I’m nervous. I suppose that’s a good thing. It means it matters.
I have a second date with someone tomorrow night. And, for all the coffee meet-and-greets I’ve gone on, the number that have led to a callback is sadly small. Something happens after a for-all-appearances decent first date. Anything decent quickly evaporates. Maybe it’s fresh air on the walk home that makes the other guy think he can clearly do better. Maybe it’s the Grindr app. Whatever it is, decent—or, yes, even better than decent—rarely warrants a followup.
I get ghosted. And it isn’t any more comforting to know that “ghosted” is a thing. It’s a term, defined by dictionary.com as “to suddenly end all contact with (a person) without explanation, especially in a romantic relationship”. True, a coffee date hardly constitutes a romance, but there’s a related definition: “to leave suddenly without saying goodbye” as in My friend ghosted my birthday party. My experience with ghosts falls somewhere in between.
But not this time. Travis and I met for drinks three and a half weeks ago. A great start, as I mentioned here. What was supposed to be a two-week gap stretched out as Travis’ commitments in Bermuda kept him away longer. As remote as second dates seem, one after this kind of gap is practically miraculous. And perhaps a little more awkward. There’s no momentum. What exactly did we talk about last time? Will I repeat questions or anecdotes? Will he? Will it seem like a second first date? If Drew Barrymore can have “50 First Dates”, I suppose I can have a couple.
Full disclosure: Travis and I met by messaging on a hookup site. Not a promising place for something that leads to anything but a one-off. I am on a couple of the more reputable dating sites too, but Plenty of Fish seems out of stock and any arrows fired from Okcupid hit my feet, not my heart. Even before we went out, I made it clear to Travis I wasn’t interested in a hookup and if he’d thought, “Yeah, yeah,...they all say that,” the hug goodbye would’ve felt like the cold shoulder. Definitely no seconds in that case.
This time it’s dinner. Reservations required. I want to do this right. I feel something might be there with Travis. My gut’s been wrong so many times before that I should have reservations of my own. But that’s not how I function. I go in, earnest and honest. Mr. Nice Guy. We’ll see...I’m rusty with encores. Third dates are practically uncharted territory.
One step at a time.