When I fret about being single, someone should remind me that sometimes I am so ridiculous that there is no earthly reason why the guy would ask me out again. I truly have no idea sometimes.
Because at the start of a recent date, the guy said he had been looking forward to our date, and then asked if I had been.
And I said, very truthfully but before weighing a gentler response, “Oh, I never look forward to early dates, until I have some idea of which way things might go. Too risky."
He delved a little further, only to have me explain that the people that I connect to quickly and intensely are invariably damaged, like, childhood damaged, and ultimately unhealthy to be in a relationship with. And so generally I approach dates with a fairly casual attitude, because either I’m going to be bored, or I’m going to be really engaged but wonder what’s wrong with you.
He then said that he had a totally normal upbringing, and so odds are I won’t like him.
I replied, “But you’re fairly intense. You could still have something lurking in your past.” Which I firmly believe.
He defended his normalcy and I didn’t try to put any crazy on him. But you just never know.
We then chatted a bit about men that I’ve historically been head over heels over. And the fact that they tend to be incredibly successful, catch-your-breath intelligent. . .and massively anger-driven. Anger is what gets them up at 5 am and keeps them working till 11 pm. Over and over, these are the men I date.
“Are your female friends like this?”
“Oh, god no! I pick women I really like!”
So you can imagine when he asked me if I’d like a second glass of wine and I said that the danger was that I would lose my filter, he was really curious as to what might come out.
The conversation we ended up in, or rather, one conversation we ended up in, is how I am different from most women on dates. This was because I said “That doesn’t mean I’m not trying to impress you. Of course I’m trying to impress you.”
And he said, “Actually, and I don’t mean this rudely, but I’d say you’re not trying to impress me at all.”
“What do you mean? I’m wearing a cute dress. These boots are really cool. I put on makeup for you!”
Looks aside, he said, I wasn’t doing any of the things women typically do on dates when they’re trying to impress the guy.
“Such as being agreeable. Women,” he said, “tend to be very agreeable on dates. They keep things light. They nod, agree, say how interesting whatever I’ve said is. You, however, are not at all like that.”
Oh. Right. Except that I’ve been interested in what he’s said. Wasn’t that apparent?
“You’re very intense, and you’re very present. You’re clearly listening and engaged, and you give thoughtful responses. But if you don’t agree, you narrow your eyes and say, ‘Hmm. I’ll have to think about that.’ Or you disagree.”
Well, yeah, that’s true. Why the hell would you agree with stuff just to agree?
“And most women will take something I’ve said and then demonstrate their own interest in it. Like saying, ‘Oh, sailing! I’ve always wanted to try that!’ Whereas you’ve said nothing of the sort. And in fact, don’t hesitate to tease me about things.”
Oh. Well, that’s true too.
“And you’re not going out of your way to tell me about something really important that you’ve done.”
“I can’t think of anything important that I’ve done. I wonder if I’ve ever done anything important?”
“See? Exactly. You’re not trying to impress me. You might even be making fun of me. As far as I can tell, you’re just being totally yourself.”
Well, yeah again. Nobody ever told me I was supposed to be all agreeable and important and stuff.
I ran all of this by Bob, who totally agreed with everything the guy said. And assured me he wasn’t just trying to be agreeable. He said women on dates tend to keep things light, and definitely agree with the guy.
Is this universally true? It's hard to imagine.
Bob also said that this guy seemed to have very reasonable responses to the crazier things I put out there. Which, according to him, is a hopeful sign.
I had to agree.