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Our First Date

by James Warner about a year ago in dating
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Alex and Janet tell their first date story.

Our First Date
Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

Alex: 33 years old, divorced, living back at home with mom and dad, in a new career, raising a three-year-old boy, and feeling lonely. That’s where I was 10 years ago…….and it sucked.

I started to miss those wonderful things that come with a relationship, or what I thought a relationship should be. Going to family gatherings together, snuggling on a couch and watching movies by the fire, sharing a glass of Merlot. The comfort of waking up next to someone you love and don’t want to let go. I wanted that, and I wanted my son to see what a real relationship looked like. What real love looked like. That brought me to online dating.

Janet: 27 years old, divorced, living at my mom's house, working to support my one-year-old, and working on an undergraduate degree. That’s where I was 10 years ago……..I was struggling, and it sucked.

I still believed in love. I knew I wanted to find someone who would love me and my son as a package. Who would want to build a relationship with me and navigate through life’s ups and down together. I knew it was out there, but finding it would not be easy. Working, going to school, and raising a young baby isn’t easy, but I was managing.

I wanted a warm embrace, a passionate kiss, to sleep in a bed with someone who would laugh when I rubbed my cold feet on his warm legs. I was working some nights and some weekends, doing my undergrad work whenever possible, and spending time with my son every second I was home. I didn’t want to waste time with creepy guys approaching me at the grocery store. I cautiously created an account on an online dating site and began to wade through a plethora of dating profiles. After a few weeks I realized this was a LOT of work….. Hey, this guy Alex looks interesting…

Alex: This was in early 2009 when online dating wasn’t anywhere near what it is today. When I asked a friend if she had tried it, her reply was, “No, I’m not that desperate yet.” Ouch, that stung a little.

My profile was long, like REALLY long, but I was confident a woman who was a match for me would take the time to read it. Maybe even enjoy it. My profile was written, uploaded, and I started my search. Going through some of the profiles I saw made me cringe. After a couple months, and a few dates, I realized dating was now a lot of work.

DING! I got a message. It was from a woman named Janet, and it just said “Hello, are you going to be my Christmas present this year?”

Janet: It was a week before Christmas when I found Alex’s profile. It was LONG, and to be honest, I didn’t even read the whole thing at first. He was attractive, had pictures with a little boy, and said he was looking for something long term. I didn’t think men who were legitimately looking for long term relationships still existed, but after taking enough time to read through his whole profile, (did I say it was LONG?), he definitely said he wanted something long term.

I typed, “Hello, are you going to be my Christmas present this year?” and sent it before I could talk myself out of it. Much to my surprise, he responded!

Alex: The first thing I did was read her profile. It wasn’t long, but it wasn’t too short either. She had most of the key things I was looking for. At this point, I had been on a few dates that were utter catastrophes and I was trying to stay motivated. After a few messages through the site, she gave me her number and we started texting.

Janet: I was a little surprised he asked for my number so quickly, but I was feeling comfortable. I still hadn’t met him, but if he took the time to write a book as a profile, there was a high probability he wasn’t psycho. He was nice in a comforting sort of way. Some of the dates I had been on recently were really terrible, and I was starting to lose faith in the male gene pool.

He suggested a cafe which was down the street from my house. It was very public, on a main street, and was usually fairly busy. This covered all of the first-date safety bases for me. Our official first date was set. I was nervous, but not overly excited because of my recent dating experiences. When you’re trying to find the person with who you’ll spend the rest of your life, it’s time to be picky. And I was definitely picky.

Alex: I won’t lie, I was a tiny bit excited, but sort of dreading our first date. She was absolutely gorgeous in her profile pictures and I knew when I met her in person, she was going to look totally different. It had happened to me before. My date showed up and I didn’t even recognize them. It was super frustrating and just a letdown. Where was the honesty? Own yourself. Your look, your personality, whatever it is, own it and be honest about it. That has to be one of the greatest qualities you can find in someone, and I hadn’t found it yet.

I dressed in a decent pair of jeans, a warm sweater, and my nicest pair of tennis shoes. Nothing torn or dirty, but I wasn’t at the business casual level that I used to go with on first dates. I was getting burned out. If she was going to like me, this was me, one hundred percent. Out the door I went, with reluctance in my step but hope in my heart….

Janet: The cafe was casual, so I went with a nice pair of tight pants and a warm but not too thick sweater. My hair was recently trimmed, eyebrows and upper lip threaded, with light makeup that evened out my skin tone. A nude lip gloss and my best smelling perfume topped off what I felt was a nice, casual, but confidence-inspiring outfit.

I drove up to the cafe, got out of my car, and started walking to the entrance. I recognized Alex right away as he was sitting on a bench outside the entrance. He stood up and looked…… very casual. Ha ha ha! More casual than what I was used to, but he had a quiet, laid-back look to him. I felt instantly comfortable, which I fought with. I had never met him before, I shouldn’t let my guard down! Pull it together Janet!

Alex: I saw her step out of the car and walk in my direction. She WAS the person in her photos, only ten thousand times better. She was amazingly gorgeous. It was like the clouds parted and a single beam of sunlight followed her through the parking lot and straight up to me. I was dumbfounded and probably looked like a pervert gawking at her.

“Hi Alex, it’s nice to finally meet.”

She leaned in and gave me a welcoming and polite hug which was nice and reassuring. Not too firm and close, but not just a handshake either. Warm, but polite and cautious. I’ll take it! Her perfume was absolutely intoxicating. It smelled like strawberry shortcake with whipped cream. I could have held that hug for hours. But that would be creepy.

Janet: We had been talking to each other over the phone and via text message for a little while, so I felt comfortable with a hug. A hug also tells me a few things. He wasn’t wearing cologne, only had a slight hint of anti-perspirant, but smelled like buttery vanilla cupcakes. I couldn’t tell if that was just a natural smell, or some sort of faint cologne. Either way, it was a good thing.

We walked in and were seated almost immediately. The conversation flowed between us without effort. We had a few shared interests, but very different personalities. I felt like I did most of the talking. By the end of the date, I felt so comfortable with him, I even ate some of the food off his plate. Hey, that was part of my personality, and I was putting it all out there, like it or not.

Alex: The date was great, and she did most of the talking, which was perfect. It gave me time to beam at her, wondering how I was lucky enough to get a date with a woman like this. She must have thought it was going well because she even ate some of the food off my plate!

We stayed until the cafe was closing and were forced out when all of the other tables had chairs propped up on them so the staff could clean the floors. I walked her to her car and said, “I had a great time! I really hope we can do this again!”

I got an adrenaline rush when she said, “Definitely, I had a really good time.”

I leaned in for a hug. A real hug this time. I wrapped her in an embrace while inhaling the sweet strawberry shortcake perfume one last time. I pulled back and looked into her chocolate brown eyes. I could have gazed into them for hours, but I really wanted a kiss. She was irresistible and I would be a fool not to at least move in a little bit and see what was possible.

Janet: I thought, if this guy doesn’t lean in to kiss me, he better be ready for me to grab his ears with both hands and plant one on those luscious lips. But, I didn’t have to. Ever the gentleman, he leaned in slowly giving me the chance to stop him if I wasn’t ready. But I was. I wanted it.

Our lips touched with the excitement of possibilities to come. It started soft and moved to passionate almost immediately. Right then, I knew we both wanted it. I let myself enjoy that moment. Our lips gliding together, warm and soft. His chest pressed to mine with a closeness I hadn’t felt in a long time. I didn’t want it to stop, but we both had kids at home and responsibilities the next day. That moment though, was fantastic, and I was giddy.

“Well, I guess that means there will be a second date! Ha ha ha!” I said barely able to contain all of the feelings jumping around my body.

We kissed again quickly and said goodbye. “Text me when you get home.” I said as I got in my car and started the engine. As I drove out of the parking lot and waved to him. I laughed and giggled as soon as I was sure he couldn’t see me. I wanted our second date to be right now!

Alex: Wow!!!!!! Just…….Wow!!!! That kiss was breathtaking. I waved as she drove out of the parking lot and made my way home. I was already thinking of her meeting my family, and what the future would hold for us. WHOA Alex, calm down, how about you make it to another date first, then start thinking further ahead. I was beyond excited.

When I got home, I immediately sent Janet a text message letting her know I made it. I couldn’t stop thinking about her and remembered I had just received a Merlot from Bright Cellars a few days before. I opened the bottle and poured myself a glass. I turned on the first romantic streaming station I could find and started a fire. Today felt like a new beginning. The first day of the rest of my life, and I couldn’t wait to share it with Janet. I was falling in love again, and it felt amazing…...

dating

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James Warner

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