Dating – a roller coaster ride of emotions. Excitement progresses to hope and at times apprehension with the emails and phone calls eventually leading to the first date. A nervous anticipation would start stirring in the pit of my stomach a day or two before the first date.  I would spend hours in my closet deciding which outfit to wear, only to change the outfit and sometimes my mind at the last minute. Now after multiple first dates, I feel like a puppet going through the motions, dread rather than excitement bubbling inside me as I wait to say goodbye to the first date and hello to the next one.

I like to compare the first date to a job interview. We are both on our best behavior trying to make a good impression. Many questions are asked as we try to decide if we fit each others “ideal mate”. At times, I would say to myself that he seems to be promising, funny, or attentive. My excitement becomes fueled with promise and thoughts of a second date. Sadly, most of the time my first date excitement is etched away as I discretely look at my watch wishing I had some control over time.

The second date is pivotal. Nerves have subsided and guards are lowered with idiosyncrasies become annoying rather than endearing. That’s odd I do not remember him talking about his ex-wife during our first date. And why is he constantly folding his napkin placing his fork and knife next to each other over and over again while we are talking? And with that, the hopeful excitement I had from the first date quickly vanishes as we say good-bye and go our separate ways.

While sharing my dating philosophy with my one of my exercise classes, a participant asked me if the third date was a charm. With a heavy sigh I said “I do not know since I haven’t gotten there yet”. Yes, the third date was foreign to me – the unattainable, the impossible.

And then a second date proved to be pivotal with a positive spin. The light flickered off his eyes and his attention was on me instead of off to the side. I felt as though we were the only two in the restaurant. He reached across the table placing his strong hand gently on top of mine and asked what we should do on our next date.  Yes, our third date. My heart fluttered. The hopeful excitement from the first date blossomed during the second and lead to a third.  At that point, I started to believe that anything was possible.