Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.
- Virgil Thomson
When you've been single for a while, you inevitably forget things.
You forget associations you once held; with places, activities and routines, you forget the spoken nuances that were once familiar: words, phrases, nicknames and in-jokes. Then finally, after what feels like far too bloody long, joy of joys - you forget why you were even with someone in the first place.
(That last bit's well good.)
Other things get forgotten too if you allow yourself enough time: what a heart flutter feels like, the nervous expectation of a text message, or the simple comfort of being physically and emotionally concerned with someone else.
And if you've spent your singleness occasionally arranging and then cancelling dates because something just doesn't feel right, or experiencing flashes of attraction that fade into nothing when the sun comes up, you're also likely to forget something else: the unmitigated terror of going on a first date.
You forget the process of choosing what to wear, and the nerves of picking the right place to meet; of getting it just right (not too busy, not too quiet, not too expensive, not too cheap, not too weird, no strippers, and a fire exit out the back - just in case).
You forget how you're meant to greet a person for the first time when there's the pretense of maybe, perhaps, something more happening between you than friendship, and the appropriate way to say goodbye when the end of the night comes and you suspect that might be the case - hug? Kiss on one cheek? Two? Lips? Handshake?
Then, after the event - you'll wonder how you still managed to get it wrong even after all that thought.
The texts once you're both home - well, you've probably forgotten how they're supposed to start and end too, and you forget how to infer "I like you, let's arrange another" without putting yourself out on a limb and saying exactly that.
Above all, after too long spent panicking about the prospect of dates and all they mean, you forget how nice it feels to be excited about seeing someone again.
But, you think, as you check your phone again and allow your mind to wonder a bit, like most forgotten things, you'll probably pick it all up again fairly quickly - given the chance.