Once upon a JDate, I was out at a really cool speakeasy in the Lower East Side with a guy who was just my type. We were having a good time – I was actually laughing at what he was saying, not just my own ridiculous stories. He was starting to tell me that he recently took a salsa dancing class and suggested we go. I laughed it off assuming he meant at another time, but he kept talking about it.
“We should go salsa dancing,” he said.
“Now?” Uhh, seriously?
“Yeah. I know a great place. Or we can go to that bar you mentioned in Chinatown.”
“Let’s go to the bar. It’s called Apotheke,” I said. Crisis averted.
To be fair, salsa dancing is a good idea for a date – just not a first date. First dates are about getting to know someone – NOT going salsa dancing so your date can show off what they learned at a lesson they bought on Groupon. But once I got him to Apotheke, the date started to rebound. This was the first time I had fun on a date in a while. I started to relax and let my guard down when out of left field he says, “After this we should go salsa dancing.”
I should have left when I had the chance.
“Not tonight. Maybe another time,” I offered.
“No problem. Let’s go to another bar.”
I froze. ALERT! STAGE FIVE CLINGER!
“Ready to go?” he asked.
Yeah. Home! I panicked. This guy was not going to let me go easy. It was a salsa dancing or bust. I stared down at my phone to look at the time to stall and think of a plan. Instead of thinking of a polite way to excuse myself, I panicked.
“Oh no! My roommate just texted me. She forgot her keys and is locked out of our apartment.” This wasn’t a total lie. My roommate did actually get locked out…it just happened to be the week before.
As soon as we walked out onto Canal Street, a cab pulled up and I hopped in. I barely had a chance to wave goodbye. It wasn’t quite the graceful exit I hope I usually pull off on a bad date, and certainly not my proudest moment. Had Mr. Salsa Dancer and I parted ways after the first bar, he would have absolutely gotten a second date. But no. He came on so strong in the first date that he actually scared me off. Since then, I’ve tried to take what I learned that night to prevent it from ever happening again. I even created a rule about it: Thou shall only go to one bar on the first date, unless they want to risk exposure to a Stage Five Clinger Salsa Dancer Who Just Can’t Take a Hint. Don’t let it happen to you.