I went on my first real date with an OKC guy, and it initially overwhelmed me. We've been talking to one another for a few weeks via OKC, and then a few days via text. I was mostly excited. But then the excitement became panic. My mind went blank multiple times during this date. Often my response to stuff he'd say was "interesting…"or "yes…" I went to the bathroom twice to look at the list of "get to know you" questions I'd brought with me. By the time I returned to our table, both times, I'd forgotten the questions I wanted to ask.

He was the opposite of me– a nervous talker. He talked about everything, from politics to his family to his friends, and barely took a breath to ask me questions. The latter part is sort of good- I couldn't really concentrate on what he was saying enough to answer questions fully. I was too busy quietly panicking for the first half hour, waiting for a phone call I scheduled ahead of time, so I'd have an out to leave.

45 minutes into our date, we left the coffee shop and started walking around at my suggestion. I thought walking might let out the nervous energy. And it did! The date got immensely better. We have a lot in common, and our sense of humor is essentially identical. We talked about Pokémon, the JET program, Eastern European history, and the militarization of police. The date ended up lasting for 6 hours.

One of the best things about him that I found, other than him knowing who Jim Dale is, was his very straight-forward response when I told him that I take relationships slowly because attraction forms very slowly for me, if at all, and that it wouldn't work out if he pursued me sexually/tried to put the moves on me/made any direct moves toward sex for the first few months. He responded that he is not sexually pursuant at all, that he'll follow my lead, and that we can go as slow as I'd like. Talking about this was one of my biggest dating concerns, but this person seemed relieved when I brought it up. Granted, he could have been making it up. Maybe he'll ghost on me after he sees that I'm not kidding. But I'm glad that I initiated the conversation. Even if it doesn't work out, that was the first time I've discussed my sexuality with a prospective mate. It didn't go terribly bad.

I generally liked this person, although there are little things that bothered me. I'm glad I stayed as long as I did.

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Take aways:

1) For nervous people, a sitting-down date may not be the best.

2) Getting over that initially period of nervousness is important for people on both sides. He didn't get to know me for the first hour because he was talking so much. And I couldn't concentrate on stuff he said because I was panicking. And the things I did concentrate on, I judged harshly (eg "His laugh is so weird…" "his hands are too meaty"). I thought a lot of very mean things about this guy during sitting-down portion of our date, and I think it was mostly to justify my leaving. It wasn't until I was a bit more calm that I could assess his behavior in a balanced way.

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3) A longer first date might be better for some people. I read a lot of dating advice blogs/forums/Q&As suggesting a time cap for first dates ahead of time. I did this. But if I had followed through with those suggestions (even if I had not been nervous), I don't think I would have learned the things that I did.

Stay tuned for updates!