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An anecdote: dating

This post aligns with my original intent for the theme of this blog: complaining!

I went on a first date a few weeks ago. Every aspect of my communication with this guy was ridiculous.

I met him online, which means that the first communication was a message on this site. We proceeded to exchange maybe 8 or 10 innocuous messages. Fine. Let’s move on, shall we? I was the one who suggested in a very straightforward manner that we get coffee. (i.e. “Maybe we should get coffee or something.”) Instead of nailing down a date or time, he asked for my phone number. Hope blossomed within me as I thought that he’d be upgrading from an Internet message to a PHONE CALL to figure things out!

But no. Over the next day and a half I was bombarded with texts.

“Where did u go to school?”

“Oh u play guitar? sweeeet”

“yeah fo sho I dunno what my plans are for this weekend tho”

(I don’t actually have anything against texting language or abbreviations, but coming from someone I didn’t even know in the first place, somehow it was infuriating. We haven’t even met in person, and you’re not providing me with any proof that you know how to use the English language.)

As a good guy friend put it, this guy’s blitzkrieg of brief, meaningless messages betrayed a “fanatical desperation.” I love meeting new people, but I like MEETING them — I can’t find out anything about who you are in 140 silent, typefaced characters!

So I was full of apprehension days before we even went out. But I subdued it with rationalizations concerning the incredible ubiquity of texting in “our generation” or something.

Every aspect of the planning and execution of said date was left entirely in my hands. Our exchange (STILL VIA TEXT MESSAGE) went something like this:

Me: What would you like to do?

Guy: Oh it’s up to you

Me: Okay, how about we do A or B?

Guy: Both sound fine lol

Me: [swallowing aggravation] Okay, we’ll do A. Should we get dinner beforehand?

Guy: Sure if you want

Me: Okay, which restaurant would you like to go to? Pick somewhere. [NOTICE THIS LAST SENTENCE]

Guy: Anywhere is fine with me, you pick

Do guys think it’s nice and considerate to force the woman to decide on every detail of a date? Because sometimes, news flash, we actually mean what we say. When I ask you to pick a restaurant, it means I want you to pick a restaurant.

The actual date was not great but not terrible — probably because it was such a relief to have a civilized conversation in person. He went to the bathroom right before the check came, which was great — I had the waiter split it and both bills were on the table by the time my date returned. (I believe strongly that a girl should pay for herself on the first date. Otherwise, there’s a contract set up between you; you feel indebted to the guy already.)

He said with disappointment, “Oh, I wanted to get that.” If you wanted to pay, maybe you should have arranged to be present when the check came.

He texted me literally 2 minutes after we (finally) said goodbye, about “how great it was to meet u.” I’m terribly old-fashioned, but haven’t you heard of the 48-hour rule? Even 8 hours would do. It was like he had this chronic fear that I’d forget about his existence if he didn’t bombard me with text messages at least once an hour.

The next afternoon when he texted me “how’s ur day going? :)” I decided I’d had enough. I called him and made a lame excuse about how texting was annoying for me because I have an old-school, number phone (which is true, incidentally). I could hear the disappointment and dread as his voice rose half an octave and he laughed nervously, “Oh sure! I totally understand!”

This was a little cruel on my part, perhaps. But when I’ve just met someone, I think I’m entitled to a little time and space apart from them.

I also realized that afternoon that we had switched debit cards.

An awkward on-campus rendezvous ensued.

Guy [with puppy-like anticipation]: So what are your plans for the rest of the night? [this was at 4:30pm]

Me: I’m really tired….

Guy: [dying a little inside]: Oh yeah, sure, sure.

Again, maybe a little cruel of me (although I was actually pretty tired). I couldn’t find it in me to break this puppy’s heart by delivering the brutal truth.

I’m not trying to say that I’m the most desirable, dateable person in the world — in fact, that’s part of why his desperation was so off-putting. I want to date someone whose entire existence doesn’t hang on the prospect of seeing me again as soon as possible. Is that weird?

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