Monday, July 5, 2010

Maybe the next time I go on a date...

1. I won't dress like an uptight old maid from the 1900s, only more conservative.

2. I won't mention that I read a dating self-help book. (He's Just Not That Into You changed my whole mindset. Its message is basically common sense: if a guy doesn't call, it means he's not interested. And this whole time I'd been thinking, "I'm sure as soon as he gets out from that boulder he's been trapped under, he will TOTALLY call me.")

3. I won't describe the e-mails and winks that I got from weird guys on okcupid, including one from a guy who was married (and had a picture of his wife on his profile) but was looking for "new friends" who were "open-minded".

4. I won't order noodles or salad, so that I don't have to spend the whole time wondering if I have food in my teeth.

5. I won't mention how many other guys I've met and gone out with through online dating (I'd rather not say how many on this blog, because the number is just depressing at this point).

6. I won't say that everyone else my age is getting married and having children, and then give him a meaningful look.

7. I won't get the directions to wherever I'm meeting my date from CTA's website, so that I won't end up in the wrong neighborhood and walk up and down the streets while muttering, "Where am I?"

8. I won't watch a crime drama right before the date, so that I end up being several minutes late because I just had to find out if the criminal got away with his "my iPod made me do it" defense.

9. I won't walk really fast to get there, so that I end up panting with my tongue hanging out when I show up for the date.

10. I won't say, "Gee, this chicken is making my tongue feel all garlicky..."

11. I won't vent about my temptation to drop anvils on my students' cell phones when they use them in class.

12. I won't keep checking my shirt to make sure I didn't spill anything on it.

13. I won't drink a lot of soda, so that I end up being hyper from the caffeine and sounding like my conversation is one long sentence, as in "Wow, this is a really cool neighborhood there are so many people here that food smells good how's your food taste gee I think I'll order more soda...."

14. I won't run in the opposite direction or duck if he leans in to kiss me at the end of the date.

Did I actually do all of these things on previous dates? I'm afraid so. I've been reflecting on the dates I've been on, and trying to think of what I can do better so that if I do end up liking any one of the guys, he won't be turned off by how weird and neurotic I can be sometimes (and by sometimes, I mean all the time). And also, I've been thinking of what I can do differently so that the guys I don't like will never call me again. Do you ever do that when you go out on dates, or, if you're married/in relationships, did you ever think about these kinds of things when you were single?

But then again, it may be a moot point as far as I'm concerned. Aside from the two guys I met through eharmony and went on dates with a few weeks ago, I haven't been having much success with online dating lately. Three more guys on eharmony disappeared by the time we got to the third phase of the guided communication (which is the phase right before we send regular e-mails); it's like, seriously, what is UP with that? Two of them closed the match, blocking off any communication, and one of them had initiated contact with me first!

I guess I should keep trying, but dating is hard work. And even though I'm a workaholic, sometimes I wish I could just retire. For some people, finding someone seems to come so easily. But to be honest, I'm tired of it. I know that I shouldn't give up, and I don't intend to...yet. But I've come to realize that I've always felt at least a little bit lonely when I was dating, even if it was with someone I actually cared about. It just always felt like something was missing.

I don't feel lonely when I'm writing, when I'm teaching, or when I'm doing graduate work. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so. Maybe it's just that I haven't met the right person. Or maybe it's just that I'm meant to take a different path in life.

And I know what you're going to say. "Don't give up yet." I haven't given up, not yet. Or, "You have to have something in your life besides work." And I know, and I do. I have other things and people in my life that make me happy. But I don't think it's such a bad thing to be a workaholic, especially since it is such a central part of many people's lives. And my work is important to me, and I don't think it's a bad thing to say that.

I'm just wondering if that thing that millions of other people have written songs, novels, and poetry about will ever happen for me, and if it would really be the worst thing if it didn't.


  1. Don't feel bad, dating is hard work for me too. All my friends are getting married and having kids, and i'm just.... not. I've had guys email me on my online dating website but they always have kids and are way too old for me. The couple of guys i actually like either disappear or never email me back.

    It sucks, but its just one of those things. I kinda wish we were back in caveman days where i could just bash one over the head and drag him back to my cave.

  2. It sucks, I know. Having met zillions of losers through online dating, I can totally understand. Maybe take a bit of a breather? I dunno. I honestly think there's really no rhyme or reason to these things. I'm not sure if that's helpful or not!

  3. just wanted to remind you not to be to hard on yourself!

    from your writing and blog posts it's obvious you are intelligent and witty. that goes a long way to counteract some food in the teeth!

  4. Yea, dating is neurotic. I just like to pretend its not a date until we are making out. It just happens we are going to dinner at places that I pay for us to eat at. Not a date. Just dinner. Otherwise you will become even more neurotic. Dating will do that to you!

  5. Hi Coyote Rose,
    Tee hee, I like your caveman analogy. And I know what you mean; it's hard to find someone I like through online dating.

    Hi Talli,
    Oh, it is helpful, trust me, because it is always helpful to get feedback from other people who have been through a similar situation. I'm glad, though, that it worked out for you. :)

    Hi mi,
    Aw, thanks! Your writing shows that you're intelligent and witty too. :) I figured, though, that I probably won't put a link to my blog on my profile, because I think that it may complicate things.

    Hi Boomka,
    You're right, dating is definitely neurotic. I wish I could pretend it wasn't a date, because then it would take a lot of the pressure off of it.

  6. Dating is awful! If something ever happens to Husband, I would just be a widow for ever because Dating. Is. Awful. It's horrid and emotional and all...icky and risky and just- awful.

    I probably haven't raised your spirits any, but I am With You. You know?

  7. It's a good idea to dress conservatively. The right guy will be fascinated.

    But I agree about dropping anvils on students phones. It'll stop them from doing it again!

    I wish you the best of luck in your quest.

  8. Hi Margaret,
    Actually, you did raise my spirits, because it always helps to get encouragement from nice bloggers. Thanks. :)

    Hi notesfromnadir,
    I never do know what to wear for first dates; it's hard to figure out what will make a good first impression.
    And thanks for the encouragement. :)

  9. I think the no salad rule is an excellent one. Besides from getting stuck in your teeth, it takes forever to eat.

  10. Girl, you know I'm right there with you. About your "doing things so that guys you don't like don't call you back" line, I have a friend who is a professional at making up silly little white lies. If she's not enjoying a date or an interview or even lunch with a random coworker, she'll start making up these fantastic, untraceable and harmless stories. She told a coworker once that she had auditioned for the role of Michelle Tanner on "Full House" as a baby and although she didn't get the part, Dave Collier liked her so much that he still sends her birthday cards to this day. She's very good at making a horrible experience at least comical for her! Might be worth a shot...see how creative you can get and roll with it!

  11. Hi Rebecca,
    You're right; salad does take a long time to eat! And that can be a bad thing if you want the date to send sooner rather than later.

    Hi Pervaiz,

    Hi Melanie,
    Hmm, good idea! I have made up excuses before, but I'm not very good at lying. But making up an excuse is better than going on another date with someone I don't really want to see again.

  12. heya,
    just wanted to say "great post" and i can relate (although I've never *really* been on a date...i've been close, I think...but yeah, that's another story). anyway--i've never tried online dating sites given my knack for attracting creepers, but apparently it works sometimes *shrug* anyway, good luck and don't be so hard on yourself :)

  13. Hi Catherine,
    Thanks for the encouragement! I'm not sure why online dating doesn't always work; it feels like it could go either way sometimes.