Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

For Starters, We Need a Translator

So, I’ve told a bunch of people about this already and as is typical of my life a) people don’t agree on how I should proceed b) I’m kinda on the fence.

I’d told Mr. Midwest that I wanted to have a low-key night on Friday.  I specifically said, “isn’t there a game on we can watch” in the hopes that he’d invite me over to his place for some take-out and mindless tv (I thought I’d kill 2 birds with one stone as I wanted a low-key night AND I still haven’t seen his ).

Instead, I got a call from Mr. Midwest on Friday afternoon with a list of restaurants that he thought I might like. They were all near my apartment, so in his mind it was a low-key night.  But the list included most of the fancy places in my ‘hood.  No pubs or diners.  All places with extensive lists. So we ended up at one of my favorite restaurants and he ordered a very nice bottle of over which we had a very lengthy and detailed conversation about the Goldman indictment.

It was all nice. Urbane and civilized. But all I wanted to do that night was curl up on the sofa and hang out.

And yeah, I’m kinda a bitch to complain.

So here’s the deal, there is a part of me that feels like I should keep seeing him.  It’s been years since any man has been this kind to me. And by ‘kind’ I don’t mean take me out to nice places, that’s no biggie.  I mean courteous and sweet. Mr. Midwest tries hard to be thoughtful.  On Friday, I’m sure he thought he was being thoughtful. It’s just that he didn’t understand what I meant.  Maybe he’s not used to women who sometimes just want to eat chinese food out of the take-out containers.  And maybe that’s not something he’s ever interested in doing?  Maybe his not understanding was more about his desire to go out for a nice meal?  Who knows?

The flip side to this is that maybe I should just stop seeing him.  That’s what some (though not all) of my friends think. If a guy can’t understand what I mean when I say, “low-key night” then what hope is there?  And maybe the reason he didn’t invite me over is that he’s hiding something (it’s still early, way too early to make that assumption)?

All I know for sure is that if there is a next date for us, it won’t pass without my bringing some of this up. Because really, why am I writing about this stuff when I should be talking to him about it.  If he copes well with the conversation, then I’ll know that he might be a keeper.  If not…

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15 to “For Starters, We Need a Translator”

  1. This, I think, is where communication in a new relationship is tricky. Your definition of “low key” and his definition are obviously totally different. Maybe he took your “low key” comment as “I don’t really have the energy to plan the evening” so he offered restaurant suggestions.

    I think this early in a relationship you have to be 100% clear in your communication. If you wanted to sit on the couch, eat chinese out of a carton and watch meaningless TV…then you should have said exactly that. It’s very tricky…but I admire you for writing about it and questioning wether or not this is the right guy for you.

    • Simone Grant says:

      Thanks. Like I wrote, I thought I was being pretty clear, saying “isn’t there a game on we can watch”. At the same time, it’s cool that he didn’t get it. If we were in sync with other things, it would matter in the least.

  2. Kitty says:

    Yes, you do need to be specific when you want to stay in and have takeout. It’s not his fault he can’t read your mind. “Low key night” is very vague. No wonder he didn’t figure out what you want. Would it be so hard to say “let’s get some take out and watch a DVD, or go to a pub.”? Yes, you do need to learn to be honest with the men in your life.

    • Simone Grant says:

      Well Kitty, as I just mentioned, I said more than “low key night”. But no, I wasn’t super-specific because that’s not the way I am. I’m never going to be the type of woman who tells a guy I just started dating that I want to do X. I’ll offer suggestions, clues and let him plan – unless he’s the kind of guy who asks me to do the planning. It’s a ridiculous dance, surely. But it’s the way it goes.

      And who said I wasn’t honest with the men in my life? Other than keeping this blog a secret I’m one of the most honest (to a fault) people alive. Seems to me there’s a bit of disapproval in that statement. And if so..

  3. Sandyvs says:

    So many times people have misinterpreted what I thought was clearly stated. I mean, it made perfect sense to me. (As in, “OMG, I can’t believe you came to that conclusion from what I said”!) I’m sure he thought a nice, quiet dinner was low key as well as doing something very thoughtful and considerate for you. It seems as though he is REALLY trying here, so if he actually ‘heard’ what you’d suggested, I think he would have gladly acquiesced. I can’t understand why you would even consider not seeing him again because of this……

    • Simone Grant says:

      I think I did a really bad job expressing myself in this post (serves me right for writing late at night). I’m considering not seeing him again because I’m still not sure how I feel about him (or if I FEEL anything FOR HIM) and we just seem t to be from different planets. The misunderstanding was just that, a misunderstanding. Another drop in the bucket of us not really clicking.

      • Sandyvs says:

        That’s what I thought….but didn’t want to just come out and state that, because you may have been meaning something else entirely. So, you have a really, really nice thoughtful guy that you just don’t click with. Is that what you’re saying, or trying to say? If so, that goes back to an earlier post where I stated that of all the dates I’ve had, they have all been very nice, smart, thoughtful men (again, I’m VERY picky), but if on the FIRST date there is no chemistry there, I will NOT go on another one. I have yet to regret that decision. Plus, I have no angst over it. When I’ve talked about my decisions with my friends and explained why, they all say, “Yup, good choice”.

  4. Rebekah says:

    well, i wouldn’t ordinarily dole out any kind of insight, but since I’m from the midwest, i kind of understand the situation differently than someone who isn’t. in michigan, every guy i dated was similar in that during the first month, two months, while the relationships was new and undetermined, he would plan dates, take me out on proper dates. every time we saw each other there was a new date in mind and he would do most (not all, but most) of the planning. it was nice. i could tell a guy was into me if he was planning little dates for me. since i’ve moved here, i quickly learned that this isn’t the way things are done in new york. :-/ when i dated my ex, i wanted a similar thing, “a low-key night” as you said, so i told him, why don’t we each rent our favorite movie, order in and hang out at your place. two days later, that’s what we did. it was lovely. probably one of my favorite dates still. if he’s anything like guys i dated in the midwest, then planning dates for you is his way of showing that he likes you, that’s all.

    i personally think that there’s no reason to stop seeing this guy, Mr. Midwest, unless you’re not interested. and if you’re not interested, then that’s probably the only reason you need.

    • Simone Grant says:

      Thanks for the midwester perspective. You’re right, it’s all about whether or not I’m interested. And I’m still trying to figure that out.

  5. Terry says:

    No advice. Miscommunication between adults is so common it is a wonder we don’t all have to spell things out all the time.

    You are also quite kind to him- by not pointing out what you wanted and allowed his decision to rule.

    Communication is two way.

    • Simone Grant says:

      Maybe it’s me, but I have a really hard time saying “I’d prefer to do this” after someone calls me with plans. I feel like that’s overly bossy. Anyway, you’re right. It’s a wonder human beings are able to get anything done.

  6. anny says:

    “There’s a part of me that thinks I should keep seeing him; It’s been years since any man has been this kind to me; Mr. Midwest tries hard to be thoughtful; we ended up at one of my favorite restaurants” …. those are pretty positive thoughts. As I read your post, I only saw 1 slight negative – the misinterpretation of “low key” (the other expectations for seeing his apartment and laying around on the couch are, i think, more in a neutral zone because they could still happen). And too, weren’t you feeling really tired to begin with? – so you had a bit of bad karma working against you (and him) that evening.

    you’re entitled to analyze and think thru all the nuances we can’t see in your posts…but i’d say, give him a time or two more to see if you can connect the dots of his being so kind and thoughtful with any kind of chemistry or pull. I dated a guy once for about 4-5 weeks and ultimately decided he was not for me – great guy, nice guy, interesting guy….but more like a brother than a boyfriend…. so, give yourself a little more time to “soak” in your thoughts of being with someone who is so nice to you and with whom you had decent sex….i think you said the sex was ok, so maybe a future combination of you feeling a bit better, after your hand gets better, and a great night out might add up to a few points in his corner???… i guess what i’m saying is – you weren’t 100% that evening, so don’t shut him off until you have a night where you’re both 100% on top of your game and see how you feel about him then….

  7. Kelly says:

    Sounds like he is trying to impress you since it’s still early days. Like you said, it all comes down to whether or not you want to continue. If you enjoy his company, I don’t see any harm in just dating him. You don’t have to decide what to do after 3 dates or even 10 dates. Take your time.

  8. Trying to be Helpful says:

    U, do you mean the “Goldman Indictment”? You might want to correct that. I don’t think “indictman” is a word.