“I have a date tonight with Tom! I’m so nervous!”

I got the text message last week from a girlfriend of mine. I was glad to hear it; this is a guy she met while we were all out dancing at Solas recently. He seemed sort of shy at the time; he would edge near her on the dance floor and then back away. Near, and then back off. Reminded me of an animal mating ritual, actually.

But eventually he scootched her direction and they danced for a while. Later, we cheered among ourselves when he pulled out his Blackberry to get her number.

Cynical moment No. 1: She didn’t even think he would call. There are plenty of guys who ask for numbers just to collect the digits like trophies.
Possible Tool Moment No. 1: Ding. He passed! He called the next day and they talked. He asked what she was doing that week, and they set up a date.

So there she was, getting ready for this date, butterflies dancing in her heart.
Cynical Moment No. 2: “I’m so nervous,” she told me. “And it’s so silly. Here I am, freakin’ out, and it’s just going to be a bunch of wasted energy.”
Possible Tool Moment No. 2: Ding. Passed again! The date was a success. They hit it off. Talked, laughed, had a lot in common and ate some yummy Humble Pie tapas.

Cynical Moment No. 3: But one good first date does not mean anything, as we all know. What about those guys who just disappear and never call you again? They don’t even bother to say, “It just wasn’t there for me” in a text.
Possible Tool Moment No. 3: Ding! Ladies and gentlemen … he passed the third round! A second date took place later that week, again with success.

“I figured he might not just be some jerk who was trying to get some, or was looking for just a booty call,” Leslie said. He lives about an hour away and he always offered to drive to meet me, which seems like a lot of effort if you’re not looking for something more serious. He had to know there wasn’t going to be any, “‘Hey it’s 2 a.m. why don’t you come over?'”

Cynicism was fading. So they went out on a third date. (Can you here the slow tuba notes from Jaws? Ba dum. Ba dum. Ba dum.) Just went you think he might be ok …
Possible Tool Moment No. 4: BZZZZZZZZT. He asked her to come home with him at the end of the evening. “And of course I turned him down. It was a pretty awkward good-bye. I haven’t heard from him. Don’t think I’m going to.”

Leslie doesn’t view it as wasted energy; at least she gave it a try.

“To be honest, it was kinda fun to go on some casual dates … make out a little bit and move on,” she said. “If nothing else, I did get several free dinners and drinks in the process …. a girl’s got to eat, right?”

But why would he take all that time and effort just to ruin it on the third date? I thought we were beyond the “third-date rule.”

Maybe I should be more cynical.

Addendum: As I was drafting this post, the guy called Leslie for a fourth date! SEE? Optimism has its place in the world after all. But after that date, Leslie and Tom decided the sparks weren’t flying.

“We had a fun time, walked around downtown and had some laughs. I think we both knew things really weren’t going to go much further than casual dates though. He’s cute, funny, and an all around fun guy, but I didn’t see it going anywhere. I think he felt the same way about me.”

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