There are a few things you tend to establish on a first date: the person’s job, their age and crucially, whether or not they have children.
But author Maria Dahvana Headley recently overheard a couple rowing after the man let slip he had a 12-year-old child, a year into their relationship.
The encounter produced a rollercoaster of emotions, so Headley decided to live-tweet the whole thing. Here’s how it went down.
The man accidentally mentioned his secret child.
Then blamed his lying on his ex.
He tried some other excuses.
Then tried to flip the blame onto his girlfriend.
At first, she wasn’t having any of it.
But in an unexpected turn of events, she seemed to forgive him.
Headley (and the bartender) were not impressed.
In further tweets, Headley said she decided to share the encounter because when she was younger, she would have also found it hard to break up with a manipulative man.
“They [men] only needed to imply - as this guy did - that I was too intense and too emotional and bam, I was second guessing my own mind,” she said.
“This guy was profiting off a long tradition of men convincing women that they are ‘hysterical’ and therefore undesirable.
“That shit works pretty well, not because women are weak, but because we’ve heard it since birth. We are all scared of being unlovable.”
She pointed out that the man made no attempt to apologise for lying, or for his lack of parenting.
“The moral of the story: even if you’re a badass woman, it is really hard to resist a culture that insists you have to keep a man,” she said.