The Vine: August 7, 2013
So, here's the deal. I'm by nature a rather impatient over-thinker, prone to imagining worst-case scenarios, which often turn out to be right.
I'm perfectly willing to acknowledge that they become self-fulfilling prophecies based on my impatience and tendency to jump to conclusions, but that doesn't change the facts of negative reinforcement.
Of course, this manifests the worst when I'm trying to date. I've been single for two years now, and was in a fairly long-term relationship before that. Said relationship has earned me one of my closest friends, but it was seven years of wasted potential for the both of us (we each had an insurmountable issue that the other couldn't deal with is the short of it), exacerbated by the fact that, for a good deal of it, I was still mourning the relationship before THAT. So, it was kind of a mess, and we've both moved on (in his case, he moved 3,000 miles), and we've come out of it very good friends, which always was the best part of us dating. Yay for that, at least.
Since then, I've been trying the online thing since I don't want to date anyone in the same industry as me, and I prefer not to disrupt my social circle with romance either. I'm not saying these are absolutes, but it'd be nice to find someone outside of both of those settings and experience something new altogether. Online dating is fine, but it hasn't really yielded anything long-term yet, obviously. And in general, dating's never been my strong suit anyway. Previously, most of my relationships started up pretty quickly, so I've had many a LTR but not very many dates in contrast.
However, every time I have a prospect who seems to have good potential that I can get all excited about, I start obsessing, and if I don't hear back soon enough, for example, I'm convinced we're DOOMED TOTALLY DOOMED OMG, and obviously, that kind of pressure will kill anything prematurely, because hey, relax, lady. I like to attempt being fine with things naturally developing since I don't wish to get married or have kids or even live together, but I admit, when things are nebulous, I have trouble going with any flow. Sometimes, I manage to keep it together enough not to openly glom all over whomever, but then I'm reasonably sure that at times that's come across as not interested, and he moves on.
All this is to say I've just made a connection at said online dating site with someone who on paper (or pixels, I guess) is totally so many things I want in a dating partner. We haven't even made plans to meet in real life yet, so yeah, I don't want to start jumping to any conclusions yet, but I'd like to hear some coping suggestions so that for once, I might be able to mitigate my imagination and see if our correspondence can have an honest chance to go anywhere. How can I temper my excitement and hormones with some semblance of patience and come-what-may attitude? Even if this guy goes nowhere, it's something I really do need to learn in general, so advice is appreciated!
Hopeless At This Whole Dating Thing
It came up earlier this year in a comments thread about another online-dating ish, and it's worth repeating: a high churn rate is key here. Not in relationships — just in the phase where you're trying to convert to meatspace, because on "paper" does not usually translate, unfortunately. By answering as many even semi-likely emails and meeting as many even half-decent prospects as you can, you increase the likelihood that one of them is The Guy — and it dilutes the poison when that one you thought sure was The Guy is not The Guy. Or…is That Guy.
I don't mean to discourage you about the current candidate, but as I mentioned in that thread, the obvious Buntnip never quite panned out. And it probably sounds like a nightmare to introverts; I can't say it didn't kill my battery some days, because it did. Dirk finally showed up, though, and the OKCupid algorithm didn't put us together, either. He emailed me, he seemed nice, he hadn't killed anyone according to Google, and I was like, fine, that's a cute shirt so fuck it, and I really believe part of the reason it worked is that I didn't leave myself enough time to overthink and pick at things and assign too much weight to any one dude, to the exclusion of other dudes. I could just hang out with him. Also, he is rad, which helps. Heh.
The other thing, though, is that, like you, I would stare off into space and push guys around on a mental table like puzzle pieces — unkempt cuticles, loves baseball, has a teenager, hates shrimp, on and on. I overthink into the sixth dimension, and it's tiresome (to me most of all), but it's who I am. I get excited about things, don't think projects through, despise grey areas. And The Guy is going to think that's kind of cute, or intriguing, or know that you're holding it back and not mind, or when you burst out "SO DO YOU LIKE ME LIKE ME OR WHAT" he'll be as relieved as you are because he does like you like you. I put my number in Dirk's phone, and informed him that we would be having a second date, and when, and that it would not be Thai food, because I liked him as much as I like having a plan, which is a lot, and if he was a guy who needed a gal to pretend she enjoys 16 rounds of "whatever you want to do," that was his time to tag out, because no. I know it makes you feel like a clingy weirdo, but you aren't, I'm sure, so it's not something you "need" to control, except for your own peace of mind. I mean, maybe don't leaf through a bridal magazine on a coffee date, but you know that.
Dating is not anyone's "strong suit," trust me. It's a bunch of arbitrary steps and rules — apparently? Something with wearing red near your face? I don't know. I don't think it's something you do correctly or incorrectly, in any case, and I encourage you not to think of it like that — it's a tool to let you meet people you might love. Put it to work for you, on high.
Tags: boys (and girls)