Spontaneity can be a great thing — the impromptu cocktail with a friend, a last-minute jaunt out of town with a guy (or girl) you like a lot. I get it, I love it. It can be fun and thrilling and very romantic. I welcome those rare opportunities, especially when they happen with people you know you want to spend time with.
But it's a lousy way to make a first impression.
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Why? Because spontaneity has undergone an unflattering change in the world of modern dating. And rather than a thrilling and unpremeditated adventure, it's become a poor-man's excuse for not planning ahead.
I wrote about a guy I'd gone out with once who canceled actual plans but tried to make up for it with crazy last-minute ones that never panned out. He was a day-of texter, a what-are-you-doing-right-now-er. When I declined a few offers for day-of drinks, because I legitimately had other plans, he canceled the one set of plans we did have to meet for dinner because he thought maybe he was too "out of the box" for us to have anything meaningful. In other words, because I couldn't just fly by the seat of my pants any time he felt like reaching out, we could never work.
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Whaaa? Is a meaningful relationship built on "I didn't think to ask you earlier" plans? Doubt it.
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The assumption that someone is or should be free to meet you whenever you want, especially if you're just getting to know him or her, is either magical thinking or straight-up rude. Just because you have a cool hand-held digital device that lets you zip me a message at any hour of the day or night does not mean the onus is on me to manifest your intentions. But this is often what someone is doing while acting under the guise of spontaneity.
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