How do you know if you should continue seeing someone or not?
July 22, 2013 12:19 PM   Subscribe

I went on a first date with a guy i met through a few co-workers (he's their cousin). We texted/talked for about 2 weeks before hand, and now that we've gone out i feel like my expectations were too high. He seems to already know that he likes me, and i don't really know how i feel anymore.

I'm (f/26) and he's (m/27) and he apparently saw me at work one night when he went in to see his cousin, thought i was cute and asked her about me and added me on Facebook. I didn't know who he was so i just kind of ignored it until his other cousin came in the break room while i was eating lunch and told me how he thought i was cute and he was interested, but if i didn't want to go out with him she would understand, and that's fine.

So i decided to give it a shot, and we talked for 2 weeks and then i met him and it was like a completely different person(which i should know someone will be different behind a computer screen then in real life).

He's very nice, but he just did some things that kind of got on my nerves a lot. He would talk over me a lot, and at some point i think i decided to stop talking. He never really asked me any direct questions about myself, i think he was just talking just to talk or it could've been nerves.

Then he kept asking me if i was having fun or not which is annoying to me, i don't want to be asked if i'm having fun on a date. And it really bothered me that he only left a $2 tip for something that was probably over $30. He had to know they barely get paid, and that's where most of their money comes from.

He seemed to know right away that he liked me and assumed we'd go on many dates before even meeting me and really getting to know me outside of texting. While i seemed interested at first, now i'm not so sure how i feel about all this.

Should i give him another shot, or call it quits now?
posted by earthquakeglue to Human Relations (49 answers total)
Call it quits now. That is way too many "dings" or red flags in such a short time. Don't let the flattery of being wanted trump your common sense, or other opportunities.
posted by mmiddle at 12:25 PM on July 22, 2013 [16 favorites]

It's always good to enjoy the company of the person you date. I don't know that you enjoyed this fellow's company enough to go on another date, based on what you've written here. That's ok, for both of you - sometimes people just don't mesh well. No harm, no foul.
posted by k8lin at 12:25 PM on July 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Seems like he gave you plenty of reasons to not date him again and few (any?) to give it another try.

You're off the hook here. No need to see the dude again if you don't want to.
posted by phunniemee at 12:26 PM on July 22, 2013 [3 favorites] seem to have some fairly strong opinions -- largely negative -- about him already, which makes me think it would be difficult to over-ride those with a mere second date. For example, if a second date with him went 'standardly well', would it be enough to get over the bad vibe from the first date? Would you then have to go on a third date to find out for sure (to break the tie)?

If you liked him quite a bit when talking to him on the phone, however, then I might chalk this date up to 'nerves' and talk to him again on the phone to see if the 'good-phone guy' comes back.

Really, you don't owe him anything though, which is somewhat implicit in your question. You owe yourself someone you actually like and respect. All things considered (phone conversations + date), could he be that guy? Only you can determine that. I.e., Don't get pushed into going on another date just to please him or out of politeness to his cousins; if you do it, do it for you.
posted by Halo in reverse at 12:27 PM on July 22, 2013

Yeah, reading above the fold I would have said, "go on a second date, who knows?" but I'm seeing a lot of red flags. It's totally okay not to hit it off with someone, even if they seem really interested in you. There's nothing wrong with that. You don't owe anybody your time.
posted by gauche at 12:27 PM on July 22, 2013

You have my permission to not go on another date with him. You gave it a shot. It didn't work out. No harm no foul.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 12:28 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think it's creepy that he added you on FB when he didn't know you nor had anything in common with you.
posted by brujita at 12:32 PM on July 22, 2013 [17 favorites]

First dates are like triage. You put people into very broad categories "Yes, I want to see you again/No, I don't want to see you again," and it seems like all your instincts say you don't want to see him again. Just let him know that you appreciate being asked out, but it's not something you wish to pursue further.
posted by xingcat at 12:33 PM on July 22, 2013

Yeah, throw this fish back in the sea now. If you're worried about his cousins' reactions, just remember that they'll only be more upset if you go out with him a bunch of times to be polite and then dump his sorry, low-tipping ass further down the road. Now is the time.

You don't need justification to not go out with someone. "I don't want to" is a totally valid reason and the only one you need. (But if you did need a reason, "tipped $2 on a $30 meal" is also totally valid!)

He seemed to know right away that he liked me and assumed we'd go on many dates before even meeting me and really getting to know me outside of texting.

This gets talked about in The Gift of Fear (which is excellent, btw, and helpful in situations where your boundaries are being tested, like this one). Basically, people who fit you into their life before they actually know you are often Bad News Bears. This should make you uncomfortable. Listen to your gut.
posted by pie ninja at 12:34 PM on July 22, 2013 [5 favorites]

I’ve gone on a few “so-so” first dates that led to awesome second dates and some of those turned into relationships. I’ve also gone on a few “so-so” first dates that led to “so-so” second dates and I didn’t bother with a third.

Go on a second date if he had any redeeming or intriguing qualities that you want to know more about but you certainly don’t owe it to him, his cousin, or anyone else. It kind of sounds like your mind is already made up and there’s nothing wrong with a “sorry, I just didn’t feel anything, best of luck!” sentence to him.
posted by Diskeater at 12:36 PM on July 22, 2013

Response by poster: @gauche which red flags are you seeing? The talking over me bit or something else?

@brujita We actually do have a lot in common, but for some reason it just isn't working. Hope that made sense...

@pie ninja: I did keep getting this bad vibes from him most of the night, but i never knew what it was. I thought maybe i was just being silly.
posted by earthquakeglue at 12:36 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

It doesn't matter if you're being silly. You don't have to like everybody.
posted by something something at 12:39 PM on July 22, 2013 [20 favorites]

Nope, you can call it quits now. If you liked him, you'd be able to make excuses for his behavior based on your prior interactions. There wasn't a hint of positive in your post. You seem really annoyed and not interested in this guy, so why keep going out with him? He might be a nice guy, but perhaps he's not meant to be Your Nice Guy.
posted by sm1tten at 12:39 PM on July 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Shut it down.

Here are the facts:

- A dude saw you at some outing and thought you were cute.

- His connection to you (coworkers) set you guys up.

- He met you and really liked you. Not surprising, as he's the one who engineered the whole situation.

- You're not feeling it.

- You guys aren't married. You don't have kids. The fate of the free world does not hang in the balance, here.

If ever there was a situation which called for DTMFA, this is it. Though really, it's not "dumping". You went on a date. You didn't enjoy yourself. Don't go on another one. Done.
posted by Sara C. at 12:40 PM on July 22, 2013 [16 favorites]

Thank you for clarifying, but I still think it's creepy that he added you before he was properly introduced.
posted by brujita at 12:51 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

@gauche which red flags are you seeing? The talking over me bit or something else?

Actually, without being there, I'm not going to say that any of this guy's behavior was necessarily objectively wrong or bad or whatever. What I mean is, looking at what you wrote, looking at the language you used to describe him, I very much got the impression that you think he's not someone you're interested in.

And that's the red flag. It's not important what behavior I might or might not put up with. What's important is what behavior you don't want to put up with, and the details you've included, and the way you're talking about them, suggest, to me, that you don't want to put up with this guy.

And that's what's important and what matters. What matters is what you want, because you're the only one who has to live your life. You might not want to date somebody who loves broccoli. That's a totally valid reason, as long as it's yours.

But also, a lot of the details you've written are also things that I, personally, would consider points against somebody I were thinking about dating. So I want to encourage you to rely on your own sense, and also to congratulate you because it sounds to me like your sense is well-calibrated.
posted by gauche at 12:53 PM on July 22, 2013 [4 favorites]

Don't go on another date. "Thanks, but I'm not feeling a connection." is an easy explanation if he or the cousin asks why.

(From what you described, I'd feel the same way. Either the undertipping OR the talking over you would be plenty of reason. Together? No reason to revisit this.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:54 PM on July 22, 2013 [4 favorites]

On one hand, he may have been super nervous, which would account for the jabbering on and the inability to do simple math when leaving a tip. If he was otherwise charming and interesting, I'd give him a chance at a short coffee-date with a proscribed ending time. "I'm super busy for the next couple of weeks, but I wanted to squeeze you in for a coffee next Wednesday before my class."

However, I've learned to trust my gut on these things, if you have NO connection and you don't think his flaws were nerves, then I'd give it a miss. Sometimes guys look good on paper when they're just not all that.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:00 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

You're not obliged to go out with someone again just because they like you. You gave it a fair shot, and you're not feeling it, so you are free to (politely) end things now. As others have said, no harm, no foul. It's not a referendum on either of you as nice people.

Young women are largely socialized to put their own feelings, preferences, and gut instincts last, so this may seem unfamiliar to you (hence why you're wondering if you're just being silly). But getting in tune with what you want and using that to guide you in making decisions is actually the farthest thing from silly.
posted by scody at 1:03 PM on July 22, 2013 [13 favorites]

The reason why you would get a little voice in your head saying, "i'm not sure I should keep dating this person," is because you should not keep dating this person.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:03 PM on July 22, 2013 [5 favorites]

How do you feel, physically, at the thought of going on another date? Shoulders up? Stomach hurt? Anxious? Nervous? Bored? Excited? Butterflies? Sad? Smile? Frown? Worried about any fallout at work? Is that actually maybe your main worry?

Now think about never having to speak with or think about this dude again. How do you feel now?

I find that my physical response tells me all I need to know, if I can slow down, pay attention, and boil down the issue.

Me, I wouldn't go on another date with that guy. That tipping thing is weak sauce.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 1:04 PM on July 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Forget the red flags (inconclusive at this point). It's much simpler. You find this guy irritating. It is very irritating to hang out with irritating people. Why do it?
posted by dekathelon at 1:05 PM on July 22, 2013 [9 favorites]

Bleh, yeah, I wouldn't go on another date with this guy.

And, as it happens, being talked over and being asked if I'm having fun are two of my pet peeves.

You don't have to date everyone, it's OK to say "No thanks" if he asks again.
posted by mibo at 1:06 PM on July 22, 2013

He's very nice, but he just did some things that kind of got on my nerves a lot. He would talk over me a lot, and at some point i think i decided to stop talking. He never really asked me any direct questions about myself, i think he was just talking just to talk or it could've been nerves

Personally I've been on a billion dates that were exactly like this and I can't STAND it when someone doesn't listen to me. I think it's a perfectly legitimate reason to not date them any more.
posted by sweetkid at 1:10 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

There are bad first dates that are bad first dates because of weird quirks of reality -- he was half an hour late because he got stuck in traffic or you were cranky because you didn't sleep well the night before or whatever -- and sometimes it's worth giving someone a second chance. Talking over you OR the undertipping could be one of those things, but the "He seemed to know right away that he liked me and assumed we'd go on many dates before even meeting me and really getting to know me outside of texting" is a red flag that is probably not going to change on a second or third or tenth date. And then all of those together!

Like others have said, you don't owe him anything and it's perfectly fine to not want to date people for trivial reasons. Everybody has their own respective flaws, but it doesn't sound like he has anything in your plus column except an underwhelming "he's very nice".
posted by angst at 1:14 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'd probably go on another date with him, just to be sure.

People do strange things when they are nervous, and he obviously put a bit of pressure on himself to make sure you were having a good time... (Is she having a good time? I hope she's having a good time.... I better ask her just to make sure she's having a good time!!!!)

I'd be very interested to hear what has happened after the date. Has he been in touch with you and if so, what's the vibe you get?

Ultimately though, you just can't fake chemistry - it's either there, or it's not. Try again if you want to, or don't try again - it's entirely up to you. Gut instincts speak volumes though and you just don't seem that interested!
posted by JenThePro at 1:27 PM on July 22, 2013

He's very nice, but he just did some things that kind of got on my nerves a lot ... He seemed to know right away that he liked me and assumed we'd go on many dates before even meeting me

You have this internet person's blessing to not date him ever again. "Nice" isn't enough of a reason to date someone, it's the benchmark for being a decent human being on this planet. If you don't feel like dating that person, don't date them. Relationships take effort; don't spend that effort on someone you don't want to be with.
posted by zennish at 1:32 PM on July 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Blowhard. Cheapskate.

Forget this boy and find another.
posted by Pudhoho at 1:37 PM on July 22, 2013 [5 favorites]

How do you know? Your negative feelings about dating him seem pretty clear cut. I don't see any reason for you to go on another date with him unless you think you're being unfair by rejecting him after only one date, which is not a good reason to date somebody. When you actually want to continue seeing someone, you will not need to come here to ask us about it.
posted by wondermouse at 1:39 PM on July 22, 2013

Response by poster: @JenThePro Yeah, he texted me that same night then again on sunday and today. The conversation feels off to me, but he continues being flirty which makes it worse so i should probably tell him something soon. He mentioned wanting to take me out again, but didn't really say much other than he wants to take me out again.

posted by earthquakeglue at 1:55 PM on July 22, 2013

For me, the first red flag is that he added you on Facebook without apparently talking to you, but that might be me being curmudgeonly again.

Don't go on another date with him. The world will keep on spinning.
posted by RainyJay at 2:21 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @RainyJay No, i found it a little odd too. I figured his cousin would have introduced us first or invited me along somewhere he was going to be. He told me he couldn't message me until i added him though, but i always thought you could unless there's some setting i forgot about where you have to be friends first.
posted by earthquakeglue at 2:35 PM on July 22, 2013

I once sat next to a couple obviously on a first-ish type of date and watched the guy literally turn it into an interview/counseling appointment.

That is, it wasn't a dialogue, it was like a monologue with prompting questions: she would begin to talk and he would interject his thoughts about the topic and she would stop and he would just keep talking about his thoughts on the topic. The only way the conversation seemed to survive is that she kept asking him questions and introducing new topics that focused on him: 'what did you think of X', which he would just run with. It seemed like by the middle of their main course her abilities flagged, and he started raising new topics, but those focused on him, not her. "I just traveled to X" which would cause her to have to start the interview language all over again ("really, what was that like").

By the end of dinner, she sort of had a frozen smile on her face, as she wanly made it through dessert. I was tired for her. Jay Leno gets is a skilled interviewer paid a lot of money to throw softball questions at guests to make them think that they are clever and well rounded. This dinner did not cover the price that she should have been paid to make him feel clever and well rounded.

There is nothing wrong with wanting people who want to talk with you, not at you, and are interested in your thoughts and feelings and can read your social cues. It also helps if that person has the general same idea around tipping as you do. Nervous or no, this guy just doesn't have it. And it helps to date the person you are with, not the person who you 'should get along with because we seem so compatible on paper/they are into me'. He needs to find someone who is okay with that or who he is interested in enough to talk with (and not at). You aren't that person.

Set a higher bar for yourself. You feeling drained or sort of marginalized after a date, is not someone clearing that bar. Red flag. End it.
posted by anitanita at 2:42 PM on July 22, 2013 [25 favorites]

You know if you should go on a second date if you want to go on a second date.

[that is unless you want to go on a second date despite the guy being married, stealing your wallet to pay for dinner, etc, but your question was about when to force yourself to do something you don't want to do, not when to deny yourself what you want]
posted by tel3path at 3:12 PM on July 22, 2013

Also, nervous or no, if his dates are turned off by his talking over them he will have to overcome this nervous habit or else date women who don't mind it. Many people are annoyed by this which is why it's considered rude. Also it can show dangerous tendencies for the future, in that talking over you can signify more than just talking over you.

Where are those charming sociopaths who'd at least do everything right until they've hooked you? At least those relationships start out enjoyable.
posted by tel3path at 3:17 PM on July 22, 2013

He told me he couldn't message me until i added him though, but i always thought you could unless there's some setting i forgot about where you have to be friends first.

To help clear this up, if someone messages another who is not on their friends list, the message usually is filtered into the recipient's "Other" message inbox, where the recipient will not get an indicator that he or she received a message and will not know it is there until they happen to check their Other inbox (which many FB users do not realize even exists).

The two ways around this are to:
a) make a friend request and then send a message. This will land the message into the recipient's regular message inbox, even before the recipient has accepted the friend request.


b) pay Facebook $1 to bypass the Other filter and deliver the message to the recipient's inbox.

In any case, sounds like a poor match for you, there's absolutely no reason to say yes to a second date if you aren't feeling a connection. FWIW, the big red flag for me would have been the feeling that he's made a bunch of assumptions about the future of the relationship before the first date.
posted by jamaro at 3:21 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm a nervous introvert who hates dating. My general rule of thumb about second dates goes like this:

*did I have fun on the first date, or at least enough fun that I didn't spend the date wishing I was at home alone with a good book?
*did the thought of a second date fill me with dread? Not the minor sense of apprehension that comes with a new situation due to my introversion, but actual flat-out dread? Like, I would rather stay home and do my dishes (I really hate doing dishes) than go out with this person again?

It doesn't sound like you had fun on your first date with this guy. If the thought of going out with him again doesn't put even a tiny smile on your face, that's all the permission you need to not go out with him again.
posted by palomar at 3:25 PM on July 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

He told me he couldn't message me until i added him though, but i always thought you could unless there's some setting i forgot about where you have to be friends first.

Lately Facebook has been throwing all non-friends' messages into an "Other" folder unless they pay a dollar. However, an acquaintance of mine who has been flagged a lot for spamming can't even do that, and does need to be friends with someone in order to message them. I already thought you should drop this guy because you had gotten so many "bad vibes" from him, and one ought to honor that instinct -- but seriously, who wants to date a spammer?
posted by teremala at 3:27 PM on July 22, 2013

Wait wait, under tipping staff whose income is all or mostly from tips is tantamount to theft. Short of that, it's stingy.

All the things you think are bad signs are actually bad signs. You are answering your own question, as is so often the case with these "date turned up covered in blood, said he was run over by an offal cart, can't help wondering if those headlines were about him but I don't want to decline a second date cos isn't he innocent until proven guilty?" type questions.
posted by tel3path at 3:28 PM on July 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Having things in common is pleasant, but it sounds like you didn't have fun, and can't find good things to say about him. If his cousin asks why you didn't want to go out with him again, just say there was no chemistry.
posted by theora55 at 3:47 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

A person who can't even listen to you on a first date, when they should have their best foot forward...? The undertipping is tacky and cheap, but the real red flag is the not-listening and not even pretending-to-listen. That sort of thing doesn't improve with familiarity.
posted by tomboko at 3:57 PM on July 22, 2013 [4 favorites]

He's a pushy, cheapskate, possible incipient stalker and liar: no, there's no reason whatsoever you should go out with him again. Tell him ONCE "No thank you, no more dates." Delete him from facebook (and take this as a hint for the future: do NOT accept anyone as a friend unless you know them!), block his texts and calls etc. Don't go out with him just to make him or your coworkers happy: you date to make YOU happy, and this dude ain't it.

*The lying: unlike what he told you, yes, it is VERY easy to message back and forth with someone on facebook without being their friend. De-friend him immediatly.
*The pushiness: the talking over you, the frequent texting, and getting his cousins to convince you to go out with him. It feels like he decided ahead of time exactly what you were like and has insisted on shoving you into that mold.
*The cheapness: aw c'mon, two bucks for the tip? That come out to what, about 6-7 percent? That alone would make me tell him no second date.
*The incipient stalker behavior: all of the above (well, all but the lousy tipping!) plus the way he came across as a different person between his online and real-life personnas. Spotting you and unilaterally deciding you somehow 'suited' him. He sounds like a bit of a manipulator. And dragging his cousins/your coworkers into it? That's icky behavior, all by itself.
posted by easily confused at 4:12 PM on July 22, 2013 [4 favorites]

What doesn't concern me (unlike the others):
- facebook
- asking if you're having fun

What does concern me
- the 'liking you with nothing to go on except what you look like'
- the bad vibes
- talking over you

The bad vibes part on it's own is enough to say 'nope' for me.
posted by Ashlyth at 4:18 PM on July 22, 2013

The bad tip was the only red flag I would have needed. Seriously. That tells you all you really need to know right there.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:38 PM on July 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

What would you tell your best friend if she went on this date and then asked for your advice on whether or not to go out again?

Trust your instincts here. This was the lowest commitment interaction you will ever have with this guy. If you keep going from here and you're this unexcited, it will be that much more unpleasant to back away later after more dates. "But I thought you were having fun! I asked if this was fun!" Blech.

There is no point in a dating relationship when a person works harder to impress you than at the very beginning. If this is the best he's got for round one, what do you think you're going to get when his guard is down and he isn't worried about making a good impression anymore?
posted by amycup at 9:51 PM on July 22, 2013

He sounds pretty self-centred (talking over you, friending you and aggressively contacting you so much) and insecure (are you having fun? am I doing this right? what can I do to make you think I'm cool?). It also sounds like he's trying to fast-forward the relationship. Assuming intimacy and having expectations without knowing how you feel is not normal or okay.

The bad tip would be enough for me, but combined with everything else: Walk. Away.
posted by guster4lovers at 9:53 PM on July 22, 2013

The purpose of dating is to get to know the other person, and decide if you enjoy their company enough to want to spend more time with them. It sounds like you don't, so don't.

There's something that's kind of gross to me about offering people you're dating 'another chance' - as if they're entitled to some kind of a make-up exam for having failed to win you over. You're allowed to have preferences too, and you don't have to keep trying with this guy just because he likes the way you look.

In my experience, guys who try to go into relationship mode before they really even know you are rarely good boyfriend material. They either want want someone (anyone!) to fill the empty spot marked 'girlfriend' in their life, or they just want to hook up and think they can't be honest about it. Either way, seriously - call it quits and enjoy looking for someone more compatible.
posted by Space Kitty at 11:15 PM on July 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

You don't need any red flags.

You aren't into him.

Don't keep dating him.
posted by Sara C. at 11:29 PM on July 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Only date people you like, respect and want to share your time with. This guy does not appear to meet even the basic requirements.
posted by abirdinthehand at 2:35 PM on July 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

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