This 30-year-old writer proves even categorically unsuccessful dates have true value.
Let's also assume that you meet up with two other guys after him, and find yourself in different, yet similar situations. As someone who has done a fair amount of internet dating, I can attest to the fact that this happens, and it happens often. Yet when it happens to me, rather than feel bummed by my lack of connection with these men, I instead feel grateful for the opportunity of going out with them. Why? Because they are living, breathing proof that decent guys not only exist, but are actually single.
Now, not every dating experience is going to be a positive one—you will always have a few duds thrown into the mix—but there are a few things you can do to increase the odds:
1. Never let your friends set you up with someone without first checking the person out online. I don't care if it's your best friend in the entire world who wants to play matchmaker. Don't simply take her word for it; do your own research. This is the age of Google, and it's a beautiful thing. Get his full name and type your little heart out. Comb over his Facebook page if you're able to, and search for common interests to ensure that you will have something to talk about together. You may even learn a bit about his sense of humor and the things he values based on his wall postings. If at any point you see something that makes you hesitate, then follow your instincts. Think long and hard before setting up a date with him. Can You Google Your Way to Love?
2. If you're dating online, try having a phone conversation with the person before agreeing to meet each other face-to-face. It's one thing to click with someone via email, and quite another to click with them in live conversation. Test the waters by chatting over the phone. If all goes well, then agree to a date. Granted, this will require giving out your phone number to someone who is essentially a stranger, and if you feel uncomfortable with that prospect, I would suggest doing as some of my friends do. Pick up a disposable cell phone from Walmart. They retail for as little as $9.99 and often come with pre-paid calling cards. Use that phone to talk with your internet dates until you feel comfortable giving them your personal cell number.
3. If you've met the person before and know you're attracted to him... stop analyzing. I know it's hard, but just have fun. That's it. Don't expect him to be the love of your life; don't worry about who is going to pay, or what you are going to talk about. Just show up, be yourself, and think of it as an adventure. If it doesn't work out, don't sweat it. As I said before, there are decent, single men out there. I've met them. /node/115850
From now on, think about the process like this: Finding love is just the ultimate dating bonus. Like many other things in life, love can take a very long time to materialize. But when it finally does, you'll be prepared. All the unsuccessful dates you've had in the past will make it that much easier to recognize.