25th January 2018
Oh .. on checking the date for my diary, I am reminded that it is my late mother’s birthday! So happy birthday, mum, I hope you are celebrating ‘wherever’ you are.
So, it has been a while since my last post. I am happy to report that I have enjoyed 4 real live dates, (two with the same man) and I have another to look forward tomorrow. It seems as though I have benefitted from the typical ‘January Sales’, as prior to Christmas there wasn’t really very much happening!
Here’s my recipe for surviving that first date!
- Arrange to meet quickly; don’t overcook the introduction
- Choose comfortable but smart clothes; so you can focus on the cooking rather than fidgeting with your hemline/neckline
- Choose a familiar venue; so you don’t have to worry about the ingredients
- Don’t drink too much; you don’t want the dish to spoil through over cooking
- Always know how you are going to get home; you don’t want to end up with ‘food poisoning’ due to poor planning
- Always send a polite thank you text – even if you don’t plan to see your date again; good manners cost nothing and karma influences the overall banquet
I measure success by a) whether I enjoyed myself and b) whether they ask to see me again. It does not matter whether I don’t want to see them again, as the goal has been achieved. I am not expecting Mr Perfect to fall into my lap right now – but I can honestly say that each of the three men that I have met up with have been very nice, and I enjoyed their company. I certainly don’t start my date hoping “this is the one”. I look forward to getting to know the person, and seeing if there is a spark. No great expectations means no great disappointments.
The hardest part is breaking the no-date-yet syndrome
Now that I have enjoyed a number of successful dates, it feels so easy. Each of the men that I have met, I have agreed to meet quickly; this meant that there was no fear. I wasn’t fretting about whether I looked good enough, whether I was slim enough or whether I would have anything interesting to say. Why? Because I wasn’t over invested before I met them.
The nice guy that I had been chatting to since before Christmas, and whom I “ditched” once it became clear he didn’t seem prepared to take a chance because of the distance; now that smarted – because I had allowed myself to become a little invested in him. Although a little sad, as I would have loved to meet him for real – I soon got over it.
Just the beginning of the story
One thing that has become clear to me, is that when you get to my age, although lots of men want a significant relationship, they are unsure (or sometimes very sure) about wanting (or not, as the case may be) a full on relationship. The guy that I have seen twice, although separated for a number of years, is only just finalising his divorce. He said to me:
I don’t really know what I want. I want a significant relationship, but I don’t want to live with someone.
Seems to me he verbalised clearly what he wants. Perhaps he felt he needed to qualify that with “I don’t really know what I want” in an attempt to manage any expectations of his date. Or maybe, it is simply true. My response was:
I don’t know what I want either, but I do know what I don’t want.
That may seem a contradictory statement, but it makes sense in my own head. What do I mean when I say this? If I had to put it into words (which of course, I do seeing as I am referencing it in my blog), it would be that I am clear on what I don’t want but that I am open to options in terms of what I do want. Is that any clearer? No? Ok, let me put it this way:
- I would never date a married man
- I would never date a man because of what he has
- I don’t want a man to “take care of me”, if I found one that was caring and supportive, that is different and very welcome
- I would not date a man that I did not find attractive, just to have someone to hang out with
What does dating mean to you?
I pose this question, as within a few minutes of meeting, one of my dates and I had a debate about what “dating” actually is. Whereas I consider that dating is a social relationship where there is a potential for romance, but where you are not (yet) exclusive, he thought dating was rather an American perspective, and for him it was “going for a drink”.
Does this difference in terminology matter? I suppose it might if the two people concerned wanted different things. Some people really do go into this with the idea that the only thing they are looking for is a life mate.
For me, if I find someone that I consider to be so special that I want to commit to them – then that is a bonus. However, I do not plan to remain a romance free zone just because I haven’t found “Mr-Right-For-Me”.
Late to the party
What is interesting for me, is that this is the first time ever in my life that I have ever actually ‘dated‘. In my younger years, once you started meeting up with a guy, you pretty much were “courting” and in a relationship. When I got with my ex, it was pretty instantaneous. Perhaps that was because we had a history (we were together in our late teens/early 20s)? I can’t really be sure on that as I don’t have a lot of experience to go on.
So for now, I am really enjoying my new found dating status. In the past few weeks, I have learned a lot. Although my dating guru counselled me to stick to one hour for the first date, so far they have been: 2 hours, 3 hours and 6 hours (yes really!). I feel confident enough to not have to put a time framework around a date, as, if I felt really uncomfortable, I would simply say my goodbyes and leave.
I have discovered though, that I prefer a daytime coffee date for a first meeting. If the interaction is going well, I am happy to extend that to a drink. I also now know that for an evening date, I need to be disciplined and not go beyond 3 drinks. Not just because I don’t want a hangover the next day, but also because you don’t know your date tipsy, and even the nicest guy can become a little louche under the influence. Although the image in my head was the latter half of the date – I gave him a pass (after all, he had forewarned me that he sticks to ale for a reason!); and so we enjoyed a second date last night.
So, dear diary. All is well in my world. (Except for a raging sore throat – the pitfalls of venturing out and about!).
I would love to hear your dating stories – why not drop me a comment or an email?