I met Herb at a crowded restaurant on a Wednesday night. I was a few minutes early, so I had enough time to wonder about the date – how I looked, if I had remembered the location correctly and why was I putting myself through this again.
This particular restaurant was a good choice for a blind or first date because of the large seating space just outside of the bar area. The designers had been very considerate in the way they lined the walls with benches for people waiting to be seated, or for a blind date. This became apparent when I noticed how many single people sat on separate benches, looking at every person coming into the waiting area. People, myself included, would sit up a little straighter, smile and look hopeful as each new person entered. If it were a single person walking in, those of us waiting would stare at the person to see whom he/she approached. I found it comical until someone approached me.
“Susan?” they asked. “No, sorry”, I said. Then I had to suppress the urge to blurt out “Don’t worry, I’m sure she’ll be here soon!”
Finally, after a long ten minutes, Herb did come in the door. He found me right away. I guess the 70-year-old woman in the grey cardigan was not his type.
I knew Herb through a dating web site. In person, he was a nice looking 40 something year old divorced guy. He dressed well and had slicked back hair. My first impression on meeting him was that he wasn’t’ my normal type. He was tall, fit and had great blue eyes, which I like, but his slick look was not so much my style.
Once on the date, his eyes never stopped wandering. He was never able to really look me in the eye when he spoke. I always find this odd when I’m working with someone or just on a date – especially after the age of 40! It’s not a huge turn on when someone can’t look you in the eye.
I tried to be sensitive to the situation. There are a couple reasons why someone can’t make eye contact.
- He/She doesn’t want to be there (with you/on a date) and /or don’t want to
- He/She is really shy.
My thoughts to #1 – Why show up if you’re not going to show up?! Learn to say no.
My thoughts to #2 – You’re 40+ years old, time to get over being shy if you want more – do you think I like this situation? Consider the playing field even.
My date with Herb was about an hour. We did manage to have dinner and make some small talk. We talked about where we lived, had grown up, schools, hobbies, etc., but there was no huge connection.
When the check came, we paid and got up to leave the restaurant. As I was walking out through the lobby, I wondered if the waiting for Herb part might have been the best part of the date. I liked Herb but wasn’t sure where he stood on me or what our next steps would be. He was nice and good looking so I gave the mental nod to myself to go forward with a second date.
Now we were approaching the awkward part, the goodbye. He walked me outside and clearly didn’t know what to say. I broke the ice and said, “Thanks for dinner.” His reply?! “Yeah, good luck with this dating thing.”
I literally almost burst out laughing. Hmm guess that went well. At least I knew where I stood with him. Maybe next time.