So, I’m two first dates in for the new year and I’m already feeling tired, confused and oddly surprised. There’s no way I’ll be able to have another twenty of these before the end of the month, which means I’ll have to reconsider my initial goal of 22 dates in January.
Being flexible when dating is probably not a bad approach to take.
Let’s start with the exhausting part(s) of dating, shall we? Online dating can be a real time suck. Viewing and reading profiles, measuring the distance between where I live and he does, and then trying to intuit the likelihood of whether the impossible-to-determine-virtually-but-critical component of chemistry will be present. It takes some time, friends.
Once you’ve “liked” someone, you then have to decide whether or not to initiate contact. Do you yield to societal traditions and wait for him to reach out or do you reveal interest and send a message? As a woman unaccustomed to bowing to societal gender roles, I’m inclined to say hi and initiate communication, generally trying to connect with something from their profile.
Side note: If a profile doesn’t include photos (hopefully current ones at that), I’ll never reach out or respond.
There’s a certain level of safety that comes from communicating on the app, as opposed to sharing more personal contact information such as an email address or phone number. The transition to off app contact seems to indicate either an elevated level of interest or the wish to expand conversation without the potential of a social media platform maintaining a record. I generally move with caution when it comes to this phase of getting acquainted. It feels like a relationship milestone when the decision has been made to exchange that information. Whoever thought that an iphone could be considered intimate?
Now, here’s where things can become confusing.
As things progress, the next “natural” steps include texting, talking and maybe even facetiming with your potential date. This is actually a critical time for me. I find a person’s voice to be pretty important and have ceased communications with men whose voices are unappealing. I mean, if I don’t like the way they sound, I’m probably not going to be tuned in to what they’re saying.
Call me shallow (if you haven’t already for my stance of not communicating with those who don’t include pics in their profiles) if you will, just make sure your voice is melodious when you do so.
Once communication has been established, and if things continue to move along comfortably, an in person meeting generally follows. I’ve learned that what comes next is a surprise on a level similar to the one you might experience if you were to reach your hand blindly into a Whitman Sampler box of chocolate. It’s just impossible to know what you’ve got until you take a bite – metaphorically speaking, of course.
I’m realizing that I can not predict who might appeal to me until we’ve spent time together and that I absolutely do not have an end game in place. There seem to be a lot of people who have a clear idea of who they find desirable and what they want (a best friend, a partner in crime, a soul mate) from that person. I don’t.
And that’s absolutely ok.
For the record, first date number one has been followed by a second and a third, while first date number two (who lives a couple of hours south but frequently comes north for business) has only yielded a single date – so far. While I sincerely like them both, I intend to continue pushing myself forward and cultivating connections. Expanding my circle of friends, while refining my understanding of whom I want to spend my time with, seems like a win-win situation to me.
Twenty more first dates to go…