I went on my third “first date/encounter/meet-up” last night. This was about as close as a real date as I thought I was going to get thus far, as he asked me out for dinner. I mentioned to him that it was awfully brave and optimistic to assume we would enjoy each other enough to sit through an entire meal with one another. Generally it’s coffee or drinks, which can lead to something longer if the chemistry is right, or allow a quick exit if it isn’t.
I realized I was still off my mojo with dating. There is this confident comfort zone I can usually find and it keeps me balanced. But in this go around of being single, I hadn’t been able to quite seem to grasp it. It’s like sitting on a chair you used to love, and trying to find the sweet spot. That super comfortable area. I shifted from one butt cheek to the other, moving my hips, or my shoulders, and never quite finding it.
Yesterday as my usual nerves of steel were faltering a bit, it hit me.
Who cares? It’s all target practice until the right one comes along.
That was it. That was the bullet I needed to get my mojo going! See my old philosophy on first dates has generally been along these lines; I don’t know you, therefore I can’t have expectations of you. Better yet, you don’t know me, and since I have no expectations, it wouldn’t make sense to really care what your expectations of me are, now would it?
Does it sound complicated? It really isn’t. No expectations leads to never being disappointed.
This way of thinking gives me that extra boost of confidence, and with the confidence comes assuredness that helps wipe away the nerves.
But something about the mantra, the knowledge that there should be no expectations wasn’t sinking in. Until I looked at it as target practice.
The first date was with the lawyer who agreed to meet for coffee early on a Saturday morning. Coffee? I immediately went into a tiny panic mode, because I was worried about that first impression. It had to be casual, because who shows up at Starbucks at 9AM with heels on? I don’t do casual well. I mean I do home casual well, but I didn’t think I should show up in flip flops and yoga pants that were covered in dog hair. I already had no control over the mojo.
Did it matter that he showed up in his workout gear? Not really, because we weren’t a match. See? Wasted energy on worrying about nothing.
When it didn’t pan out, I didn’t feel deflated. In fact I felt like I had my sea legs going a little stronger. I wasn’t as wobbly. I didn’t need sixteen outfit choices to make me feel like I could present myself as who I am, with confidence. I am woman, hear me roar!
Until date number two. I found that where I thought I had my mojo all aligned, it was a ruse. The same nerves were there. But it being an evening meet up, and someone I felt a tad more of a connection with, I faked my way thru, til I hit the door.
Where was that sweet spot? Why could I almost taste it, almost feel it, but not quite? Even though the date was a disaster and entirely because of him, there was that insecurity in me wondering what I might have done to cause it. That’s a lack of mojo speaking.
Fortunately by noon yesterday the epiphany hit, and by quitting time I was smooth and calm.
We met at the bar of Dave & Buster’s at his suggestion. I had already ordered a drink, when he texted me “Where are you?” I got confused for a second because I had initially suggested a place closer to my office, and we had bantered back and forth before we decided on D&B’s. Did I get my restaurants wrong? I told him I was in the bar, and in seconds he just sidled up and stood there. He had forgot we agreed to meet in here, and he was waiting outside for me. Very gallant of him.
On a sidenote, here is a strange little — hmmm … thing, that is becoming a silent bothersome little irritant with me with this online dating. When you walk up to the person who you have seen multiple pictures of, that you are about to meet face to face for the first time, and you stand there and smile. That’s it, nothing more. No words exchanged. Seconds go by like hours, until I say, “Oh hi, <Insert Name>? – I’m Gina, nice to meet you.”
It’s happened to me each time I’ve done a meet-up.
Why, am *I* as the demure dainty little fucking woman <insert wink>, having to be the one to extend the intro? Where is chivalry? I swear one time too many they are going to look at me and think “It’s got to be her, she looks exactly like her pictures!” and smile and say nothing and I am going to look straight through them.
Ok, the reality is I am not going to do that. But the thought of it made me inwardly chuckle for a second, because what a mind fuck that would be.
So back to D&B Man. My immediate reaction to him was, well his pictures didn’t really lie. He had this funny smile in the pictures that I thought was maybe a sign of discomfort in front of the camera. Nope, that was just his smile. He wasn’t unattractive as he was – unique looking. I also must have gotten his height wrong, because I expected 6’0” and this was closer to 5’8 or 9”. Very minor points.
We talked. Very intelligent, very nice. Almost Sheldon like from The Big Bang theory, except D&B Man got sarcasm. He was articulate, but his skitter jittery leg gave up and points for cool. He was nervous. His leg rattled on like crazy until I asked him, “Do I make you nervous?” I have to admit, I sort of like making men nervous initially. Not nervous in a crazy “I’m about to be arrested” way. But that leg, those nerves — they were even a little too much for me.
After he got his leg settled down (which started back up later), we talked about work, and family and where we were from. Conversation didn’t feel forced. But as I learned about him, I realized this was a man who was extreme.
For instance: He works a lot. I don’t mean that he is one of those who puts in a 60 hour work week. He works a LOT. Like 115 hours a week. Something like 17 hours a day 7 days a week, and with no end in sight. He goes to bed very early. Not like 9 or 10. Like 7:30, because he has to get up and work another 16 hour day. Every day. He eats minimally. One meal a day. Period. Because he also never passes up a free meal, (His words not mine) dinner wasn’t going to happen, as he already ate the free meal offered at work during lunch.
This said a lot to me. Dinner dates would be out, because he would have already ate, plus really he would need to get home to go to bed. He could probably squeeze me in during lunch, I silently figured.
…. aaannd target practice was complete.