I have a date. I don't know where or what time. Just a vague agreement to get together on Friday night. I should probably shave my legs, do some laundry, get a bikini wax, stay away from food for the next 72 hours, tweeze my eyebrows, and get my nails done; but I won't. I'm not compelled. There are no butterflies in my stomach, no daydreams of candlelit dinners in my head. I'm not nervous, nor am I excited. My reaction is no reflection on him. He seems nice, amusing, and generally cool. It's not him, it's me.
I hate dating. Actually, I loathe it with every fiber of my being. The idea of spending two hours or more with a practical stranger playing "getting to know you" while pretending to have fun makes me want to throw up in my mouth. Conversations about what I look for in a man peppered with compliments on how great I am make my head hurt. Getting picked up at the beginning of the night and trying to determine whether or not to kiss at the end of it does nothing but raise my blood pressure.
So then why did I agree to go out with this guy? No. It's not for a free meal (although I will not turn one down if offered). I'm bored and I need something to do. For the past six months my Friday nights have consisted of grad school applications, television, fast food, and web surfing. I can go days without seeing another person and figured human interaction would do me some good. Now I'm not so sure. My couch is much more appealing than a date.
Don't get me wrong, I definitely desire male companionship. It's just that I prefer to get that companionship without going on a date. To me dates are stifling and forced. You're obviously out with that person to see if there is "something there." It's like the entire night has an objective and meeting that objective is a huge cloud over everything that's said and done. No thank you!
Obviously, I've gotten close (very close) to a few men here and there in my 26 years. Interestingly, the men I've been closest to never asked me on a date. We wound up together accidentally. I fell for the Idiot Who Made Me Cry when I went over to his place to watch a movie. I knew the Alcoholic West Indian for years before I even considered him a viable member of the opposite sex. The Guy Who Shouldn't Make Me Cry....well I don't even know how the hell that started, but I know it wasn't with a date. All of these "relationships" developed unconsciously. We were hanging out, talking, and chilling when all of a sudden something clicked. There was no pressure to like one another because that was never the original intention. None of them asked to get to know me better, they just did it. No one stated any intentions, made any overtures, or set anything up. It all just happened. I guess they spoiled me. When everything starts so easily the idea of trying to put something in motion is exhausting. True, none of those situations ended very well (although I'm not sure that two of the three have actually ended). Hmmmm....maybe that approach doesn't work too well over the long haul. And while it is true that doing the same thing over and over with the same result is the definition of insanity, I think I'd prefer to drive myself crazy for a little while longer. It beats the hell out staring across from a perfect stranger as he asks,"So what are you looking for in a man?"