I was reading JDates Gone Wrong and I realized, actually my first date with Yaakov was not exactly smooth as silk.
In fact, I showed up close to an hour late (by bus), couldn't find the place where we were supposed to meet, and ended up dragging him to another restaurant despite telling him that he could choose the place.
I ate while he didn't eat anything, and he stared uneasily at the mezuza necklace I was wearing and made strange comments on it.
For our second date, we went to a party with a huge bunch of people who neither of us knew, felt uncomfortable, and ducked out in favor of ordering pizza.
Sounds kinda like a JDate gone wrong (besides not being JDate related), and when you factor in that between our first phone call and our first date, he was in Switzerland for a week, and I narrowly avoided dating someone else that week... this could all have been a recipe for disaster.
So what went right?
There are rules to this dating thing.
For example, if you're going to be late, use the phone. Call. Before you're late. Apologize. If he'd been waiting cluelessly for over 30 minutes, I'm sure Yaakov would have been less than impressed by my tardiness. As it was, he may have been annoyed, but at least he wasn't waiting outside on a cold evening wondering if I was going to stand him up.
Next, the first date should be cheap. The first half of our date was at a cafe, where he ordered tea, and I ordered hot chocolate.
Next, the girl *must* offer to pay.
Then the guy *should* refuse to let the girl pay. This is why the first date should be inexpensive. Otherwise, you've got the poor guy shelling out big money every time he goes out.
So far, so good. I offered, Yaakov paid. I argued for a moment, then said "thank you" nicely, accepting his gift.
** this is important. when someone pays for you, regard it as a gift. It's not a power play, and it commits you to nothing. It is a gift. It really helps if the gift is a cup of coffee and not a 3-day trip to Disneyland. Girls, trust me, if you argue and then shove the money into the guy's hand, he will find it insulting. Save it for the third or fourth date, and say "no really, I feel uncomfortable with you spending so much money on me. I make a salary, and I'm happy to treat you sometimes too." Make it clear that you want to give to him, and not just to "be equal."
Next: we decided to go for a walk. Walks are good. There's none of that uncomfortable money thing involved in the walk. We talked about stuff.
We ended up at another restaurant, and I had a bowl of soup (actually, I had a roll of soup.. they put the soup inside a big, crusty, bread roll... it was seriously yum) and Yaakov had a hot drink.
I tried to pay for that part, but he was pretty convincing when he said that he would prefer to pay for me, so again, I said thank you.
So how did we end up at the end of the date caring about each other enough that getting on the bus home felt lousy? That's Hashem's part of the story. But I thank Yaakov for having the guts to say at the end of the evening "It was nice meeting you. I'd like to get together with you again soon." as opposed to leaving me wondering if he would ever call again.
And why did we ditch a party and order a pizza on the second date? Because we couldn't hear each other talk, and really, that was what we'd gotten together for.
So maybe it's time to open a blog for dates gone right.
I'd sure love to read about those.