I Must Be Bad At First Dates

About a month ago, I went on a first date with a woman I met on OKCupid. This one was unusual in that I thought it went well. We had a lot in common. We went out to dinner, and stayed talking in the restaurant for a solid hour and a half after we finished eating. She even responded when I sent her a message the next day. And she kept responding for a couple of weeks. Then, she stopped responding.

I know we should have scheduled a second date within two weeks, but there was Thanksgiving and work deadlines and kids. We were both up front about the craziness of our schedules, though, so I don’t think that’s why she stopped responding. I get the feeling that she was only responding in the first place to be polite. Given my track record, she probably decided during the first date that she wasn’t interested in a second date. After all, that was the most successful first date I’ve had in a long time.

The thing is, I have no idea what I’m doing wrong. A part of me wishes I could blame it on not being physically attractive. Then, I could say, “They’re just shallow.” But if that were the case, how am I getting the first dates? It feels like it must be something that I’m doing wrong or something that I’m not doing, but I should be doing.

My natural tendencies are probably not well suited to first dates. I’m quiet. I’ve been told more than once that I have bad body language. I don’t know how to dress, mostly because I’m completely uninterested in what I wear or what anyone else is wearing. And if I’m not interested in something, I have a very hard time faking it.

But I’m self aware enough to put in the effort to counteract these tendencies. I may be naturally quiet, but I make sure I have things to talk about and questions to ask. I may like to sit in the corner with my arms folded, but I don’t. I even make an effort to smile. I have a couple of outfits that I’ve gotten compliments on that I can wear. I’m not being fake, I’m just trying to put my best foot forward. 

A little while after my divorce, a woman told me that all I needed was a little swagger. I can’t help but wonder if that’s accurate. I have no swagger at all. Could that be the reason none of my first dates lead to second dates? I hope not. I don’t have the faintest idea how to do swagger. I don’t even know how to find out.

I don’t know what else to do but keep trying. Maybe I’ll figure something out. Or maybe I’ll find someone who isn’t bothered by whatever it is I’m doing or not doing. I’m really not asking for much. Baby steps. I would be genuinely very happy with a second date.

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