Comment: I met a guy at a Moxie/ATWYS event and we clicked really well. After a few weeks of emailing and phone calls, we finally met in person. We found it really easy to talk to each other and I enjoyed getting to know him. At the end of the evening, he asked me to pay my share of the meal. As a feminist, I have no problem doing this. As a girl being courted, I was a little surprised as I am accustomed to a gentleman at least offering to pay. Especially as he is an executive at a big corporation with a high salary and I work at a non-profit. I handed over half the cost of the meal and we ended the date with a hug and made tentative plans to meet the following weekend.
During our second date the next weekend, another dinner, we got along quite well. Conversation flowed easily and many of our values and thoughts seemed to be in sync. Although I was not unduly physically attracted to him, I felt that we got along so well it was worth spending time with him to see if more romantic feelings might develop. When the check arrived, he said “that will be $45 each.” This meant the tip would end up being less than 10% so I surreptitiously left a little more to make up for it.
He drove me home and parked outside my building to finish the conversation we were in the middle of. Suddenly, he asked if he could kiss me. It was said a little shyly and I kind of nodded my head, believing it would be a sweet first kiss, maybe a soft peck on the lips. Instead, he grabbed my head, pulled it forcefully towards him, and drove his tongue into my mouth. It was a very slobbery, aggressive and unpleasant experience. I tried to push him away but he held my head in a bit of a vice grip and began kissing my face — forehead, eyelid, chin, etc. just when I thought it was over, he went back into my mouth and swirled his tongue round and round in a dizzying imitation of a high school freshman at his first makeout session. He ended by planting a loud “razberry” on my cheek — so weird. He ended with “I’m glad we did that.” When I tried to respond, he asked me not to talk as that would spoil it.
I ended the night thinking I had no interest in seeing him again. However, the next morning I saw he had left me a voicemail – in it he said “Even though our kiss was obviously a mutual decision, I sensed you were pulling away a little bit so I wanted to let you know that we can go at a slower pace because I want things to work out for both of us.” Not exactly an apology, but an acknowledgement.
I am left with mixed feelings. Am I wrong to feel that he should have at least offered to pay if he was indeed expecting a romantic relationship? Is cheapness (not paying, low tip) a quality that can be overlooked? Am I wrong to feel violated by the aggressive kissing since I sort of gave him permission? Should I give him another chance since its so hard to find people that you connect well with? Can sexual chemistry grow from the foundation of a friendship? I would appreciate any thoughtful advice that will help further my thinking, help me understand his perspective or provide any wisdom. Thanks!
It sounds to me like you’re trying to force attraction where there is none. If you’re not feeling it, you’re not feeling it. I appreciate the fact that you’re trying to give this guy a chance. I also admire that you’re not immediately throwing him in the trash. But if the attraction isn’t there, it isn’t there. Sure, you could give it more time and things might turn around. You can do that. But everything in your letter screams “Tell me it’s okay to dump this guy.” The real question is, are you basing your decision on things that really matter, or are you looking for reasons to justify your lack of attraction? Furthermore, if you are looking for reasons to justify your lack of interest, why do you feel a need to justify it at all? A compulsion to defend a choice like this makes me think you feel you’re being unfair somehow. Or maybe you feel that, at our age, we really don’t have a right to “be so picky.”
I’ll say this. At our age, we do have to be careful of buying in to the “I won’t settle” thing. Bottom line is, if we’re the catch we think we are, we wouldn’t be having the difficult we’re having. But that doesn’t mean that you have to try and force a square peg in to a round hole. Could the things you mentioned be fixed? Yes. That is, if you really want to fix them. Which I don’t think you do.
Am I wrong to feel that he should have at least offered to pay if he was indeed expecting a romantic relationship?
I think you’re wrong to assume to know why he did or didn’t pay. Maybe he didn’t think you were interested. Maybe he didn’t want to offend you. Maybe he doesn’t believe in paying a woman’s way. Maybe you were giving off signs of disinterest and weren’t even aware of it. Maybe he’s going through some financial difficulties. Maybe he was doing what some guys do and testing you. (FYI..guys? Stop that. It makes you look ridiculously douchey. If you’re that bitter, stay home.) There are a lot of reason why this guy didn’t pay.
Is cheapness (not paying, low tip) a quality that can be overlooked?
Just because he didn’t pay for you doesn’t mean he’s cheap. I’ll give you the low tip thing. That’s a stickler for me as well, but I’ve made that mistake before of calculating incorrectly. It happens. You don’t know enough about this guy to make broad assumptions. He did call you and acknowledge that you seemed distant during and after the kiss. That’s a sign that he’s not totally self-absorbed. He’s acknowledging you and your feelings. That’s something worth considering.
You’ve set up this and all of these questions so that there’s really only one plausible answer. Pose the situation this way and the natural response would be No, you shouldn’t see him again. The way you’ve framed this whole scenario makes it clear what you want to do, but you also want to appear as though you’re trying to be flexible. It’s either one or the other. Can’t be both.
Am I wrong to feel violated by the aggressive kissing since I sort of gave him permission?
Ok. Let’s back up here for a moment. I’m not sure when this little trend started wherein women like to paint men as predatory creeps simply because they guy expresses some physical interest, but it’s absolute bullshit. It’s also quite offensive to anybody who has been truly violated. Some dude who doesn’t know how to kiss is not “violating” you. The man in the story is guilty of being a bad kisser. Not forcing himself upon a woman . Those are two very different things. Some guys are tools and deserve the ire they get. But some women need to see the difference between a man who is intentionally ignoring her signals and a man who is just socially clueless and inexperienced. They also need to learn how to recognize when they are projecting their issues on to the guy and trying to make him out to be the bad guy just to reconcile with their own regret or insecurity. Take these examples:
1. Women meets man. Man sends her a text asking her to meet for a drink. Woman tells man she has a busy week ahead of her but doesn’t specify how or why. Guy sends a text the next day asking if she’s free for a drink. Woman says no and complains to friends about how pushy the guy is. She agrees to meet him later in the week at a loud bar with a DJ, with friends in tow. (Hi. Rude.) The guy ends up standing close to her to talk to her. Woman accuses him of “violating her personal space.” Or,gee, maybe IT WAS LOUD IN THAT BAR YOU CHOSE and he wanted to be sure you heard him. At one point they attempt to move through the crowd to a quieter spot. Man puts hand on the small of the woman’s back as they walk. Women tells friends he once again was invading her personal space. (Actually, I think that’s somewhat chivalrous, as their trying to guide you through a crowd safely.) She then allows this man, the one she said kept invading her space, to escort her through a dark parking lot and offers him a ride to his car. Upon arriving at his car, guy leans in for a kiss. Omigod!!! Predator! Predator!!!! Woman declines his invite for a second date because she felt the guy didn’t pay attention to her signals and violated her personal space.
2. Woman dates a guy with a female roommate. One morning she wakes up to find him lying on his roommates bed, with his female roommate who is clad only in a “nightgown”, watching television. Man is accused of not being a gentleman. It couldn’t be that he was trying to be courteous and not wake her and chose to go to his roommates room to watch TV so as not to disturb her. He MUST be trying to seduce his roommate while she’s asleep in the other room.
3. Woman gets fixed up with a guy through friends. Woman decides the guy is a jerk and turns down his invitation for another date. Woman reads the newspaper some time later (it’s not clear when) and reads about the man, and learns the man is now engaged. Women does some Googling and learns he’s been with the woman for some time. (Good thing she was so disinterested in him.) Therefore, it MUST be that the man was a cheating asshole. Which makes no sense because she was introduced to him via a friend. So now the friend and the guy are complicit in his act of douchebaggery. Couldn’t be that he and this woman took a break. It HAS to be that he’s an unfaithful louse and his friend was a pimp.
All of these are examples of how some women like to immediately assume the worst in men. Now, maybe these guys were all shady. Or maybe these women are just really, really insecure or trying to justify why they discarded yet another perfectly decent guy.
OP, if you’ve decided he’s cheap, then there doesn’t seem to be a point in me trying to talk you out of not seeing him again. Which is what I think you want me to do. Sorry. Not giving you absolution. I’m sure you have girlfriends who would be happy to tell you they think this guy is a cheap face-raper. You don’t need me.