Dating: Week One (I)

by | Mar 17, 2013

This post was imported from an old blog.

With online dating, messages can only get you so far. And this is coming from someone who truly believes that her strength lies in written communications. I’m a bit of a blundering, babbling, buffoon in person. I hate talking on the phone. And yet, I really don’t want to waste a lot of time writing back and forth with someone before meeting them in person. Because I have no intentions of carrying on online only – no matter how awesome our messages might be.

I want real life dating. I want accidental touches that make my heart beat faster. I want to smell his smell and look into his eyes and feel how it feels to stand next to him. I want him to see how my eyes crinkle when I smile and hear my laugh and feel the energy increase when I get excited about something.

I met five guys in my first week out. It was supposed to be six, but one of them cancelled because he met someone else who he felt an emotional connection to, and wanted to give it a chance without adding anyone else into the mix. I appreciated his honesty and commitment to what he was looking for, and told him that cancelling was absolutely fine – he should go for it.

My expectations were low starting out. No pressure on either side. I refused to even call these meetings “dates,” because words matter to me, and the first time you meet someone isn’t really a date. From that point, I decided, if we hit it off, we could then go on our first date. I have a tendency to make up guidelines like this, even though I know full well that life has this way of going along however it’s going to go along, and I can’t control everything just by using the proper words.

Anyway, my first meeting was over coffee on Saturday afternoon. I got there a few minutes early, and scoped out the place, making sure he wasn’t already there. Satisfied that I had arrived first, I ordered my beverage and found a place to sit. Then I moved, twice, seeking a more advantageous location. One that offered a view of the door and a bit of distance between where we would be and other afternoon coffee drinkers. I may or may not have been a little bit nervous. The excited kind of nervousness.

When he came in, I was only about 70% certain it was him, so I just looked at him, smiling expectantly, until that glimmer of recognition appeared on his face. Then I got up and took a few steps towards him and… wasn’t sure what to do. I stuck out my hand and we shook. It was a bit awkward. I told him I already had my coffee, so he went to order and came over to sit with me.

Conversation rambled along in starts and stops for a while. He did most of the talking, and I had a hard time getting a word in without interrupting. He told me that he had just blazed before coming to meet me, which actually explained a lot, but I admit I was taken aback by his confession. I wasn’t really offended, but I thought it was strange behaviour when planning to meet someone for the first time.

Things wound down in the coffee shop and he asked what my plans were for the rest of the day. I told him I had arranged to meet a friend afterwards, but that I still had a bit of time. Although it was raining and chilly outside, we decided to walk around for a bit and keep talking. Eventually I decided it was time to say goodbye and we did. He held out his arms for a hug, which felt a lot less awkward than the handshake greeting and we agreed that we would probably enjoy hanging out again sometime, and left it at that.

I thought it had gone fairly well for my first time out. He had interesting things to say, he was better looking than his profile pictures let on, and I had laughed a lot. However, I didn’t really feel a spark, and the fact that he decided to get high before meeting me was kind of a turn off. Overall, it felt like it was worth my time, and any concerns I had about setting up a bunch of different meetings disappeared.

I had more excitement and anticipation about my second meeting. This was a guy I found and messaged first, and his response was enthusiastic. After a series of messages back and forth that bordered on a comedy routine, in which we tried to coordinate dates, times and a meeting location that was mutually amenable and open on Monday night, we finally settled on a wine bar downtown.

Again, I arrived a few minutes early (this isn’t a dating strategy – I just hate being late), sat in a cozy booth, and ordered a couple of glasses of water while I waited. He texted me that he was on his way in, so even though the lighting was very dim, I was certain it was him when he entered the room. It didn’t hurt that I also knew from his profile that he was 6’4″.

I squeezed out of the booth to greet him, and as he came closer he held open his arms and we hugged hello. It wasn’t awkward at all. We sat, ordered a bottle of wine and proceeded to talk easily and comfortably for a couple of hours. Well, as easily as two complete strangers can. I couldn’t stop smiling. I felt an instant attraction to him that grew as we talked. I wondered if he felt it. Our hands casually touched a few times and I experienced a physical reaction that I hid as well as I could. My inner voice was screaming for caution. “Marsha, keep it casual. Do not get too excited over this guy you just met.”

So I kept it light and fun, while being completely open about the fact that I really had a great time and I hoped we’d see each other again. We had exchanged numbers previous to our meeting, so we just left it open, hugged goodbye and went our separate ways. I didn’t know or have any expectations about what would happen next, but hoped for the best.

I have pretty powerful instincts, and yet, I still don’t always trust them. I don’t fully trust myself. I tell myself a lot of things about who I am and what I want, but those things seem to change so frequently that they sometimes feel like lies. Is it a lie if you change your mind? Or is the mind changing just a lack of understanding of my needs and motivations that make me think I want one thing when I really want something else?



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