An Open Letter To The Guy I’m About To Go On A Date With

Tracey Shaw
Tracey Shaw

Dear seemingly normal, slightly older, ostensibly good looking boy from a dating app,

We are going on a first date next week. I appreciate that you swiftly asked me out and we didn’t have a long, drawn out game-of-chicken conversation.

It’s been a while since I’ve dated someone seriously, and I’m thinking I may be ready to at least entertain the idea.

It might be helpful for me to internalize what I’m looking for in hopes that I can manifest it in the world – whether with you or someone else. I think I feel good about you though… at least from the like, fifteen-minute texting conversation we had. But you took the bait and made a joke about Cannes and my bat mitzvah; so yes, I am rooting for you.

To the tall lawyer with a generic name who lives in Brooklyn – but I guess really, to myself:

I’d like to be with someone fun, but not in a way that is inauthentic. Someone who is excited to be alive. I need wit and word play, but want those things sans games. I’d like something that feels easy, a pleasure and indulgence even, that I happily make the time for even though I – and presumably you too – have no time. We make time because we want to make time. We make time because how could we not?

I’m looking to be the more passive party in this courtship. I think with boys – and with life – I work to produce the outcome I seek. I’m literally a producer by trade…makes sense. So I’m looking to (try to) give up control and let you drive. I know it would be good for me. I want to feel steadily pursued – *caveat: not to the point of suffocation – but where I know you’re into me.

I want to feel at ease, comfortable… comfortable enough to let my guard down and let you in. I haven’t done that in a really long time.

Yet at the same time I must be crazy attracted to you; so jittery excited about you and excited by the fact that this feels easy. These things don’t need to be contradictory. I don’t want easy to connote “boring”…. Easy ideal. Easy lovely.

You are older, and I hope that means you will bring a certain maturity to the table that is new to me. I don’t want to be your mom. I don’t want to take care of you. I’m looking for a whole person who doesn’t need me, just like I don’t need them. Your age and profession intimidate me on paper, but your face looks boyish and I like that. You are an ideal nexus of sexy and adorable, which is kind of my thing. I like that. I hope you pick the place. I hope it’s got a good vibe. I hope that you we keep our first date sweet and innocent and it wills us to see each other again if it goes well.

I’m coming to the table open-minded. I know barely anything about you, and that’s refreshing.

And if you googled me in advance of drinks and found this letter…well you shouldn’t have googled me if you didn’t want to know! But at least, if that’s the case, you’ll know what I want, what I need, and where I stand.

I’ll never feel badly about that. TC mark

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