I got to the restaurant a little more than ten minutes early, so I decided to wait around outside a while to make sure I wouldn’t seem too eager. I don’t love the politics of dating and relationships, but these things are necessary when you aren’t completely sure about the person you’re meeting. I took a similar approach to dressing myself before I left my apartment; I put on a pinstriped shirt and a blazer to give a good impression, but paired it with dark-washed blue jeans to ensure that it wouldn’t be the wrong one.
At exactly 7:30pm I crossed the street and walked into the restaurant, right on time. Interestingly, my date wasn’t there, and this continued to be the case for at least 20 minutes before I had to accept that I had been stood up. You might think that this is something that would happen to me a lot– and I imagine that would be true if more people Googled their dates in advance– but this was actually the first time I had ever experienced it.
I found out later that my date had forgotten this was a long weekend, and that our plans were for Monday. She wants to reschedule, but if I’m being honest I probably won’t bother to make another plan with her, both because the seed of paranoia has been sewn, and because I’m not sure that I love the idea of dating a person who forgets what day it is. I tend to gravitate more towards people for whom seeing me is the highlight of their week, because I’m very insecure and need the validation. So long, then.
More importantly, I found that I was suddenly on a date with myself, which is not something I do very often. In the past I probably would have wasted the night on the prowl for a consolation prize, but on Monday I decided to spend the time and money I had allotted for the evening entirely on myself. It took all of my willpower not to simply blow my wad at GameStop and call it a night. Instead, I tried to think of something I would not normally do, but also something that I probably wouldn’t do with a date.
The first things that came into my head were strip clubs and hookers, but I really have no interest in either of those things. It was more of a childish gut reaction– like I was thinking of something to do with my parents out of town. My next best idea was skydiving,
which I really don’t think is possible to do spontaneously, let alone in the evening. When I began to ponder going to the Katy Perry movie I just about gave up on the idea of going on a date with myself.
What I wound up doing was just playing tourist for a bit, because I’m normally far too jaded to check in with the parts of my city that make the brochures. I don’t know why it should matter, but for some reason when I’m dressed up a bit with my blazer on I am opened up to all kinds of things. It’s like a costume, and when I’m in it I get to play a slightly different role, which inspires all kinds of confidence.
I won’t bore you too much with the details of the various bits of historical copper and granite that make up my city, but I learned a lot about these things. Granted, most of it was stuff I already knew, but in this new context and from this different perspective I was able to appreciate it all that much more. I actually went as far as to hop on to a city tour bus, and while I would normally thumb my nose at something like that, I found it totally worthwhile.
Even though I would probably have preferred my date to have shown up that night, going out alone is a highly underrated experience. I’ve got a much more promising night coming up on Friday, but as far as my expectations for my date on Monday night were concerned, I would say that dating myself is at least as fulfilling as a bad date. Even a pretty decent date, really. I’m quite the catch.
People date for a lot of reasons, but you can get most of what you need without a dance partner. You don’t really need an excuse to get out and do new or different things, and the boost of confidence you absorb from dressing up a bit is completely intact no matter how many people are present. The sex isn’t as good– it was okay– but if you haven’t had any luck finding a date this week, my advice is to go out anyway. As an added bonus, there are no politics. Unless you’re schizophrenic.
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