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Unexpected pseudo-blind date...


Raize
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Hi there. First time posting here in a while - It looks like a lot has changed!

For a bit of context, I'm a 39 year old single guy. Just this last Saturday gone by, I attended a social occasion for an old friend of mine 'Ben' (we went to high school together and usually meet up a few times a year), plus a group of his friends (including 2 or 3 whom I had met before).

Soon after I first arrived at the bar, Ben confessed to me that he had invited a single female friend of his, 'Helen', to meet the group of us for dinner at a nearby restaurant later on in the day. He told me she is about my age, and where she is from (an eastern European country). The intent being to introduce Helen and I to each other. Helen had been told about this plan in advance (apparently she had confided in feeling a bit lonely recently), but for me it was a surprise....

So later on we were at the restaurant and finally met Helen. I was pleasantly surprised that she was even prettier than I was expecting (and I had been told how attractive she was by the others), elegant and well-presented lady. Unlike the rest of our very tipsy group, both Helen and I were only drinking a tiny amount as we were both driving.

Somewhat embarrassingly throughout the dinner, Ben and his brother 'Anthony', (somewhat drunk whilst I was pretty much sober), kept up-talking me and exaggerating things about me that are simply untrue (for example : Telling Helen how I used to work out at the gym and was super buff!) I wasn't going along with this for a moment, so I politely corrected them on the spot. Furthermore, whenever Helen was speaking to one of the others at our table, Ben would lean in close, saying things like "How's it going there? You're in, mate, trust me!" I don't think Helen could hear this over the noise, but she was sitting next to me so it was pretty awkward to say the least.

Eventually as the evening progressed, it felt like conversation between Helen and I was just beginning to take its stride as we were asking questions about each other... Then it began. One table nearby suddenly began singing 'Happy Birthday' - As loud as they possibly could. Then, just as we went to continue our conversation, another table even closer sang 'Happy Birthday', even louder than the other table, and then continued to be jovially loud for some time after... So yeah, that was our conversation derailed well and truly! 🙃

Our group dinner came to an end not too long afterwards. Perhaps regrettably, I decided against asking Helen if she'd like to catch up some time, nor did I get ask her for her number. I honestly felt like any rapport we may have otherwise developed in chatting was distracted by the noisy environment, and the 'Happy Birthdays' nearby were just the icing on the cake!

In the end we all said our good nights outside and as Helen walked off to her car, Ben expressed his disappointment in me, asking if there was "something wrong" and "opportunities like this become rare as we get older". Meanwhile, Anthony insisted on giving Helen's number to me (despite me not asking for it). I saved her number, although I already knew that I have no intention of actually messaging her out of the blue, without knowing that she'd be cool with it.

I'm open to the possibility of getting to know Helen a little more in the future as friends, and possibly as a potential date, but I don't know if I quite figured out whether or not she'd be equally interested. Was Ben (and his brother) out of place for trying to push the point too much, rather than just let things happen as they happen?

 

TL;DR met a nice lady through mutual friends at dinner, didn't swap numbers as I wasn't quite sure that we had built enough rapport amongst the noisy, distracting environment, friends think I'm an idiot for not making the most of the opportunity.

Edited by Raize
grammatical edit, missing word
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54 minutes ago, Raize said:

Anthony insisted on giving Helen's number to me (despite me not asking for it). I saved her number, although I already knew that I have no intention of actually messaging her out of the blue, without knowing that she'd be cool with it.

Why not? What do you got to lose? Most she can think is that you are too forward or just ignore you. Even if it happens what does that change in your life? My point is that we got to push things forward if we dont want our lives to stay the same. At worst, some girl will not answer your text. At best, you will make contact and maybe try to get to know her better.

So, text her. Introduce, say that you realize that it is too forward, but that you just had to take her number from friends, that it was too loud in the restaurant and that you didnt get the chance to talk properly and would love to talk to her over coffee sometimes. 

Again, there is nothing to lose and maybe something to win there. So, just try it. 

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What are you afraid of?

Send her a message explaining who you are, how you got her number, and ask if you may call her. If she says yes, call and have a nice conversation, then ask her if she would like to meet you for coffee and dessert. If she says yes, go from there.

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I would not have your friends involved any further.  I think they behaved horribly despite first having good intentions.  I've set up many many people including like that and -wow - why would they behave that way if they truly wanted you two to get to know each other in a normal way? 

It's fine to call her.  I was in a similar situation many years ago although it wasn't supposed to be a set up.  Dinner with my friend, her friend, and that friend's brother.  Brother and I got along well but parted without exchanging numbers.  I'd told him where I worked -pointed out the building actually -and he called me at work a few days later (pre-cell phone, pre-internet).  Yes it was bold and a bit risky but I completely understood why he did that -he wanted to see me and he had seen I had some interest in him.  We dated for over a year.  

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I also think it's fine to message her. Similar thing also happened to me years ago (though we both knew that we were being set up). For whatever reason we didn't exchange numbers after we met. But a couple weeks later, he friended me on facebook and asked me out. Maybe he had a list of girls to go through before me. Who knows? It wasn't a big deal. But I was seeing someone else by that time (who I happened to like better), so me and the late bloomer never made it past the second date. If you snooze, you lose. Don't snooze if you like her!

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1 hour ago, reinventmyself said:

Instead of helping yourself to the number given to you without her consent, how about asking Ben to reach out to her and have him share with her that you are interested and would it be ok if Ben shared her number with you?

I second this... have him give her your number, so it's on her, if she's also this interested, she can reach out to you.

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Without a doubt, she was told you were given her number. I'm pretty sure they explained you are not the smoothest of guys out there but is interested. Just send her a text that was recommended, and have a plan a b or c for a date. The longer you wait the worse it's gonna look for you. 

Edited by smackie9
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  1. You had a nice time, minus the garbage surroundings.
  2. You want to get to know her better.
  3. You have her number, not direct but who cares?

Honestly if you don't reach out with a text, making sure to put your name in there early so she doesn't just block mystery number, what do you have to lose? A few finger movements? She might appreciate the effort you took to contact her, and then find time for a birthday free coffee date!

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Yes, text her or give her a call. 

You had mentioned something about rapport but it's unrealistic to expect to develop a lot of that that evening. Tell her you enjoyed the evening and ask her if she'd like to meet with you again. Don't read into every detail too much. If she doesn't respond, then take it that she's not interested.

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Thanks to everyone who replied! A couple of different fresh perspectives on the matter, but the overarching sentiment is that I ought to message Helen and see where it goes from there.

For now, I will just treat this as a potential friendship situation. I hadn't been actively looking for a girlfriend for a very long time to be honest, so the prospect of a potential date has kinda caught me off guard, but hey - I'm open to something more than friends if it feels like that something could be there.

If not, at the very least a new friendship may come of it. 🙂

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I would not contact this person unless your purpose is to ask her out on a date.  Assume she already has friends to hang out with and hanging out with you because you met once as part of a date setup doesn't sound like a good way to start a friendship.  Certainly if you ask her out, and both of you decide it's best to hang out as friends that's fine but please don't waste her time unless your main motivation is to see if there is relationship potential.

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3 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

I would not contact this person unless your purpose is to ask her out on a date.  Assume she already has friends to hang out with and hanging out with you because you met once as part of a date setup doesn't sound like a good way to start a friendship.  Certainly if you ask her out, and both of you decide it's best to hang out as friends that's fine but please don't waste her time unless your main motivation is to see if there is relationship potential.

I actually disagree with this. How would either of you know if you want to date (let alone if there's relationship potential) if you don't get together for a coffee and a chat? You said there was limited opportunity to really talk when you met her, so I think it's a bit premature to be thinking about whether or not there's relationship potential. 

I would contact her sooner rather than later to see if she's interested in getting together for a coffee (not drinks!). 

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3 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

I actually disagree with this. How would either of you know if you want to date (let alone if there's relationship potential) if you don't get together for a coffee and a chat? You said there was limited opportunity to really talk when you met her, so I think it's a bit premature to be thinking about whether or not there's relationship potential. 

I would contact her sooner rather than later to see if she's interested in getting together for a coffee (not drinks!). 

Oh I think that's fine.  But if his main focus is to develop a friendship then I wouldn't meet her.  He probably has no idea if he is attracted enough to date her.  Just like many many first meets.   But if his mindset is "I'm really not looking to date anyone but I'll meet her, maybe we can be friends" -I wouldn't waste Helen's time.  But if his mindset is "I am looking for someone to date with potential for a relationship.  I'll meet her to see if there is potential."

Many years ago I was set up on a blind date (one of dozens and dozens).  We met and had a nice time.  He called me a week later.  Spent an hour venting on the phone about issues at work and some personal issues.  At the end he said he had to go.  I said something like "I thought you called to make a plan to get together" -he was surprised I thought that.  I was surprised he wasted an hour of my time if he had no intention of asking me out again.  

Edited by Batya33
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1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

if his mindset is "I'm really not looking to date anyone but I'll meet her, maybe we can be friends" -I wouldn't waste Helen's time.  But if his mindset is "I am looking for someone to date with potential for a relationship.  I'll meet her to see if there is potential."

Helen might not consider that a waste of time, though. Speaking for myself, I've always enjoyed having guy-friends.

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8 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

Helen might not consider that a waste of time, though. Speaking for myself, I've always enjoyed having guy-friends.

Me too absolutely.  I've always had and valued having male friends.  But not meeting them in this context -certainly he can call her and ask if she wants to meet up to hang out -not make it date like or a date -that wouldn't be wasting her time. Asking her out but really only looking for friendship other than "you never know" would be.

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I agree with the friend who said that opportunities become rare as we get older. Whenever someone interesting crosses your path, there's no need to reframe that as somehow 'not meant for you' because it didn't come gift wrapped with your name on it.

I'd message the woman without trying to assign any overarching purpose of friendship or dating as my motive. That's stuff to be learned.

I'd ask her to meet for a coffee or a drink, and she'll have the option to accept or decline.

It makes no sense not to reach out to someone you found to be lovely just because the circumstances of meeting were not ideal.

EnjOy!

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On 1/27/2022 at 6:58 AM, Raize said:

Thanks to everyone who replied! A couple of different fresh perspectives on the matter, but the overarching sentiment is that I ought to message Helen and see where it goes from there.

For now, I will just treat this as a potential friendship situation. I hadn't been actively looking for a girlfriend for a very long time to be honest, so the prospect of a potential date has kinda caught me off guard, but hey - I'm open to something more than friends if it feels like that something could be there.

If not, at the very least a new friendship may come of it. 🙂

No need for labels and classification. Just ask her out for coffee.

Good luck! 

 

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I agree with Lambert, you are taking this too seriously. There was such a negative vibe in your post regarding something that could have been exciting and fun. After all, you seem to like her.

Chill. Text her. What’s the worst than can happen? She says “no”. Well, at least you tried.

If you do get to meet her again, for goodness sake don’t bang on about the whole friends thing, otherwise she will think you’re friend zoning before you’ve even got anywhere. Just have fun and if you enjoy the evening, ask to meet up again.

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