In this mini-series I'm calling Freaky Friday, I'm going to take a retrospective look at the anatomy of the date (including finances) and glean some life knowledge from my awful experiences (if only to make myself feel better and hopefully help you to avoid the same mistakes). Here's round three, which logically follows after Round One and Round Two. Names as usal are changed to protect the embarassed.

In an unusual plot twist, this week it's me starring as the terrible date. I know I seem kind of perfect (or at least more perfect then some of the fine specimens I've gone on a date with) but I too have made dating mistakes. I particular I think of one horrible date I have yet to recover from (which happens to be my only experience with eHarmony).

Bobatea So with eHarmony you answer a seemingly ridiculous amount of questions about yourself. With the questions, you also rank the importance of the value on a scale. I remember being fairly liberal about most of this but I do remember a specific item I marked very important: no kids. At 22, I didn't want no baby mama drama (I may not have been nurturing but at least I was honest).

I waited ten days for my first match (apparently of the millions of people on the site, no one matched my very permissive expectations). When I got my first match I was quite excited… until he had two kids. What the heck eHarmony?

Match number two who I'll call Music Man was much better suited for me. A musician who was eight years my senior, he was funny, smart, and by his pictures cute. We agreed to meet.

In doing a little web research pre-D-day, I found out he was a very accomplished musician. He was a professor at a music school and gave private lessons to his own students as well. I started to get nervous. I was barely out of college, was I ready for a professor?

We met and all good things were confirmed and exceeded. He as fit and good looking. He was polite and kind. He met me at a museum and we walked to a great sushi place where the chef slipped us some green tea ice cream on the house after our meal. After we got boba and strolled along the waterfront. Sounds fantastic right?

Here was my inner dialogue this entire time: "What are you doing on a date with someone like this? This guy is out of your league. He's a professor who has read books you can't even pronouce. He's accomplished in his field. What are you, a full time student with a part time job? I bet he has furniture that isn't 20 years old. He is a real grownup, a professor even. Why did he agree to go out with young and stupid you?"

I was pretty uncomfortable with my lack of things to offer and I'm sure I acted accordingly. I was fidgety and way more shy then I normally am. In addition, I didn't know the area very well so it was up to him to come up with the entire plan, which didn't help what I percieved as the balance of "power".

So what did I learn from this? Plenty…after I gave it some thought:

1) Make your negative brain shut up. This person agreed to go out with you for a reason so stop thinking like an idiot so you don't act like an idiot.

2) Have something to contribute to the date, whether it's a fun activity or at least a great coffee shop. Research if you have to. See, you're cool too!

3) Research the person before the date, but not overly so. I practically memorized this poor guy's resume meanwhile since my online presence was practically non-existent, he went into the date with no expectations. There is something to be said for that.

4) Don't be afraid to date outside your expectations. Music Man reminded me that nice guys don't have to be wimpy and introduced me to boba. And isn't learning something and having new experiences what it's all about?

Happy Friday! Don't be freaky!

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