Recently I heard a TED Talk by Brene Brown, discussing vulnerability and why it could be a good thing. It got me thinking because during the years since my divorce, I have increasingly sought to reduce my vulnerability. The pain of divorce was bad but somehow (and I know this sounds a bit odd) the first person I fell for after that, hurt me much more. And as years and lots of first dates have passed, self protection has become a recurring theme.
After hearing this talk though I thought, life is short. Will I lay on my death bed saying “thank god I never opened up my heart again”. I don’t think so. I’m pretty much a heart on my sleeve kind of person anyway, but in the past couple of years I have become quite closed off. Swearing off dating and even when I do date, I go into it with heavy heart and closed mind.
But today, I decided what the hell, I’m going to go on this date and really let myself be open, and actually “in” the date, no matter what happens. And so I did.
We have spoken a couple of times on the phone and texted and I knew what he looked like but I was surprised at how incredibly attracted to him I was. I have to admit, it is easier to be “in” the date when you’re extremely attracted to the person opposite you.
We talked quite easily, ate brunch and then decided to go for a walk. An hour and a half in and things were going well. We sat and talked in a local park for a while and then decided to do some sight seeing. Why not, it’s gorgeous where I live. We talked a lot and I was very much enjoying spending time with him.
Knowing that I had an errand to run for my child, I was mindful of the time and so we headed back into town sooner than perhaps I would have liked, kicking myself for not running this errand yesterday, saving it as a “get out of date free” card if things went awry. Live and learn I guess.
Thing is, I am a pretty up front person and I liked this guy and we had had some pretty interesting conversation so I told him how much I had enjoyed our time together and asked him if he thought that the hour and a bit drive between our respective homes was going to be an impediment. He said he thought it was. Which is a nice way of saying “I’m just not that into you”. Ouch. Now I appreciate him being nice about but I was crushed, oh yes I was. I had let myself really be there on the date and I had started to ponder whether he’d be a good kisser or not. Guess I will never know.
It’s ridiculous I know that I’m this disheartened by a first date which won’t go anywhere. It’s just that when you feel like there might be something there and the other person doesn’t you can’t help but feel a bit let down and yes, a tiny bit stupid.
Letting myself be vulnerable has meant the fall has been a bit harder, the disappointment a bit higher, the self-doubt a little stronger. But if I am brutally honest, I am not sorry. Feeling great for a few hours on a beautiful winter Sunday is nothing to be sneezed at and I can shake it off and re-group. Is letting yourself be vulnerable a good idea? I would say yes, it absolutely is, even if it didn’t quite go the way you hoped.
I figure that even if the only reason he hung around for four and a half hours was because he’d made the trek up to the mountains and he wanted to make it worth it, well that’s okay, we both got to see the sights in decent company.
Shame it won’t go any further though, I really do think he may have been a good kisser.