Written by: Katie Tetz
One single girl’s quest to get back in the game.
Okay it wasn’t THAT many.
It’s been a year, almost to the day, since I went on my first date after what I think was a two year hiatus. I hadn’t been anyone’s girlfriend in 3 years. And I hadn’t “dated”, which I think means you’re pretty much exclusive and only having sex with one another, but without the titles, in 2 years. I’m still not clear on the terminology.
So, it was time to begin dating again, if only to get over my fear and loathing of first dates.
The thought process behind getting dressed for my first real date in 700+ days- I was at work and my coworkers were making a really big deal out of the occasion. They had even brought me outfit options.
“Wear a dress.”
“What about this?”
Mmm no I just don’t think that’s really me.
“OMG KATIE just wear what you always wear then!”
Leggings, white tank, scarf. Perfect.
After chatting with Bachelor #1 for about forty minutes over a couple of beers he went to the washroom.
Obviously I whipped my phone out the second he was around the corner. I texted my coworkers.
“He’s awesome! And really cute!”
Could it really be this easy? After a few great dates my hopes were high. Until a month and a half later when I had a goblet of white wine in my hand and a tequila shot in the other.
At this juncture the wonderful & ambitious Mandy Balak encouraged me to not only keep at it, but to chronicle my experiences. We had an idea-wouldn’t it be fun to collect dating stories from the young & single in yyc?
And then began my blog.
It’s been a great year, truly. And not just because I overcame my fear of dating again. You know how you have some years that feel full of questions and uncertainty? I had had one of those years. Dating again was just a catalyst for something else, something of more importance. I had never been the kind of person who let fear run her life. Fear of a date, fear of making the wrong choice, fear of change.
“So then why are you acting like that person?” That was some tough love. But I needed to hear it.
Dating again wasn’t step #1 to getting my groove back. It might have been step #4. But nevertheless, it was a big one.
How to actually navigate the world of dating, I don’t have a clue. I don’t even know how to define “dating”, or “hooking up”, or “exclusive” anymore. Remember how easy it was to nail down a boyfriend or girlfriend when you were seventeen? Times have changed my friends.
But after a year of getting back out there, I can share some of my findings:
1. You will be disappointed once or twice. Sorry to start on a sour note but it’s true. Because just like how you don’t feel “into” every person you meet, the same goes for them. I’ve heard/used the phrase “I just wasn’t feelin it” many times in the last 365 days.
2. Beware of falling for your ‘idea’ of a person, usually the highest potential of a man/woman, rather than getting to know who they really are. We don’t always meet the expectations that we put on one another. We’re human- we say things that we can’t back up. For example, with Bachelor #2, “I love everything about you” quickly turned into “____ really annoys me.” What apparently really annoyed him was something that even if I tried, I couldn’t change. I really like Una Pizza ok? I don’t care how much you like Without Papers, I’m not going to change my preference. Sorry.
3. Eat dinner. If you don’t, you risk getting smashed and sleeping with a guy on the first date whom you actually really like and would like to see again. Too much booze, too much attraction, not enough food…it’s a recipe for disaster. I may or may not have learned this first hand.
4. “Girls know at once whether they want to fuck, marry, or kill a guy. Which begs the question: How am I doing?” -Hank Moody, Californication.
It’s true. You know.
5. We’re older and we’ve been through more shit. We all have varying degrees of baggage and we all deal with our shit in different ways. Some people bury it. Some people, like myself, love this new age of “personal development” and will take any chance they get to take a good hard look at themselves. It’s exhausting. I’d suggest finding somewhere in the middle of ignorance and owning too many self help books. But I think we should be a little more forgiving and understanding of one another. We’re all just doing our best.
6. If someone really likes you, you can’t make an idiot out of yourself. This is proof. “If a guy is really into you no drunk text or messy New Years Eve will change that. And if it does, there will be a guy out there who will clean up your puke, hold you up at the bar, and not call you out on blaming his dog for pissing your pants.”
7. One night stands happen. Probably during Stampede. And it’s okay.
I don’t really feel like I’m in the position to give anyone advice, so I’ll think of it this way. If I could go back, what is the one thing I would tell my 15 year-old self about dating?
Answer: Be honest about what you want- with yourself, and with them.
Don’t try to pretend like you’re okay with just “hooking up” when you know you’re not. And don’t pretend you’re really into someone when you know deep down you’re forcing it. Staying with someone because they’re such a nice person and you don’t want to hurt them isn’t doing them any favors, because sooner or later you’re not going to be able to fake it anymore.
Maybe we want different things at different times with different people, but I’m gonna be bold and say at the end of the day we all want the same thing- a best friend, who is also someone we can’t keep our hands off of.
So these are my findings. Don’t take any of it too seriously and you’ll have a lot of fun.
Happy dating yyc.