Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon: Dating Outside the Box

By Holly A. Phillips

“But the twist for the second date wasn’t wine. Instead, four hours before the date started, this guy decided to unleash.”

A few weeks ago, a guy I met online asked me on a second date. He planned for us to attend a painting session at Painting With a Twist.

I like wine and I like being creative, so props to him for thinking of such a cool date. I also appreciated the fact that he asked me on the date a week in advance (I’m a planner). I was looking forward to the evening.

Our first date was on a Saturday night the week before. We saw a movie, grabbed some pizza, and talked until almost 3 am. It was fun, but since it was also our first time meeting, I thought a second date would help me decipher what was between us.

But the twist for the second date wasn’t wine. Instead, four hours before the date started, this guy decided to unleash.

He sent me a text message saying that he felt like I didn’t look him in the eye on our first date, and that I only had one word answers.

While my nervousness on the date could have caused me to look away, I didn’t realize how much he hated me for it. Was I a bad date for not staring at him? Doubtful.

As for the one-word answers, there’s just no way. As a writer, I actually have plenty to talk about ­– probably more than I should.

I asked him why he invited me for a second date if I was such a pain to be around. He also read one of my books, read my blog, and sent me a friend request on Facebook.

He told me he actually had a good time with me, but he didn’t like my “lack of communication” after the date.

Ah, now the truth comes out; me not demanding his attention made him insecure. While we’re at it, I think the eye-contact thing was a red flag for “control issues.”

I try to be open with potential boyfriends: I don’t like to text, and I definitely don’t want to move too fast.

To me, the time between a first and second date is crucial. Talking a little bit is fine, but we don’t need to swap life stories. We are still getting to know each other.

I don’t owe a person I’ve met once an explanation, nor should I be required to text him a certain number of times before we see each other again in-person.

I do appreciate his honesty, although I pictured the night going a little different. Maybe he’d show up with a bottle of wine and some cheese for us to snack on while we painted our masterpieces (do guys actually do that?).

But instead of Painting With a Twist, or a kiss, I spent my Friday night making Jell-O shots and playing “Brute” Pong (using trashcans and a soccer ball instead of Solo cups) at a friend’s house.

It was a perfect Friday night, but it doesn’t discount the fact that dating can be a real bitch.

While I’m always a fan of dinner dates, maybe going on date experiences that are outside of the box would loosen things up a bit.

It’s nerve-racking to meet new people and put yourself out there — so why not do it while taking a cooking class, or learning how to throw a punch (provided you’re wearing headgear)?

At the very least, it’d give you something to talk about and an experience to share.

Maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of “The Bachelor,” but I hope there’s a creative date waiting in the wings for me. I’m still up for Painting With a Twist, but fair warning: I’ll be looking at the canvas, and not into your eyes.

Read more of Holly’s creative date ideas on her blog, TheBitterLemon.com. 

Creative Courting

How to Plan a unique date:

1. Reason- Pick something that you think your date would like, instead of just randomly suggesting skydiving (unless they’re into spontaneity).

2. Prepare– Either inform your date of all the details surround the date beforehand, or provide everything you’ll both need (i.e. bring a blanket if you’re stargazing mid-November).

3. Sit Back- A cool date earns points, but you’ve still got to relax, have fun, and be yourself.

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