How A Date With A True Gentleman Made Me Realize I’ve Been Selling Myself Short For Too Long

A man in a formal suit adjusting the cuffs of his shirt
Heng Films / Unsplash

I have always considered myself to be the type of person who doesn’t need big romantic gestures or elaborate dates to make me happy or to feel appreciated. I usually find myself revelling in the little things like somebody remembering something I like, or a story I told. I even thought that getting to spend the night after sleeping with someone was an intimate moment or a ‘big step’. I am always more than happy to go above and beyond for the people I care for and it never really bothered me that it wasn’t always reciprocated. But I was recently taken on a date that ripped off the blindfold I hadn’t even realised I had been wearing.

The week leading up to the date I found myself constantly questioning why this guy was going to so much effort for me. I kept thinking that he really didn’t have to do so much; I didn’t need to be overly impressed or doted on. Being taken out to dinner seemed like such a foreign concept to me that I couldn’t actually fathom why he was so excited about it. I told myself to just be cautiously optimistic – to give him a try but to not expect that this would actually go well because quite frankly, nothing else had gone well so far.

The date came and went. My mind was blown. I realised so many things had happened on that first date that truly were firsts for me;

1. He used the word “date” – a word nobody has ever used with me before.

2. He drove an hour and a half out of his way to pick me up and take me home – something that seemed completely absurd.

3. He made a reservation for dinner but had also planned a surprise for beforehand – two more things nobody had ever for me.

4. He held my hand when we were walking and kissed me in public.

5. He actually said out loud that he wanted to see me again.

6. Perhaps the most shocking was that he wanted to see me in the daytime, not just in his bed.

The whole day seemed so surreal that I couldn’t even believe it had happened. I realised how sad it was that one guy actually putting in a bit of effort to see me had actually blown my mind. But that realisation was a liberating experience.

I deserve so much more than I had been accepting.

My expectations about how I should be treated had been so completely warped and tainted after years of letting people use me. I recognise now that part of that is my fault because I never knew it was okay to expect more for myself – or even to ask for it. And even if I never see him again (though I hope I do), that one date has completely changed the way I think about my self worth. People should want to go out of their way for me, to surprise me, to treat me and make me feel special and wanted. Not to say that I now expect the same level of amazing date every time but people should put the effort in for me.

I am worth the effort. TC mark

One story, told five ways…

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