It was another Wednesday night with yet another Bumble date. Tonight’s Brad was just my type: former military, biceps and brain of equivalent sizing, a real job. He’s a homeowner, which is pretty impressive in Washington D.C. before 30.
I walked into an upscale sports bar, one that I had chosen for our rendezvous, full of optimism. If my suitor turned out to be too boring or bizarre, my friend Carol was on standby to call thirty minutes in with a report that “something bad happened”. Rescue relief. My best case scenario relied on him being as attractive as his profile pictures and concluding the evening back at my place so he could “meet my dogs.”
I adjusted the neckline on my sundress, tousled my hair one last time, and looked around the bar for my date.
He smiled when our eyes met and stood up to greet me, a gesture that is always appreciated. He was slightly shorter than my typical taste. What was lacking in stature was made up for in charm and allure. After sharing a friendly hug I slyly confirmed that he had maintained a vigorous fitness regimen after military separation. Excellent. He pulled my chair out for me and caught the waiter’s attention.
“You’re even prettier than in your pictures,” he complimented me right away.
“Oh,” I blushed, “Thank you so much!” Okay, maybe I could get on board with this. Flattery can get you anywhere. To be honest, men tend be too sparse with compliments.
I ordered my first glass of pinot noir. Conversation revolved around mutual career interests, our hometown origins and other first date drivel that is necessary but unexciting. We were closing in on the end of our first drinks, when he uttered the words every chick secretly prays a man will say on a bar date.
“Do you want to check out some appetizers? I’m kind of hungry.”
The answer to this question is always a firm, solid, yes. Four hours of drinking on empty stomachs on a Wednesday? Please. I don’t have the stamina or tolerance for such horseplay. We must have sensed and understood that neither of us had time to eat before after work happy hour.
Synchronization, already. I was thrilled.
We found some more common ground in our musical and cinematic interests and he seemed to be normal.
Hm, I pondered. He actually seems pretty nice. Maybe I want a second date with him and shouldn’t sleep with him immediately.
While we waited for a server to come by, I told him some of my classic, entertaining date night stories that are funny and self-deprecating but highlight an interesting fact about myself. Who says dating isn’t a science?
We ordered our tuna tataki wonton “nachos” and BBQ flatbread and the tone suddenly changed as soon as our waitress walked away. He initiated physical contact for the first time other than our initial hug by taking my hand, which I didn’t mind. I was a glass or so in, (fine, maybe I had an extra glass before arriving), he was cute and funny. I didn’t stand a chance.
He looked deeply into my eyes. I was about it. I picked up my wine glass to flutter my eyelashes flirtatiously over it.
“So I wanted to ask you a more serious question, and you seem like a really open and confident person,” he said.
Not sure what it could be, but completely intrigued, I batted my eyelashes some more.
“Sure,” I smiled, “go ahead!” I prepped my wine glass for another sip.
“Well, before we go any further, I want to know what you’re looking for in a life partner.”
I started to laugh, thinking he was joking, but a quick look at his face told me he was completely serious. I sputtered my laugh into my wine as a cough and withdrew my hand.
“Um,” I coughed, “I… well… I was not really expecting that question!”
Who would be? We were barely one drink in, had met less than half an hour prior, and we hadn’t even gotten our appetizers yet. I didn’t even know what I was looking for in an entree at that point, let alone a life partner.
“I know it’s forward,” he sighed, “but I just seem to go out with a lot of girls who just want to date for the sake of dating. I’m ready to settle down. I have a house, a stable job, and I just want to find the right girl to marry. I want to make sure we’re on the same page.”
I honestly have no idea what my face looked like at that point, but I hope it wasn’t reflecting what I was thinking, which was primarily, “Check please!”
I think I muddled through an answer something along the lines of, “oh well you know, generic support of life goals, ambitious, likes dogs, generic other things.”
He seemed satisfied with that and we turned the topic back to safer and calmer waters like our favorite sports teams as I quickly downed two more glasses of wine and more than my fair share of the tuna wontons.
He left the date seemingly satisfied that I would make a suitable life partner (I wouldn’t, ask anyone who’s seen me blackout with a Domino’s pizza in my clutches), and I left knowing we would never speak again. There was a brief peck on the lips, but I guess he didn’t want to seem too risque on the first date with his possible future wife.
In hindsight, a little older but definitely not wiser, I don’t think that his general line of questioning was unreasonable or crazy. I completely understand where he was coming from. When you start dating someone, you want to make sure that you are on the same page, especially when you’re of a certain age and want to settle down. If you don’t, you could end up sinking years into a dead end relationship that sees you on the wrong side of 35 and no idea how to be single anymore.
However, his timing was completely off. This was basically a light version of a relationship defining conversation. I hadn’t even known the guy for 30 minutes, “are we on the same page?”, happened.
Ummmm bruh, I literally don’t even know your last name, yet. I don’t think we’re even reading the same book. It’s great to have this conversation… when you know the person you’re dating well enough to decide you’re interested in a committed relationship with them.
Take it from me. Keep first (and second and probably third) date topics light and fun. Save the marriage and life partner discussions for like date 10, or at least wait until dessert arrives. .
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