“Let’s Do This Again!” and Other Lies We Tell on Dead-End Dates


I’m bad at a lot of things. Conjugating verbs in Italian, even after all those semesters in undergrad. Feeding myself meals that aren’t mostly carbs or sugar. Not over-scheduling myself. All this to show you I am up to my eyeballs in self-awareness about how/where/what I need to improve upon to be My Best Self.

But one thing I fancy myself pretty damn good at is going on dates. I ask questions! Interesting ones! I’m an easy laugh! I slip the server my card while you’re in the bathroom! I’m a walking firecracker full of stories and opinions and ambition and self-respect!

And yet, like most of us floundering in the dating pool – the current is rough, huh? – I find these little lies spilling from my mouth. They are sentiments I don’t mean, mostly to avoid the inevitable or awkward, because the idea of hurting someone’s feelings, well, hurts.

Enough. Who has time to string along dead-end dates? To lie to ourselves? To others? To float along in situations solely out of convenience or boredom? 

So cheers friends, on your dating and truth-telling adventures. If I overhear you at the other end of the bar spewing one of these lies, I’ll have the bartender send you another round as punishment.

“Let’s get drinks soon!”
sometimes translates to…
“I know we probably won’t get drinks soon, but it’s easier to say this instead of saying I’d rather take a bath and read a book and not waste my Thursday night on this.”
Funny how we insist on sparing people’s feelings in an attempt to not burn bridges or come across as the bad guy or having to actually make a decision. Stringing someone along, only to have it never happen, is rude. How about next time you definitely don’t want to get drinks soon – or ever – just… don’t say that?!

“I’m not in a place to date right now.”
sometimes translates to…
“I’m not feeling this, so I’m going to place the blame on myself and my very full Google calendar.”
No really, it’s me, not you! I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy. Thing is, is there ever a good time? Likely, if I cared enough, if I were interested enough, no matter how stressful my work project is or if I’m carrying around my I-haven’t-been-to-yoga-since-November weight, I’d make it work.

“Don’t worry, I got it. You can get it next time.”
sometimes translates to…
“I’m paying because I don’t want to owe you anything.”
Not always the case, of course. But paying is a power move, no? I got this. My treat. It alleviates the guilt if you cut and run. “He/she can’t hate me too much. I paid for our overpriced artisan cocktails!”

“I should get home. I have to work early tomorrow.”
sometimes translates to…
“Let’s wrap this up. I want to get the hell out of here.”
My bed is calling and I don’t want you in it.

“What kind of music do you listen to?”
sometimes translates to…
“If you say that band with the banjos I’m gonna nod and no-teeth smile and judge you so hard.”
The traps we set. If we’re not into someone, we find any excuse as to why we’re not going to get married, have babies and hammer together a picket fence.  

“Sorry, I’m running a few minutes late! Trying to find parking.”
sometimes translates to…
“I’ve been parked for 10 minutes, with one eye on the door watching for you to walk in, so I don’t have to sit awkwardly alone.”
Maybe you think showing up a few minutes late makes you look cool and calm and not too desperate, but stop! Getting to the date on time shows you’re respectful of others’ time. Bonus: if you get there first, it lets you set the tone for your drinking experience. “I waited to order in case we want to get a bottle” or “I got a negroni that’s half gone because I was a bit nervous and you were late, do you do that often because that’s not gonna fly with me!”

“Oh, you like rock climbing too?”
sometimes translates to…
“Duh, of course, I know that. I did a thorough online investigation of you before meeting.”
This particular hobby, that trip to Banff, that time you got rooftop drinks at that one bar. Remember mystery? I miss it too.

“I’ve been dying to try this place. Have you ever been?”
sometimes translates to…
“This is my go-to first date place because I know how to snag the best bar seats and what to order without studying the menu.”

Just don’t let the staff get to know you *too* well. They will talk.

“Wanna meet in your neighborhood?”
sometimes translates to…
“In case you’re awful, I can easily avoid this 10-square-block radius.”
You deserve to keep a safety bubble around your neighborhood. Your bodega, your coffee shop, and your streets so you can walk your dog when you’re hungover and in no position to run into an ex.

“We should do this again!”
sometimes translates to…
It’s been scientifically proven* that if you end a date that was a dud with “You seem great – I’m just not feeling a vibe,” instead of an empty promise you’ll sleep better at night.

*Another lie

Any other lies I’m missing? Let’s hear ‘em in the comments. 

And don’t forget: you can always just date yourself.

Image source.

BY Megan McCarty - February 27, 2018

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Haha, this was a fun read! 😀 I have a long time boyfriend so I haven’t experienced the adult dating scene myself. It’s nice seeing a different perspective!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

February 28, 2018 12:47 pm

Great read to follow-up an awkward Tinder date last night! “Maybe we can get coffee again sometime…” (but never again, actually.)

March 5, 2018 4:47 pm

OMG, this! Love it. I fall into the 100% honest category which many men hear as “it’s a challenge, see if you can change my mind or win”. Then they often get upset when I still feel the same way or think I’m playing a game. NOPE. Just being honest. Like I said the first time. LOL! I would love to hear your perspective (and what you gather from others) on how to handle when you meet – how long do you entertain messaging? Do you give your number or schedule a call to make sure they don’t give “crazy”… Read more »

March 29, 2018 8:09 am

Hahahaaha. I’ve been wanting to read this piece for a while and kept forgetting. So glad it popped up today because it will make me smile for the rest of the day. Yep. Been there, done that. Except the “Don’t worry, I got it.” For some reason I’ve never had a problem having my drinks paid for – even if I know it will be the last time. (Does this make me terrible?) Thanks for the giggles this morning. And here’s to surviving this dating journey with humor and truth. xo

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