The other day I was talking to a friend (who I have a rather flirtatious relationship with) about guys I've dated in the past and I mentioned that I had only been out with one guy who was actually shorter than me. "So," I said absently, "99% of the guys I've been out with have been taller than me, most of them significantly."
"Wow," he laughed, "if one guy equals 1% that means you've gone out with a 100 guys. You get around, don't you?"
He was joking of course and I hadn't meant to use the percentages literally but the guy I had just referred to hadn't lasted past one date and if that was the criteria then...well, perhaps I should clear that up. "What counts as going out with?" I asked. "For instance, if you just go out to coffee with someone you've met on Match and decide to end it there...does that count as a date?"
"Yeah, I would think so," he said, sounding a little wary now.
And the wariness was warranted because if that's the criteria then I know I've been out with at least 100 guys. After all, my first date was when I was fourteen and I'm in my mid-thirties now. Granted, I was married for a good portion of my twenties but that still leaves a lot of room for coffee dates and whatnot.
"Okay," he said after my long silence, "but how many guys have you gone out with over, say, the last year?" He sounded like he was trying to give me an out.
"Four," I said. "No, wait five...or, okay seven. Oh! I forgot about that guy who took me to Wolfman, that makes eight...wait, wait! There was the guy who I went to brunch with and discovered we had absolutely nothing in common with! So that's nine. I've been out with nine guys this year...keeping in mind some of those were just one time coffee dates. That's it, though."
The thing is I'm not really sure that IS it. It's entirely possible that I'm forgetting someone which is sad in and of itself.
"But when was the last time you've been out on a date," he said, still trying to help me.
"Recently," I said vaguely not wanting to admit that it had been three hours ago.
But the thing is, I'm not ashamed of my dating record. The fact that I've dated so many guys and am still single probably shows that I can be a bit too picky at times but I feel confident that I will eventually meet the guy who I will settle down with and the reason I'm confident of this is because I'm always dating. Furthermore I really like dating. Yes, it does sometimes end in disappointment and hurt. Those times when you think you might have found the guy who you could actually get serious with only to realize after a month or so that for one reason or another it's not gonna work...that's the tough part.
But it's also an opportunity to get to know a new person, to tell your stories to someone who has never heard them before and get insight into the world they inhabit that may very well have been previously unknown to you. This year alone I've dated lawyers, a real estate broker, a CEO, a personal trainer, a country music singer, a film editor...the list goes on and regardless of how well or badly the date goes I always walk away feeling like I've learned something. I've even established lasting friendships with some of these guys. And if the date is spectacularly unsuccessful I leave with a good story to tell. For a writer that's golden.
So yes, I've gone out with at least 100 guys in my life and I'm not done yet. Perhaps the next guy I go out with will be "the one" but if he's not then at least I can get a free soy latte out of the deal. The way I see it, it's a win-win.
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