I’ve been in a relationship for about a year and a half now, and yeah, it’s been awesome. I try new things, go on more trips, and get to get drunk on weeknights under the pretense of “date night.” All in all, I have no complaints, and I don’t miss anything about being single.
Well, that’s not true. There is one thing I miss – horrible first dates.
For the most part, first dates are a mixed bag. Seventy percent of the people you meet are somewhere on the scale from “definitely not compatible” to “I guess if I maintained a strong buzz for our whole relationship I could be okay with this.” People that aren’t super shitty, or mean, or insane, or make you fear for your life, but also aren’t someone you’re interested in. People, who when you describe them, you start the sentence with “They were really nice, but…” Just your standard first date, not-going-to-be-a-second-date-unless-I’m-really-lonely, type of people.
Then, there’s the twenty percent of people that you really hit it off with. They are funny, charming, and you get along like you’ve known each other for years. The people you build up in your head because they shine compared to all the okay dates you’ve been on. Maybe you call your mom right after and tell her to set an extra place at Thanksgiving. Maybe you text your friends saying you “found your soulmate.” Who knows, man. The dating game makes people go crazy. Of course, these people will probably ghost you, end up being married, or have a dog they refer to as a “fur baby,” so good luck dealing with that.
Finally, there’s my favorite ten percent. The horrible, scary, socially awkward, weird-hobby-having, completely psychotic, talking-about-their-exes first dates. The guy that wears sweatpants and an anime shirt to dinner. The girl that talks about how she’s the last of her friends to have a kid, and she can’t wait for someone to “put a baby inside her.” The one that brings their significant other that you didn’t know about to dinner and starts inquiring about potential threesomes. Whatever their particular brand of shittiness may be, I miss it.
Boring and average dates suck because, well, they are just that. Boring. Predictable. Forgettable. Drinks at an upscale bar, the same conversation you’ve had a million times, some awkward talk about seeing each other again, and then nothing. You’ve already forgotten their name by the time you leave. Truly awful dates, however, are just as exciting as truly amazing dates, and much less rare. And since I’ve already found the best girl in the world, I don’t miss amazing dates, but I definitely miss the terrible ones.
Dates like the one I went on with a foreign girl who’s name I literally could not pronounce, so I never used it. She answered every single one of my first date questions with a one word answer and asked me nothing about myself, to the point where, twenty minutes into the date, I had already run out of things to try and talk about. And that’s when I knew I could enjoy myself. There’s no more freeing a feeling than realizing a date is absolutely bombing and you don’t have to try anymore. When you don’t care if the date goes well, all the pressure leaves the situation and you can happily do what you want to entertain yourself. In this case, I immediately started pounding tequila shots and loudly watching the football game the bar was showing. The date ended with some unsurprisingly awful sex, and more importantly, a funny story.
I’ve had several terrible dates, yet I feel like I’m still missing out on more. Sure, there was the date who offered me some crack while I was driving to dinner. There was a girl who lied about her age and invited me over to an apartment I didn’t realize was a college dorm until far too late. There was even a date that was so hilariously awful, it prompted me to write an 1,100-word column about it and put it on the internet. I’ve had my share of shitty dates and, to be fair, I’ve probably been a fair share of shitty dates, but yet, I crave more.
My relationship is fantastic. It’s loving, and committed, and all that other crap. I know how lucky I am, yet I can’t stop wishing for just one more awful first date. I miss the butterfly feeling of seeing a girl who looks nothing like her Bumble profile and just knowing this date is going to fucking suck. That adrenaline rush I get when my date starts on a racist tirade after the first drink, and knowing I’m going to have a hell of a story to tell later. That elated feeling of freedom when a girl asks how much money I make before we even open our menus, and I know I can start saying the most ridiculous things possible, knowing there will never be a second date.
I wish I could get that electric feeling from my girlfriend but she just doesn’t do it for me. She’s not racist, homophobic, a blatant gold-digger, or an actual diagnosed crazy person. She’s never told me I’m going to hell for consuming alcohol or blatantly gave her number to our waiter. Not once has she asked for a baby photo of me to make sure “our genes are compatible.” No, I can’t find that kind of craziness in a relationship. There’s only one place to find it. The part of being single I can’t bear to live without.
A horrible first date. .
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