I have this idea, which I’m convinced will completely alter the way we approach dating.
The post-date response card
“What is this ‘post-date response card’ that you speak of?” you may be asking. I’m glad you asked. Have you ever been on a date which ended with the guy expressing an intention to call you up to do this again, and then he disappeared? Actually, I’m assuming that most of you have experienced this at some point in your life. Are you frustrated with the inauthentic line of “Let’s do this again”? Well, I am. And the solution came to me suddenly one night: the post-date response card. At the beginning of the date, you hand the guy two cards. You explain that there are two responses written on the cards. One indicates interest, while the other gives a polite “thanks, but no thanks”. At the end of the date, the guy hands you the card that most accurately represents his sentiments. Then, you open the card later, once the date has ended.
OK, I admit that this idea is strange (at the very least). And I realize that to actually do this would be completely awkward. I will most likely never hand out these cards, but I wish that I could. There are all these do’s and don’ts in dating and I’m always confused on how to show interest, yet still be elusive. I often find myself wishing for clear communication:
“I like you.”
“I do not like you in that way.”
“Thanks for letting me know. Peace to you.”
I long for these conversations instead of the waiting and wondering that is one of the most common side effects of dating (side effects may also include dry mouth and compulsive gambling, do not date while operating heavy machinery). I mentioned these cards to a friend and she commented back that it was very un-relational. I agreed, but expressed that I’d rather get the card, than not hear anything back.
I hate the unknowing that comes with the dating territory. The anxiety. The growing disappointment. Then, the final realization that he is not calling back. It sends me into a questioning place, where I start to re-examine what I said, how I responded, even down to what I was wearing. I walked through this very experience last winter. I met with him for coffee after talking on the phone and texting a couple of weeks prior to our meeting. It was one of the few dates that I emerged from thinking “this is what people mean when they say dating is fun”. I was interested in him and surprisingly found myself flirty (Not one of my top 5 Strengths). The date ended. We hugged. He said the fateful words “let’s do this again”.
That was the last time I saw him.
For the first couple of days, I felt secure in the fact that he would call me. I know there are rules as to when to call back (I hear anywhere between 2-4 days). Then, as it went to 3, 4, 5 days and more, the insecurity set in. Why isn’t he calling? Then we hit a week and I knew I wasn’t going to be hearing back. I was ready with all the excuses.
Maybe he met someone else.
He must not have been good for me.
He did seem like he was trouble.
But, that didn’t make the pain go away. It just hurt. I was confused, without the hope of an answer. I also got angry. How do you not let the other person know? Unfortunately, this seems to be part of the dating experience. Blerg!
Somehow, in this place of powerlessness, the idea of these response cards feels like a solution. If only these cards existed, then the no-call zone would never happen again.
I’m fully willing to admit that these cards are my way of feeling in control. I long to feel control when the reality is that I ultimately have none. I cannot make someone call me back. I cannot force another to communicate in the way I deem appropriate. I cannot fully understand the male brain.
But wouldn’t it be great if these cards worked?