Sucky Second Dates

If the first date is full of promise and excitement, the second date provides some sort of reality check.

You’ve had time to ruminate a bit between the first date and this second one, had time to think about some of the things the other person said, had some unpopular questions asked by curious friends and are now looking forward to have them all answered. On the other hand, your expectations are slightly higher than with a first date, because you’ve already successfully met once, and are now looking forward to match this experience.

All in all, a dangerous mix.

Too often, my second dates end up disappointing me. I still have the tingly nervous feeling about the first date in mind, remembering the quick-witted conversation and the thrill of getting to know another person. Case in point B., whom I met in a complete whirlwind fashion, flirting on the tube and then later by chance meeting again. He asked me out there and then, and I gave him my number.

Our first date some time later was marked by lively conversation, lots of agreement and a quick kiss on the elevators in the tube on the way home. Coming home I felt elated and happy, and yes, I was looking forward to a second date.

When talking about this first date with my friends, they brought up some questions that I hadn’t even considered asking. Turns out that in my muddle-headed first date spirit I had taken many things for granted or just hadn’t thought of bringing them up. Is it really that weird to not ask someone how old they are?

The second time around we arranged to meet in a restaurant. It was his choice, and maybe not quite as perfect as the quiet corner of the pub where we first met. Our table was in the middle of the crowded space, and other patrons kept bumping into us when getting their coats or going to the bar.

We still kept conversation light, and I asked him to tell me more about his band. This band was source of several raised eyebrows in my circle of friends, yet I knew next to nothing about it, as it was only mentioned briefly before. On our first date, it simply had been a bit of fun trivia (“He’s in a band”), but now  we had started talking about the band, it took over for the night. Also, as I got more information it was becoming more of an issue (“He still believes his band is going to make it.”).

I’m sure that B. in turn had very similar moments when he discovered that not only was I very opinionated about woodland creatures (“She likes badgers but dislikes rabbits – how quaint”) but I was also opinionated about everything else (“judgmental bitch”).

In short, sometimes not seeing the whole picture is a good thing, because you can fill in the details to your own liking. This is exactly what makes online dating so hard – the endless public questionnaires already let you know that this perfectly cute guys really believes in ghosts, thinks that women ought to stay home with children and has very questionable taste in movies. This means he’ll never get the benefit of the doubt, where at the first tingly date you assume that unless he tells you otherwise, he doesn’t own the “Princess Diary” collectors’ box set.

Yes, this means not having a realistic view of people, and going through lots of crappy revelatory second dates. But it also means that there is a certain mystery, and the possibility to get to know someone even though their  quirks might initially turn of off on paper. Who knows, maybe being with someone who likes Disney movies wouldn’t be all bad.

Time will tell what the real deal-breakers are.

I’m still not entirely sure about being in your twenties and believing in your band’s future. Sorry, B.!

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One response to “Sucky Second Dates

  1. Pingback: Dealbreakers (part I) « I Wish There Were A Manual For Life

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