One of the more difficult parts of being single is having to field comments and questions from friends and family members who are inexplicably invested in your dating life. One innocuous question in particular can be hurtful, no matter how well-intentioned.
A friend recently vented to me about her personal pet peeve: she hates when she tells a friend about a really great date, and the person responds with “So when are you seeing him again?“
Ah, yes. The dreaded “So when are you seeing him again?” Every single person has encountered it. Every single person has then felt immediately deflated if in fact they don’t have a concrete answer yet.
The problem with this question is that it immediately puts the dater on the defensive. They’ve just described a happy romantic experience, which, need I remind you, doesn’t happen every day. The polite thing to do is to let the single person bask in this transient stage of romantic excitement. The question “When are you seeing him again?” casts a shadow of doubt on the whole experience: if it was such a great date, surely you’ve already made plans for the next one, right? No? You haven’t? Hmmm. Maybe it wasn’t such a magical connection after all.
Here’s what you should do, as a friend to a single person:
Assume that there will be a “next time.”
Just assume it! Let yourself be blinded by romantic optimism! Your friend is awesome, right? And he/she just described a great date — of course there will be a second one! And you will probably hear about it from your excited friend the moment it’s planned.
And if there isn’t a next time? Well, you’re as shocked as anybody! You definitely didn’t cynically see that coming from the day the date was described to you.
And, also always remember: sometimes people have amazing dates, that, for whatever reason, don’t turn into relationships. It doesn’t make the experience any less wonderful, so don’t take away from it by immediately asking “Cool, when’s the next one?”