You said that you're dating to NOT fall in love, then why this dating project?
I fall in love, or more accurately, into like far too often. I was burnt out from being a monogamist for years and years and decided to do something radically different. I didn't want to give myself over to anyone again for a while and this is my way of keeping me to that.
How many dates have you been on so far?
39 (as of the end of November)*
*His goal is 50 by the end of 2011
How do you find ladies to go on dates with you?
People I know. Random meetings. Friends of friends. OkCupid. HowAboutWe. Twitter. And unsolicited emails in my inbox (that’s you).
Do you get nervous before your dates?
Not typically. Certainly less so now than when I started. It really depends though. If I've know the person previously, that can add a lot of nerves if I like them or if I'm intimidated by them. You wouldn’t believe what an old crush can do to my confidence. Also, if the situation itself is scary, like showing up to a wedding on my own or having to play an open mic.
What's been your favorite date so far and why? (Besides ours, obviously!)
It’s honestly too difficult to decide on a favorite. There are so many factors that go into it! Was the date itself fun? Did I like the person? Was it a new life experience? Etcetera, etcetera. I can give you a spattering of favorites though: Wedding Date, A Broad Abroad Date, Travel Date, Coney Island Date, Broadway Date, Comic Con Date, Tattoo Date, Bowling Date.
With you averaging 2 dates a week or more aren't you tired?
I am always physically exhausted, but that has more to do with my work and improv schedule than my dating schedule. I do not get tired of going on dates. Each new person brings new conversations and new experiences. Sometimes the dates are the very thing that reenergizes me.
What if you fall in "like" with a girl. Do you ask her out on a second date? Do you even have time?
Yeah, I often do ask them out again, either on or off the books. Or I just stay in touch via text message and email. A good amount of it does depend on my schedule and the context in which I know them. And no, I don’t really have time. Sometimes I make it though, for my own sanity. It’s nice to hang out with someone and not have to take notes afterwards.
Why do you prefer long dates?
I think longer dates give both parties more of a chance to be themselves. The top of a date can be very formal, or even awkward, and I think that by spending more time together, both parties typically relax a bit and open up more. I need every opportunity I can get to convince a woman that I’m a decent guy, and if that means an extra couple hours, then an extra couple hours it is.
Also, because so many of these are potentially one-off dates, it’s almost like we cram the first, second, and third dates all into one meeting because we might not have a chance to ever go on those other ones.
Finally, some of the dates are simply structured in a way that says “let’s put two people together for an extended period of time and see what happens”. That’s a bit of the social experiment side of the project.
How do you end a date? Hug, kiss, high five?
Always, always kiss. Haha. No, but I wouldn’t mind if that were the case. It depends on how the date has gone. If it’s been mostly platonic, then a very friendly and non-awkward “Thanks. I had a great time. Take care,” is in order. However, if there’s been mutual attraction than the scene is usually different. When that’s the case, there’s a great deal of waffling and unspoken refusal to part. Then eventually there’s a reluctant goodbye or, potentially, a kiss. Every date is different though, and there’s no way to predict what will happen in the end.
Do you always contact your date afterwards?
Not always, but usually.
Do you ever call your dates (like on the phone?)
Rarely, but I definitely have. It has less to do with my own comfort (I’m fine with phone conversations) and more to do with timing and my own perception of whether or not they want me to call. This day and age, it can feel like I’m bothering someone or being pushy with a phone call, so I try to only call when I really think it’s the best option. If there’s any doubt, I go with text or email.
What are some of your dating deal-breakers/turn-offs?
I haven’t run into any so far, but I think I can take a stab at guessing. Being rude is probably the number one worst thing. This can manifest itself in many ways, but what seems common in dating is things like paying attention to your phone, not respecting the other person’s time, and not being a good sport. Other than that, I think you’d have to be a bad person (like a open racist) for me to not give you a shot. I’m pretty open minded, so I let a lot of things slide.
Have you ever been in love?
Absolutely. It’s the best thing ever until it’s over. Then it’s the worst.
Are you a romantic? Do you believe in chivalry?
I am definitely a bit of a romantic, but I balance it with practicality and forward thinking. I think chivalry is a bit of a crock, but only in the formal sense. I do believe is doing chivalrous things, but only because you want to do them, and I would say that I often want to do them. Such behavior should never come from a place of “should”. What a man “should” do for a woman. It’s far more important to do things out of inner motivation. Also, if the woman I’m out with views chivalry as offensive for demeaning, then I absolutely won’t partake in it.
What do you hope to learn at the end of this project? What have you learned so far?
By the end of this, I just hope to have a better understanding of myself and of what I want out of a relationship. I also hope to become better at dating, obviously. I think I’ve already made progress on that front, and I’ve seen my self-confidence go up as well, which has been great. I’ve also learned that every time you put two people together, it’s nearly impossible to predict the outcome. There are so many factors that go into a date that each one really is unique and has its own significance.