“I went on a few dates with a guy in college. At first, I was excited because I found him attractive and he said yes to a dinner date. Turns out, even attractive people can be a bag of crazy.
For our first date, we went out to an Italian restaurant. He ordered spaghetti with regular sauce, no meatballs. Out of curiosity, I asked if he’d tried anything else on the menu that he would recommend. He said, ‘Nope, I only ever order spaghetti.’
When the food came, he proceeded to lean over his plate, shovel the spaghetti in his mouth, and use his lips to cut the rest back on his plate. I’m no snob, I’ve eaten spaghetti like that before, just never in public. He said it’s the right way to eat it.
He asked if I’d like to go see a movie, but I wasn’t feeling the vibe so I declined and made up some project I had to finish. He told me he loves the movies and wishes he could just live in one all the time.
Uhm, alright, well, thanks for the date…
A week later, he asked me out again. I decided to give him another shot. Maybe I was being overly judgmental or petty. We agreed to go out for pizza and see a movie.
I picked him up at his house and we went to Pizza Hut at his insistence. ‘It’s the best pizza on the planet,’ he told me about three times on the way there. We got there and he ordered a personal pan for himself. That was a first. Maybe he didn’t want to share the bill? I ordered one for myself and just let it go. Again, I was worrying that maybe I was being judgy. I was really confused when the bill came and he paid, but whatever, I’m not going to call him out, not worth it.
The ‘movie’ ended up being back at his house where (surprise!) he lived with his parents. His dad asked me what I’m in school for and when I told him, he lectured me that I should go to school for teaching, since that’s what he does, which I thought was rude.
We never did watch the movie. Instead, we spent the rest of the evening with him showing me all his WWF wrestling memorabilia and bossing his mother around, Cartman style. His life goal was to get his old job at Blockbuster back since it was the most fun he’d ever had. His favorite way to spend Christmas was when his mom let him open everything the night before so he could spend the day at the movies, avoiding all the relatives that came over for Christmas dinner. He hated everything his mother cooked and counted off to be the only ten foods he would ever eat; he hated everything else, didn’t need to even try it.
Did I mention he was 27 years old?
A few days later, he invited me out to coffee and I agreed so I could tell him I won’t be going on any more dates with him. He was nice enough and even though he was an oddball, we never got each other to laugh. All our conversations were dry, no shared interests, and he didn’t have the same values on the importance of family. This wasn’t going to work.
We met up and he ordered a meal while I got coffee. I told him that I enjoyed our dates, but wouldn’t be seeing him again. He yelled, ‘So you’re breaking up with me?!’ We weren’t anything official.
‘I can’t believe you’re dumping me!’ Then he stormed out, leaving his food behind half-eaten. I sat there for a few moments kind of stunned, slightly amused, but okay, life goes on.
A few weeks went by and now it’s the holidays. I ran into him again and this time we did hit it off. He seemed to laugh easier, told good jokes, etc. He asked what I was doing for New Year and I invited him to the party I was going to. I figured maybe we could at least be friends. I told him about the other girls that would be there and he seemed to get the hint that we weren’t going as a couple.
We got to the party and he loudly declared that he doesn’t drink. That’s fine, no one reacted, no biggie. He sat in the corner refusing to acknowledge anyone. He seemed upset for some reason so I asked him what’s wrong. He was upset because the movie trivia game we were playing earlier had a mistake in it. I told him, ‘Uhm, alright, well…we’ll get the info off the box and write to them.’ He seemed to cheer up after this.
Later, he snuck into the kitchen and began to prepare himself a ‘mixed’ drink by pouring a little of everything into a glass. He didn’t notice me. He was talking to himself going, ‘Yeah a little of this, oooh maybe some of that.’ He took a sip of his drink with a splash of tap water and poured the rest down the drain. I don’t think he wanted to admit he didn’t know how mixing drinks worked.
On the drive home the next morning, he pretended to have a hangover and didn’t talk much. I was driving and the roads were icy, so I didn’t mind the silence. With about 30 minutes left on the trip, he asked me what I wanted to do with my college degree. I told him my plans and stuff I’m excited to do. He then said, ‘I don’t see the point of you wasting your time getting a degree. You’ll just be spending the rest of your life raising my children and cooking me meals that I like.’
It took all I had not to dump him off right there on the freeway. He continued to say demeaning nonsense about our future, how he’ll convince me to drop out of college, how pointless it is for all women to get degrees, blah blah blah. My ears began ringing with rage. I’d never had someone say anything so outrightly unsupportive like that to my face. I knew he had some strange social issues, maybe some anxiety about trying new things, but this was too much. I calmly told him I was not going to be told my lot in life is to raise his babies on his part-time Blockbuster paycheck. I didn’t say another word to him, just dropped him off at his car and drove off.
I did learn to never feel obligated to put up with someone’s stuff. I kept giving him chances when I shouldn’t have but in the end, I think I needed to learn that lesson. Now I’m really careful about not leading men on, especially if they have poor social skills.”