Jessica Gross

The Dating Game

In people watching on September 8, 2008 at 4:57 pm

No, not this one. In my version, you spy on couples and guess how long they’ve been dating. This is particularly entertaining if you play with friends and compare your estimates. Once three of us each came up with four months. Joyous convergence!

Examples:

1. This weekend, at an adjacent dinner table: a guy with a stylish baseball cap and t-shirt sitting caddy-corner from a girl in a swanky black top and gold jewelry, both early 20s. Each ordered two or three drinks. By dessert, she was flipping her hair and putting her hand on his arm with every comment. The verdict? Third date. (And their meeting story, invented: they went to the same college and joined brother-sister frats and sororities.)

2. A couple of weeks ago, through a restaurant window: stocky guy and girl, mid-30s, making out. Heavily. I guessed it was their fifth date. If they were 10 years younger, I’d have pegged it at second date, but age brings caution.

3. Subway: man and woman, sitting next to each other. Their legs touched, but they didn’t notice; she was typing on her Blackberry. Comfort + indifference = two years, minimum.

The next round: asking the couples if I’m right.

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