What's reasonable to expect on a first date?

by serendipity 33 Replies latest social relationships

  • serendipity

    I've been on online dating sites for a while, have exchanged emails with over 100 guys (politely saying "Thanks, but no thanks" to the vast majority) and went on dates with a few. I'm generally disappointed in the emails these guys sent and have been disappointed in the dates. I'm not sure if the problem is with my expectations or if there is just a lack of communications skills and courtesy among people.

    Here's my latest dating experience with a guy a met on an online site. I'd like to know if I'm expecting too much. At this rate, I am not very hopeful of finding someone who I connect with on multiple levels.

    As for my date: Mike (35 yo, twice-divorced) was somewhat promising. From our emails, I could tell he was smart, interesting, playful. He also seemed to be a decent guy, choosing to stay involved with his stepchildren since they were the only father figure they had. He also asked me questions about myself, which is one thing a man HAS to do to have a chance with me. When he asked me to meet for coffee, I thought it would be fun.

    Well, the date was a let down. He WAS smart, interesting and somewhat playful- as his emails suggested. But his actions suggested a lack of interest or enthusiasm about meeting or getting to know me. I don't know if he was trying to play it cool or if he is clueless.

    The day before, I had suggested a time and place (a cafe) and gave him my cell # to confirm. He emailed that he'd be later because it would take 1/2 hr. to get there and "let's talk to figure this out." He gave me his #. (Well his schedule was tighter, why can't he call me?)

    I waited all day to see if he would call. I finally called him at the end of my workday. He told me he wasn't able to leave until half an hour later than he originally said. I'm prepared, I read a mag I brought along. (He ends up being 45 minutes later than I initially thought he would be. No acknowledgment or apology for that?)

    He calls me again asking for directions. (He can't mapquest or google ahead of time? That's what I would have done so I could get there without getting lost or being late.)

    He gets to the cafe and appears hesitant about even buying my drink. (He asked me out. Shouldn't he pick up the tab?)

    At least he wore clean clothes, didn't have BO and spoke in a normal tone of voice. Any one or two of the things above wouldn't have mattered much but in light of what happens next.....

    He proceeds to talk about himself and his projects for 4 hours, with me piping in to ask questions, or sympathize or share a little info about me on whatever subject he was on. He asks me 1 question the whole time: "what other career are you interested in?". He spoke at length about a book he's writing. I tried to steer the conversation to get him off that subject so I could find out more about HIM and his ex-wives and life. But he kept bringing the book up. About 1.5 hours into this, I told him one of the things I really liked about his emails to me was questions he asked about my interests. He didn't get the hint.

    Why did I stay for 4 hours? Well, I like hearing people's stories so I was interested in most of what he said. (Is it unreasonable to expect a man to ask me about myself and have conversational equity, rather than have one person monopolize the conversation? of course I was monopolizing the listening i.e. not talking)

    My perception of his behavior suggests that he's not interested in me as a person. As I drove home, I felt there was something else that bothered me but I couldn't really articulate it then. This morning I could. There wasn't an emotional connection. (Is it asking too much to have a *bit* of connection with a person after spending 4 hours with them?)

    What does it take to make that connection? Beyond having an interest in each other as a person, someone who can express feelings and who can sympathize/empathize/validate/acknowledge my feelings.

    I'm also attracted to compassion. There were two things that alerted me that he was deficient there: to punish his kids, he'd make them exercise until they cried. Then he told me that he admired JWs because they disfellowship people so that there are fewer hypocrites in the religion. (yeah, right)

    Yet, after he gets home, he sends me an email telling me he enjoyed meeting me and would like to get together again. So he's interested after all.

    So there you have it. Maybe I'm the pickiest woman in the world. Am I being unreasonable? Maybe I should just join a convent.

  • nvrgnbk


    That sucks!

    So sorry, serendipity.

  • brinjen
    He proceeds to talk about himself and his projects for 4 hours

    I think that alone says it all, he's more interested in himself than anyone else. Sounds to me like he is looking for a token girlfriend instead of an actual relationship. You're not picky, give him the flick.

  • What-A-Coincidence

    Wait! Those are common problems for men. I read up on this and he made the most common mistakes when dating ... 1st) talking about himself ... men have a hard time with this ... they don't do it on purpose. ... they think that by talking about themselves that they are impressing the woman.

    The times I've gone out, I am very excited but I can't overdue it because the girl might think that I am a wac-o. Well yes, but let her figure it out later.

    Tab pickup? I will pay. But if she offers to help I always accept.

    You will find out better after 2 more dates.

    Thats my 1 cent ... no refunds exchanges only.

  • BrentR

    From guys perspective at my age I would be completely lost if I was single and starting to date. I have not dated for about 19 yrs now and I would most likely be a mess. Dating again for me is what wakes me up at night in a cold sweat.

    Almost all of the longterm successful relationships I know just happened and neither party was actively looking. That is how I met my wife, I gave up in frustration and stopped looking. That allowed me to relax, re-focus and "see" life without hormone glasses on. Then it just happened.

    If I was in the singles scene again the only hope I would have is to just to stay engaged in life but always keeping my eyes open. Men in my age group, just like women, have been through some bad "gunk" in life and have no idea how to impress anyone on a date. The more we would try the more we would screw it up. We have all experienced performance reviews before and it's really hard to get a pasing mark on every item on the list. There is always one or two criterias that get the "needs improvement" notation.

  • Finally-Free

    The guy sounds a bit like me. Is he a computer geek? Many of us are self absorbed antisocials who communicate more effectively with technology than with people. Ok, I'm speaking for myself here.

    I've been told that I lack enthusiasm. I got it all the time in the "school" at the hall. I spent most of my 20 years as a JW working on either "sense stress and modulation" or "enthusiasm, warmth, and feeling". I've bombed on a few job interviews because I didn't "appear enthusiastic or excited". To be honest, there's very little that excites me any more. My mom used to tell me I lived my life too fast. Maybe she was right. Now I feel like I have to fake enthusiasm in many situations.

    This guy is obviously doing better than me. After 2 failed marriages, with children involved, he's still interested in trying again. I wrote off the idea after one failed marriage, and no kids.

    First dates are usually awkward, but if you don't feel any chemistry with him then don't waste your time. If his lack of enthusiasm puts you off, don't bother with him. It might not get better. Unenthusiastic people like me look forward to getting home from work so we can finally leave our smiles and "sense stress" at the door and finally be ourselves.

    Yeah, I'm boring.


  • Homerovah the Almighty
    Homerovah the Almighty

    Sounds like a psychopathic creep, doesn't sound like he has a good personality or character ..........drop him

  • MeneMene

    The guy may have been nervous and over compensated by talking too much about himself. The problem I have with him are the two you listed

    ... to punish his kids, he'd make them exercise until they cried. Then he told me that he admired JWs because they disfellowship people

    These are not even his kids and he is punishing them like this ?!!! Mental and physical abuse is NEVER cool or acceptable.

    I dated & almost married a guy that treated me very good but tried to mistreat my kids. He tried with my daughter but she was spunky enough to stand up to his ignorant demands. I had to step in a time or two with my son to stop the guy. It was controlling mental abuse. Needless to say he didn't last very long. I think I knew he was a goner when we went to a wedding. We were on the dance floor and he made the statement that we would go a long way if I was a good little lady and stayed in my place.

    Did you talk about JWs or did he mention them out of the blue? Disfellowshipping is another form of abuse. Sounds like this fellow has issues you need to watch carefully if you go out again.

  • sweetstuff

    Wow, he sure made a great impression! Nothing you expected was picky or unreasonable. Sounds like his two failed marriages may have something to do with his self obsession, just a guess. He could have been nervous, but, the bottom line, you didn't "feel" anything there, no chemistry, connection. Chalk it up to experience and shout next!! It's much better to be single and free to meet a great guy or girl, than to be dating an "ok" guy or girl.

  • kerj2leev
    Chalk it up to experience and shout next!!

    Too funny!

    Is she dating or ordering from a deli!

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