Monday, March 23, 2009

Date #126: Sunday

Had a lunch date today (date #126 since my last serious relationship ended four years ago) -- I'm not feeling particularly creative with names right now, so for the moment, he'll just be known as Mr Sunday.

Sunday and I had a pretty good e-mail rapport, but when we first talked on the phone last week, the conversation felt a bit forced. Generally, in my experience, when I don't feel a connection by phone, it's rare that I'll have one in person. We wrapped up the convo by making lunch plans for today, but in the days that followed, I considered canceling -- and maybe this is wrong, but at the time, I thought that if a possible date with Mr R were to come up for today, then I'd cancel on Mr Sunday in order to see Mr R.

If you've been keeping up -- Mr R is now history. I decided to keep my date with Mr Sunday with the "you never know" mindset. Maybe we were just a bit nervous on the phone? It's a lot of pressure to say the "right" thing to a stranger during that initial conversation.

I'm glad I didn't cancel -- Mr Sunday was cute, and we had a nice, easy rapport -- we made each other laugh quite a bit. This was potentially telling - after lunch, there would have been the chance for one of us to bail if there was no interest at all. Instead, we took a stroll through the park and continued chatting.

Being a bright, sunny, sober afternoon, we wrapped up the date with a kiss on the cheek, and a mention that we should get together for a drink soon. Next time, at night. So -- we'll see.


Question: when you start dating someone new, do you search for whatever clues you can find about them? I sure do. Maybe Google, maybe Facebook -- probably both. I'm curious to see if we have any mutual friends, where they went to school (if they haven't already told me), etc.

DISCLAIMER: one last comment on Mr R, then he's going to be banished from these pages for good! I'll admit, after I met him, every so often I'd look at his Facebook page to see if there were any clues I could learn about him -- he has one of those pages where you can see all the information even if you're not his FB "friend".

Out of curiosity, I had a look at his FB page yesterday -- and he's already announced that he's "in a relationship" with this new woman! Whoa, Nelly! Just three days earlier, he had told me that they'd just had three dates together -- of course, there's a good chance that was a lie, and they'd gone out many more times than that.

But the fact remains... dude, you were telling me on Monday that you wanted to play strip poker with me, and we were planning our next dates... and by the weekend you're declaring to the world that you're in a relationship with someone else? This just reeks of "ew".

And let's not even mention the fact that relationships that take off really quickly often tend to crash and burn just as fast. Anyway: it's official -- that will be the last mention here of Mr R (unless he does something ridiculous, like contact me), because he really doesn't deserve any more typing energy.



*Juliette* said...

Mr. R is an example of what I call the dark side of online dating. He's the kind of guy they don't explain in "He's just not that into you" .
We are all smart enough to realize that when men don't call or write, they just "weren't feeling us". But when they DO call and say they want to play strip poker and plan dates with us, how are we supposed to know that they are just stringing us along in case the other girl(s) don't work out? This seems to happen a lot with men who become obsessed with finding the next best woman online. I wonder how long R's "relationship" will last.

Anonymous said...

Actually Mr R reminds me of the SF guy I asked you about. One minute he wanted me, the next he didn't. One minute he missed me, the next he didn't. I never could keep up. And it was always my fault, that I couldn't keep up with his ever changing feelings. Crazy making! And he could never remember what he was telling me. He was always right; I was always wrong. And it just got worse and very hurtful, because I believed he was ultimately my friend. If Mr. R calls in again, RUN! Something is wrong there.


Loverville said...

Juliette: SO true! After you wrote that, I was reminded of how (unsolicited), on our second date, Mr R told me all the things he liked about me: I'm independent, smart, friendly, etc.

Again... why gush like that if you may have something else going on? Asshole.

Beth: sorry to hear you went through that! I hope it didn't go on too long for you.

At least for me, I have to keep in mind that Mr R was only around for 3 dates -- not enough for me to get emotionally invested. Just a bit of an ego bruise, but I'm healing nicely.

wineandthecity said...

what has me impressed is that you were a little vulnerable when you hooked up with This Guy last week, but I don't hear you pining for him or trying to "make" a relationship out of it - way to go!

walt said...

Juliette, LV and others - I'm a man, and would appreciate your view on this. Like Mr. R I am now dating two women I like very much. I'm not ready to choose, so I'm avoiding letting things go too far, but of course they each can tell that I really like them, because I do. Should I be acting more distant? Am I supposed to make a point of telling each of them that I'm dating someone else? Shouldn't they be assuming this is the case before we have an "exclusive" talk, no matter how warm and romantic I've acted?

wineandthecity said...

well, I'll start, as I am up first (Londontime).
I'm of 2 minds: ladies that want to know whether or not a guy is seeing other people should ask, anytime, and get an honest answer. Some gals might prefer to not have anxious feelings about what you're doing when not with you (me, for example). I don't ask any questions I'm not prepared to hear the answers to. In my opinion, when we're together hanging out, it's about us and seeing how things are going. What we are doing when not together I tend to keep quiet about unless asked. That being said, what you don't want to be is a 'bullshitter'. it's that fine line between putting your best foot forward, creating wonderful dates, and stopping short of acting as if there's more going on than there is. So, for example, I wouldn't think you should be talking a lot about dates in the future, more than a couple weeks out. You may pick the other gal and then this girl will be thinking about all the plans you suggested. And if possible, do not see them both on the same day. I had that happen to me once,and I still don'tthink I am over it!! it was months later when I found out but still, it hurt a bit to think about how I went home after this great lunch full of nice thoughts, and he, well, he went out to dinner!! Seriously, are we so busy we need to date 2 people a day :-)
But, dating 2 women at a time is fine, just be discreet, and honest if the questions start. Good Luck, and take whta you likw, leave the rest!!

Anonymous said...

"Shouldn't they be assuming this is the case before we have an "exclusive" talk, no matter how warm and romantic I've acted?"

Uh, NO, Walt. If you are acting all warm and romantic they aren't thinking maybe he is dating someone else. They are thinking you are a great guy who likes them and how happy they are to have met you. If you haven't made it clear you are not exclusive, then you are playing with their feelings if you have been dating both of them for a while. Not everyone dates more than one person at a time. And actually most people don't! So if you are, you have a responsibility to be clear, if you are emotionally close to these women.

Sometimes I think people who date like this want to hurt people. It almost like they enjoy getting people all worked up, because it gives them a sense of self worth when the other person is sad when the rug is pulled out from under them.

Anonymous said...

Hey Walt,

So what if you told either of these ladies you were dating someone else, too? Would they be upset? I think that would tell you all you need to know.

Personally if I was dating someone casually, and I knew they weren't exclusive, I wouldn't be intimate with them, I wouldn't bother cooking for them, or really expect anything from them. Just a movie here or there and some handholding, and few kisses. But as soon as there is sex and plans, then it's a whole other ball game. I don't appreciate men who play word games with me. If we are acting like boyfriend/girlfriend and we aren't to YOU, you have a responsibility not to lead me on with YOUR ACTIONS as well as your words. If you want to play semantics, you are an asshole.

You asked.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Walt would be asking if he didn't think he was doing something wrong. Sounds like he is feeling guilty and trying to justify his actions.

walt said...

Thanks for the feedback, although it's hard to keep the Anon's straight (are they all the same person?). To Anon #2, to be clear, there's been no sex or long term plans. The only thing I'm concerned about is that one of the two is sort of acting like she thinks we're boyfriend/girlfriend, even though I've made a point of saying that I want to go slow and get to know each other. It seems like issuing that caution just made her more interested. So yes, Anon #3, I WAS asking if I'm doing something wrong. Some of you have answered.

Anonymous said...

Beth, I know just what you mean. I briefly had a boyfriend like that. It was always my fault! He always blamed me! When I wasn't available he was annoyed because he missed me. When I was available, he was annoyed because I was too clingy. I should have known better because he was divorced twice -- from the same woman! They had remarried and then redivorced! What a flake-o!

Walt, It is clear that neither of these people you are dating will be long-term. If so, you wouldn't be *able* to date two of them. You say you like them both very much but are telling at least one of them you are "issuing a caution" and want to take it slow. Now it is a *problem* that she is even more interested. Well, if she is acting like you are boyfriend/ girlfriend against your will, why are you leading her on? Even unwittingly! Like anon said, you are playing word games with these two. You may not know it, but you are being unkind.


Loverville said...

Walt -- so many valid comments above. Also: keep in mind -- saying "I want to take things slowly" is a LOT different than saying, "I don't want a girlfriend right now".

If you're in doubt that you may be leading one or both of them on, have the talk. You just might save someone a lot of heartache.

Anonymous said...

Walt, Maybe the girl you issued a caution to is inexperienced in dating? And it sounds like you are giving her mixed messages - let's take it slow, but lots of romance and warmth.....? I think a lot of women would be confused to know how to act with all of that.

*Juliette* said...

I see nothing wrong with you dating 2, 3, or even 4 women at the same time. But if you take one person out more than 3 or 4 times, you are usually sending a vibe that things may become serious. Usually by the strip poker stage you are saying that you want to become intimate. If by avoiding letting things go too far you mean that you are honestly not talking about having sex with either of these women, then I don't think that you are required to tell them that you are dating other people.
I agree with you that most people who use online dating sites assume that also. But it's important to be completely honest if one of them asks you about it, just out of courtesy.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe the gal feels you pulling away and is desperately trying to make sure you stay interested, Walt. Now that's a sad thought.

*Juliette* said...

And ladies, maybe there is a valuable lesson here. Maybe we need to question exactly what men mean when they say they want to "go slow", or when they tell you how much they like you too soon. All the more reason to have "the talk" upfront.

Anonymous said...

Juliette is making a good point, that of course it is fine to date multiple people at once. But where is the line between *dating* and *seeing each other?*

Let's assume the object of the game is not to date indefinitely but to find someONE permanent so you can stop dating. How long can you continue juggling multiple people before you are "ready to choose?" What will make you "ready to choose?" Is this state of "readiness to choose" contingent upon your own internal clock or upon your getting to know these women better?

You are like the bachelor Jason! He was juggling two people until the bitter end. And we know what happened there!

Guy Friend said...

Mr. R a jackass for declaring his relationship on facebook....that is destined to be a bad move. On the flip side, I'm glad you had fun with Mr. Sunday.

Tiny E said...

Ugh. I actually felt a sympathy gut-punch when you said you saw that he was "in a relationship." What an ass. I hope his girlfriend knows what she's getting into. But how nice to have a good date in the mix to take your mind off that crap.

walt said...

First, apologies to LV for hijacking your blog. I promise not to do it again. So, the update is that, based on advice given here, I made clear to the woman who has been sort of acting like my girlfriend that we're not at the exclusive stage yet. Her response, clearly pissed, was "I'm not seeing anyone else, but you didn't need to tell me that. I know how dating works."

So, good advice from wineandthecity and Juliette, the Anons not so much.

Anonymous said...

C'mon, Walt! Of course, she was pissed! You are dating someone else and she isn't! And you are making it clear with her. Not exactly good news. Sounds like she is saving her pride with her response.

Loverville said...

Walt, no problem at all -- this has been very interesting. I always love to get a guy's perspective... feel free to comment here any time!

I agree with the last anon -- sounds like her pride was a bit hurt. I think you did the right thing -- since when is good communication a bad thing?

Anonymous said...

Walt, the problem I have is that you complain this girl is acting too much like your girlfriend. Well, the idea is that you are testing her out as a girlfriend. She is not auditioning to be your dentist, your tennis instructor or your drinking buddy. Your role in each other's lives in as potential boyfriend-girlfriend. Why should she not act that way?

If you don't want her as your girlfriend, fine. But don't pretend that you do. It's clear you have made up your mind about her, even though you are fooling yourself by saying you haven't.

Anonymous said...

Good point, anon 4:46. Btw, Walt, there is more than one anon on here. Because I'm one and I only posted once.

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