A friend of mine suggested I write about dating life in a foreign country. However, I cannot entirely speak to the subject, because 1) I have not dated anyone here, and 2) I haven’t really dated people back home either.
However…., I do have some interesting dating and dating-ish stories I could share. So, I’ll do that instead. 🙂
We’ll begin with my first date, as it was, indeed, an odd beginning to an odd history of dating.
My high school boyfriend and I split up the summer before college, out of being reasonable. How it happened is a story for another time, though, as it is well worth telling, but just not now. We remain to this day friends, and so were on good terms as the summer neared its end. One day, when we were in the same place, John (that’s his name, you see) did something adorably wonderful. He asked me on a date. No, I do not remember the exact words he used, however, I remember that he did use explicit words quite similar to, “Would you go out on a date with me?”
While we had been a couple, we had often laughed at the fact that we had never been on a single date. Every time we were arranging something that would have ended up as a date, we found ourselves desperately longing to invite so-and-so to come, because he/she would just LOVE it, or something like that. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to be alone together. It was merely that we love our friends and we are generous. Also, a good amount of the time, my mom would be with us for things. She often would be planning something really neat, and I would be going with her, and one of us would think of how John might enjoy the activity, too, and then either pick him up or have him meet us somewhere to join in the activity. A lot of people found it odd that my boyfriend and I (and often my friends, too) did so much with my mom, but it was just way fun for all of us. That being said, most John’s and my one-on-one time was spent standing outside his house as I was about to drive home at night, and never on actually going out to do anything (i.e. dates).
So, he asked me on a date. The plan was to go out to dinner at this great vegetarian Indian restaurant near my house, and then to go to see a musical together downtown. John was driving (and not I for once). When he came to get me for dinner, it was sprinkling beautifully, and we somehow ended up going swimming (or at least playing in the backyard in the rain) instead, and my mom went and picked up food for us. The three of us then had dinner at my house together. At the musical, the two seats that John had purchased (with the help of his father) turned out to be across the wheelchair section from one another, leaving a gap of about a meter between our two seats. I squat on the ground next to his seat for a bit, and then I think we eventually moved to a couple of other empty seats, so we actually could sit side-by-side. It was a fabulously tragic date, which we both absolutely loved, because it was so terrible on paper, but so delightful in experience.
And that was date #1.
A few years ago, I attended something called VIRTUS Training. It is essentially a seminar for people who will be working at schools, for them to learn about identifying child sexual abuse. In other words, it was a seminar on child sexual abuse. It was at this wonderful seminar that I met my second date – or so I believe it was my second date, anyway. He was sitting near me in the training, and I think wasn’t even in my discussion group. However, we exchanged various faces at different things throughout the evening, and ended up in conversation afterward. After probably a good half hour of talking outside afterward, he very beautifully expressed that he had enjoyed talking with me very much, and would I like to continue talking over dinner some time soon? I agreed, and I gave him my number in order to arrange the dinner at another time.
For the dinner, he told me that he was “old fashioned”, and so was it alright that he pick me up for the date? I originally agreed happily. However, my sister told me it was a terrible idea, and got me all nervous, because I didn’t really know this guy, and what if it went horribly? (It went wonderfully, but still, she got me nervous nonetheless.) But my worries proved pointless, because, as I had just purchased my new car the day of our date, I had to take it for my family to see (and test drive, of course), which put me behind schedule for our date. Since that was the case, I just met him at a restaurant midway between where I was in town and where he lived, so he didn’t have to wait so long nor have to drive all the way to my house (which was quite far for him).
I eventually ran into him again while I was still working at Starbucks, but it was quite busy at the time, and so we really didn’t get to chat (though I totally wanted to do so). I had not saved his number, and so couldn’t call or message him again after that. (Sometimes, you just don’t plan on getting a new phone before you’ve saved a number, ya know?)
And that is what came of date #2, when I met a guy at a child sexual abuse seminar.
My third date, in my opinion, is the best of the three – yes, there have only been three – and also the most uncertain. It is uncertain, because I simply hadn’t known that it was a date, and I’m still not certain as to whether it was a date. You may judge for yourself as to whether it was a date or not. 😉
In France, there is a wonderful carpooling website, which helps anyone travel almost anywhere normal in France (and even to nearby destinations in neighboring countries). I used it constantly for travel while I studied in Toulouse, and therefore used it again when I went to visit a couple summers ago. It was in this carpooling from Barcelona to Toulouse that I met this party boy.
We didn’t talk much on the drive (I slept mostly, and he talked with the other passengers.), but we did a bit near the end, and he asked for my Facebook. I felt no aversion to the guy, although I knew that we led very different lifestyles, his being a party boy and my being…. well, just not. I like dancing and music and all, but not the drinking like crazy part. He had even offered me a section of his sandwich on the ride. because, I know you, so, of course, we’d share your sandwich. 😛 I liked the guy, despite our obvious differences. He was just really open and friendly and honest.
And, as a bonus, quite handsome. Think tall, dark and fancy hair, tanned skin, and quite fit. Yes, he could carry me quite easily in his arms. (I have no idea why that is something I notice about guys – whether they could carry me or not. I just always notice it.)
Turned out that his apartment was literally the next street over from the AirBnB where I ended up staying. Via texting, he asked if I wanted to get a bite to eat with him one night. Yes, of course. (I’d be eating alone otherwise, and he had been great company already.) ‘Do you want to meet me somewhere, or should I pick you up on my scooter?’ Scooter, please. (One of my dreams in life has been to ride a scooter with a cute guy in Europe, thanks to MaryKate and Ashley.)
So, he picked me up on his scooter, and drove me to a cool restaurant in a part of town I’ve always loved. We sat outside, and it was fabulous. I had him order for me whatever he thought was best to have. I’m usually more of the raw vegan diet type, but I roll with the culture these days, so I graciously accepted a delicious and innerly-pink steak. We chatted and had a great time, and when he went in to pay, I followed a bit behind, and asked what I owed. He, a bit surprised, said that I owed nothing, as he was paying for everything. It was my turn to be surprised, but I did not even consider that this was a date – perhaps he’s just really nice to the foreigner girl visiting his hometown.
And so, we went and got some beers from a store, and he showed me around his huge, old-fashioned apartment, which he shared with this rich guy with a really nice car, as he put it (I don’t remember what the car was, but it was legitimately a very expensive car.). We hung out and talked, and it was totally great. When I finally reached home, and told him that I was home safely, he sent me a message that had me suddenly see the evening in a slightly – meaning entirely – different light. It was in a light and friendly way, and even with a wink smiley face, so it was not meant to be nasty or inappropriate. However, he said that ‘he would have preferred that I had stayed there.’ Oh, my… At last I came to the sudden idea that this might actually have been a date. I then got super excited that I was not only on my third date ever (Whoohoo!), but on a date with a gorgeous French guy, and IN French. How cool is that?! Way cool. Seriously. It was awesome. Dreams fulfilled that I hadn’t even dreamed up yet.
And that was date #3. I think, anyway. 😛
Those have been my three official-ish dates (I’m still not sure about that third one). They were each wonderful in their own ways, and I find none of them to be too standard (slash at all standard). I loved each and every one, and I look forward to raising the bar each time to more ridiculous scenarios surrounding my dating life. (I need to share about my coffee dates and the likes, too. Those have been fun, for sure, and very international.)
I’m super tired now, so I’m going to sleep. However, I plan to continue with the coffee dating and other date-related things that weren’t actually dates. 🙂