(MLS: My Love Story – Part 7!)
Eventually, when the time was right, when Jeff did ask me out, he was clear that it was a date. I think his exact words were: “Will you go on a date with me?” Loved that! That’s clarity producing, right there! So we went on a date. A couple of them actually – over the next few weeks.
Then it was Christmas time and he had taken some time off work. At that time, I was actually working for a ministry, but the ministry’s office was at his house (yeah, looking back on that, I think that’s weird too). Anyway, I was there working. He came into the office and asked: “Hey, wanna go grab lunch?” Sure!
So, we decided on Hardees (I think). We waited in line for our turns to order and while we were there, (something like) this conversation happened:
Jeff: “Lunch is on me, okay?”
Jeff: “What? I want to take you to lunch.”
Me: “Thanks for the offer, but since you didn’t say this was a date, it’s not a date. And since it’s not a date, I’ll gladly pay for my own.”
Jeff: “Really, it was my intention for this to be a date!”
Me: “That’s really kind, but there’s no need. I can pay for my own.”
By that time, we came to the front of the line. Jeff ordered, looked at me, raised his brows as if to say “Are you sure?” I nodded and he paid for his own. I stepped up and ordered and paid for my own.
We had a follow up conversation at the lunch table that went like this:
Jeff: “So, I want to be clear about things.”
Jeff: “If I would have said ‘Want to go to lunch date with me, you still would’ve said yes, right?'”
Jeff: “Okay, If I would have called it a date, then you would’ve let me pay, right?”
Jeff: “So, you’re not saying no to going on a date with me?”
Jeff: “And you don’t object to me paying for dates?”
Me: “Nope.” (We had already had the conversation where he told me that he wanted to pay for our dates.)
Jeff: “So, this isn’t a date because I didn’t say it was a date, but otherwise, it would’ve been?”
From that day on, he was always clear to say “Will you go on a date with me?” (Which was awesome because it was just one more sign that this wasn’t a guy who was looking to get by with as little cost to him as possible – financially and otherwise.)
Months later, we talked about that incident and I asked Jeff: “Did it make sense to you why I objected that day?” His answer: “No, not really. We’d already been on a few dates, so it wasn’t like I was trying to start something and be unclear about it; I was trying to continue something. But if it made you feel better, then it was okay by me.”
I look back now and think how unneccessary it was (for that one incident), but, at the time, I guess I needed that clarity or to at least to let him know that I didn’t expect him to pay for every thing any time we both happened to be in the same place. I guess it did what I intended because if we went somewhere amongst a group of people (say lunch after church on Sundays), I didn’t expect him to pay, nor did he expect to pay.
I wasn’t embarassed having the conversation and I hope Jeff wasn’t either (he doesn’t think he was), but it was a little bump-in-the-road, awkward type moment that’s part of my love story!