Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wouldn't you agree?

When I fret about being single, someone should remind me that sometimes I am so ridiculous that there is no earthly reason why the guy would ask me out again. I truly have no idea sometimes.

Because at the start of a recent date, the guy said he had been looking forward to our date, and then asked if I had been.

And I said, very truthfully but before weighing a gentler response, “Oh, I never look forward to early dates, until I have some idea of which way things might go. Too risky."

He delved a little further, only to have me explain that the people that I connect to quickly and intensely are invariably damaged, like, childhood damaged, and ultimately unhealthy to be in a relationship with. And so generally I approach dates with a fairly casual attitude, because either I’m going to be bored, or I’m going to be really engaged but wonder what’s wrong with you.

He then said that he had a totally normal upbringing, and so odds are I won’t like him.

I replied, “But you’re fairly intense. You could still have something lurking in your past.” Which I firmly believe.

He defended his normalcy and I didn’t try to put any crazy on him. But you just never know.

We then chatted a bit about men that I’ve historically been head over heels over. And the fact that they tend to be incredibly successful, catch-your-breath intelligent. . .and massively anger-driven. Anger is what gets them up at 5 am and keeps them working till 11 pm. Over and over, these are the men I date.

“Are your female friends like this?”

“Oh, god no! I pick women I really like!”


So you can imagine when he asked me if I’d like a second glass of wine and I said that the danger was that I would lose my filter, he was really curious as to what might come out.

The conversation we ended up in, or rather, one conversation we ended up in, is how I am different from most women on dates. This was because I said “That doesn’t mean I’m not trying to impress you. Of course I’m trying to impress you.”

And he said, “Actually, and I don’t mean this rudely, but I’d say you’re not trying to impress me at all.”

“What do you mean? I’m wearing a cute dress. These boots are really cool. I put on makeup for you!”

Looks aside, he said, I wasn’t doing any of the things women typically do on dates when they’re trying to impress the guy.

Such as?

“Such as being agreeable. Women,” he said, “tend to be very agreeable on dates. They keep things light. They nod, agree, say how interesting whatever I’ve said is. You, however, are not at all like that.”

Oh. Right. Except that I’ve been interested in what he’s said. Wasn’t that apparent?

“You’re very intense, and you’re very present. You’re clearly listening and engaged, and you give thoughtful responses. But if you don’t agree, you narrow your eyes and say, ‘Hmm. I’ll have to think about that.’ Or you disagree.”

Well, yeah, that’s true. Why the hell would you agree with stuff just to agree?

“And most women will take something I’ve said and then demonstrate their own interest in it. Like saying, ‘Oh, sailing! I’ve always wanted to try that!’ Whereas you’ve said nothing of the sort. And in fact, don’t hesitate to tease me about things.”

Oh. Well, that’s true too.

“And you’re not going out of your way to tell me about something really important that you’ve done.”

“I can’t think of anything important that I’ve done. I wonder if I’ve ever done anything important?”

“See? Exactly. You’re not trying to impress me. You might even be making fun of me. As far as I can tell, you’re just being totally yourself.”

Well, yeah again. Nobody ever told me I was supposed to be all agreeable and important and stuff.

I ran all of this by Bob, who totally agreed with everything the guy said. And assured me he wasn’t just trying to be agreeable. He said women on dates tend to keep things light, and definitely agree with the guy.

Is this universally true? It's hard to imagine.

Bob also said that this guy seemed to have very reasonable responses to the crazier things I put out there. Which, according to him, is a hopeful sign.

I had to agree.


  1. wow, the freedom to just be yourself on a date must be very... erm ... freeing.

    Good luck with the second date. I'm sure your cute dress and makeup were impressive as was your intent on being yourself.

  2. That sounds like the ultimate date. I get comments like that all the time, or at the very least, I get vibes that say "aren't you supposed to be demure?" But in my case, it seems to be a criticism, and in your case it seems to be a turn on. Good job! Does he have a friend? :)

  3. Yeah, I do this, as well. I don't know how to turn off "me," so I end up blurting out things like "I've been listening to 'The Last 5 Years' for a month straight." Revealing you are temporarily obsessed with an obscure off-broadway play is strictly second-date stuff, ha.

  4. I would a date like that to be exceedingly refreshing. Like two friends getting to know each other, except all dolled up and such.

  5. I love this post! You're always so real and being around you is so refreshing because I'm pretty sure it's impossible for you to ever put on airs. :)

  6. SL - I imagine you being totally yourself as well - no? Are you agreeable on dates?

    AJ - Usually I do take it as a criticism - often people don't know what to make of me. If we go out again I will find out if he has a friend.

    TBB - Ha ha! I don't know the show, but yes, I could see how that might be saved for Date 2.

    ES - You know, the more of these comments I read, the more liberated I feel. Thanks!

    Almost - Thank you thank you. I love hearing that from you!

  7. I wouldn't say I'm agreeable, probably just a little more reserved...I don't let the quirky crazy snarky irreverent girl out unless there's wine.


  8. So I don't babble as much as you do (heck or maybe I do...), but I'm one of the most blunt people I know, and I don't care if I'm trying to impress you, if I don't agree, I say so. Plus, shouldn't you know whether you like the real me now rather than a few weeks down the road when I might already be emotionally invested?

    So yeah, I didn't know girls tried to be agreeable on first dates. Maybe that's what we're doing wrong... We're both single after all... Crap.

  9. I tend to say whatever pops into my mind, no matter the situation, so I see completely where you are coming from. Not only on dates, but in front of professors (I am currently in my last year of university), to strangers, ect.. I don't even want to get into the types of things that will come out of my mouth when I am just talking to my housemates.

    Being agreeable is overrated, in my mind. That is not to say that one should be rude, just that being purposely agreeable is often boring. Basically, if I can look back on my life one day and say "I might not always have been comfortable, but I was never bored," that would be a good indication that I lived my life well.

    - Christine

  10. What I'm most curious about is whether the things he was describing as being atypical were good or bad, to him. Because everything about that description sounded pretty ideal to me. I'm all for minimizing pretense. Don't try to impress me and you stand a much better chance of actually doing so.

    And I have it on reasonably good authority that the dress and boots were, in fact, very cute.

  11. Honestly, women with their own opinions who are trying harder to be themselves than to impress are much more interesting *and* attractive. Keep it up.

  12. SL - From what I know about you, I could picture that. Makes sense.

    BB - Haha! I do tend to go on about things. I do think you're right - people should know if they like the real you up front, not weeks down the road.

    Christine - I love that quote! Yes, agreeing just to agree is dull. And I think boredom is one of the worst things on the planet.

    WiB - It appears that he was utterly charmed by me, so I'd have to say good. I wasn't sure initially. And thanks! I love that outfit.

    LMNt - I think that's true, or should be. Thanks!


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