Always sunny, indeed.
Okay, so it's not exactly like that. For one thing, dating is no well-timed parade. A cluster of available men tends to show up all at once after a months-long dry spell, usually two or three at a time, demanding a level of juggling prowess that I have yet to achieve.
Inevitably, at least two of them strike my fancy. Handsome lemons in hand, my juggling act commences. We spend some time together. Maybe meet some of each others' friends. The lemons are arcing effortlessly through the air. But right around the time things start looking good with one guy, I find myself irresistibly attracted to the other. Or he asks to be introduced to one of my friends. Or I indulge in a little too much vino and get mouthy. Or it turns out he has a girlfriend. (Pro Tip: Ask about girlfriends, wives and kids before the first date. Trust me.) And the lemons fall gracelessly from their perfect parabolas and I end up back where I started: marooned in a date-less desert waiting for the next poorly-timed man grenade to go off and disorder my life all over again.
I'm terrible at turning him into my boyfriend.
It's not that I don't want a boyfriend, per se. In theory, regular sex and a movie-going companion sound pretty great. But the stage between "Meet Cute" and "Make Dinner Together, Then Spend the Night on the Couch Watching "Family Guy" Re-Runs" is like some kind of real-life version of the SATs: I fret about it for months, try to act cool when it finally arrives, then panic, fill in all the wrong ovals and end up going to my safety school with nothing but what-ifs and if-onlys swimming around in my poor, flustered, overtaxed brain. Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but if you're not new here, you know that's exactly my style.
It starts out all sexy-like, and then...
Friends' advice is as varied as it is unhelpful. "Be yourself." Myself is a marginally neurotic alpha female who is incapable of bullshit. "Just see what happens." What happens is that I say the wrong thing. Every time. "Be direct." Oh, yeah, because men just love a woman who tries to bully them into a date!
What about you, Team SK? How do you navigate the post-first-date, pre-boyfriend minefield? Because frankly, I could use all the help I can get.