Headed out for a lunch date today with someone who said that he didn’t have high expectations. So that set the bar pretty low.
He was on time, as was I and I was pleased to see that he looked like his photo. Dark hair with a barely discernable sprinkling of grey, olive skinned, dark brown eyes. Just my type. Physically anyway.
We sat down to chat and he was clearly nervous. Which made me a bit nervous but we both persevered. Conversation began to flow and at one point there, it was looking pretty promising.
We found out that a friend of his is a former colleague of mine. Who didn’t like me very much. And that provided amusement and exclamations of “small world” and so on. I asked him at that point to please let this person know he’d been on a date with me and let me know what he said. It was kind of funny and cute.
But then, inevitably, talk of exes came up. I am always glad when the chap doesn’t denigrate his ex-wife. Telling me that his ex is crazy or a bitch or anything in that line of insults is a guaranteed way to make sure I don’t see him again. But then talk turned to his ex-girlfriend. Who he was clearly still very much into, despite claiming that it was all done and dusted.
But he talked about her a lot. For most of the date in fact. There were occasions where the conversation went elsewhere but I found that we kept returning to the subject of his ex-girlfriend.
I was the first date he had been on since his break up and it became clear that I was just someone he was using to test the waters. At one point I told him that he could do a lot worse than be sitting opposite me on a Saturday afternoon, and he agreed. I was smiling when I said it but I was trying to see if he was interested at all.
I should have called time of death after an hour, an hour and a half tops. But I stay two and a half hours. I don’t know why. I guess I kept waiting to see when he’d focus on me and not the end of his relationship, why it came to an end, who ended it, when he heard from her the last time and how they met. Oh and how they had great sex. Did I forget to mention that part? Because he certainly didn’t.
I know what it’s like to get back into dating after a break up. It’s really hard. You can’t help but think how much easier it would be if you were just sitting opposite the person you broke up with. It can make you feel a bit sad. A bit nostalgic. It can make you want to just leave. And it feels really crappy for the person you’re with. Because even if you don’t talk about it for the majority of the date your sad face and wistful glances off into the distance will give it away.
I’m not going to lie. I talked about a couple of my last relationships. Partly in the context of agreeing about the difficulty of breakups and partly to see if he would pick up on how not fun it is to hear about past relationships. He didn’t.
It was getting to the point that I didn’t know how I would extricate myself when the wait staff came over to tell us that they were closing the café. He took his wallet out as did I. The paying part can be a bit awkward and he said “it’s your shout then is it?” I think (hope) he was making a joke. But he didn’t pay for me. And I left the tip. So I’m pretty sure that was complete flat line.
There were so many death knells on this date, it’s a wonder the grim reaper wasn’t sitting at the table next to us.
The final nail in the coffin was as he walked me back to my car. He didn’t ask me out again but said “well, we’ll see what happens” and shook my hand. Pretty sure I know what’s going to happen, and it doesn’t involve him.