Now, I’ve talked before about first dates and how to prepare for ’em… When you’re dating, you’re looking for a partner in crime, not another Quality Assurance specialist to file their TPS reports by Friday.
but hey, sometimes that’s not going to be for everyone. You need to understand what makes for a successful date. That cute co-ed at the Barnes and Noble just asked if you wanted to do something on Saturday and now you’ve got to scramble to look like you know what you’re doing. Small wonder that so many people default to “coffee” or the dreaded “Dinner and A Movie”. Meanwhile, dinner-and-a-movie is not only the most common date ever, but it also sacrifices half of your time together; instead of flirting, laughing or touching, you’re supposed to sit silently next to each other as you both wonder whether you’re going to make the second-most-common-date-trick of trying to fake a yawn. You want a little playful friction, a chance to flirt and tease each other, maybe even have a little socially acceptable physical contact.
You and Rob work your way through all of the singles events listed in the Weekend section, and you get pretty savvy at it. Men seem to prefer big cocktail parties and dances; women, small dinners and discussion groups (women hate to go to public places its too much like the bars).
You drive together in one car, but appear to enter the meetings separately; you strike up an immediate friendly conversation each time (so you will appear desirable); you develop a signal (an ear tug, for example) that means rescue me. and it takes you a minute to realize they are talking about marriage, not prison. You learn that many people pit their fear of loneliness particularly in old age against memories (or perceptions) of tamed domesticity, stifling or decaying relationships, betrayal, and financial injustice. (I wont have you do anything you dont wish to do.) You attend the workshop on relationships. ) You learn that, traditionally, Friday nights are for scouting, Saturday nights for your steady date (the one you hang on to for comfort while waiting for Mr. A veteran of the singles scene explains: The men want to look the women over and dont want to get stuck.
And compounding the old anxieties is the new anxiety about being out of shape. Im not ready, you reply (and think, or desperate enough).
Saving Face Friends say they will fix you up or even call you to go to a movie, but after a while they dont. And while youre at it, you might as well find a new set of friends, friends with whom you can discuss common concerns such as the etiquette of dating Who invites whom? Meanwhile, your old friends have advice: Get out of the house. You are afraid that going to a singles event will mark you as needy, pathetic, a loser.
I realize that this bit of wisdom is at the same level of “Duh George” as “rain is wet” and “The sun rises in the east and sets in the west”, but stick with me here.
During my 14 years of ballroom dancing, I’ve come to realise that cuts and bruises are nothing compared with the emotional toll of performing at such a top level.Many of us who have ended long-term relationships take our time getting to those midlife first dates.Re-entering the singles scene as a mature adult often elicits anxious memories of high school, particularly of the dances: fear of not being asked to dance or fear of asking and being rejected.It isn’t that ballroom dancers are inherently nasty, but something about those sequins and crystals doesn’t bring out the best in people where nothing but winning competitions and trophies will do.Ballroom dancing is about the relationship and chemistry with your partner.Shoulders back, stomach in, chin lifted and a huge smile on my face - it’s the same ritual I perform every time before stepping on to the dancefloor with my partner where I hope to blow the judges away with the waltz we have been practising for weeks. I keep myself to myself and guard the design of my £2,000 bespoke dresses like a state secret to stop one of my rivals ripping it off.