Everyone always says, ‘you’ll find someone when you least expect it‘. I’ve always disliked this saying; I least expect to find a boyfriend when I’m in Sainsbury’s, with unwashed hair and probably a hormone spot just starting on my jawline. Or when I’m hurriedly filling up with petrol in the pouring rain in converse.
Or, when I go on a blind date – one that I barely make an effort for as I plan to cancel right up until the last minute, and find myself laughing at the jokes and being drawn in by the rich, chocolate eyes of a man with a ginger beard.
The First Date
I had my first date with ‘A‘ on 17th November. Because of an awful year with lots of first dates, fewer second dates and the occasional third date, I was very reluctant to go. For the first few weeks in November, I had gone on a couple of dates with various people but none had any promise and the previous week was littered with planned dates that didn’t materialise. Ready to throw in the towel (again), I was almost drafting a text to A saying I wasn’t able to make our coffee, but then my sister gave me a pep-talk and told me to ‘just go’.
Since working through things with my therapist from August, we decided I needed to go for a coffee-date rather than always going on drinky-dates, so this is what A and I had planned. Yet for the boring reason of no-parking, we ended up going to the BrewDog for a drink. I was nervous; really nervous, because I didn’t want yet another failed first date. I think my nerves showed, but we had a fun hour or so, getting to know the surface elements of one another.
Getting in the car, I had the obligatory post-first-date phone call with my friend. I wasn’t sure if A wanted to see me again or not, but I was pleased I was myself and it was a very low-key date because I wasn’t stressing about being too much of something or not enough of another thing. And quite frankly, if A didn’t want to see me again, then he wasn’t the right guy for me. My counsellor was right – being honest and yourself is the best way to be on a date.
The Subsequent Dates
Getting to know one another was lovely. I enjoyed finding out about A’s past and his passions and our dates seemed easy – unlike the encounters with guys before. And yet. And yet I had a niggling worry I wasn’t giggling enough. My last relationship was filled with laughter (as well as raging passion, floods of tears and plenty of disappointments). We’re always told not to compare current relationships with previous ones, but it’s instinctual. Coupled with the zeitgeist of my single life being a lack of giggles, I wanted (needed?) this new love-affair to be bursting with fits of laughter.
- At times, I would mistake a lack of passion and rebelliousness as boring.
- I had to realise that he was still working me out and it would probably take some time for us to let down our guards.
It took some time, but we had to learn to be confident and comfortable with one another. And with that, I learned how to giggle again; trusting that I could be myself and A would either like and respect me or not. Our relationship seemed to start at half-speed; we took everything extremely slowly, so slowly in fact that my mum even told me to be careful A wouldn’t get bored! But he treated me with the utmost respect.
What I Hadn’t Expected:
I didn’t think we’d continue to message over Christmas. I didn’t think I’d rise above two blue ticks and not think they were mocking me. I didn’t think I’d speak so calmly about A to my friends. I didn’t think we’d still be together after Christmas. I didn’t think he’d be the one to ask us to be official. I didn’t think it could be this easy to start something new.
And I didn’t think I’d fall for this man with rich, chocolate eyes and a ginger beard quite so quickly.