So I had a date a couple weeks ago. Like most of my dates recently, it started when a girl messaged me on OkCupid out of the blue, and we ended up getting drinks at a bar in the neighborhood where we both live. It went okay, and she did say at the end that she’d like to see me again, but it was kind of frustrating in a familiar way.
Shortly into the date, she asked me what I do in my spare time. This question drives me crazy, as does the fact that it’s very common on first dates. I guess a lot of people really like to talk about their hobbies or something, because this keeps coming up in small-talk situations (not just first dates). For me, though, this is problematic, because what I do with my spare time is probably the least interesting aspect of my life. I mostly just screw around on the internet, which is what I said on this date after “nothing, really” wasn’t a sufficient answer for her. She immediately translated that to “videogames and porn,” to which I responded with “no comment” (which made her laugh), because there is some truth to that, although “Facebook and blogs” would be a more accurate characterization of how I spend most of my time. Regardless of the details, though, it frustrates me that I keep having to talk about this on dates when there are so many other things that I could talk about that would be more interesting to both of us.
I’m particularly frustrated that work isn’t considered more of a standard conversation topic on dates, because in addition to taking up a lot of my time and most of my emotional energy, which leaves little energy left for hobbies, my job is really interesting and unusual. I’ve been to lots of interesting places! My work involves a lot of interesting topics that regularly make the news! Ask me about that!
Now, of course I realize that I could just bring up these topics myself if I think they’re so much more interesting. And, fair enough, I probably should make more of an effort to direct the conversation in contexts like this. I’m sufficiently shy and awkward to make that sort of effort seem very intimidating, though, especially in a first-date context.
Anyway, I’m mostly just venting here. The date did go fairly well overall, and while I haven’t yet followed up on it I probably should. I do like her quite a bit, and I think there is still some potential despite the awkwardness of the first date.