High Fidelity: It’s dating again

By : Miguel Fuller
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My name is Miguel Fuller. I am 31 years old and I don’t know a damn thing about dating. Do they still make the “For Dummies” books? If so, I need the How to date when you are in your 30s and are severely awkward for Dummies book.

So here I am, six months out of the longest relationship I’ve had and I have been on more dates in that time than all the dates counted together in my 20’s. So what’s wrong? Why am I not connecting? Why do I feel so awkward? Maybe you’ve been down this path of self-discovery and have worked out the kinks of your personality.

I’m trying to do that now. So how did I arrive at this? When I watch my friends talk about new relationships or start the process of dating, everyone seems to do it with such an ease. Earlier this summer, I met my friend out for a drink. A few minutes in he told me that a man he had been chatting with for a bit online was coming to have drinks with him. I asked my friend if I should leave because it seemed weird that I would be there for their first “meet & greet.”

He balked at my suggestion that it would be weird. So there I sat, in all my awkward glory as they had the first hug, shared funny stories about each other and held each other’s hand for the first time. This was all in a span of two hours. I felt like an alien from another planet looking in on how humans interact with each other on an intimate level.

So compare that to a date I went on earlier this spring. I met someone out at our neighborhood bar and grill. As soon as he sat down at the table, my mind raced with topics to talk about. Should I ask him about work? Do we have a simple talk about the weather? WHAT DO WE TALK ABOUT???

After a couple of vodka sodas, I calmed down. Why couldn’t I be smooth, calm and collected during that first date? Here’s what I discovered after reflecting for a couple of weeks and going on more awkward dates (caused by me). You must get out of your head. You should be in the moment when on a date and most importantly, you should not give a crap about what’s going on. I know. You are reading this with one eyebrow up. This advice is probably not in any self-help book (yes, when I was 25 I bought the book Finding The Boyfriend Within.), but I have found it insanely helpful the last few months. So instead of sitting down on a date with a schedule of questions in my head, I normally start with your childhood trauma followed by your worst dating situation and end up with questions about your credit score and how much you are putting into your 40(1)K.

Okay so it’s not that bad, but it’s pretty up there with the intensity level of questions I use to ask. Once I started to let go and not give a crap, I could have fun. Which in turn made guys not think of me as that super intense awkward person. So how do you not give a crap while dating? You have to change your way of thinking. I used to go into dates with the mindset that I was going to find my soul mate. This person sitting across from me and the cheese sticks could be my end all be all, the sun to my moon, the skies to my stars.

Who wants to that much pressure on them when they are just trying to enjoy some boneless buffalo wings and good conversation? This is a true story of how my craziness on a date a few months ago. I had a great date, the chemistry was there, after a couple of glasses of wine I was at ease and not over thinking it. When I got home and was thinking about everything, my brain went into over drive and I wanted to express how much I enjoyed the date with him. I sent him a text that said, “I will date you at some point. I know, you aren’t supposed to say, but I did. We will date.” AHHHHH!!!!! Of course I never heard from him after that. I think he actually ran when he saw me at a pool party this summer. So to my neurotic friends, calm down, take a breath and when you go on a date, treat it like you are having drinks and cheese sticks with your best friends.

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