I realized several months ago that I had never actually dated for fun in my life.
I was like Scarlett O’Hara in the first four seconds of this scene from Gone With the Wind (sub the word “dating” for “marriage”):
“Dating, fun? Fiddle-dee-dee. Fun for men, you mean.”
I was raised that you marry the people you date, and from an early age that seemed to be what dating was all about. Talk about pressure. There was pressure to find an eternal mate, and pressure to not hang out. Date. Date. Date. It felt like a chore. Worse, I felt like I was holding down the worst Human Resources job in the world. Here I was trying to find and interview for a new CEO, but holding applications for guys that were just looking to get their foot in the door to earn some extra cash. Not that there weren’t some great CEOs-in-the-making among the applicants…
So during times in my life when I wasn’t particularly interested in settling down, I didn’t date at all. It seemed disingenuous. Wasn’t everyone looking for marriage? Isn’t that why they were dating? As a result, nearly every date I’ve ever been on has resulted in a relationship (and not necessarily a good one). There has been the odd exception here or there, but those cases were rare. The exceptions that proved the rule: I didn’t know how to date for fun. Once.
This year I decided would be different. I changed my mindset and decided to make it all about having fun. 50 times over. No pressure for a second date (not that I wouldn’t welcome one; that just isn’t the goal). The goal is for both of us to have fun.
So I posted the following Facebook status update:
it recently occurred to me that i have NEVER dated just for the fun of going on a date… and now i really want to x50. my goal is to go on 50 first dates this year. i am perfectly willing to travel.
i am sorry, but if we have ever been on a date before, or if you are married or otherwise in a committed relationship, you are not eligible for this limited time promotional offer. everyone else is fair game… so if you’ve been harboring a secret crush on me for years, now is your chance!
In less than ten minutes, I had two genuine offers for dates. And so it began…
… Until I hit my head and wound up with a concussion. Just as I was getting excited, too. I had to put off my quest to find 50 first dates until I healed.
1 – Nobody wants to go on a “light-duty” date. Sorry, no movies, loud noises, bright lights, roller coasters, zip lining, or anything that involves physical activity beyond walking. Ugh. That would pretty much leave the job interview/interrogation date. No, thank you.
B – I couldn’t line up dates if I’d wanted to… I couldn’t look at a screen for more than five minutes during the first two weeks without getting a massive headache.
As it turns out, I had more than 30 emails awaiting responses on my two online dating profile accounts. Whoa. That took up an entire weekend.
But, I’m ready now. Let’s do this!
Are you going to blog about your dates?
Of course, I will be blogging about the dates. However, to protect the identities of my dates, I will change whatever information I choose. They know who they are, but that doesn’t mean they want the rest of you to know.
Are you accepting blind dates/set-ups?
Definitely. I have to make it to 50 somehow. But please don’t set unrealistic expectations for either of us… “OMGoodness! You have to meet so-and-so. They are perfect for you!” Clearly, if that’s true, we’ll figure it out pretty quickly.
Who is paying for your travel?
I expect that I am. Not that I wouldn’t be perfectly willing for someone else to foot the bill, but I intend to cover my own travel expenses. They have enough to worry about with planning an awesome date, right? Travel dates will probably be a lot less frequent due to the added costs and complications. I already have three pending; one is set, and two are trying to coordinate schedules.
Even international travel?
If someone is brave enough to ask, and I can swing it with my schedule and finances, I don’t see why not. One of the greatest first date experiences I’ve ever had was Istanbul, Turkey. That one probably won’t be topped. It’s probably best not to try. I can have just as much fun building a model rocket as long as there is good company to be had. Oh yeah, and my passport expires this year, so I’ll definitely be out of the international travel game until the new one shows up.
What about Josh Groban; I thought you guys had something special?
We totally do. Bonus points to anyone that convinces him to take me on a first date this year.
Can I share this post?
Do chickens wish they could fly? Only always.