Dating Diaries: I stumbled over his name but there was a bigger issue


Lori is 30, works in social advocacy and lives downtown. She says, “My style always includes some flair. I love a pair of statement earrings.” She is “genuine and lighthearted” and loves “books, yoga and sports. I’m a big Blue Jays and Leafs fan.” Lori says, “I’m a cancer survivor. I help support other young adults going through chemo. It helped me so much to have cancer survivors do this for me, so now I think of it as paying it forward.” She adds, “I was terrified to turn 30, but have embraced the perspective that getting older is truly a gift.” Lori is looking to date “an outgoing person who is up for adventures. Dating should be fun! And I love a guy with facial hair.”

I met “Gavin” online. He was mature but not boring, and a bit older than me. He had kids (I do not). He was nice, smart and sincere. Our conversations online were really fun and interesting. I was looking forward to our date.

The only problem was his name. Unfortunately, he shares a name with my brother. Ladies, who else would find it incredibly awkward to date a guy with the same name as your brother?! It just felt weird and unnatural, and created a sense of “ick” before I even met the guy.

I wanted to push the “ick factor” out of my brain as far as possible, because I thought Gavin really had potential. In our group chat, my friends suggested I call him “NG” for “Not Gavin” as in “Not your brother.” I wondered if he would be OK with me using his middle name down the line if we ended up dating. Fortunately, I decided that he was handsome enough for me to get past it.

We ended up going for ice cream for our first date, where we chatted about our mutual affiliation with a volunteer organization, sports teams we liked, and our philosophies of life, love and work. He was intellectual and curious — two things I absolutely love in a guy. It went really well and I was really looking forward to seeing him again. No “ick” at all!

Our second date really stood out and made me want to invest in a possible relationship. Gavin and I met up for cocktails at a trendy new bar. He was on time and sharply dressed. He also smelled amazing. I really liked his cologne.

I had a book with me that I was so excited about and I was nerding out, telling Gavin all about it and what I loved about it. Gavin not only appreciated this moment with me, but he really got into it himself. I could see the interest in his eyes as he took the book from me and examined the pages. I loved his enthusiasm.

We got into a deep conversation about life and family at the bar. Because I am a bold dater, and I knew Gavin had kids, I asked him toward the end of our date if he ever saw himself having more. He paused and reflected, but then said yes, with the right person, he would be interested in having more kids. I was really happy with this response. For me, not wanting kids would be a hard-line deal-breaker. I want to have children, 100 per cent, and I don’t want to invest time into someone who knows for certain they don’t want children with me.

A few days later, Gavin contacted me. He told me that he had reconsidered what he’d said on our date and that, in fact, he did not want to have any more children. He said that intellectually he wanted more, but emotionally he knew he didn’t. I respected his decision and his honesty, but the sudden and complete switch in perspective about a major life choice really threw me for a loop. He did say he thought I would be a great mom, which was nice.

Even though his perspective was totally fair and valid, I was taken by surprise. I had to end things with Gavin after that. It was disappointing, for sure, but I knew that if he can’t give me the thing that I want the most in life, the relationship wasn’t right anyway.

Lori rates her date (out of 10): 8

Have you been on an amazing first date? Did your friend set you up with someone truly awful? Did you surprise your partner with an epic anniversary date? Send a few lines about your best, worst, weirdest and wildest dates to [email protected], and we’ll go from there. And: do you have a great dating story about winter, or the holiday season? Tell us about it!


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