Men Who Remind

I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this post quite yet. Mostly just thinking outloud.

This year I decided to start practicing dating. I didn’t date much previous to this mostly because I wasn’t really ready for a relationship. I didn’t really know what I wanted and my life was not very rooted. Not that you need to be put together or have life figured out when you meet someone but having some stability is helpful when trying to figure out who is a good match. I also just wasn’t ready for long term commitment. I didn’t like the idea of marriage and was really starting to enjoy my singleness.

Anyway, there were a couple of things that changed my mind:

1) When I lived at Parkdale Hostellerie, my roommate was a guy I’ll call Boxer (because he was one). He and I were very different. He was Muslim and I was Christian but we always had so much to talk about. I remember sitting in the kitchen with him while he meal-prepped and we’d talk for a long time about everything. We’d talk about his family, what marriage was like, what his divorce was like, his conversion to Islam, how his family came to Canada from South America, the racism he faces at work, etc. But he also made me laugh so hard. Honestly, I’ve never met anyone that hilarious. I don’t know how he felt about me but I genuinely cared for him as a friend and spending time with him made my day (I really ought to write an entire post dedicated to him because our friendship had a large impact on me and my time in Toronto). Anyway, we shared the same room but we slept in different beds and something I learned is how much I like sleeping with a man in the room. If marriage is anything like meal prep with Boxer was or how safe I felt falling asleep when he was around like, then I think I’d like marriage very much; 2) I met Grizzly last year. He was also a divorced dad.  Even though we weren’t together very long, he made me want to get married. We weren’t right for each other but he was the one who kind of helped me realize it was something I wanted. I was always so on the fence about it before but because of the life he lived with his kids and how I kinda got a chance to see it once in awhile, my mind started to change.

I suppose those experiences made me want to take dating more serious. So I read some books and decided to start practicing what I was learning. Over the course of a year, I’ve gone on a lot of first dates. Honestly, I really enjoyed it. I liked meeting new guys and practicing everything I was learning. And for the most part, I met a lot of interesting dudes. The one who really stood out to me worked at the Refinery. His style of dating was my favorite. We played pool for our first date. Neither of us drank anything other than pop and he had all these questions and things he wanted to know about me. We didn’t have a ton in common but I appreciated the thought and care he put into getting to know me. On our second date, he gave me three options: go for a walk, go to Boards N’ Beans and something else. Can’t remember now but I chose Boards N’ Beans so we met there and played a bunch of games. He had more questions written on his phone. Things he wanted to know and conversation starters. I don’t think I’ve ever had a guy put that much effort in to get to know me the way he did. Then halfway through the date, he told me he remembered what I said on our first date about my Grandparents playing krokinole together. I guess he brought his krokinole board from home. Did you want me to go get it? I should’ve said yes but I was kind of shocked that he did that and that he remembered all these things I said. I didn’t want to trouble him to get it (even though he’d brought it this far already). He respected my boundaries and was completely reliable when it came to setting up a date and following through. But I knew it wouldn’t work because we don’t share similar religious beliefs (a dealbreaker for me). I ended it on our third date after going to see Spiderman which wasn’t the best feeling in the world but it was the right thing to do. Even though it didn’t work out, I realized that there are good guys out there.

Today I was talking with one of my coworkers and asked him how he and his fiance met. Apparently, they knew each other from high school. He always admired her from afar but never felt like he deserved her. A mutual friend had invited them both to a party and they started talking. The next day, he decided to ask her out by sending her flowers. He was so nervous but worst case scenario, it didn’t work out and he wasted money on flowers. But then he realized that money like that gets lost on the floor all the time so he decided to go for it. She said yeah and for their first date, he took her to The Diplomat.

I sat there in awe because it’s so rare to hear a dating story like that. Especially from another millenial. Dudes don’t court you like that anymore or at least that’s what I thought before I heard my coworker’s story. But after hearing him talk about his fiance and how their relationship began, I realized I was wrong. I mean, I read about it in my dating books but thought these guys were mythological creatures. BUT THEY ARE REAL!!!

It’s getting late.I have to cut this short and go to bed. So I’ll conclude in the best way I know how…

Today, I’m thankful for men like these ones who remind me that chivalry isn’t dead. For good men with kind hearts. For men who remind me (with or without a pep talk) what I’m worth and when I’m selling myself short. I’m thankful for men like these because they are so rare but occasionally they show up and it’s literally the most encouraging thing ever.