I’m thirty-six and I never learned how to date.
Back in high school when first dates were innocent and slow I assumed I was too ugly to attract a woman. (insert reader sob here. Wait… Did you actually sob? If not, go back and re-read. I want sobbing, dammit!) I did go on one date, but that was it. Other than a random kissing session, that was all I had.
Most of college went the same way until I went out with my first real girlfriend, Lisa. She and I clicked right away and started a relationship. It ended when I graduated a few months later. Then I was in St. Louis for a year not doing much of anything. I simply didn’t know anyone. After that I went to work for the beer company and traveled 100% for two years. The longest relationship I had was a week in Buffalo. That’s it.
Then I got off the road and went nuts for a few years in my twenties. I met a ballerina later on and dated her for several years. But she lived in a different state, so I never saw her. After that I basically met my wife and got married a few years later. After the divorce I dated a reader of the blog, interestingly enough, but that just ended a few months back. More or less, that’s my dating history.
Now that I’m single again I’m actually going to be dating for real for the first time in my life.
Here’s an important distinction I just learned – you shouldn’t always go for the heavy makeout on the first date.
I had no idea that wasn’t appropriate. I don’t think I’ve ever had a first date where that didn’t happen. I just assumed that was how you determined if the date was going well. If you got the makeout it means she likes you. This is the level of my dating maturity. So, I’ve always gone for the makeout. And, I’ll tell you, it can make someone really uncomfortable. Ha. I swear on the Bible I just assumed every date should end with a heavy kissing session.
By the way, can we bring back the phrase “necking”? I’m not 100% sure what it means, but is sure sounds awesome.
Well, just recently I ruined an opportunity for a second date for this very reason.
I went in for the kiss. I went in hard. She initially pulled away (I was very persistant). Eventually she relented and kissed back. We did a standard five-minute makeout. I thought the rest of the date went great. The next day she IMd me and said that while she had a fun time she now only wants to pursue a friendship as she was uncomfortable with how forward the first date became. She was right to think this. She didn’t really want to kiss me. I took this initially as rejection. Actually, it wasn’t. She has continued to build a relationship with me and I believe she’ll be a good friend.
When I met with my therapist this week I knew it was time to sort out my need to get quick physical approval from a woman. The reality is I just didn’t have any experience otherwise. She reminded me that seduction is to build naturally and can’t be forced. It’s also not the acid test to determine is the date is going well. Lastly, just because I’m horny doesn’t mean I need to act on it. When I started to mention that I felt the urge to kiss women on dates, she held her hand up to stop me and just said, “Resist.”
I need to remember that dating is an interview. You’re both learning about each other and determining if the position fits.
Get it?! Ugh – that was terrible.
While a first date could lead to everything including sex or nothing physical the most important piece is that you spend time trying to connect.
Now that I’m removed the sexual side of a first date the pressure is way off. I don’t have to worry about when to make a move. I don’t have to serve pie for dessert and then right before she takes the first bite, just as the fork is going up to her lips, I grab the utensil gently and remove it from her hands. I place it back on the saucer, move the pie to the coffee table and set it down. Then I attack her mouth with the fury of a thousand Roman Gods.
I’m obviously kidding, as I’ve never successfully pulled off that move. It would go down in the books at the greatest first date kiss of all time.