Guys are so hard to read, right? Or maybe that’s just the case for me. Next Friday is the Weekly’s super fun LOVE FW event for singles @ Collective Brewing Project. So, I figured I needed an education before I put myself out there in a room of cute dudes holding craft beers and s’mores from Brewed.

Enter: Eddie Brown, Weekly writer extraordinaire, classical musician, teacher, beer master, and all around cool cat.

I asked him to talk about his experience with dating, how to do it right, and what guys really think when you get past that macho exterior.


On the topic of the dreaded first date, he suggests coffee, because it’s better to start with just a sip than a full course, five-star meal.

“I’ve had so many bad first dates,” Eddie says. “I have to put a barrier up.” Coffee is perfect. It’s noncommittal and quick. If it goes well, the next step is easy to create or avoid.

This pianist and arts activist, has been divorced for three years, but says he didn’t seriously start dating until about a year-and-a-half ago, which means he’s had time to heal and figure out what he really wants (and needs) in a partner.

He suggest guys set up clear days and times to meet up with women they’re interested in dating. Instead of saying, “Hey, let’s get together.” Say: “Hey, let’s get together next Friday night at Collective Brewing Project.” That way it forces commitment one way or the other, and lets guys know if the gal is really interested or just being nice.

“If women aren’t interested, that’s fine,” Eddie says. “Then we can just be friends. But by putting women on the spot, it cuts out a lot of time and uncertainty from the conversation.”

I agree with that mentality. For me, ambiguity is like quicksand. You’re stuck in not knowing what to do and you can’t move. Of course, I haven’t always adhered to this solid advice, but plan to in the future.

Eddie wants women to be direct. “If you’re not interested, say you’re not interested,” he urges. “That clarity helps. I think girls should give us more credit — that it’s not going to hurt our feelings.”

But then there are people (like me) who are so direct they ruin it. Some mystery is good. If you show all your cards at once you probably won’t win the game, and as much as I hate to say it, that’s what dating is — and it’s one of the hardest games to play.

But here’s an insider tip: Eddie says that when he asks a woman out for a drink that he doesn’t really know, it’s a date. And he’s attracted to her. He urges both sexes to use the word “date” when setting something up because it makes intentions and feelings clear.

A great place to meet women in Near Southside is Boiled Owl and Proper off Magnolia Avenue, Eddie says. “People are relaxed and friendlier. It’s an accommodating environment.” And, Eddie adds, traveling with a group of guy friends increases the odds of striking up a conversation with a group of ladies sitting at the bar. “Go out in a flock,” Eddie says, because it makes the group more approachable — whether you want to share a glass of wine that night or a coffee date down the road.

See you Friday, Feb. 5 at LOVE FW, Eddie Brown! #lovefw

As always, please write to me with your questions on love, relationships, and life at: