Isn’t it exciting when you meet someone and you finally feel that long sought-after connection that you were beginning to think was rarer than a solar eclipse? The first date went great — there’s no question about that. But after the first date, we start to question ourselves. Did she think it went as well as I thought it did? Did he just laugh at my cheesy pun about the laptop docking station to be nice? Did she only order that second glass of Chardonnay to help take the edge off of the painfully awkward silences?
There’s only one antidote to these concerns, and it’s not a therapist… it’s communication.
I remember back in the day, I went out with a guy I really liked who we’ll call Dave. We had a few good dates, but when I left each one, I was always unclear about where I stood. I even remember leaving him a voicemail after about the third date and kicking myself afterwards for it being too long and rambling. Did I even say who was calling? And what if he thought, “How can I date a girl who can’t even leave a coherent voicemail?” And the kicker was that I didn’t hear from him for a day or two after I had left the message. I had already talked myself out of the relationship when he had called back and, lo and behold, asked me out again. It was a vicious cycle of living conversation to conversation and always being on edge until the next time we talked.
I knew that my first date with Jeremy (my current and wonderful boyfriend) went well. We grabbed drinks and then dinner (we added it but didn’t plan on it) and then another drink. In my opinion, there was no way this guy didn’t like me. And before I had time to over-analyze the situation, I had an e-mail in my inbox the next day saying what a great time he had and asking me out again. No questions there. And so we continued, date after date, communicating and setting up the next date at the end of our last. I had no reason to worry, and that’s how it should be. As my mom always used to tell me, “Erika, when someone likes you, you’ll know.” As much as I hate to admit it, Mom, you were right again.
Living conversation to conversation, getting stressed and then put at ease, worried and then relieved, is no way to live. When someone likes you, there are no guessing games. Well, there may be some, but they’ll be fun ones, like, “Where did you pick for us to go to dinner tonight?” As we get older and more mature, playing hard-to-get becomes over-rated. What’s the big deal if you let someone know you like him or her? Nothing! And if you don’t, please be so kind as to let the other person know so the soon-to-be disappointed party doesn’t have to go through the ups and downs that living conversation to conversation causes.
Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she offers services from online dating profile-writing to e-mailing potential matches to planning dates. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter for updates and tips.
Got burning questions you’d like answered in a future post? Date411@alittlenudge.com