My Date Kept Me Waiting in a Cafe While He Spoke to a Beautiful Woman in Front of Me

Elle Silver

Gerald gestured to me from his booth in the middle of the restaurant where he’d invited me to meet him for our first date. He gave me the international hand signal to “hold on.” I did what he said, and “held on” at the entrance of the restaurant.

We’d matched a few days earlier on Tinder. Gerald was divorced with two children, as I was. He and I were close in age. He worked in film production. I was excited about meeting him.

I’d come to the restaurant to do just that. I’d gotten my hopes up about him. But now he was telling me to “hold on.” That was weird, especially the reason he appeared to want me to “hold on.”

A beautiful woman with an incredible body, which she displayed in clingy yoga attire, stood over Gerald’s table. She wasn’t seated with him, but she was there, talking to him. They spoke to each other animatedly. I’d dare say, they seemed to be flirting.

What was up? Was he on a date with her? Was that why he was telling me to “hold on” and wait at the door for him?

But this woman wasn’t seated with him. It was hard to tell what was going on. She just stood there, hovering over his table, as if she was only there temporarily.

It was like they knew each other and had recognized each other as she’d passed by his table as he’d been waiting for me. Or he didn’t know her, and they’d simply struck up a conversation as she’d walked by.

But wasn’t he supposed to have a first date with me?

I was there now, ready to meet him. I felt so confused. This whole situation was also making me feel incredibly insecure.

There I was, looking dowdy in my jeans and blouse. This woman was so obviously flaunting her amazing body. I felt mousy in comparison.

She was a hot yoga woman. I was just a woman.

At least I felt relieved when a text came through from Gerald. “Grab a seat by the window. Order whatever you want. I’ll be with you in a second.”

I didn’t ask who the woman was. Doing so would have made me feel embarrassed. This whole situation was embarrassing.

It’s embarrassing enough to meet someone for the first time in a romantic context. You’re on your best behavior. You want to impress them. You want them to like you.

You want to come off like a “good sport.” You try to be easygoing. God forbid I come off as high-maintenance. I did want that!

I did what Gerald said and “held on,” grabbing a table near the window. A waiter skittered up almost immediately to take my order. I asked for soup, salad, and a cappuccino.

My food arrived soon after. Unfortunately, Gerald didn’t. He was still talking to “Hot Yoga Lady.”

I was trying very hard to continue to be a good sport, but I felt so pathetic. I was emotionally vulnerable in the wake of my divorce. But I was also now angry at myself.

Why did I feel so insecure that he was talking to this other woman?

She was hot—that’s why….

I was starting to get annoyed by this whole encounter. Gerald had told me to “hold on,” grab a table, and order food. I’d done that, assuming that he’d saunter over to join me soon after. He said he’d do so in “a second.”

I didn’t realize I’d be eating alone while my supposed date chatted up another woman. Because wasn’t that what they were doing? Chatting up each other?

This was so uncomfortable!

The problem with my food arriving so quickly was that I couldn’t turn around and leave either. I was stuck there with all the time in the world to study this woman, check out her amazing body, and of course, feel bad about myself.

I couldn’t believe Gerald was still talking to her! Fifteen minutes passed, then twenty.

Finally, the woman left the restaurant. I watched her walk out the door. She didn’t look over in my direction as she left. She didn’t care about me. I didn’t exist.

At least now that she was gone, Gerald finally sauntered over to join me. (My food was now gone too, unfortunately.)

“Hi, there!” Gerald said.

“Who was that?” I said, not even responding to his greeting.

Gerald’s face darkened. Good, he should feel bad about it. I did.

“Oh, a mom for my kids’ school,” he said apologetically.

Yeah, a hot mom that you’re trying to get with, I thought. Clearly you think she’s hotter than me or you wouldn’t have left me waiting all this time!

He’d probably enjoyed the attention. He had two women showing interest in him at once. What an ego boost after his divorce!

By this point, I wasn’t even in the mood to talk to him anymore. Even though I felt that we had a lot in common, I couldn’t get it out of my head that he had made me wait while he talked to this other beautiful woman.

I hadn’t even met the guy and already he was making me wait while he flirted with someone else! Even if they were purely talking business about their kids, still he wasn’t respecting my time.

When the waiter showed up again to hand me my bill, Gerald didn’t order food. He did pay for my meal. At least I got a free meal out of this. He’d wasted my time completely!

We left the restaurant together. He said he’d walk me to my car. That’s when he told me he wasn’t serious about dating anyone at that moment. He was just meeting women for fun!

Yeah, obviously. But how about telling me this before I went to meet him?

That still didn’t give him the right to make me wait.

I learned my lesson from this experience.

In the years since this experience with Gerald, I’ve learned about “intentional dating.” It’s where you make a list of what you want in a potential partner and if they don’t check all the boxes, you ditch them. No matter what.

Gerald made me wait. I should have ditched him immediately. I should have never “held on.” I should have turned around and left the restaurant with the first sign of him being disrespectful.

I also should have vetted him by meeting first over Skype or Zoom. I could have saved time just by having him tell me during a cam call that he wasn’t serious about pursuing a relationship with anyone.

And if he would have kept me waiting for the Zoom date, I would have already known he wasn’t a good guy without wasting any more of my time.

It was my fault for going to meet him without being intentional about it. At least I learned a lesson.

I never let a man make me wait on a date again.

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I write about dating, marriage, divorce, family, society, and the city I live in: Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, CA

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