Thursday, January 5, 2012
I love my life. I'm a fairly content single and have been for about 6 years now. However, I don't want to shut myself off to potentially getting in a relationship - and with the barrage of drippy love stories in movies and sitcoms and eHarmony commercials, as well as well-meaning friends who at times try to convince me I'm missing out on a lot, I go through periods where I feel more inclined to participate in my least favorite activity besides having my teeth drilled.......dating.... (actually....maybe I even prefer dentist visits).
I went on a date just before Christmas. Blind date...my instincts told me not to, but in a fit of recklessness brought on by the holidays I decided to go for it. It was fine. The guy was nice, not awful looking. I didn't leave the experience horrified or scarred...by all accounts, not too bad. Which is how most of the many *cough* dates I go on are. I'm a really friendly person, I try to make people comfortable, and I'm a good conversationalist, which means when I'm on a date, usually there is sparkling conversation peppered with smiles throughout. For me, it's a coping mechanism to get through what I feel is an awkward situation. However, for the guy I'm on a date with, they usually see it as me being completely into them and it being one of the best dates ever. Yikes. But I don't know how to not be that way! It's who I am!
Then comes the tricky part that I have yet to ever hand properly....the point at the end of the date when the guy says "You're really great, Nikki! I'd love to hang out again - want to meet up?"....dum dum dum. I am terrible at this moment, because I see them all happy and excited and if there is anything I hate, it's disappointing people. I try to be noncommital, but I'm terrible at it, and every time I give the guy the impression that I do want to meet up again, and then I stress until he calls, berate myself for not liking the guy, go back and forth over whether or not I'm going to call, put it off until it would seem rude to call so many days after their call, and go down as the mean girl who never called back. BLURGH
My cousin tells me that I shouldn't stress so much - no one can fall in love on one date, they are a stranger, I don't owe them anything. But I still feel bad!
Anyone else go through similar situations? Any suggestions for how to handle this better? My approach is typically to not go on another date for 6 months because I'm so psychologically traumatized, and because I realize that I like my life way better with zero relationship drama. I gotta admit, being single sure feels like the most comfortable lifestyle for me, in a really good way!
One note - I usually get sucked into dates because friends convince me I need to be dating and that it is unhealthy for me not to be. I'm not sure that's true for me though. I do think some people are better single, and I might be one of them. You might be too. If you don't want to go on a date, don't go just because someone is trying to talk you into it. You probably won't end up going into it with the right attitude and if you are anything like me it might stress you out a lot. I think it shows a lot of effort to do other things that could help you more naturally meet people, like going to a coffeshop and not putting your headphones on and instead smiling at people when they go by or making small talk near the register, or volunteering for a beach clean up by yourself and striking up conversations with guys there, or breaking outside of your close circle of friends at a party and confidently walking over to a group of people you don't know to see if anyone is interesting. Even if you aren't actively going on dates or signing up for a million dating websites, you can still put yourself out there in a way that works for you!