Dating Diagnosis: Will Hunting Complex

As a rule of thumb, it’s safe to say that as a single girl in Manhattan, it’s a rarity to have a “good” first date.  So when one comes along that can actually be classified as “great,” it often leaves us with exceedingly high expectations.

By definition, I am referring to a “first” as anything from a drunken hookup to a formal introductory dinner (in this case, I’m referring to the first instance).  So when we leave these “great firsts” – few and far between – what comes next is what I like to refer to as the classic “Will Hunting” complex.

Sadly, no, this hookup partner does not look like Matt Damon circa 1999.  It’s a reference to his character’s first date with Minnie Driver, where they engage in witty banter, both appealing to the other with the perfect mix humor and intellectual stimulation.  Hunting leaves the night thinking “this girl is perfect,” really reflecting his own fear that she perceived him in the same light.  Obviously, the next date can’t go as seamlessly. (And no, I shockingly never studied film).

Cut to February 2012.  Me.  At a neon rave.  Clearly on the prowl, I strike up a conversation with a random guy I’ve never met before – and 10 hours later we’ve watched the sunrise on his roof, made spaghetti, listened to music, played a sexual version of “ring toss,” and eventually, we decided to sleep together.

Not caring at all if I was going to be interested in this guy, I was myself.  Relaxed.  Not over-thinking.  And I ended up having one of the most memorable nights.  After spending 10 hours straight with this complete stranger, I could tell he felt the same way.

After two weeks of texting nonstop, we finally met up again at another bar.  This time, however, I was consumed by these expectations.  I felt I had to act a certain way, which had me over-thinking.  My jokes weren’t as funny.  The conversation wasn’t as “on.”  And I left his apartment that morning knowing I would never hear from him again.  And what do you think happened? Self-fulfilling prophecy strikes again.  Needless to say, this situation has happened to me more than once.

So, why is it that we have these great firsts with guys and never hear from them the second time around?

Is it us? Do we, as women, over-think our actions that much, causing us to self-sabotage?

Or do men, the simple creatures that they are, lose their “fleeting” interest that quickly?  And why is the decision in their court?

I don’t really know why this happens, but if anything, I’m now more inclined to the bad first date.  Heck, next time, I may even decide to spill a beer on him.

After all, many great firsts have started as “bad” dates. I’ll leave you with this.

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