Last night Mr F and I went on our second first date. Which is necessary because there is a certain area of life where we’ve needed to keep our budding romance under wraps. That has now been addressed in the way it needed to be, with the person it needed to be, which means we can officially start dating. I still feel cautious explaining exactly how we met, but it probably doesn’t take a genius to figure it out, if you consider the fact there are rules and protocols in place for us dating, purely to protect anyone involved from situations that might involve less genuine people than ourselves.
Part of me was expecting us to just have a normal evening and then just say we had our ‘first’ date, maybe saying what we did for what we actually consider our first date. I think Mr F would have found this idea preposterous though. 100% right from the off he was ready for second first date planning and action. He is without a shadow of a doubt the person I’ve been on the most dates with, in my entire life. Which considering I was in a relationship for 10 years is quite something.
We were lying in bed the other day and his friend messaged him, saying he was out to dinner with his girlfriend. Mr F asked if it was a date. His friend said no because they’re already in a relationship so it’s not a date anymore. Mr F was all ‘What? That’s ridiculous, of course, you can still go on dates in a relationship’ and that my friends is one of the reasons I’m so smitten with him. His attitude towards continually doing nice things for and with the person you are in a relationship with is so lovely it is almost overwhelming for me because I have never had that expressed in these ways before.
I love the fact we go out together and eat lunch or dinner, and as we’re sat there he’ll ask, ‘so, does this count as a date’ and my initial reaction the first few times this conversation came up was to minimise what we were doing. Until I realised that for him dates are good things, he wants to be on a date with me and so we’ve had lunch dates, dinner dates, day dates and twice now we’ve watched the same movie, at the same time, but in our own homes, whilst messaging about the movie and other stuff and I think we have now decided these are dates too.
When we are out on adventures that can be classed as dates, whether they started out that way or not, one of the other things I’ve noticed is how I don’t worry about whether he’s having a nice time or not. Previously, in other relationships, if I have initiated going out for dinner, knowing it’s more my thing than theirs, I’d spend a lot of the time worrying that they’d rather be doing something else. Or trying not to take too long, or drag the whole thing out.
With Mr F I find I’m quite happy to take my time because I know he is enjoying himself because we are together, doing together things and that is really the very essence of enjoying each other … being together. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes there is an urgency to get home, but that’s because naked fuckery is on the menu and quite frankly I’m more than okay with him wanting to rush me home for that. However, I know that on our second first date we will be taking our time and enjoying our evening out and I really cannot wait.
I don’t know how or why I learned to be okay with not doing these things in previous relationships. I know there were other ways in which past partners expressed themselves, but I think I always settled for their ways becoming my ways and never actually took the time to say ‘hey, once in a while I need a romantic night out, and once in a while I need you to plan it and/or initiate it.’ I always thought that would be too demanding, or too needy, or too this, or too that and would ultimately make me less desirable. The truth is though, that the absence of these kinds of activities made me feel less desirable anyway. Which is honestly the root cause of how my past relationships have ended.
I’m not trying to shift all the blame onto past partners, in many ways I don’t think I knew how to communicate this to them, and no one can read minds so how could they have known. Even if they had known though I think the difference between ‘let’s do this because you want to’ and ‘let’s do this because we both want to’ is huge. That’s not to diminish the good intent behind being willing to do something your partner enjoys, even if it’s not a priority for you, but for me that ‘we can do anything you want’ line always triggers a massive feeling of guilt inside me, that whatever I ask for will be boring for the other person. Which means I would in past relationships rarely ask to do the things I wanted, for fear of the other person having to do something they ordinarily wouldn’t choose to do.
I do not have that worry with Mr F, and that realisation makes me feel a lot of different things. I know if we had some time together and I said ‘I would like to do [insert chosen activity here]’ his answer would be a resounding ‘let’s go’, whether I was saying I wanted to try a new restaurant, go for a drink, to the cinema or something totally random I just fancied doing, I have no doubts that he’d love to come along and enjoy it with me.
I often wonder if all of this is just a case of how things work if you have differing love languages versus the same ones, and perhaps it is. Even when I’ve known and been able to express to some degree that quality time is definitely one of my love languages, that need hasn’t quite been met in the way I clearly need. I think being able to further define what that looks like for me is really helpful, and quality does mean more than just being alone together. Quality to me means taking time to put effort into the time you spend together, once in a while doing something new and it often needs to involve leaving the house.
Sharing time together where we are just enjoying food or fun activities feels like another way of bonding, and much like sex, it is a bonding method that I am only just coming to appreciate the depths of for my own personal sense of being wanted. I can’t really imagine a better person to have discovered this with and from conversations we have had, I don’t think Mr F will ever stop going on dates for as long as we are together and that is such a lovely thought.