You know dates? Like in the movies?
I’m talking about the kind where the people hold hands and gaze soulfully into each others’ eyes, while talking about feelings. Yeah. I’ve rarely had one of those.
In fact, Chris and I were already dating for a couple of weeks before we even had our first date date.
We’d been getting along fine taking walks through my apartment complex or sitting in his truck eating Wendy’s. But somehow, dinner at a fancy restaurant (we were college students, so fancy was like Mexican or something) seemed different.
I was 19 and melodramatic and so I started thinking, “We’re sitting here awkwardly, not talking. Maybe we’re incompatible. Maybe he doesn’t like me any more. Maybe we don’t have chemistry!” Chris was probably thinking nothing. Because not-talking was normal for him. I just didn’t know that at the time.
But I shouldn’t have been surprised, because my favorite fictional guys are always dark and angsty: the silent, mysterious types, with deep inner brooding.
Favorite Jane Austen hero? Mr. Darcy.
Favorite X-Man? Wolverine.
Favorite Disney prince? The Beast. (But then he had to go and turn into that annoying prince. I’m sure Belle was disappointed, although she hid it well.)
I mean, I’m not saying my husband is silent and angsty… but I do have a type. So.
What movies don’t tell you is that when you go on a date with Wolverine, he doesn’t talk a lot. In fact, if you try to get Wolverine to discuss his feelings, he actually gets a little surly. I’m just guessing about that, though.
Back to Chris and I. After lots of semi-silent dates, Chris asked me to marry him on the day before Valentine’s. Which I’m REALLY glad about. Because I hate cliché sentimentality. And it’s so hard to get a dinner reservation on actual Valentine’s.
So last night we went out to a new Mexican place to celebrate our engagement anniversary (if that’s a thing). And not much has changed since that first date. We’re still eating Mexican (although, this place was way more upscale than the little hole-in-the-wall where we started). And we we didn’t talk a lot about feelings (trust me, I tried).
But the silent, mysterious guy I’m on a date with… is my best friend. Turns out we’re very compatible. And the lack of verbose conversation is more companionable than awkward now. I mean, we actually have our best conversations while the kids are trying to shoot us with Nerf guns, anyway.
But that doesn’t mean I’m going to quit using dates to try to talk about feelings.