Updated: March 18, 2014 4:15PM
There is always that Moment of Truth on a first date. It comes at the end of the evening and usually occurs in front of the woman’s front door. A signal must be given whether the couple will have a future together — or at least a second date. And any parting comment that falls between “I know this is fast, but will you marry me?” on one hand and “Have a nice life” on the other, can be torture for a woman.
“I had a fine time. You have a hearty appetite,” is a stiletto in a woman’s heart. “See ya” is like opening her vein. But the worst possible ending to a first-and-last date?
“I’ll call you.”
At this very moment, millions of women are waiting for their phones to ring. All because of three casual, hastily uttered and totally empty words: “I’ll call you.”
“I’d always heard from my women friends that one of the things that bothered them most was when men said, ‘I’ll call,’ and then didn’t,” says Calvin, 28. “Then one time I found myself doing it and felt terrible about it.”
Part of the problem, Calvin says, is that you can get through even a not-great first date by asking basic questions like “What do you do? Where were you born? What do you like to do?” etc., etc., etc. But how is a guy supposed to end a first date when he’s pretty sure there’s not going to be a second one?
“Rejections are best when they’re clean and swift,” Calvin says. “But it’s hard to reject a woman to her face. So men say, ‘I’ll call’ for the same reason women lie when they turn down a request for a date with: ‘Oh, I’m busy then. Maybe some other time.’
“When a woman says that, in your heart you know that she’s probably trying to be nice and let you down gently, but there’s still a little nagging voice that says, ‘Gee, suppose she really is busy and really does want me to ask her out another time.’ If you’re like most guys, you wait a week or two, ask her out again and when she turns you down again, you slap your forehead and say, ‘Why did I do it?’
“Nobody wants to lie, and everyone hates to be lied to, but do we really want the truth all the time? I have a question for women: Would you really prefer it if at the end of a date the man turned to you and said, ‘I didn’t have that good a time. I don’t want to see you again’? Sure, talk of honesty comes cheap. Being able to face it is tough.”
A friend of Calvin’s has arrived at a solution.
“Early on in the first date, you casually ask the person if they want kids. If you’ve decided you don’t want to see the person again, you say the opposite of whatever they say about this issue. Then you drop the subject. At the end of the date you say, ‘You’re really nice, but it’s really important to me to have children so I don’t think this relationship could ever work out,’ or else, ‘I had a wonderful time, but I am committed to not having any children.’”
How do you handle the end of a first date? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new website askcheryl.net. Creators Syndicate