A little over a year after my divorce, I decided that I was ready to start dating again. So, I naturally chose what seemed to be the “easiest” method to meet someone. I joined Match.com.
“This is so cool!” I thought to myself. “I can sit down at my computer at night after my daughter goes to bed, and browse potential boyfriends’ profiles! I can read their profiles carefully to get an idea of who they really are. Then, we can interact over emails and text and eventually go out. This is so much easier than when I was in high school!”
In tomorrow’s blog, I will poke holes in those aforementioned theories I developed about online dating. But today, I just want to tell you all about my first online date.
I interacted with a few guys on Match.com that were turds during the first few days. We would be messaging each other, and then all of a sudden one of them would say something douchey, like “Do you have any pics that are a little more…revealing?” I quickly deleted those profiles from my viewing screen.
And then I started communicating with John. John was normal. John seemed nice. He asked me out, and I said yes.
We met at a brewery in Fishers on our first date. It was surprisingly fun. I had no idea what to expect, but we seemed to be hitting it off. Afterwards, he invited me to go to a haunted house. (People who know me know I’m ALL about haunted houses,) so I gladly went along. During the haunted house, he held my hand. Afterwards he walked me out to my car, and then kissed me goodnight.
I was surprised by the kiss. I hadn’t kissed a man besides my former husband in the last 14 years. After the kiss, John gave me a nice hug and said, “I had a really good time tonight. I’ll talk to you soon.”
As I was walking away, I said, “Me, too. I love you. Goodnight. Oh my gosh! No!! I didn’t mean that! Oh my word! Aaahh! …that was out of habit. Like it reminded me of when my ex husband kissed me and would always say, ‘I love you, goodnight,’ and so I, like, totally thought I was talking to him in that moment–I mean, not really, but–”
“Emily. It’s okay. I get it. I like you, too. I like you a lot,” said John. He patted my hand, and knowingly smiled.
John handled that situation with such grace. He didn’t skip a beat. He knew he was my first date, post-divorce, and he knew that I was just spouting out words that I had associated with all the kisses I had received in the last fourteen years from my former husband. It wasn’t about him. It was simply a habit– a socially awkward “I love you” coming out of an inexperienced dater’s mouth.
That night, I went home and texted my friends to tell them what had happened. “Oh my God!” they screamed with exclamation points over text. “Aren’t you, like, freaking out from embarrassment?”
“I was for about ten seconds. But then I realized that he ‘got it.’ And now I just think it’s funny.”
John and I dated for almost nine months. And when we parted ways, we did so mutually. It was a healthy relationship, but not one that was destined for long term.
The point to this story is that what others do and say often has nothing to do with us. John had the foresight on our first date to realize that. He knew that my “I love you” did not mean “I love you” or anything close to love at that moment. He knew I wasn’t some silly school girl who would fall head over heels in love with someone upon meeting. He knew I was reacting out of old patterns ingrained in my mind.
In don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, one of the agreements is to make it a habit to not take anything personally. I have tried to adopt this philosophy in my own life, and it definitely has been a struggle at times. But when I actually have the strength to look at another’s comments towards me–whether they are negative OR positive, as simply “statements,” it frees me from letting their approval or disapproval of me either feed or starve me. It also encourages me to trust myself and my own inner guidance system, over the guidance systems of others.
Tonight’s recipe is from my dear friend, Lora. She is just one of the best people I know. And even though she lives in Chicago, we chat everyday about everything from how to take nothing personally to how to not fart in our sleep. That’s the kind of friend she is. And although these pancakes take a little prep, they are freaking delicious and healthy.
Mix and refrigerate overnight:
2 c. rolled oats and 2 c. buttermilk
Blend with oats in the morning:
l/2 c. (slightly rounded) whole wheat flour
2 T. sugar
1 t. soda
l t. baking powder
l/2 t. cinnamon
l/4 t. salt
Add to above mixture:
2 lightly beaten eggs
1/4 c. melted butter (I use canola oil)
1/2 c. raisins or l/2 c. nuts or 1/2 c blueberries (optional) – I used one small apple, peeled, and chopped up finely in a food processor
Put on hot skillet that has been lightly oiled and serve. I like to put almond butter on mine. 🙂