Dating Advice: Gentleman, mind your manners!Posted: November 3, 2012
I met a nice guy. Funny, easy-going, smart. Good looking and athletic.
Before you start cheering or thinking to yourself: “Oh thank goodness, now we won’t have to read her lovelorn laments!” — there are some reasons for concern:
We went out for cocktails, talked for a long time and had an easy and funny conversation. So far so good. Then he asked if I’d like to get something to eat. I said sure and asked where he’d like to eat. He had a small but chic nearby restaurant in mind, which sounded fine with me. He walked ahead of me through the doors as if I wasn’t even behind him, then he did the same thing as we were walking into the restaurant. OK, I thought, this is casual, it’s not like we’re an item, though I am used to my date letting me go first. But here’s the thing: when I am walking into a building and there is someone right behind me, I often hold the door and let that person in ahead of me, or I hold the door open a bit or nudge it to stay open for the person who is following. It just seems considerate.
In an odd coincidentally-timed contrast, a group of young men passed us on the sidewalk as we were walking, and thinking we were going to the same place as they, one stood holding the door of their establishment open for me. He actually stood aside holding the door and waited as I walked toward him. I thanked him anyway. It was a sweet thing to do. Manners and courtesy make me feel that thoughtfulness and even a tich of gallantry are still here with us. That’s a good thing, guys. At least in my book.
So, meh, that was a little thing.
In the restaurant, our entrees did not come at the same time. His was served first. The waiter said a curt, “I’m sorry, yours will be right out.” I honestly don’t remember this happening to me before, at a full-service restaurant. So that was strange. Stranger still, my date immediately started eating. I think I’d at least wait a couple of minutes, thinking surely the other entree would immediately follow, or at least give me a moment to say, “Oh please go ahead so that your food doesn’t get cold.” As it was, I said I hoped he’d not be finished before I’d even gotten my dinner, since that was the pace he was on.
Yes, it is an awkward thing to have happen but I think that if I were the one who’d gotten the food, I might ask the waiter to at least bring another bread plate so that my date could sample my food while he waited for his… or ask the server to keep my food warm and then bring both plates together. Or maybe I would be too startled, who knows; it is a bit disconcerting. But at least: if you’re the guy who gets the food, don’t start chowing down while your bemused date watches you eat!
My entree was delicious, when it finally came, in case you are wondering.
When the check came, my date immediately excused himself and went to the men’s room.
I had asked beforehand if he wanted to split the bill, even get separate checks (I’ve never actually done that, but thought I should ask, just to be clear how the check would be handled). He laughed and said oh no of course not, he’d get it, and yes he was sure, so I said I’d get the next then. But, in his long absence, the waiter returned to the table three times and the restaurant was busy–even I was getting tired of waiting– so I decided to pay the bill. My date returned as I was taking my wallet out of my purse. He stood aside and watched as I paid the bill and tip. There was not even a thank you, not then nor afterward. Gratitude is a good quality, in short supply these days. I know that. But a simple thank you… I think that should not have been too difficult to manage.
He did say, and later also texted, what a wonderful time he’d had and how he is looking forward to seeing me again very soon. As far as he is concerned, everything is fine and dandy. He has even been talking/writing about our next date.
Only, there isn’t going to be a next one.
Do you think I am being too picky or too harsh with this guy? I’m not Emily Post or Miss Manners.What would you have done?