned.  He requested Knob Hill which they did not have, he then opted for Bulliet. The drinks were perfect!

Appetizers:  If you visit Keystone, you must have the Charbroiled Oysters. We ended up ordering a second serving. We also had the Ultimate Deviled Eggs, which was his introduction to quail eggs. He’s now a fan. 

Entrees:  The chef’s special was pan seared trout, with green beans and roasted potatoes, my choice.  My date ordered the white bass, with garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus. We misread the menu and his bass arrived beer-battered and fried. As he began to order a different entree, I realized that my portion was enough to share and we boxed the fried bass. 

Ambiance:  The G. Thomas Allen Quintet was playing, the lead vocalist is a Morgan Alum and the Bears were out to support. The lighting was perfect.  The performance was entertaining from start to finish.  Though tables are shared, it still made for a very personable and intimate engagement. 

Service:  Could’ve been better especially, considering the 18 percent gratuity added to each check.

Our server was slow and inattentive, on more than one occasion we had to look for her. 

Ability to have a conversation:  I wouldn’t recommend Keystone for a date where you are looking to converse and get to know each other better.  Talking during a jazz show is inconsiderate.  So we were left to resort to a few whispers, and smiles. 

Definitely a great place for a date night for existing couples and good for dates two, or three.

As for us, we’re losing count on which date this is because we’ve seen each other every day since our first date.  For those of you following closely, I told you so! New Year. New You, New Boo!

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