They say when you fall off a horse you have to get up and get back on. What they don’t tell you is that you will be bruised in places you didn’t know existed. You will be afraid. You will have to overcome the fear that the past is destined to repeat itself.

Dating. It’s a simple word, yet it is an excruciating dance two people partake in. Who leads and who follows? Who sets the pace? Dating again after a painful experience is harder than it looks. There isn’t a pill that can erase the pain. Nothing to help you wake up and forget everything that happened…to forget the pain you feel every morning. His name is Christian. I met him on an online dating website (I know I finally caved — lets collecting roll our eyes). We talked for months and then finally decided to meet each other. Because of his religious convictions, he didn’t want to buy anything on Saturday. He’s a Seventh-day Adventist, well we both are, but he is more conservative than I. To accommodate I decided to make dinner for us. In typical girl fashion, I logged onto Pinterest and looked up delicious pasta dishes. Let me preface this story by telling you…I don’t cook. It’s about as natural to me as speaking Mandarin. I set firealarms off, I forget to plug in waffle irons, I forget I have food on the stove…I’m a Hell’s Kitchen worst nightmare.

Butternut Squash Spinach Tortellini, the main dish, and a nice spring salad to balance the meal out. I made a dish the night before to taste it… nothing would be more of a dating faux pas than a meal that causes acute gastroenteritis. We met at church and then went back to my place for dinner. The conversation flowed easily. Later that afternoon we went downtown. When everything came to a conclusion…one thing stood out in my mind. He never said, “Thank you.” He never thanked me for the meal– for the effort I put into it. He never offered to help me or to help me clean up. I have learned that people will tell you everything you need to know about them based off their actions. His actions told me everything… he felt he deserved it all. He was entitled and expected to be waited on. I don’t believe we do things for others just to receive praise. What I do believe; however, is that you should always be thoughtful with your actions. Be kind…treat people with respect…and acknowledge when someone does something thoughtful for you.

Will there be a second date? Absolutely not. If we pay attention enough while doing the dance, we can pick out those who are faking it and those who are trying to learn the right moves. He was just faking it. On to the next horse…

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