I don’t know if I’m an optimist or a pessimist. I know I’m not a hopeless nor hopeful romantic. You could consider me an evidence-based realist with a mild affinity toward romance. Regardless, I’d really like to write to you and say we’re not doomed. In fact, I first wrote this with a different thesis (term used loosely) – “five first dates: terrible but we’re not doomed???”
Then I changed my mind.
I’ve been on Bumble, my first dating app ever, for about six months. In about half that time, I had 10 (plus one) first dates.
No, this wasn’t an experiment—this is my life. Yes, it just happened to be a clean, round number (except for that one date and that’s on me).
I had some pretty funny and terrible experiences. I also had some fun times with great guys who, not surprisingly, did not make this list. Those who made the list are one-date-onlys.
So let me walk you through my pretty funny and terrible one-date-onlys and end with my takeaways.
Suitor #1 and I went to a farmer’s market. He wants to be an alpaca farmer in Peru. (I see the connection between his venue choice and identity aspiration now.) He lives on a farm with a family (not his) and raises chickens but works in medical sales. He has to pay for the eggs he wants from said chickens. I don’t think he wears shoes. And I’m pretty sure he moved to Mexico or somewhere. I’m confirming for the sake of this post.
Suitor #2 and I went for a long walk but he doesn’t feel a connection after meeting once. Isn’t that interesting? Connections are formed over time, Derrick.
My journal reads, “What the fuck dude.” My mind recalls, “unemployed but drives a Tesla.” Also sent me his doctor’s schedule because he was donating his kidney for fun. You can’t make this shit up.
Suitor #4 asked me one question about myself… total. And called his sister-in-law a cunt. Granted I did not register the word until several full seconds had passed. He unmatched me.
Only met Suitor #5 once but he said, “it’s like you’re inside my head.” I thought we hit it off. I got the boot.
Phew. My favorite part about writing that is although it’s incredibly specific, I bet it’s entirely relatable.
(Bonus) Suitor #6
See suitor #2, except a light dinner.
I have two takeaways. Please pretend they’re in all caps and that I’m shouting it at all people everywhere who decide to date.
STOP GHOSTING, ESPECIALLY IF YOU’VE MET. ESPECIALLY IF YOU’VE MET MULTIPLE TIMES.
Let’s be clear. Ghosting is when one person stops replying to all contact without a heads up. It takes two seconds to make up some bullshit excuse OR tell the truth! You’re not feeling it! You’re more interested in someone else! You don’t have time! It’s not a great fit! You don’t want to continue!
Also, I don’t care if you’ve done it in the past. I absolve you of all past ghosting.
QUIT BASING SECOND DATES ON A “SPARK”
A “spark” is not the criteria for date number two. Stop expecting to form a “connection” (spark) on one date. “Sparks” are few and far between. And often, too, they’re made up by both parties. If you had a fine date – with laughs, kindness, respect and conversation – why wouldn’t you try a second one?
Clearly I’m not a hopeless romantic. Nor am I a hopeful romantic. But I am an evidence-based realist with a mild affinity toward romance… and something’s gotta give.
P.S. in case we haven’t met…
you seem normal is a mental health medium run by 24-year-old communication professional (hello!) who… well, seems normal. Turns out, my roommate is mental illness. Actually more like my unborn, and non-conceived baby. Because it’s like, inside of me. This is getting weird already. Topics of focus: self-awareness (we love it), mood, anger management, perfectionism, relationships & boundaries.