Morgan took me on my first dancing date. We met on Tinder and he talked about music a lot. He was really into 80s and 90s music, and he really wanted to take me dancing. I love dancing, but I’ve never done it as a planned first date activity. It’s kind of like sex; not typically something I PLAN to do with a stranger on a first date, but if the opportunity presents itself and I’m in the mood, then so be it.
But this was different. This was a planned evening of dancing with someone I had never met. I didn’t know if he would be a good dancer, a bad dancer, or if he was all talk and wouldn’t actually want to dance at all. To be clear, I don’t really care if someone is a bad dancer as long as they’re into it and having fun. I’m no Beyoncé by any means but that doesn’t stop me from dancing pretty much anywhere I go.
I agreed to the dancing date. I appreciated that he wanted to do something specific and share a bar with me that he knew and loved. The only thing I was wary about was that this bar was in Chinatown, which is not close to me. Or him. And if I’m going dancing on a first date, I’m probably going to have some drinks. So when the subject of transportation came up, we decided to share a Lyft to save the money on two separate ones. We both live in the valley so it probably would have been between $25-$35 each way. Morgan offered to come to my place and I would hop in his Lyft. Or that’s what I thought.
Morgan drove to my apartment and texted me that he was out front. I thought he was just going to be in the car and I would run down and hop in. I had not planned on him driving his car to leave at my place, because that would mean we would definitely be sharing a ride back. Oy. Since he’s a stranger from the internet I was not about to invite him into my apartment to wait for the Lyft, so I told him I would be right down.
When I got downstairs, he was waiting on the steps for me. He was dressed well; not fancy, but good for a downtown dancing date. Black jeans, black t-shirt, black leather jacket with some studs on it somewhere if I remember correctly. He had light hair and eyes and was a few inches taller than me. He was cute. We hugged hello and waited on the curb for our ride.
Now, part of the reason I was so wary about sharing a Lyft is because this meant our date would be bookended by an additional 30-40 minute drive. If it’s going well, that’s fine. If it’s not going well, 40 minutes in the car with a relative stranger can feel like FOR-E-VER. Of course I told myself that I had the option to call my own damn car from downtown if I needed to get out of there, but I generally like to have my own ride for first dates.
Once we were in the car the conversation flowed pretty well. I kept thinking it must have been funny for the driver to hear us on what was so clearly the very beginning of a first date. I always wonder about the kind of shit that Uber and Lyft drivers witness in their cars. I’m always amused if I’m sitting near a couple who are obviously on a first date. Anyway, things were going pretty well. I was feeling optimistic when we finally arrived in Chinatown.
First we went to a cocktail bar because the dancing hadn’t started yet. I ordered a Manhattan because it’s classier than ordering straight shots since it’s in a martini glass with a cherry, but it’s basically straight shots. He liked that I ordered whiskey. Guys always do. Or at least they say they do, but really I think it scares them a little. If a woman orders a vodka soda or a Cosmo, they don’t even blink. Whiskey? Whoa, curveball. I swear they look at me differently; wondering how and when I developed such a dauntless taste for the dark stuff, and what else it says about me…
We had a couple drinks and then headed next door for the dancing. It was supposed to be 80s pop/synth dance night, which sounded good to me. And it was! The DJ was awesome, the dancefloor had enough people on it to feel like a party but not so many that you were constantly getting clipped by elbows or “accidentally” groped by dudes passing by. Morgan was a good dancer and we were having a great time. He would grab my hands and dance with me and we would have a moment, then we would separate and dance a little sillier. He was showing me the right amount of attention without smothering me. I know I sound like a diva right now but it really is a delicate balance.
We danced for about 45 minutes and then went outside for some air. At this point it was around 11:15. We sat for a few minutes until the cigarette smoke became too much and went back in to dance. I told him I’d like to leave around midnight, which meant we still had plenty of dancing left, and he flashed me some puppy dog eyes as if to say “So soon?” Relax, we still have an hour.
We went back in and danced some more. I was kind of expecting him to make a move or try to kiss me at some point but he didn’t. Which was honestly fine. I was having fun. And sometimes once you have that first kiss, people feel like they have to keep kissing you every five minutes and then it becomes too much.
After a while I started to get tired. It was midnight and we had done a lot of dancing, so I was ready to go. Morgan was not. I told him I was just about ready to head out and he asked to stay for “just a couple more songs?” Okay fine. A couple songs later, I said I was ready again, this time over a yawn. Not on purpose to be rude, just because I was legitimately tired. He didn’t want to go yet. I told him that I genuinely did not mind if he wanted to stay and dance some more; that he didn’t have to leave with me, but I was ready to go. He didn’t like that idea. But he also wouldn’t stop dancing.
By this point it was somewhere around 12:15-12:30. I started to get annoyed. He pulled me outside to the patio. “Maybe some fresh air will wake you up!” he said cheerily. No bro, It’s just late and I’m ready to go. I was trying to stay cheery too but I was exhausted and just wanted to go home. Plus I had that thirty minute car ride home in the back of my mind.
Morgan heard a song come on and perked up. “I love this song! One more?” I agreed and we went in to dance. The song ended, and I was ready to go. And he still wasn’t. I told him again, in a very calm, friendly, not passive aggressive tone (I swear) that I was tired and going home, but I still didn’t mind if he wanted to stay. He did not take the offer. He grabbed my hands again to dance some more. Nope. Not three times dude. I’m going home.
It was 12:45 at this point. I told him it was late and I had to go. I thanked him for the drinks, told him I was calling a Lyft, and turned to walk out of the club. He followed. I told him he didn’t have to. He insisted. I found my Lyft and he came with me. Great. By this point, I was just annoyed with him. I had told him three times that I wanted to leave, after a solid two hours of dancing, mind you, and he didn’t want to let me.
This date had been great and, up until this point, I was fully planning on seeing him again. But then he ruined it by not listening to or caring about my needs. It was like when you have a delicious meal at a restaurant and the waiter just never brings your check. You are happy and full, pleased with the experience, but then you can’t go home, and now you’re just mad. It KILLS it. And now I got to spend 30 minutes in the car with someone I was annoyed with, instead of going home on my own in the car and thinking about what a great time I had on our date.
Morgan still wasn’t done dancing. He asked the driver if he could put music on. “This is my favorite band” he said as he put on Chromeo. Which was cool, I liked the music. But then he turned it ALL THE WAY UP. It was so loud I thought the driver was going to get pissed. He seemed a little annoyed but didn’t do anything, so I asked Morgan to turn it down a little bit. He turned it down the most infinitesimal amount possible and then sidled over to me for a backseat dance party. Nope. I was done an hour ago. I’m not in the mood for a 1am dance party in a stranger’s car. I was hoping to be asleep by now. Or at least on my couch in my pajamas eating popcorn.
He kept trying; leaning towards me, singing to me, getting close to my ear. I shifted my knees towards the door and stared out the window. I was not entertaining this anymore. This guy, once again, was not reading the room. He could not have cared less about how I felt or what I wanted. He only knew that HE wanted to keep dancing, and so he did.
When we finally arrived at my apartment and got out of the car, I wanted to dart inside before he could make this night last any longer. Morgan was trying to make plans for next time. He didn’t appear to have any idea how over it I was. He hugged me and I knew he was going to try and kiss me so I gave him my cheek real quick, then broke out of the hug. I walked up my steps as he turned on his seductive voice and said something along the lines of “Can’t wait to do this again.” I let my door shut behind me as I gave him a cursory smile.
20 minutes later (almost 2am), Morgan texted me.
“Had a blast ;)”
I did not respond. The next morning he texted me again.
“Shame you had to be early today… I would have liked to keep you up a bit longer last night…”
That’s funny; I never said anything about having to be up early in the morning. I just wanted to go home. I’m guessing he told himself that, because why else would this woman not want to stay out until 2am on a Thursday? With ME?
“I wouldn’t have lasted any longer anyway. I was way too tired.” I responded. To which he replied,
“Hah, well, we’ll just have to work on your stamina”
I did that thing where you laugh involuntarily but are also so skeeved out you make a weird face and shudder a little bit. And never texted him again.