Convinced that the only way I can have a social life as a 20-something is if I date. Fuck.Yet, as my friend put it: “Dating is an easy solution to finding someone to have a beer with but more than one date is the hard part.”
As someone who used to be (and still can be at times) really quiet and shy and nervous around new people, dating has given me people skills like you would not believe. I complain about it a lot, but ultimately the good outweighs the bad. Especially when the good is really really great. It’s given me skills in small talk, maintaining eye contact to create a connection with people, and being generally charming with smiling, joking, and laughing —> all of which I use extensively in my professional, academic, and personal pursuits.
Moving to a new city, dating has also allowed me to explore and have unique experiences that continue to surprise my classmates who have lived here for years. Like being invited to a secret outdoor concert held in a neighborhood forest. We laid on the grass next to a creek, watching these bands play acoustically by candlelight. One time I went on a picnic date to see an outdoor showing of Psycho that was projected onto the wall of a historic hotel’s grassy courtyard. He showed up at my house with a cooler stocked with craft beer and homemade brownies. So cute. The last guy I dated taught me how to rock climb and I’m going to pursue it on my own since we broke up.
i went on like 3 dates with this dude and on the third one i told him that i just wanted to be friends and he was cool with that and still continued to contact me to hang out, including asking me to be his plus one to the austin music awards next week.
he texted me again on friday and we just made plans to go to this cat meme contest tonight. Even though it is raining and cold and I woke up grumpy from my nap, I got up and ate and started to get dressed because how often can you go to something called “#kittencamp” ??
He just called saying that he’s being lame tonight and is going to unpack his boxes from his recent move instead…at first he said he was not feeling very social and when i asked if he was okay, he blamed it next on the weather. he offered to still get dinner but the whole excuses thing sounds sketchy to me so i said that’s cool if we just cancel/postpone the whole thing and he jumped at it.
he just called me five minutes later offering to meet up tomorrow morning for yoga even though when we were discussing plans yesterday, he claimed he had a music lesson he had to teach…that suddenly got canceled. sketchy dude. sketchy.
today we did partner yoga and the instructor had us in a little shoulder massage train, which she called “instant karma”
rock climbing, friend, pizza = good day
He walked up to the bar and wedged his way in between my stool and his friend who was standing behind me. He starts touching the tiled bar counter, moving his hand back and forth, commenting on the texture and how good it felt. Glancing at me, but not making eye contact, he observes “it’s nice on the backside too” as his hand slips under the counter to feel the bottom underneath.
You’re not even sure that you’re crazy about this guy. You’re just trying to WIN HIM, like a big ugly cheap toy at the state fair. You won’t know if you really do like him a ton until HE’S IN IT COMPLETELY. If you keep playing along with his “pal” routine, you might trick yourself into thinking that you’re in love with him, simply because he’s half-assed and therefore slightly mysterious. The last thing you want in your life is to get hung up on someone simply because he’s apathetic towards you. What’s nuts is that it’s sometimes easier to feel feelings for a guy who’s WRONG for you and essentially uninterested and unavailable than it is to fall for someone who’s totally and completely in your life, present, willing, interested, invested, etc.
Because That Girl is a shining beacon to the rest of us. That Girl doesn’t play along and call herself whatever some dude is calling her, whether it’s “pal” or “that chick I’m sleeping with” or “her, over there.” That Girl doesn’t sit through drifty, disconnected conversations with men who can’t show up. That Girl doesn’t care if you think she’s attractive or appropriate or easy to be around or not. She’s not caught up in some dude’s love affair—with himself, with his stuff, with his fantasy of how easy and sexy and mysterious True Love will be when he finally finds it, just like a porn flick starring him with a soundtrack by The Shins. That Girl is willing to risk his disapproval for the sake of her own happiness.
The Prophecy by Larissa Pham
but lately I’ve been getting more messages and dates from guys who have made changes in their life recently to be more outdoorsy, healthy, and mindful. While those are all qualities I would value in a partner and I’m flattered that they see something in me that they think furthers that… they also concern me that they’re not really who the person is, at the core. It’s who they are trying to be. I think that’s admirable….but I don’t know if it’s someone with whom I want to trust and be intimate.