It had been quite some time since I’d been on an actual date…you know, the kind with clothes and conversation? So I was a more than a little nervous. I know many who disagree, but for me, the worst thing that can possibly happen on a date is awkward conversation. Even if there’s no physical attraction, someone who’s fun to talk to can still make for an enjoyable evening.
Well, he had the cute part down. That’s always a relief when doing the gay online dating thing. I also quickly learned that he had a sense of humor, which is major points. I wouldn’t say the conversation flowed beautifully, but we managed to keep it going with smalltalk and casual observations of our surroundings (“Where in the city do you live? What are you drinking? What movie is playing on the TV? Aren’t these bartenders allowed to wear sleeves?”)
Of course, the more we drank, the more comfortable we got, and we turned to the website we met on for more conversation material. Eventually he mentions another guy he is going on a date with a few days later.
In my head, I hear the screeching noise of tires skidding to a halt, and it’s entirely possible my face cracked. Isn’t that, like, the worst thing one could possibly talk about on a first date?
“Sorry,” he says. “You just seem like the kinda person I can say things like that to.”
I paused briefly, and responded “Yup!” He certainly wasn’t wrong. One of the primary rules that our society places upon first dates is that YOU SHOULD NEVER TALK ABOUT YOUR EXES. And if there’s anything that trumps that, it’s definitely DON’T LET THEM KNOW YOU’RE DATING SOMEONE ELSE.
Well, let’s be real: I just met this guy. He’s the first person I’ve met off this website. I’m definitely planning on dating other people; I certainly can’t expect him not to.
Where some might have felt jealous, or declared the date officially over, I felt relieved. That gigantic load of pressure that most of us feel on the first date? Instantly gone. From that point on, the conversation flowed much more smoothly and I felt more free to just enjoy myself, rather than spend hours trying to impress someone I may not want anything serious with anyway.
Most swimmers in the dating pool like to live in this haze of implied monogamy, pretending they aren’t dating anyone else, and casually ignoring the fact that their date probably is too. I honestly don’t see what this is helping. It starts the relationship on a foundation of dishonesty, it adds to disappointment if/when one of you decides to go steady with another, and it limits your conversation material. I’m not suggesting that you constantly brag about your other dates, but would it really hurt to be a little more real?