Small Town Strikes Again

When I rejoined the single life at the beginning of last year, all the gals in my usual group, except one, were right there with me, or about to be, and that was a lot of fun. A gaggle of thirty-something women with money to burn and time to spare? Plenty of opportunity for getting into shenanigans! Naturally, over the last thirteen months, our relationship statuses have diverged, merged, and diverged some more through summer flings, painful breakups, unhealthy obsessions, and genuine connections. Now, at the time of writing this, three of us are in long distance relationships (how odd is that?), one is in a rekindled local relationship, and one is swiping left and right to make plans for the upcoming weekend.

So, although I’ve officially been out of the dating pool for over five months now, there are still dating stories I could share, and one recent event involving a friend’s date reminded me so much of my post about all my coincidental run-ins, good and bad, in Boulder that I had to.

A few weekends ago, a new friend I met this summer went on a date with a lady he met on Bumble. The date went well and he was looking forward to date two the following Sunday. The lady in question suggested buying tickets for a screening of shorts at the Boulder International Film Festival. Some of my girls and I were going to a different screening of shorts on Saturday night, and I invited my male friend along.

The theater was small, but the line waiting to get in was around the block when we arrived. After the doors opened, we quickly claimed seats and then roamed around getting drinks, using the bathroom, and saying hi to people we knew. When the show was about to begin, we settled into our seats and then my friend, noticeably agitated, leaned over to whisper something in my ear. His date was in the theater, close by. Very close by. Three seats away, in fact, in the row in front of us. And she was on another date.

As best I can tell, there are two basic philosophies to dating.

  1. After a first date, if you want a second, you should postpone all other dates until you see where things are going with this person. One of my friends strongly subscribes to this philosophy. Her reasoning is that if this guy is “the one,” she doesn’t want to have been kissing (or having sex with) other guys at the beginning of their relationship. This is a sweet and romantic position to take, but not one I subscribe to.
  2. A single date implies no commitment whatsoever. The vast majority of dates don’t turn into anything. So, if I had an awesome date with a guy but our next date isn’t until the following weekend, there’s nothing wrong with me going out with another guy (or two) in the intervening time. Even after eight or nine dates, if you haven’t had a discussion about being exclusive, you shouldn’t assume that you are. (Of course, at that point, it sounds like you might have some communication issues, but that’s a topic for another post.)

This woman fell into the latter camp, as did my friend. He wasn’t upset at all. He felt a bit disconcerted to be sure, especially when my girlfriends sitting to my left, directly behind his prospective romantic partner, got the drunk giggles and started snorting, which caused the prolific dater to turn her body and head exactly in the direction of my friend as she spun to see who was making the ridiculous piglet noises. But my friend was also a little intrigued. When do you ever have the opportunity to sit back and observe the behavior of someone you like on a date without having to be a participant?

Afterward, we all discussed if and how he should bring it up with her. We needn’t have worried, because she texted him the next afternoon saying that she thought she might have seen him there, “across the room.” And how did the date itself go? “Awesome,” in the words of my friend. What’s next remains to be seen, but at least it won’t be hampered by the inevitable awkward run-ins that happen in this tiny city in the foothills.


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