On Date Anxiety

Ever been super excited for a date, because you simply can’t wait to see that person again, and every second between now and that date seems to last for an eternity?  But with other dates, you don’t feel nearly as passionate about it?  That, my friend, is because there are different levels of dates.

Three different levels, to be precise.
Now, please, contain your cries of amazement.  That such an incredibly complex idea such as a meeting between two adults can be condensed down to such a reductionistic list of a mere three levels is truly mind-boggling.  And yet, despite all odds, I have accomplished such a wondrous task.  
So, without any further ado, here are the three levels of dates:
1.  The Stereotypical “First Date” Date
This is the typical first date, the one that most people approach with cautious optimism.  Maybe a friend is setting the two of you up, and although you haven’t met this other person yet, they are being described in glowing terms and this isn’t one of your asshole friends that lies about these things or just wants to watch you have the worst date of your life.  
Maybe the two of you met briefly at another event, and they seemed nice enough to be worth a few hours of your Friday night.  Maybe you found their online dating profile, and even though everyone exaggerates on those and picks out their absolute best pictures, they are still witty/pretty/grammatically correct enough for you to think this might go well.  
In any case, you go into this date at about a 7/10 for both anxiety and expectations.  You’re hoping things will go well, and you’ll probably feel a little bad if the whole thing flops and ends up going down in flames.
Occurrence rate: 50%, depending on your social anxiety level.
2.  The “Ugh, fine, I’ll Get Out of the House” Date
Ever decided to go on a date solely to temporarily alleviate that feeling of dread and existential horror that you’ll be alone for the rest of your life?  That’s this date.  
This is the date that you have to put a reminder on your calendar for, because otherwise, there’s a good chance you’ll forget about it completely.  Maybe things will go great, everything will be better than expected, and this date will end up being quite pleasant and enjoyable.  It’s probably not likely, though.  
So why are you going on this date?  Sadly, it’s more about you than it is about them.  They’re probably a very nice person.  Although not to you, since otherwise you’d be more excited.  But you’ve been single for months, and at this point you fear you may be becoming asexual.  So, to make yourself feel better, you’re going to go out and spend money on an evening with somebody you don’t really care about, just for the change of pace and to delude yourself that you’re getting somewhere in your love life.
Occurrence rate: 35%, but it goes up as you get lonelier.
These are the best dates.  On the other hand, these are the worst dates.  This is when that angel at the club, dancing in the spotlight above everyone else, passes you her number and tells you to give her a call.  This is when that drop-dead-gorgeous coworker, the one that every single guy at work drools over, laughs at your joke, touches your arm, and tells you that she’d love to get coffee sometime.  This is when that perfect barista at the coffee shop you stop every day mentions that she’s single to you with a knowing wink, and then hands you a coffee with her number written on the cup.  This is that moment when you have to do a double take, to make sure you’re not dreaming or caught in some alternative romantic-comedy universe.
In the lead up to these dates, you’re caught in a spider’s web of ecstatic delight that you’ve got this date, and gut-wrenching horror that you’re going to somehow mess it all up.  One wrong word, one off-color joke, one forgotten detail, and this beautiful woman is going to come to her senses and realize that you’re a lot less like Ryan Reynolds than she first believed.  This could go wrong so easily, so many ways.

On the other hand, what if it doesn’t?

This could be your future wife, right here.  And if the date falls through, then it probably wasn’t meant to be.  But if things work out . . . you may have the “early relationship” blinders on right now, but this woman seems flawless.  And you can’t wait to verify that, again and again and again…

Occurrence rate: 15%, although that depends a lot on your confidence and standards.  Gotta get out there to get there, you know.

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