You’ve timed it so you’re a couple of minutes late because, let’s face it, no one wants to be the girl who gets there early and loiters; definitely better to be the one that waltzes in a little late. And when you do, you’re look around out for the one that vaguely matches the profile picture you’ve been talking to for the last couple of days; for someone who matches the instagram-pictures you found/stalked of him; for the guy who…
“Hey!” A tap on your shoulder. “It’s you, isn’t it?”
And suddenly the profile picture is matched to a face, a voice, a person. Only…
Well. The face doesn’t exactly match the voice you imagined it would belong to. And the person is a little shorter than you measured him up to be (whilst stalking him on social media). But he’s here. He’s smiling. And he’s already bought you a drink, so you fumble some hello’s and go and find a seat.
Someone recently told me they prefer one-night stands because at least they’ve got the attraction part sorted out.
Because instead I sit – on too many occasion – trying to listen to my Bumble Blind Date as he chats away while subconsciously drawing myself out of the conversation to focus on his face. To decide if it’s a face I could see myself kissing: or kissing me for that matter. If it’s a body I’d want to wake up to after a night out, or a chest I’d want to lean on while watching Netflix. Call me crazy, but I know you subconsciously think it too.
He’s friendly, he’s polite, the conversation flows. But there’s just something missing. And when he leans in for this kiss at the end of the night (which yes, I have sometimes embraced, whether out of sheer polite-awkwardness or to see if that might be the moment I feel the spark, I haven’t quite decided yet). And instead of first-kiss fireworks it just feels a little wet and uncomfortable and all you’re thinking about is how guilty you feel for letting him pay for your pad-thai (even if it was amazing).
And then, whether you’re like me, you may agree to some future plans because you can’t stomach voicing how you feel to his face, and then end up back at home feeling horrifically guilty and avoiding going online on Whatsapp otherwise you’ll have to reply to his Did you get home okay? text.
Hun – it happens to the best of us. Here are some things I am learning from this situation (if anything, some pearls of wisdom to make you a bit less guilty):
It’s okay to not be attracted to someone.
You’re not going to be attracted to every person you meet – you’d never get anything done if you were. And vice versa. When you’re young and “casual dating“, it’s okay to test the waters. This part of your life is about deciding what’s right for you and determining what it is you’re looking for. If this isn’t it, trust yourself. Don’t feel bad for not wanting someone in that way – there will be someone else who does.
A second date is not leading someone on.
I have been quite bad for not giving people a second chance, let alone a second date. If the first hasn’t played out as the version I hoped it would be, I’d mostly likely rule it out and cut ties before anything could develop. But seeing someone again, even if you weren’t sure, doesn’t mean you’re leading them on. Sometimes people take a while to come out their shell; sometimes first impressions aren’t everything. And if there’s still no spark after the second date well – at least you know for sure.
Texting is fine*.
*Definitely a personal opinion but I genuinely believe that texting has become such a huge part of the way we converse these days that breaking this kind of thing over Whatsapp isn’t necessarily the worst way to do it. Would you really want someone to tell you they weren’t interested in you to your face? Personally I’d much rather receive it where I had time to compose myself and a non-chalant message whilst eating ice cream in the comfort of my own bed. Surely that’s the best way to receive it? NB – this opinion is subject to my own cowardice.
“Don’t waste someone’s time.”
I am a full advocate of this. I don’t believe in the stereotypical “its not you it’s me” lines but this one speaks the truth. If you’re not feeling it; if you’re not attracted to them; if you’re not interested in someone, don’t pretend that you are. Don’t drag it out any longer than it has to. If you’re not sure then don’t waste their time, because that time could be used finding someone who is suited to you – and that works for both of you. So don’t overuse this phrase, but it also works wonders.