Dating Diary: Great Expectations

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Rachel, 27, New York City

FRIDAY

10:45 p.m., the bar: A guy friend introduces me to his single, adorable friend who's from the same Midwestern city as me. We hit it off.

SATURDAY

3:30 a.m., my couch: He places his hand on mine. We hook up (but no sex).

10 a.m., diner: Damn, he's even cuter in daylight. Make plans to go out tomorrow. I spend rest of day reliving last night.

SUNDAY

3 p.m., city park: We walk, then talk about our lives. As we climb a hill, he takes my hand and doesn't let go.

5:30 p.m.: Stumble upon last-minute tickets to the final showing of Shakespeare in the Park.

7 p.m.: We leave at intermission for dinner. Drink wine, eat bruschetta, and realize this is the best first-date weekend I've ever been on.

9:10 p.m., my place: He drops me off with a kiss and asks me out for later in the week. Spend the next hour recounting the amazing weekend to my roommates, my friends, my mom.

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WEDNESDAY

3 p.m., work: We message each other all day on Facebook. We make plans for Friday night.

8 p.m., store: Tell myself I'm only picking up groceries. End up buying an extra toothbrush and fresh peonies for the vase I've never used.

FRIDAY

8 a.m., my bedroom: Pick medium-hot underwear — that way I won't be too tempted to let him see them, but if he does, cool.

6:30 p.m., the bar: He meets me and a few of my friends. They whisper that I've found my Midwestern dream guy.

7:30 p.m., Italian restaurant: He tells me how much he likes my friends, but our conversation feels more formal.

9 p.m., my couch: We kiss. Then he pulls back and says, "I wanted to let you know I just don't feel a spark. But I think you're a really great person, and I have a lot of fun hanging out with you. I'd like it if you still came out with me tonight." What?!

9:01 p.m.: I surprise myself by saying OK. He doesn't get to ruin my Friday night.

10 p.m., party at his friend's apartment: After an awkward first hour, I have a great time and meet some cool people.

11:45 p.m.: He takes my hand and says, "Want to get out of here?" Talk about mixed messages. I tell him there's no way I'm going home with him; he slinks away. I glow in triumph — the night is mine!

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