Sunday, July 1, 2012

In which, for the first time, I openly blog about the horrors of dating

When I started this blog, the tag line was slightly different. I described it as "The adventures of a single girl and her house." Recently, with no fanfare, I took out the "single." Not because I wasn't single. But because I felt like I needed to stop claiming that as part of my identity. I don't want to be single, so I shouldn't use it as a descriptor.

This has not made me less single.

Truth be told I wasn't even trying to date. After another one of my Divorced-Guy-Not-Ready-and-Not-Right-for-Me-Anyway mishaps (sometime I'll tell you about the other two, and why I bought a house, which are the same thing), after losing my job, my Jerk Detector was broken and I needed to get a few things straightened out.

I wish everyone did that.

I'm trying to get back out there, but I have no idea how except the same old strategies that have led to meeting Divorced Guys who are Not Ready and Can't Communicate to Save Their Lives. No one has any useful suggestions for me, so I just keep going on first dates.

The good news is the last couple first dates have not been horrible. Last summer I was going on dates with rude, arrogant people who told me how they told off their boss or who didn't even wait for me before leaving a room in an art exhibit. These have been better. Conversation and laughter have flowed. What there is not is second dates.

Source: via Katherine on Pinterest

Unfortunately, there are lies. I am wondering when I'm going to meet someone who doesn't lie. These lies are probably well-intentioned, because no one wants to feel like someone did not enjoy meeting them. But there is a difference between "Thank you for meeting me" and "Let's do this again." There is a difference between a handshake and a hug. To me, saying "Let's do this again" and then dropping off the face of the Earth is a lie. This is pretty much the standard farewell phrase now, and I'm not sure what the phrase is that actually indicates a person really does want to do this again. Similarly, a hug says "Meeting you was important and I feel positively about engaging in physical contact with you." That's what I mean about can't communicate to save their lives. If you want to communicate "Thanks but no thanks," don't hug me. Don't talk about meeting up again. Just say farewell.

But then I go to yoga. And K says, this too shall pass. Nothing lasts forever. Not even holding one arm in the air for three minutes. And the other side. And now both arms out to the sides, opening your heart, vulnerable and strong. This is the hardest pose for me


  1. I haven't done a ton of dating, but I've definitely experienced the first (only) date hug good-bye and let's-do-this-again pleasantries that never led anywhere. I never felt I was lied, too, though -- I think the person was being polite and/or felt I was nice enough, but after the post-date processing period, realized he wasn't wowed (in none of these situations was I ever disappointed there was no 2nd date, i.e., I never felt like I *missed* the guy). I think when there is going to be a second date, you know -- not because of what is said, but because of those intangible things -- truly making a connection with someone.


  2. Up until a few years ago, in my experience "let's do this again" did lead to seeing the person again, very close to 100% of the time. It was a clear indicator. It is only recently that it has stopped being an indicator and become a pleasantry.

    I meet someone I feel like I really like, really could care about about every year to year and a half. Invariably it is someone who is recently out of a relationship and not capable of being in one. I'm not sure what that says...probably something about how if I can see someone has the capability to be vulnerable, I am attracted to that. But I also don't think that a first date instant connection is the only way things happen. In my experience a first date instant connection has led to quick burn-out. So I'm looking to get to know people. I don't think that is what other people are looking to do. I don't really have a clear way of knowing who is looking for an instant connection and who is actually looking to get to know someone.

    1. I don't think an instant connection is necessary, but it's certainly an impetus for a second date ... if that makes sense. I've done very little casual dating myself, and all my awesome first dates have led to relationships, with the nice enough first dates never leading to second ones (this in retrospect -- never thought about it before).

      That is a huge insight -- the vulnerability as attractiveness. Something in you wants to "heal" men, perhaps. Hm.


    2. I was hoping I could just call it "being attracted to someone who is capable of being vulnerable." Because wanting to heal the my head, they really do have to heal themselves, or they will not be strong enough to help me when I need it.

    3. Maybe it's something to ponder, why they need to show you that capability right off the bat. Do you think you convey vulnerability on first dates?

      Also, I don't think you actively want to heal anyone, but maybe it's an unconscious thing (and the key word in that sentence should be "maybe" -- just thinking out loud here).

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