We have so much in common. Knowing my luck, he's a MeFite too.
August 13, 2007 5:43 PM   Subscribe

I met a really great guy online, talked for hours (30+) across 4 days. We've got a lot in common, but the first in person meeting/date (dinner & a movie) went horribly when I forgot how to interact with human beings. After a couple of days of not talking we're back up to where we were: several hours of conversation a night. I'd like to ask him out again. Any suggestions on what to do or where to go? Any tips on how to actually remember to talk on a date?

He's made comments that I think imply he's willing to give it another go, but it's up to me. I'd like less stress, but he's mentioned a play he'd like to see. I'm not sure if some of the hints he's dropped are actually hints. I've been told that I wouldn't know flirting if it dropped it's pants in front of me.

It appears from our interaction so far, that I'm going to be the one who does the asking out, which isn't a role I'm all the comfortable with.

I'm looking for something fun that'll let us get to know one another. I really like the guy and would love to have him as a friend if nothing else.

And just in case he is reading this...

You wanna go out Friday night?
posted by aristan to Human Relations (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
oh, ask him out! you know the old saying, fortune favors the bold.

don't even consider it a do-over. a lot of first dates suck, but you're lucky enough to have enough chemistry to survive that. take heart from that, and move forward. go, enjoy the play. it'll give you a jumping-off point for conversation. i'm a fan of a couple of lubricating drinks on early dates, too, but i know not everyone is of the same mind.

(also, if you think it's a hint, it's probably a hint.)
posted by thinkingwoman at 6:10 PM on August 13, 2007

Why not start off just meeting up for coffee, and then progress to lunch or a weekend brunch instead of dinner. That way, you have to either get back to work or could make up an excuse (errands, appt, etc.) that you have to part ways. Take baby steps rather than the whole Friday Night Date thing. Another option is an 'activity date' - museum, etc. That way, you're not stuck having to make up inane conversation - you will have the topic at hand ready for you. The thing about movies is that it kind of takes away from 'togetherness', kwim? Yeah, you can talk about the movie afterward, but chances are you had dinner first *then* the movie, so unless things are going swimmingly, you come to a dead halt in the evening.

I met my husband online. I answered his personal ad. Yup. Really. We emailed for about two weeks, talked on the phone for about a week and then met for lunch one day during the week (turns out we worked about four blocks from each other). We met on a Tuesday and then got together the following weekend. (We've been married for almost seven years and have a couple of kiddos.)

I would just be honest with him and tell him that you spazzed out and want a 'do over'. If he's cool about it, all the better. With regard to him being the askee instead of the asker, well, maybe he feels like a dating dork and just needs some prodding. It's never easy, whichever side you end up on. I soooo don't miss the single days when it comes to dating. Then again, your life is probably exponentially more interesting than mine is at this point. :)

Good luck!
posted by dancinglamb at 6:10 PM on August 13, 2007

I think if you're back to a couple of hours of conversation a night, then the date probably didn't go as badly as you think it did. Or, at least, he didn't have the same impression of the night as you.

I'm looking for something fun that'll let us get to know one another. I really like the guy and would love to have him as a friend if nothing else.

Then going to see a play he's interested in seeing might not be the best way for him to get to know you, but seeing it might give some insight into him. I've been on dates and seen plays or films I might not have considered before, just to see what kind of taste my date has.

If you do a lot of talking online, at least you already know his interests. Refer back to stuff you've talked about online - it's a good starting point, rather than trying to think of new topics or turning up with a shopping list of other things to discuss.

Have dinner before the play or have a few drinks after so you can discuss it. Make sure there's time for you to spend together, rather than have the night eaten up just by seeing the play.
posted by crossoverman at 6:15 PM on August 13, 2007

In my experience, online communication is wildly different than real life interaction.
Back in the day, I met a chick online and we both fell for each other via the phone and online communication. We talked a lot for about two months and planned on dating when she moved up to college (she was home for the summer).
We met in real life, and it was totally awkward. It was like that online chemistry was gone.
Then next day, I asked her if, contrary to what we thought would happen online, it'd be OK if we were just friends? She said ya, and we hung out non-stop the next 2 years where everyone thought we were dating.

I think our initial "date" failed because there was so much pressure on us. From our online interaction, it was like anything less than an absolutely perfect first real interaction was a failure. So, the first thing is remove some of the pressure.
Secondly, the physical chemistry just wasn't there. She's an awesome person and love her to death, but sometimes it just doesn't click.
posted by jmd82 at 6:21 PM on August 13, 2007

If he's talking to you on the phone for hours at a time, then he definitely wants to see you again. (He wouldn't bother with the phone calls, otherwise.) So asking him out again isn't actually a risk - he will say yes. Going to a play might actually not be a bad idea - you get to spend a few hours together without talking (you've done a lot of that anyway), and it'll give you a couple of hours to get comfortable with being in physical proximity to him. By the time you go out for drinks/coffee/dessert/or dinner after, you'll probably be relaxed enough to be a bit more... 'smooth' (?).

Also keep in mind that he's probably blaming himself for the date not going well... we're all our own worst critics, after all.
posted by Kololo at 6:21 PM on August 13, 2007

If he's talking to you on the phone for hours at a time

I read it as online chatting, not phone talking. Correct me if I'm wrong and then ignore the rest of this comment.

Interacting online is totally different from interacting in person. If you're using the internet to find a date, just use it to find a date, and do everything else on the phone or in person until you get to know each other. If you spend too much time chatting online before meeting in person, it can introduce an weird dynamic to the relationship - you don't get those extra seconds to rewrite / think about your responses in person without looking like a moron. There's no better way to kill the chemistry than having the expectation of speaking effortlessly with someone for hours, only to find you were relying more than you thought on the crutch of a slow communication medium. And that can be the difference between friends and dating. Or friends and nothing, for that matter.

Always try to speak in person (or on the phone) before spending too many hours chatting online, or you'll turn it into a total crap shoot. At this point, I think you should stop almost all of the online chatting until you determine how you interact together in person.

Ask him out, just try set your expectations appropriately, and realize it's not going to be like online.
posted by chundo at 9:01 PM on August 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

Eh, the first date my wife and I went on, we both decided we'd met a great person whom we'd be friends with for a long time, but never ever date again.

Then we went out again and changed our minds. So go for it.
posted by davejay at 9:26 PM on August 13, 2007

I think a play is a good idea, maybe followed by coffee or drinks. That way you'll have the length of the play to get used to being next to each other before you have to sit face to face and talk.


First: Ask him if he'd like to go out for a play and then coffee/drinks.

Second: Research coffee/drinks places near the theater, so you know where you're taking him.

Third: Be prepared to pay, since you're doing the asking. Have cash, since not everywhere takes plastic, even now.

Fourth: If you're feeling awkward and nervous, don't ignore it. Talk about it. Say, "I'm sorry I'm so awkward. I really like you, and I hope you'll give me a few more chances so we can get to the point where we're both relaxed and have a better feel for each other." (An awkward man said that to me on an early date five years ago, and now we're married.)
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:35 PM on August 13, 2007

Just like JMD says I think the net is a great tool to meet people but the first physical meeting should happen SOON after intial contact.

You build up expectations that can not be fulfilled when you spend that much time communicating before the real interaction.

Now that your already in this boat I would say that doing something active, something that requires the a decent amount of attention from each of you will help fill the "I need to say the perfect thing" feeling that creeps in when you have "stale" time on your date.

Good luck
posted by crewshell at 5:04 AM on August 14, 2007

If the guy didn't want to go out with you again, he wouldn't still be talking to you. He seems kind of shy and passive and indirect, and those types will just fade away rather than deal with the awkwardness of post-bad-first-date friendship. Ask him, I guarantee he won't say no unless something urgent comes up.
posted by desjardins at 7:05 AM on August 14, 2007

I read somewhere (Salon, maybe? I can't find it now) about a couple who'd had great online and written chemistry, but who, upon meeting IRL, couldn't quiet connect. Their situation was if anything more difficult than yours, because there was bit of a language barrier. The thing that finally helped them to break through the in-person ice was (IIRC) going to a silent dinner party, where they had to interact physically, and feed each other.

Now, I'm not saying that you should do that, exactly. But I think the takeaway from their story is that maybe you should try to bring in some kind of tactile distraction, and force yourselves to interact in a way that's different from the standard forced-chat-dinner-n'-drinks model of the typical date.

Look in your local college's extension catalog. Is there a one-night cooking class that you could take together? How about rollerskating, or racquetball, or, I don't know, singing sea shanties?

And ditto the folks who say that, if he's still talking to you for hours a night, he's still into you. Heck, it's even possible that he thinks he's the one who screwed it up last time.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 3:22 PM on August 14, 2007

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