During my four months abroad I have put myself out there more times than I can count and have attended several functions as ways to meet new people. Don’t get me wrong, I have already met some wonderful people that I can see turning into great friendships. But after these past few months I have come to realize something. Making new friends is a lot like dating!
If you think about it, meeting people for the first time is a lot like walking into a blind date. You may have seen this person online but that is about the extent of your knowledge of what they look like. Standing in the doorway looking around the room trying to match the face to the picture is beyond awkward in either situations. One thing I have learned, I am not good at picking faces out in a room and they usually have to come to me, great first impression.
When you have finally found your “date” the awkward small talk begins. Your trying to get a feel for this person. Is this someone that I could be friends with? Do we have anything in common? So the night goes on sharing small talk with a good mix of uncomfortable pauses.
Now comes the issue of the follow up date. Do you call them? Do you wait for them to call you? Maybe they didn’t really like you and never want to see you again! Ahh it is all so confusing, where is the rule book for these things.
Lets recap some of my dating stories shall we.
Date one: I had been in Iceland for about two weeks when I began my Icelandic classes and I was looking forward to making friends in class. One classmate in particular had a similar story to mine so I thought perfect, here is someone who can totally relate to me. She had been in Iceland for almost 8 years so I was hoping to get some tips and insight from her so I asked her to lunch.
Fast forward to our lunch date where I spent two hours listening to her talk about how much she hated Iceland. What the what! She was even shocked that H wasn’t supplying me with a card to his bank account. I mean I am downgrading my life to live here in Iceland with him so he should pay for it.
Ummm yeah basically our friendship did not continue and I left that date with a need for a stiff drink.
Date 2: I have played volleyball since I was a little girl so when I moved to Iceland I thought joining a volleyball team would be a great way to meet people. I found a team that was practicing twice a week right near my house so I headed out for my first practice full of hope that I was about to meet some great new friends.
When I walked into the gym I was greeted by a group of older Icelandic women who all kind of just looked at me without saying anything. It was exactly how I pictured walking into the cafeteria on the first day of school, but with a foreign language being spoken. Finally someone spoke to me, in Icelandic of course, and once they knew I only spoke English they made sure to be very vocal about it. I can’t tell you how many times during our practice I heard, you have to speak English to her she doesn’t understand Icelandic. Okay we all get it thanks for announcing this fact every two minutes.
I knew my future bff wasn’t on this team though when someone was trying to get my attention in Icelandic (they must of missed the I only speak English announcements) and when I didn’t respond they decided to throw a ball at me.
Yes, that happened and I have not played volleyball since.
Date 3: There is a pub quiz that I have always wanted to attend and after being here for two months I finally had the evening free to join in. A woman had been in contact with me asking me to join their team and she sounded really friendly and excited to meet me. I was a bit nervous when I entered the bar but she seemed so nice that I thought for sure it was going to be a great night.
When I found our team at a very crowded table there was clearly no room for me to sit down. After standing awkwardly behind them someone finally moved over to make some space for me. I spent the next three hours listening to them all share some inside jokes with each other while I did my best to fake some smiles.
I might also add that the team member closest to my age was a good 20 years older than me. I have no issue with age but when all they are talking about is their children and grandchildren I have nothing to add to the conversation. So that was how my night went, listening to family talk and inside jokes. Awesome.
Date 4: I love to read so I figured, why not join a book club? I found a group of ladies on Facebook that were also interested in starting a book club so we planned a time to meet. We were all foreigners living here in Iceland so I was really excited to meet them all and learn more about them.
As I entered the crowded café attempting to match the faces to the Facebook profiles I was crossing my fingers that this would not be another bad dating experience. When I spotted my new group right away I took this as a good start to my date and headed over.
This date has a happy ending. I spent the evening talking with some wonderful ladies who I really connected with. Finally I had one of those successful dates where you spend the night talking and laughing away.
This date was the turning point in my dating life in Iceland and I have continued to meet many new people who I am really enjoying spending time with. I guess we all have to go through some form of a dating rut before coming out on top!
Question of the Day?
Do you have any bad dating stories?