Archive for March 2014

It’s a beautiful Wednesday evening, a great night to go out and do something, and I find myself walking into a sports bar, ready to meet a guy I know little to nothing about, and see if there could be a possible love connection. I see a guy who sort of resembles the pictures I saw online, and my first thought is actually a sigh of relief, as he looks better in person than in his pictures. I make my approach and as he looks up at me, I start to say his name, with much question in my voice, “Mike?” Mike nodded, but said no words. Instead he stood there for 3-4 minutes trying to compose a sentence, because he “was just so blown away by my beauty.” Give me a break. As I guessed in that instance, the rest of the night was pretty much downhill from there. Mike and I had nothing in common. At one point he started buying shots because I think he thought just maybe if he got me drunk enough, I would start to enjoy his company. Not the case. Our evening ended 2 hours after it started, as I explained to Mike that I had a nice night, but unfortunately, I just didn’t feel a connection. As I told him this, he looked like he was going to start crying. I asked for our check and offered to split the tab. As he fought back tears, Mike started pointing out that my drinks were significantly more expensive than his, and that he wouldn’t have ordered shots normally. Reallllllly? So I did what any self sufficient lady would do in that moment. I paid the check, the entire check (to assert my feminine independence and my financial freedom over him), and got the hell out of there.

In my last 2 years of dating, this was by far the worst date I had ever found myself on. So that’s it. In 2 years of random online dating explorations, that is as bad as it has gotten.

Now this happened just recently, and I have found myself retelling this story a few times as I have been updating my friends on my new dating escapades. Each time I have told this story I have gotten pretty much the same responses. “Oh my gosh, that’s horrible, I just don’t know how you put up with dating, I don’t think I could ever do it.” I have gotten this response from my married friends, my friends who are in relationships, and even my single friends (who are terrified of dating). My response back has been the same to everyone, “It’s not so bad, at least it keeps things interesting!” I am thoroughly amazed at all the women who are literally petrified of dating, specifically online dating. Some women I know are in the worst relationships I have ever seen, but yet they would rather stay in an unhealthy relationship than risk being alone and *gasp* having to date again!

LADIES!!!!! DATING IS NOT THAT SCARY, IN FACT IT’S QUITE LIBERATING!!!! I can honestly say, that I am loving being single and dating. Online dating is simply a numbers game. As we get older it gets harder and harder to meet people at a bar, or at the grocery store, or in public places period. With online dating you set the parameters, and then watch your collection of available suitors grow exponentially. You will have men lining up to take you out, who want to get to know all of the wonderful things that make you so awesome, and who could end up being just what you are looking for! In the meantime, you are still completely in control of your life and your schedule. I answer to no one. I do whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I want! It’s fantastic!!

What I have concluded is that most of my friends just don’t know how to date, specifically online dating, and that is why they are under the impression that it is just so terrible. So in an effort to eradicate this myth, here are my guidelines for a successful first date encounter with an online gentleman caller.

1)    Don’t spend countless days and weeks getting to know someone via messages back and forth. If a guy sends you an interesting message, and you have a few intriguing exchanges, suggest that you meet in person to see if there is a real connection. Nothing worse than falling for a guy who seems so perfect online, only to meet in real life and he can’t actually say 2 words to you in person because of his social anxiety.

2)    Don’t give out your number until you meet someone in person. I can’t stress this enough. Set up your meeting online, if you decide you actually want to give them a shot, then they can have your number after you meet and you can verify that they are not crazy.

3)    Keep the first date short. Meeting up for a few drinks is the best first date scenario, definitely steer clear of going out for dinner (I mean do you really want to be wolfing down a quesadilla/lasagna/chicken wings the first time you meet someone??). Also, if something does go terribly wrong, you can make a quicker exit from just drinks. I try to keep first dates to a 2 hour max. That way you don’t end up too drunk to get back home. Plus, if you really like the guy, you want to leave him wanting more of you anyways, so the more mysterious and busy you can make your life seem, the better.

4)    Finally, how to end the date. Back to rule number 2, if this guy is interested in you, he is going to be expecting your number. So either it went well and you can give him your number, and go about your happy way. Or it went not so well, and you just tell him, sorry I had a nice/ok/mediocre evening, but I just didn’t feel a romantic connection. Most guys will appreciate the honesty and not fault you for not feeling something. Some may cry. Either way, not your problem.

Even if 90% of your dates don’t lead to a romantic connection, well hey, at least you met someone new, maybe found out an interesting new fact or two, and if nothing else, perhaps you will come home with a great story to laugh about and tell your friends. Either way, you aren’t going to meet Mr. Right by not going out and meeting new people, so what have you got to lose?