Oh the blind date… at one moment so full of hopes and dreams, the next crashing, burning, I need to go feed my cat, destruction. Since moving to the city I’ve been initiated into this realm of dating awkwardness. Mostly by well intentioned friends with my best interests at heart, and recently a few completely misguided, “Hey, you’re both single, but I have no idea if you have any thing in common beyond living in the continental northwest” attempts. I’m always open to the idea, because “You never know, Jackie!” but hours before the date I’m either on the brink of tears or canceling. However, an interesting thing happen last week when one of my best friend’s set me up with a man from my Midwestern roots – I didn’t care!
Not that I was a rude date, I just didn’t care if I looked pretty, had the perfect outfit or said the right thing. I was myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d still done my fair share of Facebook stalking, “what if…?” wondering, but I also knew that this guy was only temporarily living in San Francisco and would return home a few months later. While there still was a possibility he could be my Mr. Right, I went into the date actually hoping to get a friendship out it, without the pressure of finding my next boyfriend. And you know what? The unthinkable happened – I had a good time on a blind date!
I’ve noticed a lot of my friends, me especially, put a crazy amount of pressure on ourselves to have it all “figured out” by our late 20’s. I sometimes feel until I have all of my laundry done, my resume updated, an apartment out of an West Elm catalogue and a Henry Caville look-a-like boyfriend (FYI friends who want to set me up on future blind dates) – I just don’t have my shit together. It’s absurd.
The biggest lesson I’ve been learning these past few months is to be a little kinder to myself. I’m pretty great, well most of the time, excluding Monday mornings and post late night pizza bingeing. Why shouldn’t a guy want to take me, the real me out on a date? No one is going to make me happy, until I can make myself feel good about where and who I am right now. We’re all on different trajectories, towards different milestones and stages of life. If we can learn to be a little more patient and accepting of ourselves, as we are with others, maybe just maybe we can all go on at least one mildly, pleasant blind date.