It all started when I listened to a friend who was talking about wanting to “just do SOMETHING” to shake things up a bit in her life. Her sentiment resonated in my book reading, tivo watching, gym visiting, youth minister-ing self. My traffic patterns of the past 6 months were pretty well worn and the likelihood of jumping track was pretty small since I still really enjoyed all of my people and pastimes. BUT I know that while I often take the path of least resistance, that path is the one that has led me to here…26 years old and a “real-date” virgin (Shocking, I know…who wouldn’t want to date this). I “went out” with a guy in high school for a multiple month period, I can’t say we ever went on a date, unless you count prom. While it had the fun of getting all dressed up and the evening of dancing & ridiculous picture taking instigated him washing his dad’s car–it wasn’t really the… “butterflies in your stomach, what am I going to wear, what the heck are we going to talk about, what if I don’t like him at all, what if I totally love him, what will i do if he wants to kiss me”…date that many people experience at some point on the journey to maturity.
I set out to find my SOMETHING. As in most of my big adventures I sought counsel from my girls: “tell people you’re looking” was the most given response to my inquiries. HOW DO YOU DO THAT? “Hey, random church go-er/friend. Yes, that retreat is next week and we do need another adult…by the way I’m ready to date someone for the very first time…I may stink at it, be very awkward, or I could be awesome…but I don’t know, cause it will be my first date…EVER, I also realize this may put you in the uncomfortable position of being friends with both me and this lucky chap and you’ll have to deal with whatever the outcome of our introductory meeting is. Do you have anyone you could hook me up with?” –Since I had now accepted this mission to do SOMETHING…I told people I was looking. At first awkwardly, then eventually a little more smoothly…but no response. I felt better that I was expressing my interest in mixing up my life with a bigger circle of people and it led to some hilarious conversations about first dates and how they met their spouses…but no dates.
Then I sucked it up and looked online. I was terrified. I looked at Match, E-harmony, Chemistry, Singlesnet, all of which eventually sucked me into hours of profile scanning. At one point I was pretty disenchanted with myself because I would write guys off as being not right for their liking of Neil Diamond (I like him, but i don’t know how I feel about a guy liking him…) or how often they mention their mom in their profile. (i should mention that at this point I wasn’t paying for anything so all my judgments were made behind the safety of my computer screen where I didn’t have to really deal with anything…I’m a wimp.) Another friend told me that she had started E-harmony and that tipped the scales, I decided to just try it. So I signed up for a short period of time and tried to prepare myself for the SOMETHING that was to come.
After a few weeks of questions and e-mails back and forth I had my first phone conversation with an unseen/unknown guy i met on the internet (creeps you out right…it geeked me out too!). He later proved to be a kind, not-crazy guy who reassured me often that it was okay to be geeked out and that it’ll get easier. Then he asked me on a date. DATE. (enter crazy lindsey) ” If I meet this guy face to face and he is THE ONE, how will I ever accept that THIS is our story? What if he is crazy? What if I can’t think of a thing to say and he just looks at me like I am an idiot? Why do I always feel like a junior higher? Crap, Mary will be out of town–who will check my clothes and make sure I know what to do? ” On the day of the actual date I received phone calls from my circle of girls ALL day long, giving me tips, asking about my clothes, and reminding me that I’m fabulous.
I did make it to the Caribou where I met him and I made it through the awkward introductions (I wonder how many people have awkward introductions at coffee shops…it may be very entertaining to be a barista and witness all this first-date-ness) and then calmed down a bit. We walked around como park and chatted.
Things I’ve learned on my date adventure…
1st dates are awkward when you don’t really know the person…but getting to know them is the point of the first date.
Hanging out for a couple of hours is hard to do when there are no shared experiences to draw from or common people to connect over.
I don’t like being the only one to talk or assumed to be a listen only kind of gal.
Sassy-fun Lindsey has been hiding inside of Normal Lindsey waiting to come back out and post-date Lindsey is definitely sassy-fun!
I haven’t found Mr. Right…and I’m finished with E-harmony (2 guys/3 dates later)…but the mystery of dating has been unveiled…and I’m ready to see what comes next!