Chatting with a colleague after Mass one afternoon, he suddenly asks, “Do you want to get a bite to eat?”
Since we’ve know each other for a long time I thought nothing of it. Two peers having dinner. No big deal.
I chatted away during dinner (as usual) but suddenly noticed his nervousness. I decided to change the subject because I thought I was talking too much.
At the end of dinner the waiter asked if we wanted anything else and then slipped the check on the table.
I reached for my wallet and my friend insisted, “No, I got it.”
Now normally I think it is important for a guy to pay for the bill on a first date, but this is just a business dinner and I have my sparkly socks on and my hair in a ponytail.
I thanked him for being so generous, and then he gave me a good-night hug.
We are just friends and I have sparkly socks on for goodness sake. This is not a date!
I got in my car feeling utterly confused but giggled a little and then drove home singing a cheesy country song (at the top of my lungs): “I want a love like Johnny and June…I want to love. Love you that much. They’ll remember, remember, A love like that. …Like Johnny and Junnneeeee!”
Over the next month or so my friend would invite me to meet his co-workers, go to brunch with his family and we’d also attend Mass together. I was so excited about this new suitor and it working out that I didn’t really think about compatibility. He is Catholic. I am Catholic. Of course this is going to work out.
He must be the one!
I wanted the relationship to move at 100 mph, but after good advice from a close friend I finally I allowed myself to reflect. Yes, he is Catholic, but what do we have in common? When was I going to admit that every time we went out together we ran out of things to say by the time dessert came?
On our next date when he told me he wasn’t ready to move forward to anything serious it still hurt, but I was glad that we were honest with ourselves before the relationship went on for too long.
My spiritual director told me the most charitable thing you can do is to say no to a second date if you have absolutely no interest in the other person. I think that is very good advice but hard to do when your date is Catholic and a nice person.
Has this happened to you? Did you draw out the relationship or break it off? How do you end a courtship that isn’t working?