You deserve a great life. You deserve a huge bonfire of love and happiness. The Sparks are right inside you. The kindling of your life and the power of your attention are all you need to light your fire. Light it.
The thrill of getting to a second date... Well, don't blow it. Just be cool. Don't lead to fast or too far. Take your signals from your date. Listen intently for emotional intelligence. Are they telling stories about past relationships, or future ideas, or work, or working out?
I hope you meet a lot of nice people out there. But don't be fooled by their looks, their profile statements, or their fluent email banter. Go for the face-to-face meeting with as little hassle and energy as possible. If it becomes difficult to land the date, for whatever reason, move on. If they wanted to meet they would also be trying to make it happen, not giving excuses.
There are plenty of fit and fantastic-looking people using online dating. 99% of them will not give you the time of day. That's okay. You only need ONE YES to change your life.
Growing together is hard. There will be bumps in the road. Even your perfect partner may appear less evolved and you might be tempted to return to the swiping apps. Don't.
Find what you like and what she doesn't like. Find new things you can both explore together. And find how your needs, desires, and futures align.
As we become clearer in our boundaries, in what is good for us and what is not good for us, we can make choices more easily. When something doesn't feel good, we're able to say, "NO. This will not work for me."
What would happen if a woman came along who was within my attractive range and was interested in a relationship? I guess I would get the opportunity to feel the pressure that I occasionally put on "dates." I'm not sure what's ahead, but I'm interested in finding out how I learn and grow in my next relationship, with a partner who wants a relationship.