On Sunday night I had a date. My first date in nearly four years. You’d think then that I would have been nervous, but when it came to it, I really wasn’t.
I’m not going to say anything bad about my date – he wasn’t a hairy mole twiddler or anything, just a perfectly nice, ordinary man. What I wanted to talk about instead was how waiting at the pub at 8pm on Sunday, I realised how much I have changed in the last few years, since the last time I tried my hand at dating.
People are always saying that confidence in just an act, that if you are nervous about talking to new people, all you have to do is pretend not to be, and no one will ever know the difference. Well, it seems that over the last few years I’ve had a lot of practice at chatting to strangers – networking at blogging conferences, hosting workshops, delivering training, allowing my brains to be picked numerous times over coffee and cake – and it has paid off. Turns out I am pretty awesome at it.*
Now I’m not saying I was a dream date, but I wasn’t scared at all and like to think I contributed to us both enjoying a very pleasant evening, regardless of whether or not there was any romantic spark. I asked questions, maintained eye contact and tried not to be too boastful (apart from during the ten minutes after my one and only glass of wine when it went to my head a little and I somehow dropped my degree prize into the conversation.**)
The date then, although not tummy churning, was a hugely positive experience and left me feeling good about myself not least because I felt we had been able to put each other at ease and enjoy an evening that wasn’t as awkward as a first date can often be. My confidence was further boosted in the morning when at 8am he sent me a text.
“You are quite an inspirational person,” he said. “Your drive and fearlessness of the unknown and willingness to take a chance is pretty amazing.”
I had the biggest smile on my face. Where I might see the choices I have made in my life as a little foolish and flighty, pretend hard enough and people will believe anything.
*And oh so modest.
**You see? Modest.