I was attending a fundraiser the other night when a girl introduced a guy as her husband. Except she’s not married and they’re only dating. Uh-oh. Major faux pas. She was so embarrassed. She immediately started back pedaling and said “no, I mean my boyfriend, he’s my boyfriend, not my husband.” Then she turned to him and said “I know you’re just my boyfriend, I don’t know why I said that, I don’t think we’re married, I know we’re not married.” And then back to the people she was speaking to “this is my boyfriend, my boyfriend.” The girl was beyond flustered and appalled at her slip of tongue. I turned red in embarrassment for her. Awkward. Obviously she had been thinking about her boyfriend as husband-material, but what was also obvious is that they hadn’t begun discussing the future in that way quite yet.
This can go 2 ways: either the boyfriend is cool and really likes the girl and won’t take the comment to heart and they will carry on as usual, or he will freak out and quickly and not so subtly distance himself from her until they break up. It’s almost like your crush catching you writing Mrs. His Name inside your notebook during science class. It causes you to begin mumbling and stumbling over your words as you try to find a way to make it seem less, well, crazy, then it seems. Hopefully the guy (although, let’s be honest, sometimes the roles are reversed) likes the girl enough to be flattered and not freaked out. Hopefully.
My friend Julie recently a met a guy I’ll call “Darren” on JDate. It turns out they have a mutual friend who endorsed the match and the two were on their merry way to a first date. They met for drinks and Julie says it was a great time — there was constant and natural conversation, there were plenty of commonalities and there was mutual interest in seeing each other again.
Darren texted Julie the following Thursday morning and then called and asked her to go to dinner and a play on Saturday night — Prime Date Night! Julie was excited, needless to say.
Saturday night Darren picked up and then asked her where she wanted to eat. She was taken aback by the fact that he didn’t have any plans in mind, but she quickly rebounded and suggested a new place nearby. Dinner conversation didn’t flow quite as well as it did the week before and when the bill came Julie made a move towards her wallet, offered her credit card and Darren accepted. And as they were leaving the restaurant, entering and exiting the theatre, Darren not only failed to hold the door open for Julie, but let it fall shut behind him as he kept walking. The combination of all these faux pas was crushing as Julie was really excited about the prospect of Darren.
Julie was bummed but I convinced her to give Darren another chance if he were to ask her out again. A few days later she received a text from Darren saying that it was nice to meet her but they would be better off just as friends. Julie wasn’t so crushed because of the last date letdown, but still she was perplexed. I reminded her of the multiple faux pas he committed and pointed out that at least he was nice enough to not leave her hanging. We’ll never know what went wrong between date one and date two, nor why Darren wouldn’t give it one more shot, but he probably had a list with a few of his own grievances against Julie, faux pas that she committed unknowingly.
So how does something so promising fail so quickly and how can you keep these little disappointments from getting the best of you? Rollercoaster dating is unfortunately a normal part of dating and only hindsight will help you to see that the rollercoaster is actually weeding out the losers. And by losers I simply mean losing those that are not right for you. It’s better that the second date was such a doozy for both Julie and Darren because they didn’t waste any more time on something that ultimately wasn’t going to work out. Luckily, both of them saw the signs and neither was overly disappointed it didn’t work out. Maybe it’s realism, maybe it’s pessimism, but rather than getting your hopes up super high for each new date, try to just get your hopes up, say, medium high with a dash of sensibility.