Monday, January 13, 2014

#EmilyDatesBoulder: First dates and lessons learned

So, just a few short weeks ago, I took on a challenge: #EmilyDatesBoulder. I'm committing to two online dating sites for six months to one year. I'm all in: browsing matches, sending "smiles" to those matches and returning the emails from promising/quality matches. I've also committed to say yes to any date I'm asked on this year (within reason... no total crazies) and I'm going to use my lovely blog as a place to disclose the good, bad and ugly of all of my experience.

SO, here I am, a few weeks in with my VERY FIRST DATE to report back on.
The details:
After chatting back and forth online, my date (who I'll call Jerry) asked me out to watch a soccer game. After finding out the unGODLY hour of this original date (10pm on a TUESDAY!!! I'm too old for that...), Jerry asked me out for drinks on a Saturday evening at a local restaurant/bar, Oskar Blues. Up until walking into the bar, I was SO incredibly nervous. What if he's crazy? What if he's not REALLY 6'1, but really like 5'2? What if it's super awkward? What if I walk up to the wrong guy at the bar? What if he doesn't show up? I haven't been on a date in a while, okay? I was nervous!! Well, to make a long story short, the date went better than I could have ever expected. Conversation was easy, he was actually closer to 6'2" (hooray!), and he wasn't a weirdo at all. Sure, there were a few awkward points in the conversation and we both might have said really random and strange things at one point or another, but all in all it was a great first online dating experience! I feel like it really broke the ice! I've got another date lined up with a DIFFERENT guy tomorrow night, and I don't feel nervous in the least. Which is a nice feeling.

It's funny, because I decided to do this #EmilyDatesBoulder challenge to take a chance and to submerge myself into a season of adventure and risk. And while I've already experienced some incredible benefits from taking the risks, more than anything I'm learning a ton about myself.
I enjoy comfort (which I knew). I don't like the unknown (also knew). As much as I like to meet new people, I value people who know me and understand me more (didn't really know this). Taking risks in a totally unknown environment with people who don't know me is really difficult (also didn't know this)! It's no easy task! But what I'm finding is that it's allowing God the opportunity to remind me of who I am and the promises he has for me regardless of what these strangers might think of me. God has something amazing for me. Maybe I'll meet him online, maybe I won't! In any case, God has not brought me through the wreckage and destruction that he has just to leave me here, with these huge desires left unfulfilled. I'm confident that God knows exactly what he's doing, and that #EmilyDatesBoulder is part of that plan... and maybe to teach me a few things about trust.

A few funny things from my inbox this week:
-A guy with the username "onegoodbadboy" is inappropriately obsessed with my eyebrows.
-For some reason, I tend to attract men who are amputees. Nothing against the limb-less brothers, it's just a reoccurring theme in my online dating life. True (and strange!) story.
-More HORRIBLE tribal tattoos. This one accompanied by a GIANT Texas-shaped Texas flag tattoo. Double yikes.

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