Hi! I’m back with a post after a 5 month absence. Did you miss me? (Don’t answer that, I’ll just assume you did).
I’ve decided to write a post this morning to round up a little bit about what’s been going on.
So I took a hiatus from online dating, I’m not even sure how many months it was, but probably almost 4. The first thing to say is that I think this is an excellent idea for anyone who is in a place where they’re sick of online dating. Just take a break. Get away from your smartphone or your computer, you won’t miss out on “The One” while you’re away. The same
freaks people will still be there when you return, fear not.
During this hiatus, I tried to get out into the world more. I went to more social events, I met some nice people, a few of them girls, and it felt just like the old days when people used to go out and bump into people and start talking.
I confess I did not go out as much as I wanted or perhaps should have. I was focusing on work (got a promotion!) and studies (obtained a new qualification!) and then I went on holiday for a week and a half so I feel like I was focusing on the right things.
Then, a few weeks ago, I found there to be something of a lull in my life so I cracked open my online dating app of choice and it wasn’t long before I found myself going on first dates again.
I would say that since this time I have been on like 6 (is it bad that I can’t remember the number?) first dates. These are ranged from somewhere between painful and mind-numbing to mediocre and tolerable because it’s online dating and that’s what online dating seems to get me.
I won’t go into the details of all of them but there was:
The one who looked nothing like her photos. Right, what is the point of doing this? You’re wasting everyone’s time – and money. Do you think I won’t find out what you look like? Are you going to wear a photo of that head shot on our date that was taken 8 years ago when you were 5 stone lighter? Jesus Christ.
The one with whom I struggled to find any common ground. It was difficult to find any flow to the conversation, I didn’t find her very interesting and I assumed the feeling was mutual. Until the next day. I receive a message from her saying she “had a great time and would like to go out again” but got the feeling that I didn’t. Ouch. Were we on the same date?! I let her down with honesty and did not see her again.
The one who was nervous. Like a little bundle of energy, wide-eyed and kind of tiring to be around. Fidgety, nervy, seemingly anxious about something (me?) but otherwise perfectly lovely, interesting, and someone I was happy to have coffee with but had no desire to see again.
The one who wouldn’t look at me. Actually better looking than her photos, which was a surprise. Fairly easy to talk to but she had this weird thing where her eyes would dart around the room while I was talking or while she was talking. It was very very distracting and I would say actually quite rude. I’m not expecting permanent fixed eye contact, but imagine having a conversation with something and their eyes keep being drawn to whatever’s going on behind and around you. I mean, I’ve been out with some fucking boring people but I always do them the courtesy of paying attention to them.
The other first dates were instantly forgettable (at least the ones I can remember were anyway), the kind of dates where within 3 days you can’t even remember their names anymore.
So, what has the title of this post got to do with anything I’ve written so far? Nothing. I was just catching you up and giving you some context.
Just after I re-opened the dating app, I went out on a Friday night. I went to a pub and met a group of people. And it was there that I met this girl.
We started talking and we got along straight away. Effortless chat and lots of laughter. All the signs were there: the subtle (not so subtle) arm touching, the laughing at all my jokes, the talking much more to me despite us both being part of a larger group, the waitress asking us (after a mix up with the drinks bill) in almost disbelief “have you two just met?” such was our apparent level of connection.
I ask her out and we see each other on what I guess was the first proper date the following weekend. We have a great time, we pick up where we left off and I’m getting some good vibes about this girl.
The following weekend comes around, we go out again and, again, we have a good night and have fun together. Throughout this period, I’m still going on the aforementioned dates, by the way. It’s not like I’m going to pin all my hopes on this one girl so I continue to arrange dates even if when I go on them, they’re disappointing. Disappointing in general but also disappointing in comparison to this other girl.
Another weekend comes along, and we see each other again. Our conversations consist of all kinds of things, from the goofy and immature, to the personal and deep. We talk about family, childhood and I’m opening up as much as I’m comfortable with because it’s nice she’s interested and also a positive sign.
The next weekend I am away the entire time, the one after that she’s away. We text intermittently and semi-regularly; neither one of us are people who like having their phones glued to their hands.
Then I suggest plans for the following weekend and……….. nothing. Silence.
It’s the strangest thing and I have to admit it has confused me. When I think about how affectionate she was and certain moments together, it’s hard not to wonder if I totally misread or misunderstood her. But then I think, no. Surely not. I can’t have misinterpreted things to such a great extent. Like I said, I did not put all my eggs in this basket, I continued to arrange dates with other people but despite that I am still disappointed with how this ended.
Partly because purely on a human level I was enjoying being with her and doing things with her. But also because I’m confused and it’s left me wondering if I can actually trust my judgement of people. Like, she could just text me and tell me she’s met someone else or doesn’t feel like we’re the right fit, or she’s emigrating or she’s an alien from the planet zorgatron, pretty much anything would be fine.
Now that I’ve written all this down, I’m kind of reading it back and thinking, “dude, you met a girl, went out with her a few times, had some fun, and now it’s finished, get over it.” And I totally understand that point of view, and I totally understand (now) that modern dating can and will consist of ghosting at any time, no matter how much of a connection you think there is. I think this is why I continued going on first dates – to protect myself and make sure I have other prospects.
I’m not a cynic by nature and I’m not ready to be turned into one by modern day dating (I was going to write “online dating” then but remembered I met this girl offline!) so I guess I’ll file this under Lessons Learned and see what tomorrow brings. As I type this, I have just received a message from someone new. Always look forward.