Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Don't let first-date suggestion sabotage a possible relationship
First-Dater: I have a first date this weekend. He suggested an activity that I consider both too athletic and not really first-date appropriate (minds out of the gutter, people!). I said no thanks, and suggested something else.
He came back with how he didn't see how it was so athletic. I felt dismissed — I think I know what I'm capable of, and what activities I enjoy! Is he being thick or rude? And should I go on the date?
Carolyn: Probably not, but I'm curious. Do you remember exactly how you turned down the (canola-oil naked Twister)? From his response, it sounds as if you said, "too athletic"; if you also said, "not really first-date appropriate," that would explain any defensiveness.
I say "probably not" for the date because you're both already defensive, and that works out better in romantic comedies than it does in real life. But details would help me answer better.
First-Dater again: Canoeing. I tried to pass it off humorously — that I'm not a human Mountain Dew ad. I wound up having to spell out that if you're small and female, and don't have a lot of upper-body strength, yes, it's athletic. Plus, something I've tried and don't consider fun. Finally, I'm at high risk for skin cancer and supposed to avoid being in the sun on the water.
We're going for the walk instead.
What annoys me is that if I suggest an activity, and the other person declines, I figure they have their reasons and I leave it alone. I find it uncomfortable to explain wimpy arms and fair skin before we've even gone out.
Carolyn: He could have been pressing the issue beyond the point of courtesy, but he could also have been genuinely curious. Maybe he thought about your possible objections, came up empty and figured he'd just ask.
Which brings us back to the other issue, whether someone with sun restrictions, who thinks "female" belongs on a list of arguments against canoeing, and who thinks canoeing isn't an appropriate first-date activity, should even go on a date with someone who, for their first date, suggests canoeing.
Re: Canoeing: As a small, paler than Casper, wimpy-armed female, allow me to say canoeing is not hard and the insinuation that females don't like to canoe is just outrageous.
I think canceling the date is the way to go. They seem to like different things and she turned what was, in my opinion, a unique, thoughtful first-date idea into a major drama.
Carolyn: No argument here.
Re: Canoeing: Male here. Give the guy a break — he was trying to come up with something distinctive and memorable. And I am sure he was definitely curious as to why you rejected the idea, so he could come up with something equally memorable that might be a better fit.
If you're going out with him, surely you have common ground, so focus on that and maybe help him out!
Carolyn: Thanks. Asking someone out is always a leap — worth the benefit of the doubt.