On Meet-Cutes & Settling

This is the first installment of our series, Love Life & Literature: Romance in Real Life. In this new series, we (myself and Rachael) will be delving into the ups, downs, frustrations, butterflies, and everything in between as career women who love romance, but are still searching in a world that isn't all Mr. Darcy's and Prince Charming's.

So who doesn't love a good Meet-Cute? Whether it's the first time they're meeting or the first time the reader gets to see them togetherwhat helps "sell" a romance of any subgenre is the Meet-Cute. Now that we've unpacked that, we can go into how someone who's been reading romance for literally most of her life, has gone about dating. Where, eventually, a First Date will be looked back on as her very own Meet-Cuteeven though it doesn't seem like it at the time. My latest "date"? Not a Meet-Cute. But a good lesson learned at the end of it.

I met him online, initiated the conversation because it's 2017 and I darn well can. Hashtag something thirteen year-old Meghan never dreamt of saying. Ever.
The chatting therein was good, we had a lot in common. His spelling and grammar was 95% perfect and yes I do judge that. We appeared to be looking for roughly the same thing and had similar values and goals. And so I figured, why not coffee, when the conversation was reaching a stale impasse.
It couldn't hurt. I also hadn't been on a date for almost six months and I needed to prove to myself that I was still capable.

This guy was nice. He was very considerate and understanding as to the reason I was late (legit friend crisis + nerves), he held the door, bought me coffee despite not drinking the stuff. Two solid hours of laughing, conversation, some mutual awkwardness and this: "You sort of look like Ariel, with your red hair and your teal shirt." Add to that genuine, sincere compliment, a mutual / obligatory "We should do this again sometime," and consistent, kind texts the entire week after?
Texts that showed me he actually meant that he wanted to see me again (to my surprise...)
There was nothing.
The date wasn't bad. Not cringeworthy or creepy. The lack of creeps I've run across is a miracle, truth be told, and I'm grateful.
In my albeit limited dating experience the last year, I learned quickly that sparks are not as instantaneous as novels make them out to be. But at the same time, I was not attracted to him at all. Not one bit. I just couldn't summon up any interest towards him at all, had no reaction other than a gracious "Thank you" at his compliment, or/especially when he asked me out for a second date in our texts.
I was torn up about this, ya'll, and so I sought counsel. But it wasn't until I truly word-vomitted to Teresa that a truth wiggled its way into my heart. A truth a little like a freefall. Because it required more blind faith.
I swear, no novel ever prepared me for just how exhausting blind faith can be while holding out for The Right One.
I can't settle.
I was going on and on about potential this and what about that with this guy I just met. Like some Big Things that me and My Guy need to be in agreement about. Hashtag control freak much?
My dear friend Teresa brought me back down to the present with just a simple, "You can't settle, you're right. But that almost means not settling on no attraction or interest just because." (Loosely quoted.)

Now I know that sometimes, the guy is more into the girl first—heck I have a friend who's been married for a year after her guy finally worked up the courage to ask her out. But I gave this guy the benefit of the doubt. I tried hard to muster up something, anything, good or bad, about him. But it was just meh, as I lamented to more than one long-suffering friend. Keep your tribe close, friends.

For my fellow single ladies here: Don't settle. I know that often it seems like we may not have a choice (or even a chance to settle), but we can't. In a way, as I am continually convicted about, that's boxing in God who only desires the very best for us, ultimately. Some like to say that our Prince Charmings are just off slaying dragons, that's why they haven't shown up. But in reality, God's still maturing them, growing them up into men. Not princes. Men.
And in the meantime, God is giving us our own dragons to slay and mountains to climb along the roads of romance and life.
And His best will be worth the wait.

Rachael and I will be taking turns every Friday, talking about Love Life & Literature! Keep an eye out at her blog Rachael's Reads next week!

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Words, history, and grace color my days here in The Burgh where I seek out the perfect coffee and red lipstick.

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