Jared Freid (@jtrain56) is a comedian and one of the “Bros” at HeTexted.com. HeTexted is a site where girls can get advice on the texts they receive from guys. Every Thursday on PostGradProblems, Jared will answer one of the questions from his HeTexted mailbag. These are real questions from real girls visiting the site each day. If you have any of your own dating questions, go to www.HeTexted.com and ask Jared or any of the other Bros who fit your particular situation.
Q. I met this guy online and after a few messages, he asked me out for dinner. We set up a date, time, and location, and exchanged phone numbers. We were supposed to meet today at 8 P.M., but he shot me a text at 6:02 P.M.:
Him: I’ve been feeling poorly today. I’d like to reschedule our date for some other evening, if that’s ok? I’m still at school with a mounting headache.
Me (I was a tad annoyed, because he could have texted earlier): Hey, sorry to hear. Ok sure. Hope you feel better soon.
Him: It’s a headache I’ve grown through the day. Do you want to get coffee some day during the weekend? I expect to be better by then, I’m probably just dehydrated.
We’re both working adults. He’s doing grad school while working at the same time. The thing is, he originally asked me out for some “Vietnamese spring rolls and conversation.” And now, he’s asking me for coffee over the weekend. Am I being too demanding to expect that he takes me out for a proper meal or is this his idea of being quirky? Note: This is not about how much he forks out. A dinner would stretch out longer, while “Vietnamese spring rolls” and coffee would mean a shorter investment time. Should I bother to give this guy another chance? I can’t help but reference his excuse for canceling to a weak excuse used by us girls for not wanting to have sex. Haha, sorry! I know I’m being harsh here, even though he had a legitimate reason. However, he admitted he knew he was not well earlier in the day in his later text. Why not just cancel then instead of waiting until just two hours before the appointment?
Writer’s note: I get questions from all over the world which is why this reads like a question sent from the set of Downton Abbey. Yes, I agree, Vietnamese spring rolls and coffee sounds more like a colonoscopy prep than a date, but those silly Brits also thought redcoats were a good idea.
First dates need to be efficient. A good first date is a lot like a good first sexual experience. It’s never awkward, you both had fun, and the only time you shockingly screamed, “What?” was when you thought they said “anal”, but it ended up being a funny story about his Indian friend Anil (stories about Indian guys get girls hot). A first date is really an introduction. This is how I speak, dress, tell stories, and look you in the eye. All of these things are assessed and used to decide if it’s worth both of your time to do something more involved like dinner. This is the reason I’m against dinner dates for a first meeting. I think all those extra things at a dinner get in the way of actually talking.
My favorite type of first date, and something I’ve written about before (I’m going to keep writing about it until I get an award that isn’t given by my mom), is going to a wine bar. Get a bottle of wine to share (like a stud). Make a casual joke during that ridiculous taste test about how she always sends it back. Then use your time to get to know one another. No fumbling over what to order, no having half a meal, no slowing yourself down on the appetizer because you grew up in a family that ate dinner in under three minutes (that’s not everybody?). It keeps things simple and conversation is the only thing to lean on. The best part is, it’s economical. A bottle of wine is a defined amount of money (not as much as it seems) and, most importantly, a defined amount of time. The bottle is your hourglass and once it’s finished, you’re both free to leave or re-up for some more wine (and maybe some mistakes).
With that being said, I’m a guy who frequently cancels dates (I’ll hold on for a second so all the female readers can collectively roll their eyes and whisper “this bitch”). Why? The most honest answer you’ll never hear from the guy who cancels is that I’m just not in the mood. You have to be “on” for a date and that doesn’t mean being fake; it means being attentive, ready to listen, and exuding a certain happiness to be with the person across the table. Some girls would say that’s an excuse and I’d tell those girls to count the number of times they look at their phone during a meeting or party that they don’t feel like being at. When a date cancels on me or I send that text canceling the date, it feels like I just mentally unstrapped my belt and let out my gut. There’s a sense of relief that comes from getting to sit on the couch and judge Shark Tank contestants as opposed to being judged. I honestly think both sides feel that type of relief, especially when it comes to meeting someone you’re trying to create a relationship with out of nowhere in the case of any Tinder or online meeting.
My advice to this girl or any other girl who gets canceled on (in a way that doesn’t turn your day completely upside down) is not to take it too personally. Every girl should act like a baseball catcher when it comes to setting up dates with a new guy. Just catch his pitch and casually toss it back. Meaning, if a guy cancels don’t write back with a single “K” like you two have been married for thirty years and he decided to spend an extra night in Vegas. Let him know that it’s no problem, you’re still excited to meet, you totally understand, and that you’re ready to go out when he is. He should then come back with a plan for another date (that next pitch). If that never happens then there could be one hundred different reasons it didn’t, but 99.9% of them don’t involve you. If he does make that plan, then take him at his word and go with it. Maybe he’ll be ready to be “on” and maybe you’ll meet a guy who gets it and takes you for the J-Train approved wine date (patent pending. CC. No backsies No Givesies).
Jared Freid is a comedian and HeTexted “Bro” based in NYC. You can ask him dating questions at HeTexted.com or find him on Twitter (@JTrain56) for weekly columns, podcasts, and videos.