My first date was with a wonderful man whom I will call "The Catalyst." When I stumbled upon him, I had been single again for about eight months. Although I had taken a peek at online dating sites , it just seemed like all the profiles were the same, so how I found the Catalyst was really quite funny. I went on to craigslist to look for a desk, because I was finally ready to get rid of the craft table I had been using to run my busy home business. I decided it was time to get serious which didn’t last long, because I'm easily distracted! So after not finding much in the furniture section, I happened to see the personals and that is where it all began.
If I knew before this that craigslist had personals, I had forgotten. I decided to take a peek and honestly, I figured the ads would be sparse or very outdated because there's so many dating sites...why would anyone go THERE looking for love? But I peeked and I *bravely* went to the "strictly platonic" section! There was an ad that caught my eye where a man said he was just looking for someone to talk to and email throughout the day. As you all may have figured out, you turn off your availability and flirting signal during your marriage, so I was about to enter a whole new world. I had NO idea if I could still be charming or flirtatious and thought maybe answering this ad was a good way to figure out how to talk to men again.
The catalyst answered back right away and I think that first day, we exchanged 42 emails or something. There was great conversation from the start. The reason I call him the Catalyst (and yes, he knows that will always be his place in my life) is that he helped me so much in forming my thoughts on getting married again, how my beliefs in God had changed, dating and sex and well, we just talked about any and everything...a lot! Besides his great dry wit, he is smart, sees below the surface in all sorts of settings, and a foodie! There was never a lack of things to talk about and even though I had already started to find ME again and was loving being in a position to reinvent myself, our talks really made me a better person and a better version of me.
Now, some of you get so stuck on the physical that you won’t understand this, but we never exchanged pictures. After ten days of emailing countless times a day, we moved to texting, on and off all day and night. Finally, after a month, we decided to meet for the first time! We knew each other so well by then, but still no pictures. Of course, throughout our talks we had mentioned things about our appearance so maybe we had some vague idea of what we might look like, but we didn't know for sure.
As SOON as the date was scheduled...about five days before the actual dinner, my girlfriends and I began to plan! There were visits to the hair salon, the nail salon and pow-wows on what to wear! Because the girls didn't agree on the outfit, it went to texting pictures to other friends and getting them to vote on which dress to wear...it was fun, but it was an 'ordeal!" I do know, the catalyst had been on a couple of other dates since being single himself and he bought a new shirt to wear that night, but I also know he had NO idea how monumental it is to a woman to be on a date for the first time in 20 years!
The night of the date, my BFF came over to help me get ready and by the time she and the sitter (also a friend) waved to me as I drove down the driveway, I felt like I was going to prom! I had a big bundle of nerves and excitement turning in my stomach and I think I was probably shaking a little inside too. I'm not a nervous nelly in most circumstances but I was so worried, after a whole month invested, that maybe it would be a disaster in person!
We pulled up at the same time and honestly, he looked much the way I imagined him but different all the same. The Catalyst has beautiful blue eyes, however, the WHOLE attraction I had with him from the start was how he appreciated and cared for my mind! Guys, the real way to get to a quality woman is to take the time to explore her mind, her thoughts, her values and so forth...THIS is like cupid's arrow for me!
I was quite worried that perhaps we wouldn't have the same easy ability to talk in person. I was wrong! We went to an Indian restaurant because the Catalyst introduced me to Indian food by talking about it in emails and I started trying things and fell in love with it! But let me tell you that although the food was almost as excellent as our conversation, we had chemistry like I have never felt before. In fact, upon return visits to this restaurant, which I had only gone to twice before, the waiter remembered the crazy chemistry...it was that noticeable! So for three hours we sat in that booth talking about a zillion things and at times, we didn't talk at all, we caught each other’s eyes and just stared, getting off track mid-sentence.
Then we moved to an outside pub and sat side by side for another three hours, talking and laughing and even tearing up sharing some deep stuff. There was sweet hand-holding and then after six hours and realizing it was very late, we had to say goodnight. He walked me to my car and he had told me numerous times that he would be nervous to make a move so I wasn’t sure if he would kiss me or not. He did and we kissed for a bit despite college kids coming and going to the bar around us, joking that someone would probably video it with their phones and put it on youtube saying "Ew...look at these two old people kissing!"
As I drove away I wasn't on cloud 9, I was on cloud 87! It couldn't have gone better. On top of the amazing connection we had, I lived through my first date in 20 years. As corny as it sounds (and I promise I am not that girl), it was magical and I still don't have a desk...I never did go back to craigslist to look for one...imagine that!