Five first dates in five days


Photo credit: Diego Ramirez

Piper Loring

People typically imagine themselves meeting a romantic partner organically, through serendipity or within a professional field. But times are changing. It’s increasingly difficult to meet someone without the shield of technology screens.

Busy schedules filled with school, work and extracurriculars barely permit free time, let alone time to go out and meet someone. Therefore, online dating has become more conventional in current society. Because of this, I’ve decided to finally check out this phenomenon by going out on dates with five different guys in five days.

Prior to these five dates, I have only been on one first date in my life. The date consisted of him playing magic tricks for the entirety of the evening and as he walked me to my car, we spotted a dead body being pulled out of a public restroom. Consequently, I have set the bar for dating extremely low.

As I waited at the bar in anticipation of my first date, I was immensely nervous. I was concerned that maybe my profile pictures were an inaccurate representation of what I actually looked like. Maybe the man I was meeting was, in actuality, a 400-pound man looking for love in his mid-to-late 50s. But rest assured, an attractive young professor walked in and instantly recognized me from my photos. He was well-traveled, non-judgmental and outgoing. Overall, the first date went better than expected and could lead to another date.

For the second date, I expected a maverick, a dangerous man with neck tattoos and a motorcycle. To be fair, he did have both of those attributes. However, his personality did not match his tough appearance. He came to the date in a “Star Wars” cloak and hood. When I told him I was not a huge fan of the franchise, I could see the utter disappointment in his eyes. His faith in online dating has been depleted. Despite this, he put our lack of shared interests aside as we watched a band perform and our date continued with the normal amount of uncomfortable small talk and laughter.

By the time my third date came around, I was prematurely exhausted. Finding the right outfit for three days in a row while simultaneously attempting to build up that initial first-date-excitement is tiresome. From his profile pictures, I expected this man to be the classic body-builder who spent time overseas in the military, someone who relaxes by drinking excessively and attending parties. I was sitting in the usual date spot when he sat next to me. He was tall and muscular, wore glasses and had an awkward smile. As we spoke, he confessed that he is inexperienced in most things. He has never smoked, rarely drinks and holds traditional values. This was an unexpected twist from what I had imagined.

The fourth and the fifth date felt tedious. Although both men were polar opposites, I couldn’t help but feel like I was going through the same motions.

Throughout all these dates I have realized a few things: no one wants to go on a date during the week, small talk is uncomfortably repetitive and people can surprise you. I met an adventurous professor, a “Star Wars”-obsessed maverick, an inexperienced soldier, an unexpectedly sweet frat boy and an obnoxious musician.

Although I will continue to experience romantic turmoil, at least now I am comfortable with online dating. I’ll leave you all with one last tip: do not go on all your dates at the same bar. The bouncer will assume you are an escort and you will run into one of your previous dates.

Piper Loring can be reached at [email protected] or @liperporing on Twitter.