One week ago, I had a personally significant experience while on a mostly blind, first date. I say, mostly blind, because we’d seen photos of each other, had spoken on the phone, but neither of us could recall ever meeting each other in person. We have many wonderful friends in common and certain career parallels where we might have met at some point long ago. If we did previously meet, neither of us made a noteworthy impression on each other.
For me, and unbeknownst to my date, I was about to have a phenomenal dating experience.
I arrived right on time for brunch. My date was already at the restaurant waiting for me. Approximately 38 seconds into the date, as we arrived at our table, and even before my tush could make the”pffftt” sound that always happens when ANY tush hits the cushion of a seat in a booth, my date said, somewhat apologetically…
I’m usually attracted to slender, more petite women.
So, after my brain swiftly processed what my date had just said to me as I sat down, I couldn’t help but notice and celebrate the fact that I felt nothing painful or negative. I didn’t feel less attractive, or not petite enough, I had no desire to overeat or under-eat, nor did I experience any desire to retaliate by saying anything that might make him uncomfortable or upset. I just didn’t. I felt attractive, kind, loving and smart. Better still, I wasn’t remotely offended by what this very nice man said to me. He likes what he likes and I’m good with that. I’m not sure how his delivery would play to another woman, but if I were date mentoring this guy, I might suggest that every so often, he practice the “silence is the best truth” approach, or at least present his penchant for the petite, post “pffftt.”
My date and I had engaging, thoughtful conversation and really, a pretty lovely time together for a solid few hours. He was smart and interesting and as our date progressed, he appeared curious and interested in me.
I appreciated how honest my date was about several things and a few of them are too personal to mention here. What struck me most was his clarity around wanting to find, “The one.” He was crystal clear that he was seeking to fall in love.
At the end of our date, I told him I needed to contemplate whether we’d go out again. I used the word, “marinate.”
I marinated for several days as I relayed my terrific date experience to a few friends and loved ones, most of which could not believe I stayed for the date let alone would consider a second date.
In hindsight, I don’t believe I was really considering a second date, but I so appreciated how thought-provoking the entire experience had been. Not only did I have the privilege of witnessing the disappearance of all of my body dysmorphic madness from my past, but I also learned that I don’t trust individuals who seek to fall in love with such intensity. I believe the strong desire to fall in love impairs judgment and can negatively impact what could be a healthy, evolving relationship.
I started wondering what it is I am really looking for. The fact is, I just want to go to a movie or to grab a cup of coffee or a nosh. I am not seeking a mate. I’m already whole, so no hole in me exists. While I have suspected this for some time, this dating experience solidified my truth.
Just because I am not actively looking to fall in love, it doesn’t mean I won’t. For me, it likely starts with a movie or a cup of coffee or a walk. If there’s a genuine interest in each other and both of us are lifted up by a slowly evolving foundation, then falling in love is absolutely possible.
If I’m hot and heavy for someone, that’s lust, plain and simple. I’ve watched too many relationships start as lust disguised as love, and I want no part of trying to build on something that has no foundation to begin with. I have also seen where individuals feel somehow incomplete without a “significant other.” Yeah, not interested in that either.
In the meantime, just for today, I am in a relationship with myself, my kids, my parents, my fur babies, the rest of my family, my friends and my colleagues. All of these relationships are built or are starting to build upon a solid foundation.
If someone wants to date me, I guess I’ll have to be straight up honest that I am also attracted to something that starts out very petite, so that it has the opportunity to grow over time and space.
Being 50 years old is fun. I like it here.