She clicked the wrong button on Plenty of Fish. She was viewing her auto-generated matches and there was my smiling face on her computer’s monitor. As her friends had encouraged her to try online dating, she jumped in, not really understanding all the various on-screen controls.
When I opened Plenty of Fish, I saw that her “meet me” message was in my inbox. I reviewed her profile and responded. I never respond with something long and involved. I keep things brief and positive. She responded back. I didn’t know the whole backstory of why she was online dating. She was a bit older than me and her photos showed a woman of an attractive and pleasant demeanor. Smiling makes a woman so much more attractive in her online dating profile photos.
With some back and forth messages that were brief and pleasant, phone numbers were exchanged. Texting resulted, as did a phone call. A daytime, weekend date was set up. It was ice cream at a very established local ice cream place close to where I live. I do a lot of walking.
She arrived a bit late because of parking issues but did send me a text letting me know that she would be late. That’s seriously polite. I hope everyone does the same. We found each other on a summer’s day and spent an hour or two chatting amicably while eating ice cream. The ice cream melted quite quickly.
This is where the courage comes in. This woman was not ready for dating. She knew it and she told me directly early in the conversation. I was not fazed. I enjoy being social and learning about people. It turns out, she’s a widow. Her husband of 20 years had died suddenly only about a year previously. I didn’t question her about the circumstances, that’s way too personal when meeting a person for the first time. She told me flat out that she was seriously considering texting me on multiple occasions to cancel our meeting. But she still came out to meet me. We had a fine chat.
The take-away lesson from that date is this: Dating takes courage. It means moving out of a comfortable space and actually going on dates. This woman did it. Even though she clicked a link accidentally, she followed up and went on a date with me. I was quite flattered. Dating requires introspection and adaptation to the current realities of the world. This includes both technology and social realities. Introspection takes courage. When that woman left the house to meet me, she was taking a big step.
I continually exhort men to get out of the house and be more social. This is a big part of the courage to go on dates. As well, women over a certain complain mightily that not enough men attend social events. Think about this, guys. There are more available single women out in meetspace. Online dating is all well and good but real life is so much better. Courage, gentlemen, courage.