Stacy– So you must be Lucy’s friend. The one who made the tape.
Lucy– I think he’s more than my friend. You’re my boyfriend, right?
Henry– Yes ma’am.
Stacy– So everyday you help her realize what happened and wait patiently for her to be okay with it, then you get her to fall in love with you again?
Henry– Yes ma’am.
Stacy– Gosh… (a longing sigh, then slaps her husband in the chest) You asshole! You don’t even open the fricking car door for me anymore!
Ah, first dates… They are fascinating creatures. It’s your first impression of someone, so both people are on their very best behavior hoping to impress this stranger who could potentially be A) your next sexual partner, B) your soul mate or C) a complete psychopath who you will wish you had never met, but unfortunately, didn’t figure that out until date number three or four.
Unlike Henry (Adam Sandler) in 50 First Dates, who has to convince his beloved with short term memory loss (Drew Barrymore), to go out with him all over again every day, most people are lucky enough that they only have to go through a first date with a particular person one time. This is a good thing, as first dates can be nerve-wracking. With that being said, then you have the completely insane like me who schedule three first dates, with three different guys, all within a 30 hour time frame.
Go big or go home, my friends. Go big or go home.
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t plan for it to happen this way, it just sorta did. I am discovering that I am apparently a hot commodity on OkCupid. I even got an email from the website yesterday saying, “Congrats! Based on the number of clicks on your profile and user ratings, you are one of the most attractive people on this site! Don’t let it go to your head…” (I proceeded to laugh hysterically and delete it.)
I have contacted, and been contacted, by several guys over the last few weeks and it all just culminated into them asking me out all at the same time, for the same weekend. I considered trying to spread it out over the course of the following week, but due to my lack of dating experience I figured I would lose my nerve, (and almost did to be frank), and should just bite the bullet and get it over with. As a result, my weekend could have been aptly named “Dateapaloosa!” I ended up with one date on Saturday and two on Sunday…
Date Number One- The Dog Lover
I was most anxious about this one, mostly because it was really my first official date in almost a decade (no pressure or anything). We met at a coffee shop to chat for a few hours. It was a little awkward at first, because I get the impression he’s pretty shy, and we were both nervous, but conversation soon relaxed once we began talking about our jobs and our dogs. He’s was very sweet in a quiet sort of way, which I am not used to shy guys so it took some adjusting to. He actually gave me a really wonderful compliment by calling me a “renaissance woman.” (Meaning I am good at many things, and have a variety of interests. A nicer way of saying “jack of all trades” I suppose.) Never really thought of myself that way, but the title is rather appropriate the more I think about it.
Date Number Two- The Scientist
Date number two was another coffee date, though this one was at one of my favorite local places that I frequent. I think between the familiar locale and already having one date under my belt significantly helped my confidence. Didn’t really need it though, the Scientist was anything but shy. In fact, sometimes it was hard getting a word in edge wise! That really didn’t bother me much though, it gave me a chance to practice active listening skills and let someone else be the center of attention for once, which is something I need to work on more in personal relationships. Morning coffee turned into lunch and we talked about his research on cancer treatments and my work with holistic medicine, family, sports, pets, you name it. He was bubbly and enthusiastic and I really enjoyed chatting with him over yummy food.
Date Number Three- The Traveler
Save the best for last, this date was the one I was most looking forward to because I had contacted him first, and after talking via email we just had so much in common. We decided to meet at the art museum, which was exciting to me because I love art. I was freaking out a little before our appointed time to meet because I was super early and because I wanted to make a good first impression. I wandered around the gift shop for awhile and then hung up my coat. When I came back, there he was waiting in the lobby and all my nervousness disappeared. Conversation as we walked around looking at the art was friendly and comfortable, an easy give and take that felt very natural. At one point we were stopped by a group of older women remarking on how “nice we looked together,” because our outfits matched “perfectly,” and “did we plan it that way?” All the while we are laughing because this was literally the first time we had ever met in person. After the museum we went and got coffee and talked for another hour or more. I left for the night with a huge grin on my face, I had had a great time.
Looking back, I am glad I made it through my dating marathon in one piece, I had been really worried about it all the previous week. I consulted many of my dating savvy friends and got a lot of mixed advice such as, “one night stands are okay,” and “don’t tell them you are getting divorced on the first date.” After stressing about it for a few days, I ultimately decided to throw “conventional” wisdom out the window and do things MY way, which meant really listening to my heart to decide what was right for me in any given moment.
And you know what? That worked for me. Each date ended with a hug and nothing more and I was totally fine with that. I don’t believe that you have to hop into bed with someone, or even swap spit on a first date. If that’s your thing, and you have a willing partner, great- more power to you. It’s just not for me. Don’t get me wrong, if I really like someone I would be willing to push boundaries after a couple of dates, but I am in no hurry. If my date can’t understand and accept this then they are not the man for me.
Update: At the time I started writing this post I hadn’t heard back from any of the dates yet, but have since been contacted by all three. The Dog Lover declined going out again because I was honest and said I wasn’t looking for a serious relationship right now. He apparently was, and I totally respect that. Best of luck to him, he is a genuinely nice guy. The Scientist asked me out again and I think we are going to do something this weekend. The Traveler bowed out gracefully under the excuse that I wasn’t “technically” divorced yet and he was uncomfortable with that. Disappointing? Yes. Surprising? Maybe a little, but to be perfectly honest I am not sure it would have worked anyway. He just celebrated ten years of being a vegetarian and with my diet there is absolutely no way I can cut out meat and stay healthy. (Besides why would I want to? Meat is delicious! I may or may not have cooked a half pack of bacon and a full package of chicken tenderloins in silent protest after receiving his email. Not that I was bitter or anything…) Does it suck? Of course, but I would rather be open and honest about who I am rather than lie to make someone like me. Loving someone means loving the whole person, not just the parts that are cute or convenient.
While a little extreme, in 50 First Dates, Henry loved Lucy despite the fact that he knew she would forget about him every night and wake up the next morning completely oblivious to their relationship. He really loved her at her core, for who she was as a human being.
So with that in mind, and in the words of yet another excellent movie… To all you fellas out there-