I’ve gone on more dates in the last six months than my entire life combined. Granted, that isn’t saying much, but it’s helping me be better at dating – something that I’m AWFUL at. I’m a relationship girl, through and through. I don’t know how to casually date.
Some time ago I decided this was a terrible thing to not know how to do. I decided to change that. Regardless, it has taught me about holding things loosely, not controlling, and not freaking out (as much).
Where I would freak out for days before a date, now I actually sort of forgot I even had one. So a few weeks back when I was asked out for coffee (he clearly doesn’t read my blog) I decided to accept and see what happened.
I met him at Starbucks, we ordered drinks, and he asked if I wanted to walk. Seeing as it was a gorgeous day, I agreed. We filled each other in on basic life stuff, childhood stuff, movie stuff, all of those fun get to know you questions. He was very intentional to ask good questions that showed he was a kind and decent guy.
As we walked back towards the coffee shop we stopped at a park and moved to the benches near the fountain. Here’s what you need to know about this park. It’s a park in the center of downtown Colorado Springs and it’s primarily known as a place for homeless, drug dealers, and the “riff raff” of society to hang out.
In fact while we were sitting there – approximately two fights broke out, one girl’s shirt was pulled off, someone’s stuff was stolen, and a gospel choir broke out in perfect harmony. Weird right?
But I loved it. I loved even more that he wasn’t afraid to sit among the eclectic of society. When normally I wouldn’t be comfortable sitting on that park bench, I knew I was fine, that my safety was not an issue.
How did I know that?
See when we were walking towards the benches, I went to sit down and put my arm on the back of the bench. As soon as I did that I immediately regretted it as I noticed a white coating on the otherwise green bench.
“Oh gross!! There’s bird poop everywhere!” I pulled my arm away, sat forward, and went rummaging through my purse for a bottle of hand sanitizer left from India.
While I was distracted looking for my blessed germ killer, he had taken the newspaper he was carrying, unfolded it, and put it behind my back, then his back, then under my purse.
“There, you should be fine now.” he assured me. I’m sure he was smiling on the inside at his smooth move. I thanked him and we continued to talk into the afternoon. After we parted ways I thought about the afternoon and was struck by the gesture of the newspaper. But then I thought more about how he immediately paid for the coffee, walked on the outside of the sidewalk, and gently guided me as we walked.
It was a moment where I saw the strength of a man. Because he did those things I felt relaxed and able to just be a woman. To be soft and tender and all of the good things of myself. He was kind and intentional.
I left that date with my heart a little bit lighter. I felt more free to be myself and liked who I was. It’s incredible how the strength of a man can awaken the tenderness of a woman even in the smallest of ways. Now, I can’t speak for him, but I hope my willingness to let him lead enabled him to feel like a man.
So guys, here’s the thing. Lead. Lead well. Lead strongly. Because you never know when there is going to be bird poop and you can totally win a girl over.