Proceeding with Caution for the First Time

August 14, 2012

in Relationships

revolving door

Arriving a few minutes early, I quickly scanned the men seated at the bar, trying to determine if one of them was waiting for me. Ah, that one looks a little like him, but no, he is wearing a wedding ring. Wait, maybe it is him and he forgot to slide his ring in his pants pocket before entering the bar. He looks up, makes eye contact with me, but there is not a hint of recognition on his face when our eyes lock.

Exhaling deeply and with a great sense of relief, I choose a seat. I ask for a glass of water, thankful for the talkative bartender. If I can keep him chatting until my date arrives, the time will pass without having to play the is-that-him game, where I watch the door trying to guess if the man entering is my date. Sadly, with online dating, it’s a game I have learned to play.

After pouring water, chatting, and handing me a menu, the bartender leaves to serve another customer. I am left with time to play the dreaded game. Watching five men in a row push their way through the revolving door, I find myself holding my breath and feeling my stomach lurching each time. Please don’t let that be him. This becomes my mantra as a parade of men, who look nothing like the images I have seen online, walk in.

Finally unable to play the game any longer, I turn to my phone for distraction. Relieved to find blog comments waiting for approval, I busy myself with another activity.

Feeling a presence next to me, I look up. There, standing before me, is the man I was waiting to enter the bar. He confidently leans in to kiss my cheek in greeting and sits next to me.

He is exactly who I was waiting for on this particular evening.

Tall. Dark. Handsome. Mischievous smile. Confident. Adventurous. Entrepreneur. Multilingual. Competitive athlete.

But I was expecting someone else in his place.

Shorter. Older. Negative. Boring. Out of shape. Ex-wife hater. Absentee dad. Profile liar.

That evening I discovered wonderful qualities about him.

Passionate. Intellectually curious. Funny. Engaging. Compassionate. Animated. Happy. Fun.

But there are many yet-to-be-discovered details.

Axe murderer? Pedophile? Anger issues? Poor parenting skills? Personality disorder? Controlling?

While I am happy to have met this man recently, a year ago I would have been ecstatic. Experiencing a first date with someone honest in his profile, represented better in person, with a mutual attraction existing is rare. Yet all it means now is there will be a second date to learn more about each other.

For the first time I understand it is best to take time to discover more about the man, not just what is on the surface or what he initially tells me about himself. Time and shared experiences is the only way to discover, slowly and carefully, if someone is worth investing my time and heart.

Today’s post was inspired by the Studio30 Plus writing prompt of the week: First Time.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kerstin August 14, 2012 at 9:46 am

I enjoyed reading this very much! I like your style of writing :)

I think it’s all about expectations, right? I’ve learned over the years to just not have any, because it’s easier to deal with the outcome either way.
Instant gratification is great and exhilarating, but I’m going for stability lately.

Hope your second date turns into a third!
Kerstin recently posted..Our Tree Named SteveMy Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress August 14, 2012 at 10:05 am

Thanks for visiting and commenting Kerstin!

Keeping expectations low and tempering enthusiasm is what I am trying to do as I move forward with dating. We will see how it works.

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Sandra August 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm

It’s all about the unknown, and all the excitement, mystery, and fear leading up to it, isn’t it? This feeling is so universal in life, so I can really relate to this on so many levels. Thank you for sharing this very personal experience.

I enjoyed this piece, and I’m working on one myself for the S30P prompt, ‘the first time’. I hope to have it up tomorrow!
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Naked Girl in a Dress August 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Thank you Sandra, for you visit and comment. I am looking forward to reading your take on the S30P prompt this week.

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Kimberly August 14, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Love this post. So true to how it IS…
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Naked Girl in a Dress August 20, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I am trying to balance the dating thing, but it’s not easy.

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Meredith P. August 14, 2012 at 7:56 pm

This post sent me soaring back in time 14 years ago before I met my husband. Every word you posted is so true!! :D
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Naked Girl in a Dress August 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Sorry you have proof this is true. That means you have been on the bad dates that have led me to watching the door in a panic, praying my date will not be the guy entering the bar.

I am having some great dates too, so it’s been an overall good experience being single and unattached again.

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Carrie August 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I could not imagine diving back into the dating world!! Good luck with the second date ;)
Carrie recently posted..First TimeMy Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress August 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Thank you! It is very odd to be in this strange, new world of dating in my 40’s. It’s nothing like dating in my 20’s.

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Marie Nicole August 16, 2012 at 1:00 am

If not him, then there’s another him somewhere out there looking for you… First times are always fun though!
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Naked Girl in a Dress August 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Thanks Marie. You have an excellent point.

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Barb August 18, 2012 at 8:46 am

I am still waiting for someone second date worthy! I will continue to “search for my date” until I find him! Enjoy yours :)
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Naked Girl in a Dress August 20, 2012 at 11:26 am

I could write something cliche like it will happen when it’s right. Okay, so I did actually write it. Disregard that. I think it’s great you are not just continuing to see someone for the sake of dating so being particular is a good thing. Value your time. My motto is that I would rather spend the evening with a good book rather than a bad date.

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