Had a pleasant date last night.
Started at an art gallery. I always feel awkward and shy, so I was doing that classic Disco thing of being to scared to make physical contact or even a lot of eye contact, making kinda stilted conversation, etc etc. Even though I always tell myself "I'll do better with the next one," I always revert to this state. It was during this short film in the exhibit that I was telling myself that the date was going like every other date I go on, and if I didn't escalate some kind of intimacy by the end of it, it would turn out like all those other dates: girl losing interest because she feels "no chemistry."
Thankfully, I was able to turn things around when we went to a brewery afterwards. We got into some pretty deep conversation, we have a lot in common, and I found myself really liking her, and instead of that thing happening where the more I like somebody, the less likely I am to initiate physical intimacy because I'm even more scared of rejection, I was able to get myself more comfortable and natural, which led to your standard hand-holding, hand-on-knee, kissing, etc. stuff that happens on dates (excepts rarely happens for me because I'm awkard and shy).
Even though I'm sure everyone will say "it doesn't matter anyway, don't feel pressured to make moves if you're shy, she won't stop liking you," etc etc, my personal experience has not borne this out, and has shown me that, though nobody can control attraction, certain actions you take or do not take increase or decrease the likelihood of sustaining and increasing attraction. And in most cases, if you just treat a date like a friend and don't escalate things and never end up kissing them, they will lose attraction and not feel that spark. Maybe not by the end of the first date, but if you get further dates, it will be very rare that she won't lose interest if nothing happens by the end of the second.
We hopped to a couple of other bars after this one. It was actually her that suggested hopping to other bars, which is a good sign, because it shows that she was interested enough to want to extend the date of her own accord (which ended up being around eight hours). She called me cute and thanked me for being so attracted to her despite the fact that she wasn't wearing makeup and was in "frumpy clothes." I actually thought her outfit was really on-point, and joked that it's actually a good thing that I already know what she looks like without makeup, because it means that I know there will be no surprises later on (this made her laugh pretty hard).