Thanks to Mr. Mississippi, I can now confidently say that I have both been on bad first dates myself, and witnessed a bad first date from start to finish. Watching Megs experience a date that evolved from reasonably okay to ginormous freaking trainwreck that might have also plowed into a few donkeys being gnawed on by Sasquatch was simultaneously anxiety laden and hilarious.
What’s most interesting about watching two people collide and unravel is that as I’m not a mind reader, I couldn’t begin to accurately understand what was happening between the two of them. And neither could they. What happened between the disc golf game and Little Tokyo? It almost seemed like Adam had pulled a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on us, if the Hyde-side was more on Valium rather than rawr-inducingly angry. One moment, reasonably normal if not slightly bashful dude, next moment, paranoid, anxious and then way too mellow. Maybe he had a panic attack in his car, took an anti-anxiety medication, and then relaxed a little too much? See – all I’m left with is speculation.
The guessing game that comes with first dates is hard to avoid. Your date doesn’t owe you straight answers, and honestly, a first date is more about finding out if you want to try and see each other again and learn more about one another – not sharing deep, dark secrets. If I were having a panic attack I’m fairly certain I would know not to tell my date what was happening (though I’m me, so I probably would anyway). Even sans panic attack, I don’t tell first dates all about my long-term anxiety that’s followed me around like a red balloon (but way less adorable) since childhood.
Anyway. I was impressed by how Megan dealt with the situation of Mr. Hyde. She remained kind and neutral, kept topics light, and while she certainly attempted to wrap up the date, she didn’t huff away from the guy or call him out on his behavior switch. Though that makes me wonder — do we have a responsibility to tell first dates when they’re being kind of weird? Just, open up the communication for the sake of practicing sharing thoughts and feelings and say “Hey, I noticed you seem really different than you did an hour ago. Is everything okay?” Is that humane of us, or simply poor form?
What makes a bad first date? I still honestly couldn’t tell you. Perhaps that’s the point. You only know what went so very wrong when you’re one of the people on the date.