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The First Date Dance

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After healing from a broken engagement eight years ago, I decided to hop on the dating train.  JDate was my first stop.  I’ve been on more first dates than I can count.  There have also been plenty of second and third dates, as well as many mini-relationships.  But for the purpose of this article, we’ll stick with the “oh-so-exciting” first date.

I’m not quite sure what some first date rituals might be for men, but I would bet they are far less detailed than what us women go through.  It could begin as early as a few days prior to the date (depending on how much we may or may not be looking forward to meeting this person).  Whether it’s a nail appointment or clothes shopping, we want to look and feel our best.  The day of the date, we do all the usual girly things—hair, make-up, selecting the perfect outfit, and so on.  I recall time and time again, getting ready for a first date, staring in the mirror, putting on my make-up, thinking to myself “Please let this be my last first date.”  Well, that was my mindset when I first got back into the dating world.  I was naïve and thought I would find that magical connection quickly.  As the years went on, I got smarter, or cynical (call it what you will) and the thoughts  going through my head while applying my make-up became “Please let things go well.” or “ Let us at least like each other.”

Leaving your house to meet your date, there was always that nervous/excited/worried feeling right before your eyes met for the first time.  Will he look like his pictures?  Will he be a gentleman?  Will he like me? Will I like him?  And then you meet and you know fairly quickly if that elusive chemistry is there.  I remember sitting across the table time and time again, telling a new person all about me and hearing all about him.  There were times I really enjoyed the process and other times I couldn’t wait for the date to end.  I’ve had first dates that lasted thirty minutes and those rare ones that lasted six hours.  You name it, I’ve dated it.

In my experience, a first date usually goes one of four ways:

  • There is a mutual connection and both people can’t wait to see each other again
  • There is a one-sided connection (never a fun thing, no matter which side you’re on)
  • There is definitely NO connection and you never talk to the person again
  • Or every now and then, there is that “I’m not sure” first date.  I remember having quite a few of those.  I would leave feeling very in the middle, like “Well, he’s a nice guy and I didn’t have an awful time and he’s kinda cute.”  So, you give the “maybes” a second date and, at least in my experience, they rarely would lead anywhere.

So, let’s say you have a first date where there is a mutual connection and it seems both people are interested in seeing each other again.  I have found that if a second date is made while on the first date, chances are pretty good that it will happen.  However, what about those great first dates where you never hear from the person again?  Boy, those suck.  I remember having a few of those, where you’re just certain he will call.  I mean, how could he not?  You talked for hours, there seemed to be an attraction, you discussed future plans and the night ended with a kiss.  And then, days pass, with nothing!  I’ve spent way too much energy trying to figure those dates out.  But I learned you have to chalk it up to he or she “just wasn’t that into you.”  Maybe they were dating multiple people at once, and someone else captured their interest more than you.   Whatever the case, you just need to shrug it off and move on.

I believe dating is a numbers game.  For some people, they meet that special someone quickly.  For others, it can take a really long time.  It was the latter for me.  I came close to giving up many times.  But I’m so happy I didn’t, because my special someone has finally found me (on JDate)!  Our first date lasted many hours and it was the easiest, most comfortable date I’ve been on.  As we sat across the table, getting to know each other, I didn’t look at the clock once.  I wasn’t uninterested once.  I really did feel like I knew him for much longer than I had.  All of a sudden, all the clichés that I had been hearing for years seemed to apply to me.  Six months later, we are still together and going strong.  It may have taken hundreds of first dates to get to him, but I’m so glad I never gave up.

Robin Rosenaur is an LA native and the author of “Never Date a Guy Who…” Having been called a “professional dater” more times than she can count, she decided to write about her dating journey. You can read her latest article that was published in the LA Times here. You can also read Robin’s latest work on her blog.
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