Welcome to 29 Dates, where we explore the weird, wild, and sometimes wonderful world of dating. Look out for a new story every day this month.
He said he wanted to surprise me.
He certainly did.
The date started well enough. He picked me up from the station and escorted me lovingly to a dimly lit, upmarket restaurant. So far, so good.
"I pre-ordered the special cocktail for us," he said to the waiter, who nodded, acknowledging a level of premeditation that warmed my heart and made me thrill with anticipation.
He held my hand between courses and gazed at me across overpriced steak as if he wanted to tell me that he loved me, not delete my number from his contacts.
An aura of fate clung to us, which made everything about our brief romance way more exciting than it probably was.
Years ago, a mutual friend had set us up on a blind date. Neither of us showed up. Then, earlier that year, we met randomly in a club and hit it off. It was like destiny had brought us together.
When the bill came, he started discussing what we should do later that night: a bar, a party that a friend of mine was throwing... I nodded vaguely, slightly stupefied by too much of that pre-ordered special cocktail.
He said he had something he wanted to say before we made any plans, and he hoped I didn't mind.
Then he said he had something he wanted to say before we made any plans, and he hoped I didn't mind.
I thought it was a funny way to introduce something wonderful; I assumed he was about to make us official or profess his undying love.
Instead, he said he thought we should be friends, that it just wasn’t working for him.
He said it so nonchalantly that I almost thought I had imagined it. But no, it was as premeditated as the cocktail. He was breaking it off. He hoped I "didn’t mind."
I did mind.
I minded enough to cry in the restaurant.
I minded enough to storm out. But not before I checked the bill. Turns out it costs $420 to break up with me.