When I was in college, people loved setting me up on blind dates. Should I have taken that as a compliment, or not? It was fun — at first.
After a while I found myself constantly going out with this “awesome” guy or this “amazing” guy a friend or roommate or cousin knew from their hometown, or grocery store, or wherever. I figured out that, basically, this other “guy” and me were just two lonely people who needed to get out and date already.
It got a little exhausting. But hey, my sister met her husband on a blind date. So I figured, why not? I’m always up for meeting new people. I’m no beauty queen, but I’m smart and relatively attractive. I am fit, love a good sense of humor, have passion for life, that sort of thing. I usually have a good time on dates.
Once, my old roommate set me up with this guy, we’ll call him “Darryl.” She was so excited for me to meet him. Darryl was her friend from high school. I was hesitant at first, having had so many blind dates that went nowhere.
But my friend convinced me. “He’s the best! So so cute. So funny, and so cute. You two will really hit it off.” Of course I believed her because she knew me, and she obviously knew him. So I got excited, too. I thought, he’s cute, so the date can’t be that bad!
She set up the date for the four of us (me and Darryl and my old roommate and her fiancé), at a local pool hall. Clean place, fun atmosphere. A pool table to keep us occupied and allow the opportunity to talk and get to know each other.
I showed up and met Darryl for the first time. My old roommate was right–Darryl was tall, dark and handsome. Very handsome. I got a little nervous, but still tried my best to be friendly and fun. To be myself. I was excited to get to know this “great guy” my friend had been telling me about.
But what he did on our first and only date changed me forever.
He hardly said a word to me. The whole date.
I don’t mean he was shy — you can tell if someone is nervous or is shy. He wasn’t. I mean, on our date he barely acknowledged my presence! He barely said any words. He hardly looked at me. No smiling, no opening doors, no teamwork with our pool game. Almost like I wasn’t even there. He didn’t ask me questions. When I asked him questions, he gave me one or two word answers. In fact, I didn’t really learn anything about him, other than what a noticed from watching his pool shots.
Where was the “funny” guy my friend had told me about? A random bank teller or grocery store clerk would have been better to talk to than this guy.
I left the date feeling quite confused. He was so cute! And my friend said he was a fun guy. So what went wrong?
For a while I asked myself, did I say or do something so offensive to him? Or was I just not his cup of tea? Which would be fine, but at least be friendly and show some respect to your friend? I kept nit picking every little thing about myself. Was I really that bad?
You know the negative downward spiral. The things that run through our minds. I almost decided to just quit dating altogether. Isn’t that what we tell ourselves after a bad date?
I thought about it some more, and then, my mind switched. This was not my fault. I am not that bad! I was trying my best. I am a fun person! My other dates with other guys have been pretty fun. So finally I let logic win on this one. I know that I didn’t do anything wrong on this blind date. I was nice and friendly. I was open an interested in getting to know him. It could have easily been a fun date. But, it takes two! He was cute, for sure, but he was awful!
Cute Darryl was a bad date.
Right then and there I promised myself to never let anyone else set me up on a blind date, and to never go for a guy even if he’s cute. Actually, I figured I should be more skeptical of the really good looking ones.
What changed that night in me was this — I had come to the realization that perhaps how he treated me had nothing to do with ME at all — something was up in his world. Somewhere along the line, he had agreed to go on this blind date, but that night he had decided to not bring his manners on the date. And well, that was not my fault. And I am just not ok with that.
I deserved better.
I wish Darryl well, wherever he is. Perhaps he just had a bad day on our first date. I am sure he is different now, hopefully for the better. I know I am. I don’t expect every date to turn into a second date or marriage, but I do expect to be treated with respect and consideration. And I have never beat myself up about it since.
Never allow anything less for yourself.