Doing Dates Right … Eventually!
- on Jan 28, 2023
I definitely have lots of thoughts on dates and dating. Firstly though I will explain what I consider a date to be, for me personally. A date for me consists of myself and another person consciously deciding to spend time together to focus on each other. It doesn’t have to be going out, could easily be movie night on the sofa. It doesn’t have to cost money, it could easily be a nice walk. It does however need to be about us.
Prior to meeting Mr F I could count on one hand the number of dates I’d been on. Some of this can be attributed to the fact I’m not a fan of going on lots of dates with different people to meet a partner. I’m more likely to meet people generally through work, friends etc and then go out on a date with them. That said, considering I was in one relationship for 10 years and another ‘situationship’ for 4.5 years, you’d think maybe I’d have gotten into double figures with dates.
It’s not that I didn’t do anything with those partners, or in other shorter relationships/encounters but what we did, however fun it might have been, didn’t always feel like a date, either at all or perhaps just from my perspective.
With my ex-husband we’d been together seven years before we had Small Human, so that’s a lot of time just the two of us, we should have experienced so much together, but in reality we didn’t. He was very much the ‘more the merrier’ kind of person, so we were always visiting family or doing things with (his) friends. Days that didn’t involve those things instead involved his hobby. He didn’t drive, so I would drive us, often quite far, for him to buy/see things for his hobby. It actually became quite disheartening because anything like a day out, would be time away from what he most enjoyed and in turn that affected how much I enjoyed it, the he’d think I was grumpy and I’d end up thinking how I just shouldn’t have bothered suggesting anything outside of the normal things he found fun.
Looking back I should have changed the parameters for these days out long before they started to wear me down. We used to pass so many pubs and a pub lunch would have made the whole thing feel a bit more like ‘us’ time. However, we were already in debt, but his hobby absolutely had to be indulged and spending money on pricey food wasn’t going to happen. Paired with the fact, he just wasn’t very enthusiastic about those kinds of dates and eventually it just didn’t seemed worth even trying to ask for them.
We rarely went on dates out, dinner dates usually involved someone else and we never, not once, went on holiday just the two of us. Never even just a weekend away. In ten years. He never made dinner for me at home, so no at home date nights either. I know we went on a first date, but after that I really don’t remember any actual dates.
After we separated I knew I wanted something different, but I’d been with him from 19-29 and I truly didn’t know myself, or in reality what a lot of my discontent had actually been about. So I plunged head first into a kinky lifestyle and didn’t consider what my wants or needs for things like romance and dates were.
I definitely had some great nights out involving kink. Some (if not all) were extremely sexy and incredibly intimate. I don’t want to downplay how much I enjoyed them. It was a fabulous time. For reasons it’s possibly hard to explain I wouldn’t class them as dates though. Potentially that’s down to personal dynamics and the fact we weren’t a ‘dating couple’ but rather a kink based friendship, with a sexy twist.
When I met Mr F one of the things I expressed was I wanted to do more vanilla dates. I wanted to go out to eat, to the cinema, for walks along the beach and just random days out to fun places. At this point we weren’t dating, we were casually fucking, with no expectations of more from either of us. One day after I’d told him what dates I had been on he said he’d take me on a proper date and he did.
He brought flowers, took me to a nice restaurant for dinner, then we played indoor crazy golf before walking along the beach back to his place. Then we fucked because it was a delicious way to end a wonderful evening. It was the first of many dates we have been on. Some we have arranged together, some he has surprised me with. All have been lots of fun.
The difference with Mr F is that while we have done and continue to things that’s come under my definition of dates, so much of our time together feels like conscious and meaningful engagement that just being together can feel like a date, regardless of where we are going or what we are doing, which helps me see that in past relationships what I actually needed was the enthusiasm, the explicit desire to spend time with me. Not me and other people. Not me because I need to drive you somewhere. Not me because of kink. But just me as I chat about crap I’ve read on Reddit, or grabbing a cheeky takeaway so no one has to cook.
It’s not that I didn’t have a nice time with ex partners, I really did, it’s just that those nice times were dependent on me enjoying their choice of activities. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if it’s paired with them also taking time to do the things their partner enjoys too. I don’t feel like I had that reciprocation of doing something to make me smile. When it did happen I would feel guilty because it was so clear they’d rather not be doing it, or they’d mentioned so often that it wasn’t what they liked to do that even asking for them to join me seemed unfair.
I can’t imagine Mr F not wanting to do something with me, and similarly I’d be excited to do something he suggested, whatever we did would be fun because spending time together with some who makes me feel like I’m fun to be with is the date and that’s really all I ever wanted.