I've been fortunate in my years of singleness - I've never really had a bad date. I've had some that were boring, uneventful, maybe a little awkward, but never a date I would classify as awful. These dates lived up to that standard.
Date #1, lunch with J, was fine. Nice guy, decent conversation, similar interests, bit of a bland sense of humour, but overall not a bad time. There was some awkwardness when the bill came...I'm about to crush the feminist agenda in one fell swoop here, I'm kind of old fashioned. You're a guy, you asked me out, and you have a good-paying job. You pay. I don't have a problem pulling my weight in a relationship and paying for my share...but this felt like a stand-off to see who would cave first. I'm also stubborn, so out of almost pure competitiveness I didn't want to give in. And I won.
Date #2, afternoon drinks with D, turned out to be afternoon tea and sushi, which was nice. Again, nice guy, decent convo, better sense of humour and more sarcastic which is more up my alley, but same thing - it was a nice date. He's better looking than J, or at least I found him more attractive, so I suppose that puts him ahead marginally, but I got into my car feeling I had hyped myself up too much...like I was expecting to enter the restaurant and "bam!" meet the man of my dreams.
I wonder sometimes if I'm waiting for a connection (spark, "Wow!" factor, je ne sais quoi...whatever you want to say) that leads me to have unrealistic expectations when I meet someone. Should nice be enough? Do I give Phil Dunphy a chance? (As one of my BFFs lectured me to do since I apparently need to give nice, nerdy guys a shot...but Phil Dunphy is, well, Phil Dunphy - ridiculously oblivious yet also hilarious - a girl should be so lucky!) Side note: having been a fan of Modern Family for quite some time, I feel like if I came across a truly Phil Dunphy-esque guy, I would certainly give it a go, if for no other reason than he would keep me thoroughly entertained! But I digress...
|Does it get any better than this!?|
I met someone once who changed everything in terms of what I thought I wanted (and deserved) in a relationship. We had a whirlwind vacation romance while I was traveling in South Africa (he is, or was, a winemaker there). It was honest-to-God love at first sight. I'm a big believer in your gut instincts - mine has always served me well (when I listen to it...) - and when I met M...my gut dropped to the floor and my jaw did as well. He wined and dined me (and confirmed what a dud my recent ex had been in the sack) and I fell in love. Hard. To the point where it crushed me to go home and I wanted to move to South Africa. After a total of two weeks together. Crazy? Absolutely. It was insane. It was also imperfect, coloured by the utopia you create when you're traveling, and it didn't last. What has lingered, even after six years (the last three or four of which we haven't corresponded at all), is that feeling. The feeling when we were introduced as we unpacked our car and dragged our packs into his house - was electric. The English language has no appropriate words to describe it, all I can come up with are inadequate clichés like, "time stood still," "there was only he and I," "my heart stopped,"...blah blah blah. It was breathtakingly amazing, and I still think about him...more often than I care to admit.
There have been some close calls, but no one has ever made me feel exactly that way. I waited a long time...but I've since realized I never will feel like that again, not precisely. That relationship - the entire heart-bursting experience of it - lives in a bubble, protected from reality. I've come to think of it as a once-in-lifetime occurrence...except that I still sometimes feel like I'm waiting. Do I give that feeling up? Is it unrealistic to think that kind of connection will once again come along and knock me off my feet? Does that kind of feeling always instantly ignite? Or do I need to give it time to smolder a little? If so...does that mean that while the two dates I had this past week were...nice...I should pursue a second or third encounter to truly give Phil Dunphy a chance? (However brutal this may sound, as nice as these guys are, they're like a boring version of Phil Dunphy. So they're really not Phil Dunphy at all...soooooo...I shouldn't pursue a second date?)
These are the things swirling in my brain at 4:30 am on a night shift...do I give the nice guys another go? Or do I go with my gut? Which is telling me, despite having walked away from nice guys in the past and later wondering if that was right, to politely decline a second date and keep going until someone grabs hold of my heart and won't loosen their grip. The question that always creeps into my mind at this point is...how much longer do I have to wait for someone to grab hold and hang on?