When you’ve been out of the dating game for awhile, getting back into is, well, scary. Although most people will tell you that it’s like riding a bike – as in you just get back on and start pedaling again – if you haven’t been on a bike in years, then you already know it’s not quite that simple. The last time I was on a bike after a 10-year hiatus it ended with me in a ditch. Seriously. So, yeah, it’s not all that easy. In fact, it’s downright awkward.
So if you’re about to get back out there on the dating scene and you’re not exactly sure what to expect, here are eight awkward things that are very likely to happen.
1. You realize your social skills need some work.
It’s been a while, so of course you’re out of practice. While you can easily converse with your friends, throwing in a total stranger, especially if it’s a first date, truly is a test of one’s social skills. So, yes, you will probably flounder and fail the first few times out there.
2. You can’t seem to carry on a conversation without too many pauses.
There’s not nothing more awkward than trying to get to know someone. What are you supposed to ask? Oh, you’re from Vermont? I’ve never been there. *silence* Oh, you went to USC? *silence* Is that Southern California or South Carolina? So, you’re a hedge fund manager? *silence* Have you always wanted to work in landscaping? So. Awkward.
3. When the pauses arise, you get weird about it.
Because the incessant silence isn't enough, and because your social skills need work, you get deliberately awkward about all these damn pauses. You either bring attention to them or let them linger and linger and linger and… So, how about those Patriots? Knowing full well that football season is still months away.
4. You end up having diarrhea of the mouth and getting a little too TMI.
On the flip side of the awkward pauses is too much talking. Like a nervous babbling so you can avoid any pauses. And, before you know it, you’ve told your date your life story in the first 20 minutes, along with the time you pooped yourself on a rollercoaster at Knott's Berry Farm in high school and the time you puked into a center piece at your best friend’s wedding.
5. You’re not sure if drinks or dinner is acceptable for a first date.
It’s one of the most difficult questions you’ll ever have to ask yourself in regards to dating: Do I want to lock myself into an entire dinner date or will drinks suffice? Trying to find the answer to this will result in taking a poll of every person you know, including the cashier at your corner bodega and that recluse on the first floor of your building. You'll also weigh the pros and cons of each for hours and hours on end. Eventually, you’ll go with drinks, because knowing that you’re out of practice, it’s probably best to start with baby steps.
6. You wonder what the protocol for picking up the check is.
If he reaches for it, do you offer to pay? I mean, the gender pay gap is still a real thing. If he doesn’t reach for it, do you pay for the whole thing? Maybe you can both just leave it there and see what happens next? Chew and screw, anyone?
7. You have no idea how to end the night.
Do you shake hands? Kiss on the cheek? Lean in for some deep-throat tongue action? Have the sex? Did you just call it “the sex?” You’re so stressed about how to end things that you actually seriously consider faking sick immediately after dessert just to avoid all of it.
8. You’re totally clueless as to when to follow-up.
You were raised to be polite, so you debate texting your obligatory “thank you,” as soon as you get home. But then you don’t want them to think you’re too into them, so you wait. But at what point does it become rude that you waited to thank them? So again you take a poll of everyone you know, including the taxi driver on the way home from the date and the dude who works at the taco stand on your block. The answers you receive are varied. So you do the only thing that really makes sense, and you just throw out your phone so you don’t have to worry about it anymore. Yep; it’s that awkward.