My So-Called Dating Life

If you know me, you know I've been dating a lot this year. I've probably gone out on more first dates in 2013 than in the other 38 years of my life. And I love it. I've never been a dater. My relationships have tended to be friendships that have led to relationships, and as a result, I haven't spent much time on actual dates. When I have gone on first dates, I've been horribly bad at it. Nervous. Awkward. No confidence. No idea what to say. It's only recently that I've come to relax and learn to have fun and make a good first impression on a first date.

One of the main reasons I've been dating so much -- I'll almost never say no to a first date -- is that I'm working to get better at it. I want to meet someone and be in a mutually caring and loving relationship, as I assume most people do, but getting past the first date is tough. There are so many factors at play and I'm really bad at reading or understanding what a woman is thinking at any given time. I'm sure there are a lot of guys who feel the same.

I still don't know when to make a move. A lot of my dates this year have gone great, but haven't advanced to a second date because I didn't make a move on the first date. I thought maybe I was being a gentleman and if she was interested, we could take care of that on the second date. As it turns out, most women don't want a guy who, for lack of a better term, is a pussy. Most of the time, if I didn't make a move, it doesn't mean I wasn't interested, it likely means I either couldn't find a moment or didn't think she was into it.

So, I've started making moves. I've had women evade and back away, which I am TOTALLY fine with because it's helping me learn to read signals better. At least when that happens I know what direction things are going.

But I have some advice for daters -- men and women. If you've gone out with a nice person and you've had a great time and you're not interested in continuing on romantically, don't cut off contact. I've gone out with a number of women that I would love to be friends with, and on some occasions, work with, but they've just completely cut off communication.

One woman I dated mentioned a work-related problem she was having on her date. Later, I spoke to a friend of mine who is an expert in that area, got some advice about her problem, and when I went to contact her, she had disappeared completely and severed all contact. The strangest thing about it to me was that we both knew it wouldn't become romantic and we both had a great time while we were out. I really liked her and I wanted to help her out, but she cut off communication.

Just because the other person is not a romantic interest -- and this goes both ways -- doesn't mean they can't be a positive influence in your life. I understand that women end up dating men who can't seem to take no for an answer or respect a her decision to not engage romantically like a mature adult. That sucks. But first dates can be amazing experiences that lead to great friendships and let you meet someone who will become a positive force in your life, as a friend.

I'm meeting a lot of great women. This is why I'm really loving dating right now. Every date so far has been a great experience and I'm learning a ton. I'm still looking for that killer spark, but I'm sure I'll soon be able to recognize it.