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Awful Date - Was I Right To Walk Out?

(84 Posts)
Zilvernblue Mon 18-Feb-13 15:59:49

Online dating. Arranged to meet for a coffee. I got there a few minutes early, so just got my coffee and went and sat at a table to wait. I got a text from him saying he would be a couple of minutes late. 30 minutes later, no sign of him. I then got a text from him asking "You still coming?". I replied that I'd been there half an hour already, had had my coffee and was thinking of going home. He replied "Where are you?" and I replied that I was sitting at a corner table facing the entrance. 5 minutes later, still no sign of him, so I got up and started to make my way out. I get quite nervous meeting new people and this just threw me, as I thought he'd stood me up.

I bumped into him on the way out and it was a bit awkward, he started saying he had waited by the entrance doors to catch me on my way in. I said I didn't have that much time now, but we could maybe get a quick coffee. I must have pissed him off by sounding a bit reluctant/uncertain, because he started umming and ahhing when I said this, so I just walked off.

No text from him to apologise or explain, nothing. Was I being a bit impatient or would others have done the same? I did have to be somewhere afterwards.

MarinaIvy Thu 21-Feb-13 13:22:18

Gaaah! <face palm>

Two main rules on top of the usual ones (like meeting in a public place, telling friends where you're going, etc). Definitely not instead of!!!

MarinaIvy Thu 21-Feb-13 13:21:24

Also, Zilvern, I've done a bit of online dating, will you accept a couple of tips from my own experience? I've tended to put in place two main rules for first dates:

1. agree and rigidly stick to a time limit (typically 1/2 hr), and

2. whilst on the first date, neither party proposes a second date, but agree that follow-up (if any) gets done later, by text or email.

I've found that the men tend to feel relieved when I suggest these - if both parties know these limits going into the first meeting, they can relax a bit and maybe even get a chance to talk. Obviously, it's not going to stop all awkwardness, but it helps cut it down.

Good luck!

kittybiscuits Thu 21-Feb-13 12:28:54

What marina said!

MarinaIvy Thu 21-Feb-13 12:20:49

"I got a text from him saying he would be a couple of minutes late" and then "he started saying he had waited by the entrance doors to catch me on my way in".

YABU, but only if you're on OnlineWeirdo World, where somebody who's late thinks it's reasonable to wait by the door to catch somebody who's presumably even later. WTAF did he get the idea you were going to be later than him? Or stand around in the cold?

All, esp those who think "what's the big deal?' Yes, this one event isn't ground-shattering, but it doesn't have to be. Mumsnet isn't just for A N Specific Problem, it's also for us to help discuss and define societal norms. And anybody who suggests a woman stand around in the cold or puts up with rudeness from a man she hasn't even met, well, I'm sorry for the world you inhabit and affect.

I think any civilised person, particularly if they're on a "first date" situation, even if the directions weren't crystal clear, would have had the default assumption of "she's in a comfortable spot, with a nice, warming cuppa, indeed a cuppa of the very thing they were meant to meet to have", and then gone to look. No brainer.

I'm also not thrilled with him asking lots of personal questions before the date. In fact, the thing about your employer and your full name and part of town - that raises my red flag a bit.

Nandocushion Wed 20-Feb-13 04:01:34

WHAT a loser this guy was - and we can tell that by the way he treated you, OP. I can't believe all the people making excuses for him. Is this one of those weird female things where we excuse bad manners or worse by saying he's shy or a late bloomer or whatever? Or is everyone else equally socially inept? Either way, I can't figure out how a grown man can show up SO late, not apologise, and act like such a simpleton. Unless, of course, he IS a simpleton. (Frankly, the "beanie hat lol" comment would have done it for me.)

kalidanger Tue 19-Feb-13 11:38:12

Any idiot meeting someone for a coffee would have a scout round when they arrive to see if the person is inside or hasn't arrived yet. If he was too big an idiot to think to do this then you're well rid.

This! ^^

OP don't listen to anyone saying "You should have..." etc. He fucked up.

I'd stick this thread on 'hide' now, if it was me grin

Mumsyblouse Tue 19-Feb-13 10:41:56

If you are meeting at a garden centre, and he was at the entrance, how was he supposed to know you were in the cafe? I wouldn't continue with this date anyway as it sounds very hard work and I wouldn't want to give out details, but a certain amount of misunderstanding and not meeting immediately would be ok by me, as it is intimidating to walk in somewhere and find someone, and so I would have waited by the entrance unless they specifically said to meet in the cafe.

And- if he'd left the entrance to find you and you'd been looking around the begonias, he'd have then missed you, he probably thought it was better to stay put (or why didn't you go to the entrance 5 seconds away to look?)

Best left, but I don't think he committed an unredeemable crime waiting at the entrance to a garden centre (the crime was thinking a date in a garden centre would be fun IMO).

GwendolineMaryLacey Tue 19-Feb-13 10:22:31

Any idiot meeting someone for a coffee would have a scout round when they arrive to see if the person is inside or hasn't arrived yet. If he was too big an idiot to think to do this then you're well rid.

BeCool Tue 19-Feb-13 10:16:08

"the guy was actually hiding on the other side of the road behind a phone box so he could see the meeting spot!"
I actually think this is very common in the online dating world - some people feel like they need to see what the person looks like in RL before they meet up for a coffee! for a fucking COFFEE!!! I mean really?? It's pathetic!! Even if they are the worst person in the whole wide world it's only a coffee.

OP I very much doubt he was waiting near then entrance for 30 minutes, but it doesn't matter. If he was waiting there, he's untogether & unthinking, if he wasn't he's a liar.

SarahBumBarer Mon 18-Feb-13 23:08:59

I think you were both pretty rude TBH but clearly this one is just not meant to be so why sweat it?

I met DH OD. On our first date he text me about an hour before the date to say he was running a bit late and might be 10 minutes late. I replied saying not to rush and we should push back our meeting time by 30 mins. He did not see my reply, rushed like crazy got there on time and consequently thought I was 30 minutes late, He never said a word until the second date by which time he had seen my text and confessed that he thought I had stood him up :-)

You should have told him you were inside and YABU for feeling uncomfortable at sitting alone in a coffee shop in a garden centre (REALLY???) and then criticising him for being QUOTE "a 34 year old man [who] cannot go into a bloody cafe to look for someone he's arranged to meet"

Bonemachine Mon 18-Feb-13 23:08:41

Don't ever wait that long for a date again. That's an order, OP.

deedotty Mon 18-Feb-13 22:56:07

I agree with the "scared" thing. Overall, online dating has been a very positive experience for me - numbers game all the way! grin

But one similar meeting I had, the guy was actually hiding on the other side of the road behind a phone box so he could see the meeting spot! confused

I mean, sure we've all had our experiences of people not as attractive as their photos, etc, but it was just the not being aware of how socially weird he looked at the start that was a MASSIVE red flag.

Now, I'm as attractive or more than my photos (don't struggle with serious second dates, my last two fellahs were all presents).

I was ....erm..."flattered" hmm when he came over the road.

We went to the pub but I bailed after one drink. Sometimes, if someone is good to talk to I'll have another drink, even just in a "matey" way, so we can be even on rounds. But his social skills and talking with him was just appalling!

I think he was so used to being rejected by women that he developed all these difficult, paranoid "defence mechanisms" around the actual meeting? Sounds like in your case OP smile

Zilvernblue Mon 18-Feb-13 22:33:28

pinktransit thats exactly the sort of attitude he gave off!

In retrospect, I think he was probably scared.

I've noticed a few of the men who have profiles up complain about not getting any dates/not meeting women, so you would think they would have the sense when they do get a date to actually turn up on time and make sure they meet the person they've arranged to meet.

Undertone Mon 18-Feb-13 22:27:25

I think you're right to be irritated by him. Haphazard and lacklustre. <ding ding> NEXT!

I sympathise about the 'ugly' stuff although it's not very nice to say. Sometimes sifting through online profiles looking for a <glimmer> of charm or personality in the text written to accompany the sometimes rather unflattering pic... It can be frustrating when you're clutching on to a positive self-image and trying to reinforce the belief you are NOT fat/hideous... And someone you'd like to take a chance on, who you're not sure about physically, seems to reject you.

It's trivial, superficial... But it hurts.

pinktransit Mon 18-Feb-13 22:25:48

This reminds me of a 'date' that I once almost had - wonder if it was the same person?
We arranged to meet at my local pub - and clarified that we would meet actually at the bar. I said that if I got there first, then I would be standing at the bar (and explained the bar layout as he hadn't been there before - through the front door, the bar is right in front of you, and I will be at the right hand end).
I waited. And I waited. I didn't have my mobile with me, but he knew that as we'd chatted on email earlier in the day and I'd said that he couldn't text me as I had no phone. Eventually I went home. He emailed me much later and was very cross that I hadn't found him. He got there very early, and sat in a totally different part of the bar than we'd arranged. And then, before the time that we were supposed to meet, he thought that I might be uncomfortable meeting in a bar (despite it being my suggestion), so had bought himself a sandwich from the shop over the road and then sat in his car, in the pub carpark and eaten the sandwich.
I, apparently, should have gone and searched the entire pub and carpark looking for him. He even emailed me a photo of the pub to prove that he'd been there.

Like the OP, I really couldn't go for a man that can't even manage to meet up in a pre-arranged place.

Zilvernblue Mon 18-Feb-13 22:12:00

Thanks all for the lively remarks! I just wanted to find out if I'd been unreasaonble in getting up to leave after 30 or so minutes really. Its the first time I've been on a date for years, as I was with my ex for years.

Just to clarify:

- it wasn't Costa (that was his initial suggestion), it was a garden centre cafe/self-service restaurant. I couldn't make the Costa suggestion as he forgot to tell me he didn't finish work til 2 on a Sat and I didn't want to drive into town twice in one day or hang around after meeting my friend at 11.

-I didn't text him to say where I was as I already had to arrange the time and place for him, had replied to his texts saying he was late and was beginning to feel I was having to run around after him as if he was a little boy. I cannot think why he didn't phone or text me if he really was waiting 30 mins in the entrance, or simply come into the cafe and look for me. The entrance was about 5 seconds walk from the cafe, so why wouldn't he come in and have a look to see if I was there?

- I was already a bit irritated by him as I felt he'd been a tad ungentlemanly re the above.

- Nevertheless, when I did bump into him when I was leaving, I did say that maybe we could go for a quick coffee although I couldn't be that long, and when he responded "Um, ahh, well, um" it was the final straw and I just walked off. He sort of gave me the impression that he was hacked off with me getting up to leave but I'd just had enough by then.

- I only mentioned I was attractive and he not in case posters thought I had some physical trait so repulsive his was a reasonable reaction to setting eyes upon me. Though I have to say I would still go for a pre-arranged coffee with someone who did have such a trait. And I may of course be wrong and I might indeed be so repulsive that men such as he take one look at me and cannot stand even the thought of a coffee.

- I also felt a bit hmmn about him because he'd kept asking me stupid personal questions between suggesting the coffee and the actual "date", such as what was my employer's name, what was my full name, which part of town did I live in, etc.. I'm a bit reticent about giving strangers on the internet personal info. Plenty of time for that on the date if you feel like it.

- I arrived at 3.57pm for a 4pm date. Got a text from him at 4.02pm saying he was going to be a few mins late so I went into the cafe then, replying "How will I recognise you?". Yes perhaps I should have precisely said I was sitting in the cafe, but I would have expected a 34 year old man who holds down a responsible job to work that out. He waited til 4.25pm before texting me to ask where I was. I left at 4.30pm by which point he'd only just made his way into the cafe where I bumped into him.

- I think any woman, no matter what she looks like, wants to be treated with courtesy and I felt he was trying to check me out in detail beforehand and perhaps at the venue itself. It was all a bit too strange for me.

- He could have been nervous but tbh again if a 34 year old man cannot go into a bloody cafe to look for someone he's arranged to meet, what can you do?

It was all a bit strange...

Piecesofmyheart Mon 18-Feb-13 22:04:14

Was this your first ever online date ?

BeCool Mon 18-Feb-13 21:54:08

He's a frog and you are lucky you didn't get to kiss him. grin
Keep fishing.

Alittlestranger Mon 18-Feb-13 21:07:53

You both sound a bit socially awkward and inept. Why didn't you text each other to say/ask where you were. I'd have responded to the initial text with an "ok, I'm inside by the..."

I've never had any problem spotting someone off OD and vice versa. Which I think is a good sign that honest photos are used by all parties! I find it a bit awkward if it's obvious to others that we don't know each other at first, but hey everyone is at OD now so you just have to roll with it.

AmberLeaf Mon 18-Feb-13 20:41:51


flippinada Mon 18-Feb-13 20:40:19

I better not say anything, Amberleaf - I'm clearly in cahoots with Samantha Brick grin

HorseDNAinJellyAndIcecream Mon 18-Feb-13 20:31:20

It's a flippant comment, and to be honest, even the ugliest of men seem to feel entitled to date beautiful women. I think it's a jungle-weary comment from an OD vet, and I aint judging her for thinking that some rude ugly bloke was lucky to get a chance to date her. He cocked it up! Lots of posters on mn ordinarily be saying 'hey girlfriend, he was lucky to get a chance with you!' but it's not ok for her to say it??

Beograde Mon 18-Feb-13 20:25:47

For what ever reason, it doesn't sound as if it was going to lead any more - I feel a little sorry for the man - it sounds as if he was a few minutes late, and then waited outside (himself for up to half an hour) - perhaps he was nervous.

It was unfortunate that the OP commented not just on his appearance, but that he was lucky to get a date with her.

Never mind, dating's a game, and you've both learned a lesson

coffeeinbed Mon 18-Feb-13 20:21:26

Hold on, you say in your OP that you were a few minutes early, so he would not have ben half an hour late, but less, counting from the arranged time.
Still, he ought to have apologised.

And really, why did you feel uncomfortable on your own in a place like Costa?

Anyway, better luck next time!

AmberLeaf Mon 18-Feb-13 20:18:46

They must be Flippinada

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