I almost didn’t call her back. It probably wouldn’t have been a surprise to her. I didn’t know it at the time, but up until then she was afflicted with what her sister called The Two Date Curse.
Our first date was great. We didn’t go home after leaving the bar, but instead moved down the street to a second to keep the date going. We each had one more drink, but then the waitress seemed to forget about us. We waited, and waited, and then waited some more. There wouldn’t be time for another drink; at this point we just needed the check.
The hour was growing near when my train would be leaving the station, and I had to get home. I eventually left her to wait some more alone and, after sprinting through Downtown Crossing towards South Station, barely caught the train.
I paid for the drinks that evening, which was how I knew I wanted to see her again. If I didn’t want a second date, I would have accepted her offer to go Dutch. I split the bill on a lot of dates, and it was still costing me a fortune. I had a line item in my budget for dates, and I even managed to occasionally pull off a date with one girl at 6:00 and another at 8:00. I even had it worked out how I could have squeezed in a third girl at 10:00, but it never came to that.
On this particular second date, I learned just what a lightweight she was. We were two beers in, and she was clearly feeling them both. She was also far more nervous than on our first date, and that manifested itself in a shrillness in her voice.
As we sat in whatever hipster Davis Square establishment we were patronizing that evening, I thought that this might be the end of it and I would be on to the next girl. Something obviously changed, because this girl has since agreed to marry me.
I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and not only because she will be the last girl I ever date. A friend has recently written about how difficult it is to make friends as a post-college adult, and recently The Art of Manliness posted about the 3-Encounter Rule. That is, you really need to spend time with someone three times before you know if there is potential for a relationship–platonic, romantic, or otherwise–there.
Though I dated a lot of great girls, very few of them got to a third date. Don’t get me wrong: I am very happy with Lilli and can’t wait to marry her. Still, I can’t help but to think how my life may have been different if I had given some of these other girls a bit more of a chance. Lilli’s experience, what with her Two Date Curse, and even Aziz Ansari’s love life for that matter, leads me to believe this is more common than it should be.
Next weekend we are going out with another couple for the second time. I obviously enjoyed our first encounter, and we will see if there is a third. I hope there is, not only because I enjoyed the first time so much, but because I need to break my own two date curse. You can never have too many friends, but I have had far too few third dates.