I recently wrote a post called, “Weird Things My Date Said.” In hindsight, it was a little cruel and unnecessary.
Also, I must confess that I went out with the guy again. Three more times.
So, to be fair, I decided to write out a list of reasons why a man might consider me an annoying date. But first, I need to tell you about the lesson I’m trying to learn here.
As I’ve stated before, my lifelong dating experience amounts to a whole pile of nothing. Yes, I was married for longer than a decade, but marriage isn’t dating, and I didn’t even really date prior to getting engaged.
Couple that with my new-to-me singlehood and I could be considered a serious dating mess.
Obviously I didn’t consider my date two weeks ago to be too weird because I went out with him again. But I wrote that post about his behavior before we’d agreed to go out again, so perhaps I was trying to act cool and aloof. I was put off by the dog thing and the ex-talk and the burping, this is true, but they weren’t absolutely enough to make me say no to a second date. I was trying to talk myself out of going out with him again. Because, as was painfully clear with his initial texting, he came across as a total player and I knew I shouldn’t want to go out with him again.
But go out with him again I did (and again, and then again one more time just for good measure) telling myself the whole I was fully aware he was a player and that I didn’t care, it was just fun to go on dates. I told Hildy I was going out with him and would say, “But this is the last time, I know he isn’t really interested in me, and I’m not even really interested in him.” And it was all just that – we had fun (dancing, movies, dinners, coffee shop) but there was none of that spark that made us seem to want to ask each other probing questions to get to know one another or make plans to get together.
I even had some red flags pop up over the course of our two-week flirting period – I won’t go into identifying details about them and what one person might consider a red flag would barely register with another, but let’s say a few things I learned or discerned about him made me feel a little unsettled. Not in a way I felt I was in danger, but things that rubbed me the wrong way or that bothered me in more than a trivial way.
In the last few days it’s become clear our little fling has fizzled. Fewer texts, no more Snapchats, no plans to get together again. Realistically, I knew this was coming and is for the best for many reasons – the red flags, the lack of a growing spark, my knowledge of his player behavior, the age differene – but for some ridiculous reason, even though I also did not want to pursue a relationship with this man, when HE stopped communicating with ME as often, I started to wonder, “Aww, what’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t he want me?” I started to accentuate, in my head, his positive attributes and tried to downplay the glaring reasons we were not compatible long-term.
I wasn’t even in a relationship with this guy and I was letting his disinterest (which was mutual!) affect me. How messed up is that? Luckily I recognized it as it sprouted but I worry I’ll let it happen again. I think, before I was married, I was too quick to get hooked on a guy’s attention just because it was attention. Good, bad, I didn’t care, as long as the decent moments happened slightly more often than the lame ones. I’d trick myself into liking the wrong person for a trickle of consideration.
They say every person comes into our lives for a reason – they’re either a blessing or a lesson. My short affair was kind of a mix – I had a fun dating experience that taught me a quick lesson in acknowledging when something is not progressing for good reason.
Now, for some needed balance, here are some things that I’m sure make me a horrible date:
1. I’m not sexy. Like, not even a little. Guys seem to want me to have this naughty librarian persona (I blame my glasses and my innocent-looking face) but I really only have the librarian part. I’m Liz Lemon, not Carrie Bradshaw.
2. I rarely choose obscure, artsy music. I veer toward top-40 pop and I get the impression I should be ashamed of some of the songs on my workout playlist, but I’m not. I own it.
3. I don’t take compliments well. I’m realizing this is an important part of dating. A guy is supposed to say nice things to me and I’m supposed to like hearing those nice things and smile and maybe say thanks but it makes me supremely uncomfortable for someone to compliment how I look. I tend to mildly mistrust guys who are nice to me; I question their motives.
4. I’m worried about “rules.” Because it’s been so long since I dated, I fear I’m going to mess up something promising (not that something promising has come along yet) by breaking some rule I don’t know about or choose to ignore. Like, is there really a rule that says a woman should not initiate texts? Or that she shouldn’t text a guy if she was the last one to text in a texting conversation? Heaven forbid she come on too strong by sending two texts in a day without getting a reply to the first one. I’d be torn apart trying to understaned if I was showing enough interest or not enough interest and that uncertainty would possibly make me psycho.
5. I don’t watch TV (just shows on Netflix periodically), I don’t watch the news, I don’t watch sports.
6. I’m allergic to shellfish so I can’t share just any appetizer or sushi roll.
7. I fidget a lot.
8. I’m ungraceful. I need to remind myself to sit up straight. I can’t walk well in heels.
9. I sometimes talk too much.
10. My time is limited. I share 50/50 custody of my four children with my ex husband. I work a ton, often on nights and weekends. In my VAST experience going on dates with two guys since my divorce, a man finds it annoying when he asks you to go out and you answer, “I can’t, I have my kids.” Especially if that guy does not also have kids.
11. My career is in limbo. I have enough money for living expenses and some fun, but I’m going to need a new job soon. That may make me appear unstable, or a guy may assume I’m looking for someone to foot the bill for my children.
Note: I feel the need to explain that this is not a dating blog, I just happen to have gone on a few dates recently and it’s new to me so I’m sharing with you how freaked out I get over the whole concept.