Is this bad? Or acceptable?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Is this bad? Or acceptable?
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 1:41pm
Thanksgiving I met a great guy at a party held by friends. We went to high school together, but were never big friends b/c of the age difference. When we met at the party, though, we really hit it off. At the end of the night, he tried to give me a kiss, but I avoided it b/c I'm just not that way (he had my #, after a date, he'll get a kiss).

Anyways, he called and asked me out 4 times, and each time he either didn't give me enough notice, or I had planned something so far in advance that I wasn't ever able to go. Finally, after New Years he stopped calling. I partially don't blame him b/c he'd been rejected so many times.

Well, he called last Wednesday!! He wanted to know if I would like to come to the beach while he was down there... (he was already there on his last spring break ever- finishing law school). He offered a place to stay and plenty of good times... I just had to hop in the car and drive 4 hours. We flirted a bit over the phone, but he even told me that he wouldn't hit on me: he would just really enjoy my company (along w/ several of his friends that were there as well). I apologized once again, but I had a bridesmaids party on Saturday. I told him that I would like to get together still though, and we made tentative plans for me to come to his house and cook dinner together.

My question is: was his invite inappropriate? I really would like to date him, but the whole thing feels strange. What's the male perspective on what this guy is thinking? Am I some sort of "second or third runner up", "till something better comes along", or does it seem that he's protecting himself from getting rejected again. I also might add that one of the previous dates he had asked me on was an art showing being held in his honor. I was going out of town, but I did stop by there on the day of the show "just to check" if he would be there. He showed me all of his work and we chatted a bit... so he knows that I'm interested.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 4:35pm
Title: I am not totally sure I understand what you are asking, but it is interesting to see how the female mind works...

I saw your post and decided to respond, because I really like the "give me insight into men" posts, versus the usual "oh my life is in such disarray and it is some man's fault" ones.

Given that...I have to say...honestly, before I start the tongue in cheek stuff...that I am not totally 100% clear as to what you are asking. I mean, I can read...but I guess I could just use a bit more insight into what you are really trying to get at. Because this:

"Am I some sort of "second or third runner up", "till something better comes along", or does it seem that he's protecting himself from getting rejected again. " just a mystery to me. So maybe if I understood better where this was coming from, I could respond. But neither of these choices (and you did word it as a choice, which could be part of my problem) makes sense to me. I am not saying he isn't thinking it...or that he is. I just...I just don't understand what makes YOU think he is thinking it...versus a number of other things.

Now...having said that, let the amusement begin!

"Anyways, he called and asked me out 4 times, and each time he either didn't give me enough notice, or I had planned something so far in advance that I wasn't ever able to go. Finally, after New Years he stopped calling. I partially don't blame him b/c he'd been rejected so many times. "

Umm...partially? I don't think so. I say this guy gets a GOLD STAR for persistence... because MY rule is that I call like I said I would, I ask you out. If you say no, it is now YOUR TURN to call me. I might not make you ask ME out (I know there is something in the female DNA that just prevents that from happening) but I am sure as hell not gonna call up for MORE rejection, let alone for times. The key here is that you apparently DIDN'T do then what you did on this occasion, which is when you would like to go out with someone, but have a genuine schedule conflict, you suggest an alternate date and activity. Failing that, I would only assume that you had no interest, and you'd never hear from me again. Again, I gotta give the poor bastard credit for hanging in there.

"My question is: was his invite inappropriate?"

Why would it be? I am not saying it is impossible to see it as such, but why do YOU think it possibly could be? This is for you to decide, not a message board of strangers that know neither him nor you. I mean, at age 37 would an appropriate first date be asking a gal to drive 4 hours to spend the night at my place with some other friends? I'd say "no"...but I don't know that it is inappropriate for a 25 yo grad student. I mean, 30 something women (at least the sort I'd date) as a rule don't just "hang out" at the beach house for spring break with a bunch of total and virtual strangers, but college students do that kind of thing all the time. If you were asking about going, I'd say decide for yourself if it was something you'd want to do, then if you said yes (independent of trying to understand HIS motives) then go, but keep your clothes on. Have fun, get to know him better, and demand a real one-on-one date for get together number two.

But...since you weren't asking about going...that advice doesn't apply...

"Am I some sort of "second or third runner up", "till something better comes along", "

This is the start of the "how the female minds works" sort of thing. First, what would make you think this? Second, at this point, what difference does it make? This isn't the FIRST time he asked you out, on a whim, because he had gotten to the bottom of his black book. He made a SERIOUS effort in the past. You chased him off. If he is only coming around now because he had struck out else where, so what? Can you blame him? All that matters is that apparently YOU really like him, and claim that you WOULD like to spend some time with him. What does it matter what motivated him to make the call? You still get to decide how you feel; you still get to decide what direction you want things to go in (at least from you perspective). And it sounds like you guys have a great first date on one, cooking at his place. Really, you like him; we know that at one point he appeared to like you. You have a great date planned. Why ruin it with over analysis?

"I also might add that one of the previous dates he had asked me on was an art showing being held in his honor. I was going out of town, but I did stop by there on the day of the show "just to check" if he would be there. He showed me all of his work and we chatted a bit... so he knows that I'm interested. "

No he doesn't. He knows you like artwork. This doesn't tell him that you like him, in light of your history (4 requests for a one on one date, 4 rejections, no alternatives offered). Not that this matters a whole lot, just letting you know so that you don't base any future decisions on this false assumption. It reminds me of someone I once dated briefly who would accept all my dates to go someplace, but never accepted an invitation to come to my place. I don't mean for the first date, or the third...I mean EVER. Finally, **I** concluded that she liked me spending money on her, and the associated attention...she indeed liked me taking her out...but she didn't like me. So I stopped asking her out. Later, when the grapevine told her I was serious about GG, she called and lamented how I had just disappeared and how she really liked me, etc. When I explained my rational, her counter was that she always accepted my date invitations and THAT should have told me that she liked me, but she wasn't certain about my relationship with "R", since there was still some drama on that front. She never actually asked me about "R"...she just assumed. See how the male and female minds differ?

Anyway...I say if you like him, be grateful he decided to give it one more try, and enjoy yourself during dinner at his place. To me it reads like a real "love connection"...two hearts that wanted the other, but had to persevere.

Sorta like my own love story....(sniff....sniff)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 6:20am
Agree, but wanted to add - I don't think I need to call a guy and ask him out if the first time he asks me I am busy - particularly if he asked me for the same night - but yes, absolutely I make it clear that I would like to re-schedule- I may not give a specific but I will say something like "oh, sorry, I'm busy that day but next weekend is looking good so far" - and then it is his turn to either pick a day or call me a few days later to try again. Even if a new platonic friend were to reject me 4 times without suggesting an alternative, I would give up . . . . I do not think a first date should take place at the beach house 4 hours away or over dinner at someone's apartment, but I am 36 and so therein might lie the difference (wouldn't have done that at age 25, either).
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 7:04am
I agree with gogo's assessment. He's asked you out four times. A guy who considers you a back burner date doesn't bother trying four times.

Also, I agree that an invitation to a beach house with a bunch of friends is typical for college - or grad school - age guys. I wouldn't take that as him having an ulterior motive - he probably just thought it was something you would really enjoy.

Remember, whether you're at a beach house or an art gallery, you control the direction and speed of whatever happens between the two of you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 8:21am
I guess I left some of the important specifics out while describing the situation.

The first time he asked me out was on a Thursday for a party he was throwing with some friends on Friday... definitely not "backburner", but also definitely not a date. It sounds about right though. We did need another chance to hang out before we committed to the whole dinner out thing, and this seemed like a good opportunity. However, I had already made plans to go to a concert, but I guess I made the mistake of not saying "but I'm free on Saturday". That just seems a little forward to me after he just asked me to a party... not exactly asking me out.

The second time was his art exhibit, and I was heading to Atlanta to meet up with friends for a Christmas party. I politely turned him down, but asked if he was going to be in town during the holidays. I told him to get in touch and we could go party-hopping together. At this point, I still do not have his telephone # and he does not have mine: both times he has called me at work. Once again, this is NOT a date. He's asking me specifically to come to his show, but not to be his date. When I stopped by that afternoon, he did get my cell #... so I'm thinking that this is it!

The third request: He called me at 3:00pm on a Saturday to find out if I wanted to hang out together that night. Yeah, this is what I had suggested, but is it wrong of me to be a little put off that he calls with 3 hours notice? Luckily, I was in New Orleans and didn't have to make that "self-ethical" decision- a bit of conversation about his Christmas break, and we got off the phone.

I hadn't heard from him since then until last week (he must be very busy with school?). There is chemistry between us, and I thought going to the beach would be fun... I just didn't know how comfortable I would be. I don't know any of his friends that would be down there although they would be staying in different places (and I'm sure they are nice...). So if I went down there, it would be just me and him OR just me, him, and one of my girlfriends that would be willing to make a mad dash if things got wierd.

But, alas, I couldn't go... again. Bridesmaid duties called. However, we made the date- to-be-determined plans. Finally, we make REAL plans... even if I am the one who has to initiate them. I would like to go out with him, but I was just wondering if all of his "attempts" were too player-like, or if this is just one of the ways (mature) guys ask (mature) girls out in an effort to not seem too aggressive (which I admit: I hate when a guy aggressively persues me). I hope I make sense this time ;P

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 8:55am
Title: Ok, this changes EVERYTHING...

On this board I periodically get accused, implicitly or overtly, of being "old fashioned", "up tight" "stoogie" or whatever, but yes, I absolutely believe there are certain expected behaviour during the initial stages of dating that when absent, to me are a real bad sign.

Now I am not as real hard and fast and absolute in my "rules" as some others...and by themselves each of these events seems innocent enough...but collectively...umm...yeah, I now see where you were coming from.

I'm a tad reluctant to give the feedback I am thinking because I ***DON'T*** want you to just write him said you really like him, and I do realize that I simply have no grasp of the dating mores of 20 somethings, versus 30 somethings...meaning he might be a totally kewl guy, but just different than me.

But...since you asked for advice...and I can see why you did now...I would tell you that, yes, as old fashioned as it sounds, you need to make him jump through some hoops. What you've described is just TOO casual and off the cuff for my taste. Now, it might be a generational / age thing, or he just might be a casual guy, but I figure any man who is "establishment" and "stoogie" enough to be in LAW SCHOOL (versus some Kurt Cobain wannabe) should be willing to make plans for and execute on a REAL DATE, even if he has to be kinda prompted that this is your expectation. (Which, by itself, isolated...isn't that bad. I'm clueless about stuff too...just different stuff).

I say you call him back, tell him how much you are looking forward to seeing him (or whatever), but, and I would be FRANK, but not harsh...just to send the right message and also to "test him" (gawd, I hate even think that I am advising a woman to "play games", but you need to know, IMHO) you have given it some thought, and you are not entirely comfortable with your first date being at his home. Chose your own words, ones that are comfortable to you, but I would send EXACTLY that message. If he "gets it", then might be taken aback a bit, but because he does really have a sincere interest, he will accommodate your wishes. If he doesn't, he will object, and I think this will give you plenty of insight.

If he says "well, we've been on a date, we met at the art gallery", explain to him, just like you did here, that the occasion he is speaking of was not a "date", in your opinion, in that you're the sort of gal who likes for things to be a bit more "formal" and "structured". Don't come off harsh...but don't apologize either. You are sending a message, and how he reacts to that message is important. If he reacts like "oh, I'm sorry, I was clueless", well, he might not be a bad guy...just...well...clueless (as many 20 something guys are). If he pushes back though...I'd say he figures you are more maintenance than he wants...and no matter what his true motives, which says you are incompatible.

One other piece of advice...I'd keep my clothes on for a good bit with this one...don't get caught up in "it just feels right"...a tru playa KNOWS how to make sure "it just feels right"...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 10:36am
Glad we were able to clarify things. I won't be calling him though. I'm going to wait this one out to see if he calls... it's still pretty uncertain. Before Wednesday, the last time I'd heard from him was in December 2002!! He'll probably call, and when he does, I'll go out with him.

The issue about our date being at his home is a tough one. He lives 45 minutes away, so I'll definitely have to be on my p's and q's about the rules. Hopefully, I'll come there, we'll go out to eat, perhaps we go out for a bit and hang out with friends, then I go home... that's the best case scenario. Or perhaps if he still wants to cook out at his place, he will invite some other friends over. I won't begin to examine the worst case scenario simply because I hope he's not "that guy".

Now, I get to sit around and wait for him to call... cross your fingers for me.