Andy the Accountant
And now, another installment of my dating fails…
I’ve changed the names to protect the innocent, or not so innocent! I have a habit of saving guys names in my phone with their first name (since I sometimes don’t know their last name) and some fact about them. This helps me keep them straight if I’m talking to more than one person, which let’s be honest, isn’t usually a problem. When I first started doing this I met several guys whose name and job started with the same letter (Carl the Coach, Adam the Audiologist) so I’ve just kept the alliteration trend going!
So, to give you some background, I went out with Andy the Accountant in the winter. About a month before I had ended a 12 week long “relationship” of sorts with a different guy Derek the Data Analyst. The relationship ended because I never felt like the he made me a priority. I felt like I had to beg for attention, affection, affirmations of any kind. I also wanted to be more than friends, yet he refused to put any effort into spending time together or treat me like anything more than one of his bros. I’m sure I’ll tell you more of the story with him a little later.
Andy the Accountant was the total opposite...
He gave me a couple options of restaurants and made me make the final decision just so that he was sure we’d go somewhere I liked. All of the restaurants he suggested were nicer than anyplace Derek had taken me in 12 weeks. He then sent me a screenshot of the restaurant with the address and directions. Maybe I wouldn’t have thought much of him giving me directions, but this restaurant was not a chain, so there was only one location, and it was less than 2 miles from my office. Also I have a smart phone so I was pretty confident I could make it there.
Once I got to the restaurant the hovering continued. He had made a reservation and was waiting outside the restaurant on the patio to make sure I could find him. Again, nothing wrong with making reservations or waiting at the door, but it was literally 5pm on a Tuesday so there wasn’t much of a crowd to contend with aside from some senior citizens trying to take advantage of the early bird specials. He proceeded to offer to help me take off my coat and find somewhere to hang it. The man nearly went into a full blown panic attack because he didn’t see a coat rack anywhere. I wanted to tell him that I had been managing my own coat for over 2 decades and didn’t need assistance, but I just politely told him I could put my coat on the back of my chair.
The whole date went on like that. Explaining the menu to me like I was an illiterate child, constantly asking if I needed more water, if the temperature was ok, if I wanted to switch tables. You get the idea.
I don’t think I was even out of the parking lot of the restaurant before I made an emergency call to my bestie to rehash the date. I immediately started complaining that he was overbearing, that he treated me like a child, and that I found it all thoroughly annoying. She cautiously asked, “Isn’t all of this exactly what you wished Derek the Data Analyst would’ve done?” As soon as she said it, I realized she was exactly right. I had literally spent the entire summer complaining about a guy who didn’t treat me like I was special, who acted like I was one of his bros. Now I had swung to the opposite end of the spectrum and met a guy who treated me like a porcelian doll.
Can we just take a minute and appreciate our besties? I mean really, where would we be without someone to constantly call and over analyze every detail of every date with? My best friend happens to have a fantastic husband and 4 gorgeous little ones, so our conversations often consist of me telling her all the woes of being single and dating in this day in age, while she cooks, cleans, gives baths and manages bedtime. My problems are all put back into perspective when she tells me she suddenly has to go because dinner is burning or one of the kids pooped in the bathtub. There are pros and cons to EVERY STAGE IN LIFE. I hope you all have a bestie who listens to you and makes you feel heard, but also isn’t afraid to call you out when you get a little crazy.
I think that this is such a hard thing to figure out when you’re single longer than expected. How do you be independent and live a full life alone, but also leave room for someone else? Like you’d love to meet a man who’s handy and can fix things around the house, but at some point it becomes easier to buy your own tool kit, watch some YouTube videos and figure out how to stop your toilet from leaking, unclog your dishwasher, find studs in the walls and hang blinds all on your own.
It’s definitely not wrong to become more educated and independent; when you are single longer than expected it will become necessary. I think that the key is in our heart attitude when we do meet someone who offers to help us out. With Andy I was instantly offended. “He thinks I’m a child”, “He doesn’t respect me”, “He thinks I can’t do things for myself”. I really don’t think he thought any of those things. He probably just thought he was being chivalrous; he was concerned about me and wanted me to have a good time that night. Things look so different if we choose to assume the best. So when you meet someone who opens doors, offers to get your coat and pays for dinner, just accept the offer. You don’t need to tell him that you can get the door yourself or that you make your own money and don’t need him buying dinner. Those are discussions that can come later in the relationship if needed, but if it’s a first date, try to assume the best and just accept the kindness.
In case you're wondering Andy and I only went out one more time. We just weren't a good match, but there's always something you can learn!