The Dating Game

I chat with a good friend regularly about her dating woes, or her lack of dating woes, or her woes of the relationship of yore.  It wasn’t so long that I was there myself, and I know how bad it sucks.  Like any pain, I can’t quite conjure back up the horribleness of it, but I can remember that it was bad and I can read in this here very blog when I feel like having a reminder.

I’ve convinced this lady friend that she should really try online dating.  I know it feels stupid.  I’m not a fan of having to confess that I met my very own Sweet Boy via online dating.  But, I think it served an invaluable purpose for me and it would for her also.  When you’re plugged in to online dating, you always know where your next date is coming from.  Consequently, you don’t start obsessing over any one guy just because he’s the one guy there is.  I’ve heard her saying the exact same goofiness of my own head:  getting all hung up over some guy because he seemed like he had promise.  He would be good to have another date with.  And he’s got all the qualifications on paper that seem like he’s worthwhile.  All you need now, is the opportunity to invest to make sure that he actually is worth your while.  Except then you start spending your while getting all bent out of shape about why he didn’t respond to your last text message.  Or why his last e-mail was pleasant and promising, but it didn’t actually suggest getting together again.  And then he said he was busy when you made an offer and he didn’t counter with an alternative.  Enter:  despair!  Woe!  Angst!
If you were dating several people at once, though, you’d be too distracted to get all bajiggity about any one guy.  You can easily go on a date, walk away and conclude that he was nice, admit that it might be ok to see him again, but not be heartbroken if you don’t talk again.

Thinking about all of this has been sending me back to that time when I was in that place last year.  Before I met the best boyfriend known to man kind, I was meeting some other sorts of fellows.  I would like to now harken back to one of them.  Even though no one reads my blog, I still feel paranoid and feel like a pseudonym would somehow be appropriate.  Just in case.  So let’s call him Fred.  Fred looked kind of like one of the actors from Saved By the Bell who played a nerd.  Which is to say that he didn’t just look like a nerd, he looked like the quintessential nerd.  Very, very blond, pale, thin lips, little teeth, round face.  He wore his hair kind of spiky and was always wearing boots and this bulky motorcycle jacket, and he rode a motorcycle.  So he was the uber nerd who was making uber effort to shirk nerd-dom.  He was shy and quiet and I had to make a lot of effort to draw him out.  I babbled a lot just to fill the silence with something and I probably drank more than I should have.  But he was smiley and pleasant and amenable so I went out with him again and then a couple times more.

The physical chemstry wasn’t entirely there for me and I was feeling a bit lackluster about him when we went out on our last date.  Arranging this date had been a little difficult, as he’d been uncharacteristically unresponsive about pinning down plans and we ended up having to reschedule the original plan.  When we did meet up that night, he was especially reserved.  I tried to ask if something was wrong, which he denied.  But it was a particularly stilted dinner.  We finished and he asked if I wanted to get a drink.  So picked a destination a few blocks away to walk to.  On the way there, he finally admitted that there was a problem.  He thought that I was too mean and critical.  He gave a few examples when I had been snarky and that he tries to be a good person and so this made him feel bad.  And as he was saying all this, we were stepping inside of the bar.

There’s nothing to do now but go ahead and order.  Since he’s driving his motorcycle home, he gets a soda.  We grab a table.  And now what?  What do you do once you’ve been told what your date finds undesirable about you, and you’re still just sitting there looking at them?  Me?  I babble.  I spent 20 minutes trying to explain how it was ok.  That he didn’t have to like me.  We were just dating.  I was ok.  He was ok.  It was fine.  Good for him for recognizing what he wanted.  Blah blah blah.  Blah!  And gulp gulp gulp Mr Beer, because I have got to hightail it out of here.  I am done talking about what a rotten person I am and helping you to feel better about having had told me!

Finally, I down the beer.  It’s ok to escape.  Cordial.  He walks me to the BART station, where we will part ways.  And then he says “I know you’d already said that you were really busy this week, but do you really not have any time that we could hang out?”

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