So, Ball Boy and I agreed to meet for coffee. It seemed like we had some things in common, and at first I was really looking forward to meeting him in person.
Prior to meeting, he messaged me online - and he continued to do so, until I told him I had things to do, and would just seem him later. He admitted he was nervous; that he had never "met someone online" before. Are there rules, he asked?
I could already sense that maybe this wasn't going to go so well.
I told him that, to me anyway, dating sites are just a way to say hello to someone who you might not run into otherwise. After that initial exchange, it's really just like any other dating, and the same "rules" apply.
Rules like, never let 'em see you sweat...keep a little mystery...she can't miss you if you won't go away...don't talk about yourself too much...don't bring up your ex (unless you're asked)...come prepared...
He needs a rule book.
He showed up at the date a few minutes late (remember, he picked the day, time, and place). We walked into the coffee shop, where he he asked if I minded "going Dutch" because he only had $5 to his name until tomorrow, when he gets paid.
I truly don't mind paying on a date - ever. But I couldn't help but wonder - why suggest meeting today if money was an issue?
I handed the barista my credit card to pay for both drinks - and Ball Boy promptly handed me a $5 bill. I had no intention of taking this guy's last penny, and I shook my head. He wouldn't let it go, and kept trying to shove the money into my purse.
More rules: Don't ever touch my purse....don't embarrass me in public...
I took the money to put an end to that embarrassing moment. We sat down, and Ball Boy proceeded to tell me all about himself...and his ex-wife. All that had happened, how he had felt, how lonely he is sometimes...how he wonders if he could ever go back with her...
Oh. My. Goodness.
That date only lasted about an hour. I deflected his question about getting together again (he was nice, and I did feel bad). He messaged me the next day, and I explained that I just didn't feel a connection, and didn't see us ever being more than just friends. It took a while for him to get that message - but he finally did.
I don't actually think there's any such thing as "rules" when it comes to dating. Dating involves people, and everyone is different. Every combination of people is also different, and what works for one couple will not work for another. Example: I don't want to hear about your ex, or know you're nervous, or have you offer to pay for your hot chocolate; someone else might.
But if there's one thing that could pass for a good dating rule, I'd have to say it'd be to set the tone. If you want to set yourself up for a second date, make sure you treat her like you're on a date - not hanging out with a good friend, talking about your problems.
I can be your date - or I can be your dating coach. I can not be both.