Well, here we are. No more bad date stories. I have to say, I went on quite a few dates. And you know what? A lot of them were pretty good. You know why you haven’t heard about those? Because they’re not funny. Who wants to hear about an enjoyable happy hour with a decent human being? Nobody, that’s who. OK, maybe your mom. But that’s it. Those are the dates you want to experience, not read about. Good dates inspire zero sarcasm. I do, however, feel like I need to tell you that there were good ones. As entertaining as bad dates are, it would be pretty depressing if they all turned out that way. Also, you might seriously question my judgment of character. I met a lot of cool people on those perfectly nice dates. A lot of the time there was just no spark, but there’s nothing wrong with some good conversation and a tasty meal with someone new. And come on, it gives you an excuse to put on a real outfit after work – back away from the sweatpants. Wait, who am I kidding? I love sweatpants. But don’t wear them on a date. Pro tip.
I also learned a thing or two over the past couple of years. I will now bestow some of that knowledge on you. You probably figured out all of this ages ago (thanks for sharing, by the way), but I’ll tell you anyway.
1) I can be the problem, too. I know I wrote some funny stories about a few guys I met, but seriously – I’m sure I can be just as ridiculous. (Well, maybe not QUITE as ridiculous, but you get the idea. I mean, I’d like to think my common sense and extreme aversion to being embarrassed prevail more often than not… maybe.)
2) If he likes you, he’ll call. If you like him, it’s OK to call him, too.
3) If he doesn’t like you, he won’t call. But, he’ll still be nice and say what he thinks you want to hear in response to your text message because, let’s be honest, dudes avoid confrontation at all costs. Don’t fall for this, smart and pretty ladies. If a guy wants to see you, he will make time, just like you would.
4) It’s OK to go on dates for conversation and company, without mentally planning your wedding to the near-stranger sitting across from you. One date does not a boyfriend/girlfriend make, you guys.
5) It’s actually fun to hang out with your couple friends…as the THIRD WHEEL (dun, dun, duuun.) Seriously, get over it. It’s not that scary. And I’m willing to bet your couple friends don’t generally spend the entire evening making out in front of you and baby-talking to each other. If they do, find some new friends please.
6) Set-ups can make you question how well your friends actually know you. For real.
7) Online dating is not as scary as it sounds. It can be fun to try, but it’s also fine to realize it’s not for you.
8) Sometimes it’s awkward. Sometimes it’s even more awkward. Accept the awkwardness.
9) I found out just how compelled I am to fill an uncomfortable silence. And then I found out exactly how much more uncomfortable that can make things. Sometimes less is more. And by sometimes I mean basically always. I’m not saying suddenly becoming a mute is the way to go, but if you hear a little voice in your head saying “Shut. Up. Already.” you might want to think about listening.
10) Figure out the basics of who you are and what’s important to you, and stick to them like glue (you know, like that superglue that makes your fingers stick together for a moment of sheer panic). Molding yourself into what you think someone wants will never, ever work. Ever.
I could go on, if you want. No, that’s enough? OK, I’ll stop. I think the most valuable thing I learned is that I was pretty cool with being alone. And, when you least expect it, something awesome might happen and if you’re cool with yourself then you’ll be ready for it. Because you guys, the boy who wasn’t a frog was totally worth the wait. I’ll tell you about him sometime.