My mother clipped an article from the Jewish Press about going out with someone for a second time. That is, going out with them after you’ve already dated and decided it wasn’t a go. The article pointed out that people mature and change, or even just become more experienced and confident, and that can change how you perceive them.
It’s a subject that’s come up more than once in my dating career. The first time was after three guys in a row decided a month later that they wanted to give it another shot, after they’d turned me down. My response was simply that I respected their initial decision, I’d come to the conclusion that they were correct, and I saw no reason to pick things up again. The way I figured it, time has a way of glossing over objections that seemed obvious at the time, and anyway, I hadn’t been enthusiastic about any of them either.
I came to rethink this more recently, after ending a few relationships myself. A few weeks later I’d wonder if they’d been all that bad and if I hadn’t been hasty. But after reviewing my mental profile, I was able to recall the reasons I’d said no, and generally agreed with my decision.
And now it’s come up again. Because for some reason I keep getting set up with guys I’ve already been out with. It’s getting to be ridiculous. In fact, three people have tried to set me up with the same guy in the past month. Originally I’d rather liked him. But the reason and way he ended our relationship was very telling, and it wasn’t long before I considered it a lucky near miss. No way I’m going out with him again. But it’s okay. I’m pretty sure it’s mutual.
Most of the re-redts are ones where the guy ended it anyway, so I have the luxury of telling the would-be shadchan that they’re asking the wrong party. But the truth is, I’m not all that enthusiastic about reopening these closed chapters. It’s not neat. And anyway, don’t you need new evidence to bring a retrial? Quantify what’s changed, and I’ll consider it.
The parents disagree. They think that if I ever got serious about a guy once, he’s worth considering again. They recall the story of the couple who dated in their twenties, dated again in their thirties, and then married in their forties. “You don’t want to be like that,” they assure me.
Heck no. So I just won’t go out again.
But maybe it’s my pride doing the resisting. After all, if a guy turned you down once, isn’t going out again like re-tryouts? I’ll go out feeling like I have something to prove – like that I’m different than I was before. And just as bad, I’ll probably approach him with the same critical lens, wondering, “So has he lost these objectionable traits?”
No, I tell myself. There’s no point in going out again. He sounds like a good match just the way he originally sounded good, way back when. And it sounds right because time has washed away the edge on all the negative impressions. Neither of you have fundamentally changed in the last year or three. All you’re going to do is refresh those objections and confirm that they still stand. And what’s the point in that?