The First Date

Comments 42
Here's to a good night.
Here’s to a good night.

I have a date tomorrow night. My first in eons.

We have dinner plans. Pretty old-fashioned. It’s a good restaurant, so the eating part will be pleasant no matter what.

But Matt!?!? Your first date?!?! I thought you said you went on dates with girls from!?!?”

Yeah, yeah. Online dating is bullshit. This is a real date. A person I met out in the world, then expressed interest in hanging out with some day, and was fortunate enough to have her reciprocate.

I know very little about her.

I know she’s pretty.

I know she’s about five or six years younger than me.

I know she just finalized her divorce about a month ago under circumstances very similar to mine.

I know she’s not a parent.

I was scared to tell her I was a dad. At least with online dating profiles all those “red flags” are just out there for people to accept or reject upfront.

In real life, you have to drop the hammer and wait for the reaction. My date knows I have a five-year-old son. And still she wants to go out.

So. Yay me.

The Floodgates of Fear

So, I’m afraid of a million things. At least.

Nothing petrifying. I’m not particularly nervous. She and I have already met and spoken for a half hour or so, and then again on the phone. So there isn’t that weird online-dating dynamic where you don’t really know what you’re walking into.

But I tend to over-think things. It’s kind of my modus operandi.

Do we talk about our divorces, since that’s what’s most in common and what’s most affecting our lives?

Do we ignore that topic to avoid discussing emotional and deeply personal things?

I don’t know.

But there really are a million things to be afraid if I allow myself to indulge the fears. Fears, both big and small.

Because I haven’t done this in about 14 years.

What if she doesn’t like me and never wants to see me again? Ouch.

What if she likes me and wants to see me again, but I don’t want to see her? I hate hurting people.

In the big picture, regardless of whoever I date seriously again, isn’t my next relationship doomed from the start? Isn’t your follow-up relationship to a marriage by definition a rebound? Don’t those always fail?

I think they pretty much always do.

I’m not just writing about my date tomorrow. I’m writing about any date. About any girl I meet from now until eternity.

What if I like her but we’re far apart philosophically?

What if she likes me but would make a lousy partner in caring for my son?

What if she finds out I write about my personal life and decides she could never be with someone who does that?

What if she likes me but then reads my spaz-fest writing here and decides she doesn’t?

What if she reads this post!?!?!?!?!?

State of Zen

None of that shit is going to happen.

Well, maybe some of it will. But who cares?

Maybe the world will end today.

Maybe I croak before I pick her up tomorrow.

Maybe we get salmonella poisoning from the food and end up in the hospital together and she falls in love with our doctor.

Maybe spacemen will beam me to another galaxy.

Being afraid of the unknown—while common and sort of standard operating procedure for me—is wasted energy.

When your entire life turns to shit, you toughen up in a hurry. I know I don’t always act like it, but I’m going to need you to trust me.

I’m now tougher than I have ever been.

I don’t know that I’ve been to hell and back, but I’ve been somewhere close. Hell’s suburbs, maybe. Everything’s really shitty there. I didn’t like it.

But it didn’t kill me.

And none of this is going to kill me, either.

I’m confident in ways I’ve never been before. I’m still insecure about my physical appearance sometimes. I don’t like that I don’t have washboard abs. I don’t like that my arms and back aren’t what I want them to be.

But mentally? Spiritually? Emotionally?

I’ve never been more put together than I am today. I’ve never been more confident in my ability to navigate personal waters with grace. With humor. With sensitivity. With wisdom.

Maybe after tomorrow night, she and I will never see each other again.

Or maybe we will.

I can’t control tomorrow.

I can’t control other people.

I can only control me.

So, I’ll smile. I’ll listen. I’ll care. I’ll feel.

I’ll be grateful for the moment.

The silver linings.

The opportunity to feel alive after all that time I felt like dying.

Because there can be no bad outcome as long as honesty exists.

And honestly?

I feel lucky.

42 thoughts on “The First Date”

  1. First off, please try to imagine my squeals sounding much like a twelve year old pre pubescent girl whaling in the front row of a One Direction concert:


    Congrats on your date! Even if it doesn’t amount to anything, it’s still a date, and it’s a milestone that you’ve come to in your crazymixedupohmygodmywifediddarichdude life. We can never know what comes of dating. It’s dating. It blows. Monkey balls. Hard. It’s awkward. It’s nerve wracking. But nonetheless, it’s a necessity in finding another love interest. We all have to do it. Think of it like “Everybody Poops” except, now as an adult, it’s “Everybody Dates.” I posted about my date from Saturday. It was the 7th first date I’ve been on since I’ve been single and you know what? It was lucky #7. I’m not looking long term. I’m not even trying to think about it. I’m just happy that for the first time in 8 months, I had a good freaking date.

    I think about that too, you know. The guy I went on a date with knows I have a blog. I don’t even know what he’d do if he read it. I don’t even want to think about that. Hell, I’m honest, but not THAT honest with everyone. So far, he understands that. We’ll see.

    I can’t wait to hear all about it. You’re going to be great. Good luck, mister! May the odds ever be in your favor!

  2. Thrilled for you! Is this the girl from the jewelry store? I pray it is wonderful (and I’ll be praying all night!), but even if it isn’t, remember that fishing analogy…

    1. I’m sure it will be totally pleasant, regardless of whether it ever goes anywhere.

      Thank you very much for the positive thoughts!

  3. I too squealed in delight at reading this post. You’ve got a lot of cheerleaders rooting you on Matt. 🙂 Shoot – if you ever need a good wing man – i’m sure you’d have your pick of the litter! 🙂 Here’s to a good time, good conversation, and the hope that something blossoms – if not with this girl, within yourself. 🙂

  4. SQUEEEEEEE! I’m so happy for you! I’ve never been more excited for someone else’s date! And yes, excited is the correct word. One of the silver linings of divorce is that you get to experience the best parts of falling in love all over again. First dates, first kisses, first touches… Sure, you may end up kissing a few frogs along the way, but one of these first dates will end up being THE ONE. And it will be amazing. And it will make all the pain you’ve endured totally worth it. We all expect a full report on Thursday morning!

    1. I am so flattered by all of the excitement surrounding this date. It means you have a vested interest in something good happening to me. It’s amazing. Thank you.

      However, please rest assured I am highly unlikely to be giving any reports on Thursday. I haven’t figured out how to write about the details of my life and respect other people’s privacy at the same time. I will be writing about that tomorrow, most likely.

      But I can’t imagine I’m going to feel comfortable writing a tell-all the day after my first date with someone who may or may not know I write here. Not sure whether that subject will be brought up.

      I’m going to have to play that one by ear. But, please don’t get your hopes up!

      Again, thank you so much for being happy for me. It’s pretty awesome.

  5. Good thoughts comin’ at ya from California! Just have fun. Enjoy the meal and the conversation and bask in the glow of being able to make a connection with another human being. It’s what you do best, Matt. 🙂

  6. That is fantastic bro!!! Hopefully spacemen will not beam you to another galaxy so that we get to read how your date goes!
    You will be perfect! You’re smart, you’re funny, you’re cute and gosh darn it people like you ( ha! ). The only advice I have is NO pleated pants. You can bust those out after a year of dating.

    Good luck Romeo!

    1. It’s the pleats. They’re very flattering in the crotchal region. I’m going to take them back right now… to the pants store.

      1. Can u hear me?? I’m dying laughing again!!! But it now makes sense as to why pleated pants for men were popular for a long time?

  7. In the very least you will have the opportunity to connect with amother human being, something few people engage in anymore. All the best – enjoy yourself. You too deserve a bit of fun, so have at it!

  8. By now I’m sure you’ve had a nice dinner, many laughs, & a good time vibing! Which is what a date IS..Right? I’ve been known to say dating IS a time for spending time with many potential marriage partners..Or least that is how it is defined..We can tend to complicate matters & to toss in insecurities..Don’t! Just go with no expecatations; other than being yourself & enjoying meeting someone new..In my entire life I’ve only had one bad date..From offline to online prospects; thankfully I’ve got a radar for bullshitters..And avoided them..Soon I’ll be posting about my first dates at 50yrs old..And second & third dates..I am absolutely having a blast! I’m sure you will also..Wooo hooooo have FUN

    1. No! Everything is tonight. So all of your positivity and encouragement is still perfectly valid and appreciated. Thank you!

  9. Matt….you are sooo overthinking this! Stop it! And jeez…you didn’t even wait around for me? What’s up with that? I was supposed to be your first date…at least in my mind anyway. Anyway, just relax. Enjoy. Worst case scenario, there’s just no chemistry and you move on. No big deal. Best case scenario…you had a great meal and you made a new friend. How bad is that? Good luck!

    1. So much flattery, so little time. Thank you. Everything will go quite well, I’m sure.

      However, I’m cursed with a brain that always wants to be chilling away at a five-year goal.

      And now that’s impossible. Cue spaz festival.

      1. It will be fine…you know it will. A five year goal? I can barely plan beyond tomorrow, so I simply enjoy today. Do the same and worry about this evening when it gets here…on second thought, don’t worry at all. 😀

  10. Pingback: How to Lose Friends and Upset People | Must Be This Tall To Ride

  11. Great read!! Don’t focus on the “what ifs” and “maybes” just be yourself, if she doesn’t like it, then her loss! Be true to yourself. Be a good listener. Smile. Relax. Tell her she looks pretty. The rest will fall into place. Good luck and remember to have FUN!

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: