The older I get, the less birthdays actually seem to matter. That’s why, this year, when the opportunity to go on a first date fell squarely on my birthday, I didn’t really see it as a big deal. It just seemed like another day in an already busy calendar, and after all, the time was finally right. I had managed to find my way through a hard year of getting my bearings in grad school (read: I didn’t go on a single first date since France and The Comic), I had finally transferred over to the creative stream and excepting an academic conference in October, I was basically done with academia and ready to focus on the Creative Writing side of my degree (read: I was happy, I was less busy, life was ripe for the picking)
*cue raucous applause and several minutes of elated sighing*
Needless to say, your girl was ready to have some fun. So when Skinny Jeans asked me out, I accepted. Plus, I was planning to have my party the next night anyway so it wasn’t like I was some lonely singleton just trying not to spend my day of birth alone, I had a busy schedule of fun (and work) things, and Thursday night was just when I could fit him in.
He had messaged me on POF, nothing too thrilling, but he seemed normal. He was pretty good looking: 5’10, black, English Speaking (a thing I’ve really come to find necessary with my ever failing ability to speak French), and he seemed cool enough. We added each other on Facebook and everything was a go. He lives in a sort-of-suburb of montreal and since he’s from here we figured it would be easiest if he came to my pace (don’t freak out, not my apartment, just picked me up downstairs, it’s a very busy place, no chance of being murdered etc.).
Thursday rolled around, he texted that he was here, and I went down to meet him. I was already a ball of nerves for two reasons:
We greeted with a hug, and though I wasn’t super jazzed about his fitted pants, I was pleased. He, however, may not have been. He didn’t smile a whole lot in the beginning, though I’ve also met guys who didn’t smile a lot at first and then we’re all over it later so who knows, I’m probably too sensitive about the smiling. But then again, this is my blog, and I’m trying to make dating better for everyone, so really what I’m saying is Boys, more smiling, smile right from the beginning, big warm welcoming smiles. I get that you’re nervous but she is too and nothing quite says, I’m so pleased because you look exactly like you’re dating profile photos like a sunshine smile.
We walked and talked for a few blocks until we came to a coffee shop. We went inside, and that’s when things got awkward. Well, for me. He wanted to get something to eat and there was a really long counter so I kind of ended up ordering my own coffee and then paying for it. And what I mean by awkward is really that internally I began a conversation whereby I attempted to defend the action of not paying but honestly…honestly…honestly? We all know I’m not a fan. But even more than not paying as a literal thing bothers me, it’s also what it says about him as a person, and most important of all, I think it says a lot about what he thinks of me (which if we’re being real here is that he doesn’t think spending time with me is worth $4.00).
But, not one to jump to conclusions (er…uh…at least not mid-date), I made the best of things and sat down for a chat. We ended up talking for 2.5 hours, until the coffee shop was closing down. I admit, I was a tad confused, this chatty behavior seeming very contradictory to the paying of coffee, and thus started to think maybe he had his own reasons for not paying and that maybe I should let it go.
We had been talking about a local pool place and suggested that maybe we could move on to there, at first he said yes but then followed it up quickly with oh, I can’t, I have to go set up for a video shoot tomorrow. It made sense, after all, when we’d originally booked the date he’d asked for earlier rather than later. But still. But still. I’m not a fan of being double booked on. I get that there was a huge possibility that I could’ve been a dud, but still.
Nonetheless, he walked me home from the coffeeshop and then proceeded to chat with me for another 45 minutes outside of my apartment building.
Was he waiting for an invite up?
Was he just having a good time?
At some point I could tell what was happening. I could feel it in the air. I could see it in the way he was standing. He was working out to a goodnight kiss and I guess all that chatter was a good way to fill the time. Eventually he worked up to it and planted a big kiss on me. It was nice. I probably pulled away too soon but there were so many people around (it being a high traffic area) and I’m not a fan of PDA with new boys, with a boyfriend sure, but first kisses should happen in dark sexy places, not orange lit doorways with people coming and going.
Eventually we said goodbye. And *spoiled alert* I won’t make you wait on this one for a second blog post, because it really was goodbye. We texted back and forth a few times, but after a few messages it became clear he wasn’t interested. He was a confident, aggressive fella and not asking for a second date was indication enough, if not the fact that his responses to texts were often only a few phrases.
Do I know what happened? Nope. Maybe he didn’t like how I looked or thought I was dull.
But why did he kiss me? Honestly, no idea. I don’t really understand sexual activity with someone you’re not at least interested in seeing again (not to be confused with drunk goggles etc. because we were both stone cold sober). And it seems unlikely that the kissing wasn’t good or something because he went out of his way to mention that I was a good kisser.
Did something happen between the date and now? Again, no idea. Like I’ve said before, as much as I absolutely fucking hate not having any answers to dating questions, sometimes they just never come. And you just have to be okay with that. So I am. This is me, being okay with it. But then again, it might have something to do with the fact that a week later, I already had another first date booked 😉
One final note about Skinny Jeans before I move on, because we all know I LOVE a teachable moment. I know that guys are often worried about being an asshole when it comes to rejection and so I feel the need to point out how Skinny Jeans was, in fact, an asshole, and how he could’ve easily avoided it with little to no effort.
The key to rejecting a girl, besides all the obvious advice I’ve given before is clarity. Don’t push and pull. Don’t give and take. Just reject. Pick one line of attack and follow through. With Skinny Jeans, the texting was…sporadic. He responded on and off. And when he responded, it was enthusiastic and then it wasn’t. But not in a tapered off way, the attention was misleading. What he should’ve done, assuming he wasn’t comfortable with just saying hey look, thanks for meeting me and stuff but I’m not interested so all the best, was to ignore all messages. Just stop responding. Girls aren’t idiots, we get the message. When it becomes clear is when he responds to some messages and then nada. And then texts, so I respond, and then there’s texting and then nada. And the fact that hadn’t unfriended me on facebook was weird too. Now obviously I got the message, after all, like I said, I’m not an idiot, but he could’ve saved me several days of excitement, and then several more of confusion, followed by the eventual disappointment, if he’d just be more clear (or more silent).
And before you all get up in arms in his defense, let me say this…we are all assholes sometimes. Doing something assholey doesn’t make you a monster, but that doesn’t mean we should pretend you aren’t a jerk for doing something that causes another person distress (AND COULD BE AVOIDED). Learning is good. Self-awareness is good. So ya know, go out there and date up a storm, but try and be considerate of the time and feelings of others along the way. That’s a cool thing to do too.