What could possibly be more nerve-wracking than picking the perfect outfit for a first date? Scarier than trying not to snort when you laugh? More terrifying than the moment before a goodnight hug turns into a goodnight kiss? More panic-inducing than waiting to see if he texts you after that first date? For me, it’s realizing I really, really like this guy and actually care if he asks me out again. I may come off as a semi-cool cucumber when it comes to dating but the truth is I’m just like any other woman. After a great date I look at my phone every 20 minutes, I make sure I have good reception just in case he’s trying to reach me, I replay every moment of our date hoping I didn’t make an ass of myself at any point. However, for fear of being pegged a stage-five clinger (thanks for that tip, Wedding Crashers) I make a conscious decision to not let my insecurities get the best of me.
Most of my dating activity in recent months has been via OKCupid. I wasn’t searching for my soul mate or someone to spend the rest of my life with; I was just looking for some practice. Before embarking on my online dating adventures I was easily a stage-five clinger. I was actively searching for a boyfriend instead of dating around and letting things happen naturally. I tried to force relationships that were never meant to be. I got my heart broken and I can look back now and say it was my own damn fault.
What my dating-frenzy and one of my very favorite (and very wise) girlfriends taught me was how to carry myself before, during, and after a first date. My first couple OKCupid dates were terribly awkward and I babbled…a lot…but I slowly became more comfortable, less awkward, and way more confident. I learned how to maintain a little mystery, let the guy be the pursuer, and move on if he doesn’t ask me out again.
But now after having been on several what I would call “really great dates” with the same guy (we met in real life, not online) I find myself in uncharted waters. During our last date I had a moment of clarity and realized oh crap, I really like him. Petrified of reverting back to my old habits, I’m desperately trying to remain calm even though my mind is spinning with what-ifs. We’ve mutually said, “I really like you,” and he continues to want to see me so there are some good signs. The potential start of a new relationship seems so fragile and that scares the crap out of me. I guess I have to take my own advice and let things happen naturally.