My expectations for my first date were quite low.
We didn't exchange detailed emails in advance nor did we speak on the phone.
If I had passed him on the street, I would never have given him a second look. He probably would have said the same about me.
But on OKCupid we expressed a mutual, modest interest in each other and that was enough to generate an email from him that suggested we meet for a casual hike. So we did.
The conversation flowed easily enough. But it was also strangely impersonal.
Am I crazy to think that almost every gay first date covers at least one of these topics: being gay, sex, dating or relationships? Well, ours didn't. I could have had the exact same conversation with any straight stranger on the street.
We made very little eye contact and there was absolutely no flirting. The best way to summarize the date is that we were two asexual robots walking through the trees together.
When we parted I knew it was unlikely that we would ever meet again. Still, I didn't feel bad about the "date". It was clear that we didn't click in a meaningful way.
Later in the day, to be polite, I sent him a message that said, "Thanks for the nice walk! I'd be happy to do it again sometime." I expected a short reply. Something like, "I enjoyed the walk too. It was good to meet you." Instead, nothing.
Actually, I interpreted 'nothing' as a decision NOT to reply.
Fine. I don't really care that the date went no where.
So....why do I care that he didn't bother to send a polite reply? Is it such an effort to send one or two sentences that say nothing?
I think I care because I have this feeling that he's pissed off. I ask myself, why should he be pissed?? Was it inconvenient to meet me? (He picked the day, time and location.) Does my profile "sell" me as someone I'm not? (I don't think so. What would be the point of that?) Did I say or do something that angered him? Was my email superficial or trite? Maybe I said something offensive to him and didn't realize it? Whatever. None of the second-guessing is important except for one reason - confidence. It's totally stupid but I feel like a dating failure. After ONE date???? Yes, I know. It's not rational, but that's how I feel.
Dating is FULL of rejection, I know that, so I'd better get a thicker skin.
I suppose that will develop in time.
What concerns me is that having my confidence so easily deflated plays into the many doubts I already have:
+ It's week two and I've already reached the point where I am not being pursued. To make any progress I must pursue others.
+ I am fully responsible for three kids (feeding them, homework, activities, etc).
+ I don't live or work in the City.
+ I live with my 'best friend' aka my wife. We sleep in the same bed. What single man wants to hear that?
+ I'm not interested in casual sex. Really. If sex is the gay handshake I'm never going to meet anyone.
+ Gay relationships tend to be short-lived. Why expend a lot of effort trying to find something that isn't going to last?
+ Meeting someone will require me to come out. I don't enjoy being the center of attention. I don't want to be the topic of anyone's conversations. I don't want to feel uncomfortable around people I've known for decades.
Look how negative I am!
My attitude sucks and it really worries me. Success does not come from pessimism. Success does not come from a shitty attitude.
If I want something, I should really hunger for it and be driven to make it happen. Instead I'm limping along. My confidence gets shot because of one marginal date????
I don't know what the answer to my attitude problem is. That bothers me too. Perhaps worst of all, there's a big part of me feels like giving up - so what if I never have an intimate and sexual bond with another person again? I still have other people in my life, like Gabbie and my kids.
I wish I knew how to clear my mind and be focused on a positive future.