How to schedule multiple dates in one night
With so many singles on so many apps, it can be difficult to figure out how to fit them all in
When Lisette Pylant realized that her date Monday night had planned several other dates at the same bar — each woman coming in one after another — she was outraged.
She live-tweeted the entire night, joking about there being a rose ceremony later. According to her tweet thread, she peeled off with this guy’s dates and decamped to another bar across the street.
This man was not smart about his multitasking. But there is nothing wrong with scheduling more than one date in a single night. With so many singles on so many apps and more first dates happening than ever before, it is hard to figure out whom to meet and how to fit them all in.
Sure, it’s romantic when you have those first dates that start as a drink in a one spot and then become dinner somewhere else and then turn into a rambling “Before Sunrise”-esque walk all around the city. But Richard Linklater is not directing your love life, and Ethan Hawke is taken. Chances are, you won’t want to spend the entire night with a stranger you just met from the internet.
So if you have the time and energy for more than one first meeting, go for it. Just do it respectfully. Here’s a guide.
• “Pre-dates” absolutely are a thing. Pylant complains that her date considered his meetups not dates but “pre-date” conversations.
The “pre-date” is a term I’ve used before. Namely to describe a meetup between two people who’ve first connected on the internet and then decide to have a real-time interaction with one another. It’s a “pre-date” because you’re nearly strangers to each other; you have no sense of whether there’s chemistry with someone from looking at their online profile. A “pre-date” can happen at a bar or coffee shop, or over the phone. (One of The Washington Post’s contributing writers regularly FaceTimes with potential love interests before meeting up, and he credits the tactic as time well-spent.)
According to her Twitter thread, Pylant and her date had already met once — at a bar — before agreeing to meet up again last night. So in her case, this wasn’t a pre-date. But he did schedule other pre-dates with women from dating apps, who started showing up after Pylant got there. Which brings me to my next point.
• If you’re doing a doubleheader, schedule your dates in different locations. Whatever you’re calling it — first date, pre-date — do not schedule back-to-back dates in the same location. That’s a recipe for disaster, whether there are six women lined up or two.
If this guy wanted to do a pre-date conversation with someone over the phone, then meet Pylant in person and then meet another woman in the same evening, that’s all fine. He just should have done them in different spots.
Imagine this: If you had dinner plans with your best friend at 7 p.m., and you let him know that you had drink plans with another friend at 9:30, would your dinner buddy leave in a huff or live-tweet about how rude you were because you didn’t reserve the entire night for him? I hope not. That sounds like one selfish friend.
So why do we expect a first date to last the entire night? That’s unrealistic, and it’s an expectation that probably stems from a lifelong diet of romantic comedies. Nowadays, the expectation is that first dates should be kept short and sweet, regardless of whether you have another one booked that same night.
• Set expectations from the get-go. If you have to be somewhere else at a certain time, let your date know upfront. On a first date, it’s perfectly acceptable to say: I need to be out of here to meet at friend at 8 p.m. or to watch “The Bachelorette” finale or feed my cat. Maybe your 8 p.m. escape plan is actually a second first date. Or maybe you know that all you can handle is an hour-and-a-half of first-date chit-chat. There’s nothing wrong with setting a time limit on a first date. You’re nearly strangers; you’re showing up for a test drive, not for a long-distance road trip.
• That said, no more than two dates in a night, tops. It seems that Pylant’s date was curating his own speed-dating night. That’s fine at an actual speed-dating event, where the presumption going in is that everyone has mini-dates with lots of people. But if you’re making plans with someone in the real world, they’re expecting your undivided attention for the amount of time you’re together.
Pre-dates absolutely are a thing. They can happen at a bar or coffee shop, or over the phone.
If you’re doing a doubleheader, schedule your dates in different locations. Otherwise, it could become awkward.