The end date
As I said last night when I wrote my post in a fog at 3:18 am, my date was The Man of Many Stories – another server at the pub I work at. A fascinating guy, who I only really got to know last night as we enjoyed our beer after a really hard day of work. He drove tanks in the army, grew-up in Wales, could possibly be Welsh royalty (if there was a royal family), is a working actor who’s hoping to get a job playing a dog man in a new tv show. I feel like I could listen to him for hours (especially because he’s a great story-teller, being an actor). I must sit down with him again for story time soon!
I made it!
I made it through 31 Days, 31 Dates. There were so many ups and downs, I’m in a daze. I just read through all my posts for the month, and I realize how far I’ve come. I’m way more confident dating now – I was very nervous during my first few dates. I know that if a date isn’t going well, it can end after a quick drink. If a date is going well, it can last for hours. One of the hardest parts was, because all of the men knew about the experiment and the blog, sometimes we spent more time talking about dating than actually dating. In general, though, this month taught me a lot about myself, what kind of people I want to date (and what kind of people I don’t want to date!), and that taking time for myself is important, even when going on 32 dates (three days with two dates in them covered the two days I didn’t have a date, hence 32 dates). See below for my top ten things I learned this month.
Recap of the month
From online “go f__k yourself with cucumber you stupid b___h” (the bad) to romantic dinners in Yorkville (the good), I’ve definitely done a lot. Here are the dates I went on during my month of dating: the best friend date, the last-minute set-up, the we-met-at-a-party-and-got-along-so-let’s-go-out date (and older man date), the guy-I-dated-briefly-in-the-past date, the quickie, the blind date, the online date, the first boyfriend date, the no-pressure date, the concert date, the two-dates-in-one-night date, the high-school-crush date, the bar/club scene date, the second day date, the I’m-sick-of-guys-canceling-at-the-last-minute date, the (former)teacher-(former)student date, the online-Facebook-blog-YouTube-text-finally-meeting-in-person date, the speed-dating date, the too-young-for-me date, the second-chance date, the full day of dates, another OK Cupid date, the ‘finally’ date, the ex-boyfriend date, the co-worker date, the social experiment date, the girl date, the chillin date, another set-up blind date, the house date.
My favourite moments:
- Hanging in the park with The Director – no pressures, just enjoying the day and his company
- The notes on the flowers The First Boyfriend gave me.
- Spontaneous ice cream out of an ice cream truck on my first online date.
- The awesome concerts I got to see – Corin Raymond, Jonathan Byrd, Arctic Monkeys, Stornoway, Sea of Bees
- Having a complete gentleman taking me for dinner in Yorkville
- Making some awesome new friends, most importantly The Eco-comedian
- Picnic in the park with The Epicure
My least favourite moments:
- Online dating, the online part – the effort, the bad messages, trying to respond to everyone, the rude behaviour because some people think that because it’s online you can get away with it
- Feeling bad about writing when I didn’t have a great time, or trying to write something interesting when the date was fine, but boring.
- The I’m-sick-of-guys-canceling-at-the-last-minute date
- Speed dating, although worth the experience once in your life
Here are some statistics that I didn’t mention when writing from day to day (out of 32 dates):
- Number of times the guy paid: 17
- Number of times we split it:13
- Number of times I paid: 2
- Number of times I wanted this month to be done: too many for me to count
- Number of times a guy picked his nose while we were talking: 1
- Number of dates I would rather have been hanging out with my friends instead: 4
- Number of dates that I didn’t want to end: 8
- Number of kisses: that information will just have to wait until the book. I have to entice you to buy it somehow!
Things I missed, but don’t want to leave out:
- double dates
- singles bar nights
- Toronto Speed Date’s Top 100 dating, relationship, and singles blogs
- Joe Apology – anonymous apologies (not updated, but still a great read)
- OkTrends – dating research from OkCupid – things like: odds someone enjoys giving oral sex, divided by vegetarians and non-vegetarians and women by body type – sex drive vs. self-confidence
What did I learn?
This is the question most people are interested in. Did I gain any insight into the world of dating that can help others? Did I learn anything about my dating self? Every month, I try to do one ‘top ten’. Here are my top ten things I learned during my month of a date (or sometimes more than one) a day:
10. There are certain deal breakers that everyone has, ie. whether you want children or what religion you are. Know what your deal breakers are, so you don’t end up in falling for someone, then realizing that you can’t compromise on a big issue.
9. Sometimes what looks good on paper, doesn’t work in real life. Sometimes what works in real life, doesn’t look good on paper. Stop being so picky!
8. First and last five minutes: A smile and a hug are the best things to do in both the first and last minutes of a first date. Start the conversation with something you know you have in common, or a running joke you have. Don’t linger at the end of a date, as it gets awkward (I’m horrible for this) – say goodbye and walk away confidently.
7. There’s a dating site for everyone, whether you are a geek (gk2gk.com), in uniform (uniformdating.com), or want to pay (or get paid) for it (Whatsyourprice.com)! Or you can just get someone to match-make for you for the low fee of $15,000.
6. Stop asking so many questions. Just let the conversation flow. The most important thing is chemistry and whether you can have fun, not what job you have or what your background is (why does everyone ask me this question? I’m Canadian). Falling in love does not come from what looks good on paper (see #9).
5. Dress in a way that makes you feel comfortable and confident. If that is sneakers and jeans, then wear sneakers and jeans. Confidence is the most attractive quality anyone can have.
4. Always be honest – tactfully. If you don’t like someone, tell them you are not interested, so they don’t waste their time. People appreciate that way more than if you just ignore them and hope they go away. Knowing is better than always wondering what happened.
3. Changing scenery makes for the best first dates. There is always lots to talk about, because your environment is changing constantly. Go for a walk, or a streetcar ride. Keeping things moving will keep the momentum of the date going.
2. Laugh – a lot. Have fun. Let yourself be silly. If your date doesn’t like you when you are being silly, then you don’t want to be with them anyways.
And my number one thing I learned during 31 Days, 31 Dates is:
1. Don’t try this experiment at home! I am exhausted!
Where will I go from here with Dating?
I need a little break to assess how I feel about dating and the men I dated. There are a couple of men I would like to go on another date with, and I probably will, but I want a little space to really look into my feelings. I am not ready to jump into a relationship after this. Hopefully, though, one will come from it (either from the knowledge I gained, or one of the actual dates) in the future. I will keep you posted!
I’m going to continue with this pattern of writing the day after an event. It gives me a little perspective and is easier on the days when I’m running around. Read about the beginning of Cooking 30 Countries (and my birthday lunch) tomorrow!