Ok so this is one of those moments that I’m sure I am not alone in. One that really is a buzz kill in the moment (and for a few moments/ days following), but is eventually so worthy of a good eyeroll and laugh and a story that starts with “man, this one time…”
It’s that moment when you meet someone in public that you have been on a date with…and they have no fucking clue who you are. And no amount of you gently nudging their memory works.
My particular experience with this one was a few years ago. I’ll start with our date (because even after a few YEARS I still remember it). Our date was at a cozy coffee shop, which was perfect to create that warm romancy atmosphere on a date in the dead of a New England winter. It was our first date, and we had met over Plenty of Fish (I told you this was a few years ago). I arrived a few minutes early, and excitedly waved him over when he walked in. I had already ordered a large peppermint hot chocolate swimming in whipped cream. He walked over with a glass of milk. Yes. A glass of milk. Weird, right? Still the only person to order a glass of milk on a first date.
“Ok. Calm down, self,” I muttered almost audibly, as he took off his winter coat and looped it over the back of his chair. We started chatting, and conversation flowed easily. We were both nervous, but not in a way that made one of us too awkward to function (this has happened to me before. I guess the bonus of a lot of dating is you get good at navigating the awkward?). We talked about how much I love to play tennis and ride horses, his passion for playing and DJ-ing electronic rock music, and our other quirks that are a unique combination that makes us originals. We hugged at the end, and I walked away hopeful for a second date.
Until the text the next day that was along the lines of “sorry, I just didn’t feel it.” I was bummed, but was also glad he was that up front.
Fast forward about 6 months to the hot summer nights spent dancing your booty off in a club.
I was out enjoying myself with my roommate at a club, and we paused to have a beer at the bar and cool off for a minute. A dude came up to me and started talking and after about 30 seconds I realized exactly who this guy was…but it wasn’t clicking for him.
As he retold all of his tales, I stayed quiet, thinking “he HAS to know we went on a DATE, right?!” I tried hinting that we had met before:
“Oh wow, you totally seem like the type of guy who loves to play electronic music.”
“I bet you are a DJ as well.”
He kept commenting that I am such an intuitive person. I sighed and started giving some details about myself in an effort to not have to point out that we had been through this before.
He didn’t get it.
Or maybe I’m not that unique of a snowflake? No. Gotta be the first. Right?
I kept shooting my wingman roommate looks of “oh DEAR GOD help me right fucking now!!!”
She was too amused to help. She had the best front row seat in the house. Because it was obvious to her just listening in that we had met before. He was still clueless.
When he finally stopped talking about himself for a minute to start to introduce himself, I said “I bet your name is ___.” He was beside himself with how psychic I appeared to be. It was then I decided to let him in on it.
“We’ve met. On a date. It was at Blah Blah Café and you ordered milk. I hope to God you don’t remember my name and that my phone number is still not in your phone. Good luck with life.”
And we left. My roommate had the best abs from laughing so hard at the situation. It took me a bit to get there, but after about a week, my ego eased up and I realized that this situation was indeed hilarious, and wasn’t at all about me.
The biggest lesson I have learned in dating is that it is often not about you if someone doesn’t like you; more often than not, it’s them being in their own way and/ or still healing from their last shitshow of a relationship. I have met plenty of wonderful people, but at the wrong time–and I have probably done this to some people. It would not have been about them. At all. Dating leaves you with some wounds and scars, and you never know when they might transition from the former to the latter, or when the right person will come along to make you not even remember that scar exists.
I have always hoped that this guy took the situation in stride and got a wake up call. But if not, I hope the next girl was also able to laugh it off.