One of the first “real” dates I went on stands out vividly in my mind. I was in my senior year of high school, my date had a car, and we did the old standby of dinner and a movie.
I had no real attraction to Brian. He wasn't my type, even though back then I barely knew what my type was. We knew each other from track club, and we’d been friendly for a while. He was easy to talk to, easy to laugh with. I’d turned down his first and second offers of going on a date as kindly as I was able until one of my other friends took me aside for a word.
“Look,” he said to me. “Brian really likes you. Won’t you just give him a chance? He’s so nervous around girls and it would really build up his confidence. Plus, you never know — you might actually grow like him.”
Well, now, I felt incredibly selfish. Who was I to stand in the way of Brian’s burgeoning self-confidence? How on earth could I say no, when all it cost me was one uncomfortable evening, and when Brian could start getting confidence around girls? I had the potential to change his life for the better.
Ignoring my gut, my instincts, my emotions, and my heart, I went on the date.
At the end of the night, he dropped me off in his red pickup truck. I said, “Brian, I had a really good time tonight…” I trailed off, trying desperately to feel anything, any kind of spark or rush. I drew on empty.
He leaned in for a kiss, and I awkwardly turned my cheek at the last minute. He held onto my waist, longer, longer, longer until I had to abruptly pull away. Covering up my nerves with a weird giggle, I waved jerkily and walked inside. All I could think was, Oh, this boy is going to feel so crushed. He is going to feel so rejected. I can’t believe I’m being so selfish—
Before I could think about it, I whirled around and walked back to him. I gave him a big fat kiss square on the lips and said, “I just couldn’t leave it like that,” smiling up at him. He smiled back, tipped his hat at me, and slowly walked back to his car.
I wiped my mouth.
My whole body was cringing. I had no attraction to him, despite my best…