Even though I am only four dates in, it is amazing to see the differences in each guy and how their personality shines through on each date. My 1st and 3rd dates had a more introverted personality and I could sense their nerves most of the date. My 2nd and 4th dates were both extroverts and if they were nervous, I didn’t sense one ounce of it. I would usually describe myself as more of an introvert, but I am noticing that when I am with more introverted guys, I tend to take on a more extroverted role. Maybe it is to try and make them feel more comfortable or maybe it is so we won’t have a lull in the conversation, not that I mind a lull every now and then, but first dates are awkward in and of itself. I wonder if I will be a pro at them by date 30? That is if date 30 happens to still be a first date…
At the end of date number 4, yes I realize, I am jumping to the end, but I just have to throw this in here now, he said to me, “So are you journaling or blogging about these dates?” When I reluctantly nodded my head yes, not deciphering which one, he said, “That’s a good idea, so you can remember details.” I smiled and then he added, “Give me a really cool name when you write about our date!” So my extroverted date number 4 will be called Michelangelo, since that is a name of the ninja turtle described as, “an easy going and free spirited jokester,” according to Wikipedia. Plus date number 4 is an artist, so Michelangelo it is!
I was matched with Michelangelo on eharmony right off the bat. When we got to the email stage, he informed me that his subscription was going to be up in a week and asked if we could exchange personal email addresses. We did and he also sent me a link to his website, so I could see parts of his ministry and articles he wrote on specific subjects. He had a few articles on dating and I found those fascinating to read. The whole time I was reading, I was thinking to myself how our views seemed to align pretty darn well. That made me excited to meet him, knowing our thoughts were very similar in regards to dating, especially the idea of not settling until we have found God’s best for our lives. That doesn’t mean the PERFECT spouse, just the one that is most perfect for us. In one of his blog posts he listed what he was looking for in a wife. The number one quality was that she had to love Jesus. I liked that he used that terminology, because that is usually what I say when I am asked what I am looking for in a man. Not just a Christian by name, but someone who truly and sincerely loves our Savior.
He had a few other things in his “list,” and one of them was athletic. After I saw that, I made sure to tell him that I didn’t fit that part of his list. I am not athletic at all. I have found myself being way more honest with these guys, because I feel like I have nothing to lose. Date number 3, ugh, I have to get over the habit of calling them by their date number…ahem, Mr. Knows Just What To Say, had previously asked me if I liked football. I told him no. Another guy, who I have yet to set a date with, asked in one of his emails, “So are you into hiking, backpacking or running?” I wrote back, “No, nope and not really.” But I am into pedicures, massages and shopping. What a winner I am! I will certainly get to my 30 very quickly answering questions like that – please, sense the sarcasm 🙂 But seriously, why would I hide my true interests, even though I do realize I am “such a girl.” If guys don’t want to go out on one date with me because I am not athletic, don’t hike and don’t understand the excitement that comes with a game of football, then that is okay with me. Do I mind if guys have those interests? Of course not. However, I would love my future husband to get more excited about Jesus than football, but I would much rather him be into hiking and sports, than pedicures and hair gel. I do realize that guys love girls that get passionate about football as much as they do, but I am not and will not ever be one of those girls, so I might as well tell them up front, right? Okay, enough of that little rant.
On to date number four:
In Michelangelo’s third email, he mentioned that he would love to take me out if I was interested. Another initiative taker. He even said, “Coffee, lunch or dinner is on me if so.” We planned to meet up on Sunday and he was willing to drive to my town, he lived an hour and a half away. I always think it is so sweet when the guys are willing to drive to meet me. I appreciate that more than they know, so I can still have a bit of my weekend to re-coup from a busy work week. My suggestion was to meet at Panera for lunch. Now the problem with Panera is that when you order, you pay right away. I knew he said “lunch would be on him,” but how do you do that in a line at Panera? I started to come up with a plan before I even set foot in the restaurant. I would make sure that somehow he would order first and then he would either pay for his food or he would turn to me and ask me to put my order in at the same time and he would pay for both of us. I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not EXPECT the guy to always be the one to pay, if I have to pay, then I will. However, I have also been told by guys that they WANT to pay, it makes them feel more of a man and that they are on an actual date instead of just two friends hanging out. Maybe it depends on the guy, but I think the majority of the guys I have discussed this with, enjoy paying on the first date.
We met at the front entrance, I was there 5 minutes early and he arrived 15 minutes late, due to what I am assuming was traffic. He did email me, which I checked on my phone, to tell me he was going to be late, which I thought was very considerate. Him driving an hour and a half to meet me, means it is okay to be 15 minutes late. When he arrived he apologized for being late, I told him not to worry at all and we got in line. He directed me in front of him. Okay, so here we go, plan set in motion. I turned to him and said, “You go first,” and then I acted like I was scanning the menu trying to find something I wanted to order. Mind you, I go to Panera all of the time and I get the EXACT same thing every time. But how else would I know if he wanted to pay or not if he didn’t go first?! He then said, “No ladies first, go ahead.” Come on Michelangelo, you are ruining my plan dude…” I stepped up to order and he stayed behind me gazing at the menu. When I was finished ordering, I was scared to look over my shoulder, because I didn’t want him to think that I was waiting for him to pay if he didn’t want to. Finally the lady said my total amount and I got my credit card out and paid. He then stepped to the next register to order. I have no idea what happened there. I know in his email he specifically said, “it would be on him.” Did he change his mind? Did I ruin it? Did I just upset him? Was he glad I paid? I don’t think guys realize how awkward this is for girls. Again, I didn’t mind paying, I just wish it was with a little less turmoil on the inside. It wasn’t about the money, I just didn’t want to do anything wrong. In the end, he probably didn’t even care either way.
When I finally started breathing again after the payment saga, we sat down at a table and he pulled out a small felt bag in the shape of an apple filled with goodies. He handed it to me and said, “I heard you should always bring a teacher an apple.” That was cute, good job Michelangelo. I didn’t realize how thoughtful gifts could be.
He said he thought about bringing a real apple, but he thought I might like some chocolate better. Umm, in fact, yes, yes I do.
Being the extroverted person he was, he did a great job of talking through lunch and guided the conversation very well. After lunch, I suggested we drive to the lake for a bit and he thought it was a great idea. We arrived there in our separate cars and chose a picnic table in the shade overlooking the lake, it was such a pretty day out and the glisten on the lake made it that much better. He seemed generally interested in how my 30 dates were going and so I told him a few details. He was the one that asked, I don’t bring it up, unless they do. And even then, I don’t go into too many specifics. He told me he really wanted to stay updated about that and also said he had several single guy friends that would probably love to take me out if I needed help with numbers. How sweet of him. After about an hour of talking, he thanked me for a great afternoon and said he should be leaving. I thanked him for being such a great guy and again for being the one to drive into town. As we walked back to his car he told me if I was ever in his area to let him know and he would show me around his Panera. He came over and gave me a hug and the date ended. Another great experience, another great guy that I would have never met if I didn’t take on this challenge for myself.
Lately it is the scheduling that has been the challenge. I just recently had to clear up a mistake that I made in scheduling two dates on October 12th. And I just might have said yes to three different dates THIS upcoming weekend. Oh Vey! But I feel blessed. I feel so very blessed that these guys are willing to give up an afternoon or evening of their time to meet me, take me out, whether they pay for me or not 🙂 I don’t think I will ever forget these dates for as long as I will live.
26 dates and counting down. Until next weekend.