Q. I’m writing about my last relationship. I went on a bunch of dates over several months with someone I met through work. I thought things were going well and that we could become closer.
At some point, I made a suggestion that we could start sharing meals at each other’s homes — to save money on eating out. That’s when the relationship ended — when I made that suggestion.
Did I do something wrong? I don’t want to make that suggestion again in my next relationship if it was a mistake.
A. I don’t know enough about the relationship to tell you whether your meals-at-home idea was the deal-breaker. Maybe this person was thinking about ending it anyway. Who knows what was on their mind?
Even if your suggestion did cause this ending, it doesn’t mean you made a mistake. If this person didn’t want to take the relationship beyond formal restaurant dates — if more emotionally intimate, relaxed evenings were not in your future — it was probably time to move on. If they didn’t want you to become a fixture in their home, you probably didn’t want them in yours.
There are a lot of people out there who would be thrilled to meet someone who is thoughtful about the cost of courtship. It doesn’t sound like you did anything wrong. You were just with the wrong person.
Were these really dates or were you hanging out as friends? I’m getting the vibe that your co-worker thought you were getting at increased intimacy (rather than saving money) and didn’t want to go there. Of course, if you guys have already been intimate, then . . . I got nothing.
I don’t think your co-worker thought they were dates.
It really would be helpful to know if the letter writer was a man or woman. Could you actually confirm, Meredith?
I am not 100 percent sure, but I believe that this letter writer is a woman.
I love the idea he/she had. Not only is eating at home cost-effective but it is fun to do with the person you are dating. It sounds to me like the other did not want something serious. Cooking together in each other’s homes makes the relationship more serious. It definitely does not leave much room to date anyone else.
Having dinner at someone’s home isn’t indicative of exclusivity, just normalcy.
Maybe they thought you were trying to move too fast . . . as in get over to each other’s homes for some Netflix and Chill. Know what I’m sayin’? When I started dating people at first, it was usually pretty easy to spot the ones that were trying to do this . . . and it usually started with “Oh . . . let me make you dinner.”
You did nothing wrong — but I do think the wording is strange. Did you want to stop going to restaurants altogether? You could have just said, “Hey, on Saturday I would love to make you dinner.” But, really, that is beside the point — don’t lose sleep over this person; it was not meant to be.
Is “eat at home” code for something else?
No matter what, next time, instead of suggesting that you eat at each other’s homes to save money, just ask the person over for dinner. Say you will cook for him/her. Preparing a meal for someone is a nice thing to do — conscripting them into mandatory meal preparation rotations is not.
Just Another Bostonian nailed it. If you had phrased it as a romantic evening in, the person might have been more receptive. Saying you want to eat in to save money sounds like you were contemplating ordering from Taco Bell. Not very romantic or enticing. And Meredith’s right: You don’t know what this person was thinking. Maybe you were not their type and this gave them an out. Either way, it’s over, so next time suggest that you want to cook for her/him and spend an evening in. Best of luck.
Delivery is everything.