Okay, so I’ve been focusing on digging myself out of my inaction, depression, and general negativity.
I’m feeling better, happier, more hopeful. I had a great date the other day with a lovely, smart, dorky girl I met through OkC, and we had the most romantic and totally ad hoc time ever. Now that I’m in the aftermath of that, I’m worried naturally about screwing everything up.
I’m worried about texting too much. Worried about not texting enough. Worried that, since we are both only free on weekends, having to wait 5-6 days after a date will lead to things petering out too quickly for a relationship to take root. I recognize that so much of this really depends on her as fully half the equation, and fully anticipating her reactions is impossible, but I’d like some advice on how one ought to maintain optimal levels of mutual interest and anticipation for the next meeting. I’d add that I was pretty energetic and dynamic f or our date, funny and spontaneous, but I’m just quite worried that I won’t be able to keep it up. Thus, more articles and advice on post-first date and longer term maintenance would be great!
– 2nd Date Nerves
Dude. DUDE. Chill.
This is my big advice for you. Calm the holy fuck down. You had an awesome date, which is terrific! But you’re clearly so tense with nervous energy that you’re one espresso away from vibrating through space and time and I really rather like this timeline so I’d appreciate your not Sound-of-Thundering it into non-existence.
Take a breath, do some yoga and calm the hell down because you’re going to give yourself an aneurysm long before you can potentially screw things up.
Calm? OK. Here’s what you do.
First: Quit treating this like it’s a life or death matter. Believe me I understand the way things feel: you’ve had an awesome date with an incredible woman and you haven’t had much success romantically so everything in your body is alternately screaming “DON’T FUCK THIS UP OR YOU’LL BE ALONE FOREVER” and “LOCK THIS DOWN BEFORE SHE WISES UP NOW NOWNOWNOWNOWNOWNOW!” and that’s going to screw you over if you don’t get control of it. You’re working on a scarcity mindset right now and that’s going to color how you interact with her. You’re feeling like she’s the only woman in the world who will ever be this awesome and that’s making you feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells.
Paradoxically, this attitude – the constant worry and fear that you’re about to screw things up – is going to cause most of your problems. You’re going to be expending so much mental energy trying to gauge how you’re doing with her by going over everything she says like it was the Zapruder film that you’re going to miss the forest for the trees. You’re going to worry that you’ve texted too much or that you’ve said something wrong and you’re going to end up living out that scene from Swingers where John Favreau calls that girl a dozen times and you’re not going to be able to sleep until you get another text from her to reassure yourself that you HAVEN’T fucked up. You’re going to be radiating neediness like a radioactive chihuahua with separation anxiety.
Yet if you accept that there are thousands upon thousands of awesome women out there and that she is just one of many who will dig you… you’re going to have an easier time. You’ll be able to enjoy talking to her and be your best self instead of trying to curate every single thing you do or say. You’ll be able to accept “yes” for an answer because you’ll be able to relax and appreciate that yeah, she digs you too.
Start by realizing that she is not the last woman on Earth and every single interaction with her isn’t potentially the last time you’ll ever feel this way again and you’ll start to relax.
Second: 99.99% of the world is only free to date on weekends. Somehow they manage to make it work. Don’t feel like you need a date every two days to keep the emotional momentum going.
Third: The way you keep things going is to keep the conversation going. You don’t want to bowl her over with texts or FB messages, but you can send a (A. SINGULAR) text about something related to the things you talked about or did on your date. If the two of you were kicking off like you said, then the chemistry between the two of you will help keep the conversation going. In a worst case scenario, here’s a text you can send that I’ve had great success with in getting the conversational ball rolling: “You just popped into my head, so I wanted to say ‘Hey’. Oh, and stay out of my head.”
Just stick to the basic ratio: one text per reply per day. If she doesn’t reply immediately, it’s not the end of the world, despite the worst-case scenarios playing out in your head. It likely just means she’s busy and will get back to you later. Flooding her with texts trying to provoke a response will only seem needy and unattractive.
So just chill out and be the cool guy who she had such a great time with on your date and all will be well. And plan another date already.
I’m female and I’ve recently started online dating and I wanted to know whether you think it’s okay for a woman to make the first move online. How do you think it comes across online, if I was to make the first contact? In my view, I think its a bit aggressive. What is your view and advice?
– Rules? What Rules?
It’s always ok for a woman to make the first move, online or off. To start with: there will be plenty of people who will be relieved that you’re taking the pressure off them to approach. Second, consider it like a way of screening out the insecure and overly old-fashioned. If folks are too intimidated or otherwise put off by the fact that you took the initiative instead of them and thus have totally upset the gender-role apple cart… well, it’s probably a safe bet you didn’t want to date them in the first place.
I’m on a bit of a horrible situation.
I have this girl, which was (and I hope still is) my best and closest friend for the last six or seven years. We went to university together, we went to post-graduation together. We have the same tastes and like basically the same things. And we supported each other emotionally when the situation was bad for one or both of us. She, and now I see my error in doing this, she became the person I went to every time I had a romantic disappointment. My romantic and sexual life was virtually non-existent in those same six or seven years; I only dated one girl, and she was emphatic from the very first moment that she was interested only in casual sex (which we had, once; soon afterwards she entered in a relationship).
This friend of mine had, until recently, a rock-solid relationship, for eight or nine years. She and her boyfriend were only waiting for a better financial situation to get married and live together. But, in the last six months or so, she became unsatisfied, mainly because her boyfriend wasn´t making any real effort to achieve that financial security, and was abusing on alcohol and marijuana. Long history short, they ended the relationship some three weeks ago.
And then my personal hell began.
When she told me about the end of her relationship (and, as best friend, I was the one she contacted first), something, for lack of better word, awakened inside me. I discovered myself deeply attracted to her. I’m not using the L word here, because I’m not even sure that is the case. At first I decided to bury these feelings; but, as a couple of days passed, and I suffered more and more, I decided not to take this to the grave with me, and talked to her.
She was very nice, and assured me that she understand me, that she would not sever ties with me (my greatest fear, from past situations like that), but that we are only good friends.
That happened three weeks ago (she broke up on a Wednesday, and I talked to her on the same week, on the Friday). Since then, we talked little, and shared a few messages, only about our studies (we are trying to enter in the same master’s degree program).
Since then, I had very little peace of mind. I´m sleeping badly, lost my focus on the many things I have to do, and I´m feeling terrible anxious about the future of our friendship. I really, really like her as friend, and hurts me to know that probably, from now on, she will wall me out of part of her life. To make things worse, I´m almost certain that she is dating a work colleague.
To you understand how close we are, her brother called me today at three in the morning, to ask me if I know where she was, because she doesn´t got home yet (which is totally out of her normal). When I tried to call her, she don´t answered, and minutes later send me a message, saying that is everything all right and that she was arriving at home. I texted back, asking where she had been, and she ignored me.
This email is already a bit long, so I´m wrapping it. What I should do, Doc? In any other situation, I happily and gladly would be using the nuclear option. But, and I cannot emphasize that enough, she is my friend, and I accept that this situation is my fault, for I neglected my sentimental life for too long. I don´t want to lose my friend.
– Full Brazilian
So many things to work through here.
First of all: DUDE. You have my sympathies because it sucks when someone you care for doesn’t care for you the same way… but you kinda went about it ass first. You spilled your guts when she had just gotten out of a nine year relationship and a person’s gotta heal, ya know? I mean look at it from her perspective: she’s just had an incredibly long-standing part of her life come to an end and she’s barely come to terms with the fact that the break up happened at ALL and you tell her that you’re suddenly in something with her. This is going to be a lot to handle emotionally because now not only does she have to deal with her break up but she’s trying to handle your emotions as gingerly as she can. That’s really not cool, yo.
Let’s be realistic here: even if she did have feelings for you… she literally just got out of a relationship. Unless she was jumping ship specifically to date you, she’s probably not going to want to date anyone right now.
Second: You say something suddenly ‘awoke’ in you. Maybe you’ve always had a little crush on her and you didn’t know it. Maybe it’s just that now that she’s available, she’s much more attractive to you. Maybe it’s transference because you feel like she’s the only girl in the world who understands you and could love you. Regardless, obsessing about her and losing your chance with her is only going to serve to push her away. You need to dial your shit back. Yeah, it blows that she doesn’t like you the way you want her to but you’re going to have to accept it if you want to stay friends; losing sleep and focus means that you’re letting it gnaw away at you in ways that aren’t healthy.
You want to keep her as a friend? Then you need to calm down and give her some space.
Odds are she’s feeling weird and uncomfortable and more than a little annoyed at you right now because you picked the 2nd worst possible time to spring this on her and she doesn’t want to have to deal with the emotional tightrope of your mental health and feelings for her while she’s processing her own. If you don’t want her to wall you out of her life, then you need to act like a friend, not a guy trying to win her heart. I realize is the opposite of what I say here, but a) she’s already told you she doesn’t feel the same way, b) she’s still recovering from a break-up which is the worst time to try to jump out of the Friend Zone and c) she’s going to feel pressured by you and that’s the last thing you want – no matter whether you’re hoping to stay friends or to be her lover.
Plus: you don’t want to make her think that you were only friends with her because you were waiting for your window of opportunity.
This means that you need to not get crazy and acting jealous. Things like asking her where she’s been? Be honest with me here: yeah, you were a concerned since her brother called you up but c’mon, how much of that was because you were afraid she was out fucking someone? Because I can guarantee you that’s exactly how she took it. You told her that her brother was worried about her – fine, mission accomplished. Asking her what she’d been up to: none of your damn business. That’s why she ignored you: she doesn’t need you freaking out at her right now. She needs a friend and from the sounds of things, you haven’t really been acting like one.
If you can’t dial your feelings back enough that you can give her the support and comfort she needs – because, as I said, she just got out of a relationship that was lasted nearly a third of her life – without making it about how you feel, then you need to spend some time away from her until you can. Do NOT announce this to her. Just take a step back and do your thing. You don’t need to cut all ties, just… let a little distance happen. You’ve been friends for nearly a decade; you can survive a little space.
Not every friendship is going to turn to love and especially not if she feels like the price of entry for your friendship is having to deal with your feelings for her. If you want to maintain your friendship then you need to take a deep breath and let go. I’ve posted a link on the NerdLove Facebook Page about how to fall out of love with someone, which may help you. But what I recommend most is that you get busy. You’re trying to get into a Master’s program, which should be getting the lion’s share of your attention right now. Concentrate on your studies; when you can’t stop thinking about her, get up and get physical. Go for a run, jump rope, do something cardiovascular that will exhaust you. Drown your pain in the sensations of your body. It’ll make you feel better, sleep better and help you get in better shape, which will make you feel better about yourself.
I also recommend throwing yourself back into the dating pool. You shouldn’t look for anything serious – after all, that’s unfair to your prospective girlfriend – just enough to remind yourself that there are other women out there. Spend a little time improving your life and you won’t be feeling crushed by her not loving you the way you’d prefer.