Monthly Archives: July 2012

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Ask Anne M.: Does playing The Dating Game make you a player?

Playful for Romance writes:

I met someone I’m really attracted to on Saturday. It was obvious the connection was mutual. Numbers were exchanged. On Sunday, we made a date for this Wednesday.

From the conversation, I know to be ready for more than just more conversation – but also that I would be remiss not to suggest a plant identification walk that evening.

The problem is, I have already invited two others who see me as housemate material, but who haven’t ruled out romance. Since taking up with someone around the same time as moving in with them seems unwise, I’ve been taking my time, deciding to see if the question of romance gets clarified one way or another.

"And now it's time to meet our three eligible bachelorettes - and heeeerrrrre they are!"

In that context, if both showed up, it could be easier to get a good sense of who likes who what way before the end of the summer comes and I am in need of a new address.

But to then show up with a date I’m definitely more into seems a bit much – and the lame-ass extrication of “something else came up” would be absolutely farcical. So I won’t be doing the latter, and see no way around risking the former.

The question then is: having created this potential mess, how do I handle myself?

Anne M. responds:

Playful for Romance seems a bit of an understatement, darling. Perhaps Fiercely Competitive might be a more appropriate moniker? Or Downright Greedy? We should all have problems like yours. Nice conundrum if you can get it!

I suspect you’re really nice, and that’s why you’re having a hard time with the fact that you’ve got yourself in this pickle. That makes it harder to give you the “tough love” treatment here. I hate to be so harsh, but I had to read your question three times to figure out even who was who. So what does that tell you? You’re probably not going to like my answer, because I don’t want you to handle yourself in a situation that you have definitely unnecessarily complicated. Sorry.

I’m not sure what your work or social circumstances are, but unless you’re an on-call transplant surgeon, I can’t excuse your deliberately double (or is it triple?) booking yourself for what should be a first proper date with this new person.

Just because you have the possibly perverse (but probably merely practical) desire to throw all these unsuspecting potential admirers into an impromptu speed dating situation doesn’t mean they should go along with it. Or be subjected to it unwittingly. First dates are hard enough without having to figure out who all the extra people are, never mind wonder why they’ve also been invited along. If I were your date, I’d probably assume you regretted having asked me out individually, or fret that I’d misread your friendly intentions as romantic interest.

If you follow through with this plan, at least one of them is going to figure out what’s happening while it’s happening. And then you will be toast, likely with all of them. I’m not even going to bother doing the research here. This one’s pure instinct. Without an incredible poker face and very finely honed social/diplomatic skills, you’re going home empty-handed – or worse, in the company of someone who is so insecure or used to being treated inconsiderately that they don’t even realize they deserve your full and undivided attention.

You need to stick to the original plan you had with the two potential housemates, and you need to tell the new candidate that you misspoke when you suggested Wednesday. (Or agreed to it – I’m not sure who proposed that specific date.) Having had a look at your schedule, it turns out Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or even Sunday might be better. Don’t let it go past the one-week mark, though.

If you really like the idea of the plant-identification walk, then just do it again. And you’ll be just as excited about it as you were the first time – but better. You’ll have had a rehearsal, at least.

"Okay Miss Playful, it's time to choose a bachelor!"

Unless you’re planning some sort of modern ménage à trois, I’d also advise you to figure out as quickly as possible which of your future housemate possibilities intrigues you the most, and take care of that situation before you move in. Because otherwise, you’re being really sneaky already, and that’s not a good quality in someone with whom you’re going to share a living space.

This isn’t a game show, and it isn’t all about you. Stop playing around, sort out your schedule, and despite the myriad of options that may be before you, take them on one at a time, please.

There will be plenty of opportunity to complicate things later, and it sounds like you’re more than up to that challenge!