It Starts In My Toes

And then it creeps up my entire body to my chest and neck and out onto my arms while trying to gasp for air and babbling hysterically to my best friends on the phone.

It’s the feeling before a second date.

The date where suddenly it isn’t fun and games anymore, it’s real.

The date when it suddenly becomes so much MORE.

More than that initial contact – a glance across the coffee shop, a handshake at a friend’s party, a Twittermance or when that cutie whose profile you’ve beenlurking at on OkCupid finally reaches out and sends you a message.

More than the playful flirting that happens over the phone or via email before your first date.  The smile that spreads across your face when you get a text or Facebook post and realize that maybe they ARE that into you.  The ride home after a conversation that lasts til 4 in the morning about everything and nothing all at once.  The uneasy yet exhilarating feeling when you are wondering “Will they ask me out? Should I ask them out? When will we have our first “sleepover?!” (Oh don’t judge, you know you have that thought when you are beginning to date someone!)

More than the deep breath you take as you open the restaurant door and step in for your first date.  More than the natural conversation that flows so easily as you wander through a toy store searching for kites and tiny rubber chickens.  More than the awkward yet palpable moment at the when you sit in the car at the end of the date wondering “Are they going to kiss me?  Should I kiss them?  Do we hug?  How do I reach around the seatbelt?  Oh god WHY did I order Garlic Chicken for dinner tonight?!”

It’s the moment I desperately wish that Proctor & Gamble made some sort of Boy Benadryl to get through it.

"Allergic Reaction" to dating
Photo Credit: Getty Images – Letizia McCall

Cause I actually (on multiple occasions) have broken out in hives the hours before a second date is scheduled to happen.  I know, all you psychiatrists and therapists reading this desperately want to send me a menu of your fees and schedule some quality time on the couch.  And not the good quality time on the couch.

My  Bucket List on myspace (yes, WAY back when it was cool to have myspace…like 2 years ago…) involved the bullet point of getting to a third date without having an allergic reaction to the idea of liking someone enough to hang out with them, in that “Aw, cute” way, past the butterflies and initial chase and sweet fun of the dating game.

I can’t explain exactly the thoughts that go through my mind during the pre-date freak out.  Generally a conflict of trying to figure out whether I like someone enough to go on a second date with them and convincing myself that I need to give people a chance and not discount them after one date.  And then wondering if I’m going to be single forever, since someone recently told a mutual friend “You might as well just give up if you turn 30 and are still single.”  And then remembering that my Dad once told me he’d be ok with whomever I dated, even if it was a Jewish boy (we’re a very WASP-y family and religion is important to my parents and he really just wants me to be happy.)  And then wondering if what I’m wearing is going to be ok for a second date.  And looking in the mirror for the 18th time in a three minute period to determine if I’m having a bad hair day.  And then…and then…and then…

Anyone else I would calmly explain that they are showing their seven shades of crazy all in one 60-second period and that they needed to calm the hell down.  Advice is always easier to give than it is to take.  And I know that I’m definitely conducting the over-reaction train on it’s way to Crazy Town.  But it doesn’t stop that small part of me from wanting to gnaw off my right arm so that I can’t drive to meet up with someone for what could be the beginning of something real.

Deep breaths…deep breaths…who knows, maybe one day I’ll actually make it through.  Til then, seriously…anyone know if Claritin works for this?

Which part of dating do you like more?  The flirty and fun time at the VERY beginning or the comfort that comes from something more cute and sustainable?

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