It was the best of dates, it was the worst of dates, it was the age of coffee dates, it was the age of movie dates, it was the epoch of blind dates, it was the epoch of Tinder, it was the season of youth, it was the season of maturity, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, I had everything going for me, I had nothing going for me, I thought it would work out, it was going the other way—in short, I didn’t know what the heck was happening.

It was the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine. I went on my first date, a blind date. I was young, giddy and hopeful. My first date! I’ve since forgotten what I wore but I can still remember the feeling of excited anticipation to this day. Butterflies in my stomach, I wished that he would be perfect (for me) and that things will all fall into place and that he’ll be the one and done. And that I’d be through with this dating nonsense. It was a double date fixed by my friend and her boyfriend. We went for dinner and coffee. He was nice. He was well-mannered He went to same school my brothers went to. We had common friends. Sold! I like him already. We exchanged numbers. Unfortunately, the feeling wasn’t mutual. Bummer.

Fast forward eighteen years. I’m on my Nth first date with a friend’s friend. We met at the restaurant. It felt like déjà vu. I’d done this before. Countless times. The location may be different but I’ve done this dance many times over. You start the conversation like you’re in a job interview asking questions and filing away answers for future reference. You’re relaxed because this isn’t your first time in the rodeo. Gone is the hopeful naiveté of youth and is now replaced with the wary cynicism of age. But you soldier on because if I don’t do this, how will I meet someone? You realize that dinner dates can be quite awkward and you’d wish it had been something more casual instead.   You’re more discerning now but he seems nice so you agree to see each other again. Will it lead to anything? Who knows? At this age, you don’t wear your heart on your sleeve anymore and take your time before having any tender feelings.

You wonder how long you have to keep on doing this and yet you must persevere. For only those that persevere achieve greatness. In my case, having someone. I don’t know how many more I have to go through but I have to. Somehow, I still believe that there is someone out there for me. I may be older and wiser, but underneath it all, I am still that same green girl hoping to spend the rest of her life with her Significant Other/Partner/Husband.

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