I received a peculiar text message, a couple of days after Silvio and I went on our first (and last) date.
Silvio: "Do you want to do an experiment?"
Me: "…excuse me?"
Silvio: “…Let’s describe our 1st meeting to each other. Good and bad things, sticking to the reality of our experience from our own point of view...then we’ll send it to each other at the same time. I believe it will teach us something. So no rules, we just start writing and after 30 minutes we send it to each other. What do you think? I think it will be funny.”
We move to a burger shop close by, we enjoy the food and I discover that she has a blog and dreams about being a writer. She has a smart sense of humor and definitely likes burgers. But still no signs of attraction towards me. At the end of dinner, I pay the bill, she doesn’t make any attempt to pay or share, but I understand. She is jobless at the moment, plus she is Dutch. Dutch people are famous for being stingy.
We move to a G&T bar. On the way there, I did not expect it, she corrects me as I was walking down the wrong street. She told me earlier that she gets lost all the time and doesn’t know much about Malaga bars...but now she’s guiding me! When we arrive she declares gin & tonic is her favorite drink. Mine too. She has something gold with cinnamon and I have something with a monkey. We laugh trying to guess other costumers’ nationalities. I go out for a cigarette and try to think about what to do next, Rafaela keeps texting me about her bad day. I go back inside and while having the last sip of my G&T, Merel and I stare into each others eyes. Finally, a sign! The glorious moment doesn’t last long, because when we leave she asks me where my car is parked, as she will walk me there. She is sending me away. I decide to spare her the walk and to split there. She kisses me. She is a good kisser too. Then she leaves, as quick as she arrived. Taking me by surprise. Maybe I should nickname her the 'Dutch ninja'." - Silvio
*Silvio and Rafaela are not their actual names, our original posts have been edited to correct typos and make better comprehensible sentences than we managed to do in 30 minutes ;)
He’s tall and I like his beard, he keeps looking straight at me and all I can think about is how I am going to stop melting (from the heat- not from him, although he’s not helping). He’s funny and interesting, he asks a lot and makes me laugh. He takes me to an amazing burger place after a drink and there’s more burger in his beard than in his mouth, but I can feel mustard running down my chin too so we probably both look ridiculous and honestly I’m not bothered. He’s still very entertaining and there’s something about his eyes, but I keep wondering on how many dates he’s been this summer. More than I have but that’s easy since I’m quite picky and rather stay home than date. After dinner he takes me to a G&T place, I know exactly where it is and this time he’s the one that gets lost! I like talking with him, he's smart and could probably do anything if he set his mind to it, so why has he settled for his job? I wonder if he’s happy.
He makes me laugh while we’re trying to guess other guests’ nationalities, especially when he tries to ‘casually’ walk by to listen to their conversation. He goes out to smoke a couple of times and I don’t care but I do randomly think that I hope he’ll quit eventually. Not for me nor anyone else, but because he’ll want to himself.
After a great G&T we walk towards the cathedral and I’m incredibly tired, I need to get some sleep after sleepless nights in a noisy AirBnB. I’m not sure what comes over me- but I kiss him while we’re saying goodbye. I don’t know who’s more surprised, he or I? He’s taller than I thought, my dress is too short for this move, his beard is in my nose and he steps on my flip-flop which leaves me in the middle of a dirty street balancing/hopping on one leg- so pretty much a typical awkward first kiss. When I get home I decide to not over-analyze everything I’ve said or done this evening like I unfortunately usually do, but just to remember it as a fun night with an interesting, bearded Italian." - Merel
We did text after this ‘essay exchange’ although our initial feedback was slightly...different. He felt very Italian (?) while my self esteem took a nice, deep, plunge until my friends told me to stop the useless self-doubting and to write it down.
Silvio: "This is so good! But I definitely should start being less Italian."
Merel: "This was interesting, but why do Italian men criticise the way I dress? Is it that bad? It’s funny since I couldn't have cared less what you'd been wearing*. And why is there ‘always’ an ex-girlfriend 'actively lingering' in the background?"
(*unless it was a yellow polo/pink scarf.)
Silvio then proceeded to blame this all on his mother, like a true Italian man in his thirties.
But later that same day, he texted me that my 'essay' made him think and that he's going to look for jobs that will make him happy- and it made me happy to hear that! Although I wasn't so sure what I got out of this writing session at first...
1) I seem to attract slightly judgmental Italians with very present exes.
No, that's not it.
2) I seem to be attracted to slightly judgmental Italians with very present exes.
Let me rephrase that again:
3) I see a pattern of me dating slightly judgmental men with very present exes- and I’m done.
It doesn't make me happy, it never has and -most likely- never will. Apparently I needed an essay from a stranger to see that. Slow -but present- learning curve? And of course to 'just say no' next time a guy wants to write me a 'post-date-feedback-essay', because a 2nd date is out of the question after this. Needles to say, this 'experiment' has been an eye opener, I’m so keeping ‘the Dutch Ninja’ nickname and will tattoo it on my forehead a.s.a.p.* (*to my mother: this is a lie).
Also, I’m very much done with dating and will be joining the convent around the corner.
Or so I keep saying...