A few months ago, I left a four year relationship. Yes, four years. Four years as in when we started dating, people were still using iPhone 3s’, high-wasted jeans were still exclusively worn by moms, and nobody gave a damn about Kim Kardashian’s relationship status. Much has changed since my ex and I first started dating in 2010, and while I have no regrets with our relationship, I suppose we not only grew up, but grew apart as well.
Without divulging any deeper into the boring story of my failed relationship, I realized that I didn’t have the skill of dating a couple of months later. Not that I was looking for a new guy, but when a fine looking gentleman asks to take you out to dinner in Little Italy (Downtown, that is; not the crime-filled one we have in the BX), you don’t say no.
So, as my new guy and I sat across from each other at Piccola Cucina about a week later, I was more worried about possible basil being stuck between my teeth than the utter fact that during my previous long term relationship, I forgot every single tip and trick on how to make small talk with guys. “What’s one of your biggest regrets? How many girlfriends have you had? Yeah, I just got out of a relationship myself…”
Every time I opened my mouth, it just got worse. I knew I was breaking every rule of dating that our older sisters and movies have told us, but I was so completely helpless. Despite the awkwardness that ensued, for some reason my new guy asked me out again, and weeks forward, things were looking hopeful.
Although it may seem like a positive turn in events, it wasn’t. In fact, I only continued to embarrass myself. Awkward comments about my ex and corny jokes were the least of my concern. The breaking point occurred one afternoon while he was cleaning his room and I was doing homework when I casually let out the loudest, most grotesque burp I’ve ever expressed. He looked up at me with an expression of terror as if he just found out that I was the one who ran over his childhood pet dog. “Jesus, what has gotten into you!!?”
This embarrassing confession on my dating habits isn’t for pity, nor is it emulating a Cosmo-esque voice of giving girls “15 do’s and don’t to dating”. Yes, dating can be uncomfortable. That’s why we drink when we go out to dinner, right? But it took all of those uncomfortable moments with my new guy to finally realize that I didn’t need dating tips or anything of that sort-we just needed time. So when dating someone new, while we always want to rush to the stage in the relationship where there is an unlimited amount of comfort and connection with your partner, the only thing that can bring us there is time and patience that allows us to get to know this new important figure in our lives. And while getting to know someone else and getting accustomed to all of their quirks and habits can be rough, just think that they have to get used to your habits too. The reward of finally getting to a point where you can say, do, and wear anything around your new dude is so worth all of the torture that occurred on the first few dates. And if things don’t end up working between the two of you, at least you can walk away knowing you scored a few free dinners.