Friday, June 12, 2009

The importance of conversation.

Time for another bad date story.

For a time I was semi-active on an online dating site, although most people deluded themselves into thinking it was a networking site. It isn't. It's a dating site.

One guy I started messaging seemed real interesting. He'd had some adventures in his life and wasn't as weird as some of the other guys I'd talked to. We decided meeting might not be a bad idea since we lived relatively close to each other (different suburbs of the same area).

I'm a woman. So that means in this scenario he should generally be the one to suggest the activity and set it up. He understood that much, kind of. His idea of inviting me on a date was to send me an email 3-4 hours before the start of the activity.

This failed many times. For several reasons.

  1. While I check my email frequently, the odds of me checking it within the time before the activity isn't good.
  2. I have a life. I do not sit at home eating popcorn every night, not planning things, just in case some guy calls me at 6 to see if we can get together at 7. (Exception, Boyfriend does this now, but it's totally expected. There are certain nights during the week that we just get together on. So I expect him to call when he gets home from work and then we figure out what we both still have to do that evening and work out when we can get together. But this is not how we started dating. This only works because of where we are at in our relationship now.)
  3. If he can't figure out how to ask a girl on a date, what else doesn't he know how to do?

So after doing this for a few weeks and it NEVER working out, and him not getting the idea that asking in advance means more advance than travel time, I decided to set the example.

A local theater was performing "Steel Magnolias" and I wanted to see it. So I invited him to meet me at the theater in a week and we could see the show together.

Good date etiquette:

  1. I set it up several days in advance.
  2. I had a plan!

He seemed nice enough, but we just couldn't get a conversation going before the show. It would start, but then he'd just stop, like he'd said everything he needed to say. The same during intermission.

After the show we went to the local eatery for some food. Again, the guy could not carry a conversation to save his life! One of us would start a topic, and after just a few minutes he'd just stop. He could talk about a lot of things, but only for a few minutes. It was exhausting! I like to talk, but it has to be an equal balance. I'm not one of those people who can carry the whole conversation on my own. It was bad.

The local junior high was having a dance that night, and many of the students had come to the same eatery after the dance. I was an elementary teacher at the time and knew a lot of them. It's always fun for me to watch my students see me when I'm not at school. I think in some part of their minds they really do think teachers live at school.

He and I went back to the theater so I could get my car, and that was it for the evening.

I didn't hear from him again for a couple of months. And then it was another invite to do something in a couple of hours. By that time I'd moved states. Poor guy. It looks like he never learned.

The highlights of the date for me:

  1. The show was amazing! I'd seen the movie before, and the movie pulls on your heart. But it's nothing like the live play. And the playwrite wrote it based on the lives of his mom and sister and the women in his town.
  2. Seeing my former students at the eatery. Always fun!
  3. Driving home and thinking about telling the Boyfriend (who was just a friend at that point) about it. He liked hearing about all of my bad dates.

And you know it's a bad date when they guy you are on the date with doesn't even make the top three highlights of the evening.


Lucy said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love meeting new people. I even like your dating stories. I've about given it up. After a while, it just doesn't work anymore. Come back anytime.