A Cut Above

I smiled to myself when I caught sight of Luke waiting for me at one of the outdoor tables of the café where we were to meet.  He was pleasing to the eye and showed himself to be a gentleman when he stood and introduced himself, then pulled out a chair for me.  What a chivalrous fellow.  His big blue eyes twinkled as he smiled.  I could tell he was a little nervous as he ran fingers through his wavy silver hair.  He was clean shaven, which was a nice change.  My heart skipped a beat.  What a good-looking guy.

We made our way through lunch laughing and flirting.  A pleasant sunny day in October. it felt good to be out in the autumn warmth.  As Luke was a retired teacher, I was able to share with him some of my own experiences in the classroom.  He also was a transplant from another state.  It appeared we had much in common.  He was a good listener and showed a great deal of intuition and empathy throughout our discussions.  I was charmed.  Toward the end of our outing, I asked if he would like to see me again.  A look of what I would describe as delightful surprise crossed his face.  “She wants to see me again!”  He replied to himself.  We decided we would see one another again.  He had shown himself to be a cut above the other online dates, or so I thought…

Stepping Up or Stepping Down?

On the second date, Luke presented me with a lovely bouquet of flowers.  He informed me that he was stepping up.  I was very flattered.  However, it was within the next three dates that I began to get to know the rougher interior of his smooth exterior.  I was not impressed when he described his past involvement with an exotic dancer or that he had taken a class of high schoolers to a graveyard on Halloween for a lesson.  He almost lost his job over the latter.  I was beginning to see a part of him that revealed a more impulsive individual.  Someone who acted before thinking as to what he was getting himself into.  As a child, it had always been drummed into me to think before acting.  It seemed his life philosophy was not exactly mine.  Nevertheless, I continued to see him; he really was a lot of fun!

A Late-Night Proposal

I rarely received calls past 11 p.m., so when my phone rang, I was awakened with a jolt.  My heart almost leaped out of my chest.  It was 2 in the morning.  Shaking, I answered.  No one was on the other end.  Next, I heard my text go off.  Luke had sent me a lengthy text.  He wrote that he couldn’t sleep because he had decided that I was “the one,” and he wanted an exclusive relationship.  As he continued to see me, he liked me more and more, and just knew his feelings for me would grow.  I could hear the blood rushing in my head.  After the shock of being awakened so suddenly in the night, I began to grow annoyed.  Couldn’t this have waited until the next morning?  Wouldn’t this message have been better presented and received in person?  I dropped the phone on the table and turned over to go back to sleep.  I would handle this in the morning when we met for breakfast.

The Morning After

Luke and I discussed his desire for an exclusive relationship over breakfast, the next morning.  I had been unable to get back to sleep the night before and was a bit irritable.  I had thought over his proposal and knew that I would not be taking him up on it.  Throughout our time together, I continued to see Luke as someone who relied heavily on his emotions to give him direction.  In the stories he had relayed to me of his life choices, he often had to find out for himself, the disappointing and negative consequences of such impulsive decisions.  I have always prided myself on carefully mulling things over before making a final decision, perhaps over-thinking in the process.  I informed Luke that I would enjoy continuing to see him but did not want to give up opportunities of meeting others.  I watched as he flushed a deep red and hung his head in response.  He then replied that we were done, and slowly rose from his seat and stomped out of the restaurant. 

Fair and Balanced

I was shocked at such an abrupt and short-tempered reaction.  At first, anger and resentment overwhelmed me.  Once calmed down, however, I began to think in more sensible terms.  The philosophy of striving for balance, both emotionally and physically, has always been one that I greatly admired.  Instead of thinking along negative lines, I reasoned that I could also glean positive outcomes from our short-lived relationship of five dates. A gift to myself.  

My time with Luke was a cause for personal celebration, though it ended rather abruptly, and not the way I would have preferred.  That I could walk away from a potential “sure thing” and not feel the need to have to latch on to someone, no matter what, allowed me to see that I had the strength to walk away and be my own person.  It was a definite sign that there would be no “trauma relationship” for me.  I have witnessed those I love involved in such a relationship, which is often the main reason why people are unable to leave toxic and abusive relationships.  To me, these connections can easily be mistaken for feelings of love and commitment towards another person.  My time with Luke also showed me that I no longer feared moving beyond a first date with my online encounters, and that not all fell into the category of “escapade.”  Knowing Luke had given me a greater confidence in future choices.  In him, I found someone who was willing to step up because he was desirous of a genuine relationship.  He had shown himself to be chivalrous as when he stood upon my arrival at our first meeting.  He had been an attentive listener when I spoke.  He proved to be emotionally supportive, engaging, kind, humble, and so much more.  Also, he had proven to be dependable; it was so nice to be able to look forward to a steady date. 

This experience gave me an opportunity and awareness to learn what attributes are important to me in a man.  It was a relief to know that there were worthwhile men out there in the online dating world.  Given acceptable circumstances and a trustworthy gentleman, I felt more confident and positive about continuing my journey with online dating.  Luke had made me feel special because he had stepped up and was desirous of a long-term commitment.  He had accepted me for who I am.  That was most important of all.




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