I won’t date, don’t ask me …*

I met Tarik back in May when I was out dancing with some friends.  We danced, we tried to talk but the music was too loud, we exchanged numbers, I went home.

And then he called.  And then he called again.  And then he texted.  And then he asked me out.  And instead of my first thought being, “Oh, isn’t that nice? Tarik wants to get together,” my first thought was, “Oh Lord, a date?”

You’re right: that reaction didn’t bode well for Tarik.  I seem to have gotten to a place where I’m not all that interested in dating.  I’ll slog through a relationship, but I’ve lost the patience for the pre-game show.  I’ve done a fair amount of dating, but I don’t think I ever really learned how to do it.  I think you’re supposed to learn about it in high school, and I missed that class.

I’ve said goodbye to Tarik, but I’ve decided to “get back out there” in something that might vaguely resemble an active way … and this is going to mean going on dates.

What’s the problem with dating?  I like going out for coffee, out for dinner, out to the movies.  I like visiting museums and walking in the park.  I even like going to ball games … you know, sort of.  So what is it that I don’t like?  I think it’s the part where I have some guy there with me who I don’t know well and who expects me to make charming, sparkling conversation and show some level of interest in and attraction to him.

Yeah, that would be it.

I’m not really this anti-social.  Really not.  And while it may be true that I’m solidly on the way to becoming a crotchety old lady, it’s also true that there’s something annoying about dating.  It’s not the you-have-to-kiss-a-lot-of-frogs-to-find-your-prince part (though that’s annoying, too: there are some hella bad kissers out there!).  It’s the feeling that you’re being taken for a test drive; it’s the displeasure of having to be civil with some man who has just revealed his racism or sexism or something-ism that turns me off totally; it’s having him lean his puckered lips across the table as you’re putting on your chapstick and ask for some; it’s having men assume that, simply because I said yes to dinner and a movie, I want to bring them home with me.  Feh.

But it’s a necessary evil, right?  Even though AC basically fell into my lap and no dating was required for us to suddenly be in the middle of a messy entanglement, it just doesn’t happen that way all the time.  So I need to get over my distaste and get out of the house.

And so, I have a date tonight — try not to fall off your chairs.  Thanks to my friend Marilyn, I’ve got a date with her friend Dan.  Dan seems nice enough, but he’s already got a strike against him.  As soon as our first phone conversation started, he was going on about how articulate I am.  I’m trying to keep an open mind …

* (And how much do I love Blossom Dearie?)

19 thoughts on “I won’t date, don’t ask me …*

  1. Dating, I wasn’t good at either. I couldn’t wait for HIM… I had to break the rules… We are so cool don’t you think?? No need do play the games. So the prime guys will just be there…
    Tuvia was standing, watching me grab for the bagels and whitefish salad… Hey tonight is the night to remember… we just had his homemade chicken soup to break the fast.

    All my best vibes for tonight, Stacie,



  2. Laurie Bargstedt

    Stacie, I had to read more from you FB post…I could have written this myself…we could have been having this conversation over coffee…and maybe we will soon!


  3. molly

    this music is really lovely. Thanks
    where is it written that you can’t declare a date OVER as soon as the guy says something offensive?
    “This is just not going to work. I have to leave now, bye”
    or, more elaborately,
    “Ouch, I have a sudden headache. I get migraines, and sometimes I vomit. That’s what this feels like. It is really necessary for me to leave now, sorry, bye.”


    1. I like your exit lines, Molly. As I younger dater, I never walked out on anyone. These days, it’s way more likely that I would. I’m much less willing to spend my time with people I don’t care for. Let’s hope no one makes that necessary.


  4. This topic is just what my women’s group was discussing a couple of weeks ago. Of course, we’re all “old” (over 60) so it’s a bit different, but not so much. One of our members dated from Match.com over the summer and blogged about it. We thought it was just online dating where you felt that you were each doing a sales job — but maybe it’s the pure dating experience that’s like that.

    Just for an older view of the situation, check out my friend’s blog, datingaftersixty.blogspot.com/ Start with May and read up.


    1. I checked out your friend’s blog. Our ages are different, but our thoughts are very much the same! I haven’t read all the way through, so I don’t know how successful she has or hasn’t been. As for me, I’m not sure how long this dating experiment is going to last. We’ll see how long my patience with this process works.


  5. Ah, I do not miss dating. I did schloads of it to finally meet my husband. Of course if you see something supremely distasteful, move along, however, I would advise giving yourself a little time to warm up to someone.

    I think when we are young, we have been judged less and have fewer expectations and thus present ourselves more honestly. As we become wizened and pick up baggage to carry with us, we(many of us anyhow) become more afraid that someone will not like something about us, or we try and make a favorable impression, or remember to compliment someone….all the little things that may appear false or calculated.

    When I met my husband(eharmony btw) I thought he was handsome but dressed goofy with a silly haircut. He was warm enough but seemed nervous and I didn’t think he had much of a sense of humor. I gave him a second and third date because I, in dating desperation, had decided I needed to get to know people better. Thank heavens I did because when he got more comfortable with me(he’s a bit shy), he warmed into this hilarious, cynical, sexy thing. Had I let my first impressions rule, I would have missed out.

    Best of luck smart lady, the good ones are still out there, it just requires a bit of effort, le sigh.


    1. “Le sigh,” indeed! I’m encouraged by your story, and reminded of a dictate handed down by a friend years ago: Every man should get three chances. Exceptions made for particularly heinous men, who barely merit one. I really am trying to keep an open mind. We’ll see what happens!


  6. Pingback: Dating Requires Listening to Your Emotional Needs « Emotional Sobriety: Friends & Lovers

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