General Etiquette > Dating

First Date Popcorn Hoarding? What do you think? more info 16 update pg 8, 10

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I have had a question from a friend who has just returned to dating, about an incident in the cinema which she finds a little weird, so I suggested running it past the forum to see what you good e-hellions think.   She thinks its odd, but isn’t sure if a) its because she has been out of game so long, or b) the cinema setting dark, quiet etc made it difficult to gauge. Sorry its long, I’m trying to add as much detail as poss.  The main question is, would you find his behaviour odd or would it run a red flag for you?

 Friend meets guy on an online dating site, corresponding via email text and a few calls since.  Last week, last minute they decided to catch the Batman movie that evening as a first date.  (Now, she admits a dark cinema, no talking, not ideal first date material, but movie was due to end at cinema, and it was a spur of the moment decision for the both of them).

She says they had both talked about having eaten dinner separately beforehand, met up for a quick coffee beforehand (going dutch), things seem good, and then went to the cinema to catch the film. 

So this is where it seems to go strange...Friend decides to buy snacks to take in with them, a drink and some popcorn. Guy says he doesn’t want anything.  Vendor says you can large for extra 50p, so she gets large in case guy would like to share some during what is a long film.  When the guy sees the popcorn, he visibly frowns and gives her what she feels is an odd look.  She asks him if he’s OK, he then acts normal and breezy again and she shrugs it off.

Before entering the screen she asks him to hold the drink and popcorn while she nips to the loo.  When she returns, she says he was shovelling the popcorn into his mouth by the handful (again no biggie, its a large so there’s plenty to share).  She says thanks and offers to carry her snacks, and he gives her the drink back but holds on to the popcorn.

They get in the screen, film begins and he is holding the popcorn on his lap, but away from friend.  She reaches over and helps herself to one or two bits, he does the same.   Then, she thinks out of politeness, she will take a handful and pop it on her lap (on her jacket) so she is not leaning across him all the way through the film.  Again, although its dark, she says he gives her a frown as if a she’s taken a huge handful.

He “lets” her take another handful, but then puts the popcorn down, by his feet away from her.  And there it stays all the way through the film.  The odd thing is he doesn’t eat anymore, but seems annoyed when she nudges him a few times throughout the film to get a bit of popcorn.  At one point she says she thinks he held the bottom of it tight so she couldn’t get her hand all the way in and only got a small helping, then back by his feet away from her it went.

The third time she indicates she would like some of her own popcorn again, she thinks he audibly tutts at her.  Embarrassed, this is the last time she reaches for her popcorn.

When the film is over, they stand and go to leave and she notices there’s a good half of the popcorn still in the bag, as she bends to pick it up, she hears him in an exasperated tone,  say “just LEAVE it!”. When she turns back to him, again he’s all smiles. 

Its late, they say their goodbyes and hugs and go off separate ways.  She says he has been completely friendly, funny and normal on the subsequent texts and emails.   

What do you E-hellions think?  Odd behaviour, a red flag or is she overreacting?

Weird.  Weird, weird, weird.  I think he might be one of those "controlling" men who watch every mouthful you eat. 

I would give him one more chance and see how he reacts to your friend at a meal.  One frown, one "tut tut" and you'll know.  If he shows any disapproval about what she eats or how much she eats, she needs to drop him like a hot potato.  And tell him why.  He has no right to govern what she eats.

My ex would take my dinner plate away from me when he decided I had enough to eat.  Why I put up with that for one second I'll never understand.

Red flag. Policing her food intake 100% unacceptable. I wouldn't give him a second chance.

That's really, really weird.

It sounds like he didn't want her to have any popcorn at all - so he not only kept it physically away from her but tried to dispose of it by eating it.

If I were your friend, I'd ask him what was up with that.

Snapping at her and controlling her behaviour are huge red flags for me - the first date is when you should be on your extraspecialultraabsolutebest behaviour to impress someone.  Either he wasn't too bothered about ipressing her or not, or more frighteningly, that was his best behaviour and he will get a whole lot worse.

It seems peculiar to me!  I'd actually ask him what the deal was, but then I tend to be pretty upfront about things like that.  Perhaps he feels it's "Unladylike" to want any quantity of popcorn?  Perhaps he frowns on junkfood?  I'd have found his "possession" of MY popcorn unusual, especially when he was rationing it.

I think I'd ask casually in an email how he enjoyed the movie, and then mention the popcorn - something like "I did wonder why you seemed to have a bit of an issue with the popcorn.  Does the rustling disturb you when someone takes a handful?"


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