Did I expect this to happen? Of course I did. The elusive “Bill,” aka Mr. Group Date, has responded!
In the interest of making my case, I will post his e-mail to me (his writing in bold), interspersed with my comments. And trust me, there are many. Let me know your thoughts on this–I am curious to see if perhaps I psychotic in expecting a one-on-one date?!
When you meet a girl in today’s society, usually its through one of several ways: common friends, workplace, out in public (bar/club/random location) or online.
Yes, all true, Bill. But Bill, are you online dating these days? Really? Come on, YOU’RE BETTER THAN THAT! My opinion on online dating is this: unless you’re on JDate because how the hell else are you going to find a high-quality jew to date, online dating should be reserved for old people who otherwise would be holed up not having a life. I mean, I’m out in “today’s society” every day, and I can hardly stand in line at Starbucks without meeting some decent man who hopefully is not ordering a latte. ANYWAY…
In my opinion there is a different approach to take based upon the setting of your first interaction. In this specific case, Ms. Molly has outlined a meeting at a bar, where people arrive usually looking to drink, mingle and enjoy their evening.
True words, Bill. But you forgot to mention that the intentions of girls and guys are actually at two ends of the spectrum when it comes to going out: guys sometimes go out looking like they’ve just returned from a tough day at the mines, possibly un-showered, proceed to order nine million beers, and then stand around adjusting their crotches at bars. If a girl approaches or they see Mila Kunis’ twin somewhere in the vicinity, they may actually thank God they put on deodorant and make a move.
Girls, meanwhile, can spend upwards of two hours making themselves look “carefree” and “natural”–because aren’t stilettos the most natural and comfortable shoe you own? And don’t tell me girls, that you’re putting effort into your appearance because that’s just how you like to look when you order nine million beers and pout over not having a crotch to adjust. We’re doing it because we like to to think we have a shot at being the prettiest girl in the bar…to attract all those crotch-adjusting Prince Charmings.
This type of setting is not conducive to weeding out the crazies – anybody can get dressed up decently, order a normal beverage and engage in some form of small talk.
Yes, very much agreed. I mean, look who I’ve met at bars! At this point, we’ve got the pill popper, the anime convention enthusiast, a convicted felon, and lot’s of other random huge losers.
BUT…I have also met lots of GREAT guys at bars. And I’ve gotten pretty good at identifying the crazies. For example, if they are wearing an orange jumpsuit, I’ve learned to avoid.
And PS, Bill…you underestimate the gift of small talk!! Some people really have trouble with this–completely normal, fun people can clam up and not have a thing to say when in the presence of an attractive guy or girl. For example, normally I don’t have any trouble talking to people, but this weekend I used what my friends deemed a particularly heinous line after a guy asked me what I did for a job:
“Are you familiar with tween fashion?”
Ugh, WHATEVER! He had weird teeth anyway.
So when I meet a girl in a bar, especially one I do not have any link or connection to, I’m a bit wary. I don’t know how this girl is outside of this one interaction.
Live a little, Bill…
So my follow up approach is to see if she and some of her friends want to join my buddies and I for a casual activity/night out (play trivia, shoot some pool, do karaoke, whatever).
I see where you’re going with this, Bill, but if every first date my friends and I go on was a group date, we’d hardly have enough time to shower in the week, what with all the pool and karaoke we’d be doing. Like, am I supposed to accompany my girlfriends on a random Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for a group date so the guy isn’t scared to talk to her?! So you have the security blankie of your friends?! WTF?!
Also, if you ever invite me to play pool, I am either going to have to take some pool lessons and get really good FAST…or play the helpless card. Because it these types of situations, you either have to be REALLY amazing and impress the guy, or be really terrible and cute about it. Middle ground just does not get anyone going!
As a guy, I see many benefits to this situation.
Here we go…
First off, you get to see how she interacts with other people, her friends, your friends, etc in a situation where its tough for her to keep her guard up (like some do on a 1 on 1 date).
True intentions come out! So you are basically laying a trap for all the chicks in your life, hoping they fall into the proverbial hole you’ve purposely dug. And news flash, EVERYONE, guys and girls, keeps their guard up to some extent on a first date. Everyone has skeletons in their closet and it’s a good idea to keep those hidden until you two know each other a bit more. Otherwise, you might end up like the pill popper (see below).
Secondly, you can see what her group of friends are like, get a feel for what they like to do and see if that fits with you and your interest/wishes.
Why does it matter what my friends are like if you like me? Again, I see where you’re going with this, but if guys judged me on some of my friends, they might assume I didn’t shave my armpits (ummm and trust me…I’m so girly I don’t even grow hair there…) and was a lesbian. Yes, I have all kinds of friends, an eclectic, crazy bunch, but they’re all awesome people! But I KNOW, just as my super-alternative, non-leg shaving, vegan, incense-burning friend’s boyfriend would not want anything to do with ME…the guys I date probably wouldn’t like her either!
Unless, Bill, you’re judging purely on character. Because we all know that’s the FIRST thing guys judge girls on…(my eyeballs are all white right now. That’s how far back in my head they’ve rolled.)
Lastly, it provides a setting where if things aren’t as cohesive as the first interaction, you can gently end the evening (much tougher to do on a first date that goes south).
Be a man, Bill, and learn how to end an evening painlessly, even if you don’t like the girl. A simple “It was nice meeting you,” will probably do the trick, unless she’s truly insane, at which point you have a story for your friends.
As a side note, this night out might lead to more than just a positive for you, your friends might meet someone in her group that they like.
True, true. But here’s the thing: until I know I like a guy, I’m not sure I want his friends knowing my friends! That’s when things get totally messy…what if, Bill, you took me on a group date, you and I didn’t like each other, but our friends end up hitting it off? Then you and I might have to walk down the aisle together at their wedding, and later, serve as godparents to their children, while we’re both thinking, “Ugh. Now our groups are forever intertwined,” and you’re thinking “Should’ve just met her for drinks…ALONE!!!”
This, by the way, is something I’m totally against…dating within your own immediate friend circle. It NEVER ends well. I like my girlfriends, I like my guy friends, and I like to keep any and all people I date ON THE OUTSIDE! I’ve just seen it blow up into an absolute explosion of broken hearts and ruined friendships one too many times.
By the way, this doesn’t apply if you or your girlfriend starts dating a guy and you NATURALLY become friends with his friends–that’s ideal. I’m talking…you start out hanging out in a group of close friends, end up dating one of them, and then break up…that’s when the twenties-equivalent of a brutal divorce takes place, with everyone having to pick sides, tons of gossip running rampant, and having to pick new bars, restaurants, etc.
Save me the drama (for once I really mean this).
Now obviously this situation isn’t perfect for every girl you meet but for me, when I meet a girl in a bar/club I feel like this is a good next step. When you meet someone via the workplace, or common friends or online, this may not be the best approach.
Uh, ya think??? Dating within the workplace, Bill?! Haven’t you ever heard “Don’t dip your pen in the company ink?”
Unless both of you are salivating over your keyboards, drafting explicit memos to each other and meeting in the bathroom to make out, puh-lease, don’t go there! It doesn’t end well.
I see alot of positives and very few negatives to getting a second interaction with a girl in a group setting. Ms. Molly may have phrased it as a group date but in my eyes its just another interaction in a less frenetic setting to get to know someone and see if that initial meeting was the standard.
This is really where I have my problem with Bill’s theory…this whole “to see if that initial meeting was the standard” business. It suggests to me that you’re LOOKING for a problem…like you just can’t believe the girl would actually be nice and normal!
I’m not expecting some five-star dinner for a first date, but can’t we at least meet for drinks…alone?! And in my opinion, a big group is way more frenetic than sitting at a bar casually chatting, and way more of a commitment. Look at it this way: if you’re in a group, you’ve arguably got at least four other people involved in the outing…meaning if you really hate each other, you’re stuck for the rest of the evening…unless you’re at a crowded bar (again) which would defeat the purpose of going out again anyway. If you’re alone, you can limit the interaction to one drink and then pretend to have a life to live and go on your way.
The bottom line is this: I’m not some uptight creep, I’ll go with the flow, I’ll really do anything–but if a guy suggests a “group date” right after we’ve met, I’m going to think he doesn’t have balls. Too scared to ask me out for real? Well then, what else are you scared of? Can I trust you to protect me from a mugger?
This may be going a bit far…but…those are my thoughts!