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2:35 am - 04.05.2010
The Dating and Relating Game (PT 2)

The Dating and Relating Game (PT II)

I'm afraid the "cliffhanger" of my last entry is going to be anticlimactic...

As I told my friend Cary yesterday, I'm realizing that "pleasant conversation" is not much of a barometer of a date's success - I have "pleasant conversations" all the time with people I have no interest in having a relationship with.

(As both women I've recently been out with have said, I'm "easy to talk to".)

It's essentially meaningless.

Karen was perfectly nice that night at the French Market, and the time passed easily enough...but I didn't find her exceptionally smart, or funny, or interesting, or attractive, or anything else.

She didn't "turn me on", intellectually or otherwise. There was some novelty and excitement in "being on a date", but I didn't really find her "novel" or "exciting".

And that probably should have been the end of it for me.

And while "pleasant conversation" needs to go out the window as a barometer of how a date has gone, I think I need to pay a lot more attention in the future to how a date ends.

That first date with Karen ended the same way my "date" with Tasha did - In a painfully awkward hug - and like the date with Tasha, I blamed myself for that, feeling like I failed to "stick the landing" because of my dating ineptitude.

But now I'm thinking it was awkward... because it was awkward - They hadn't given me any signals to "go in", and I wasn't "feeling it", but instead, was doing it because "that's what you do".

But immediately afterward, I thought - I don't know what - that the fact she hadn't stabbed me in the head with a fork during the meal, and that we'd exchanged pleasant chit-chat, meant things had gone well enough to merit a second date.

So we arranged to meet again this past Friday.

I'd initially thought we'd catch a matinee at the Grove, and have coffee and/or a bite to eat at the Farmers Market afterward.

But plans changed because I got a commercial audition for 5:45 pm at a casting place on Ivar (A few blocks from Sunset and Vine).

So we ended up meeting at Borders around 6:30, then eating at the ArcLight Cafe.

And a worry I'd had going into the second date came true - Conversationally, we were pretty much out-of-gas after getting our "Getting To Know You" crap out during the first date; there weren't minute-long pauses where we just stared blankly at each other, but the conversation was clearly more strained than it had been during our first outing.

When we finished, I walked her to her car in the parking structure, and once again, went in for the hug, and - since it was the second date, after all - a kiss.

(At that point, I was still going on the assumption that the first date's awkward ending had been a failure of "nerve" on my part.)

Karen ducked me like I was trying to punch her in the head.

So why did I "go in" if I wasn't really "feeling it"?

I don't know...I guess I was wondering if it would make a difference.

And turned out, it did make a difference...though not in the way I'd imagined.

Within an hour after getting back home, I'd sent her a message through the OKCupid website, expressing my intent to "move on", but thanking her for her time and wishing her luck in the future.

(She sent me a message the next day, expressing similar sentiments - As I told my therapist on Saturday, "We parted amicably".)

So...there we are. Somewhat disappointing, but I'm guessing neither of us is that much the worse for wear - We were basically two nice people who didn't have any romantic chemistry together.

And now I know two things:

1. Pleasant chit-chat doesn't, in and of itself, warrant a second date.


2. If going in for the hug and/or kiss at the end of the night feels awkward and unnatural, it's probably because there's no physical chemistry between don't do it.

(Crap! It's gotten late, and I still haven't gotten to the other big "dating experience". But tomorrow is another day...)


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