I still remember the night vividly.
She was sitting on my lap in the annexed portion of the bar when she looked back at me. For a guy who reads physical signs like Stevie Wonder reads traffic signs, this one was clear as day: She wanted me to kiss her. I wanted to kiss her.
I had been waiting all night for this moment. Hell, I had been waiting four days since the time I saw her for this moment. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever been out with — tall, long brunette hair, piercing green eyes; she was literally a model — and here she was leaning in for a kiss.
And I pulled back.
“Not here,” I said. “I don’t want our first kiss to be in some bar.”
As irrational as the thought may be, I didn’t want to look back one day after we had been together a while, or even engaged, or when telling our kids about the first kiss between their mother and I, and say that our first kiss was in a bar surrounded by hundreds of drunk college students. There’s no romance in that.
Sure enough, I caved moments later, but the thought was still stuck in my head. Realistically, I knew that I would never have to worry about any of those potential situations, but if any of them were to come to fruition, that would now be our story: “Mommy was a little drunk, daddy was (very) slightly buzzed, and we kissed in a bar. The end.”
People confuse hopeless romantics with those who are desperate for love. While some, if not many, fit into that category, the two are not one in the same.
I am undoubtedly a hopeless romantic, and I wear that title as a badge of honor. I am absolutely not desperate for love, and I’m insulted whenever someone insinuates such a claim.
Hopeless romantics believe in something real and they never lose faith in their desires or beliefs; those desperate for love fear being alone and will settle for anyone who will have them.
I date a lot, but I’m dating to find someone. I don’t have the time or money to fill my calendar up with dates just to say that I have something to do that night. If I go on a date with you, I’m looking to see if I would want a second; if I go on a second date with you, I’m looking to see if I would want a third; after three dates I think you can gauge if you’re at least interested in someone beyond a platonic level.
I’m not saying you need to know if they’re your future spouse or anything, but once you’ve seen someone a few times, I think you can accurately assess whether or not you would want to continue seeing them in the capacity you have been.
I have no judgements for the people who like to take their time and date for a few months before committing to an exclusive companionship, but I’m just not like that. If I’m with someone I know I want to see regularly (and exclusively), I’m going to let her know because I want her off the market. I would hope she wants the same of me.
Call me crazy, but I still love the feeling of getting genuinely excited for a date — the kind of date you tell your friends about; the kind of date that makes you contemplate your outfit for the night; the kind of date that makes you spend a little extra time on your hair; the kind of date that puts butterflies in your stomach.
It’s okay to feel this way. It’s okay to get your hopes up before you probably should. It’s okay to overthink certain situations. People will be quick to deter you from feeling what you naturally do, but what no one tells you is that there is the chance the other person is feeling exactly what you are.
I go into every single first date knowing it could be the last first date I ever go on. I am always cognizant of my surroundings in the moments leading up to a first kiss, knowing it could be the last first kiss I ever experience.
I take everything in — what game is on the television, if we’re at a bar; what song is playing over the radio, if we’re out to dinner; what the smell of the air is like, if we’re outdoors; what flowers are growing in front of her house, if we’re at her doorstep; what she’s wearing, what I was feeling, and anything else I can soak up.
And that brings me back to that first kiss in the bar that I mentioned earlier. Sometime over the last four months, I’ve accepted that it’s okay if your first kiss is at a bar. It doesn’t need to be a magical moment you’ve concocted in your head because if you’re with the right person, the moment will be magical wherever it is.
That’s a look inside the mind of a hopeless romantic, and there’s still so much more you haven’t seen.