In dating, there are certain things that are red flags, and there are certain things that just need figuring out. I think those of us who have a idealist mindset tend to give up too quickly, passing up quality guys in favor of finding someone that everything is perfect with. To those of you who are still single, I want to challenge you to change it up. If you see a red flag, by all means it’s time to move on. But if awkwardness or a not-quite-perfect-fit is the issue with a guy who has good character and a loving heart, wait it out. There’s still a chance that he’s not the right one for you, or he might end up being the one you spend your life with.
My first date with my husband Brian was an accidental one. We had gone hiking all day with friends, and agreed that all of us would reconvene at 10:30pm to watch Slumdog Millionaire since nobody had seen it yet. With a usual bedtime of 10pm, I knew I wouldn’t make it until the movie night if I just went home, so I asked around to see if anyone was free to hang out.
One by one, each of my friends told me they would love to, but they already had plans. When I turned to Brian, though, he said, “Well, we’ve got to eat dinner, right?” Casually and coolly, he sort of asked me out on our first date—and I was definitely not complaining. Although I’d only had a crush on him for about 24 hours at the time, I was glad to have a chance to get to know him better.
We decided on a local sushi spot, and ordered tons of food that we didn’t end up eating. In the excitement of the new access to one another’s lives, we totally lost our appetites and fed instead on the joy of a potential new relationship.
While I seem to be setting the scene for an adorable romantic comedy, I assure you that was not the trajectory that followed. Fast forward one week and Brian asked me out on our second date—this time it was a real one. He made reservations at an expensive restaurant and it was clear this was a date. We both had high hopes after our sushi night, but they were quickly deflated.
He didn’t talk enough. I talked too much. The food was bad. We weren’t being ourselves. We tried to go to coffee afterward, but it was closed. We took a walk by the beach, but it started to rain. Nothing was going right, and when I got home I told my roommate that as kind as he was, we would likely remain just friends.
Our next date was a little better, though nothing to write home about. It was still fairly awkward, and not the fairy tale situation one would imagine when they think about dating the person they’ll eventually marry. You may be wondering: How (and why) did it all work out? Why didn’t you move on and wait for the sparks to fly with someone else? The answer to both of those questions is simple: Brian was someone worth figuring it out with.
Sure, our first few dates were pretty awkward and less-than-magical, but I knew the kind of person Brian was. I had seen the way he interacted with others, always treating them with kindness and respect. I knew we shared the same beliefs, and that he was a man of good character. Also, he was very tall (sort of kidding, sort of not).
Take it from me and give the nice guys a chance.