A LOT of First Dates

IF MY ESTIMATE is close to correct, I’ve had nearly 30 individual, first dates since May, 2017. I’m not keeping a log or anything, but someone asked me recently how many women I’ve met since the last longer-term girlfriend broke up with me in April, 2017 and after thinking about it I ended up with somewhere between 25 and 30. Now a couple of those did go to second and third dates, and two of those did evolve to lets-both-get-off-the-dating-apps-and-be-exclusive status. But all told, there’s been nearly 30 women I’ve met thru the various dating apps – OK Cupid, Match.com, Bumble and Tinder – this past year.

Though frustrating at times, I’m really not complaining. Everyone was very nice, and each, I could tell, would make a great girlfriend, for someone. So what was missing? Several women I felt I just didn’t have enough in common with. More than a few were just…”meh,” personality-wise, and they probably felt the same way about me. Multiple women I just wasn’t physically attracted to. One ghosted me completely after two really great dates, yet I didn’t care. Another I really liked a lot, went on a couple of dates, but decided she didn’t have room in her life for a relationship. More than one date occurred when I definitely wasn’t over someone else. More than one just wasn’t a good kisser, and that’s pretty important. One woman I saw every other week for nearly two months; we’d go out, make out a lot, then we wouldn’t connect for nearly two weeks. A couple of women remain a mystery to me as to why I just didn’t feel that “spark” because ostensibly all the boxes were checked – attractive, funny, interesting. I’ve wondered more than once about those women, that perhaps I should have given it some more time.

It’s not about the number of women, though at times I’ve been a bit concerned: can I still feel that way, am I still able to feel that spark? Will I get that visceral, can’t-wait-until-our-next-date-but-don’t-come-across-too-eager buzz again? Some days I’m not sure if I can answer that question. Other days, I feel enthusiastic about it all.

Above everything else, I’ve learned a lot – about dating, people, and most importantly, about myself.

Just getting to a first date can be a lot of work. Going through all the profiles and the amount of swiping! I might sprain my thumbs from swiping left so much…sometimes there’s just not a lot of women that I might be attracted to. Often, the profiles are lacking in details, outside of generalities like “I live life to the fullest” or a love for the outdoors. You need something to go on, besides the app’s algorithms that say you’re a match for each other. Of course, with Twitter and Bumble, sometimes there is literally nothing listed but a location and how many miles away that person is. Many times the profiles can be downright funny – and not always in a good way. I wonder if women have the same issues with guy’s profiles? I bet they do. And don’t get me started on photos – they can often be hysterical, and there’s a number of omnipresent online dating photo fails. It seems that even with a lot of  potential matches in your geographic area the choices can be limited

Someone I once went on a couple of cool dates with (and has since remained a great friend) remarked that dating was like “going on a series of interviews for a position I don’t think I want anymore.” Well, I still want that position, but she’s right: it feels like setting up a series of job interviews. The emailing/texting within the dating apps can be a pain in the ass – and I like to write! Perhaps the messaging should be more like job application cover letters. And you never know if what you think reads as funny or sarcastic won’t be taken the way you intended. Plus, it’s tough to figure out how much you should message before you actually ask to meet; I’m not in a rush, but I don’t have a lot of time, either. Let’s meet soon and get it out of the way! Scheduling something isn’t easy, however: between family, friends, responsibilities, other first dates, many women don’t have a lot of time. Or at least as much time as I often have.

Yet, while the will to find someone sometimes flags – hell, in the time I started to when I finished writing this post I went from resignation and tired (“I’m not going to find anyone” and “this is exhausting”) to hopeful and enthusiastic (“I’ve fallen in love before, I’m sure I’ll meet someone” and “Whoa! I really hope she swipes right!”) – the desire to find someone doesn’t. I still want to be with someone (I don’t need to be with someone, which took some work to get to this point). I want to make a particular kind of fun with a woman. I want to create that cool, exclusive club with someone. Maybe 30 or more women isn’t enough when you’re committed to finding the right person. Or perhaps this weekend number 27 will be where the counting stops…

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