i’m fine on the second date but getting there’s a problem

Somewhere in hopping across dating apps I get to talking with K. about grammatical pet peeves cuz it’s one of the conversation prompts that this particular app provides and then from there we go on to talking about influential figures from when we were young and I notice that I’m getting really wordy, which everybody tells me not to do on a dating app, so I ask a bit hastily if K. would maybe like to get a drink, since I’m house-sitting in her neighborhood til the end of the weem, and after a full day of silence I check the Bumble app again and see that she’s not listed in my mailbox.

She’s unmatched us.

            Conversation’s over.

            And frankly I’ve lost nothing here except time but the rejection is amplified cuz it feels like the confirmation of what I’ve been dreading for months now, which is that I’m just bad at this, a longwinded nervous wreck, overbearing – and it’s infected my daily life, too, because I’ll be in a conversation that’s tough to navigate (usually cuz, over the holidays, I keep finding myself in line at Starbucks with someone I haven’t seen in a decade) and in a desperate attempt to avoid awkward silence I’ll overhear myself saying something that is not something I would say, asking an awkward question about something that doesn’t interest me at all (“Y-you, um…you were always into scarves, right?”), and I crumble about it later because I’m overhearing myself being weird, overhearing myself sound like a decidedly less-bearable person than I deep-down believe myself to be, and it sucks cuz I feel like I could totally show you my cooler attributes if you would just let me buy you a drink – or but no, it might take two dates. Not just the first one. Cuz on the first date I’ll be super nervous and end up getting tipsy and oversharing and then it’s on the second date, once you’ve heard all that shit and decided to stick around – then I’ll feel comfortable, and you’ll get a glimpse of what I’m really like.By Sofia Porzio

            But then that’s such a tall order! Like, what, I’m gonna start a conversation on Bumble saying, “Hey, lemme just say, before we start, that I’m actually way more bearable than I’m gonna seem throughout this conversation”?

            I’m spiraling down one of these thoughtholes last night when my phone buzzes.

            It’s a message from K.

            Apparently we hadn’t even been talking on Bumble. It was Hinge.

            Tells me that, yeah, she might be interested in a drink.

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