Wednesday, February 5, 2014

He's Just Not That Into Me

A few weeks ago, a friend and I were sitting around lamenting the sad state of my romantic life. While I was telling him about a string of bad dates with guys who have apparently never learned how to have a conversation with another person he let me in on his theory about the ratio between bad dates and finding someone you're actually interested in pursuing. According to him, you have to go out on ten not good dates before you get one good one.

It was the most f#%!ing depressing thing I've ever heard.

So for every one funny, charming, interesting guy I go out with, I have to suffer through ten dull, uninteresting, intolerable ones? Has this been other people's experience too, or is my friend just really bad at dating?

I mean, seriously, TEN?!

I got another one out of the way recently. We'll call him Alan...he kind of looks like an Alan.

Alan started messaging me online while I was home for Christmas. Typically, if possible, I like to get a coffee date out of the way pretty quickly if I "meet" a guy online that I see a potential with. I'm far too susceptible to falling madly in love with someone's web presence only to find out that their actual presence is awful. I was a whole state away for over a week though, so meeting was out of the question, but we did exchange messages every day that I was gone.

And I started falling for him.

He's a professor from a town about forty five minutes from Mankato. He's slightly older than me, has a beard, and had a legitimate answer for me when I asked him what his favorite book is. 

That's like all three of my biggest turn ons.

The first night that we went out, he asked me if I wanted to come out and see his friend's band.

Or, actually, he asked me if I liked live music, told me his friend had a band that was playing on Saturday night, and then I assumed we were going on a date. It wasn't until Friday night, when I was rereading the texts (and ironing my outfit for the next night), that I realized I hadn't actually been invited to join at all.

It's pretty humiliating having to ask someone if they intended to ask you out, or if you're just a delusional nutcase.

He warned me that a big group of his friends would be there, but said he'd love for me to come, and asked if I wanted to go out to dinner beforehand. That's where I saw my first red flag.

I get a lot of crap from my friends about how we always somehow end up doing exactly what I want to do. I really don't think it's because I'm all that demanding, I just can't stand indecisiveness. So when it comes down to people saying, "Well I don't care what we do." or "It doesn't matter to me where we eat." or "Whatever everyone else wants to do is fine." I'm going to step the f#%! up and make sure that we don't waste our entire night trying to decide how we're going to waste our night.

I don't want to have to do this in a relationship though. I want someone assertive who's not just going to let me walk all over him, because I have the potential to really steamroll the meek. I want someone who has the ability to put me in my place if I need it (and I need it pretty frequently). I want someone who can make a decision.

So we went out for sushi. Every time I've been out for sushi we just order a variety of rolls for the table to share. I assumed that was the norm, but he started referring to what he planned on getting for himself, I figured I needed to be sure that I was on the same page.

"Should we each just order our own, or would you like to share a few different ones?"
"Oh...uh...we can do whatever."
"Well, what were you planning on?"
"I don't know."
"It just kinda sounded like you already had an idea what you wanted...Let's just each get our own."
"Okay, yeah. Let's do that."
"Perfect, is there anything that you recommend here?"
"We don't have to each get our own if you don't want, we can share."
"I'm totally fine with it, just wanted to know so I could make my picks."
"Are you sure? I mean, what do you want to do?"

What I really want to do is not have this conversation any longer.

I could hardly fault the guy for trying to make sure that I was getting what I wanted though, and I couldn't disqualify him for that

After an underwhelming dinner, we went to the bar where his friends' band was playing. The band was absolutely fantastic. They played old school swing music, and it reminded me just how much I loved tiny little hole in the wall venues hosting local talent. The only thing that could have made it better was if my date was showing any interest in talking to me at all.

I tried my best, but I couldn't get him to care at all about conversation with me. It's not that he just wasn't a big talker either, he was regularly ignoring me for ten minute stretches while he talked to anyone else who walked up to our table. At one point we were joined for twenty minutes by a nice British gentleman and his teenage son. The two of them talked shop for twenty minutes, and I'm pretty sure I was expected to babysit. 

I don't have the first clue about how to handle a British teenager.

"So...uh...Downton Abbey, amiright? One Direction? Are you too young to know about The Spice Girls? How 'bout some awkward silence...chap?"

So it didn't go well. I was still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt though. First dates are awkward. He did warn me that his friends would be there. Maybe he was just nervous and didn't know what to talk about. Hadn't we been getting along so well before? I owed him at least one more date.

Plus, I'd accidentally walked out on the bar tab last time, so I owed him.

He text me a few days later and let me know that he'd be in town for the Beer Expo the next weekend. I went another three days thinking I'd been asked out only to realize that once again he'd never actually said he wanted to see me when he was in town. After another awkward text, we had plans to meet for drinks that weekend.

Of course, because I'm me, I got drunk and made it awkward a few nights before. We were exchanging some flirty text messages, and he made a comment about worrying what he'd do if he had too many drinks and couldn't drive home. I quickly replied, "Well, you can sleep on my couch if you want!"

Drunk Chris was just trying to be chivalrous. Sober Chris of course knows that offering  to let someone "sleep on your couch" after a date has little to do with sleeping and absolutely nothing to do with your couch.

I'd accidentally raised the stakes on this date, which meant I had a lot more prep to do. I spent my entire day running around town. I got a haircut, I cleaned my apartment top to bottom, I bought a new outfit when I didn't like anything I already own, I did laundry, and I got groceries ('cause if I had to break the news that I really did  mean actually sleeping on my couch, I better at least have bacon for him in the morning). 

We met up at about 8:30 that night. He told me his friends would be leaving soon, but he wanted me to come have a drink with them. I spent forty five minutes watching his friends abuse the wait staff (and once again having my presence ignored) before they all decided to get up and leave. After leaving his friends at their cars, Alan told me that he had something to drop off at his car as well. 

We walked in the frigid, below zero weather to the ramp where his car was parked, and after he dropped his things off in his car. Finally, hoping to get some one on one time to see if there wasn't something here that was worth pursuing, I asked him if he was still up for going to grab another drink. 

He responded with, "Well, I think I might just head home."

After talking myself into giving him another shot, an entire day of prep, forty five minutes of straight guys, and making me stand outside for fifteen minutes, I get blown off? What the hell am I going to do with all that bacon?!

I'm done. Over it. Moving on. 

He text me shortly after to apologize for being an asshole, and we haven't spoken since. 

So what did I learn from this guy?

I learned that I might be a bit of an idiot.

Before writing this, I thought this was going to be a super funny post about some guy being kind of a douche to me. But now, after laying it all out, I just feel kind of pathetic about the whole thing. I wasn't being led on. He made his level of interest pretty clear. I'm just like super bad at reading signs, I guess.

Apparently I need to actually consult my copy of He's Just Not That Into You from time to time.

I must be coming up on that 10th date any day now.

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