Delayed Sparks Can Still Start a Fire

I read Date Lab in the Washington Post every week. I even had the Date Lab person come to the library to do a program around Valentine’s Day one year. If you read it, you know that a second date is rare. People meet, they have dinner and drinks and then, for the most part, never see each other again. In some cases it makes sense. They just aren’t a good match and don’t really enjoy the date. Many times, though, both people say they enjoyed the date. They had a good time and had a lot in common. They rate the date a 4 or 5 out of 5, but then never go on another date. Why? Generally, they say there was no “spark”. I guess they are looking for something magical, something more than just enjoying their company. I guess they think that will always come on the first date or it’s not worth pursuing. I think I understand why they are single and using a dating service. The “spark” is not always immediate.

I knew my wife for a while before I ever considered dating her. When we first met, she was still dating her high school boyfriend. She probably barely noticed me. We eventually ended up in the same friend group and spent more time in the vicinity of each other. She broke up with the high school boyfriend, but was then dating another friend of mine.  We were around each other a lot, but still did not have the “spark” that everyone is looking for today. Again, I doubt she really knew who I was. Eventually, she was single again and I was interested. I’m still not sure she though much about me outside of my being friends with her friends. Our friends figured out I was interested and started manufacturing ways to get us together. Once they all backed out of a movie night so we would go alone. Eventually, I guess she experienced the “spark” and we were officially a couple. We are still married 25 years later. I guess it’s a good thing we didn’t dismiss the idea of dating because we didn’t “feel a spark” the first time we met.

My advice to the date lab people and dating people in general: if you enjoy spending time with someone, don’t give up after a first date just because you didn’t fall in love immediately.  Sometimes sparks take time.

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Expectations

via Daily Prompt: Expectation

Along with the weekly photo challenges, there is also a daily one word prompt for writing. I have not participated yet, but I thought expectation and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand, so today I will make a stab at it.

What are your expectations for Valentine’s Day? Is it a big deal to you? Is it just another day? Has it changed over time? Do you feel more strongly about it than your partner? Do you resent the expectations? Do you hate the day because you are single?

This should be a big week of celebrations at my house. My wife’s birthday is February 12. Valentine’s Day is the 14th and then my birthday is the 16th. Because we are an odd couple and the gender roles are swapped a lot in my house, I feel like I get off easy on the holiday. I would like to do do one big night out to celebrate all three events at once. My wife would rather just do something easy and cheap. Last year we went to Qdoba because you get a BOGO entree if you kiss each other after ordering. This year there is a Kentucky basketball game at 7 so we will likely stay home, eat leftovers and watch basketball.  We do simple cards and a small gift and that’s pretty much it. On our birthdays we go out to eat at the restaurant of the birthday person’s choice, but I generally don’t pick where I would really like to go because my family is picky and I don’t want to go where they won’t be happy. So, the week will not really be anything special. We might eat out more than usual, but that’s about it. It does make life easier this time of year when the expectations are lower.

So, is there a point to the above rambling? Not really. I will say that as someone who is likely going through a midlife crisis and feels like he’s in a rut, some higher expectations in all aspects of life would probably be a good thing. Easy isn’t always a good thing. Easy can make you complacent and boring. Easy can make you take things and people for granted. I shouldn’t wait for someone to have higher expectations for me. I need to have higher expectations for myself.