Kate Kotler writes for Bleeding Cool;
Hi, welcome back to our regularly scheduled geeky dating column!
I’m sorry we’ve been MIA for a month +, don’t blame Elliott – blame me… I’ve been so focused on crunchy, day-to-day, personal LIFE stuff happening in and around me I haven’t had much bandwidth left to write this column.
I’d like to make that up to you now with this tale of dating mishaps and misdirection… sorta.
As many of you know, I recently found myself single again. After an appropriate amount of time feeling bad about my most recent breakup (which, honestly, was very mutual and quite gentle and I’m still good buddies with the person in question) I decided to get back out there and start meeting people again.
Before hitting the proverbial road in search of new (potentially sexy) geeky guys to meet I made a few decisions about what I was looking for in potential new partner and how I’d approach this latest round of dating. Because, like any geek worth their salt, I had to create a rule-set to follow:
I wanted to meet and date someone someone I could be great friends with. I think that one of the biggest errors people make when dealing with romantic entanglements these days is that they whiz past the getting-to-know you phase of dating smack into the committed relationship, living together and sharing a checking account phase of dating. This is a mistake. As my very smart Mom told me once, “You’re best dating someone you can be terrific friends with. It’s the friendship which will keep you together, get you through tough times and keep you from killing each other when you respectively drive each other crazy.” I think this is true. So, I want to DATE someone… get to know them over time… become friends, let emotions develop naturally… and take it from there. I don’t want someone to throw their life into chaos for me and I will not throw my life into chaos for someone else.
If I saw someone – in person, or online – that I was interested in going out with, I’d ask them out. Further, if I was asked out, I would not say no (unless I had a real good reason like having the flu or being out of town, and then I’d try to find an alternate time to go out with the person.) This comes from the debate I had a few months ago with my co-author of this column in which I stated “If you go up to someone and sincerely ask them out, nine times out of ten they’ll say yes.” I realized that I needed to help prove that rule true – and, that honestly, I have a couple hours to spare anyone who shows a strong enough interest in getting to know me that they bravely ask me out. So no matter who you are, so long as you’re able to be in Chicago for our date and you are amenable to finding a time/day that works for us both, if you ask me out – I will go out with you. Because… you never know.
These rules being place, I’ve been out on two dates in the last two weeks that were – on the whole – completely different.
#1 My first date was with a man who I asked out solely on the fact that I thought he was funny. When it came time to get together, we discovered that we have barely any social habits in common. He’s very big into sports and camping. I am into comics and watching Doctor Who. He’s a Sox fan, I’m a Cubs fan (those of you who live in Chicago will understand why that doesn’t work). Where we intersected was in a mutual love of music and cooking. I told him that we didn’t need to like all the same things to hang out (which is true). So I met him at one of my favorite dive bars (I know, breaking my own “no drinking on date one” rule) which hosts a free jukebox chock full of amazing music to play.
Over the course of several hours, we had a great time chatting, playing music and drinking… perhaps a little too much… because if I recall correctly I let someone convince me that the new popular chaser to Jamison’s Irish Whiskey is pickle juice*. Due to said inebriation, there might have been some inappropriate first date lip-locking, etc. action. I am a lady, I won’t disclose those details…
It was a fun date. While I’ve only heard from the man in question once since said date, I kind of hope that we’ll hang out again. He was cute, fun and funny. In fact, I’m not going to sit around and hope – as I was writing this column, I decided text him and ask him if he wanted to hang out this weekend. We’ll see if he wants to see me again.
#2: On OKCupid, date number two looked to be my perfect man… Somewhat tall, works in tech, lists as his five favorite television shows (in order) Doctor Who, Torchwood, Mythbusters, How I Met Your Mother and Castle. He learned to read when he was three (so did I) and reads on average three books per week (I read three, sometimes four). While he doesn’t know much about comics, he’s interested in them and open to learning. And, he’s a good Midwestern liberal, who is passionate about politics.
So I asked him out. And, he said yes. After I suggested several first-date-y type things (coffee, hiking in the park, etc.) he suggested simply getting dinner together. I, as always, viewed this as an opportunity to get me some sushi (broke freelance writers don’t treat themselves to dinner out often) and suggested my favorite Chicago sushi restaurant.
Between when we set the date and when we actually went on the date, there were lots of flirty text messages and emails being traded. To the point that I was super excited about the date, thinking perhaps this guy would be special and someone I could proceed with getting to know in an organic nature, building first a friendship, then a romantic relationship.
Now, I’m not going to say that’s not going to happen… the man in question was lovely. And, I had a good time at dinner with him. But, I was a little disheartened at the fact that when dinner was over and I suggested maybe walking around a bit, then grabbing desert (he doesn’t drink booze or coffee) that he said no. It wasn’t so much that he said no, it was that he stated that he needed to get home to his cat as the excuse.
As I’ve used Max (my dog) as an excuse to get out of dates which were not going well before, I took this a bit as a blow off and sign of disinterest on his part. And, as I haven’t heard from him since our date last weekend, I’m feel like that assessment of his behavior was pretty spot on.
That’s okay, I’d rather be cut loose early in the process if one or both parties aren’t feeling it, to be honest. I’ve long ago stopped taking the rejection that is part and parcel with the dating game personally.
So what are the lessons from this week’s column? Mostly, that I live by my own words, I think. I take my own advice and put my money where my mouth is. I’d like that to serve as encouragement to all those of you out there who have written in with questions for myself and Elliott, or responded to one of our columns on the Bleeding Cool forums… just get out there and do it. You have nothing really to lose if you keep a healthy perspective and good sense of humor. And, who knows? You might gain something pretty fracking awesome if you play your cards right.
*Apparently Pickle Back is a legitimate thing. Honestly, it’s actually pretty good… yeah, I was drunk enough that Tom the bartender got me to try it.
Remember, you can send your dating questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next week, KYPO!
(Say it “KAPOW!” – it’s like if Batman punched you in the face of love.)