A TCF READER WRITES
“I connected with a guy online and after about a week, he asked for my number. We had our first phone call a couple of days later. The call went very well and at the end, he asked me on a date and I agreed. We made a plan to meet the following Friday evening & he said he would get back to me with a few suggestions of bars or restaurants and I can choose one.
The next morning, he message me and suggested that we meet outside a train station and we can go somewhere. I remembered you said that for a first date, we should never meet a guy at a train/bus stop or park, only an actual venue/restaurant where we can walk through the door and the cctv there can capture us. So, I told him I would prefer if we met at a restaurant/bar. He replied that he wanted an element of surprise for the venue (he now mentioned the name and address) and it is a short walk from the station.
I replied that a surprise for the 1st date was not necessary, the venue he chose is nice and I will meet him there, and jokingly mentioned that hanging around public stations at night feels a little dodgy. Haven’t heard back from him since. I get a sense that he is annoyed cos I didn’t want to hang around outside a station, and I feel it is such a minor and odd thing to be offended by.
What do I do? “
First of all, well done on following the TCF dating guidelines. You did everything right and things progressed well. He requested your number after an appropriate length of time – you didn’t offer your number first to him. He initiated the first call and at the end, he asked you out on the date. Everything was going well.
The problem began when after he initially said he would send you restaurant suggestions, he backtracked the next day & told you to meet him at a station instead. Why the sudden attitude change overnight? He seems a bit flighty and inconsistent.
The first call went well and he showed great interest and now suddenly, he is slightly backtracking on what he said? Not a good sign – he might be fickle with his emotions, a love bomber (they too tend to lose interest just as quick), and he may be someone who will jump out of a relationship as suddenly and quickly as he jumped in.
So you set a boundary right from the start. Good girl!
Yes, I always recommend for a first date you meet a guy at a venue – not a bus stop, train station or park. This is particularly important if you have never met this guy before and have only known him through social media, online dating, or other online avenues.
For the first date, you should only meet him at a pre-determined venue, such as a bar, restaurant or coffee shop
Too many women who have been asked to meet in a park or at a station have been coerced or lured away from locations like these to the guy’s car or more secluded areas, under the pretence of him taking her to their venue, where they were then raped, assaulted or murdered.
Social media and online dating apps/websites are predators’ playground, so it is wise to exercise extra caution, even if the first phone call seems to have gone well.
Also, he may turn out to be a different person to the person in the dating pictures and/or will simply stand you up while you stand waiting outside there and then he may choose to covertly follow you home, attacking you later, and you will not even know what he looks when he is following you. Or he may have someone else be there instead, and this person will then coerce you or drag you off into a car or the bushes.
Meeting inside a restaurant/bar is better because CCTVs will record when he goes in, when you go in, the two of you together at the venue and when you both leave, just in case anything happens to you later.
Also, you can Google the venue and choose your outfit accordingly. It may be quite casual and dressing up to the nines would be out of place.
Or if the venue he chooses is a questionable unsafe place or a really shitty place when you know he is affluent enough to afford better, then you know he is either incredibly stingy or has nefarious plans for you, and you can decline the date and block him.
A man with good intentions will not get offended that you don’t want to be standing outside a station like a call girl. A man who genuinely cares for you and your safety will want you to feel comfortable for that first date. He will understand that as a woman you will feel concerned about safety when meeting an unknown guy for the first time, and if he is not a predator, he will actually like and admire the fact that you are demure, cautious and not some free-spirited feminist woman who lacks discernment when it comes to men or dangerous situations. And since we are dating for marriage, marriage-minded men do not want reckless irresponsible women as a wife – they want a woman that they can see will be safe and good mother to their future kids, a woman who is not just feminine, but also one who has good motherly qualities.
The fact he got offended over such a small issue is a huge red flag; it is such an inconsequential thing to be offended by & could be evidence that your boundary foiled whatever dastardly plan he may have had.
Also, narcissists are very controlling and hate boundaries. So, a very good way to quickly weed out a dangerous, sociopathic, narcissistic and predatory person is to set a boundary in the beginning and see how they react. Any reaction other than accepting your boundary is a major red flag.
And after you have met him physically in person at a venue, for further dates, you can meet him outside a station or park before you two set off somewhere, if you like. But please do not do this for the first date/meeting. It may seem romantic, but we are not living in the ‘When Harry Met Sally’ era anymore……when it seemed romantic or quirky to meet under the station’s clock tower or something. Predators have hijacked the natural normal human bonding and dating process, and we need to adjust accordingly.
So what do you now do? Nothing. Don’t text him back, don’t explain and whatever you do, DO NOT concede and agree to now meet him at the station. Consistency is a sign of a person of integrity – so stick to what you originally said: that you would prefer to meet at a venue. Being inconsistent will make you appear unreliable, deceptive, wishy-washy and easy to manipulate, and if he is a predator, he will take full advantage of that.
He seemed to like you and if he wants to play stupid little games like these, it is his loss. If you give in now, he will lose any respect for you and abuse will begin. Remember, abuse does not begin with physical hitting; it begins with little acts of boundary violations like these.
So here is what you do.
On the morning of the date, send him ONE SHORT TEXT, and keep it soft and lighthearted “oh hey there! Thanks for asking me out on the date for tonight. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you look like in person! Can you confirm what time you’d like me to meet you tonight at (insert venue)?”
A response like this is feminine & non-threatening, and also reiterates that you want to meet him at the said venue. If he knows what is good for him, he will respond with a time for you to meet him at the venue that he suggested.
If he is a fool that wants to lose a good woman or a narcissistic predator with nefarious plans, he’ll probably not respond or he will make an excuse to cancel or postpone the date. In that case, you say and do nothing more. You block his number, delete it and move on to dating others.
You just may have saved your own life!!
Hope this helps and keep being safe and discerning as you date
Our Lady, Seat Of Wisdom, pray for us!!
ad Jesum per Mariam