Not jumping to conclusions
I know that my judgement has been less than stellar in the past but I really thought I was dialed in these days. I’ve learned to listen to my gut, not to twist someone’s words into something that I find attractive (or mentally block out the big warning signs) and the days of trying to be something I’m not (aka peppy and easygoing, deep and thoughtful or ‘alt’ and ohso edgy).. well thankfully those days are long behind me.
(In case you’re wondering – I’m royal blue. Loyal, steady, over energized in the summer and really attached to my 9 ft sofa).
But all that learning, introspection, confidence building and judgement honing apparently hasn’t quite been dialed in yet. I’m jumping to all kinds of conclusions lately – who to trust, who seems ‘normal’ and yes, even where there is potential for friendship or even more. I’m 0 for 4 right now – which is actually worse than it used to be.
My typical dating pattern went like this.
- Email exchanges for weeks during which time the guy had become this conversational genius, his wit finely honed and my expectations at 100,000ft.
- A first date which went one of two ways; a) you look nothing like your photos and actually I think you might be an AARP member or b) you are fine. And now I need to do is verify that you can actually verbally string a sentence together and then we’re off …
- Waking up the next morning convinced that I’d found ‘the one’ and spending the rest of the weekend mooning around, mentally conjuring up things we were going to do, remembering things he’d said and reinforcing that fantasy that was ‘him’.
- Wondering why he hadn’t called and repeatedly checking my voicemail, text messages etc to make sure that I hadn’t missed his call.
- Saying ‘fuck it’ and remembering all the ‘signs’ that I probably should have paid heed to that indicated a) he wasn’t interested b) the date wasn’t that awesome and c) the stuff which actually really annoyed me.
I blame alcohol, a heated desire to not to have to date and an over accommodating lack of self confidence.
Fast forward 5 years…
I thought all that therapy and annual run of first dates (like salmon, its typically a mad month in May) were paying off and finally, finally I was going to be able to have a better understanding of the opposite sex, know how to say ‘no’ with more confidence, and not prostrate myself at the feet of every man with a cute smile and a Moscow Mule. I would sign up for an online site, read profiles, chat with a few, talk on the phone with even less and make the first date, fairly confident in at least a fun evening. No expectations.
The reality. Well it seems to be still out of whack. To date – 1 month into Match.com – I’ve been 100% wrong about every guy I’ve met. Literally 100% wrong. The guy who nodded and smiled, asked me questions about myself and seemed really nice… by second date, clearly a nutter. The dude whose eyes twinkled at me and we bonded over a love of Wilco.. thought I was all kinds of strange. The British guy who I thought ‘ definite friend in the making’ .. apparently fell off the planet. And now the guy who I wrote off as ‘holy-shit-my-ex-incarnate-run-run-away’ … second meeting (it was definitively articulated as not a date).. kind of, sort of, really nice. Someone I actually could spend time with (and did), and so now I’m really questioning my judgement. He is really cute (I guess our first date was super dark, I couldn’t really see), and he was just easy to hang out with. I had a lot of fun. Which I think is what its meant to be about? Problem is I already told him its not in the cards. Drat.
Maybe I need to stop with the therapy. Employe a pre-screener. Or stop jumping to conclusions so damn fast. What I thought was increased ability to say ‘no thanks’ is actually intolerance and I’ve gone too far to the right in the ‘see something that isn’t to my liking …walk away’. (and my favorite, ‘see something you like.. want it with a passion known only to the insane’)
Or maybe I just need to lower my expectations of what a date is.. nothing more than a sit down chance meeting. On which you can base really.. nothing. You don’t know someone after 2 hours and reading into every sentence, every conversational thread, even the throwaway comments… well jumping to the worst conclusion, its just as bad as assuming the best.
I certainly wouldn’t have predicted such as fun time with someone who I thought ‘not a hells chance’ and even if I just found a new friend, hey, its better than ploughing through first dates thinking I’m never going to meet anyone who I even like who likes me back.
So today I’m going to lobby that they change the name from match.com to meetpeople.com. It might help ease the expectations around that first date and really, that’s all it is.
I just wish I’d realized this sooner, I could have saved a LOT of money on therapy.