Last week I deleted all dating apps from my phone. I hadn’t been on a date in many (many) months and had installed them in a half-hearted attempt to change my luck. But pretty quickly I figured meeting people virtually based on a swipe wasn’t for me. I told a friend: “I just want to meet a nice guy at a party who sparks my interest and then asks me out on a date.” Well, only days later I stumbled out of a party into a guy. We had a nice talk, he asked me for my number and then asked me out on a date. Prayers answered.
On the day of my date, I had a drink with a friend. She looked at my grey jeans and ditto sweater and asked: “what will you wear?”. Apparently, I had to go home and change. I changed my sweater and put in earrings. I still looked overly casual. I didn’t want to dress up because I didn’t want to care about this date. “What are you afraid of?” asked my friend. I told her I was afraid of my own expectations, of hoping that this time I’ll really, really like this guy. And he me.
So off I went, trying not to care. He was a tall, intelligent, nice-looking man. He wore funny glasses and fancy leather shoes. We had good conversation. After a few drinks, he walked me to my bike. And if this were a Netflix series the sound would now come to a screeching stop: enter awkwardness. Our goodbye scene made me remember what I’m really afraid of when it comes to dating. My own awkwardness. I have mastered the ability to keep distance. ‘Friend zone’ is my safe zone and I like to play it safe. Standing there by the Amsterdam canal I quickly moved in to give him three air kisses and a weird hug squeeze. And that was that. I even managed to say out loud how awkward I thought that was.
I don’t want to end up old and alone in a friend zone. So I’m afraid the time has come that I need to make a project out of this. Something I can then write a bestseller about of course. Work title: ‘How a Dating Retard turned Dating Pro’ (tagline: and found the love of her life). Step one: go on actual dates to practise. Wait. Let’s make the first step less scary. Step one: get advice. This is an open call to you. What are your dating stories, tips and tricks? I’d love to hear them.