Greetings, faithful readers.
Mitch had a first date this past week. Being that I work from home most of my dating prospects are from internet dating sites. She seemed nice enough, well written profile, decent messaging skills, good profile picture. We chatted for a week online before we set up a coffee first date. Seriously, never do a dinner and a show first date because if the date is terrible you are on the hook financially for feeding and entertaining someone for 3-4 hours you don’t want to be around. Learned that one the hard way.
The day of the first date had arrived. A friend of mine asked me if I was excited at all. “Nope,” I replied, “I’ve been on too many dates this past year. At this point, in the dating game, I just hope when they show up they aren’t grossly obese.” It’s kind of amazing how quickly the whole “novelty” factor of dating post divorce has worn off. So I did my usual pre-date prep: haircut, shave, refill contact lens prescription, and iron a nice shirt.
For the sake of brevity let’s sum up what instantly killed the date. She shows up in sweatpants, hoodie and no makeup. Then it occurred to me she did look like her profile picture but she wasn’t accurate with her profile picture. Now that I met her in person I realized her picture was a professionally taken photo, professionally touched up, taken from her good angle, and her hair and makeup done professionally.
We finished the date, a friendly coffee, but I did most of the heavy lifting conversation wise. I probably should have walked out but I still struggle with not wanting to hurt anyone’s feeling in the dating game. We did have some interests in common so it wasn’t a total loss, and it was nice to get out for adult conversation mid week. But there was just no spark, I didn’t feel it, and the sweatpants thing killed it for me even before we started. Unfortunately, with the hug I got at the end of the date, you know the, “this was a good date ask me out again” hug women do? I sensed that she thought the date went a hell of a lot better than I did.
I’ve been in a slump since the ‘MEH’ date. The irony is I’ve started wearing sweatpants a lot more since then, with a “fuck it” attitude and a few more empty wine bottles in my recycling than usual. For me, it wasn’t this particular date per se, it’s been a string of lacklustre dates, and mediocre relationships this past year. It feels like a cumulative dating hangover has finally caught up with me. There’s been a lot of self loathing these past few days, a general malaise, and just feeling like why am I even doing this dating shit vibe?
Things haven’t been that bad dating wise all things considered but a string of mediocrity gets to a fella after a while. I would almost rather have a polarizing “ Oh, my god I need to kiss her right now” good first date or a “Oh my god I need to fake an aneurysm and get out of here right now” bad date, just to feel something other than pedestrian dating apathy.
So I took a weekend of me time to regroup and recenter. One night after too much wine in my sweatpants laying in my bed permeating with self loathing, I consulted Google for advice. Wine and Google, normally no good comes from this, usually its just means Youtube hair metal videos and German pornography. Not this time. I searched dating burnout. Every article I read described me to a tee.
–Tired of logging on and coming up empty handed- Check! This wine is good, damn.
-All the profiles start to look the same-Check! Half gone, already? Knew I should have got two bottles.
-Too many first dates-Check! Where did I hide that emergency pack of Marlboros?
-Dating seems like work not fun-Check! Wine, you complete me.
-Going through the motions on a first date-Check! Drinking in my bed in sweatpants…Oh God, what have I become?
One article I read had a great idea I jumped right onto. A vacation from dating. I don’t like the term “break” it sounds too hard, and finite. Yet a vacation from dating, sounds like a nice break from the dating world. Now, I want to do this right. I have a bad habit of saying I’m taking a break from dating and three days later I’m back at it. I’m not completely blameless for the burnout as you see. I can’t make the dating vacation too long or it will be vague for me and I’ll quit. Lets start small. Seven days. I can manage that to start. If it goes well I’ll go for another.
To keep me on track, I enlisted the help of my sister and my friend and “volun-told” (volunteer+told) them I need their support so I don’t quit and get back at it in three days as I tend to do.
So how did dating vacation day one go?
-I deactivated my dating profiles on the dating sites I was on. Immediate sense of relief.
-I chose to NOT work out today and not feel guilty about it. 95% of why I work out is because I’m in the dating game I want to bait the hook for the ladies. One day off won’t kill me. Sedentary lifestyle empowerment for a day.
-Still wearing sweatpants, not shaving, no contacts put in, and not a fuck was given that day about my appearance and I feel pretty damn good about it
-I watched Rocky 3. It spoke to my soul.
-I started my day with a calorie laden peanut butter banana sandwich and I’ll end my day with a calorie laden peanut butter banana sandwich god damn it.
One day down, six to go.