I had a first date with a guy and after dinner while we were outside talking I caught him checking out a woman from behind and told him that it was not respectful. He said I’m being insecure. He called and asked me out for a second date and I said maybe. I just need to know if what happened is a red flag before I accept.
—Red Flag or Disregard
Dear Red Flag or Disregard,
You have pretty decent intuition and I think you should trust it. If you had caught him checking out another woman and he had apologized profusely, then perhaps you could justify giving him another chance. Instead, he turned it back on you and made your reaction the issue – and therein lies the problem. He should’ve “manned up” but his reaction, just as the action itself, shows that he’s clearly lacking in the gentleman department.
Did you have to call him out on it? No, not necessarily, but I do think it was the right move. Allowing him to get away with such disrespectful behavior on a first date likely means that his typical behavior is much worse! Most women probably would have chosen to ignore it after a good date. But you asserted yourself and he clearly didn’t like that. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was a pattern in his life. Speaking up also shows that you’re not desperate to settle for someone who isn’t going to treat you with the basic respect we all deserve, which is the opposite of “insecure” if you ask me.
Is it a huge deal that he checked out another woman? Uhhhh yeah, but mostly because it was a first date. It is still rude and disrespectful, don’t get me wrong, but the fact that he couldn’t stop a bad habit for even one date is quite disconcerting in and of itself.
We are expected to be on our best behavior on first dates and checking out another woman (for whatever reason) is not good behavior. I’m an admitted “people watcher,” but not on a first date. It doesn’t matter what I may see out of the corner of my eye; I don’t look because it’s rude. All of my attention should be on my date and if I’m easily distracted, that’s a pretty good indication that I’m bored or not interested. Finding someone who is enticing to you means that nothing should be catching your eye aside from them.
It’s interesting that after all that he called for a second date. You have to decide if it’s worth your time after how the first date ended. If the rest of the first date was great, then it may be worthwhile to say yes and give him another chance. Perhaps you accept the date and have your guard up and your eyes wide open. If you do go on another date, don’t mention what happened – simply wait and see if it happens again. But if you can’t overlook his bad behavior on date #1, then perhaps you need to move on and forget about this guy.