Dating. Wow. It doesn’t matter if you meet someone the old-fashioned way, get set up, or try the online thing. Well, I’ve never been set up so I’m just assuming.
I have chosen the online dating route. Partly because I don’t usually get out enough to meet people the old-fashioned way, and partly because online dating gets the important things out in the open from the get go. Are you looking for something serious, do you want kids, do you have kids? Not exactly things you ask on a first date with the cute guy you met at the local coffee shop.
I will say that dinner is not a good first date. If you don’t hit it off really well, it is a really long wait until you can order, and then ages until your food comes. When the food finally arrives, you eat it as fast as possible in hopes you’ll move the date along. But sometimes, your date doesn’t feel the need to hurry it along and when you no longer have the luxury of entertaining yourself with whatever mediocre meal is in front of you, you’re resigned to the awkward silences and even more awkward conversation. All the while thinking that you could be at home without a bra on. You didn’t have to skip that nap or touch up your make up. All of a sudden, that scene in rom-com’s where the lady sets up an “emergency” phone call in case the date goes south makes sense.
You know what else sucks? When you don’t even realize you’re on a date! I can’t be the only woman this has happened to, can I? Or am I really that oblivious? So you’ve got a guy friend and you know, you’re buddies. It’s whatever, right? Wrong. Guys and girls can’t be friends very often. Sometimes, when you’re me apparently, your guy friend says, “let’s hang out!” and you say, “sure!” and unbeknownst to you, you’ve agreed to a date. You find yourself at a nice restaurant being told, “you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,” or some such ludicrous pick up line thinking, “wait, what?” Sometimes they aren’t even trying to be a gentleman about it and you get a booty call at some godawful hour of night. But at least those are easier for you to say, “Um, no. Delete my number.”
Then there’s the great – fantastic even – first dates that end up being a really, really bad second date. I don’t know why that seems to be my luck but I’ll find them incredibly annoying the second time I see them. I think it’s them being assholes who think since the first date went so well, you’re hooked for life and they can start being douchey and push for sex. And what is it with men acting like jerks when it comes to sex? They try to make a joke about watching porn, you say TMI, and they stomp their little feet and say you’re either sensitive or snide and undersexed [yes, this actually happened]. Excuse me? We had two dates, I’m supposed to be okay with all your crude talk and being pushy about getting laid? No. Just… no. Get out. The boys who talk way too much about past relationships can get out too.
You can’t forget about the super excited, overwhelming, half in love with you before meeting you guys either. I’ve had a few of those. It’s hard to describe why I find this irritating. Maybe I’m a bitch or maybe I still have this aversion to nice guys or maybe I’m too easily annoyed, but it is what it is. I guess I feel like they’re putting me up on a pedestal and I prefer a more realistic outlook of, “we started talking, it’s going well, we’ll see what happens when we meet.” I want my man to fall for the me he meets, not the me he creates in his mind.
And oy vei, the rejection of it all! My heart goes out a little bit to every guy that I didn’t email back or didn’t see again. Writing up the “About Me” section of an online dating profile is like writing a resume and cover letter for a fantastic job. Most people are uncomfortable talking much about how awesome they are and why they should pick you. it’s not easy! You want to give enough information to entice people, come across as witty and charming, and write in such a way that invites questions. You don’t want to message someone with, “Hi, how’s it going?” It’s an exhausting process and I find it requires wine. So much wine.
Worse still is when you start seeing someone, you think everything is going well, and they just disappear mid conversation. Oh, relationship over I guess. Thanks for the heads up. There is a small window when simply not responding is acceptable, in my opinion. It depends on the situation but if you haven’t talked much, if you’re put off, you can just let the conversation drop and move on. But there comes a point, when the relationship has shifted from a date or two to dating and monogamy, you need to say something if you’re gonna jump ship. It’s rude and a complete and total disregard to feelings and time.
All in all, the process is taxing. From the first contact to the first date, from the primping to the awkward first kiss [that sometimes you're hoping doesn't happen!] and the even worse sloppy kisser that makes you want to pull away immediately and wipe your mouth off. To wanting to see them again or thinking of how to avoid a second date or let someone down easy. Picking the right outfit that makes you look classy and sexy yet still conservative. Shaving your legs and wearing uncomfortable shoes. It all takes a lot of effort.
And a lot of wine.