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We had been on two coffee dates, and you were really excited about seeing me again. I was open to possibilities but I have to be honest, I didn’t really have the jumpy claps, since at 2 AM on New Year’s Day I received a text from you that said, “I have a question I want to ask you but probably shouldn’t.”
You should know that my first reaction that that text was to think, “then don’t.” Instead, I just replied, “oh?” and stared at my phone in disbelief a minute later when you said, “is what we have heading toward a romantic relationship? The reason I ask is that someone asked me and I didn’t know how to answer.”
Ummm. Yeah, no.
A million things went through my head. Were you really asking this after spending a total of 2.5 hours together? Were you even thinking about this? Why were other people asking you about us? Why did other people even know about me?
I told you that I absolutely could not answer your question at that point, that I liked what I knew of you so far but I don’t jump into relationships that quickly and that I needed to know much more about you before I could make any decision like that.
You responded that my answer was better than a flat out no, and that even though it was early, you thought there was potential for a long term relationship.
Gotta tell you, my interest in you declined a good 50% right at that moment.
But you asked to see me again, and with no other prospects on the horizon and figuring I had nothing to lose, I said yes. You wanted to spend an entire afternoon and evening with me, and worse, you wanted to go Niagara Falls, which is pretty much my least favourite place on earth and I can’t understand why anyone would want to drive 2 hours to look at a waterfall and let’s face it, twenty seven point five seconds is more than enough time to spend there, but I agreed, thinking that at the end of the day I would either really like you or really hate you. As the date approached the weather report called for rain all day and you suggested we stay closer to home and drive out to a little village just outside of town, where again, a few minutes is too long to spend there, but again, I agreed, thinking I’d leave this one in your hands and that if you were really interested in me, you’d come up with fun things for us to do.
The morning of our date, I got up early. I put on a dress and did my hair really nicely. I put on makeup, more makeup than I would ever put on on a Saturday morning, added jewelry, slipped my feet into my cute new boots.
Then I waited. And waited. And waited. And half an hour after you were supposed to pick me up, you texted to say you were almost there.
And then you finally got to my house, and I gave myself a pep talk and reminded myself to give you the benefit of the doubt and keep an open mind, and I climbed into your truck and looked over at you.
And you were wearing sweatpants.
I’d like to tell you that I’m not shallow and that I don’t care about things like that. I’d really like to tell you that. But buddy. Sweatpants. Sweatpants. And not even dark, neutral sweatpants. Gross, grey sweatpants. And old, untied running shoes to boot.
I gave myself another pep talk as we drove out to the village, thinking that maybe I could look past it, maybe it didn’t matter, maybe your personality would shine and I would get to know you better and think you were great. I smiled halfheartedly and agreed with the things you were saying, all the while watching your sweatpants out of the corner of my eye and trying to keep the grimace off my face.
In the village, you asked me what I wanted to do, and I felt myself deflate a little further, realizing you hadn’t planned anything. I suggested we get a cup of coffee at the bakery. We sat at a little table and I listened to you talk mostly about yourself, telling me how you’re knowledgeable in this and an expert in that, and how you consider yourself quite a serious photographer but you use a Sony camera (sorry, but I’m not that serious a photographer but even I know it’s Canon or Nikon or nothing). You talked about your kids, which was fine, and you talked a lot about your ex wife, which was not so fine, and also curious since you told me soon after we met that you don’t like talking about past relationships since you’re “totally over it” and it serves no purpose to dredge up the past.
And all the while, a little voice in my head steadily repeated, “sweatpants, sweatpants, sweatpants” over and over.
After two hours, I put down the small cup I’d been pretending to still sip tea out of for the past hour, and looked at you expectantly.
“Do you want to wander through the stores in the village?” you asked.
I really didn’t, but I had promised myself I would give it at least the afternoon to see what could happen, so I agreed. When we left the bakery, though, it was tipping rain and you changed your mind and decided we should run back to the car. In the truck, I didn’t bother pretending to think of something else to do. You clearly had no ideas, and I wasn’t interested enough to put in the effort.
“Well… what could we do?” you wondered.
And at that moment, there was only one thing I could say.
“I’m actually not feeling all that well.”
You were kind, and immediately offered to take me home. I feigned a desire to continue the date in spite of my “tummy problems” but when my stomach growled right at that moment (out of hunger because it was 2:30 PM and I hadn’t had anything to eat), I jumped on the opportunity and let you take me home.
In the driveway, you said you hoped we could pick up where we left off soon. I mumbled something, apologized again and jumped out of the car. Less than an hour later I was having a Newsroom marathon with a friend. Will McAvoy never wears sweatpants.
It would have been a lot better if I’d just told you it wasn’t a match for me and I wanted to cut the date short. But how could I possibly tell you that the biggest reason I wasn’t interested was that you had worn sweatpants? You’d have thought I was a shallow bitch, and sir, in this instance you very well might be right. You’re probably a great guy. But dating is hard, and men already have it way easier than women. I had to get up early on a weekend, fuss over my hair and makeup, put on something nice. All you had to do was roll out of bed and put on crappy jeans and a t-shirt, and you couldn’t even do that.
So next time you meet someone, here are a few pointers for not turning her off. Number one, don’t tell her after a couple coffee dates that you think there’s potential for a long term relationship. If you like a girl, pursue her, don’t declare your undying love for her. Number two, come up with a proper idea for a date and follow through on it. Show her you like her by actually putting some thought into what you’re going to do with her.
And for heaven’s sake, when the date day comes, put on a pair of fucking jeans and tie your shoes. She will notice, and appreciate the minimal effort you took to make yourself look like a human being.
Reprinted with permission from Thought Catalog. Want more?