A friend invited me to lunch with her and her 62-year-old sister. “Sis” is dating, although she admitted to only having one date a year, so I use the term “dating” loosely.
Sis shared about her one 2009 date. She’d met the guy online, talked a few times by email and phone, and felt they had enough in common to meet for lunch. Their conversation began pleasantly, until about 20 minutes passed when he said, “I hope you don’t mind, but I don’t sleep with women on the first date.”
She was incensed, threw $20 on the table to cover her lunch and stalked out without saying a word. When he called a few days later to ask what he’d said that was offensive, she responded, “It’s clear there’s no reason to waste time explaining. Don’t call again,” and hung up.
My friend asked what I would have done. I said, “Assuming he hadn’t been uncouth up to that point, I would have said, ‘I’m so glad we’re on the same page!’ and laughed it off.”
I asked Sis why she was offended. “He made an assumption that I was trolling for sex. Assumptions like that are unforgivable.”
“I wouldn’t have had that interpretation,” I responded. “Was there other conversation that suggested sex?”
“No, not prior to that.”
Based on what she’d shared, I felt her response was over the top. In fact, I felt she made assumptions that weren’t warranted. We didn’t further explore the scenario, but I’m thinking she had some previous experience with a man (or men) who expected sex on the first meeting, or accused her of wanting the same.
The lessons for us all are:
- If you get upset over a dating encounter, later check with a friend to see if s/he thinks you overreacted. If so, identify the trigger and where in the past you felt similarly. Most likely your reaction has little to do with the recent experience, and more about something you thought was unjust in the past. You will continue to react inappropriately and repel potential mates until you heal the past, through inner work, either alone or with a counselor.
- If you are on the receiving end of an overreaction, check with an opposite sex friend to see if you might have unknowingly pushed a button commonly shared by that gender. Or see if your pal thinks what you did warranted the response you received. If your pal thinks your behavior was fine, then write it off to your date being triggered and it had nothing really to do with you. Know that this person has some issues they need to work on and probably best that you not be in the picture while they do.
Have you had someone on a date get incensed with something you thought was innocent?
To understand more about what can happen on an initial encounter, get your copy of First-Rate First Dates: Increase the Chance of a Second Date.