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t/j of my t/j: My experience with Mr. Half

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phmh posted 1/16/2014 21:43 PM

OK, NIK, here is the short version (oh, there is so much more) of the last guy I went on several dates with. I usually call him "Mr. Half" when I talk about him to my friends.

Background: I live in a fabulous part of the city. There's tons to do here -- art cinemas, a large university (as well as several smaller colleges), yoga studios, beautiful parks, old homes, interesting bars and restaurants, an amazing bookstore, and most of the businesses are locally-owned. I think my walk score is something like 97 and I can go months without using my car as I bike/walk most places. (Not in the winter!!! I drive now!!!)

He lives about 20-30 (depending on traffic) minutes away from me in an area that is mostly big box stores, chain restaurants, corner bars, have to drive to get anywhere, etc.

(One of the things I love is that there are neighborhoods that cater to everyone's preferences. I love love love my situation, but I know it would be hell on earth for many people!)

First date: It's lunch at a decent place, but about 20 minutes away from me. I'd suggested restaurants closer to my house, but he didn't think it would be fair (he did, in fact, say that) if I could bike to our date and he had to drive, so he picked a place where we'd both have to drive. I get there a bit early and pay for my beer at the bar. He arrives a couple of minutes late. We get a table, have a nice enough conversation. I'm rather meh, but agree to a second date (I've wanted to go on very few second dates so I'm working on giving the guy a shot over a longer period of time.) Then, the waitress drops off our check. He immediately grabs it. I'm about to offer to pay for my meal, when he tells me "You owe $XX for half." I was pretty shocked, but not thinking quickly on my feet since this had never happened to me before, give him the amount he asked for. I realize later that I way overpaid since I'd already paid for my beer and I'm vegetarian so my entree was cheaper. Whatever. I can afford it and I always offer to pay; it was just the weird way this guy went about doing it.

Second date: He says that since I came out by him last time, he'd be willing to drive to my area of town for dinner. I pick a charming Italian place, and the entire time, he can't stop raving about how good the food is. Once again, nothing spectacular. Check comes, and once again, he calculates how much I owe. And, I'd give him the cash, then he'd pay with a credit card and make comments to the server that made it sound like he was paying for the meal, like he was trying to impress her! Then he asks me if I wanted to have an after-dinner drink at the bar. No shock, he tells me to pay for half of the cost of the drinks. Weird. As we leave, awkward hug.

(Note: I know that I should have not gone on any more dates with him, but I'm really trying to give guys more of a chance!)

Third date: We go to the public museum. I used to have a membership that had lapsed, so when I get there, I decide to renew. He kept asking the membership lady if he could get in free because I was buying a membership! So embarrassing! (Note: he has a good job and lives rent-free in a house his parents own. Money is not an issue. Just weirdness. Weirdness is the issue.)

It was OK, though I expected he would make some sort of move and never did. I still wasn't sure if I wanted to go on another date, so I wasn't going to make any moves, and I was actually pretty relieved he didn't. Figured this would be the last date. Ready to go home, when he asks me if I'd like to go to (a very early) dinner. As we're eating dinner, he comments on how he always has Sunday dinner with his parents, and he's going to miss out this week because he's eating with me. Who would say something like that? I replied that he didn't have to go to dinner with me and he could leave if he wanted to -- he's the one who invited me to dinner! Same thing with the check: half!

There were other dates in there, with similar outcomes. Once, he paid for our before-dinner drinks at the bar (happy hour; total: $6 for two beers); shocked, I thanked him, and he replied, "You can make up the difference when we pay for dinner," -- and I sure had to!!! We were supposed to go to a CD release party after dinner (I really wanted to go to this party and told him that the only way that night would work for a date is if he wanted to go, otherwise we'd have to do another night and I'd go with friends -- he said it sounded like fun) but he begged off, citing tiredness.

Finally, I built up the nerve to break things off with him. But it's been a bunch of dates over 6 or so weeks, so figure I need to do it in person. But that's awkward. I wish I'd just sent an e-mail. We meet at the distillery and take the tour. Then he invites me out to another early dinner. But we've been spending too much time over in my side of town (yes, that's because that's where all the cool things to do are!) so he asks if we can go to a restaurant near his house -- so he can park his car at his house and walk over. Note that we are already on my side of town and there are great restaurants in walking distance! (I mention this, but he is adamant. I figure since I'm going to break things off with him, I'll go to whatever restaurant he wants. I am terrible at breaking things off with people. It's the worst part of dating and while I'm improving, still not great at it.) (Hope I can find a good match before I am proficient at breaking things off. This sucks.)

I agree; he tells me I'll just have to wait 5 or so minutes for him to show up since I'm driving straight to the restaurant and he's driving home and then walking over. He shows up about 30 minutes after me, sweaty and out of breath ("I had to run a bit! I guess I live further from this restaurant than I thought!") Since it's before 4 for dinner, and Sunday is half price kids night, it's full of grandparents with their grandkids. Also, they are playing soft jazz music, so you should use a soft voice while talking. He starts (LOUDLY) talking about how he just found out that his sister likes to do cocaine!!! Except it's so expensive so she can't do it all that often!!! But she says cocaine is great!!! I am dying and probably should have just left. Finally I get him to change the subject but awkward. I hurry up dinner (we each pay half!) I say goodnight (I chickened out and was going to break up with him in an e-mail that night) and start heading to my car, when he asks me for a ride home.

"I thought you lived close enough to walk?"

"It's further than I thought."

"Fine." (In a bitchy tone.)

I'm about to break things off with him in person, en route to his house, when he says, "Well, I think we've taken our friendship about as far as it can go, so I was wondering if you'd like to (grunt, grunt, weird hand movements) take things to the next level?" (I'm pretty sure he was making sex grunt sounds and the weird hand motions were maybe sex motions? Multiple friends have said the motions [replayed by me] looked like he was milking a cow...) I was stunned, so he asked AGAIN. With MORE grunting and hand motions. (If I'm ever having sex with someone who is grunting like that, I will laugh and leave in the middle.) (Just kidding. I can't even break things off with someone, so I'd probably just deal with it, but I'd want to laugh and leave in the middle.)

I was just shocked. Were we on the same date? I said that actually, I thought it would be best if we didn't see each other again, and he asked (AGAIN!) if we could take things to the (grunt, motion, repeat) next level. I told him to get out of my car and I haven't talked to him since then.

Oh, and he never gave me a compliment the entire time, either, even when other people would compliment me in front of him, or when I would give him one. Not that I was keeping score. Maybe a little.

Can you even imagine being in a relationship with this guy? "phmh, we spent 3 hours and 20 minutes with your parents last week and only 1 hour 52 minutes with mine. We need to make it fair!" "phmh, you ate 60% of the grapes and I only got 40%! It's not fair!"

I then took an OLD hiatus; it's been almost two months, and I'm thinking about trying again. But I need to not give the guy that many chances. I'm just not sure when to call it quits and when to give more chances? Everyone here leans toward the latter. This is crazy!

damncutekitty posted 1/16/2014 22:06 PM

Did you ever see/read the Joy Luck Club? I swear he's straight from the pages of that story!

InnerLight posted 1/16/2014 22:48 PM

PHMH, I want to give you a 2x4! Slap Slap!

How many times does a guy have to say with his actions, 'I don't care to make you happy. I don't care to give you a pleasant experience. I don't care to make your life easier or more convenient' before you will say this person isn't for me. This guy sounds like the hair-shirt of dates, like you date someone like this for penance or something.

His whole idea of 'fairness' was completely shockingly UNROMANTIC. I want to call you out if you have any similar matchy-matchy - 50/50 fairness ideas about dating.

Dating is not about fairness as in 50/50 check splitting. It's about giving a guy an opportunity to show that he can give you a pleasant experience, a relaxing night out, where you don't have to worry about math and money, directing the waiter - even if you are a wealthy math wiz and professional project manager.

In return for showing you a nice time a guy has the benefit of having the company of a beautiful woman.

I know some women can feel just as romanced splitting bills, putting on clean sweat pants and a t-shirt and washing dishes together. But really I think that happens when you are already in love.

If you want to increase the chance of feeling romanced in early dating really watch for how you feel in the early dates - taken care of, or not, treated with consideration or not. And totally ditch the guys early on who do not treat you like something special. If it ain't there early on, it's not going to be cultivated later and being with him will feel like wearing a hair shirt the whole time.

SBB posted 1/17/2014 04:02 AM

^^What she said. There should never have been a second date, let alone a third onwards.


(grunt, grunt, weird hand movements)

Having this story to tell almost kinda makes it worth it.

My laughter just woke my sleeping children.

But.... Oh....My....God.....

What a fucking creep. All of it. Every single thing he did but especially the cow milking innuendo.

Ew. I feel like I've just had a wet tongue in my ear (an unwelcome one, I mean).

[This message edited by SBB at 4:02 AM, January 17th (Friday)]

phmh posted 1/17/2014 06:51 AM

DCK -- have heard of it but never read it. Will add it to my list of books to read!

IL -- part of the reason I'm taking a dating hiatus is to process things like this. I've been on 30 first dates and only wanted to go on about 3 second dates, so I was starting to question whether I'm being way too picky. I was taken to task on SI a few times (mostly by guys) about not giving guys enough chance -- maybe he was nervous, give it some time to see if attraction develops, etc. So I was going against my gut to see if that advice was sound. But I don't think it was!

I used to have 50/50 fairness concerns, especially in the beginning dates. But now that I've been dating longer, I no longer do. I do offer to pay, but almost no one has taken me up on the offer, even when I've told them there wouldn't be a second date before the check comes.

He totally was hair shirt guy! And I learned to trust my gut and not listen to other people telling me I'm too picky (my friends in real life weren't saying that, just people on here.)

SBB -- my friends are sad I'm on hiatus right now because I haven't had new stories to tell.

I'm glad I had these experiences, as I think they'll help me be a better dater and figure out what I do want!

cmego posted 1/17/2014 07:29 AM

phmh~ Oh…just too freaking funny.

Maybe I am a tad old fashioned, but I kinda expect the guy to pay of the first date…well…they asked me. Then, if there is a second date, I always offer to pay. 50/50.

I can see giving him a second date, but I think you have a pretty good idea after about date 2 or 3 if you really like him. Third date seems to be my deciding factor.

Like others are telling me, if you don't feel something in the first few dates, it is OK to trust your feelings.

Williesmom posted 1/17/2014 07:35 AM

I hate to say it, but I'm so glad that someone else is having awful luck with the dating!! After I stop laughing about the hand motions and grunting, I'll feel bad that you had to go through that.

You gotta kiss a LOT of frogs to find your prince. It is definitely rough out there.

thebighurt posted 1/17/2014 07:41 AM

I get that about feeling too picky. I haven't even dated, just taken a look at some occupants of dating sites and, just....eewwww!! for the most part. Some think pretty highly of themselves; some have lists of what they DON'T want or won't do and no real info about them; some really don't sound too interested in bothering to put much into it at all.

It's doubtful that I would have seen "Mr. Half" a second time, but if someone did the, "each pay half", and I had a less expensive dish and had already bought my own drink, I would tell the waiter we would like separate checks! Head it off at the pass on any further "dates".

It's nice that you keep your friends entertained, but I hope you start having less to regale them with when/if you decide to try again.

Xpos is like you said about your ex. He put me down rather than give me any praise or compliment. Told me he didn't see it if others said something nice or if I was rewarded for doing good work. He would tell me that I looked "nice", or, "very nice" if I wore a skirt or dress, but it always sounded hollow, and I knew it was to let me know that I only got that approval when I wore them.

That's the reason I would bother with looking for another relationship. I would love to know what a real, loving, caring, mutual relationship is like.....

GabyBaby posted 1/17/2014 10:52 AM

Did you ever see/read the Joy Luck Club? I swear he's straight from the pages of that story!
OMG that was the first thing that popped into my head too!

GabyBaby posted 1/17/2014 11:00 AM

With regard to OLD, I did not ever, (and if ever single again) will not ever offer to pay half on a "romantic" date if the guy asked ME out.
If I do the asking, I expect to pay.
If a guy breaks out the, "Here's your half" line, there wouldn't be a second date. Ever.

I think if you have high expectations, you may be disappointed in the short term (lots of frogs), but get what you want (the prince!) in the long term.

nomoreplease posted 1/17/2014 11:17 AM

he didn't think it would be fair (he did, in fact, say that) if I could bike to our date and he had to drive, so he picked a place where we'd both have to drive.
If you lived a couple hours apart I could understand this, but if I said this simply to ‘be fair’ or save myself a few minutes of driving I would expect to be next’ed on the spot. And it only got better from there.

Quick t/j

It's about giving a guy an opportunity to show that he can give you a pleasant experience, a relaxing night out, where you don't have to worry about math and money, directing the waiter - even if you are a wealthy math wiz and professional project manager.

In return for showing you a nice time a guy has the benefit of having the company of a beautiful woman.

I’m probably reading too much into this, but as a guy who loves to show a woman a pleasant experience and a relaxing night out where she doesn’t have to worry about…well anything, I find this statement to be a little offensive. I don’t think this is how you meant it, but, IMO, the statement has a sense of entitlement, reduces the man to one dimensional, and devalues the man to the point where he should be grateful just to be in the mere presence of a beautiful woman.

StillLivin posted 1/17/2014 11:21 AM

my friends are sad I'm on hiatus right now because I haven't had new stories to tell.

OMGaaaawwd! I died laughing so hard. This is THE most entertaining story I've had so far!
I'm sorry you suffered through that. But, if you have more good stories like this, puhleeeaase do share some more.
I'm alone in the office today. Thank goodness because my co workers would think I'd finally went off the deep end and lost my mind!

Brandon808 posted 1/17/2014 11:35 AM

At first it was making feel rather ill. Who does that? This is what boggles my mind. I do not have a very much experience dating and am fairly introverted (ok, a bit of a nerd really). If I know that was beyond weird and a complete turnoff then how does this guy not get it.

I mean don't get me the end of your story I was laughing my arse off .
Especially when you described "next level" and grunting noises. Maybe he was hoping for a pity-lay because you have to feel sorry for him right? Well half-sorry for him anyway.

cmego posted 1/17/2014 12:07 PM

Well half-sorry for him anyway.


Charity411 posted 1/17/2014 12:12 PM

phmh....I know just how you feel. And I hung in there too long as well.

I dated Mr. Quarter. Our first date was at a park near his house (I drove to his house first). I brought the food because he was paying the entrance fee. $1. He made a big deal about bringing along his homemade tool which was a whittled down stick. This park had an overlook over the Mississippi River and it had those binocular machines you put a quarter in. The stick was used to jam the machine so it wouldn't wind down the time and you wouldn't have to put in another quarter.

He too lived in the house he grew up in which his mom owned but no longer lived it and he didn't pay rent either. He was in his mid forties at the time and had never lived anywhere but mom's house. I should have seen he was never going to commit to anyone or make a change for anyone right away. But at the time I wasn't paying attention.

I should have run...but no...not me. I was lonely. So I continued to drive to his city 35 minutes from my gorgeous, small, historic, tourist attraction town with almost 40 restaurants to his smallish city because food was cheaper there. Once I almost got washed off the road in a flash flood going there and he was mad that I turned around and went back home.

I was done when he showed up at my house with a portable chiropractic table and informed me he'd given his client my address and was going to adjust her in my living room so he wouldn't have to drive to his office. The office that is in my town less than a mile away.

I ended it right after Christmas that year and he asked for the carving he had made and given me as a present back because he forgot something on it. When I got it back he had written LOVE above his signature on the back. That was apparently supposed to change everything. Then when he ran into me at a restaurant in town on my birthday, he bought me one drink and spent over a hour telling me everything that was wrong with me and why I'd never get a date.

I often fantasized about returning that cruel favor on his birthday but let it go. I ran into him recently while volunteering for a historic house tour. He was a volunteer too. I was surprised to find out that now in his mid fifties he got married. Then I met his wife, and the baby. Somehow nothing I could have said to him on his birthday could measure up to the clear panic and misery he is in being not only married but a new father in his fifties. They were both clearly miserable. I did get in a few jabs about him being a late bloomer.

nowiknow23 posted 1/17/2014 12:43 PM

phmh - Honey? This exceeded my expectations. I hereby nominate Mr. Half into the pantheon of SI NB legends. He can sit next to the Cheesy Nut Man.


better4me posted 1/17/2014 13:32 PM

omgawd! Too damn funny and yet so very sad at the same time. I feel guilty if I was a part of the "don't decide too soon" crowd. I'm waffling about being too choosy too, but really....sometimes you gotta trust your gut.

I hereby nominate Mr. Half into the pantheon of SI NB legends
There's a special place for people like this???

He can sit next to the Cheesy Nut Man.
Quoted this only because I love it when my computer asks "Search google for Cheesy Nut Man"?

need_hope posted 1/17/2014 14:02 PM

I am trying to sneak in some SI while at work and now I'm laughing in my office. People are going to start wondering...

newnormal posted 1/17/2014 14:22 PM

I nominate Mr Half into the cheesey nut man club too.

Keep the good stories coming so those of us who have not made it to first date yet can feel better.

SBB posted 1/17/2014 15:23 PM

Well half-sorry for him anyway.

Oh, my ribs!

If a guy breaks out the, "Here's your half" line, there wouldn't be a second date. Ever.

Ditto. If I ask him out I pay. If he asks me out and I don't want to see him again I insist on dutch. If he asks me out and I DO want to see him again I offer dutch to gage if he wants a second date but let him pay if he insists then I insist on paying for the second date.

Reading that back it sounds like game playing but I consider it more message sending/information gathering.

I've not tried OLD but I can sort of understand the dutch thing there because, well, these guys go on lots of dates and it would suck to foot the bill constantly even if nobody is interested in a second date. I thought that's why people do 'coffee' on the OLD first dates.

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