Thirty Minute Dates?

A girlfriend once told me that she dates men in thirty minute intervals.  I frowned at this information as she continued on stating that thirty minutes is long enough to see if there is a real connection or move on.  I looked at her confused and continued listening to her logic.

I thought to myself, "Is this an actual rule to dating these days?"  I'll be the first to admit that online dating can be quite awkward and intimidating.   You never know what you're going to get.  Some people are better in text then they are in person, which is unfortunate. Others just fall short of a good time, also unfortunate.
Thirty minutes could very well be enough time to read the vibe and determine if you can potentially date the person sitting in front of you that is full of hesitation and nerves, spouting out random facts about themselves.  

First dates typically feel like the first day school to me.  State your name and something interesting about yourself.  I always stuttered and sounded confused.  I don't particularly like to speak about myself in that way.  "I was in honors choirs?" I would state looking around the room embarrassed. 

I continue listening to her and interrupt with a question.  "What if he's really nervous and you're potentially closing the door on a great adventure?"  

She responds, "Then he should be more himself..."

Is that an option?   When you're going on a date with a complete stranger, it can be scary.  I have been brave enough to set up a second date after the first one sucked.  I once gave a guy a second chance after he spilled a drink on my lap and was talking as though he had inhaled two 5-hour energy drinks.  The experience was painful, and messy, but I figured why not give this guy a second chance to calm down and see what he's about.  I decided not to go on a third date with him because our interests were limited to drinks. Although it didn't work out between the both of us, I am thankful for that experience because I was able to make a decision based on whether or not we really had a connection based on two interactions versus his spastic first impression. 

I believe in my heart of hearts that sometimes people need a second chance.  A moment to adjust, reset, and become comfortable around a new person.  Remember, they might have the same reservations as you do, but are having trouble jumping over the hurdles we so often sabotage ourselves with.  

Our personal narrative of our self-image typically looms in the back of our minds, whispering self-doubt as we wait for our interviewee (date) to arrive.  Self-doubt is a real thing that plagues us all, so why not be open to a second date?  If it turns out to be a complete failure, at least you have that experience and a better sense of that individual.  

I have had the pleasure  (I use that word loosely) of being on some of the most awkward dates where I am basically on a date with myself because the poor guy is too nervous or doesn't know what to do - millennial  souls.  There have been times where the second date is so much better, which leads to a third and sometimes maybe a fourth.  Other times, I am honest at the end of the second date and tell them that there will not be another date in the future.  It's better to get it out of the way instead of receiving a text for a third date.  Awkward. 

My friend continued rambling on listing more bullet points as to why thirty minute dates make sense.  She ends the conversation stating that men are dumb and she will most likely end up single for the rest of her life.  I try offering words of comfort and advice.  I offer this bit, "Maybe instead of having all of these requirements and rules, you should get lost in the moment and not wait for the buzzer to sound."  She frowns.  I continue, "When I disconnect from the chaos in my mind, I find that I have the most fun.  That's all I'm saying.  Mr. Right is out there."  

And he is ladies.  He may not be riding up in a limo and climbing up the fire escape like Richard Gere in Pretty Woman, but he might roll up in a Lyft anxious to meet you.