I spent last week wondering if I’d decide to spend that weekend on a second date with the guy I saw last weekend. I didn’t make up my mind until the afternoon he texted me asking if we were still on. My mood at that moment? Go on the date! He chose a bottle of wine and an appetizer for us, and I skimmed the menu for the tastiest sounding dish. It happened to be one of the most expensive main courses, but seeing that he didn’t flinch when I mentioned it interested me, I figured it was safe to order. We started talking and I couldn’t help but wonder what had gotten me the second date in the first place. It seemed obvious to me that we were continuing to disagree on just about everything.
Again he seemed to try to slap a label on who I was entirely as a person. I couldn’t believe I was actually explaining that people were so much more complex than being given one label and how diverse personalities could be. I told him that most people weren’t one clean cut way or another and instead fell along some sort of spectrum of personality type and core being. He told me that some of my stories confused him and he was disappointed as he’d been under the impression he had already pegged me for exactly who I was. I’d shattered the image he’d already tried to set of me. He told me that he thought I was a hippy and I no longer fit into the box he’d categorized me into. But, this wasn’t Dharma & Greg and I wasn’t going to just be some novelty he’d hoped he could say he’d dated. For the record, no one else has ever considered me to be a hippy. We continued to discuss our differences, as it seemed there wasn’t any common ground to fall back on. At one point a radish flew out of his hand and landed on the seat next to us. I laughed and he tossed it onto our table. I told him it was still clean and he admitted he wanted to eat it, but wasn’t because he didn’t want me to judge him. I wondered why he even cared what I thought at that point.
A bit later it was discovered that my ex’s employer was actually his company’s main competitor. He asked me what I thought of that business, and I admitted I really had no interest in it. He told me that his job was very important to him and defined his life. He asked what I spoke to my ex about if I wasn’t interested in his company. “I don’t know, we just had fun instead. We talked about things we actually had in common,” I told him. I instantly realized this was, in other words, “I do not have fun with you and we don’t have anything in common.” We then debated a topic I’m passionate about that he’d mentioned he’d disagreed with, but was what he’d invited me to dinner to discuss. He quickly changed his stance and I lost some respect for him. If he hadn’t known enough or cared much for the topic, why had he taken such a strong stance in the first place? We continued to mismatch discussing our preferences and choices made in our lives, but this wasn’t one of those meals where you cautiously pick at a salad in order to not make a mess in front of someone you’re trying to impress. I enjoyed my darn dish. Again he swept up the check without even glancing to see if I’d reached for my purse. Guilt free about the meal with the date I’d had no interest in. The restaurant become crowded and the waiter asked if he could buy us a cocktail at the bar so we’d give up the table. I said yes and he said no. No surprise there. He walked me to the train and asked me to text him the title of a book that had come up in conversation. I gave him a half-assed hug goodnight, thanked him for dinner, and went on my way. When I got home, I did text him the title of the book. I think it was the first time in my life I was happy I didn’t get a reply text and have my fingers crossed it stays that way. My experiment with dating just for dinner wasn’t such a bad experience after all.