So, Friday night, the first of The crazy Weekend.
I found this one online. We'd exchanged a chunk of emails, and he'd laid good groundwork - one thing that always impresses me, this guy could make me laugh in print, we were already onto a good thing.
Here's a tip though - If you choose to do the internet dating thing, and if you choose to meet somewhere like a pub (which is a great first date by the way) make sure you've been given a clear and recent photograph!
Short of smiling at every mid-thirties man who walked through the door, which, in itself is really not such a bad idea ;) I honestly had no idea what I was looking for!
The Quiet One had posted photos which were distant, so I had to hope that he recognised me, and then in doing so, still chose to come over to the table ;)
In addition, I refuse to wear my glasses in a pub, so seeing as far as the door was useless anyway!
Thankfully, he recognised me, and, as a bonus, he was a bit of a looker at that! Amazing eyes. Crystal blue, like holiday brochures.
I got the impression that he was nervous, and very shy. We chatted, a lot about parenting. We found comfortable conversation. It was nice, easy, relaxed.
He mentioned that there was a great Japanese restaurant that his mate had told him about, just a few doors up. Asked if I was hungry. So we headed out for dinner. We turned first date into date 1.1
I'm always wary of this extension of date option. I realise that you're supposed to leave the other person wanting. The old chasing game. I'm also not a believer in games...
I was conscious, at this point, that I had no cash in my wallet. I hate having an empty wallet.
This may come as a surprise to those of you who have read my previous posts, but I'm a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to first dates (or first dinner dates at least). Some things should just be left the old fashioned way (I'm happy to debate this one).
First dinner should be covered by the guy. But the girl should still offer. He should turn her down and cover it.
Post first date, if there is interest from the girl, she can insist on taking him out to dinner as she 'owes him dinner', and she must insist on paying for dinner (on the night).
So, we're walking to the Japanese, and it literally is just two or three doors up, so I politely excuse myself heading for the ATM. He stops me outside the restaurant, and says that it's ok, just come in. I insist, explaining that I have no cash, that I'll be back in just a minute, so instead, he kisses me (!) and pulls me into the restaurant.
We eat, the conversation continued to be excellent, then the bill came. $70 for dinner. I instinctively went for my purse. Problem. $20 note. He's looking expectantly at me across the table.
This to me, at this point, seems unreasonable. I made it clear I needed cash. Fair enough, the going for the purse move was misleading, but reactive only. So I say to him: I'll get dinner next time?
As we leave, he wishes me goodnight, says he's had a great night and that he'd love to catch up again. We go our separate ways. When I got home, I sent a text saying thank you for dinner, I had a great night, would be nice to do so again.
I had a pretty hectic schedule that weekend ;) so the lack of response, whilst noticed, didn't worry me too much. But the following Tuesday, I received a response: I enjoyed dinner too, let's go for a climb one night this week?
We caught up, the following week, went climbing. I like activity-dates. Sweating like a pig, though, is not exactly how you want someone to see you if you're thinking about dating them! We had fun, and then, of course Date 2 turned into, you got it, 2.1 We did dinner afterwards. I, of course, paid for dinner. In fact, I think, in his mind, there was no question about it. There was no offer, no move towards the wallet... It was a payback dinner.
Again, the conversation over dinner was easy, comfortable, entertaining. When we went our separate ways, he suggested catching up that weekend.
We exchanged a few texts over the coming week. I played it very cool. Then, out of nowhere, I got the email which, from that point onwards would be referred to as The Template.
I'm actually tempted to blog the entire email, but I think it's worthy of its very own post, so I'll leave it for another day. So instead, I'll summarise:
It was a 'break up' email really, except we weren't dating, so we couldn't break up. But it was excellently written. It was effectively "it's not you, it's me", however written so well you didn't realise what was going on until you got to the end due to its cleverly crafted nature and adept flattery.
It came from out of the blue, considering the note we left on. But the thing that threw me more than anything else about this email was the skill by which it was written! There was no chance I was not plagiarising this email - hence The Template ;)
He's emailed me from time to time since then, touched base, seen how I was doing, what I was up to, filled me in on his life. He's a nice guy... Way too nice for me.
I've adapted some of that niceness into my life now though, and as such I wonder how many people out there are using this same Template...