General Etiquette > general

The dinner date that didn’t happen

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Long-time friends had me over for dinner recently. Their son (late 30s), who I’ve known since he was in jr high school, was also there.  I’ll call him Rick.  He lives in another city, but was in town for job-related reasons.  He was telling us about a blind date he had the other night that went sour.

Rick said he’d been emailing and talking on the phone to a woman who he connected with via an online dating site a month or two ago.  They exchanged quite a bit of information, also pictures.  They made a date to meet in person (for the first time) at a nice hotel for dinner. 

For whatever reason, there was a mix-up in communication about where they were supposed to meet.   Rick he had told her to meet him at the entrance to the restaurant.  He waited, and waited, and checked the lobby, called her cell and left a msg, and after about 45 minutes he saw her standing there.  They shook hands, and Rick says although he found her attractive, she was ticked off and made no effort to hide it.  “I’ve been standing here for almost an hour, you said meet you in the bar, and the bar is closed.”  Rick says he was taken aback, told her she was supposed to meet him at the entrance to the restaurant, and that he had left her a message.  She said her phone petered out, and that she was about to leave when she saw him.

So…..they sat down, and he suddenly remembered she was right………...he had told her to meet at the bar.  Rick apologized.  Waitress came and Rick’s date was terse as she ordered a drink.  Rick said to waitress “Don’t be offended, she’s mad at ME.”  (awkward)

After a few minutes of chitchat, his cell phone rang and he stepped away to take an important business call.  When he returned to the table, his date asked if he had been trying to arrange a backup date.  ??? :o  Rick said he was so uncomfortable that he just wanted the night to end, so when waitress came to take dinner order he said he asked for the check (for the drinks).  Date dropped her jaw.   Rick said “It was nice meeting you” and walked her to the door.

Apparently she recharged her phone battery because she called him twice late that night (he didn’t pick up)………tearful messages asking “what went wrong?”  ::) Rick said he’s done and has no intention of rehashing the evening with her or seeing her again.

Well, I have my own opinion. 
Forty-five minutes is a long time to wait for someone to show up, especially for a first date.  She probably thought she'd been stood up, but she should have made sure her phone was charged.
Based on what Rick said, he was turned off at her reaction to the initial mix-up, but also the question about a “backup” date, and the way his date had been rude to an innocent waitress/server.  Then……..those tearful messages.  The initial mix-up was Rick’s fault, but he did apologize.  The woman continued to pout.

Obviously it wasn’t meant to be, but I think Rick dodged a bullet.  What say you?

He dodged a 20-round magazine's worth. 

The whole situation certainly is a tale of how not to behave when trying to make a good first impression. Rick didn't make note of where he said to meet. The girl didn't have a charged phone (what if he had a flat tire or got sick?). While 45 minutes can be frustrating it's not outrageously long. Once he made his apology, she should have been gracious and given the date a chance. We all make mistakes. Others will make mistakes with us that cause us annoyance. How we handle our emotions in that moment is a good indication of our character and self-control. She showed her true colors. I agree that he dodged a bullet. He, on the other hand shouldn't have taken a business call while on a date. The phone should have been off.

I don't think he behaved very well either. He was wrong in the initial communication about the meeting place, and while she should have had her phone charged, he should have met her where they'd agreed; I mean, how did people ever manage to meet up for dates before cell phones? Then, I think his "she's mad at me" thing to the waitress was kind of presumptuous and I think he should have allowed her, as an adult, to manage her own restaurant manners; if he thought she was rude, he could certainly file it away as a reason not to go out with her again, but he's talking about her like she's a kid or not really there, kwim? And then he took a phone call during the date...

Her later behavior was kind of weird, over the top for a first date that went badly, but I don't think I can cast her as the only etiquette sinner here. If I were him, I wouldn't date her again--and if I were her, I wouldn't date him again either.

(Addendum to the phone call thing: a better way to handle the business call, if it were truly inevitable, would be to explain to her at the beginning of the date that he might get a business call, or at least tell her what it was when it came in, or scheduling the date when he wasn't expecting a business call.)

I can see how it would be frustrating to wait for a date for 45 minutes. And it would bother me if when we did finally meet up the other person (incorrectly) insisted that we were due to meet elsewhere. BUT, I also would have made sure my phone was fully-charged and switched on because mix-ups happen and could potentially be avoided.

When he realised his mistake, he apologised and that was her cue to let it go and try and make the best of the evening. Instead she chose to maintain a sulky attitude and be rude to an innocent waitress. That said, Rick's comment to the waitress was unnecessary and probably hit a nerve, and taking a call would have came across as rude. Her accusation seems a bit silly but I can see why she might assume that he was uninterested in their date. Her later calls and messages DO seem melodramatic and indicative of an over-emotional personality in general.

It is probably for the best that Rick has decided not to pursue this woman as their personalities do not seem suited to each other and that was evident from their date. Rather than just ignoring her though, I think it would be better form for Rick to at least let her know that he doesn't want to see her again.


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