I once went on a date with a guy who was thoughtful, intelligent and kind—to many he would have been the dream candidate for a future husband.
But as we sat drinking coffee and chatting about our families, college classes, and interests, my mind often wandered off. There was no spark, there wasn’t even some kindling. He was sweet and very quiet—maybe a little bit shy—but I knew I needed someone who could challenge me, keep me on my toes, and be full of adventure.
In a situation like that, I think it’s often hard to figure out where the line is between “I know this isn’t the right person for me” and “have I really given him a fair shot?”
I thought there was no way a second date would happen. But as he walked me back to my apartment, he asked if we could do it again sometime.
My tongue twisted in my mouth and I came up with something ridiculous like,“let’s just hang out in a group sometime.” Ugh. I still shudder at my immaturity. I should have had the guts to at least say, “This was very thoughtful of you and you’re very kind, but I’m not interested in a romantic relationship with you.” It would have been painful to say and probably painful for him to hear, but it would have also shown him a lot more respect, too.
Over the next few days my mind wrestled with being confident in my judgment that a relationship would never work. I’d always heard of stories where the woman wasn’t interested in a guy for the longest time and then someway, somehow he convinced her to give him a shot and now they’re living happily ever after.
I wasn’t attracted to him, but could that have changed as I got to know him on a deeper level? Would he have surprised me?
I don’t think so, but maybe. Maybe we would have had more things in common than I realized, maybe we could have fallen in love. But my brain and my heart kept telling me it wouldn’t work out and I didn’t believe in forcing something that wasn’t there. Yes, I would have loved to be in a relationship, but I wanted it to be with the right guy.
Then, only a few days later it happened. I met Adam. There was an instantaneous spark and a connection that felt like we’d known each other for years. During our first date we sat and chatted for three hours, but it only felt like 30 minutes.
At that point I didn’t know if things would work out with Adam or not, but it also served as confirmation that I was right that the other guy wasn’t the one for me. Meeting Adam gave me confidence to trust myself more, but also made me realize that I wasn’t as closed off as I feared I was. Adam didn’t fit my perfect mold (for which I’m grateful!), but that brought excitement and personal growth to my life.
Looking back, even though things didn’t work out with that guy I am thankful for that coffee date because it allowed me to recognize there was something different when I met Adam.