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Thread: How should I proceed?

  1. #1
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    How should I proceed?

    So I'll preface this with the fact that I have extremely bad dating anxiety so I do overthink things, but hopefully I can get some other perspective.

    Here is the story:

    I met a woman on Match (we are both 32) and our life outlook/goals line up pretty perfectly so we scheduled a date pretty quickly and went out to pub trivia. During the date she disclosed that I was her first date from Match and that she's only actually tried dating a couple other times since having her kid and those other times she realized she wasn't quite ready yet emotionally... I've dated other women that were "just getting back into dating" and it is often challenging and frequently doesn't end well, so I made a note to proceed cautiously. After trivia ended we stuck around for a couple hours just chatting and finally took off when the staff made it clear that they were trying to close the bar. So while I was walking her to her car I felt like the date went pretty well so I said "I had a great time, I definitely want to see you again when I get back from my trip" and I kissed her goodnight and she was kinda stiff like she didn't want me kissing her so I assumed she wasn't feeling it, but the next morning she texted me fairly early thanking me for the night and saying that she had a good time.

    So we set up another date for about 10 days later since I was leaving the country and the entire time I was out of town we kept in touch and she seemed interested and excited for the upcoming date.

    So when I got back we went on our second date to Top Golf. We both had a lot of fun, but it was a bit awkward (I have a theory that turn-taking activities like Top Golf don't make very good early dates)... so once again at the end I kissed her good night, she seemed less stiff this time around. I asked her to let me know that she made it home... and like two hours later she said "I forgot to let you know that I made it home. Thanks for a fun evening!" So now two dates in a row I've felt that things didn't go very well.

    To test the water, I asked if she was still available this weekend and wanted to grab sushi and I was surprised to hear yes and she helped me select the place and everything, but her communication frequency has dropped significantly since top golf.

    So after a couple days like that I decided I should address it and said "So I wanted to ask you something... You mentioned at trivia that I was your first date from match and that you've only been on a few dates since having your son and those times you realized that you weren't ready... I've dated other women who were trying to get back into dating and realized they weren't quite ready so it's something that I'm pretty guarded against... so I wanted to check in with you now that we've gone out a couple of times about how you're feeling and if you're really up for seeing each other again this weekend?" The goal was to give her an easy out, show a little vulnerability of my own, and to make it about her as an individual and not about "us" because it's early and there is no "us." I think most people would say I shouldn't have sent that message, but I absolutely had to do it for myself and if I hadn't then I would have put so much pressure on myself for this third date (if it happens) that it would have been terrible.

    Her response:
    I am. It's still kind of weird meeting someone this way, so I'm trying to figure out if it feels sort of odd because we still are just getting to know one another or if the chemistry is off. I've had a good time so I'm still open to going this weekend if you are. And honestly I really don't usually text this much lol, I'm always that friend that takes days to get back, so I'm trying to stay on top of it, but I'm not used to this.

    So the chemistry stuff is obviously not good, but I'm kind of a "slow burn" in that my personality is pretty good and takes a little time to come out with new people. Overall the response seems pretty favorable and she seemed happy when I clarified that I wasn't trying to cancel on her.

    So right now I'm trying to match her communication style (assuming that "not used to texting this much" is the truth).

    A couple of things that have already been suggested to me are 1. to give myself a time line of how long I'm willing to feel things out this way and 2. To not set up a fourth date and see if she tries to see me again on her own.

    I would really like to prevent my dating anxiety from getting the best of me and just running away to prevent myself from getting hurt.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Well...your dating anxiety is getting the best of you.

    No, you shouldn't have sent that text, you need to learn to soothe yourself in other ways. That was neurotic verbal vomit and it will scare off most sane women. You might get a pass on that once, but not again. So can't emphasize enough - stop bs'ing yourself that you just had to send it, no you didn't. Find other ways to soothe yourself and get your mind off your anxieties.

    Lots of women don't want to kiss or be kissed on a first date. You pushed things when you shouldn't have so yes, she was stiff and probably taken aback a bit. It was too soon for her. In short, because of your anxiety, you are pretty tone death on whether you should proceed with something like that or hold off and wait. So in your case, always wait a few dates as a rule. That way when you do go for it, at least you both have had time to warm up to each other and it won't be so awkward.

    If you like a person and they seem interested in seeing you again, but maybe you aren't sure how things are going, give it 2-4 dates to decide. Either you'll start warming up to each other or part ways as you realize that something is lacking.

    Never play shaite test games of "will she seek me out". Generally speaking, so early on women will not seek anything so you are setting yourself up to fail by playing hot/cold games. If you ask her for a few dates and then disappear, she'll just assume you lost interest and move on.

  3. #3
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    Things are going well. You need to chill out.

    I don't like to kiss on the first date, either.

    I don't think you should have asked her that question, as she had already agreed to go out on the date. Do not do that again.

    Relax and enjoy, or you are going to scare people off.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    I see both of you having different experiences and expectations.
    For a lot of us the first meet and greet is not a date and I wouldn't appreciate someone going in for a kiss at the end of it. It might explain why you didn't get the response you were hoping for.

    You have your own timeline and on the 3rd date you are going in for the `where's this going?' talk.
    She's still trying to figure this out. She doesn't know you well enough to give you and answer so therefore she's taking it one day at time.

    You're basically wanting to know if you are wasting your time and getting that information sooner than later will relieve your anxiety. But you'll have probably scared her away in the meantime

    But if 3 enjoyable dates is considered a waste of time and you need something more concrete, you can go back and find someone who's faster pace to lock it down meets yours.

    You need to get a handle on your fears and anxiety. Dating becomes much more enjoyable when you do.

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  6. #5
    Gold Member Gary Snyder's Avatar
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    If the kiss is lame, she's not very interested, it's a bad bet. She could still be on the rebound or you're not the one for her.

    I would not date her, but if you must, at the least, date other women too (multi-date, circular date).

  7. #6
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Your anxieties, fears, and insecurities are pretty palpable in this post. Time to own that, and get them in check if you want to enjoy the business of dating.

    There is a fine—but critical—line between being cautious and being triggered and this might be a moment to quickly explore that. She mentioned something pretty banal—you being her first date, etc.—which triggered you pretty hard. You were thinking of those past experiences, wondering if this was going to be a repeat, and instead of just getting to know a new person you were on red alert to see if this new person was going to turn out to disappoint you like old persons. And on red alert you remain.

    The minute you get into that headspace the game is basically over.

    Her job is not to be into you, to not into you, but just to be herself. Your job is to be yourself. Over time you guys get to see if you like being yourselves alongside each other. That's where the "caution" comes in—moving forward but slowly, without letting assumptions and expectations get in the way of getting to know someone, and being totally cool with the fact that the odds are very slim that you're going to meet your future wife on a first, second, third, or even tenth date with someone.

    You assumed, within minutes of the first date, that she wasn't into you, wasn't emotionally ready, and you seem more hellbent on finding comfort in pushing things in that direction than seeing if they might go someplace else. She went out with you once, was down to see you again, and again. To expect anything more at this point is absurd. To be unable to be excited about all that is a problem. To ask someone you don't know for emotional clarity and soothing is selfish.

    The text you sent, I'm sorry, was ridiculous. This is a grown woman with a child who owes you nothing. Show her some respect by believing that, if she wants an out, she can make one herself and doesn't need your guidance to make it "easy." Show yourself some respect by imagining that, if a woman says yes to eating sushi with you it's because she thinks you're a cool enough dude to have sushi with, and if she doesn't want to eat Italian with you three days later, or ever share a meal with you again, all good.

    I don't want to be dismissive to anxiety; I know it's a thing. But the bottom line is that, when unchecked, it is selfish. You make everything about you and, in the process, forget what it means to get to know another person. Hard to even see another person, you know, when all you see is a mirror reflecting back your fears or a blanket in which those fears go away.
    Last edited by bluecastle; 05-31-2019 at 12:57 PM.

  8. #7
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    Well...your dating anxiety is getting the best of you.

    No, you shouldn't have sent that text, you need to learn to soothe yourself in other ways. That was neurotic verbal vomit and it will scare off most sane women. You might get a pass on that once, but not again. So can't emphasize enough - stop bs'ing yourself that you just had to send it, no you didn't. Find other ways to soothe yourself and get your mind off your anxieties.

    Lots of women don't want to kiss or be kissed on a first date. You pushed things when you shouldn't have so yes, she was stiff and probably taken aback a bit. It was too soon for her. In short, because of your anxiety, you are pretty tone death on whether you should proceed with something like that or hold off and wait. So in your case, always wait a few dates as a rule. That way when you do go for it, at least you both have had time to warm up to each other and it won't be so awkward.

    If you like a person and they seem interested in seeing you again, but maybe you aren't sure how things are going, give it 2-4 dates to decide. Either you'll start warming up to each other or part ways as you realize that something is lacking.

    Never play shaite test games of "will she seek me out". Generally speaking, so early on women will not seek anything so you are setting yourself up to fail by playing hot/cold games. If you ask her for a few dates and then disappear, she'll just assume you lost interest and move on.
    Thanks for the response. I agree with what you said and most of it aligns with how I thought I should move forward. The details of our third date were hashed out pretty shortly after sending that text, so I don't think that I've scared her off, but it is something that I'm emotionally prepared for if she happens to cancel tomorrow's date.

    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    Things are going well. You need to chill out.

    I don't like to kiss on the first date, either.

    I don't think you should have asked her that question, as she had already agreed to go out on the date. Do not do that again.

    Relax and enjoy, or you are going to scare people off.
    Thank you. I'm surprised to hear "things are going well" in response to my post, but that is why I wanted to get some external perspective.

    Originally Posted by reinventmyself
    I see both of you having different experiences and expectations.
    For a lot of us the first meet and greet is not a date and I wouldn't appreciate someone going in for a kiss at the end of it. It might explain why you didn't get the response you were hoping for.

    You have your own timeline and on the 3rd date you are going in for the `where's this going?' talk.
    She's still trying to figure this out. She doesn't know you well enough to give you and answer so therefore she's taking it one day at time.

    You're basically wanting to know if you are wasting your time and getting that information sooner than later will relieve your anxiety. But you'll have probably scared her away in the meantime

    But if 3 enjoyable dates is considered a waste of time and you need something more concrete, you can go back and find someone who's faster pace to lock it down meets yours.

    You need to get a handle on your fears and anxiety. Dating becomes much more enjoyable when you do.
    Thanks. You're actually right... I'm trying to gauge if I'm wasting my time... but not from a where are WE going perspective. I'm actually ok with things going slowly and making sure that we are right for each other especially with a kid involved. I went about 7 months in my last relationship before I actually had that conversation. I think that's probably too long, but I was playing that one very safe (for the same reasons actually... she was also a single mother just getting back into dating). So I'll just see how things go tomorrow.

  9. #8
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Your anxieties, fears, and insecurities are pretty palpable in this post. Time to own that, and get them in check if you want to enjoy the business of dating.

    There is a fine—but critical—line between being cautious and being triggered and this might be a moment to quickly explore that. She mentioned something pretty banal—you being her first date, etc.—which triggered you pretty hard. You were thinking of those past experiences, wondering if this was going to be a repeat, and instead of just getting to know a new person you were on red alert to see if this new person was going to turn out to disappoint you like old people. And on red alert you remain.

    The minute you get into that headspace the game is basically over.

    Her job is not to be into you, to not into you, but just to be herself. Your job is to be yourself. Over time you guys get to see if you like being yourselves alongside each other. That's where the "caution" comes in—moving forward but slowly, without letting assumptions and expectations get in the way of getting to know someone, and being totally cool with the fact that the odds are very slim that you're going to meet your future wife on a first, second, third, or even tenth date with someone.

    You assumed, within minutes of the first date, that she wasn't into you, wasn't emotionally ready, and you seem more hellbent on finding comfort in pushing things in that direction than seeing if they might go someplace else. She went out with you once, was down to see you again, and again. To expect anything more at this point is absurd. To be unable to be excited about all that is a problem. To ask someone you don't know for emotional clarity and soothing is selfish.

    The text you sent, I'm sorry, was ridiculous. This is a grown woman with a child who owes you nothing. Show her some respect by believing that, if she wants an out, she can make one herself and doesn't need your guidance to make it "easy." Show yourself some respect by imagining that, if a woman says yes to eating sushi with you it's because she thinks you're a cool enough dude to have sushi with, and if she doesn't want to eat Italian with you three days later, or ever share a meal with you again, all good.

    I don't want to be dismissive to anxiety; I know it's a thing. But the bottom line is that, when unchecked, it is selfish. You make everything about you and, in the process, forget what it means to get to know another person. Hard to even see another person, you know, when all you see is a mirror reflecting back your fears or a blanket in which those fears go away.
    This is fair. Thanks for the response. It does still seem like we are going out again tomorrow and I'll see how it goes.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    I don't think she'll cancel the date. This is again your anxiety and personal negativity talking. She already responded with confirming your date, so deal with reality and not the negative narrative you are spinning in your imagination.

    My point was simply that that text used up a get out of jail free card. You've got to understand that people are much kinder and more forgiving than you think. You can make foibles and they'll forgive you, because we are all human and stumble through life making mistakes. A large part of this kind of anxiety is your own lack of kindness and forgiveness of yourself and others, a fixation on unattainable perfection. Something to think about long and hard, OP.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    A large part of this kind of anxiety is your own lack of kindness and forgiveness of yourself and others, a fixation on unattainable perfection. Something to think about long and hard, OP.
    Really, really wise words.

    To assume the worst in others is not very nice. To put another (and yourself) under this level of scrutiny creates a needle too narrow to ever be threaded.

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