This is a first ...
Q: Dear Meredith,
I went out on a "Dinner with Cupid" date set up through the Boston Globe Magazine. I was very optimistic about the experience. I love trying new things and I was excited about embarking on this new opportunity. My date and I had a great time. Throughout the date I felt comfortable and our conversation was very engaging. At one point during the date he asked me what I was looking for in a relationship. I explained to him that I am looking for a companion and partner, someone to spend time with and try new things with. My date said he agreed and that he was looking for the same thing.
He asked when my last relationship was and I told him it had been a year or so. He told me he had been dating but hadn't been in a serious relationship in a long time as well. After the date, we exchanged numbers and he said he would be interested in getting together again soon. The following day after I completed my interview with the Globe, I got a text from him. He asked me how my interview went and then landed some harsh news. He said he had a great time on our date but that he needed to be honest with me and tell me that he was actually in a relationship with someone.
Obviously this was shocking. After about an hour of mourning the loss of a potential relationship brewing, I moved on with my life but not without doing a little soul searching. It seems that I am so optimistic and hopeful that I believe every word my date says. I always believe that what my date says is true and expect him to follow through. Maybe I am hearing only what I want to hear. Am I reading into what my date says too much? Should I compromise my openness and put my guard up? Why can't people be honest about how they feel and what they want?
In some of my past failed relationships I definitely jumped all in whereas my partner was more hesitant to really be fully emotionally invested in the relationship. I just can't help myself. I am a hopeless romantic who sees the best in everyone. How can I fix this so that I can see through the liars and find someone who wants to be in a healthy committed relationship with me?
– Gullible?, MA
A: This is so weird. I mean, this guy couldn't have been lying to his girlfriend, right? She'd see him in the magazine.
My guess is that this guy signed up for Dinner With Cupid, met someone, and then didn't think he could call off the date. Which stinks. And he handled it so poorly.
This wasn't your fault. You're not gullible and you're not doing anything wrong. This guy lied to you through an entire date -- on behalf of a newspaper! You had every reason to assume he was legit.
My only advice is to try to save your extreme excitement until your dates have earned your loyalty. Let's say DWCL (Dinner With Cupid Liar) had been single. He still might have been weird and wrong for so many other reasons. You filled in the gaps on his behalf, but that's his job. You should be asking yourself questions like, "I wonder if he's as fun on date 10 as he is on date 4?" First dates are exploratory, no matter how good they are.
I promise you, most people are good and honest. This guy was an exception to the rule. You can go back out there as a hopeless romantic. Just take your time.
Readers? Does this Dinner With Cupid date mean that people are dishonest? What should she take from this experience? How can she stop herself from getting too excited after a good first date? Discuss.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.