Reality Check: A Tale of Two Dates

This column isn’t about dried fruit, nor am I attempting to take over from Ann Landers! I’ve chosen the topic of dates because young (and not-so-young) folks can find it difficult to recognize the true nature of a potential partner.

On a date, both people are presumably on their best behaviour. Time passes, perhaps they move in together, behaviours change. Will that change be positive? Are there “truth indicators” to look for?

At a company function, Yvette met two equally attractive, high-achieving men: Bob and Mike. In conversation, both Bob and Mike expressed their sense of humour, love of animals, and compassion for the “little guy.” Yvette enjoyed both of those initial encounters, and was delighted when both men asked her out.

Bob was date number 1. He arrived late, but texted Yvette, apologizing profusely. He must have been nervous, as he tripped on the stairs when he arrived. Yvette’s little brother laughed; Bob was embarrassed and made a joke of it.

Bob petted Yvette’s dog, and it turned out that he was late because on his way over, the car ahead of him had hit a dog. Bob had stopped to help.

Yvette and Bob had a nice meal, and Bob listened intently to Yvette’s response when he asked her what she would like to do in her life. When the server made a mistake with the drinks; Bob was respectful but insistent about having the error corrected.

Mike was date number 2. He suggested that Yvette meet him downtown where he would take her to an elegant restaurant. Mike arrived late, telling her an urgent business deal had come up. There was no time to go to the restaurant, so this time they would go to a drive-through. When she got in Mike’s car, Yvette noticed his dog shivering in the back seat.

Despite the time crunch, when Mike noticed a mistake with the drinks on their order, he flew into a parking spot, stomped into the drive-through, and spent 10 minutes confronting the order-taker. Even though the error was corrected, Mike complained bitterly throughout the evening, letting Yvette know that he doesn’t allow people to rip him off.

As they ate in the car, the dog, of course, wanted to join in. Mike yelled and swatted at the dog until he cowered in the corner. “He can be such a pain,” Mike explained.

Mike bragged that he and his buddy are planning to go to the oil patch. “We’re going to make a pile of money. You should come with us; there’s nothing going on here.”

How might Yvette assess those dates?

A “reality check” suggestion would be to pay very little attention to what people say, but pay very close attention to what they do.

What actions would you look for? You could consider how someone treats anyone whom they perceive to have little power, how they treat an animal, and how well they take a joke on themselves…

In that light, how would you evaluate Yvette’s dating experiences?

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