In November E and I went on our first date as a couple in over a year. We met up with a guy who was in an open relationship for a drink. This was a big step for us, and one that we were very excited to start experiencing together. We had found the guy online and his picture was quite pleasant. His e-mails made it sound like he had a girlfriend that was open herself and that this would be the introduction meeting with the potential of the four of us meeting at a later time. Perfect. Also it was a great way to rip off the bandaid so to speak and just get out there, as a team. Thus the time and place were set.
Now a few funny things happened. One, we had a huge cold snap in this fair city. Perhaps that doesn’t seem funny, but the fact that we braved nearly 35 below zero to go meet a perfect stranger in hopes of getting some strange has a point of humour to it. The second is that I took the guys phone number down wrong. So when I texted to say we had arrived, I had an awkward text conversation with a random and confused guy, plus no way to get a hold of the actual guy.
Now here is the thing. The guy showed up nearly 45 minutes late. Which of course we gave a pass to given the weather. However, when he walked up, he was easily 20 years older and also heavier than his picture. I think he was also missing some hair, but I could be a little fuzzy on that detail. Either way, I would never had known it was him, if not for him sitting down at our table. I recall thinking we should just get up and walk away. Had I been alone meeting, I probably would have just snuck out. Judge if you want, but getting lied to in picture is a big deal breaker for me. However, having E with me, and after a few subtle get on the same page glances we stayed for a drink.
The drinks went fine. We had pleasant chit chat and together learned our first big lesson in dating together. And that is how to politely reject a person, and who out of the two is the person who gets to pull that trigger. In this circumstance we decided it would be nicer if I did it while E was in the washroom to save a little face. Rejection is a tough one to fathom, but imagine the stress and pressure of having two people reject you at the same time? It was and is a whole new way of looking at dating for us. And as I am starting to find out, just the first of many hard lessons to be learned.
As a side note though, I do have a social criticism of just how overly polite society is turning. We would have been within our rights to call this guy out for the fraudulent picture and wasting our time. Instead, we just pretended that he looked kind of, almost close and had a few beers and some friendly conversation. We took it as a learning experience, glass half full sort of scenario. Even the let down, we tried to do as kindly as possible. I mean you cannot be rude or mean to a person you just met. You cannot just call a person out, and push that limit of social norms, can you? As I look back, on this experience, it would have been nice if I had tried not being such a pussy, and calling this guy out. I am quickly finding out, months later, that I would be enjoying this whole couples dating thing so much more if I could remove that desperate need to take into consideration other people’s feelings before my own. More on that to come soon.