Ladies and Gentlemen, please let me introduce you to an old friend, and occasional foe.
I should advise you, dear reader, that I could, and probably eventually will, fill twenty blogs posts charting the ups and downs of my romantic endeavours. However, I’ve been advised that my last two posts were “a bit long”, so I’m desperately trying to keep this succinct.
LOL. Car crashes more like.
That being said, I do actually quite like dating. Do I like the fact that I’m still dating at 34, when seemingly all of my close friends (on both sides of the world) are busy starting families with their loved ones? Not particularly. But, the act of dating itself, I rather enjoy.
I typed that out, but then I re-read it. I’m questioning whether that is actually true or not. So the format for this post is a good old-fashioned list of my pros and cons. Without the cons. They might come later in a follow up post.
PROS TO DATING
A) Meeting new people
Going on a date with a person you don’t know is great in this sense. How often do you get the chance to sit down with a new person and interrogate the shit out of them? I don’t mean in an aggressive sense, but it’s rare to be afforded a few hours of one-on-one time with a stranger. Not only that, but to also be encouraged to pry into their lives, views and opinions. When I used to go on dates in my mid-to-late twenties I didn’t really comprehend this. My approach back then focused on trying to be entertaining and nice, thinking that would get me the girl. Vomit.
IT NEVER GOT ME THE GIRL.
I’ve found that since I consciously focused on finding out about the other person, not trying to sell myself, my dates became more rewarding, and more successful. It’s no surprise; I’ve removed a lot of the pressure I was previously putting on myself. As a result they’re more fun.
B) The thrill of the unknown
Walking into a place and not really knowing what to expect, it’s a buzz. The extent of this varies depending on how I’ve met the girl sat on the other side of the bar. Obviously if we’ve met in circumstances that haven’t involved a ‘swipe to the right‘, I’m going to likely have more of an idea than if this is the first time we are meeting.
Controversially, I’m going to notch up a small win for dating apps here. Walking into a bar and spotting your ‘blind’ date looking incredible is a cracking feeling; jubilation and relief. A bit like England winning that penalty shoot out against Colombia. Mini internalised fist pump goes off. Then a reminder to oneself to play it cool. Don’t accidentally headbutt her whilst greeting hello. Or touch a boob.
C) It’s a good excuse to check out new bars and restaurants
Single people go out more. (quite often a) FACT. We have to. What’s the alternative? Stay in and write a blog like it’s 2009? As it turns out, you can do both.
I’ve been walking past a charming, little wine bar on my way home for over a year now. I’ve always wanted to check it out. Lads do not go to ‘charming, little wine bars’ together, we go to pubs. I think this is a shame as I quite like charming little wine bars.
Recently I went on a date with a delightful Venezuelan lass, so I took her there. It was worth the wait. For Sydney locals, this is the place
In the absence of a significant other (don’t cry for me), a date is the golden ticket to the
Willy Wonker Barossa Valley chocolate wine factory for adults. Especially living in a major city like Sydney, where such places are everywhere.
D) Conversation Topics Galore
I don’t mean conversation topics to discuss with a date. I mean the absolute gold material that arises from ‘being active in the market‘.
If I had a dollar for every time I get asked about my love life I’d be a rich man. Well, no, but I’d probably have close to a grand kicking about. And the compound interest is stacking up as I get older.
What I mean by that is, as more and more of the people I surround myself with couple up, and settle down – the more my stories of the dating world seem to be in demand. I sense I’m being used for vicarious purposes. I couldn’t care less. As you can tell from this blog I’m not exactly scared of being open about what’s going on in my life.
E) The Chase
Just like anything in life, if it’s worth having, you have to work for it.
Apparently it’s easy when you meet ‘the one’, if that’s the case then I definitely haven’t met her yet.
I went on a date with a friend of a friend recently, it was good fun, we got along well, but sparks didn’t exactly fly. I think we both knew this, but because she acknowledged the fact I instantly became more interested. I’ve been chasing her for a second date ever since. I’ve rather enjoyed the chase even though I’ve accepted that nothing is likely to happen.
Do we place too much importance on the initial sparks? – that probably deserves a more detailed assessment in another post.
F) The new shirt
I am not a fan of shopping for clothes. Shopping for food at the market – I can’t get enough, but traipsing round a shopping centre trying to find garments that a) I like the look of, and b) fit well, is not my idea of fun.
However, if I’ve got a date coming up, I seem to get a boost of energetic enthusiasm for buying something new to look good in. I think there’s a pretty good chance that if I didn’t date, my wardrobe would consist of blue jeans from Uniqlo, black t-shirts from Zara and grey jumpers from wherever I find them on sale.
G) It’s something to do
Literally. Everyone around me, bar a couple of lads and my sister is settled down. Plus we’re all in our thirties now and work responsibilities have grown significantly since the carefree days of the mid-twenties. Dating offers a bit of a social lifeline. Although I’ve also taken up Salsa dancing and play in a football team. Can’t go into those dates too desperate for human interaction now, can I?
And with that, my friends, I’ve just breached the self-imposed 1000 word limit. Have a good weekend. Wish my right thumb luck.