Online Dating Fail: Carson with the Cows
Another installment of my online dating fails…
To read the whole story of how I got started posting online dating fails, check out this post, “Derek the Dentist”.
So, I have to start out by telling you that I took about a 9 month break from online dating this year. Online dating was just getting to me, making me feel discouraged and insecure and just generally bringing more drama into my life, so I decided to take a break for a while.
My date with Carson with the Cows was the first date I’d been on in almost a year, so I was pretty nervous about it.
We had sent a few messages back and forth, and texted for about a week before deciding to meet up at a brewery after work. When I walked in I spotted him and said hi. I could tell right off the bat that he was nervous.
I feel like a lot of people’s natural response to being nervous is to get really quiet. My response is the total opposite. I talk constantly, almost without stopping to breathe. So basically, I talked constantly, and Carson just sat there looking uncomfortable, probably contemplating his get away. Eventually, the nerves seemed to wear off and we got into a decent conversation.
I found out that Carson is a true country boy. He’s got a barn, a couple cows, some cats, all the things you need on a tiny farm. He told me he wanted to buy more cows and eventually make a living from livestock.
Now, I know less than nothing about farms and animals. Like, truly it’s embarrassing how much of a city girl I am. I’m pretty sure that Carson thought I was about the most high maintenance person he had ever met. I asked him what he wanted to do with the cows (insert face palm). I think he thought that I truly had no idea how a farm worked. What I meant was, are they dairy cows, or beef cows, but I think Carson just thought I was a complete idiot.
Things went downhill fast after my lack of farming knowledge was exposed. We kept talking, but Carson kept yawning and seemed bored to tears with me. He was polite and apologized for yawning so much, but we decided it was probably time to go, and after a hideously awkward side hug, the date was over.
So overall, not a great date, but not horrible.
When one of my friends asked me how the date went I replied, “Well, I found a new brewery, I got a free drink, I didn’t get killed, so I guess I’ll call it a win.”
Now, am I suggesting that we judge men and potential relationships by the unbelievably low bar of “At least I didn’t get killed”? NO! You should still expect the best! Expect to be treated like a lady, expect a guy to be polite, respectful, maybe even offer to pay for your dinner, but don’t expect every guy you meet to be “the one”. It puts so much pressure on someone you don’t even know. It puts an unbelievable amount of pressure on a potential relationship or friendship.
You definitely need to be firm on your non-negotiables. Is he a Christian, is he growing in the Lord and anything else that is very important to you, but this list should be short. Like 3-4 things. Your non-negotiable list cannot be a mile long.
As long as a guy isn’t going against any of your non-negotiables, the only question you need to ask yourself after a date is, “Am I interested in finding out more”. You don’t need to know if he’s the one, you don’t need to start wedding planning, you don’t need to start wondering what your kids would look like, just ask “Do I want to know more”.
This takes so much pressure off! If you are always trying to figure out if a guy is your future husband, it just adds a lot of stress. Clearly the question of if you guys would work out long term needs to be addressed eventually, but not after a first date.
Give it some time! It can take a while of getting to know someone before you can really decide if there is any hope of a serious future. So give yourself time to figure it out (like a couple months, not a couple years), there’s no rush!
So, was I interested in finding out more about Carson? Yes! We didn’t click perfectly right off the bat, but there were enough things I like about him that I wanted to know more. Was Carson interested in finding out more about me? No.
Was I a little disappointed? Yes. Crushed? No. Changing your expectations, not only makes dates less stressful, but it also makes rejection less painful. Did I call my bestie and complain that I hate dating, and that no guys like me? Yes, but I got over it in like a day. This is because I wasn’t trying to get over being rejected by a guy who I thought could one day be my husband. I was only trying to get over a guy who I was interested in finding out more about, who didn’t want to get to know me.
See the difference?
Keeping realistic expectations can make a world of difference. I’m by no means an expert. I still get overly excited and start Pinterest wedding boards long before I should (seriously, if you guys only knew the number of weddings I’ve mentally planned and had to cancel), but I’m learning. Having slightly more realistic expectations doesn’t mean I’m throwing in the towel and giving up on finding a husband, it just means that I’m taking things slower and relieving some of the pressure that society puts on us and that I put on other people.