Thursday, January 22, 2015

the overly invested BLOW OFF

There are a lot of things you shouldn’t do on a first date. And I’m not trying to add another thing to an already-lengthy list. But if you ever find yourself wanting to schedule a second date before the first date is over (and especially if it hasn’t started), PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

(Scene: Mitchell and I are an hour into on our first date, having met speed dating twelve days prior. We met for drinks at a cafeteria/bar on a Wednesday evening.)
Mitchell: Would you want to go to dinner with me on Friday?
Me: Oh, I’m busy. (I legitimately am.)
Mitchell: How about Saturday?
Me: Well, I’m volunteering and I‘m not sure what time it goes until. (Technically true, but I do know it won’t go past 3:00pm.)
Mitchell: Are you off work on Monday?
I end up telling him I’ll e-mail him once I have a chance to check my calendar. After sleeping on it, I e-mail him to let him know I don’t see anything transpiring, and wish him luck.

There are a few reasons Mitchell’s persistence was not ideal:
1.)   It put a lot of pressure on me to give him an answer right then, when we both needed to be able to walk away from our date to think about how it went, if we’re compatible, and so on.

2.)   It made Mitchell look like he doesn’t have any plans – which in turn raises questions (even subconsciously) about whether he has interests, friends, and if his social life would rely on me if it turned into something. None of these things may be true, but having spent ONE HOUR with him at his point, how can I know? I don’t have a whole lot to go off of and I can’t read his mind.

3.)   It made Mitchell seem overly invested. At this point, he knows very little about me (he did most of the talking during our hour together), so it’s more likely he’s liking the idea of me than actual me at this point. There’s nothing wrong with that, besides the fact that he may be invested in a fantasy.

It’s important to point out that when you really like someone, there’s not much they can do to mess things up. But there’s no way to know if you really like someone before or even during the first date.

On some level (can I get two cheers for some pseudo-psychological analysis?), being so persistent makes me wonder if Mitchell’s emotional investment is disproportional to the substance of his relationships, particularly because he didn’t really make an effort to get to know me (See Rule #1: Ask questions!). At this point, one could be into the idea of being into their date. Into the idea of not being alone or not being desperate anymore, in effect making whoever they’re on a date with interchangeable, meaningless.

So when I have a guy who waits (either to gauge interest or simply to be polite by not putting me on the spot) versus a guy who wants to schedule something NOW, I’m going to be in favor of the guy who waits. Even if he ends up deciding he doesn’t like me, at least I know he took the time to be mindful about getting to know the actual me.

And if you still want to schedule the second date early on: for the love of God, if they decline your first offer, wait for them to counter before suggesting another option.


  1. I think you are over-analyzing this situation. He might have simply read it somewhere to lock down the second date on the first date to show you are interested, or who knows! As much as he doesn't know you, you don't know him much either, so you shouldn't be so judgmental.

  2. If you didn't like him - fine, that's fair...but to squash it because he's eager to see you? Maybe the guy is new to dating. Shit, you met him speed dating. I think you have to grade on a curve, or don't and continue making self loathing romantic decisions like a character in a romantic comedy

  3. You guys are being a bit harsh. I think the Mitchell turn off was two-fold. #1 He was monopolizing the date by talking about himself and not keeping the conversation balanced (i.e. showing genuine interest in his date by asking her questions about herself). #2 He was pushy about getting a second date on the books. When you put these two issues together, to me it shows a bit of arrogance + a lack of self awareness. Some men (especially those who talk about themselves too much) have a tendency to assume a woman is interested in them which is why they can't seem to take a hint when said woman doesn't jump at a chance for a second date. Also, neediness early on in a relationship can be a red flag. I wonder if the commentary above would be the same if this post was written by a dude. If a dude said "i was on a date with a girl and she was way too needy/clingy so I didn't ask her out again" we'd be like: makes sense. But a woman says that and we label her judgmental and self loathing?! As though all females should just shut up and be grateful that a guy wants to date them?

    1. I don't think anyone could conclude one way or the other by an hour of talking to someone. It might be as simple as he is not experienced, or he was nervous and didn't know what to do & kept talking about himself. I think it's a bit too much to judge someone in an hour and analyze them the way you guys are doing. I agree that your analysis might be right, but I think there is a same chance that other factors are effecting it which might not be so negative necessary. I agree that if she didn't like him, it's a done deal but if she did like him I think If I were in her situation, I would never shut it down completely just based on the fact that he was interested/ pushy to see her again.
      I think same would hold if a guy would write this post. I still don't think a guy could decide a girl is needy/ clingy in an hour!

    2. I think you're trying to disagree with the author, but she literally writes "there’s no way to know if you really like someone before or even during the first date," which is essentially the same thing you're saying.

  4. I think before the first date is definitely too early and I wouldn't agree to it, but I like that my ex asked if I want to go out again at the end of the second date - by then I knew that I was at least interested in getting to know him better and that we had chemistry, so it was nice to not have to wonder if he was interested, too!