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The Dating Game

2002 Archive

I was attending a small college, and was fixed up with the older brother of a guy in the same program as I was. This brother had made it clear he was dying to be in a relationship. We dated for a week or two, and it was great.

He wanted to go away for the weekend to his grandmother's house about two hours away from my college. It seemed a little soon for a weekend away, but I said it sounded like fun. We made all the plans; I packed my bag. An hour before we were supposed to leave on Friday, he called to say, "something's come up." Disappointing, but no big deal. The following night, I called to find out if he wanted to catch a movie. His father answered the phone, and told me his son wasn't home....he'd gone to his grandmother's house for the weekend.

He called when he returned, and begged forgiveness with the reason, "I really care for you, but I'm scared." I was confused, but we dated (seemingly happily) for a few more weeks. After weeks of calls, one day he abruptly stopped calling. A few days later, I began to worry, and I asked his brother what was happening. He said, "Oh, he didn't tell you? He's taken that job he wanted in [a city 600 miles away]." I hadn't known he'd been interviewing for the job, much less that he'd not only accepted it, but also packed up his things and moved away without so much as a word, though we'd been on several . What a spineless, rude coward.   Dating0206-03

Hello, Jeanne. I have a contribution for your new dating section at Etiquette Hell. A little background about me first. I'm an avid reader of science fiction novels and short stories, with a strong interest in real science and technology as well. I even write science fiction stories, though I have yet to be published. Many people regard science fiction and fantasy as being either very similar or exactly the same thing. They're entitled to their opinions, of course, but I strongly disagree with them. The way I see it, science fiction and fantasy are separated by a gulf as wide as the Galaxy. Nor do I like fantasy even a little bit.

On to the story: At a New Year's party a man I'd just met asked me out. He seemed pleasant enough and I accepted. He was not a perfect gentleman, but he was gentlemanly enough that I can't possibly complain. We went to a nice but not expensive restaurant for dinner. Then we went to a coffee house for dessert, coffee and conversation. Among other things we talked about the second installment of The Lord of The Rings, a topic much in the air those days (January 2003). I told him I had seen the first movie but that I didn't like it (fantasy, remember?). He asked whether I'd read the books and I told him I hadn't (again, fantasy). I went on for longer than it is polite about how much I didn't like The Lord of the Rings. He nodded and agreed with much of what I said. Then we moved on to other things.

At that point I thought it was a good date and we both had a good time. He asked me out again when he dropped me off and I accepted.

So three days later he shows up with a small, gift-wrapped package. This seemed a bit too much for a second date, but I didn't want to hurt his feelings by refusing it. I opened it to find a DVD of the first Lord of The Rings movie and two tickets, for that night, to the second installment of that movie.

I thought I'd made my dislike of those movies clear. So maybe it was a gag gift. Going along with the joke, or so I thought, I said "Thank you "Paul." How did you know I needed a coaster?" He looked honestly surprised and said "I thought you loved the movie," in very serious tones. "You talked a lot about it last time."

Now it was my turn to be puzzled. I said "I talked about how much I disliked it. Didn't you listen?" His reply: "Oh, who listens to a woman when she talks anyway?"

Needless to say we didn't go out that night nor any other night. I gave back the DVD and tickets on the spot. I also told him some very rude things about himself, but I figured that was ok since he probably wasn't listening. Dating0212-03

My boyfriend and I had been a couple for about three years when he broke up with me on Valentine's Day. Given his timing, I didn't try to talk him out of it.


I went away to college and returned to my home town to 'start out.' Most of my friends from high school had started their lives in other places and my friends from college were all over the country. So I decided to take to the internet to try and meet more people in general, not just potential boyfriends as I wasn't even particularly sure I wanted one. I live fairly close to a large metropolitan area and found a lot of seemingly fun, friendly, and interesting men that lived there who I had begun an email repertoire with and who seemed interested in meeting me.

There are certain 'rules' to online dating. The first being that you never commit to any activity more than an hour or so long on the first date - One Drink, a small museum, botanical garden, et cetera. This way, if nothing 'clicks,' or anything worse happens, you are not held captive by this person for hours.

I'll call my date Mr. Clueless. From the get-go I was more interested in being friends with Mr. Clueless than anything else. He had an interesting career, wrote very well (a huge turn on when your first communication with someone is in text), and had a wicked sense of humor. I made this clear to him when I agreed to go to the city to meet him. I didn't feel that it was strange for me to go to the city since I know it fairly well and there really just isn't much to do in my town. I arrive at the bar we agreed to meet at a little early, so I took a walk around the neighborhood to scope things out (it was in an older part of the city that is very charming). I get to the bar and he walks in and is slighter and shorter. I am sitting with my back to the wall across a narrow table from him. You just "know" when you meet people whether or not you are attracted to them and I just was not attracted to him in a romantic way.

He leaned across the table to speak to me, and I chalked this up to the fact that we were in a crowded bar and maybe he couldn't hear me so well. At this point I was being polite, making conversation (which got more and more tedious) and Mr. Clueless was making more and more uncomfortable (touching my knee under the table, smiling at me starry-eyed). I reacted with body language, sitting as far back as possible and loosely crossing my arms over my chest, figuring there was no way he'd be able to mistake these definite "NOT INTERESTED" signs. I was wrong, behavior continued. There was a *very* attractive man sitting alone at the bar who was smiling at me occasionally and I thought that I had one of two options out. Run over to very attractive man and act like he was my long-lost brother or bid farewell to very attractive him and Mr. Clueless and just excuse myself to go home. I opted for the latter since, while I've had to resort to such tactics in the past, Mr. Clueless was more irksome than scary and I didn't want to hurt his feelings.

I took out my wallet to pay for my 2 beers and graciously accepted when Mr. Clueless insisted on buying since I had paid for my train into the city. He seemed miffed that I didn't want to go to dinner with him, even though no mention of dinner was made in our plans. We got out to the sidewalk and he offered to walk me to the subway, to which I told him I was fine but he insisted. It was a Sunday so the subways don't run as frequently and I had apparently, just missed one. It is January and about 2 degrees outside. He offers to wait with me, which again made me uncomfortable but I was too shy or polite to tell him to get lost since I didn't feel that I was in danger. I hear 'a train' maybe mine maybe not but I didn't care and said "ooo better go" and extended my hand to him to shake. He took my hand, pulled me in for a hug (ok fine some people are just affectionate) and did easily let me go. To top it off as I was pulling away from the hug he grabs (note: grabs, not cradles) my face and plants one on me... sloppy and wet. At that point I shoved him away and just booked for the turnstile yelling "Bye!!" over my shoulder. I was baffled. Was he so desperate that he could overlook my obvious signs of disinterest? I felt like he'd 'stolen' that kiss and had a pretty sick feeling in my stomach the whole ride home.

The next morning I woke up and checked my email to find a "thanks for the wonderful time and that I seemed to enjoy myself as well. When would I like to do it again?" note from him signed with a *kiss* I was far enough removed at this point to laugh a little after I shuddered at the memory.


Hi, Jeanne...I'm sure you hear this all the time, but I love your site! I have a couple of dating hell stories for you. The first one involves "James," a guy I met shortly after college. He was a law student and had a sexy Southern accent, but he seemed a bit "off." He was a jerk when he was with his group of friends, and at parties, he had a habit of dragging me around by the hand, like I was a reluctant dog on a leash.

One night, we got into a screaming fight at 2 a.m. at his apartment. He told me to get out. The problem? I hadn't driven. I called my best friend. James immediately started begging me to stay; my friend said, "Bullsh*t. I'll be there in 15 minutes." She and her boyfriend (who wanted to beat James to a bloody pulp) came and got me at that ungodly hour and took me home, more than 30 minutes away. Obviously, that was the end of me and James.

Or was it? Because now, more than three years later, he is STILL calling me, generally while I'm at work, asking for another chance. (I did give him one more than a year and a half ago; he stood me up.) He knows I'm engaged, but he called me up at work recently to tell me he didn't want me to marry someone else. While my co-workers tried to muffle their laughter, I told him I had every intention of going through with my wedding.

The second story concerns Brian, who I dated for only a few weeks a few summers ago. He was cute but not very socially adept. The kicker was when we went to bed and he couldn't "perform." (I would never dump a guy solely for that; it was just sort of the last straw.) I gently told him that I didn't think that we had any chemistry, and he called me a few times asking me to change my mind. I declined.

About a year later, Brian calls me up at my new home. I knew he got my number off one of my checks (I frequent a store where he works), because my old roommate hadn't given out my number. He said that he was getting married and had just had to have an AIDS test; he hadn't got the results back yet, but he was very worried and wondered if I'd ever been tested for AIDS. I wanted to die laughing! I didn't point out that we had NEVER actually gone through with "it," so his chances of catching AIDS from me were minimal. Also, as I practice safe sex, am not a prostitute and don't use heroin, he had NO reason to believe I might have AIDS.

Instead, I tried to reassure him that, while I'd never been tested, he was unlikely to have caught it from me. He called me up again, at work this time, to discuss the matter, but I told him in no uncertain terms that I was NOT going to have that conversation in my office.

I now volunteer at a weekly pet adoption; Brian's new wife just loves to come and play with the pets we have up for adoption almost every Saturday. She's very friendly to me, and I'm sure she has no idea who I am. He just stands there looking uncomfortable.    Dating0228-0

Page Last Updated May 15, 2007