Ah, that amazing feeling of being free, of being independent, of being single. The same thoughts rolled across my mind, only to be shattered by my alter-ego: The Shy Dater.
For those of you who don’t suffer with this, I applaud you. Keep doing you. For many of us though, we can’t escape the torment that comes along with being the bashful date.
We seem to not have trouble sending that first text, sharing pictures of our dogs (guilty), Snapchatting, or venting about our long days at work.
But, once he sends the dreaded let’s-meet-for-a-drink text, our confidence is shaken. We timidly say yes and all of the sudden this “dating” scene seems far too real, especially if it’s been awhile since you’ve had to attractively stuff your face with a burger in front of a crush (that took me lots of practice).
So, you go anyway. You put on your cutest outfit, some makeup, and laugh that you’re still this nervous after the many dates you’ve already been on.
This is what I’ve found to be true: There are 5 thoughts that run through the Shy Dater’s mind while sitting across the table from someone who you could either end up with or never talk to again.
Do I Order a Drink?
If you’re like me, a glass of wine (or five) helps calm my nerves. However, if this is a blind date (yes, those still happen), you never really know what your date is comfortable with. Does he drink? Did he have a bad experience with a past date spilling red wine all over his neatly pressed button-up? What if my teeth… and lips… Turn red? Will he not want to kiss me? Oh no, what if he kisses me? A simple question spirals into a much larger issue. Just make sure to sit there, smiling, as he talks about his adorable niece and he shouldn’t notice.
Salad… or Steak…
As a female, ordering can be hard. You don’t want to break his bank with the quality filet mignon (or maybe we do…), but you also don’t want to seem unconfident by ordering the caesar salad with dressing on the side. Here’s my advice: Talk about dishes and what’s on the menu before you order. You’ll get a feel for what he’s thinking of ordering and what’s in his price range. Don’t be embarrassed for showing your inner-carnivore on the date. Guys usually like it.
Do I Have Something in my Teeth?
My guy friends and I have no problem brightly smiling to one another and mumbling this question. Let’s be honest… We all hate that person who won’t tell you that leftover spinach is hanging from your front teeth. But what if it happens on the date? We obviously can’t ask him… and he obviously won’t tell us (if he does, he’s a keeper). What if food is everywhere? Will he not want to kiss me? Oh no, what if he kisses me? You see the vicious cycle.
How Will The Night End?
You’ve finished your filet mignon and now it’s time to leave. He helps with your coat and walks you to your car. You’re flushed as you try to find your keys in your black hole of a purse. You both arrive to your car and your hands suddenly get clammy and your heart flutters. How he says goodbye says a lot about the date, and what will come later on. I always appreciate the kiss on the cheek: It shows interest but also shows that he is willing to take his time to get to know you. No matter what you expect or want to happen after the date, make sure that you’re comfortable and you do something because you want to. It’s a two way street.
Will He Call?
You never really know these days what proper protocol is after a date. Should you text him? Will he text you? Doesn’t anyone call these days? Guilty as charged… I’m usually waiting by my phone either eagerly wanting him to contact me or praying that he won’t, because let’s be honest, I’m not only shy on the date but also when it comes to letting someone down nicely (most girls need to work on this). So, after a year of dates, here’s what I do when I’m interested: I text him that night or the next morning thanking him for dinner/drinks and telling him I had a great time. That usually sets the tone for the next date and lets him know I’m interested.
Moral of the story: Dating is good for you and will help you realize what you want and don’t want in a partner. Be yourself, be comfortable, and use your shyness for good. It shows that you not only care but that you’re interested. There’s no harm in that.
A recent college graduate who specializes in dating drama, rebound philosophy, reality TV, Netflix binges, breakup therapy, and all of the ins and outs that come with being a twenty two year old just trying to find her way in this crazy, hook-up world