Monday, October 22, 2012

Great dates

I've been thinking a lot lately about my current dating situation. I have friends who meet guys quickly, and have a different date every weekend (it seems). Attractive guys, too - the sort with their act together, who really seem like they might have potential.

I'm not in that place right now. Truth be told, I never really have been. Even in the past when I had a bunch of dates close together (even on the same day), my dates weren't always guys with their stuff together. I seem to attract guys who present normal - and then I find out later that they really have more than a couple issues.

But regardless if your situation is like mine, or like my friends', one thing seems to be true for every woman I know who is dating with the intent of finding a relationship:
Dating is seriously like a job, and every first date is like a first-round job interview. If you make it past coffee/drinks, you hope you called back for a dinner.
Dating is a constant struggle between being completely honest about who you are, and highlighting your strengths to make the best impression possible. Is your outfit OK? Do you look too fat - or too skinny? What about your hair? Are you going to the right place? Do you have something in your teeth? Did anyone notice you trip? Do you have enough hobbies to make yourself interesting, but not so many that you don't have time to date? Did you come on too strong? Should you have let him kiss you? Should you have kissed him?

Why do we do that to ourselves? Why does it have to be about doing something wrong? So what if all this guy amounts to is one date? Maybe that's all it was meant to be. Maybe we should stop wondering what to say and do to make sure that we get to the second date, and concentrate on enjoying the date we're on. Maybe there are some people out there who are only meant to be one really great date. Maybe there are times in our lives when all we're meant to have is a series of good first dates.

What's wrong with enjoying that time in your life? If you want a committed  long-term relationship, and you're open to finding one - I believe you will. I think you get back what you put out. Does that mean maybe you shouldn't change things? Of course not. Dating is as much about learning who you are as it is about meeting new people.

If dating sites aren't working, then switch it up. If meeting people at the bar or the bookstore or the club isn't working - try a new place. If you want to meet more people, you may have to relax on your "must-haves" - at least your first-date criteria. If you find you get caught in a rut with the wrong people, then limit yourself to three dates, and if it's not working - cut 'em loose.

Don't be afraid to learn, or grow, or change. Being the best you puts you in the best position to meet the right person.

In the meantime - enjoy the great dates. Soon enough, you won't get to look forward to first-dates anymore.

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