Because these people are strangers and they have skeletons in their closet and maybe a drug problem.
Dating can definitely be fun, and light, and exciting. It can also be a heinous nightmare from which it seems impossible to awaken from.
I am writing this to remind myself, and remind anyone else out there who has ever been on a great first date that a great first date does not equate to successive dates and a promising future, because of this one often overlooked fact: when you go on a first date with someone, you know nothing about this person. Even if your date goes incredibly well, conversation is good, and you can make each other laugh- you still know basically nothing about this person. And it is important to remember that everyone has a bag of stinking shit that they are hiding from the world stashed in their closet.
Lately, I have been having a bit of a bad spell, and am starting to think that I might be a “one-date-wonder.” One really good date, and done. No más. I don’t know why, maybe as Patty Stanger would say, my “picker” is totally fucked, but I kind of think that with the high concentration of douche lords and pricks that live in ski towns, I have just succumbed to the statistics.
I have been out in this new town where very few people know me smiling at different men, starting conversations with people I have never met, riding the chairlift with guys I think are cute, and handing out Valentines to strangers. As a result, I’ve also been going on a lot of first dates.
The first dates have been good, too. Nothing awkward and generally, lots of fun. There’s been romantic first kisses, I’ve listened to vinyl records in a cabin in the woods, called into the night for owls, gotten helpful tips on how to sink pool balls, and high-fived because women’s rights. I know- all of that shit sounds awesome! Great first date activities! We might even have more fun in the future!
But then…nothing. No calls, no texts. Radio silence.
What the fuck?
I have been on bad dates, when the guy and I don’t click. It is evident when that happens. It is uncomfortable and you can both feel it. When a guy goes in for a kiss, and I pull away or pretend like I don’t know what he’s doing- it is very clear: this is not going to work because I am not into you or you are not into me. But what has been happening to me lately was making no sense to me at all.
Most recently I went on this great date. The guy called me and asked me if we could go out. He used the phone number I gave him to actually call me, which impressed me, since pretty much every other man I have ever given my phone number to has only ever texted me, or worse, Facebook messaged me, to see if I want to go out on a date. He picked me up from work, opened the car door for me, took me skiing, and kissed me in a room with a giant fireplace. It did not suck.
He was traveling after our date, which is a totally valid excuse to be out of contact, except he called me almost every day for a week while he was out of town. He even lined up another date for when he got back to Jackson. And then he fell off the face of the fucking planet. I actually thought for a moment, maybe he flew Malaysia Airlines and is at the bottom of the Pacific somewhere. It was weird. I was confused, and a friend of mine postulated a couple theories as to why he Houdini’d on me- like maybe there is another girl, or he has a drug problem.
A drug problem? Naaah. I mean, I know we had some drinks and almost everyone in a ski town smokes a little weed, but a real drug problem seems ludicrous.
Then I remembered, we went on one date. I don’t really know this person. My friends don’t know this person. I have no idea what the bag of shit they have hiding in their closet is actually made of. It could, very well indeed, be a giant bag of blow. One of the hazards of dating is that you have no fucking clue who this person is.
Sure enough, a couple weeks post-first date, I saw him. He wasn’t actually at the bottom of the ocean with a bunch of plane wreckage. He was, however, out of his fucking brain. Granted, I was at an EDM concert, but he was still next-level shit housed. My friend and I watched him for a minute, and it was there, right in front of me. Maybe, he actually did have a problem and he’s just a smooth-talking party boy.
Or maybe, not so smooth talking. When the show was over, he approached some of his friends standing near me at the bar, one of whom remembered me from the one night I actually went out with this dude. The guy that I had had such a nice first date with just two weeks earlier looked at me, sweaty, with unfocused eyes, and slurred, “Do I know you?”
(Head tilts back, shakes side to side, and as I am recalling this moment I swear out loud, “Fuck.”) Talk about achieving a new low.
Good thing I rebound like a bouncey ball thrown hard into the cement. There is no lying, it didn’t feel awesome to have this happen to me again, but it was a good reminder: a great first date doesn’t mean shit until you find out more about the stranger you’re dating.