Whether it’s business or personal, we’re all either openers or closers (and if you’re both, you have a lot to teach this young grasshopper). Openers are skilled at initiating relations/contact with others, and closers are skilled at sealing the deal.
I’m definitely a closer. I have long-lasting relationships with exes, friends, friends of friends, family of friends, etc. One friend even calls me a friend stealer. It’s true. But, the initial ‘breaking in’ of these relationships was difficult for me. I’m not good at initiating conversations with new people.
But this past weekend, I took a small baby step. On Saturday, I went out to Pierre’s Champagne Lounge (Vancouver’s hidden gem; great music, great service.) with some girlfriends. One of them ran into her friends, and so we joined their group. I was standing next to woman who knew my friend. I knew I should introduce myself (since we are at their VIP table and all), but ironically enough, I felt intrusive. I didn’t know when/ how to introduce myself. Spontaneously, I sucked it up, and turned around and introduced myself. Wasn’t so bad. I kid you not, in the past, I would’ve just stood there and not uttered word, unless she initiated a conversation.
Also, some other progress to report on…
The place was packed, and like typical Vancouverites, people stared. I normally would interpret the stares as negative, and immediately become self-conscious. Not this time though. Maybe they were starring because I looked cute. Yeah. That’s it. That’s the story I went with.
I also have been told by friends that I tend to come off as unapproachable because my shyness is misinterpreted as snobby or rigid. So, for a change, I was mindful of this that night. My goal was to just keep a smile on my face. Admittedly, I felt even more awkward with my fake smile, but I found people, especially women, to be receptive to the smile –some even returned the grin.
The smile may be my newest accessory.
(1) Don’t underestimate/undervalue baby steps. Progress is relative. Moving forward is moving in the right direction.
(2) Give yourself credit.
Dating in general isn’t for me. I’m not looking for someone to complete me, so it makes it really easy to be selfishly single.
This morning, a friend sent me this CTV story on successful online dating. I know of a lot of couples who met online, and are still together, many married with kids.
Last year, I was convinced to try online dating. And, in celebrating my single life today, I figured it would be a great opportunity to share my online dating experiences.
In a span of two-three months early last year, I accumulated four online dating stories that have turned me off from dating in general.
1. Dan. He looked okay in his photo. We met for dinner. Conversation went really well; he was an intelligent guy, but I just wasn’t feeling an attraction, and we naturally became friends. Until, he started dating his girlfriend. He confided in me about their relationship, and her craziness. Then, one day, she freaked out about me posting on his Facebook wall. She told him that I wasn’t allowed to post on his wall, go out for dinner with him (but lunch was okay) because dinner meant sex (apparently, she did not think sex happened any other point in the day), and the list of ‘rules’ went on. Eventually, he and I parted. I was not interested in being accused of being a home wrecker.
2. Bal. We exchanged a few messages online before switching to text. Funny guy. No photos were ever exchanged prior to meeting up. One evening, I was in his hood for dinner with a friend, and so we decided to meet up for drinks (take that to those who think I’m not random!). I pulled into the restaurant’s parking lot and as I was getting out of my car, he got out of his car next to mine. I couldn’t stop coughing. I think he’d just showered in his car with some cheap cologne. We sat down in the lounge, and I note that I had just had dinner, and am not a drinker. I ordered a diet pepsi; he ordered a beer. Conversation couldn’t have been more awkward and painful. When he would speak, he would always cover his mouth. I found that to be odd, until I realized he had no front teeth (or they were very tiny). My diet pepsi finished pretty quick, and so did his beer. The faster I finished my drink, the faster I go home, right? Nope. He ordered another beer. Are we kidding me here?! I never responded to his message that evening, and he got the hint and never messaged again…until a few weeks later when he messaged me with “do you remember me?” Dude, I’ll never forget you.
3. Rick. I only initiated conversation with this guy because he worked for the same company as a friend. She told me that he was a funny, nice guy around the office. This guy’s profile was a red flag, but I took a risk. His profile had comments like “I live downtown –I own, don’t rent.” and “I’m athletic. I’m 12% body fat.”
First date: we met for drinks; he picked the restaurant. Absolutely no flow –interview-esque conversation. He grabbed the bill, and then suggested I get the next round at the next place. Eh? There’s more to this evening? The night finally ends with a hug and him telling me he lives across the street. Thanks asshole. I have a 45minute commute home. If that wasn’t bad enough, there was a second date, only because in the first he mentioned that he rarely gets second dates. I pitied the fool.
Second date: we met for coffee. He thought it was appropriate/ funny/ amusing (I’m really not sure what he was thinking) to scare me from behind and say, “put down your phone.” Conversation pieces included: him telling me details of his wedding day (he had it planned out to a T), him telling me I was irresponsible for not knowing details of world news, and him looking me up/down and telling me I’m not fit. This latter comment coming from the man who sat at the table trying to flex his arms (absolutely no definition or buffness). When he told me I wasn’t fit, I was ready to comment on his pot belly –and if that’s where he stored the entire 12% body fat.
A few days later he suggested another date, and I declined saying I was (legitimately) busy. He proceeded to tell me that I was lying and just blowing him off. I took the opportunity to tell him that I wasn’t interested, and we weren’t compatible. This is when the exit interview started. He asked questions like “if I didn’t say anything about you blowing me off, would there have been another date?” or “ when did you know we weren’t compatible” and my favourite comment was that he thought we had a tonne in common and we should really give this a second chance. Err, what exactly did you see in common, and where was I for these convos?
4. John Doe. Very cute blonde guy sends me a message with a picture. I sent a photo back. He messages back with a picture too –of his ‘lil friend.’ I ignore. He sends another derogatory picture. I block him. His buddy messages me noting he thought I was hot in the picture I just sent his buddy. I block him. I deactivate my account.
It was a short stint with online dating. I tried, and I learned it’s not for me. And, I think I’m more happier being single than many folks I know in relationships.
What’s your most outrageous online dating story?
(1) Don’t expect your partner to ‘complete’ you.
(2) Enjoy what you do have (i.e. perks of being single).
(3) Know what does and doesn’t work for you.
(4) Step out of your comfort zone and try something new/different.
(5) I can buy myself chocolate tomorrow at 50% off the Valentine’s day prices.