Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

Strength in retreat April 8, 2009

The reason for the (comparative) long silence has been mainly because I’ve largely given up on dating as a strategy or a game. My general lack of being impressed with the interactions I’ve had lately has meant that I’ve taken to focussing on my work and on just living my life.

Until recently, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be back in NYC past the summer, especially since there had been some shake-ups at work. I’d assumed that I hadn’t made the cut, since I’m so new here. As I’d prepared my résumé and sent out some tentative job applications, I became convinced that I’d have to leave. As it so often turns out in my life, the day I told my roommate that I’d no longer be here past June was the same day I received a contract renewal. So it looks like I’ll be back here through December 2009 at least.

That means that I have to ramp up my research work in general and have some commitments to fulfill. Which meant a shift in focus away from dating to thinking through my next career steps. Hence the quiet.

And to be honest, I’d needed a break from so much emotional upheaval as well. It was, frankly, getting tedious. And tiring.

At the moment, there is a poet I’ve been communicating with, but we’re seeing if we can be friends at the moment. We met at a party and hit it off, having one of the best conversations I’d had in a long time. We met again this week to go to a weekly arts-related event that I generally attend on my own. We didn’t have quite such the great time again, but I feel like I’m getting a better sense of him as a person, which is always a good thing. It’s too early to say right now whether there is any spark or any possibility of having this go beyond anything but a platonic friendship, but I’m really enjoying this kind of interaction.

This is one of the reasons why it’s so difficult to do internet dating, I think. There’s always that pressure: that proverbial elephant in the room, precariously cramped on a stool in the corner, trying to be unobtrusive. No matter how friendly one gets (and perhaps particularly when one DOES get along with one’s date), it always seems the dating question is at the fore. It’s never about just getting to know someone, slowly, organically. Because we happen to attend the same kinds of events and like the same kinds of things. Instead, we “happen” to meet because we “happen” to employ a search engine that “organically” selects each of us for the other, based on stated qualifications and needs and wants. That thrill of discovery; that spark of initial interest; that ember of romance that comes from meeting someone in the flesh and randomly finding out mutual interests and passions, isn’t included. And so dating becomes an interview process: a series of trials and eliminations.


A great first (internet-facilitated) date! March 9, 2009

Filed under: Dating — datehazard @ 6:04 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

I met up with The Analyst for the first time yesterday; it was a blind date arranged through a dating site I’d been a member of for a while. It was also my first blind date through the site, although not my first internet date in New York (or anywhere, for that matter: I’d first tried internet dating a few years ago).

I have to say, this might have been the best first date, ever, online or off.

Apparently our profiles matched each other in the high 90% category (whatever that means…). We’d chatted via instant messenger before, a few times, so it wasn’t as though he was completely foreign to me. But I hadn’t heard his voice before, since we hadn’t talked on the phone. I didn’t realise he was so new to the dating site, too — he actually joined on the day of my birthday.

The reason the date was so great was for both purely technical reasons, and because we seemed to get along. The technical was basically that I only had about 1.5 hours to spend with him before having to meet up with a friend. That meant that just as we were getting to know each other, I had to go. It kept the mood light and we got to know a little about each other, but not that much.

There’s a lot to be said for “short and sweet.” And for ending on a good note. The short meeting heightens desire: it makes one look forward to the next chance to meet. It was just about the right amount of time for me to tell my silly jokes and see whether anything I said would scare him. Not that I was deliberately trying to: it’s more of a way to see whether the other person would find something about me objectionable or not.

As for the non-technical, that had to do with his reaction to one of my stories. I told him how about the time I held a business grad student at a party into account for his condescending and misogynistic behaviour towards me. It involved me pretending to be as stupid and clueless as the guy had made me out to be, and then me revealing that I actually had a significant background in business through some “innocent” questions. You know, the kinds of questions one could never ask if one didn’t have quite a bit of knowledge and intelligence. Surprise! Then I started asking the business grad student some tough questions that he couldn’t answer. So he ran away to “get a drink” and never came back.

Now, there are basically two ways that someone can take this kind of a story, especially if you’re in the business field (which is where The Analyst is: yet another guy who works for a large financial corporation). Either you would think the person who is telling you this story is absolutely horrid and obnoxious, and you’d be irritated with her, drink your drink and politely leave; or, you’d find this account pretty amusing and your date’s handling of the situation would get high marks from you, because you’re kinda like the same kind of person. (I guess there can be a third option: you don’t really care or find the story that interesting and you’re thinking about something else, like maybe the size of your date’s “assets” or the latest football scores).

Fortunately for us both, it was reaction #2. I think I made The Analyst laugh so hard there was a tear in his eye.

Which made me think, “this is the best first date, ever.”

When I met up with my friend the Grad Student later in the evening (he was taking me out for a birthday drink), I told him about the situation, and remarked cynically (as I always do), “well, I guess there’s nowhere else to go but down, from here!” He laughed at me, and I laughed along. I’m joking, of course, but there’s some truth in there, too. It doesn’t really matter, that was a really great first date.

And he wants to see me again on Tuesday. I’m leaving the planning and details up to him.