23 May See Zoe Date
For years I have heard Ariel and Shya make the following suggestion to folks who are dating: go out with a variety of guys or gals – not just ones they think might be “The One.” To the best of my ability I listened to this idea, but it never clicked for me until recently. Spontaneously during a week-long holiday break from my job as a teacher, I had a direct experience of truly dating.
While browsing on a dating app, I started noticing all of the attractive and interesting men that I was disregarding for one reason or another: “This one is too old, this one is too young, this one is a chef/bartender/pilot, and you know how they are.” Once I saw that I was automatically “X”ing out virtually everyone, I realized I now had a choice. Instead of reflexively “swiping left” to reject the match, I really looked at each profile and followed my intuition.
“This guy lives kind of far from me but he looks really sweet!” I thought – and I swiped right to discover it was a match!
“This guy is 5 years younger than me but wow do we have a lot of shared interests… I think he’d be fun to have coffee with.” Swipe right – another match!
Before long I had lined up dates for every day of the week – Monday through Friday.
On Monday I met Yuji* a rather shy Archeologist with a passion for travel. We had an early coffee date and walked in the Park admiring the newly budding cherry blossoms. I noticed that he was fun for one coffee, but I felt less than attractive around him – experiencing my body as wide and clumsy. After we parted ways, I once again felt graceful in my curvy yet toned body. Hmm – that’s interesting. Next!
Dan was 15 minutes late for our date on Tuesday. In the past if this happened I would start stewing and build a case against the late party before he even arrived. This time I kept an open mind and had fun chatting with a friend while I waited, curious to see who showed up.
Dan was HOT! Broad shouldered with a deep resonant voice. We chatted easily about a wide range of topics. Before I knew it, almost 3 hours had passed even though we only planned for a quick one hour meeting over coffee. As we stepped back out into the sunny New York City afternoon, we shared a passionate, steamy kiss on the sidewalk… that kind of PDA (public display of affection) is not my usual style! He left me weak in the knees – quite literally. In fact I felt a little off-balance after our date. I just noticed all of these interesting details and didn’t make a decision about what to do next or what it all meant.
Each date was a unique and expansive experience for me, especially since I had stopped putting pressure on myself to audition each guy for the role of future husband and was instead truly just dating and having fun.
I even had a good time with John, who had a snarky remark or little eye roll for nearly everything I said on my Wednesday night date. Although he didn’t seem particularly interested in me, I still found myself enjoying the tasty Mexican food we ordered, and getting curious about what he had to say. I felt some compassion for his behavior. As uncomfortable as it was to be around, I sensed it was his way of dealing with his insecurities around getting to know someone. To my surprise, he texted me later asking for a second date, which I gently declined.
I imagine I may have a second date with some of the gentlemen I met during this expansive week of dating, but I find it equally exciting to just keep playing, and noticing the nuances of how I feel about myself with each unique individual I meet and date.
*Not real names – they have been changed.