I have a little red leather book hidden in my house, stashed away with a journal of mine. I started using both of them in June of 2015. I haven’t filled the first one up yet. That was never my intention. I hope I don’t make it that far. When I started them I honestly didn’t know the value of what I was keeping between the pages. Like a few other of my personal journals, I had researched a topic and set goals. I needed a place to organize my thoughts because I was going to be doing something that was unfamiliar to me. I was going to start dating.
My “little red book of first dates” holds the name of everyone I’ve gone on a first date with since June of 2015. There’s a lot of names in there. After every first date, I’d add their name to top of a new page and try to write three interesting things about that person and then at the bottom I added what I wore that day. I was only challenged by completing this task a few times either by a painstakingly boring date or one that I left within a few minutes of the date (-that story will come later). And the clothing added at the bottom was for the reason that if I happened to go on a second date, I didn’t want to be seen wearing the same thing.
My first few dates after my long-term relationship were awkward and silly. That very first date was documented in photos from a photo booth that make me laugh. Out loud. A legitimate lol. I got lucky with my first first date as he later turned into one of my best friends.
I skimmed through this little treasure a few weeks ago and realized that keeping this journal was the best thing I’ve done for myself while dating. I could see the type of guys I dated, my thoughts about them, what stood out to me and what I liked about each one. I noticed what I thought were priorities for qualities in my dates ended up not being as important as I thought. I’m less judgemental about all my dates in general now and haven’t lowered my standards but defiantly widened my horizons on whom I chose to go out with. Less is more, simple is better and there are days that dating feels ridiculous and I’d prefer to stay in bed, watch cat videos, and eat popcorn or cheat food. But I always had a lot of fun on all my dates. Or at least I had an entertaining story to tell. I usually left each date thinking I said too much. Or too little. Or I didn’t ask enough questions. Or the right questions. I was nervous Every. Single. Time. None of them was I more nervous than my last first date. So it hasn’t got any easier. I don’t expect it every will be.