When you are in the beginning stages of dating I think there is a lot of thought and effort that goes into selecting what you are going to do. It’s easier to choose an activity when you are in a relationship because it’s more of a negotiation. When it’s a boyfriend we say what we want, he says we just did that, we say fine and suggest a movie, we pick a chick flick, he refuses and wants an action picture, we remind him we just saw one, he says our choice is too painful to sit through, we bat our eyelashes and use our charm to talk him into it, he goes kicking and screaming reminding us that the next movie pick is his, we get to the theater annoyed because he’s been complaining for an hour, we watch the movie, he cries and can’t believe how moved he was by the romantic story, he then wipes his eyes and talks for two weeks about how it was the dumbest movie he ever saw and we owe him. It’s so easy!
On a recent first date we went to a movie and dinner. Classic. It was an artsy and fun short film festival that was very low key so we could chat between films and it allowed us to talk and be social. We then went to CPK for dinner. Now restaurant selection is very important in the early stages of dating. Italian is out because it can be messy and the meals are always too big and if you’re starving and eat it all you’re a pig and if you only pick at it so you don’t look like a pig, you look like you don’t eat which is even more unattractive. Italian is out. Sushi is my favorite meal but sushi can be tricky because there are a lot of opportunities to eat really disgusting things so you need to know each other well enough to be comfortable enough to say that you are not going to eat anything gross and have it be ok. Early dinner dates need to be at neutral places where they have a wide selection of options including the perfect first date choices of salad or fish.
It’s important to note that when you and/or your date have young kids the dating process is slightly different. In these cases we tend to talk on the phone a lot more because we don’t as many free evenings. Think of dating with kids as being similar to dating in dog years. Every one date for someone without kids is the equivalent of three dates for someone with young kids. If we use this theory, then my recent second date was actually our fourth date so I felt safe enough that sushi would be fine. We had spoken on the phone so much and gotten to know each other, so I felt comfortable telling him what I thought was gross, what I would not even allow him to eat in front of me, let alone try it myself, So sushi was perfect and we had a great meal. The meal was so good in fact that I think it actually made me lose my mind for a minute therefore agreeing to our third date being a hike. A hike!
OK. Listen to me, I exercise every day. I’m not a fanatic about it but it’s important to me and varies from a daily walk that can be anything from two miles to ten miles. I also hike up Runyon Canyon between one and three times a week. For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know that I complain the entire hike. I hike with a group of friends and they are all troopers and push me on and it’s like going out with a bunch of personal trainers. I feel so accomplished when I’m done and I’m building up my strength and stamina for the climbing. Distance is not an issue but climbing is the enemy. Again, please note that I said I “exercise”. I did not say that I “worked out”. Knowing this about myself, why would I ever agree to a hike? Maybe it was the great second date, maybe it was his beautiful green eyes, maybe it was me feeling brave. Maybe it was a moment of temporary insanity.
Whatever it was, we went for a hike up Temescal Canyon yesterday morning. His 6’2” stride is jamming up the mountain and my 5’3” baby steps are struggling to keep up. He was a doll and supportive and I thought it was romantic that each time it looked like my next step might be my last, he would stop to show me a plant or a tree or a bug so I could catch my breath. When we stopped at one point to look at the view and he leaned over to give me a kiss I was so taken by the entire experience that I didn’t notice that he had his hand on my back while I was sweating as if I had just eaten a bowl of habanero peppers. I made it to the point he had planned for us to get to which was a great thing.
Like I do when I go with my friends, I felt proud to have made it and inspired to try it again. It helped that at one point a young couple walked by us and the girl, who was about 24 and a size 0, was huffing and puffing and her boyfriend was pushing her up the hill. Whoever that girl was, I love you. It also helped that while I was dragging myself along not sure if I could finish, and worried about my breathing and my sweating, this delicious man looked at me and I knew that even when I was uncertain, he was keeping the faith.