I’ve been using eHarmony. So far, not bad. But eHarmony has this “guided communication process” that some people think is cumbersome, so when I tried to begin it with one woman, she e-mailed me back looking to skip the process. Not just the process, but the whole e-mail thing. She e-mailed me her phone number, right off the bat, and asked me to call. So I did, and we had a nice convo. We made plans to meet up after work yesterday in midtown Manhattan (she’s in Kew Gardens, Queens, I’m in NJ).
We said we’d firm up the meeting spot on the day of. We had already decided to meet near a particular stop on the subway she would normally take home. So I found a cafe close to where we’d meet. I figured we’d meet there, chill, and then, if we wanted, find someplace to eat and continue the date if we wanted. Her reply was that, because of how cold it was, we should just meet at a restaurant right off the bat. So I suggested a restaurant down the street from the cafe (I’d already found one). She said that, since neither of us knew that spot, we should go to this one restaurant in the area that she had been to once and enjoyed. She said she would find the name of it and text me.
At this point, I’m becoming skeptical of her, for reasons I’ll explain below. An hour or so later, she texted that she had made reservations at this one restaurant. I was driving at the time. later, I googled the place, and I found that it was a nice, but pretty high priced restaurant. The cheapest entree was $25, and most were over $30. So she took us from a casual, low key cafe to an expensive restaurant.
While I was back on the road (between work-related meetings), I thought about it and decided that I really didn’t want to spend what would end up at about $110, after tip and drinks, on a pre-first-date meeting with a woman whom I really knew very little about. And I took the further step of deciding that she probably was seeking the higher $$$ option on purpose. So about two hours after her text, I texted her back, saying that something came up at work, and that I’d never make it nearly on time. She did not text back.
I always assume I’m paying for dates, and I pretty much always do. I’m not rich, but I’m not cheap when it comes to that. However, I am quite firm in my approach to the first meeting with someone I met online. A cafe, or a Barnes & Noble, or something like that; no expensive, sit down dinners at classy restaurants. Especially in this case: eHarmony’s profiles are not detailed enough, so skipping the whole guided process meant knowing almost nothing about her. We had one phone conversation that lasted maybe an hour. Plus, for what it’s worth, her pictures are both face-only. And we’re geographically inconvenient to one another. Not a deal breaker for me, but a factor under the circumstances.
Having started out suggesting something low key and informal, my intuition was that she wanted to gauge my worthiness to date based on how willing I would be to shell out. But in this circumstance, I think that’s unreasonable, and, in any event, reflective of a value system in conflict with mine. Or, maybe I misread the whole thing and sabotaged myself out of a chance with my future one-and-only. Thoughts?
I think you did the right thing. Even if she wasn’t angling for a free meal or sniff testing you, she was displaying horrible dating manners.
I know a lot of people will immediately accuse this woman of just looking for a free meal. That could totally be the case. However, people often assume that there was an intent to use or mislead when, more likely, the person is just a clueless Bad Dater. Sadly, many people don’t understand basic first date protocol or know what is and isn’t appropriate. Those are things you learn the more you date. But if this woman is exhibiting this kind of behavior frequently, she’s barely getting any first dates, let alone second or third.
You said that she circumvented the system and quickly wished to move to a phone call rather than exchange emails and she only had a couple of head shots on her profile. While I don’t know if it’s a bad idea to skip the emails, it’s certainly not a good sign that she only had two headshots. This woman was in a rush. Not only that, but she wanted to call the shots. Two more bad signs. She wasn’t considering you. Probably because she has been alone for so long that she doesn’t know how to do that. Which is why she’s been alone for so long. See? It’s a vicious cycle.
Then she overrode your choice of meeting spots and chose a restaurant. That’s another bad sign, and also a hint at her possible lack of dating experience. You just don’t do that. You try to make the first meeting as simple as possible. No last minute changes or road blocks, as you then start off with strikes against you and now have to work harder to compensate. You also don’t choose an expensive restaurant for a first meeting. You don’t choose a restaurant, period. Again, anybody who’s dated enough knows that the only people who choose restaurants for a first meeting are either trying too hard, looking for a benefactor or rarely go on dates.
My guess is she assumed that since you two yapped on the phone for an hour, you were now friends and she could therefore be a little more fussy. Side note: What the hell do you have to say on the phone to a total stranger that could take an hour? This might seem odd, but I’d consider that another red flag. It’s just not normal and it’s overly familiar.
I don’t think this is a simple case of a woman looking for a free meal. I actually think that this woman probably doesn’t date much and therefore has no idea how to behave appropriately. If I were to spitball, I’d say that this woman has had so many false starts that she’s trying to jump a few steps before she gets ditched.
How do you tell the difference between someone with bad intentions and a bad dater? That really doesn’t matter, as you don’t want to date either of those people. The bad dater will be like a puppy that needs to be trained. The person with bad intentions will seem too perfect. Either way, they’ll end up being too much work.
ALSO: Disagreements and debates are acceptable here. Just please refrain from hostility and personal attacks towards other posters. If I see it, I’ll moderate your future comments. And if it continues, I’ll simply never approve any of your future comments. If your only argument is to call someone insecure or a bitch or whatever, then you don’t have an actual argument. You just have a grudge. Also, please try not to monopolize threads by repeating yourself or using conjecture. That is another case where I’ll moderate your comments and wait a few hours until I approve them just to avoid having the threads become difficult to read/navigate. Please stick to the topic. If you don’t know the definition of something, look it up. Don’t ask others to explain something to you. Finally, please don’t use up comment space to say some variation of “I agree.” Just vote them a thumbs up.