I’m about ready to go on a first date.
Drinks at a bar in downtown Chicago. This is a woman I’ve talked with once over the phone. We met on an online dating website. I have absolutely no idea how it’s going to pan out. She may be the woman of my dreams – or a dud. Or I may be a dud in her mind while I fall madly in love.
Either way, you won’t see an update where I relay what happened.
On virtually every first date my blog comes up in conversation. There are times where I brag about it because I want to seem like a big shot. Other times they Google’d me and found it on their own. In a phone call prior to the first date it may have been discussed when asked what I do in my spare time. And in other instances it’s not broached at all.
Once I had a woman tell me, “I’m going to go home and read your blog and if I don’t like it I’ll tell you.” I found that repellent – not that she might not like it, but that she would mention that she didn’t like it. Could you imagine, “Hey Picasso – can’t wait to see your new cubist stuff. I’ll let you know if it’s a pile of shit. Oh, by the way, thanks for picking up dinner.”
I always promise never to write about the dates and that I respect the privacy of the dating experience. Good or bad, it’s just something that most people don’t want out there. I can dig it.
I’ve had enough dates to know that, for many women, the idea of dating a guy with a blog freaks them out. Some people are very private and have strict boundaries around their personal activities. Most don’t realize I have enough fodder with my own thoughts and behaviors to even think of writing about them. I’m pretty sure, however, it’s been the cause of a few canceled dates.
Many women respond positively, however, and I do get a lot of excitement surrounding my writing. And, quite frankly, I need someone who thinks keeping an online journal is a cool idea. The blog is how I express myself creatively (my art, so to speak). I’m probably not going to stop regardless of my partner’s objections.
I will, however, continue to focus on me and not other people.
It’s weird when someone reviews my blog prior to going out because they come in with preconceived notions of my life. They already know part of me – whatever they read. The challenge is that I talk about what I’m experiencing that day. If I’m having a sad night and I write about fear and loneliness, they might think I’m a depressive. Or if I’m self-congratulatory I could be viewed as a narcissist.
Some people find out about the blog and refuse to read it because they want to get to know me through our personal interactions.
It’s not that I want to write about my dating. Even though there are a few funny stories, most are just nice drinks/dinners with nice people. Not much to reveal.
I’ve been dating for about eight months and I never thought it would take this long to find someone that I connected to long-term. Many have dumped me – I’ve even dumped a few. I don’t want to go another eight months without a relationship, but I’ve learned I have very little control. It’s caused me to examine what I may be doing to choose the wrong people, or what I might do to drive them away. Or, maybe it isn’t me at all but just the natural process of dating.
Either way it’s both exciting and disappointing. That’s a sad way to end this post, and I’m not sad about it at all most of the time. It’s fun to meet new people, and I’ve created three wonderful and long-lasting friendships. I’m grateful to these women and glad to be a part of their lives.
Once I get a girlfriend I’ll probably be writing about us and attempt to find the balance between talking of my life and respecting personal boundaries. Until then I am tight-lipped about the early courtships.
Oh, and if you have any hot friends in Chicago, send ’em my way. No nutsos, please.