I went on a date last night!
It’d been many, many, many months since I’d last dated. Or maybe over a year. Wait a minute. I think I went the entirety of 2018 without going on a single date. Geez. Classic 2018. I guess that’s why they didn’t call it Twenty Dateteen. Or something. I’m sure some teenager dated 20 times and called it Twenty Dateteen. But this isn’t about them and their 20 dates. It’s about me and my lack of twenty dates.
But I had one last night.
The single date came about after quite some months of back and forth. I’m not talking a steadily amounting flurry of flirtatious banter, I’m talking nuts and bolts…
“Hey, are you free tonight by any chance?”
“Oh shit, I’m busy tonight, but can you do next Thursday?”
“Ugh, I’m out of town next Thursday, but I’ve got a totally free Tuesday after that.”
“Dammit, I’ve got Wednesday and Friday free that week.”
“Well damn, those are the two days I don’t have free that week.”
Lather, rinse, repeat since the end of July. If I got the sense that she was deliberately avoiding me, I would’ve stopped. But she seemed to be showing genuine interest. She was just very busy and travelling often. We’d met at Hanlans some time back and chatted, then ran into each other and chatted some more. We got on well and the conversation flowed. I posted on some poly dating group and she chimed in that she’d be keen to go on a date at some point. We started messaging and came to the conclusion that it could be fun, and if the worst that happened was we each made a new non-romantic friend, that was a pretty high floor.
Cut to yesterday. I had nothing to do in the evening and figured, why not send off a message? 4pm rolled around. I’d had no response and figured I might as well make alternate plans. Then all of a sudden, a notification “oh wait, I think I’m actually free tonight!” She had work the next day, so we sorted out low key plans. Just meeting up at a craft beer bar and having one or two drinks. She’d injured her neck, so I brought along a couple of capsules of magnesium citrate (they’re muscle relaxants, more or less) that she could take overnight. We sat down, ordered drinks and, well, hours went by.
Turns out I still love going on dates. I’m so into learning about someone new, what makes them light up and their dealbreakers. It’s all kinds of fun figuring out what you have in common, where your tastes diverge, etc etc. If someone’s had wholly different life experiences, it’s kinda exciting to see how they became the person in front of you. My date was a professional ballet dancer, so I got to learn a ton about what that’s like on an everyday basis. The relationship she had with her body on a functional level was super interesting, and how it lent itself to different forms of movement and physicality. You’d think that if someone did ballet, for instance, that they’d just have this all encompassing body awareness. Not entirely so, she said, since ballet is so strict and formal, trying other forms of dance often means breaking free from that rigid headspace.
We ordered another round.
She informed me that some species of otter can grow to sizes of almost two metres. Otters are adorable and great, but that’s too much otter. So I guess I can add one more seemingly benign animal to the list of species I need to fear. Chickens, you’re in good company.
We’d both moved to Canada as adults, so it was really swell hearing someone else’s immigration experiences, finding out what she missed and certainly did not miss about having left her country. We discussed the weirdest acquired tastes from our respective homelands. The Canadian foods we just couldn’t get on board with. What we did and didn’t like about this new culture and society.
It got late. I asked her if she needed to call it quits because of work the next day. She suggested we get another round.
It was also great to hear about her past dating experiences, both poly and not. Hearing what she’s learned over time and how her boundaries have been established. Discovering what she looks for, what turns her off and whatnot, it really gave colour to the scant outlines I’d drawn in my head after our past meetings. It was nice hearing about her partners and getting to gush about mine without that being weird. We got the sense that things were wrapping up at the bar, so we settled up and walked back to the station together. We parted ways and kissed goodbye, both actively looking forward to the next time our schedules miraculously aligned. It was sweet. I caught my reflection in the train window heading home. I had a dumb, dopey grin on my face.
I forgot how much I missed dating.