Dates can throw one for a loop

Submitted by freedom on
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This part of dating seems astonishing to me. How do potential partners trigger us so much? I've been whacked all day and eating junk to subconsciously try not to confront the triggers I can't quite identify. I don't even know if this is good or bad. While common, this round seems to be worse. How do people go on a new date every night? I guess they go on shorter, simpler dates that are less intense. I've never been good at that as my dates are better defined in quarter turn of the clock units than hours. They could last forever except someone has to go home or is exhausted. That sounds so ideal except somehow it's not. I'm just a guy who can talk for hours with strangers about all sorts of personal things. My dates are simple. We mostly just chat and maybe wander, often not even eating or drinking. Am I getting dehydrated? Is it equally intense for her? I've not exactly determined that but it could be. I can usually feel it in some way. I'm odd and often don't even hug at the end of a first date which I've been told can be offensive to the woman. I'll hug if she initiates not to be rude.

Sleep cannot come soon enough. Tomorrow will hopefully be more balanced. I was much too out of it to do something social tonight though perhaps I should have just to break out of my fog. Non-porn problems are nice to have even if they bring up an entirely alternate aspect of dopamine seeking. Somehow this dating style seems dopamine-seeking oriented and it isn't very satisfying to me and so I presume her.

I'm guessing that my response is typical because I'm getting overstimulated without touch to balance my neruochemistry. Multiple hours of eye contact and mental connection might be too much without touch. So more touch or maybe an intense post date workout routine is in order or both. Anything to dodge this bounciness in a healthier way.

I've perhaps noticed that this is worse when there is something making connection impossible (e.g., clearly were just hanging out and not interested in each other) or more difficult (e.g., some interest and some challenges that might not be readily overcome). It seems backwards. If the date is a dead end, why would my brain care more than if the date isn't a dead end? Maybe I've never experienced a not dead end date and that would be even worse in this regard.

What do we know about the neuroscience of courting?


I've tried. I don't like meal

I've tried. I don't like meal dates. Food is distracting. Even with people I've dated longer term, structure doesn't happen. Meals/activities run on into other things (walk, coffee, park bench, etc.) go on into eventually someone having to go. Maybe I'm too much of a listener.

It's not unenjoyable. It's just slightly off from what could be more enjoyable.

I tried taking her home (the first date in ages where that was part of the process) and she found something to say that got us chatting in a cafe.

Maybe I'm going to have to start with in exactly X hours I'm walking away from you.

I met with one woman recently where I legitimately had to go somewhere and she knew that. I slightly lost track of the time and it kind of ended abruptly. In a way, it was good. This aspect didn't make things more enjoyable. The time limitation limited the conversation some.

yes you want to leave a date with you both wanting more

I would say, keep it to 90 minutes or two hours. Seriously. You burn yourself out and the woman out if you make it longer. You want to leave her and yourself really wishing you had more time. That makes it much more pleasant.

Infinitely better.

And by the way, the purpose of a first date? Have a great time and get a SECOND date. Each leads to the next. The way you are doing it, leaving it all unstructured and with too much time, it is not as likely to happen. And you could lose a good person and a good relationship that way. No, you want to make it fun for you and her and both wanting more, then end it. You need a fixed end point. Tell her up front, I have to get to work tomorrow so I'm going to have to end our date at 10PM or whatever, and stick to it.


I agree and I could try more

I agree and I could try more structured dates as I've done at limited times in the past. I don't feel burned out from the duration. I can see how it seemed that way from my post. If a date goes well, we're wanting more even if it is long. Sometimes longer is better because things need to come out or be processed. That sort of happened here because what we did in a group for part of the time deeply triggered her. Women (and men) can misperceive me if the interaction is short. Think of a tough, long job interview versus a short screening interview. I'm more in the tough job interview camp. I enjoy those and sit there wondering why they didn't make it harder. On the other hand, the short and quick job interviews seems pointless to me. It's not that I'm in a rush to know a person. Rather, I'm curious to know them in the amount they want to be known. I'm like with male friends too.

Somehow, a pandora's box appears to have opened. It was triggered by this woman, some inner work I did recently, or just it being the right time. I have this sense of something there I can't quite identify that is making me feel terrible in a way I can't fully process at the moment. I also feel good feeling terrible as at least this might be progress. Now the question is perhaps how to unravel this and whether she can help if she triggered it or if I'd be projecting my own things outward. I'll try journaling, time outside, and so on.

You'll develop a callous and

You'll develop a callous and get used to going on dates. It's a tough skill. Just remember that you are moving forward no matter what happens. Every date has been an experience for me as well.

Yes, that whole internal personal growth thing from dating is real. It will push you way out of your comfort zone. If you stay in there and don't beat yourself up and all of that, you'll be fine. Success in this case is just holding on.

I learn from dates and enjoy

I learn from dates and enjoy the process. I've not found dating challenging. I don't remember being nervous before a date. I'm probably not pushing myself enough. Who knows. There is rarely awkwardness except in my own head at the end. I'm a deep processor and honestly, I'm usually unsure about how I feel for a little while. I try to be genuine and don't believe in say hugs for the sake of norms. If it's spontaneous, I'm all for it. There is often intensity even when it's barely a date and more of a let's be social. I've hung out with random women in a friendly way for hours on a first meeting, even unplanned meetings. It's natural for me. Maybe I have no shame about having the time to chat and listen. I've yet to figure out why it's even called a date. To me it's just meeting another person and going from there. Maybe it's dating when it gets more formal and fancy or it's just semantics.

The holding on analogy is good because it's not controlling.

Today wasn't much better. I

Today wasn't much better. I still ate terribly, though at times it didn't seem as bad. Whatever progress was incremental at best. It's like I'm barely conscious. I went to a training for something and just wasn't there. Hope it soaked in. I've been so tired that I don't need this on top of everything. I can't get at whatever this is. Maybe I'll never know and it just is.

I hear ya. It can dig at you

I hear ya. It can dig at you pretty deep. I didn't know a lot about my emotions and driving forces until I started trying to approach women in a romantic way. It's tough, especially if you weren't cultured in it. I had to learn most of it on my own in my early thirties. It still messes me up.

As far as keeping yourself together, try to do what you've done to be successful in staying away from PMO. Ultimately, put yourself first and take care of what you need to take care of. The rest will follow with more socializing. This is definitely a different type of socializing. Eventually, you'll learn to become comfortable in your own skin around women and vibe with them better.

You (and me) are definitely the type to analyze things to the ground. You'll see enough patterns in both you and the woman to know how to hold yourself. But you just have to keep trying. I think the word calibration is appropriate for this process.

Expect some hard times, embrace rejection, give it everything you've got, and realize that some people just don't jibe together for whatever reason. It could be because they are going through some stuff, they are in their own heads, they are in a different spot in life, or they are into guys with different qualities. It's great because there are women out there who your qualities just do it for. They'll say- wow, this guy is smart, crazy, and the way he just dropped his soda on himself was the cutest thing I've ever seen!

I'm a character myself, some women just aren't into it, and with some women I can do no wrong. And some women change perceptions either way over time.

You can make adjustments and still be yourself- that's growth

There is just about no point

There is just about no point to chasing women. I could see it maybe if one was sensing the woman was just playing a game. Beyond that, a partner has to be at least interested enough to explore. It's also more interesting and fun when the process doesn't involve one partner dragging about. If that means less dates, so what. I try to make no enemies in this journey. I'm comfortable being rejected even after we know each other. I respect her choices.

Everyone is a character.

Give it everything I've got...I might be falling short there. I hold back parts of me that are probably visible and desirable and yet confusing to see not in action. Stuff often feels imbalanced and women notice this. Smart women can feel stupid which I don't get because I'm just not that clever and I'm not doing anything I'm aware of to bring this out in them. Everyone seems to intellectualize everything lately and bring out that side of me in the process. This leaves everyone clueless and detached. I've got to figure out how to redirect things back to the emotional realm where I might get more satisfaction. It's a process that I'm trying to make work for me. I met a super smart woman and it could't go anywhere because I couldn't get at her emotions, though she was clearly emotionally driven in many respects. For a female, it was pretty extreme. Complex people make for a hard fit. Simpler people seem to be able to better go with the flow.


[quote=Freedom]I've got to figure out how to redirect things back to the emotional realm where I might get more satisfaction. It's a process that I'm trying to make work for me. I met a super smart woman and it could't go anywhere because I couldn't get at her emotions, though she was clearly emotionally driven in many respects.[/quote]

Sometimes I think women operate primarily emotionally whereas men tend to operate through their thoughts. I had a very interesting experience a while ago as I was exploring a meditation technique that interested me. (Feel: my thought, I-ness, internal organs - me. See: I was practicing this technique while going about my day and happened to have to go to the bank. As I was talking with the teller, I felt an intense feeling of connection with her. I suspect she felt it too, because she looked at me in a way women rarely do. She seemed more interested in me than I expected. I wasn't really interested in asking her out at the time (I was concerned that without a shared interest in healing, I would end up over my head), but the feeling intrigued me. It was so much easier than trying to figure out how to get close to a woman. It just happened as I was working on staying in touch with my own body sensations.

[quote=freedom] Today wasn't much better.[/quote] I've felt some pretty intense downs as a result of social situations that didn't go in the direction I was expecting too. When I'm depressed (sometimes I feel it as physical tiredness) I usually look for what I'm angry about, because depression in me, is usually a convenient way to avoid my own anger. When I'm angry I look for the need in me that isn't being met. If I have no idea at all what I'm dealing with, I'll get into my body through movement. I'll either dance freely in my living room or do Osho's Kundalini meditation technique ( Sometimes I record my dreams too. They can be revealing.

I hope you find this helpful to you.

I will read these links when

I will read these links when less tired.

On the subway today, I noticed a woman with this book. . She happened to sit next to me. I noticed she seemed to be crying without the tears or much audible. The energy was intense. I happened to be with someone else which let my attention to be pulled in to places. Otherwise, I was ready to converse in the subway about emotions...sinful, I know. She got off soon after. I wonder what was on her mind.

Awkward Bitch: My life with MS

Hi Freedom,

I imagine that she was reading a part of the book that was heartbreaking. Amazon describes it as "hilarious and heartbreaking". MS isn't fun. It's a rough and very painful ride.

I hope you feel better soon.



I considered that. She wasn't

I considered that. She wasn't reading the book when she got onto the train. It was in her hand. My sense was maybe she has a friend/family or she herself is affected. The book must have brought up something from her real life. She seemed too deeply upset for it to be just the book.