I asked my friend Luis for any words of advice on my second date of the challenge, after emailing him the guy’s picture and Tinder profile. Luis recommended I ask why he decided to go into this particular medical field and suggests I let him do more of the sharing at first to get a good feel for him. Luis thinks I’m easy to talk to, so it shouldn’t be so hard! Oh and he also said: “stay away from topics about sex, keep it light.”
The Date (Oct. 2)…
We meet at a local restaurant and right before I pull up I think to myself: “It’s a beautiful night, we should sit on the patio”. I walk inside and I don’t see him by the entrance where I thought we were meeting, for the first time in a while I’m nervous that my date might not show. The hostess asks if I’m meeting someone and when I say yes, she says: “Follow me!” and she leads me through a maze of tables to the back doors and into the patio! “Awesome!” I think, at least if the date sucks I’ll get to enjoy the nice weather.
The table is empty, “I think he went to the restroom” the hostess tells me, and I sit down nervously awaiting this meeting. He returns wearing one of the most intoxicating smiles I’ve ever seen. He looks even better in person… Good lord, I’m in trouble! He rounds the table to greet me, we hug. Ok, good start! The conversation flows pretty easily, he tells me he’s a doctor finishing his last month of residency, and it looks like he might get to stay in the area for at least another four years. I already know he’s smart, because all his text messages were so eloquently written when we had arranged this date. But I wasn’t prepared for what followed…
We talked about our educational backgrounds, our life challenges and goals, the meaning of marriage, and somewhere between the sangria and the meatloaf dinner he said: “Ok, full disclosure, I’m REALLY nervous.” I laugh and reassure him, that I understand the feeling, but he replies: “No, you don’t understand, I’m never nervous, I talk to patients all day, and very few things make me nervous like this, I think it’s a good thing though!” I blush, or at least I feel my cheeks getting hot and I grab the sangria glass with my right hand trying to cool myself down before he realizes I’m flustered.
We keep chatting, it turns out he went to grad school at the same university where I completed my undergrad and around the same time, what a small world! He’s originally from another country but has lived in the U.S. since he was 10. As an adult, he lived abroad for three years while teaching English which is why he’s fluent in Japanese. WHAT???!
After a brief pause and a drink of his margarita he says: “I was once married, this might be a deal breaker for you.” “Why do you think that?” I reply. “Because out of my marriage came a son and I know a lot of people don’t like to date divorcees with kids.” I laugh and let a sigh out of relief, I’m glad he’s not a coke dealer or a gambler, already 10 steps ahead of last night’s date! “It’s not a deal breaker.” I tell him with a smile.
I ask him my “deep” question of the night: What are the three things about your life that you wouldn’t change for anyone? And he replies:
1. “My background and heritage.”
2. “I like to pray every morning, wouldn’t change that.”
3. “I love electronic gadgets and as long as I can afford them, I won’t stop buying them.”
“Ok” I say, trying to come up with a follow-up quickly before he has the chance to…”What about you?” He asks me. Crap! There it is… I answer as quickly and honestly as possible, considering I have never actually stopped to ponder what I would never change about my life. Interestingly, I think back to the three things my ex was least crazy about and reply:
1. I never want to stop being social I love having gatherings at my home.
2. My cooking, even if I screw it up sometimes.
3. My family, I will never stop spending time with them or helping them.