DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: 41 yr old cis woman here. Love your blog, it has helped me understand men better and also gives me hope for those you save. Seems like you have your hands full most days!
I’m wondering if you’ll help me process something that happened last night. For context, I’ve been off/on online dating for almost 10 years. It serves me well, I have met plenty of great guys. I’m a redhead, a bit of a niche market, but I get enough swipes and responses.
This is more of a wtf-specific question, to shed some light on this behavior and possibly find some sort of a cautionary tale. The punchline: Some first-date dude ran for it while I was in the bathroom as the check was on the way.
There hadn’t been any major red flags… he was good at messaging on the app, respected my wishes not to exchange numbers before meeting. I said I am not looking for a serious relationship now (getting out of a COVID-limbo break up), and he said he was but was open to more casual dating while looking. He told me he would pay for my dinner, and I replied thanks and that that was not expected or necessary.
During the date he was firing off questions non-stop. I just thought he was nervous. He did ask one weird question, though, before the appetizers got there. He asked what my most embarrassing moment was. I’m not good at thinking up answers on the spot and told him so; he told me that his was giving a past girlfriend an Easter Basket for Valentines Day (??).
Also, I mentioned that I had just gotten my first unsolicited dick pic (guess after 10 years, that’s not too bad), and had sent that guy a text about consent and boundaries before blocking. He replied that women did that too, and that at least twice he had been sent unsolicited boob pictures, that apparently were of terribly unattractive boobs (?).
Everything else was pretty standard first-date stuff, awkwardness, flirtation, etc. As we ordered a box for leftovers, I went to the bathroom and he was just gone. He had dropped his mask on the floor and ran for it. I asked our server about it and she had others looking for him with no luck. Probably about 30 minutes passed before I left.
The servers felt so bad for me that they used their tip money to cover his half and gave me free tiramisu (which is probably the actual moral of this story). Strangely, he did send me one more message on the app, saying it was nice to meet me and that he needed to get his back medicine out of the car (?). I told him to go f--k himself and asked if he was proud of having servers use their tip money to bail him out before blocking.
I have other delightful options, so the rejection doesn’t sting, and I got more love from the restaurant staff than I ever get out of a first date anyway, but I am upset that there are these kinds of douchebags running wild in the world. Who else has he tried to shame?
So… did I meet an undercover Proud Boy? I’d love your (non-professional) perspective on the psychology behind this weird dating experience that has already become a funny story.
Thanks for all you do!
Confused And Dating
DEAR CONFUSED AND DATING: Well on the plus side, CaD, you’ve got a hell of a story to tell on future dates…
So, there’s plenty to question here, and the part that leaps out at me is his firing off questions, culminating with the whole “what’s your most embarrassing moment,” part. Peppering you with questions in general sounds like nerves or misunderstanding the whole concept of “interested is interesting.” Perhaps he thought that by asking lots of questions was the same as finding commonalities or being an interesting conversationalist, rather than coming off like he was conducting a job interview. Asking about your most embarrassing moment, on the other hand, sounds a bit more like something he may have read on a PUA forum. Maybe he thought that this would open up an opportunity to take things in a sexual manner or that sharing an embarrassing story would lead to… I dunno, emotional vulnerability or some s--t?
The same goes for his whole “I got unsolicited nudes” bit. Beyond a real “citation needed”, it sounds like this was supposed to somehow open up conversation about sending nudes but he got it twisted and inadvertently came off as trying to one-up you.
Though, if I’m being honest, I don’t think that you need to really analyze this too deeply. Whether he’s painfully awkward and weird, or this was some bizarre master plan ultimately doesn’t matter. For whatever reason, the dude decided that his best course of action was to just yeet himself out the window instead of a slightly more sensible “thanks, didn’t really feel a connection, best of luck” conversation afterwards. And really, his reasoning is, honestly, kind of irrelevant. It’s fun to speculate, sure. Maybe he’s that conflict averse. Maybe this was some attempt at viral TikTok fame… is #dateanddashchallenge a trend now? But will knowing why change anything? Not really. All that ultimately matters is that the dude GTFO’d at speed and left you holding the bag, literally and metaphorically.
The message at the end is just the bizarre cherry on the top of this particularly nutty sundae, but again, whether this was his trying to salvage a shred of ego or just part of the game doesn’t matter. Assholes are gonna ass.
The only thing I wish you’d done differently was to Venmo him an invoice for the bill and a hefty tip besides so that you could go back and reimburse the staff after being so generous that they comped your meal out of their own pockets. Dude owes them that at least; they went above and beyond because of his dickbaggery. It’s one thing for you to pay a “get away from the asshole” tax; it’s another to dump it on folks in the service industry at a time when s--t’s dire enough as it is.
Anyway. Chalk this one up to the weirdness of dating in the modern era, maybe use it as fodder for a short story in the future but otherwise, I think we can let this dude just sink into the realm of “so what’s your worst first date?” stories for when you’re on a date with more deserving men.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org