Mayte's Dating Chronicles: The Second Date
I only seem to go on first dates. No seriously. I've only had one second date since January 2019. One. In almost two years.
We won't talk about the conversion rate from online match to actual first date - that's for another post. Spoiler alert: it's abysmal.
But I am not dismayed. Scout's honor, I am not. I am not deterred. I am not even (that) fatigued. I'm no longer nervous before a first date. Anyone who knows me could tell you about my stage fright and my strange relationship with social anxiety. I hide them both well. But with first dates? I don't have to pretend to be okay, I actually am. THAT is how many first dates I've been on. I shouldn't even call them first dates - they're more like only dates. I only go on one date with strangers. Or maybe strangers only get one date with me.
I don't believe in choosing discomfort when I don't have to and when it's not necessary. There are a lot of people in my life who's company is not painful for me, who's presence isn't uncomfortable for me. So this is why I don't usually ever want a second date. If the first date was meh, I'm not choosing that for a second time. But I've seen the rom-coms. The awkward first date. The clumsy conversation. The intimate pauses. And then there's that spontaneous second date where it falls into place but they just overcame that first date. I know. I've seen the movies. I love those movies. I wish my life was those movies. But it's not. Which means if after an hour, I don't want another hour with you then I won't want another hour with you. A lukewarm yes is not the kind of yes I want to give someone. Nor it is the kind of yes I want to receive. Not for this.
Back when I met people in person, I HATED going to the movies as a first date. I did it twice and I will never do it again. The logic is that a movie could give you a great conversation piece over dinner or drinks (which should customarily follow). But for me it means that I've spent 2 hours with someone who I still know very little about and now I have to spend more time??? That just sits heavy on my heart. A 4 hour date out the gate?! No, sir. Do you know how much movies costs? Now we gotta figure out dinner and drinks? (Before we continue, yes, I've gone dutch or 50/50 on every single date I've had since 2019. I do not know what it is like to not reach for my wallet.) And what if you realize shortly into the post-movie hang out that you don't want to be there? Then they feel like you used them to see a movie (no kidding, someone told me this.) However... in a Covid-driven world, a virtual movie and facetime night sounds absolutely lovely. Virtual movie dates give more license to talk throughout, to pause, to experience each other and the movie. At least, maybe? I'm for anything that won't give me Coronavirus.
I tend to do park dates a lot. Public parks, populated parks during the day. Except for that one time I didn't. I definitely went on a first date to a park at 10pm with a stranger from the internet. I don't recommend that. I won't do that again. Probably. Yeah, I won't. I listen to the true crime podcasts, so I know better. Pre-Corona, happy hours were my go-to first date option. I had a couple of places near my old job that were perfect. The key was to start the date around 5:30. The happy hours usually ended by 7 which gave a great out when we, both, inevitably wanted the date to be over especially. I say we because I know when someone doesn't want to hang out with me. I'm not dense. Nowadays? I get stuck in an eternal text loop of "wyd?" "hyd?" "hey". Men seem to enjoy being pen pals that text you good morning... every morning... with nothing else. Maybe an emoji? It's the 2020 version of dating purgatory. All things considered, I have had 2 virtual dates. They both lasted around 30 minutes. Talk about a meeting that should have been an email -- yikes. I haven't had a phone call in two years. Do people still talk on the phone? Should that be something I should be considering? Is that what cell phones are for?
I feel like I know how to navigate a zoom or virtual conversation well enough at this point. But you know what? I still don't feel like flirting on zoom after a work day. Still, I am grateful that even the idea of virtual zoom dating make me nervous the way it used to.
You know what does make me nervous?
The idea of a second date. A second date.
What would it feel like to have someone want to see me again? To have someone come back? To go back to someone? Is it what staying feels like? Is it a taste of that? I bet it tastes sweet.
Do I expect magic and fireworks on the first date? No. But I'd like to leave wanting more. I'd like to meet someone that I'd like to go back to, at least one more time. A second date would be... kind of, nice...you know?
But until then, here's to a few more first dates. They aren't so bad.
Drink some water. Wear a mask.