Not mine, of course. My friend Sam hasn't dated much at all since we finished college, so I was delighted and a little apprehensive when I heard that he had a second date with a girl. Apprehensive because I was kind of afraid for him, and I hate seeing him disappointed, which he has been after all of his dating experiences. It's hard to know what to say because I really want to help, and my experience is so different than his. Sam is the kind of person who feels emotionally invested in a girl after one date. After two dates in November, he's wondering what he can buy the girl for Christmas. Or after three dates, he's giving her tickets to a play that is two months away. It's classic over-eagerness (although I've never minded over-eagerness when I really liked the guy...).
Hearing his account of their first date was fun. He said several times that she wasn't "open" enough (on their blind date). I found this amusing because I was recently told on a second date that I seemed really guarded. As some of you may know, I'm incredibly open, so I don't think the guy meant it in that context. The best I could figure out, he meant insofar as emotionally investing or planning for future events with him. For example, on our first (and blind) date he mentioned several friends and said things like "You've got to meet him" or "I look forward to getting your impression of her" and things like that. When we had a long phone conversation between date #1 and date #2 he asked me about going to one of his family's vacation homes. None of this came off as desperate or over-eager at the time (perhaps it helped that he is attractive and has a good personality and some part of me was flattered), but it still raised a red flag. I guess because he had only known me for 120 minutes when some of these comments were made. I know I'm really compelling and all but still:) I'm always wary of guys who like me a lot and don't know me. It makes me feel like they are liking me for the wrong reasons.
Anyway, this time, from Sam's account, the girl was eager too. Well maybe not the same level of eagerness I've seen him display, but she's called him and she kissed him first. It usually takes "dating dating" for me to call a guy out of turn, and I doubt that I've ever initiated a first kiss (at least while sober). So perhaps I'm not the best barometer, but regardless calling a guy is an expression of interest. And last week she was sick but still wanted him to come over for soup and a movie. So all of this has made him (and me) hopeful. Oh, and she kissed him (again) before he left last week.
She now seems to be giving him the brush-off, and he's SO disappointed. So, of course, I'm listening a lot. And he's wondering and obsessing over what happened and how great things seemed. I've been impressed this go round with how he's "played the game," meaning that he's not given her one concert ticket for a show in January or called her every day or done other things that might scare someone away (note: I'm not a huge advocate of game playing, but for some super over eager people especially those who rarely date, I vote for a little restraint). But after fifteen minutes of listening, I'm having to fight my lack of sympathy and biting my tongue to keep from saying "But you only went on four dates" or "how can you care so much about someone you didn't really know?" I tend to think that his pain results from getting too far ahead of himself (he was already planning to invite her on a trip for late January), and I speak from experience in that regard. Upon reflection, I probably also lack perspective because I rarely go on four dates with someone, and when I have, I've always ended up dating the guy for at least 6 months or more. And, of course, everything is so much more everything (dramatic, sad, exciting) when you're the one living it. Sometimes I really stink at understanding Sam's perspective, but at least I can listen. And maybe I'm too guarded and should invest more like Sam does, but I guess I don't see any advantage to being that emotionally entangled so early on. Any thoughts on advice for Sam, or should I just keep listening without offering any?