Before this past weekend, I didn’t quite have an idea what a “perfect” first date meant.
I honestly thought the best first date I had ever had was with my ex-boyfriend. Everything went super smoothly and I got home feeling all the fuzzy feelings in my head.
But I wouldn’t call it beautiful.
… until I met you this past weekend. It’s crazy and funny because we technically met on Tinder and didn’t even know if there would be any chemistry between us but our date was to last for almost 24-hour long.
I picked you up at the station (feeling relieved that you look the same as your profile pictures) and bam, it wasn’t even awkward to begin with. The moment you started speaking in your American accent I felt like I was back home (although whether or not America is actually my home remains an unresolved question), a territory where I had longed to be for the past year.
I brought you to my favorite pizza restaurant in town, and a waterfall that has a special meaning in my heart. It was a sunny day, and the drives were long, but we talked and talked, about our background and our dreams. I didn’t want to tell you, but you were so attractive when you talked about your travels. It almost felt like I traveled and saw all those things that happened, with you. What’s more attractive though, is that you were confident, but not braggy, about these cool things you’ve done.
And it means so much to me because last year I dated a very confident guy, who thought he had the right to say anything, even hurtful things to chip away my confidence, and left me battling for the past half year to restore my self-confidence. I didn’t tell you this either, but the reason why I thought the date this weekend was so beautiful, was that I didn’t feel like I had to pretend to be someone else, and you still thought I was cool.
In fact, you told me I was cool many, many times, with eyes that could melt many hearts. I wanted to believe in you, yet I wasn’t sure if that would put me in a dangerous position. When you were playing the guitar I honestly melted, as I remembered how a number of years ago I used to long to date someone Japanese, and someone who can play the guitar. If only I could go back to tell little Cara that she would actually meet someone like that one day! Man, how happy would she be.
When you were shaking your head, strumming the strings, and humming to the songs you were playing, I wanted that moment to freeze. Let me just look at you, because a part of me is scared that I would never have a chance to spend time like this with you again. It also didn’t help that you were pretty good-looking too. But every time you turned your head to me I would look away… almost because I felt like my emotions would be too exposed should you catch me looking.
I guess the best thing about this is that you aren’t just Japanese. You’re Japanese-American, and because of that we have no problem communicating and understanding each other’s perspectives. Living in Japan as a foreigner is tough shit, man. Not to mention that being an Asian foreigner is even tougher ‘cause you’re naturally disguised, and assumed to conform to the Japanese norms from day 1.
Being able to share with you my nostalgia for America (and have you miss America with me) felt fantastic. That concert hall you went to, that hotel you stayed at, that restaurant you dined in. All the names sounded so familiar—I felt like I time-travelled to America for a day.
It felt like home.
I guess you’re also pretty comfortable with me? I mean, yeah it was a hot day yesterday and my house was big, but letting your guard down and lying down on the floor in the house of someone you literally just met 5 hours before probably isn’t something everyone can do.
What’s more is that I found myself lying down next to you as well.
It was just…comfortable. I mean, c’mon it was MY house so technically I could do anything I wanted. But to reach that level of comfort with someone you just met? It’s crazy. Real crazy. But it felt natural, not forced at all.
The date ended in a blink of an eye. Towards the end I simply couldn’t bring myself to be the bubbly self I always am because I didn’t know what to think. When you asked me what I wanted to get out of this, and where I saw this going, I honestly didn’t know how to answer. I wanted to say many things, but I didn’t have the guts to. I didn’t want to fall too hard and then end up hurting myself, you know? I can’t invest if I know that this ain’t going anywhere.
But do I want this to go somewhere? I don’t know either.
I guess I do quite like you, but I also know that we’ve only had one date and things may still be too perfect now for me to be rational. But based on that one date I do think we clicked pretty well and have a good chemistry. (Or are you like that with every girl?) But you do travel all the time. And even when you don’t you’re on an island. What the hell, Japan? Seriously I’m just always attracted to distances. I guess I don’t really care about the traveling part? Since I’m so used to long-distance relationships anyways and it’s not like I’m dating anyone in rural Japan.
I’m so past that thinking-about-a-guy-and-making-all-the-sacrifices-for-him phase. The 18 year-old Cara would have gone crazy and had you running on her mind all day long, but 23 year-old Cara has learnt (the hard way) that there are more things in life that are worth her time besides a boy. And if I kept wanting something to happen, it’s bound to not happen. Such is the rule of dating.
And one thing (out of many, I guess) I want to thank my ex-boyfriend for teaching me is that, be a complete person before you go and date someone. You don’t date to be complete. You are a 100% yourself; you don’t date to be 100%. I was wrong; I saw myself as a 50% without a significant other, and I lost myself big time.
But the me now knows that I’m 100% by myself, and if the person I date makes me any less than that, then he’s not the one.
Looks like I’ve gone off tangent a bit but I have not. This past weekend I felt like I went into the date as a 100%, and left it as a 150%.
Your confidence, gentleness, patience, and respect made me feel like I’m more than what I am.
It’s such an abstract feeling, but I felt it concretely.