I’ve dated a lot. Interspersed with that, I’ve had three longer term relationships (a 1 year, 2 ½ years, and 4 years). Over the past several years, though, I’ve mainly had a lot of first dates. Some people enjoy dating. I don’t. I prefer to hit the stage where things are more comfortable, where the Saturday date is expected, where you are starting to get to know the real person, and you don’t have to wonder whether you are ever going to hear from them again when they hang up the phone or walk out the door. It’s getting to that stage that is difficult for me. I’ve gone over in my mind whether or not I’ve been too picky over the years, or whether I expect too much, and I really don’t think either is the case. I’m willing to give most anyone a shot, provided they meet the basic requirements of having a decent job and being decent looking.
I go through stages with dating. I’ll get fired up and go on a lot of dates, and then (typically) lose interest in dating entirely for several months. It’s also hard for me to date because of work. I’m a typical workaholic, and have had to cancel more than one date over the years due to some work issue arising at the end of the day. Most men don’t like this, and for those early dates, you really have to keep the momentum going when things are looking promising. I fail at keeping momentum going, usually.
So, I date, although the older I get the more of a draw it is to sit on my couch in my fleece pajamas with a glass of wine and the DVR rather than try to make small talk with a stranger, who typically wants to start groping me within a half an hour of meeting. The fact is, my life as a single person is very good. I have no drama, great friends, great family, a nice place to live, and a good job. I don’t have anyone complaining about the number of purses in my closet. I guess I’ve just had a difficult time meeting the right person. I’ve met men that are “okay,” but “okay” just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I mean, why bother?
In other words, it’s been a very, very long time since I’ve met someone who I felt was hitting it on all cylinders. My “checklist” has changed over the years. When I was younger, I cared a lot more about looks than I do now. (Although I’m still shallow enough that I’m not going to date a dog.) Now what is really important to me is whether or not he is a good person. How does he feel about me? I hate game playing, and having to worry that if I send one too many texts the guy might think I want to get married tomorrow and have 10,000 babies with him.
I met a guy toward the end of August, but we weren’t able to have our first date until around a month later, because he and I were both out of town back to back. It’s kind of a miracle that we even ended up getting together. That really never happens for me. I can’t tell you how many guys I’ve given my number to and then either never heard from again, or talked to a couple of times on the phone, and things just petered out without even getting to a first date.
And…well, here is the summary thus far.
Date 1 (two weeks ago): We met at a sports bar on Sunday afternoon with the intent of having a couple beers and watching the afternoon NFL games. Just casual, and if we hit it off, we’d see where things led for the remainder of the evening. (This is my ideal first date – relatively pressure free, I can have a drink to help me not be so nervous, and if we don’t hit it off, we can cut things off fairly quickly and easily. I’m actually not a fan of going to a nice restaurant or doing something more involved on the first date – just too much pressure.) We met at around 3 p.m. Watching the game led to dinner at a nearby restaurant, which led to me getting home at around 9 p.m. Time flew by.
Date 2 (the following Saturday; requested at the end of Sunday’s date): He came by to get me at 7 p.m., and brought a bottle of wine. We drank a glass, then went out to dinner. He actually had a plan for the evening and had made reservations. I’m telling you, most men do not go to this level of effort anymore. It was astounding. Good restaurant also. After dinner, we went to a German bar to have some Oktoberfest beer. The next thing I (we) knew it was 3 a.m. I couldn’t even believe how fast time flew by.
Date 3 (the following Tuesday): We met up for dinner after work, since I was going out of town the rest of the week, and already had plans with my friends on Friday and Saturday night. Again, he had a place in mind, came and picked me up, and out we went. Although I didn’t plan on being out so late on a school night, it was midnight before I knew it.
Date 4 (this past Sunday): We went to a bar where they were having Canadian Thanksgiving. (He is from Canada.) He came by my house at around 3 p.m., then we went to eat, then came back to my place and watched a little television. It was almost 11 p.m. when he left. Crazy.
Everything thus far has seemed effortless. I had forgotten what that feels like. I can’t even believe I’ve really only known him for two weeks. There are no uncomfortable silences, no awkwardness…it’s just “easy.” (That’s what he keeps saying, anyway, and I think he’s right.) I’d forgotten that it can actually be easy, and dating doesn’t have to be a miserable process. However, I worry much less these days about impressing the men I meet and stressing over it. I be myself, and they can take it or leave it. That also has made this much easier – also that we have a lot of things in common.
So….we shall see, but so far, so good. It’s kind of fun, too. Date 5 is tomorrow and Date 6 is Saturday. We are moving right along...