Most of us haven’t been lucky enough in love to have found our soulmate while we were playing in the sand box during recess in Kindergarten. How nice would it have been to cross off “Find the One” on our list of Life Goals back before we could read? No, for 99% of us, we weren’t so fortunate. We didn’t find “the one” before getting a driver’s license. We weren’t flaunting our promise ring at pep rallies.
As much as we’ve tried to fight it, most of us regular folk have had to wade through the dreaded social purgatory known as dating. Some of us have been thrown back into the dating pool more than once. As you are probably aware, the entire process of dating is a very difficult and often scary endeavor.
Meeting up with someone you hardly know? Terrifying. What if the date goes poorly right from the start? What if he shows up drunk? What if he makes a stupid joke? What if his breath stinks? Hell, what if HE stinks? What if he’s an ax murderer? There are so many valid fears that can flood the brain as you walk through the doors of the restaurant/café/zoo/bookstore to meet your date.
Nowadays, we have online dating. It’s supposed to make everything easier, but in fact it comes with its own series of perils. Getting to “know” someone online is so much different than meeting face-to-face. (“Know” is in quotations because the anonymity of the internet doesn’t really allow two people to get that close physically or emotionally. So how well can you actually get to “know” someone online? I mean, it’s all predicated on the parties being honest, and well, in this day and age, we all know how that can go.)
In some cases, having that digital distance between yourself and your suitor can be a good thing. I personally find it easier to speak my mind when I have a little time to formulate a reply to questions. My written responses have more depth to them and I represent who I am better in the written word. In person, there’s always the chance that nerves and anxiety will get the best of me and I’ll blurt out the first thing that comes into my head, and that’s not always a good thing, trust me. Such is the life of a raging introvert.
Those of you who are familiar with the online dating process know that in most cases there are only two roads to go down when you’ve identified someone you might want to get to know better. Option #1: Either you or the person you’re corresponding with loses interest after a while and—POOF—one day they’re gone. No explanation. No reasoning. Just gone. Try not to take it personally. It happens to all of us. Option #2: The dreaded meet-up. Now, this is where it gets tricky.
Everyone gets nervous before a first date, but I’ve found that the things we’re scared of are usually completely different depending on one’s gender. Men are often afraid they’ll show up and find that the woman sitting across from them looks nothing like their pictures. Yes, the chance that she might be 20 or even 30 pounds heavier than she claimed to be is usually the biggest fear that keeps many men up at night. Or so I’ve been told by the men I’ve discussed this topic with (yes, I did my research).
In fact, in what seemed like a moment of kismet, just as I was finishing up drafting this entry the other day, a member of a group I belong to on Facebook posted about the anxiety he was feeling over getting the number of a woman at work – apparently a colleague of his thought that he and this female coworker would hit it off. Well, since the colleague couldn’t describe this woman to his satisfaction (or else, he didn’t trust the description), he asked said colleague to surreptitiously take a photo of her and text it to him, you know so he could see that she didn’t resemble “large Marge,” a character from Pee -Wee’s Big Adventure. Only then would he be interested in even getting her number. I’ll leave it to ya’ll who don’t know the character to Google it.
Women, on the other hand, are mostly afraid they got suckered into a date with an ax murderer itching to use the new tools he has stashed in his trunk, and that their body will be dumped into a garbage can before the night is through.
Dating games. Aren’t they fun?
I sometimes go out for late night (after 11:00 PM) walks around the block if I’m close to the steps goal set by my watch. (If I’m way short then screw it!) Last night I happened to be walking by a house where a woman pulled into her driveway just as I got to their yard. It was VERY noticeable that she waited with the car running, lights on, until after I went past the driveway, then got out quickly, walked fast to the door, kept one hand on something in her purse, and never took her eyes off of me as I kept walking. It bothered me but I completely understand. I didn’t bother to try to say hello or anything even though we were literally only a dozen houses down the block in a really good, safe, upscale neighborhood – I didn’t want to find out the hard way if she had pepper spray or a gun in that purse.
Sadly, women have to remain vigilant at all times, oftentimes even in the supposed comforts of their own home (not sleeping with windows open, taking precautions going in and out, etc.).
I’d be afraid of her packing a handgun so she could kidnap me to take me to her house and then force me to fix everything that’s broken or needs repaired. then make me do her painting which would then be followed by the dreaded yard work. Oh yeh. a handgun in the hands of an angry woman is a powerful persuader to comply with her wishes.
It would likely serve you right! 😀 Personally, I would make you bake…
only if you agree to wear the spikey heel boots. 😉
I’m glad I’m done with that, Wendy, though I completely understand your tale having been in the pool more than once in my life. I’d think that first dates that come with recommendations from people you trust might bring at least a little more feeling of safety, if nothing else …