Let me tell you about this date I had 3 weeks ago. Bad date, but at least I had a moment of personal triumph.
It’s not that he was a horrible person… he was just a horrible match for me. Other dates have been people I just had no reaction to, other than boredom. But this guy…
We started out at the SF MOMA. At first I thought he was gay. He definitely dressed metro, but that combined with the way he stood and and the way he spoke - both effeminate - I thought he was gay. I figured since HowAboutWe is more about finding activities than finding people, maybe I accidentally messaged a gay man but he was game for a night at the museum. He started in with the body language fairly quickly, however, so I figured out he was straight.
At the art museum I did enjoy his company, and was slightly intrigued. I was annoyed that he talked so much while we were looking at art, just because I wanted to focus on what we were seeing, and I wanted to save get-to-know-you conversation for later, in case we needed to fall back on it. After the museum I was trying to decide what I wanted to do next, and he suggested we get a drink so I agreed.
I didn’t feel much chemistry to begin with, but during drinks I put him squarely in the friend zone. And by “friend zone” I mean, “after tonight there’s no reason for us to ever talk to each other.” Dude was older, 43 I think. And he had a general distrust of women in their 20s. He told me some stories about younger women he had dated, and while I agree that there was some erratic behavior, he definitely had culpability that he didn’t acknowledge. Like, you say you met this girl on a cross-country flight and by the end of it you were in love with her? Honestly, if she broke your heart that’s on you for being so impetuous.
There came a point when I realized I missed any opportunity to have dinner with other people, so I figured I may as well have dinner with this guy. I wasn’t attracted to him, but he wasn’t that bad. At least he was kind of fascinating in a “you’re weird and very different from me” kind of way. But it was at dinner that I realized he was a pretentious asshole. Among other things, he hates American clothing so he goes on regular buying trips to Milan. As if Italian clothing isn’t available in San Francisco, or anywhere in the U.S. for that matter. He stopped watching TV 10 years ago, the result of a deep meditation experience in Thailand. Somehow I was able to muster the self-control to keep an eye-roll to myself.
The thing is, dude was into me. As we walked from spot to spot he put his arm around my waist. I didn’t stop him (that would have been awkward), but I kept my hand in my pocket and my elbow in his side. At the end of the night he offered me a ride home, which I accepted because riding in cars is a weakness of mine. Again he put his arm around my waist and I kept my elbow in his side. When we got close to his car he tried to kiss me… and I didn’t do anything. I was too polite to duck, but I certainly didn’t kiss him back. He was clearly miffed, said something a bit snarky, and we rode home in silence.
At the end of the night came my triumph. I knew that I had to set this guy straight. Not responding to his advances wasn’t enough. And I knew it would be duplicitous to act like things were ok and then to let him go by just never calling him. This was hard for me, but when we finally pulled up to my apartment I mustered up the courage to be straight up and honest with him.
Kind of. I told him that I had a good time with him, but I hadn’t felt enough when we kissed. So then he says, “but you didn’t even try!” In my head I was like… case in point. But instead I said I just didn’t feel chemistry with him. Then I thanked him for the evening and got out of the car.