Dating Diaries: Our Non-Date Turned Out Better Than I Thought – Matthew’s story

Matthew is a 40-year-old financial consultant. He says “I don’t really have a style. It would mostly be ‘appropriate casual’ for whatever the situation is. I never wear a tie or socks if I don’t have to.” Matthew says he would be described as “a nice guy, funny, quirky, opinionated, responsible, and sometimes a little short on filters.” He likes “long bike rides, hiking, and checking out antiques, bookstores, bakeries and cheese stores in different neighbourhoods.” Matthew likes women who are “smart, funny, and stable — minimal drama.” He says “The longest I’ve been single since I was 17 was a year and a half. Virtually every one of my dates ended up in a relationship.”

Julia and I have known each other for many years. We have good friends, a couple, in common. For the first of those years, I was married and she was in a long-term relationship. Dating was never an option. We saw each other at parties and barbecues, and every New Year’s Eve at our friends’ parties, where we would catch up and generally have a good time.

It wasn’t until a warm spring night that I happened to ride my bike down her street. I didn’t have any thoughts of her, or expectations of seeing her — I knew the street she lived on, but not the address. As I booted along at about 30 kilometres an hour, I caught sight of Julia’s unmistakable curly blond hair. “That’s Julia,” my brain screamed, and I slammed on the brakes a little too quickly, and nearly went over my handlebars.

I turned around and went to say hi. At the last New Year’s Eve party, I was in a relationship and she wasn’t. Now, it turned out that we were both single. As we talked — and I was sure she was checking me out in my Spandex bike gear, but she insists she wasn’t — I mentioned that I missed going out to dinner and having decent conversations with people. We exchanged numbers and I said I would call. When I got back on my bike, I thought “That was really great!” and “She looked really great!” and “I’m really looking forward to seeing her” and “This could make next New Year’s really awkward if I screw things up.”

A couple of days later, we set a date for our “non-date” — just two friends going out for dinner. There was an outdoor art gallery that I thought would be fun. We would go to that, and then find a pub or something for dinner. I didn’t have a real plan, and thought we’d wing it.

When I picked Julia up I was a little nervous but not sure why, as this wasn’t really a date. She told me that our mutual friends had just left — they happened to be in her neighbourhood and had stopped by unexpectedly. Neither of us had told them that we were going out, and she seemed unsure about what to tell them, and if I had mentioned it. We had a laugh about what they must be thinking.

The non-date itself was surprisingly great. She’s a great talker, I’m a good listener, and we walked and talked our way through the art show. I was pleasantly surprised by how well we got along, how much we had in common and how completely compatible and comfortable we were with each other. We had “known” each other for years, but I didn’t really know her or what made her tick. It was exciting to share how our lives had evolved. The familiarity we did have was freeing, because the level of conversation was uplifted to where we could start meaningfully understanding who each of us is, instead of just talking about the basics — there’s a lot of sexy in that.

We had stopped for a drink on a patio, and walked the boardwalk in the Beach. Finally, as the sun was setting, we decided we’d better head for dinner, and walked to find food. We sat with the menus unopened for the longest time, and just before the kitchen closed, we both ordered the fish, I think, and continued talking.

Since that time we’ve been together virtually every day, following the mandatory wait before asking her out on a second date — which was definitely a date. I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else.

Culled from

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