How Old School Dating Worked For Us

 After several go rounds at modern dating I decided to take a much needed break. I had realized a lot about myself after many failed relationships, but above all I realized that I was going to have to be content with myself before I could be happy with someone else. That break lasted 2 long years when Eddie finally came into view. I knew the moment I saw him there was something different about him. We had the same unapologetic awkwardness and accidental humor. Despite seeing his potential as a great partner, I kept my distance. I didn't want to make the same mistakes again, but fate had other plans. Since we couldn't seem to fight the gravitational pull, I allowed the "getting to know you" phase to begin, but I promised myself that I would not fall into my old dating habits. I forced myself into the backseat and let Eddie take the lead.

The First Date: After spending 10 days together on a church trip, I promised myself that despite my interest I would postpone reaching out to him as long as I could withstand. To my surprise, Eddie called me 2 days after our return home to schedule a date. The first win was that he actually made a phone call instead of just texting to invite me out. Second, he made it clear that he wanted to spend time with me. He didn't just make vague statements about hanging out. The last (and possibly most unusual) thing is that we didn't touch much during the date. He didn't put his arm around me, hold my hand, or kiss me goodnight. As a millennial dater I thought this was strange at first. Did he even like me? But in hindsight I recognize this behavior as his way of showing me he was sincerely interested in me, not just being physically intimate.

The Second Date(s): I categorize 2 dates as falling into this category. For the first, Eddie didn't follow any "bro codes" by waiting a certain amount of time before calling. He was interested, therefore, he called within a day or so and we decided to hang out again. The date was simple: dinner and a nice walk. Again, the purpose of the date was clear. Let's get to know each other. The 2nd second date was with a group of friends. It was literally the next day. (Again, no need for rules when you know what you want.) He introduced me to his friends early on because he knew that if we were going to be together he wanted me to be a part of his whole life, not just some of it. On a side note, on this date he held my hand.

The Third Date: The third date was by far the most romantic. At this point it was obvious there was a mutual interest and compatibility. He took me to the beach to watch the sunset and kissed me goodnight. It was perfect timing.
*The title picture for this post is from that date.

The Fourth Date: Simply, he asked me to be his girlfriend. Well, something like that. The conversation was actually much more intentional. We talked about marriage, our desires in a relationship, and our pure intentions for this relationship to be the last for both of us. Neither of us would have made the commitment to beginning a relationship if we didn't believe it was probable that it would conclude in marriage.

Having an old school approach to dating made it obvious what our intentions were early on. Granted we were older and ready to settle down, but is all of the bouncing around from boyfriend to boyfriend really worth the heartache? If more young people took a traditional approach to dating they'd feel more satisfied and fulfilled in their relationships. Even if they didn't necessarily end in marriage. At least they wouldn't be second guessing whether the person had any real interest in them to begin with. A gentleman knows what he wants, and he's willing to wait for it. That's why it worked for us.

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