Before the holidays, I was taken out on a proper first date. Everything about it was ideal, even the way we started talking. Let me break it down for you:
I was in Cuba in October, and I happened to be there while a friend of a friend of a friend was getting married. This friend of a friend of a friend had an average sized group there for the wedding and I became a member of this group, by association.
They were all nice people and most were married with kids, or there with their ‘other half’ so I got to know them on a polite level but didn’t get too close with the couples. Skip to the end of November I get a message from one of the group members who was also there by association – his then girlfriend was in the wedding party.
The message was kind of weird, I’ll admit. It informed me in one short paragraph, that he and his then girlfriend had broken up and he had been crushing on me since the vacation, can’t get me out of his head, and thought he’d ‘give it a whirl’. I’m normally very sarcastic but I could sense this guys nerves through the message so I didn’t respond with ‘give what a whirl?’, which was my initial reaction. Instead I said that I found the second half of the message to be kind of sweet and told him I’d say yes if he asked me for a drink. Then he asked me for a drink which quickly turned into dinner instead, at one of the best steak houses in Toronto. When he mentioned taking me there I tried to decline. I told him I appreciated the gesture but would be perfectly happy getting to know him over good beer somewhere more low key. His response was that it was ‘too late, I’ve already made the reservation so you’re just going to have to get dressed up and enjoy a night out’. Wow, well if you insist!
Now I must point out that even at this point, this guy was well ahead of the pack when it comes to the men I have dated recently. The fact that he had confessed feelings to me AND insisted on taking me somewhere special because he really wanted to make a good first impression, was mind blowing considering that last ‘first date’ I was taken on was a complete disaster which I will tell you about later in a future post called ‘worst first date ever’.
Anyway, we agreed on a day and continued to chat over the next two weeks. He started counting down the days, which I thought was super cute, and asked me TONS of questions about myself which is something I look out for as a sign of genuine interest. There was a red flag though, he messaged me at one point and it said ‘if you’re looking for marriage, I’m your guy!’ and then went on to list the qualities that make him marriage material. I said something polite, along the lines of ‘well if things go well that’s good to know’ and then I told him that I’m not looking for marriage. I’m looking for the right person. I don’t know if marriage and/ or children are in my future but I do know that being with the man I love is, and that is all I want.
There was another red flag too, now that I think of it. He kept mentioning ‘future’ things like a ski trip for example. I would respond with ‘sure, if things go well and work out between us, I’d love to go skiing with you’. His response was always ‘What do you mean IF!?’. I should have noticed that in his mind I was already his fiance.
The day of the date he arrived at 6:45pm and texted me asking where to park (park!? I thought we were going out!) I told him to stay put and I’d be right down (I live in a 3 story walk up). As I came outside the first thing he said was ‘no! don’t look yet!’, so I stayed facing the door until he said it was OK to look. I turned around and saw a RIDICULOUSLY LARGE bouquet of a ridiculous assortment of flowers specifically; gerbera daisies, orchids and wildflowers. And it was 3 feet tall. It had a card attached and everything, describing how all of my favourite things wouldn’t fit in the bouquet, so he had to stick to my favourite flowers. Some sweet! I put the flowers in my apartment feeling bad about telling him to stay put, clearly the guy wanted to knock on my door and have me open it to that beautiful arrangement and his smiling face.
Pretty, aren’t they?
Back outside he stood waiting for me by the passenger door, which he opened and closed for me all night. In fact I didn’t touch one door, save for the ones in the ladies rooms. Speaking of which, this guy even stood up as I’d leave and then return to the table every time I needed the facilities. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe anything actually, the entire evening was something out of a movie where everything was perfect and the guy gets the girl he’s been crushing on and treats her like a princess and pulls out all the stops. Only it wasn’t the movies and although I was treated like a princess, I just wasn’t feeling any real attraction to him. He was cute, impeccably dressed, successful, but as the date went on I couldn’t help but feel like the date was less about me and more about him finding someone to marry. After dinner we went for drinks and chatted some more, then it was time to go. He took me home and said good night. I gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek and that was that.
The next morning I was enjoying my lazy Sunday and thinking about what I was going to say to him when I messaged him that Monday thanking him and all of that polite stuff, when my phone went off and I saw it was him. No ‘hello;, no ‘good morning’ just ‘what’s your opinion, do you see potential for us?’. Now considering it was less than 24 hours later I found this to be kind of off-putting. I told him that I thought he was one of the sweetest guys I’d ever met and thanked him for proving that chivalry is in fact, not dead. I told him the date was refreshing but I didn’t know how to answer him because it was so soon after the fact. He texted me the next evening apologising for being so pushy and I told him that I appreciated him saying that and then I made up plans so I wouldn’t have to text him all night. A few days later I sent him an email telling him that I had a great time, thanking him for being so sweet, but that we were looking for different things and I hoped we could be friends. His response? ‘Totally!’. We haven’t spoken since.
What did he do right?
1. He had a crush on me for an extended period of time, knew he wanted to date me and made sure I knew it. Also, he waited a respectable amount of time between his break up and asking me out. Note: he had only been with her a couple of months and it was a mutual break up.
2. He put himself out there! I love it when guys put themselves out there and risk rejection. It shows me that their willing to take a risk to get what they want and that’s so important in life!
3. He was genuine in wanting to know about me and made an incredible effort to make me feel special. He treated me like a lady.
Where did he go wrong?
1. What was he thinking texting me the very next day asking me what my opinion was and if there was potential!? Don’t get me wrong, these are fair questions but come on, wait a day or two and wait for it to come up naturally.
2. This guy talked about marriage waaaayy too early. He mentioned it in the weeks leading up to the date, on the date and even in a text after the date. Even if I had been attracted to him I couldn’t help but feel he was looking for marriage and not necessarily the right person.
3. He didn’t want to hear that I wasn’t looking for marriage.
What have I learned?
1. That great guys do exist, there are still considerate and thoughtful, chivalrous gentlemen out there roaming around planet earth who believe in love and treating a woman right. A lesson much needed after the experiences I’ve had which led me to believe that guys like that were extinct.
2. That just because a guy is great, does not mean he’s great for me. Although I learned this years ago, it was nice to have it reiterated at this time in my life where the phrase ‘settle for’ crosses my mind every so often.
This man made me feel special by doing all the ‘right things’ during the date and leading up to the date. Unfortunately once he knew what he wanted to know about me his focus moved on to marriage and the pressure I felt after receiving his text the day after the date was just too much. It was nice to be treated well but when his attention shifted from me to whether or not there was potential for marriage, he just left me feeling like a dying animal on the plains of Africa watching the vultures circling.