A couple of weeks ago I was taken out on the best first date of my life. I have never not wanted the night to end so badly. I wished we were in NYC and not Philadelphia where places stay open past 2 a.m. I never walked into my apartment and couldn’t stop smiling until I eventually fell asleep on fluffy white clouds held together by a symphony from Michael Bublé. I’ve never wanted something to work out so terribly in my life. But it didn’t. After a few other dates, he stopped texting, stopped liking my posts on Facebook, stopped sending pictures, everything stopped. In so many ways I felt broken. I questioned “what did I do wrong? Did I forget to say thank you? Was there a prettier girl at the restaurant he saw?” The mental torment hurt, and I felt cheated. He couldn’t at least tell me why? We had the most divine night of our lives, what happened? I felt heartbreak all over again. But in one way, I felt thankful. He helped me realize something that I couldn’t realize on my own.
It’s almost been two months since my ex-boyfriend and I broke up. In high school, I did the whole thing where I came home from school, everyday, and I cried. I cried so my mom would come downstairs and hold me and tell me everything was going to be okay. I wasted so many moments thinking that crying would make him feel bad for me and magically come back, but he didn’t. I knew that this time I wasn’t going to do this. I could cry, but I wouldn’t let it consume my evenings after work. So I did everything I could do to meet people, keep busy, and forget about the scumbag who cheated on me.
I went on dates, many dates for just breaking up about a week prior. I went on a date with a 29-year-old lawyer who was late and asked me for cash at the end of the meal (which happened to be pizza by the way). Seriously, you ask the broke college student for money when you’re a fucking lawyer? Then I went on a date with a guy who told me he wanted to meet me for dinner in the city. It turned out that when we got to the restaurant, he said he wasn’t hungry anymore and wanted to just do drinks. I angrily replied “no problem” yet was completely famished and became aloof from the conversation after staring at the plate of sweet potatoes fries the couple behind him was merrily devouring. Another guy started texting me and sounded pretty okay from the sweet compliments he was endlessly feeding me. He asked when he could see my “beautiful self” and I recommended that next weekend would be okay for me. However, he then asked, “Can we order food and watch a movie and smoke- that sounds great J” I literally threw my phone. It was amusing in one way, but really not that fucking funny. ARE WE STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL? God dammit what kind of absolute loser are you that you’re 23 years old, work at JPMorgan, and think that I’m going to be completely okay with eating from a Chinese food container and smoking a blunt on a first date? After being out of the dating game for quite some time, I deeply questioned if this is how guys are nowadays. What happened to all the gentlemen? This can’t be real.
The guy that took me out weeks ago helped me see that there are still Prince Charmings out there. Instead of waiting in the car when he told me he was outside my apartment, he showed up at my door standing tall with complete and utter poise. He took me out to a happy hour that overlooked the Philadelphia skyline. The place had dimmed lights but an ambiance that glowed to perfection. He had a car sent out to pick us up to take us to the next restaurant for dinner. I couldn’t speak. Thank God he was busy talking to the driver because I didn’t have a clue what to say even if he asked me what my favorite color was. “Umm, scallops?? No no no! I meant the scallops were delicious, they were light pink and cooked brilliantly. There! Light pink, that’s my favorite color.”
He opened every car door for me and made sure I slipped in gracefully. I needed to walk on the inside of the street so he would walk closer to the side filled with oncoming traffic. I have never been treated with such caution or generosity. I thought this was fake. Guys don’t treat me like this, ever. I felt like a broken record saying “thank you” after each sweet little gesture he did for me. I’ve never been in love before, and I didn’t know if it was hitting me right then and there. Whatever it was, I do know that I felt special. It was the first time I felt like I’m actually the most important person in the world to someone. I have this innate desire to take care of everyone around me. For once, someone was taking care of me. And I loved it.
I’m not saying that I expect every guy I date to do all these kind things for me, or for even just any guy to reciprocate these things for a girl, but I do expect that they would treat me with the same type of respect. Even though this guy and I did not work out, I want to thank him. I want to thank him for allowing me to realize that I deserve better than Chinese food and a blunt. I want to thank him for greeting me at the door rather than stare at his iPhone until I approached the car. I want to thank him for treating me like a lady. Lastly, I want to thank him for helping me realize I do not deserve to be with some lying-cheating-douchebag. I deserve to be treated with respect, and that is something that sadly, my ex-boyfriend wasn’t capable of doing. So even though I may not be your Cinderella, thank you, Prince Charming, for all you have helped me to realize.
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