Monday, February 14, 2011

Another Date Bites the Dust

So you've probably guessed from the title of this blog post that my date this past Saturday night wasn't the type of date that had me singing in the streets afterward, or composing poetry about the color of his eyes, or any of that other cliched b.s. that you see in old Hollywood musicals. (But I will admit that I do like some of those musicals.)

We went out for drinks to a bar that he suggested going to; I'd never been there before but it seemed like a cool place. We spent hours talking, so that the date ended up lasting longer than I thought it would. He was really easy to talk to, though there were a few of those awkward pauses in conversation where both of us were trying to figure out what to say next.

Making conversation is often what sets first dates apart from all the dates that come after. Well, that, and all the first date anxieties you typically feel, where you ask yourself questions like, "What will the date be like? Will we like each other? Will there be a second date? Will it be the kind of date that makes both of us realize that it would be better to stay single for the rest of our lives just so that we never have to live through a night like that again?"

When I go on a first date with someone I don't know very well (or at all, as in the case with online dating), the conversation is basically the getting-to-know-you conversation. So you don't necessarily have that ease you have when you talk with people you've known for ages, because there's so much you don't know about each other. You find yourself much more self-conscious about what you talk about and even how you talk, because first impressions are lasting.

I've had the kind of first date conversation with guys where it felt like they were interviewing me, asking me questions like "Where do you see yourself in five years?" "What do you like most about your job?" and "What's your favorite color?" (I am not making any of those questions up, including the last one.)

I've also had the kind of first date conversations where I was basically on autopilot and only pretended to listen. That was because I'd figured out within the first half hour that I never wanted to see the guy again, usually because he a) said something insulting/offensive; b) looked nothing like his profile picture (I'm not totally superficial, but I just happen to think it's a good idea to not include pictures of yourself from ten years ago and no other more recent pictures); c) was so boring that I had to make sure that I didn't lean my chin in my hand because I might do that thing where I doze off and wake up after I've already fallen out of my chair.

The conversation on this date was pretty decent. To be honest, from what we talked about, it didn't seem like we had a lot in common (though according to we were highly compatible). I also wasn't sure if there would be a second date with this guy, not because I didn't like him (I liked him well enough, and wouldn't mind seeing him again), but because of two things.

One thing was when we talked about things we liked to do in Chicago, and he kept telling me, "Oh, you should definitely go there sometime." But he never said, "We should check it out sometime," which would have implied a second date. I suppose I could have said it, but I don't usually mention the possibility of a second date on the first one because I don't want to seem too eager.

When I was in college, I went on a date with a guy who not only started planning our second date while we were still on our first one, but also started listing all the other things he wanted us to do together. It wouldn't have surprised me if he had our future wedding planned out by the second date, though there never was a second date with that guy in college. The fact that he was already acting like my boyfriend (or like he wanted to be) made me want to tell him that I'd decided to commit myself fully to my Catholic faith by becoming a nun and that I'd also decided to get a head start on that vow of celibacy even before I joined the convent, as in right now. (I also didn't want to go out with that guy a second time because when he kissed me it felt like he was trying to suck my lips off my face.)

The other thing was that this guy said that he was going out of state for the next couple of weeks because of work; he said he'd be leaving just a couple days after our date. At first I thought, Oh. He's just saying that so that he has a good excuse to not make a second date or call me anytime soon (or ever). And we live in different neighborhoods and work in different fields, so it's not like we would have run into each other during the time he said he was going to be away.

But then he told me more about his job and how it required him to do a lot of traveling, so I thought maybe he wasn't making it up. He was also perfectly nice, attractive, and a definite improvement over the last couple of dates I've been on.

But I don't know if I'll see him again, probably not since I haven't heard from him since then. He is going out of town for a while, after all, and it is quite possible that while he's on his business trip he'll meet some supermodel who isn't as neurotic as I am, though I tried to act normal during the date.

I tried not to act like the kind of person who obsesses over everything, including the fact that the large piles of snow left over from the blizzard make crossing the street fairly difficult. As a result, I worry that in my attempt to climb over the snow that I'm going to get stuck inside the snow and become a human snowperson because all the other people passing me by are oblivious or indifferent and won't bother to help me out. I also worry that I'll fall, get all my clothes soaked, and have people shrinking away from me because I look like I just spent the night in a muddy puddle.

But I didn't mention anything like that during our conversation. I'm pretty good at pretending to be someone who's normal when I have to, but only for a certain period of time before my true neurotic nature bursts through the facade.

At the very least, though, I got one date from I still have more than two months left on my membership with this site, so hopefully I'll get more dates, if not with this guy than with someone else.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!


  1. I met a guy two weekends ago who told me he was going out of town on business and he'd contact me when he was back. I said "uh huh, sure," because I assumed it was totally a front. But it totally wasn't and he came back this weekend and contacted me and told me that Germany had been lovely. I'm sure if you guys had good conversation, then there's possibly something else and it's worth another date at least!

  2. Hi mmarinaa,
    That's great that that guy contacted you again; he sounds nice! Unfortunately, I don't think I'll get to see this guy again, but at least it was a decent experience. I don't regret going on dates like this one because I feel that at the very least I can learn something from them.

  3. I think it still sounds like a decent date. Hope if it's not this guy, then it's the next one. Keep trying!

  4. Hi Theresa,
    It was a better date than I've had in a while. Unfortunately, he never called. Hopefully it will be the next one though.

  5. First dates are a killer aren't they? I had one where the guy couldn't stop talking about his ex wife. Um... yeah.

  6. Hi Talli,
    Wow! You'd think the guy would know that an ex-wife, especially on the first date, is something that most people wouldn't want to hear about.

  7. Oh no, another date that doesn't work out too well. I laughed at the part about being asked those questions -- my fave is where do you see yourself in 5 years? Does he think you're psychic?

  8. Hi notesfromnadir,
    Maybe he did think I was psychic; I don't know. I think he was the type of guy who already had his life all planned out, whereas I'm still figuring things out, one day at a time.

  9. Stay away from large snow drifts!!

    That or carry a shovel with you at all times!

    LOL. Just teasing you!