Perfect date with bad ending. What do I do next?

Detailed_Dreamer asks:

So short history, I’ve been in 2 relationships, first lasted 4 years, ended in her cheating on me. Did the right thing for me and dropped her. Then I had a 5 year long relationship with a foreign girl. I broke up with her once because she did something out of line. After half a year she missed me, realized she was wrong, and we got back together. After this ended, I was in pretty bad shape. I didn’t want to date again. I let myself go, ate too much, drank too much. Last year I realized I needed to change myself. I started eating healthier, did more sports and I lost 22kg in a year, I’m in great shape now, and started dating again.

Had a few bad dates. Then I went on holiday, there was a woman I had talked to a few times on okcupid and I asked her to show me the city, if she was down for that. I bought her a small gift. I had imagined meeting her, her showing me around. Perhaps a nice talk and a drink ? Yet I got there and she treated this like a real date. I asked her what she would wear and she sounded pretty fancy, so I arrived in a shirt with cuff-links, dress pants, tie, vest and leather shoes. She was all dressed up as well, dress, heels and looked great. We had an amazing evening, we drank a few beers, we talked for hours (5.5), we had food that got cold because we talked too much, no one looked at their cellphone. We have a lot in common and enjoy the same things. And then she suggested a walk in the park after the food. So we walked, arm in arm. I was really blown away by her, she is someone I’m really interested in for the long term.

And I know I should have kissed her at one point. The moment was there. We were alone in a dark park, no one around, we talked, we laughed and there was one voice in my head telling me to go for it…and the other voice said “wait, do not fuck this up by going too fast”. I know I’m rusty. Deep down I still feel like I’m too fat and unattractive, and my confidence level is sub-zero. We had another 2 dates and while we had a nice time and talked for hours she was more distant, I tried to connect to her and it didn’t really work. Then she made some excuses to not meet me saying she was busy at work. She does have a busy job however. She said I’m “too romantic” for her and “too sensitive”. I got back home from my trip and she ignores me on whatsapp, or she is not checking it. I said hi, how are you with no reply.

For the past week I have doubted my sanity…I really missed a chance here…I was worried about going too fast, I was worried about not being a gentleman. And I should have just gotten my balls out of my purse and have kissed her. So yeah, I fucked it up, we’re both in Europe, don’t speak the same language. I know some sentences in her language though, she even tried to speak some words in mine. I totally want to learn her language and speak it with her. I’m thinking about writing her a message explaining my feelings. I want to have something serious with her. She’s awesome, and in some ways, she’s like the female version of me. I do not believe in soulmates…but her, I don’t know.

So, what’s the best course of action ? 

I’m going with honesty, and if I fail, at least i tried.

I want to start by saying congratulations. Working on improving yourself is a great way to get out of a funk, and the fact that you lost something like 50 pounds is incredible! It seems like you figured out what would make you happy, getting more fit and active, and you’re well on your way to finding someone new after a string of bad dating and relationship experiences. That alone is admirable.

The only problem is, it wont be with this woman. Sorry to break it to you but if you’ve gone on 3 dates with someone and they say that you’re “too  romantic” or “too sensitive” what that also means is “I’m not interested”. No amount of tips or tricks is going to change her mind, so the best course of action for you is to cut your losses and move on. With that said, I did want to give you some advice that has less to do with “how you get her back”, and more to do with “how do I avoid this type of situation again”. I wont waste your time trying to tell you how to get her back because it’s a lost cause. I will tell you exactly how you mucked things up and hopefully that will serve as a learning experience.

Your mistakes were:

1. You were too romantic

2. You gave no indication that you were attracted to her

3. You were too in your own head

4. You’re easily infatuated

Everything you said about this story screams Romance, which isn’t what you want to do on your first date. I think your heart is in the right place, but ultimately, your execution is off. Everyone likes a gift now and then, but it’s all about the context in which they receive it. Besides buying the gift, it sounds like you actually did have a great first date, so it’s pretty clear that it was the overt romantic gesture that partially did you in. The gift (and also the lack of a kiss) worked against you. Yes its old-fashioned and yes it’s romantic, but that’s too much early on. Gifts on a date, flowers, etc. is a great move AFTER you’ve established real mutual interest. That cannot happen on before a first date. I bet you dollars to donuts that she would have kissed you that night, and would not have thought you were too romantic if you had kissed her without you giving her a gift.

If you go on a date, and it lasts beyond two hours, that person is probably a little bit attracted to you. It doesn’t mean that they are your soul mate, but if they can be around you for longer than two hours, it’s a safe bet that they have considered kissing you. It’s not an universal truth, but if you give someone the opportunity to leave a date at the two-hour mark and they stay, it’s a very good sign. The fact that she stuck around for 5 hrs signals to me that she wanted a kiss at the end. Being called too sensitive is simply code for “didn’t display masculine traits”. I wont get into the way that language is coded and how crappy it is that implying femininity in any way to a man is insulting (that’s a whole other issue) but generally speaking, if a girl says you’re being “too sensitive” what she’s telling you is to “man up” for lack of a better word. The fact that you didn’t “Man Up” and kiss her, that was ultimately what turned her off from you. So in the future, if a date seems to be going well, go for the kiss and prepare to be rejected. Dealing with a No is a lot easier (mentally) than dealing with a “What If?”.

The next thing you want to avoid is this weird “Is this a date/Is this not a date” thing that you did. OkCupid is a DATING SITE! Yes, you can make friends on OkCupid but it is primarily a dating website. If you chatted her up for such a long time, bought a gift for her, but then assumed it wasn’t a date, I seriously have to question what you thought it was that you were doing. I understand that you’re rusty when it comes to dating, have confidence issues, and are dealing with a string of bad relationships, breakups, and dates but seriously man, a date is a date. It’s always better to be the guy who assumes it’s a date and gets shut down than to be the guy who likes the girl, says he’s not on a date, and shuts down any shot he has in the future.

Finally, lets address your infatuation, which seems to be a symptom of your romantic nature. I had to re-read your story a couple of times to realize that you don’t even speak the same language as this woman! How do you even know if she’s the one if you said I know some sentences in her language though, she even tried to speak some words in mine.“. I’ll admit, it would make for a great romantic comedy story if you guys met and fell in love, but in the real world communication is extremely important. Why are you infatuated with her when you can’t even communicate with her and you’ve only been on 3 admittedly nice dates with no spark between you two? I’m all for romance, but it has to be grounded in something other than how beautiful someone is because if you’re not able to communicate what else is there. It’s okay to be romantic, and have a romantic vision of how love and relationships work but I implore you, when the next person comes around that you’re infatuated with, ask yourself why. If the reasons are superficial, or can be boiled down to “we can talk for hours” then take a step back and give it some thought. I can talk for hours with anyone about anything, that doesn’t mean that I should be in a relationship with everyone who can banter with me.

I will close by telling you that when you said this: I’m going with honesty, and if I fail, at least i tried.

That my friend means that at a minimum, you know what it takes to date better. Just remember to save the romantic gestures for at least 3 dates in, kiss the girl if you hit it off, ignore the little voice in your head that inspires doubt, and maybe date someone for longer than 3 dates before you get infatuated?

Good Luck Out There.

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