The dance we must do

A freckled hand taking hold of an espresso cup handle, light reflecting in the glossy crema.. Featued in the post The dance we must do
Coffee: Date or Social?

There is something that I find really puzzling. Something we will all do at some point, or so I’m told.

Dating!

I’m a 36-year-old woman and, as far as I can work out, I’ve been on 5 dates. Actual, official, proper dates. Meets and socials, easy peasy. I’ve done those by the (cough-cough) dozen… But actual dates, with people I would be considering starting something with. I fell into a relationship with my first boyfriend, never dated P. M and I met as part of a task and only went for an actual date when we were getting back together (again!) The first time I met B was a friendly swim in the sea, followed by a hot chocolate which then continued to dinner. We have since discussed  this, and have come to the decision that it started as a social and evolved into a date. Does this mean it was my second ever date.

And besides, what is dating?

In my quest to figure all of this out I thought I had best get a definition for dating. According to the Urban Dictionary it is

Dating is where two people who are attracted to each other spend time together to see if they also can stand to be around each other most of the time, if this is successful they develop a relationship, although sometimes a relationship develops anyways if the people can’t find anybody else to date them, or are very lonely or one person is only attracted to the other and pretends to be in love with the second unfortunate person who has the misunderstanding that they have found love.

This makes more sense than the traditional definition where dating means to:

go out with (someone in whom one is romantically or sexually interested).

I have gone out with people I’m sexually attracted to, in order to ascertain whether I actually want to fuck them. With no romantic designs whatsoever. This is what I would describe as “a social meet” and I have done this on many occasion. These are easy to do. I am fully confident when pitching up to meet someone, it’s like an interview, but less formal. (Though if they are too formal then they aren’t going to pass my excruciating compatibility test!) A social would usually be in one of my favourite cafes, discrete and caffeinated, definitely public but not too public… Chat, and hopefully some giggles.

So that’s a social. What is a date?

This  is where I get a bit muddled. What is it? Where does the social meet give over to the date? Here is the crossover for an initial social or date…

  • coffee
  • conversation
  • laughs
  • sussing each other out

None of that is scary. None of it at all! So why does the D-word send fear into my heart? Maybe that’s exactly it? My heart. Sex can be as impersonal as you like, functional, friendly, devoted or loving. Perhaps even a combination of the four? As a single woman, I can get what I want physically easily enough. If I choose to. However, recently I have stopped looking. I have still been taking care of my own needs, but not had someone on hand to use my body in the way that I have started to crave. The taste, touch and smell of a man are a heady combination that stimulate my sensory erogenous zone. And yet I hesitate. Sex for the sake of sex has lost its appeal. And I am left to consider my options. And I talk to friends about dating, and they all seem to have a different view of dating, and the rules that surround it.

This is the dance we must do.

  • No farting or burping.
  • No family or friends to be introduced too soon
  • Hair
  • Make up
  • Nice outfit
  • Don’t tell them your kinks
  • Don’t show them you like them.
  • A little drama between the first and second date is helpful.
  • Show yourself as attractive to others on your first date
  • No mobiles at the table

(This list is not conclusive, but my head is spinning just reliving those conversations I had to top)

Am I the only person who doesn’t know the rules?

How did an intelligent (or so I’m told) woman get to my age and not have any idea??

So I dug a little deeper. I’m not one to panic, but a deep understanding began to settle in the pit of my stomach that if I don’t start to learn these things then I may be single for a lot longer than I had imagined. And I don’t want Doxy to die and leave me!

If I listen to what these people tell me, my trusted companions, I will end up in all kinds of trouble. But I have been reassured that I don’t have to change who I am… Oh No!!

Let me condense my findings so far:

You show your potential mate the blank canvas of you.

Then, once they have fallen in love you shatter their illusions by letting the real you out.

All the while keeping your fingers crossed that they don’t reject you and your quirks, leaving you a shredded version of yourself, in a pit of black despair at never finding love again!!

If that’s the dance, I’m pleased I have two left feet!

I’d be really interested to learn what others think on this, I wonder if there is any right or wrong answer?

 #AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

The dance we must do was first published on A Leap of Faith

10 thoughts on “The dance we must do

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  1. I hadn’t really considered dating in this way, but instead that it is 2 people going out together on their own once or many times until they decide they are in a relationship. However, you could be right and in which case I’ve had fewer dates than you in 56 years.

    Anyway, I hope you find someone to date soon who turns out to be just the right person for you. xx

    1. Though I’m a happy singleton I think I may require someone to date, in order to stop puzzling over the rules and make some of my own. Xx

  2. I’ve never really ‘done’ dating. I’m not wired for it. Spending time with someone I don’t know well – in public, around people – but find attractive, for the purpose of determining whether we are compatible enough to do so again… (And again and again…)

    No thanks.

    I’m better at friendship.

    Which sometimes, over time, grows into something else/deeper/more.

    But that’s for relationships. Sex is something else entirely.

    1. I like your perspective. It’s a new angle to my thoughts around dating, thank you. My healthy-relationship-history is limited, but friendship is an important factor in compatibility for me.

      Sex is the easy part. I think that is why “socials” are so important for me. It’s a safety check, a chemistry check. Not a long-term compatibility check.

    1. I’m fine with strangers, and I adore spending time with my close friends. It’s the middle ground I find hard.

      I’m preparing to kiss a lot of frogs. Vaseline at the ready!

  3. Oh my goodness, do I share your pain!
    I don’t like dating, I don’t like pickups, I don’t like sex as a scratched itch…
    I want meaning, but I’ll also run screaming into the night if you rush or push the emotional side… It’s all VERY CONFUSING.

    Happy A-Z’ing. I hadn’t made it to your number on the spreadsheet yet (I randomized the numbers because I’m a dork) but I followed Mrs. Fever’s link – and I’m glad I did.

    Happy A-Z’ing!

    1. I was having this conversation earlier, in the context of sex bucket lists. I was asked what I have on my list to tick off. My thoughts are that I’ve ticked off most of what I want to do in the name of experimentation, now I’d like to do it with someone whose arms I can curl up in and chat through the night about the fun we’ve just had.
      Getting overwhelmed by feelings is terrifying, and exciting. But if someone else puts that on me I want to push them away. Life as an adult, eh??

      I love Mrs. Fever’s post, I wish I was as organised. Maybe once I’ve figured out dating I’ll get my blig in order more. #Lifegoals

  4. Dating. Sucks. I never got the hang of it. I’m nearly 35 and I don’t think I’ve been on many dates. Many a coffee meet up has just been to determine if I felt comfortable enough to let a guy spank my ass. Nothing more. So I identify with this so hard. Meeting Michael has saved me from having to think about dating for a while. Thank goodness

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