Before agreeing to a weekend getaway, clarify expectations

I told an out-of-town guy I’d been seeing occasionally for 7 months that I was coming to his area for business. He said, “Why don’t you stay for the weekend and we can go away somewhere?” That sounded good to me. Since although we talked daily, we hadn’t seen each other in 3 months, I was envisioning a romantic get away.

“Sounds good. Where will we go?”

“There’s a resort I like about 90 minutes from my place. It’s beautiful there.”

Now it sounded even better. I made my flight arrangements.

A week before the trip, I asked, “So I know what to pack, what activities do you imagine we will be doing?”

“We’ll have dinner Friday, then I’m playing golf on Saturday.”

“Really?” I asked incredulously. This was the first mention of golf, and since he knows I’m not a golfer I asked, “And what shall I do while you golf?”

“Anything you want!”

So this “romantic” weekend was really an excuse for him to play golf and me to tag along. While I am perfectly capable of entertaining myself, I was taken aback my his cavalier attitude. He clearly didn’t see any problem with him taking nearly a day out of our short tryst to go off on his own.

I’d asked the “And what shall I do while you golf?” question to see if he’d given any thought to his leaving me out of his Sat. plans. Clearly, he had not. If he had, he would have responded with something like, “You could have a massage at the spa, work out, go shopping, read by the pool. There are lots of activities onsite that you enjoy. I’ve asked the concierge to give us a map and list of local activities if you want to explore the town in my car. And they have a special spa day package I’m happy to give you if you want to do that while I golf.”

Or I would have felt differently if he’d broached it by saying, “I know we’ll only have a few days together and we haven’t seen each other for a long time. I’m looking forward to spending time with you. However, I have one favor to ask. Would you mind terribly if I took an early tee time on Sat., as this resort has one of my favorite courses? I’d be back to take you to a great lunch and do anything you want together the rest of the day. And you’re welcome to use my car if you want to tour the town that morning.”

I realize I should have asked more of the “What do you envision us doing?” questions when he first tendered the invitation. Then I would have known what his idea of a weekend getaway together was, and could have had input then or declined the invitation.

I toyed with confronting him with my being taken aback. But the more I thought about it, I felt that this was to be the make-or-break weekend. I wanted to see how he thought about me, us and how he behaved without input or guidance from me. While I believe in speaking up and being clear on what you want, a guy has to have some basic values that you like, without your continually guiding him, or you’ll feel like a nag. Inclusiveness, consideration and thoughtfulness seem pretty basic, don’t they?

I own that it was my expectation that this was to be a romantic weekend. I made that assumption without asking about his expectations, either. So we both made assumptions without clarifying them with the other.

I’ll tell you the outcome of this story in another posting.

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,,

Got a dating-after-40 topic you want Dating Goddess to address? Send your issue to







2 responses to “Before agreeing to a weekend getaway, clarify expectations”

  1. Aggressively Single Avatar
    Aggressively Single

    Dating Goddess, you are like a, a, a, well, a goddess to me. You’ve helped guide me successfully through my re-entry into the dating world after 14 years. I’m an eager student and fast study, and do get myself into situations that others don’t know how to deal with – such as 3 dates in one day – so thankfully you are there!

    Remembering to discuss expectations seems so critical, and even basic. It is harder to remember when you think you have a good thing going on – which should include, as you say, some basic dating and courtesy skills. I had to release my # 1 draft choice last night when he not only blew me off earlier in the day (which he apologized profusely for, but still!) but then was a rude date at a social event later in the evening. My other dating coach tells me we went into this social, food-tasting evening with different expectations – he thought it a great chance to catch up with friends he ran into there, and I thought it more of a couple bonding, really fun time enjoying eachother. It was his opportunity to show me he was proud to have me as my date out in public, and he blew it big time. Especially annoying since I could have taken 3 other very nice men there who would have been very attentive.

    But I digress, back to you. I’m with you. I think most everyone would read this kind of invitation as a lovely romantic weekend together, and be taken aback when half of it does not involve you at all. Do you see perhaps a little self-centeredness below the surface here? He is clearly not ready for as much one-on-one time as you thought.

  2. Aspire2 Avatar

    I am in complete agreement with the ‘clarify first’ proposition, especially in a relationship where there isn’t that much clarity, e.g. early on in dating. Last January, I found myself in a hotel room in a pseudo-romantic situation with someone I loved, but assumed I was just friends with. He was confused by my confusion, I was confused as to how we got there. Initially, I blamed him, but I realized that I hadn’t asked enough questions, or insisted on answers. In the end, the opportunity for something more was lost, and I think the friendship is lost, too. Should have asked!