There are an awful lot of singles out here in dating land who can e-mail, private message and text as if they were trying to beat the monkey to write the complete works of Shakespeare. Their dating profile is extensive and they may only get around to replying to four messages a night because of how fluently conversations flow once they become ‘that person’ everyone knows them as on their dating site. Once stuck behind that keyboard, they could host a marathon of chat-shows that would put Wossy to shame.
But put that same person in front of a web-cam or in a real, live date situation, and it’s as if their brain’s hit the vocal cord mute button. This is often an involuntary reaction, perhaps brought on by the pressure they feel to impress, they’re taken out of their comfort zone so their confidence is undermined or are just too darned scared of saying the wrong thing.
This happens to a lot of people (writers, mainly!); away from the safe distance that sets them at ease and lets (un)natural conversation flood out when rattling away on their dating site on a date, they are desperate in this induced silence to find that spark that ignites once they’ve logged on and settled into their dating persona.
With every passing moment they feel the pressure building more – what is wrong with them? Why can’t they find the words that got them to this stage, the first date, in the first place? Soon, that is their only goal, to not come across as shy or ignorant – inside, they are cringing and praying that the date is going well, although focus has been lost and all hope of regaining some sort of control of the situation, unless the other party takes charge, has disappeared on this occasion.
Will they get a second chance? Their brain is screaming to sort a second date, time to gather themselves and ‘do better next time; but that dating site fluency has deserted them and they cannot even ask for the opportunity, that they doubt will come about anyway. Another chance blown, and they’ll be left to rue the consequences, quite vociferously through their finger-tips, when they write the world what a schmuck they were on ‘that date’ they’d been building up to for an age.
But will it be any better next time around? They sigh, think probably not, then log back on to their dating site and start the whole process over again.
Does that story ring any bells? Don’t fear – help is at hand. In the next article, we’ll look at how planning, mental clarity and not assuming anything can help you overcome this very real experience that many, many singles experience on their first date.