“Is this seat taken?” The gorgeous guy from the other side of the room came up to me and said in his rugged Australian accent. I tried containing that piece of my heart that tries to leap out when a cute boy speaks to me, so I muffled my response coyly, “no, uh no one is seating here. You can.”
I had been living in Ireland that year and was visiting my friend at the hostel where she was staying. After this Australian stranger took his seat next to me, he and I started chatting away amidst the other young travellers in the hostel.
It was the kind of conversation that just flows easily, the type that is so good it makes you wonder if you’ve made it up. I remember feeling as if my voice got lost in the crowd of people, thinking no one was listening to me but he leaned in and so assuredly said, “I was listening.” Who was this guy? He knew all the right things to say to make me feel important. I felt like I was watching some cheesy chick-flick, only it was real life and it was better!
My emotions were soaring and I’m not usually one who admits falling for someone so easily. But this guy was different. He seemed to come out of nowhere and just knew exactly what I needed. After a few hours of walking throughout the post-rain soaked streets and talking in the lively Irish pub, he leaned in for the kiss.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t wanted to kiss him. Here was the perfect guy waiting for me to lean toward him. But I couldn’t help but think, if I kiss him now it would just be a kiss. It wouldn’t be because I actually care for him or him for me. This great night would end up being centered in on the kiss and everything else would have been forgotten. So I put my hand on his muscular shoulder and told him, “I’m sorry.” A bit taken aback he shrugged and we continued to listen to the live folk music in this pub.
Shortly after I realized that I had missed my last bus home and needed to make the 2-hour walk back. He persistently insisted, like a gentleman, that I don’t walk home alone. So he walked me back 2 hours in the drizzling rain at 4 in the morning and then walked back alone the two-hour trek to the hostel. He didn’t try anything else or seemingly walk me home for expectations of getting something.
He later told me that he simply wanted to spend more time getting to know me and felt responsible for getting me back safely since I was out with him. He also told me the fact that I didn’t kiss him that night made him like me more. It made him want to respect me. I stood out to him because I didn’t kiss him right away.
Now there have been times I have turned down a kiss and would watch the guy quickly move onto another girl in the bar. This guy was obviously different. The fact that I didn’t kiss him made his interest in me more memorable than any of those other guys.
It’s through this encounter that I truly became aware of the fact that guys genuinely do treat a girl the way she demands (but Isaac can back me up too!) If I respect myself then that respect is contagious. I’ve learned from experience that if I set my standards low, then I get low quality attention and affection. But when I lift my standards higher and don’t give away my affection right off the bat then a guy is challenged to meet me where I am.
Sinking into his kiss that night would have been great, I’m sure. But would I have seen such an impressive response if I had?
Women need to trust that we do have a certain sense of power when it comes to either settling or potentially bringing out the best in men and encouraging them to not settle for fleeting fun. If we want the real deal in love and life then we need to gracefully expect nothing less, even in little things like a kiss.