Yes, I know that by giving advice in my blog to not follow internet advice, I'm basically stuck in a Catch 22, but I'm still gonna put my two cents out there:) I've come to realize over time that despite the ease of getting advice on how to do just about everything (get out wine stains, hooking up a bike rack, figuring out what movie to watch this weekend) you aren't always gonna be getting advice that is best, or at least best for you. I think the two areas to most avoid internet advice is related to medical issues (every time I look up a symptom I end up convinced I have a brain tumor) and relationships.
So, I finally started forcing myself to actually go on dates through online websites instead of just looking at them when I was sad on Friday nights so I could convince myself I did have options. I've been on 4 dates, the first three being: a boring date with a guy who immediately told me he had just gotten laid off and had prided himself in being a C student; an unsettling date with a boisterous guy who tried to kiss me completely out of the blue while we were in line for ice cream (I shrinked back in terror and must have totally offended him...he never called back...which is fine); and a date where I immediately knew we weren't a match but still listened to him tell me about how he had just lost his job and had dropped out of college. Needless to say, I was feeling a bit discouraged, however I was keeping my chin up.
I left my house yesterday afternoon with a quick prayer, "Please, God, maybe let me have fun on this date and maybe even have a second date...if it's best...you know...ok, talk to you later," and headed out to the restaurant I was meeting up with date #4. I thought happy thoughts on the way over, walked in, spotted him, he gave me a hug, we sat down, and ended up spending the next FOUR hours together....and it was great. I won't go into all the details, but it was just a really really really nice first date, where I felt we connected, it was comfortable, and we seemed to be on the same page. Ahhhhhhh, thanks God.
I had some things to take care of the rest of the day, so I went about my business, thinking of him but also trying to focus on my little errands and tasks, and I sent him a little email in the evening saying I had a nice time and giving him my phone number (we had only communicated online up til that point). He texted me about an hour later and said he had had fun. Ok, phone numbers exchanged, check, we both had fun, check. Plans for next time? No check.
I'm definitely aware of the standard 2-3 days that lots of people say guys are supposed to wait to call, and I am just now hitting 24 hours, so I don't really expect to be hearing from him yet, but I had some time to kill at work today and I started to read some dating forums and advice columns, and I went from being happy about my date success yesterday to be terrified that I had made who knows what mistakes on my first date, that I had contacted him to early, or that if he had really liked me he would have called already (I guess the 2-3 days is old news now - at least that's what the advice columns are saying). I started reading other articles about dating issues, relationship taboos.....and I got TOTALLY overwhelmed. Now I'm freaked out about things I haven't even faced yet, and I hate hate hate that every single article about dating in your 30s emphasizes my ticking biological clock. I don't want to think about that on top of everything else!
So, I went from waking up happy from having a great date yesterday, to being a ball of stress by the afternoon. Phew, I'm gonna take a walk and try to clear my head. And I am DONE reading internet relationship advice! I think playing it by ear, talking through things with friends you respect, and allowing what happens to happen is the way to go!