Let me start out this post by saying that I am NOT a relationship expert. I'm fully single and I am not claiming to have all the answers. This is me merely sharing my opinion with the world. It's not gonna be for everyone and that's fine. Also, this opinion is one that is pretty common, but for those who don't know about it...
I was at a friend’s birthday party the other night when I caught up with a girl friend of mine. She’s in a similar boat as me-trying to not become discouraged in a frustrating Los Angeles dating scene. She asked me if I had been on any dates since my break up and I told her about the less-than-stellar date I had been on last weekend.
“Even though it wasn’t a great date, I’ve noticed I no longer feel anxious walking into these situations,” I said, “I just feel more confident in who I am. That’s come from a lot of dating and a lot of therapy.” I would be lying if I said I was looking forward to putting myself back out there. I wasn’t and I’m not. However, I don’t feel the first date jitters or dread I felt even a year ago. I worked through that and I’m proud of the growth I’ve seen in myself. I returned the question and she said she recently went out with a guy from one of those dating apps. He was good looking, had great teeth (a must), successful, and thoughtful. “Great,” I thought. She then hesitated before proceeding to tell me the phrase I dislike so much, “There just wasn’t a spark.”
Don’t get me wrong. Chemistry and attraction are important, but maybe we need to stop expecting that to happen on date one.
I asked her what her normal type is and what she’s been used to when it comes to men. I could tell she already knew where I was going with this. The men my friend’s been interested in haven’t been great. Little bit of a bad boy, keeps you wondering if they’re gonna text you back, swagger... with the exception of that last one, not really something she, I, or anyone should want in a partner.
“Sometimes that instant connection we feel with a person is because they subconsciously remind us of someone else. If you didn’t feel a spark on the first date, it doesn’t mean that it can’t come later.” This is something I have recently learned. Personally, the men that I felt a “spark” with weren’t the best for me and getting myself out of that mentality didn't happen overnight.
If you read my blog post on my last relationship, you know that it actually took me about a month or so to figure out where my feelings stood with my now-ex. The chemistry was there, but he was so different than what I was used to that it took some time for the butterflies to make their entrance. Logic and my head had to take the steering wheel for a bit until my heart caught up. The butterflies came, I just had to stop freaking out.
I’m now getting to the point of this post: the three date rule.
If the first date isn’t terrible and there aren’t red flags, go on at least three dates. What’s a red flag?
They say problematic things.
Treats the wait staff or people around them disrespectfully.
Does not respect your boundaries.
Makes inappropriate comments.
Makes you feel unsafe.
You can actually read more here. I would actually highly suggest it.
What isn’t a red flag?
“There wasn’t a spark.”
“I didn’t like their outfit.”
“They aren’t my type.”
Especially with that last one, if they aren’t your type and you’re used to dating trash- that might be a good thing.
HUMBLE BRAG! I’ve pushed two of my friends to go on at least three dates with guys they did not see themselves ending up with and both are still with them. It was so fun to see them fall in love with good men they didn’t originally think they were compatible with.
You can’t get a full read on someone just by sitting with them for two hours. Good lord, I hope no one has ever thought that they’ve seen the full picture of who I am off one date. I would be summed up as a little standoffish, reserved, sports-obsessed (that is my crutch if I’m not connecting on any other topic. Men loves sports and I can talk about it for hours), hates being touched, and probably an alcoholic because based on this last date I’m a “thirsty girl” according to our waitress (thanks.) For the record, I’m none of those things once you get to know me, but that doesn’t happen on just ONE DATE.
Me on a date.
Be patient with yourself. If the date was good, why not go again? What do you actually have to lose? Peel back layers and let them peel back yours. See if you actually have chemistry with them. Sometimes I don’t feel the chemistry until I’ve had a paloma or two and I work up the nerve to kiss him and see if it’s there. I’m not naturally a great flirter unless the guy is. The sexual tension isn’t always going to be there for me at first, but sometimes that comes after a few dates.
Try to make one of those dates an activity. Don’t do dinner and a movie. Really try and get to know that person and see them in different elements. I’m not saying you need to go on a hike, but maybe try bowling or something fun.
I’m also not telling you to lower your standards or just be with someone because they’re nice. Ultimately, listen to yourself and if the feelings don’t come- next! But before you ghost them or turn down the next date, maybe do some reflecting.
Listen, if your types aren’t working then maybe it’s time to try something else. Challenge yourself. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone (in a safe way.) Obviously my relationships so far haven't worked out for me, but I’m thankful I got to break down some personal barriers and go for something healthy. These experiences have gotten me closer to the right person.