It wasn’t just a random hook-up. They had met through a Friend. Spoken on the phone. Gathered for dinner. Caught a movie. And made out in the parking lot like a couple of wayward teenagers.
He told her she was amazing. They agreed it had been a fun night and stared into each other’s eyes with clear intent. She turned to make her far-too-early departure, but not before he planted one more kiss and said:
“Let’s get together again soon.”
Recounting the date over brunch with her girlfriends, this was the phrase that raised all our eyebrows, hers included. “Soon” is non-specific, and we all tacitly confessed to having done it before — met someone (an old friend, a new friend, a recent date) and said “let’s get together soon,” with plans to avoid a follow-up.
Over the course of the last year, I’ve run the full gamut of date follow-up possibilities – from the guy who calls tomorrow because he can’t wait to see me again to the guy who stays in touch, but waits 5 months before suggesting a second rendez-vous.
Both blooming relationships faded away. But I’ll confess, the boy who sent me the “So rarely does a woman meet my expectations, let alone exceed them…You’re wonderful… are you free next weekend?” was the boy more likely to win my heart than the one who took 20 weeks after our first kiss to ask me to dinner.
More often than not, we walk away from a first date with a certain ambivalence. We had a nice time, but we’ve yet to make a decision about what’s next. He had a great sense of humor, but can he be serious? He had nice eyes, but do you really want to take his shirt off?
Sometimes, to help us make a decision, we need a nudge. A kiss at the end of a night is supposed to be a good sign — things went well, the attraction is mutual, here’s a stamp of approval. When it’s more than a kiss, it’s more than a stamp of approval. It’s a kind of slobbery promise that there will be a next time.
But more than a kiss followed by a “let’s get together again soon” or “…one of these days” and well, the scale hasn’t been tipped in favor of a round 2.
When you’re out there playing the game for love rather than lust, both sexes need to take some Jane Austen advice to heart: “In nine cases out of 10, a woman had better show more affection than she feels… he may never more than like her, if she does not help him on.”
Frankly, a “soon” doesn’t help me on.