I could use some advice

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I could use some advice

Post by fkloa on Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:36 pm

So as those of you who have read the few posts I've made here and at the main site know, I've never had the easiest time with the whole dating thing. However, I'm hopeful that things are going to change soon. I've been making some improvements and finally signed up for a dating site. After talking to some people for a while, after decades of trying, for the first time in my life I finally have a date.

So what the hell do I do now? I've never been this nervous in my life and I really need this to go well. Any first date tips would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: I could use some advice

Post by BasedBuzzed on Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:53 pm

-Everyone is replacable. This is not a referendum on your personality and she is not the final shot at dating ever.
-Your goal is to have a fun time and relax. Don't go in with any expectations on how it 'should' end.
-You can think up some topics you want to talk about in advance, if you feel like you might lose your place.
-Even if it goes wrong, it won't be the end of the world. See dating like a muscle you can train.
-Don't overanalyze. Intuition will come in time, for now just let yourself experience it.

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Re: I could use some advice

Post by Wondering on Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:29 pm

When you say you have a date, do you have a location/event already decided or have you just agreed to go on a date and haven't decided where yet? In other words, do you need advice on where to go for the date or do you need advice on what to do for a date you've already planned?

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Re: I could use some advice

Post by fkloa on Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:39 pm

Thank you both for your replies.

We do have a plan on where to go. We're heading to the art museum. It's just the great unknown of having never been on a date before. I'm nervous from thinking about "what do I wear? How do I act? What do I say? What happens next if it goes well or doesn't go well?" and all that sort of stuff.

I admit the "everyone is replaceable" idea is probably going to be tough. I've had a habit of taking it too hard if things don't go well and with this being my first chance, I admit I feel a lot of pressure to try and get it to go well. Intellectually I realize it's not the end of the world, and most people don't end up with the first person they date, but that doesn't always keep the feelings in check unfortunately.

I'm hoping to have a lot of fun and I'm hoping that we both come out of it feeling like we want to see each other again. I'm hopeful that I can come out of this with a second date, but if not I'm at least hoping to at least come out with both of our feelings relatively intact.

My ideas so far on what to talk about are to ask about her interests and to use the exhibits themselves as something to talk about if I get a bit lost on what to say.

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Re: I could use some advice

Post by Prajnaparamita on Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:49 pm

fkloa wrote:
My ideas so far on what to talk about are to ask about her interests and to use the exhibits themselves as something to talk about if I get a bit lost on what to say.

Oh my god, art museums are such a favorite date spot for this reason, because you can start out your first date with this total stranger but still have real, in-depth conversations. Just by looking at and being around art you have so much to talk about, even if you know like nothing about art itself. Some example conversation starters:

-"What's your favorite piece in this room? Why? What do you like about it?"
-"What do you think the expression on that person's face is? What do you think is their story?"
-"Which piece of art here would you most want to take home, if you could have any? Where would you put it or what would you do with it?"
-"Which painting would you most like to step inside of and explore, if you could? Which portrait would you most want to talk to?"
-(I also really enjoy rating the Dead White Men on a scale from 0 to 10 on how badly they managed to bung up female anatomy in their nudes, but that might be a bit much for a first date, lol)

A really great thing you can do as an inexperienced guy is to make sure to listen. As women we spend more time than you'd think on dates often listening to men talk and talk and talk about themselves while we're expected to passively listen, and it is TERRIBLE!!! It's a guaranteed way to make sure you don't get a second date, talking over her or monologuing at her where she never gets a chance to get a word in. (Which, for some reason, seems to be a common impulse of inexperienced men, to just talk and talk and talk at us.) But on the flip side, don't make her have to carry all the conversational weight, it's emotionally exhausting and no fun at all for a date when you feel like you have to work constantly to fill the silence. Ask her questions too, but make sure to pause, listen and take genuine interest in what she has to say. That genuine interest and listening I think is the key to building a sense of compatibility, feeling like you're being listened to and found interesting and that your thoughts and opinions matter to this person just makes you feel good, and want to spend more time around them and see them again.

Good luck!

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Re: I could use some advice

Post by reboot on Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:40 am

Maybe scale back your definition of "went well" from something future oriented and long term to "made her laugh and she did not cut out in the first 15 minutes"? Setting the bar low for your first time doing anything is generally a good plan.
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Re: I could use some advice

Post by KMR on Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:11 pm

I agree with Reboot and would also like to add that it's entirely possible for a date to go well--in the sense that everyone has a good time--without it leading to a second date. Two people can enjoy one another's company for a few hours but then one or both of them decide that they don't particularly want to keep seeing that person. This is a very normal part of dating and is often not a reflection on you or your dating ability, it's usually just a sign of lack of chemistry/compatibility between you and your date. So I would recommend trying to keep your conception of what is a "good date" separate from the outcome of whether or not it leads to another. Just focus on having a good time and seeing this date as a learning experience regardless of what comes of it.
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Re: I could use some advice

Post by fkloa on Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:05 pm

Thanks everyone. Yes I definitely plan to listen a lot. If anything my tendency is to be too quiet so I may need to force myself to chat a bit more. As mentioned that's the nice thing about the museum.

I probably should keep my expectations a bit lower, but knowing myself that one's going to be challenging. Anyways we'll see how it goes tomorrow.

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Re: I could use some advice

Post by Werel on Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:48 pm

Good luck today! Hope it goes well, and that it's both pleasant and a good learning experience.
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Re: I could use some advice

Post by fkloa on Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:52 pm

Thank you all. I think it went pretty well. We walked around the museum, talked about the exhibits, laughed a lot, and she said we'd try to get together over the weekend. So all in all I have to call that a success.

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Re: I could use some advice

Post by Werel on Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:55 pm

Awesome! cheers That sounds like a good date (lots of laughing is a good, good sign)-- glad to hear it went well!
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Re: I could use some advice

Post by fkloa on Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:49 pm

So I've been seeing this person for a while now and I've come to the realization that I don't seem to have strong feelings for her. At the same time, everyone around me keeps telling me that it takes time for that to develop as after all we were complete strangers a few weeks ago. How long should I keep giving it a shot? When should I develop feelings for someone? When do I say it's just not working?

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Re: I could use some advice

Post by eselle28 on Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:45 pm

I generally expect a basic level of liking on the first date, some sexual chemistry by the second, and some feeling of infatuation in the period between dates four and six. If I'm not excited about seeing someone by the time we're transitioning from numbered dates to just hanging out as a regular thing, that's time for me to let things go. Your mileage may vary.
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Re: I could use some advice

Post by Enail on Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:06 pm

What are your feelings about her? I would tend to assume "not strong feelings" means something like "she's nice and all but I'm not that enthusiastic about seeing her," in which case I'd be inclined to end things if it were me (if you tend to warm up to people very slowly in general, that could be different). But if you mean something different by it, the specifics of what you do feel could put a different angle on it.
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Re: I could use some advice

Post by fkloa on Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:17 am

Thank you both for your replies.

I'd say "she's nice and all but I'm not that enthusiastic about seeing her" would be an accurate description, but as a general rule I do warm up slowly. She's perfectly friendly, we get along well, we can talk and even laugh quite a bit. There's nothing overwhelmingly wrong with her that I can put my finger on. So a basic level of liking, at least at a friendly level is there.

I don't feel any sexual chemistry on my end. I don't think I sense any coming from her, but I probably wouldn't really know how to recognize it all that well. The one time in my life I thought someone else was reciprocating my feelings was just alcohol at work so I probably don't have the best judgment on that. Infatuation is definitely not there.

At the same time, the combination of my inexperience, my depression, and my lack of self-esteem makes it hard for me to trust my feelings on anything. The person I was interested in before I tried the online dating site was my best friend. The years-long friendship I had with her combined with my interest in her made my feelings for her much deeper than they ever had been for anyone else. I would like to feel that again, only for someone who actually returns those feelings. I'm not anywhere near that level. Yet maybe I'm just being unfair by comparing this relatively new person to those strong feelings that had such a long time to develop, I don't know.

The other person I was talking to on the site stood me up/cancelled on me 4 times in the last 2 weeks, so I'm already trying to move on from her. The few other conversations I had going died out. So combine all of this and I'm feeling my depression creeping back up on me and nothing seems to help with that for more than a week or two at a time. I just don't know what to do anymore.

I'm supposed to see her again this weekend so maybe I'll just see how I'm feeling after that and make a decision.

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Re: I could use some advice

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