Before romantic dates we all go through a progression of emotional states known as the 6 stages of date anticipation. Unless you’re so cool and aloof about dating, in which case we’d probably never be friends and why are you reading my blog.
1) Longing (before The Date exists): You self-pity and ponder, If only I had a date. Why don’t I have a date? I’m nicer* than the other girls. Poor me. You long to be on a date: a context of established interest, but uncertain potential. You want to sit with someone, trying to impress and assess each other. It’s a relationship audition. What could be more fun?! Plus, you have so many cute outfits to debut.
*smarter, prettier, more interesting, sluttier… insert whatever adjective applies
2) Triumph (when The Date is set): You have a date! You swell with pride and elation. A date is no longer an abstract wish. The Date is an impending reality. A thing to put on your calendar. High five!
3) Expectation (5 days pre-date): Your idle mind invariably wanders to The Date, and you fantasize about the possibilities. Maybe we’ll have great banter. Maybe he’ll adore me. Maybe we’ll make out. Maybe we’ll date seriously and when we sleep at my place stop for coffee at Hi Rise in the morning and when we sleep at his place stop for coffee at Dwelltime and we’ll be so cute. Then we’ll wed and live together as dynamic, beloved, tenured professors at Dartmouth College with charming children and a loyal, handsome dog. I wonder how he’ll get along with my parents? He’ll talk about sports and tax law with my dad. Oh, I can’t wait for him to meet my high school friends.
And you might make out!
4) Anxiety (2 days pre-date): You begin to question your prospects, your compatibility, your wardrobe options, and the assumption that The Date is even a date. Maybe he wants to date my roommate. Maybe he just has questions about archaeological biogeochemistry. Maybe he wants me to contribute to his KickStart. Your enthusiasm shrivels. Maybe I’m not interested in him. Am I just going on this date because I want a date? Why do I want a date? Dates are horrible. Maybe I shouldn’t go. I’m getting a sore throat. I have a lot of work to do. I have an episode of Downton Abbey to watch.
5) Despair (2 hours pre-date): This date is going to be the worst event in the history of my life. You have nothing to wear, nothing to say, and no chance of finding love. You collapse onto your bed with your forearm across your brow, like a hysterical (but beautiful) silent film actress.
6) Resignation (2 minutes pre-date): You approach your designated meeting spot. Inspirational girly pop plays on your iPod. The date is happening. There is no escape. You’re resigned to the fact that it will be Fine. And nothing is worse than Fine when it comes to finding love.