First Date Stories: The Shoulder Pat

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Editor’s note: Introducing a new HowAboutWe series, First Date Stories. Got an entertaining one to share? Email us at thedatereport at howaboutwe dot com.

Not all great love stories start out with a bang. Some, like Tim and Kensey’s, start out with a pat. On the shoulder, to be exact.

“It was our first ‘real’ date (we’d been hanging out with a big group of mutual friends for a while),” Kensey relayed via email. “After dinner, on the way home, Tim stopped to buy gum at a convenient store.”

There doesn’t seem to be anything too strange about this, until you really examine it. He stopped. To buy gum. Just gum. Sounds like somebody was pretty confident they were getting a kiss.

“I thought this was odd and presumptuous in a strange way,” said Kensey. It was, apparently, so off-putting to her that when it came time for the presumed goodnight kiss, Kensey instead told Tim she had a nice time and “gave him a pat on the shoulder.” Ouch.

8 years of marriage and two kids later, Tim has gotten over the outright first date denial, but the event that sparked their love affair will forever be known as “the shoulder pat.”

Kensey now admits that, as presumptive as the gum-stop may have been, it may not have warranted such a move. “I guess I’m lucky he wanted to take me out again. I just thought I was playing a little hard-to-get. It’s not as bad as ‘the high five,’ but also apparently not a desirable move.”

Sure does make for a good story, though.