It definitely won’t have escaped your attentions if you follow me on twitter, or even if you just read this blog that over the last few months I’ve been on a one-woman mission to properly get myself in the dating world. At the end of last year I came to a realisation – up until then, not only had I not been properly looking, in fact every signal I’d ever given had been ones of ‘really, properly just piss off. I’m hatin on men and all that.’ Even though it was just simply a default mechanism of some sort – a veneer of ice queen bitchiness to keep my heart safe.
So with this new-found realisation in my hand, I dipped my toe into online dating, albeit it gently. Now, you’ll know that date went disastrously, and I somewhat decided to focus on sorting out other areas of my life, such as career and whatnot. I was maintaining a ‘it’ll come when it does, and maybe if I don’t pay attention, dates will land in my lap’. A tactic taken many a time and probably not much better than the ‘just make all the boyfolk go away’ one.
Anyhoot, a little while back the awesome Bethany started seeing the gorgeous Swede, and learning that said divine speciem of man-ness came was found via OKCupid, it made me curious to know exactly what this site was – was it like some sort of man factory where all the good ones were kept?
I found it to be a little bit different to most sites I’d tried before – mainly in that messaging was entirely free. Not to mention I kind of preferred the way their profiles were set up, mostly because it gave me lots of room to pontificate. Oh, and the questions you answer so you can be matched, so addictive people!
Now, I’m not the sort of girl who goes about sitting and waiting for men to approach her on such sites, oh no. So I got busy profile perusing and messaging and whatnot. I’d not say I was deluged with messages from the manly people, but it was enough attention of the sort I’m not used to for me to go ‘oooh, I quite like this site!’
So, then became the rollercoaster of ‘oh, that guy’s messaging me – hurrah!’ ‘oh, he’s dropped off the radar – boo hiss’. I have to admit I still felt like I wasn’t really getting anywhere – do you know what I mean, people? When you’re chatting with guys (or girls depending on your sex/persuasion) and it just feels like it’s not really going anywhere, or at least not in the direction you’d like? (there’s one bloke that I’m sure is just after a bit of online naughtiness, although I stop him firmly in his tracks when he makes sexual references (Sara, you’re a prude))
But all the way along this journey, there was one guy whom I was having a reasonably lengthy messaging back and forth conversation with….and it felt as easy as talking to friends, that usual pressure I normally feel, that hyper awareness that this is a *boy* I’m talking to and its all in a view to *dating* just didn’t seem to be there. I think because of this, at first I was taking all the others (most of whom have now stopped) messaging me saying overwhelmingly flattering compliments and such stuff more to heart than the guy that seemed to want to have a friendly chat.
But as I’ve said, they mostly fell by the wayside, but even before they did – well I was slowly realising how easy this guy was to chat to, and how lovely he seemed. That actually, isn’t that what I protested I wanted many a moon ago? That I just wanted someone nice whom liked me a bit and I liked them? That I didn’t want someone who would say all the right things, but actually proper turn out to be a bit of a sleaze? Yes, yes I did.
Now, I don’t know about you but for me I’ve a three-step process when online dating – start off contacting through the site, move onto some form of online instant messaging/email thing, and then sort of soonish meet in real life for one of those date thingamijigs. Especially given that I’d tried missing out the middle step on a few guys and they were all ‘yeah, lets keep chatting for a while more’. So when the lovely guy by-passed my attempts to carry out step two and headed straight onto step three, well I was astonished. Just to put it into perspective, the two blokes I’ve ‘dated’ (and I use that term loosely) both wanted to chat for almost forever before agreeing to meet in real life.
So, on Monday, he gave me a call to arrange said date. And I have to admit it was the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever done in my whole life. A *man* rang me. I mean actually spoke to me on the telephone. Egads. It was a bit awkward, I think nerves on both sides, not to mention the connection was terrible – either that or I really am as deaf as people say I am!
Henceforth – a day and time was agreed for this date, which oh look would you have it, happens to have been last night. I’d gone over to his neck of the woods, which is about ten minutes or so the other side of the city centre (and oddly, a suburb of Nottingham which I’m overly familiar with and have lots of connections historically to). As an aside, Thursday night is student night in my hometown, hence me choosing against the option of meeting in the city centre!
I got to the cafe-bar ( which is Copper, should you be nosy enough to want to know where it all went on!) we were meeting at literally moments before he did, and had literally just sat down when he walked in. Dear Reader, how I inwardly swooned. Now, if you’ve been paying attention all these months, I’ve a type. And that type is tall, dark and geeky, usually a bit unconventionally attractive. I really did think though that what I was looking for either a) didn’t actually exist and I was being far too picky or b) did exist but was entirely out of my league. I’d really begun to think I needed to compromise, to find a way to achieve that dream of finally being able to say ‘oh, yes, I’m seeing someone’ that could actually be achieved. I don’t know about you, but at the age of nearly 30, I really am pretty tired of going to family parties and being pitied. Of not being invited to stuff because as a person on my own I’m not enough (basically something coupley).
Anyway, he proceeded to stop towering over me in a way that was probably just normal but had me imaging him in 19th century garb and took a seat. I slightly regret the ordering a drink first – I went with alcoholic beverage, mostly because I had a feeling I needed to try to relax a little….I get nervy when meeting new people in any situation, and add on top of that I’m sat opposite a guy that I’m really having to restrain myself to not seem over-keen to, well booze was needed! However, he went with a coffee – one of the many things I’m trying to unravel, maybe he’s not a drinker or something, but that definitely threw me!
However, once drinks arrived we then proceeded to talk for three and half hours. I’m still slightly worried that I babbled and rambled and waffled and really over shared. (not my deepest and darkest secrets or owt, but probably stuff that really isn’t considered first date conversation – but then I’m the sort of girl who is honest to an extent, and I set out to be myself and I really was!). And you know what? It didn’t feel awkward, well not beyond the way a first date is. Of course there were moments of silence, that’s to be expected, but overall I like to think that we got on…there was laughter, which to me is a first date rarity. I mean, I’ve laughed before, just not more than a mere chuckle. And I was proper giggling at one point, folks.
However, it was the end of the date that has me somewhat puzzled. Mainly because I’m definitely a overthinker and I also think that I’m trying to steel myself for never hearing from him again. I’ve had many, many crushes and passing fancies in my life, hell, I get them all the time, mostly misguided. However, if I was truly and completely honest with myself, I’ve only ever properly deeply and truly fancied about three people in my whole life. One of them only showed interest up to a point and another never did at all. So, this is new territory for me folks. To fancy someone who might vaguely fancy me back – well it’s almost too much to handle. I’m trying to remain optimistic and ignore the part of my brain that wants to put doubt in there, because the thought that I could have somehow screwed it up for myself….well, like I said, it’s too much to bare.
Anyway, towards the end, there were a few moments of awkwardness/confusion – firstly the moment where I said yes to getting the bill and he said ‘we’re fine’ to the waitress at the same moment and then sent her away (I think the fact we’d only had two drinks in all that time was why the waitress came over at all!). Then there was the moment when we’d agreed to actually get the bill and head home, and he mentioned a second date, even said that I didn’t have to say yes if I didn’t really want to (did I come across as not fussed somehow? Because I really did have to stop myself going ‘yes! lets decide when right this second!); but then was really vague to how he’d be getting in touch, never mind when he would be. And lastly, I ended up walking to a further away bus stop just to kill some time and increase my chances of getting one quicker and it happened that he was going in the same direction. However, I still had ten minutes to wait when I got there and I’m sad to report despite the obvious locale for such shenanigans, he did not try to kiss me. Maybe a good thing, I’d probably have known no restraint but still – isn’t a guy supposed to try to kiss a girl on a first date if they fancy them? Yeah, I know there’s a much more logical explanation that he was just being a gentleman, and yes I do remember that I’ve said that’s what I’m looking for. I suppose I’ve probably read far, far too many of those ‘what to do on a date/what a good date looks/feels like’ articles for my own good.
So, now all I can do is wait. For the phone to ring/buzz with a text message/message pop into my OKC inbox (oh, how frustratingly vague blokes can be….either that or I maaaay have not heard the words that came after ‘so, let’s do this again, maybe?’ post my own answer). And my lovely followers, I’m not a patient girl. At all. Not even a little bit. I really truly wish I could be nonchalant and just get on with things, but in my head I’m all ‘has he contacted me? nope, not yet – le sigh.’ Although just simply having a date that felt like it went well has done a fair amount of good to the old ego and mood in general. In fact I think I annoyed/scared the hell out of co-workers today as I was actually whistling at one point. I was in a ridiculously good mood, and that’s really rare for me, so hence them probably be a bit like ‘wth, has Sara had a brain/personality transplant?’
The bottom line, which is what I’m trying to focus on is the fact that no matter what, I’ve finally been able to go on a date and it not feel like a flop from my own emotional perspective. I’m going to make a sweeping statement now but I really, really mean it – that one guy that people who have known me for a long/little time know who I mean and I’ve used as a reason for not moving forward for far too many years and even post that secretly harboured a portion of my heart for – he’s been well and truly vanquished from it. For a while, its been like I’ve slowly been cleansing my brain of that notion there ever was something for me to hold onto – the fact I’d properly immersed myself in dating was sign enough that I’d woken up to the fact it was most likely just an over-enthusiastic crush on my behalf. But last night, even if it doesn’t produce anything else going forward, it was successful in that I felt like anything I’d ever felt before was most certainly in the past. That right now my present and my futures are only filled with the potential experiences and feelings I will have to look forward to.
How this story will end I’ve no clue, but I really am hoping that there will be at least another chapter or two to it.
p.s there’s no clothes, but I really did look fabulous people. I’ll recreate the outfit for you all at some point, but basically, I was in too much of a rush to take pics before I went out and then far too pre-occupied to take pics in the loo with my phone at any point!