We all have stories of some date gone awry because your companion acted strangely. In fact, we love to regale our friends with these stories whenever mid-life dating enters the conversation.
We never see that we might have been the one someone is telling a story about. How could we be the focus of a wacko story? It can’t be true!
But it is.
In reviewing some of my out-of-kilter dates, I saw that it was not always the guy who acted oddly. When I rerun the mental film of the encounter, I see that I acted like a nutcase when I see it from his perspective.
One memorable date gone wrong was with an ophthalmologist. We had a fun, flirty phone conversation to set up the drink date. He asked if I looked like my picture as he’d encountered too many women who posted old photos and he didn’t recognize them. I assured him I had posted only recent pictures. We agreed to meet at a nice local bar.
I walked through the bar on the way to the women’s room. Looking around, no one looked like the guy and no one waved at me.
Coming back to the bar, a man who’d been sitting there previously said my name. I was surprised as he didn’t look like his picture. “Ironic,” I thought.
Here’s where I went wacko. A few weeks previous I had a wonderful date with a man with whom I also felt a good connection. When we met, he suggested I sit next to him rather than across from him at the table, so — and this is where I went wrong — I sat in the bench next to this guy rather than across the table.
He immediately looked taken aback, but it was too late for me to sit on the other side of the table, or so I thought. After a few minutes, he said, “Would you mind sitting in the other chair?” Then as what appeared an afterthought, “I wrenched my neck and it hurts to turn it to the side.” I knew he was lying and that it was odd for me to sit next to him without his inviting me to do so.
I knew this date was not starting off well. He had already downed half his drink before I arrived so he made no effort to get the server’s attention for me to get a drink. I waited for him to do so and when he didn’t, I flagged her down myself. I sensed he just wanted to wait the least amount of time before he could excuse himself and thought that if I had a drink I could nurse it way longer than he’d want to hang around.
We chatted about trivial stuff, but he didn’t ask me any questions. While I find this can be common with midlife men, it can also telegraph that a man has absolutely no interest in getting to know you.
Finally, when I was half-way through my glass of wine, he said he needed to go and made up (I’m sure) something about having to pick up his kid. I knew he was looking for a way to escape so I didn’t insist on finishing my glass.
That was the most glaring example of my being a wacko on a first date. I’m sure there were others and I’ve just blocked them.
What examples can you share about your first-date behaviors that in hindsight you can see were a tad wacko?
Want to know what else to look out for on first dates? Get your copy of First-Rate First Dates: Increase the Chance of a Second Date.