So… I went on my first date in five months.

At first, I was indiscriminately swiping right on Bumble (and then Tinder) just to see who I matched with.  Then I starting swiping just for girls I was actually interested in.  This time I engaged them in conversation – or tried to.  Talking to most of them was like talking to the wall.  One word/one sentence answers, and nothing asked about myself in return.  I deleted each one and moved onto the next.

I finally managed to get something of a rapport going with this one girl, and we set up a game of chess for a first date.  All right, something different.  However, I had a funny feeling so I started the countdown.  Right on cue, she canceled the day before saying she forgot she was supposed to help her sister move.  I just said “no problem, let me know when is good for you.”  I didn’t expect to hear back (since I never do) and I was right.  And I don’t even care anymore when they flake out.  Losing my virginity has enhanced my IDGAF abilities.

Then I chatted up another girl, and ended up on yet another coffee date.  I’d sworn those off, but this time I thought it was a good idea to start small before investing in something more involved.    Good call.  Things got off to a slow start and ended up feeling forced and awkward.  It seemed like we were both just prodding the conversation along, and after an hour she called it a night.  She was actually yawning prior to that.  Either she was really tired or I was really boring, or both.

Outside I gave her a hug and kiss on the cheek and said it was nice to meet her.  Then we said good night and parted ways. I said nothing about getting together again, nor did I follow up with her afterwards.  I already knew what I would hear – the usual “oh I had a nice time and you’re a funny/interesting guy but I just don’t feel any sort of connection etc etc.”  So that was that.  But it was nice to get back in the game, even if I’m feeling a bit rusty.  I’m not really putting much effort into online dating right now, nor am I taking it very seriously.

Some of you have asked me “what are you looking for?” and I’d always struggled to answer that question.  How was I supposed to know when I had so little experience to draw upon?  And I’d always thought it unfair for some girls to reject me when they’d barely gotten to know me.  But now I get it.  The way things felt and flowed with Rebecca is my new benchmark going forward.  So if I do go on another online date, it won’t be unless I’m really feeling things.

Otherwise I’m busy doing my own thing and getting out in the real world.  I recently spent an hour on Meetup joining a slew of new groups and I went on my second outing last weekend.  It was another hike and we had over 20 people, but the vast majority were in their 40s and 50s. There were a couple of girls around my age in attendance, but one of them showed up with her boyfriend and another guy had already swooped in on the other by the time I arrived.

I watched with the tiniest tinge of jealousy as they exchanged phone numbers afterwards.  Not because I was attracted to her, but it was just the very idea.  I’ve always marveled at how dating and relating comes so easy to some people.  Some can date a different person every week, or every night of the week if they wanted, and they have no shortage of options.  They go from one to relationship to the next as easy as breathing.  How do they do it?  And how can I get there?   Not that I want to go through a revolving door of girls, but how do I achieve that same ease of attraction?  It’s something I’m still figuring out as I go along.

Some of you are frustrated virgins as I once was, trying to figure out your own way forward.  The best thing for you to do right now is to just work on yourself.  That can be as simple as picking up a new hobby or cultivating an existing one.  Good skills give you social currency.  Girls like confidence… except maybe you don’t feel confident.  But if you can find confidence simply in doing something well – whatever it may be – then that’s just as beneficial.  It’s why I devote so much time to my artistic pursuits.  At the very least, your hobbies will give you shit to talk about, especially if you find someone who shares your passions.  So if you don’t know where to start, that’s a good place.

A good analogy for me is this: say you want to develop your abs…  Now, you can spend an inordinate amount of time concentrating on your midsection, doing hundreds of crunches trying to spot reduce your belly fat.  Or you can work your whole body, targeting the major muscle groups with compound exercises.  If you do that and concentrate on your diet, then your abs will almost take care of themselves.  So if you’re struggling on dates or to even get dates, take a step back and date yourself for a while.  It’s an indirect way of achieving the same end.

Apart from my renewed Meetup activities I’ve also started volunteering at the animal sanctuary, the one my old friend is at.  We started super early at 7:30 AM.  On Sunday.  Ugh.  Kill me.  But we were the first two there and I was glad for the chance to talk to her alone as we fed and watered the alpacas and turkeys.  Then our conversation was interrupted by a father/daughter duo who showed up to volunteer as well, and will be joining us every weekend.  Of course.  Not that it really matters, because I’m pretty sure she’s still with the boyfriend.  And even if she’s not, she’s militantly vegan and our lifestyles would clash horribly.  But I’m there to spend time with the animals more than anything else.

Later that same day Vegan Girl posted some animal pics to my Facebook, and as always my friend Don was right there commenting on her post and asking her questions.  Every time a girl leaves me a comment, or vice versa, he sees it in his news feed and he jumps right in with his two cents, stepping all over my dick in the process.  It’s annoying as shit.  I’m afraid the time has come to block him, especially now that he’s mining my friend list for more girls to add. He already has a thousand as it is.

In a way, I almost have to give him credit – even if he did hit on my sister Mary (who’s ten years older and looked at him as if he were a bug).  He leaves absolutely no stone unturned, but I guess he has to when he’s the weirdest and most socially awkward person ever.  I stopped dining out with him because last time he was staring creepily at random girls and blowing straw wrappers at them.  He actually thought he was being flirty.  *facepalm*  (Another bit of advice for you virgins: don’t be like Don.)  Yet somehow he finally managed to lose his virginity too.  And get this – he did it a full two years before I did.  How in the fuck.  I’m still trying to process that.

So that’s the round up.  I’ve also made up a list of things to do and places to see, which has now grown to two pages.  So far I’ve crossed off a good number of items.  Most of it is just fun silly shit, but I consider them accomplishments nonetheless.  I’ll detail them all when I do my end of year post.

13 thoughts on “Icebreaker

  1. Some of you are frustrated virgins as I once was, trying to figure out your own way forward. The best thing for you to do right now is to just work on yourself. That can be as simple as picking up a new hobby or cultivating an existing one.

    I think a lot of older virgins (both men and women but especially men) are so focused on losing it that they often cannot see anything else. You’re right, of course, and many of us said these very words to you when you were a virgin. I think it’s ironic that you’ve only been able to see it since you lost you V-Card, but I guess that’s the vicious circle at play.

    • The thing was, I’d already been working on myself (like for 30 years) so I didn’t know what else I was supposed to be doing? I think the trick was finding the right balance of doing my own thing vs. not worrying about dating. Once that happened – success. Now I’m trying to find that sweet spot again. There were other times over there years when I was in that spot, except I was so wrapped up in my own little world that I’m afraid I may have missed prime opportunities for dating.

      • Exactly, you got it. It’s easy to see when you are on the other side. I had the same issue after my ex cheated. When she blamed me for her cheating, all those teenage anxieties came back.

        It took a while for me to realise that I was not the problem, my ex was in how she had treated our sex life for so long.

    • I definitely agree this is good advice to focus on bettering yourself. When you’re a virgin, you think you’ll never happen lose your virginity…I thought it’d never happen in the sense that it’d be forever til I met someone who I was attracted to and who at least cared about me to an extent (not a one night stand). But I think in this day and age when you’re in your teens and 20’s, sex is thrown around and it is so easy to get laid. Everyone has the choice to do what they want and I’m not judging, but I personally am tired of how lightly people take sex. Yea hookups can be fun but I still don’t want to bang fifty guys til I meet someone I actually settle down with.

      I guess guys have a harder time getting sex especially as you get older. It can also depend on your social capability and opportunities, lifestyle/if you do the nightlife scene, how assertive you are, and attractiveness/confidence.

      • There is massive societal pressure on men to be pursuing sex all of the time. It is not just from men either. When pressed, and in my experience, most women appear to prefer a man with experience – or at the very least, more experience than she has.

        And God forbid if a man is asexual. He is seen as a social pariah; people assume he is either homosexual or “scared” of sex.

          • Oh yes. sometimes it’s subtle though. The idea of the man as the pursuer and woman as the pursued.

            Well, you can’t develop competence without experience. I used to lurk on forums for some large dating sites. The number of women who said they wouldn’t date a virgin was surprising. The general attitude is that they don’t want to teach somebody the ropes. Admittedly, there were clearly some for whom the idea of teaching a man was a turn on too, so the attitudes are not universal.

      • The majority of guys have a hard time getting sex, period. Girls don’t have to work for it like we do.

        The funny thing is, when I was in high school and even college, I really didn’t think most of my peers were having sex. If they were it just wasn’t apparent to me, nor did I ever seem to hear about it. Then again, I was pretty much in my own little world. So that whole scene just passed me by and here I am in my 30s trying to figure out shit that I should have learned over ten years ago.

  2. “Another bit of advice for you virgins: don’t be like Don.” Haha classic.

    Your serious advice is good too though. I also think that sooner or later you’ll meet someone, and would you rather look back at your life and think about all the time you were stressing about being single, or all the cool things you did and how you didn’t let being single define you? Even if you never get lucky, at least with the latter you can say you’ve lived your life to the fullest of your ability.

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