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Go Go Gadget, Date!

Screen shot 2013-06-30 at 1.13.24 PMAlicia here. Dating in California did not feel “cool” despite the crisp, wintery air that almost made wearing a pea coat a reasonable decision. In fact, dating felt like an gently inclined battle, where determining whether men were interested in me or merely in the yarns I’d spin about having traveled and dated. I learned this the hard way, while in the middle of a date with a fine-chap from How About We.

Though busy with work, he took a break to meet for a Belgian beer on a Sunday evening. He’d been reasonably charming over email, seemed to have a good head on his shoulders, had an interest in running but held a corporate job in the ‘burbs. His best quality of course was that he’d asked me out, expressly noting he’d “love to hear about the cross country dating adventure!” I got there first, he got their next, we ordered beers, paid separately, sat down and…

Whoa. Not only was I a bit at a loss for words (crikey, seriously?) but he didn’t seem to be a conversation driver. As two passengers does not a conversation make, I defaulted to small talk and the one mutual topic I knew we’d be able to chat on about: running. Except, everything that fell out of my mouth came out like a brag rather than a comment that complemented the discussion, stopping each thread of hope for dialogue in its tracks. Every question I asked seemed leading to the next thing I planned to say. I tried turning the focus on him, but he did not seem interested in the art of self-talk. Finally, I segued into fumbling for notes from the road trip as that had been a selling point. He perked up, listened to the anecdotes , asked no questions, and once his beer was finished said he had to get back to work. A handshake and lackluster, “Maybe I’ll see you again sometime,” later, he was back in his car and I was feeling a tad bad that he’d had to drive 25 minutes and through a tunnel to meet me.

Wow. Two weeks out of the dating scene and I was a bit of a first date wreck. The instant mental aftermath of such a weird date brought along two thoughts:
1) Even though I no longer wanted to date my ex, I still kind of wished my homecoming had brought along with it him saying he’d been wrong because this dating stuff felt hard. And,

2) I was really glad to have learned not to take someone not liking me too personally. Despite my date’s disinterest and our complete lack of chemistry, I knew it was the combination of us and not me or him. I still felt like a reasonably good person afterward, and had absolutely zero desire to even consider following up with him or expecting him to follow up with me.

Which is exactly something I learned on 50/50.

 

 

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