The Amazing Thing About First Dates

Lesbian Dating

The Amazing Thing About First Dates

Mary Gorham Malia

Written by: Mary Gorham Malia

Mary Gorham Malia

Mary G. Malia, founder of Gay Girl Dating Coach, is a certified singles coach, strategic intervention coach and author of the book "The Gay Girl’s Guide to Avoid the 14 Dating Traps." She’s known as the leading resource and expert for lesbians who want to move past the barriers to finding love and lasting relationships.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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First dates can be amazing, awful or somewhere in between.

I remember the first time I asked a woman out who I really had a crush on. I was crazy about her to put it mildly.

On the outside, Carolyn (not her real name) was everything I’d ever dreamed about. She was my dream woman in the flesh, and we were introduced about a year after I came out.

We hung out one evening with a couple of other women who were new friends to me but old friends to her. That evening ended far too soon. By chance, Carolyn actually gave me her number. (Yes, she wanted me to call!)

It took me a week to get up the courage to call her.

I didn’t know what to say. My heart was pounding through my chest. I wasn’t even sure it was OK to be calling her to ask her out, but I knew I had to do it. I hadn’t waited till I was 45 to come out and then not ask someone out on a date.

When I called, I got her voice mail and I was instantly relieved. I left her a message asking her to go to a movie with me. Then I waited. I waited for a week.

By then, I was certain she had no interest in dating me. I confirmed it in my mind 10,000 times over the course of that week.

Then she called back. I was dumbfounded, delighted and scared. She’d been on vacation out of state and the number I had was her house phone. She said she’d love to go out with me.

“I learned about deep and profound

love for the first time in my life.”

For the next few days, I was walking on air.

I was as giddy as a kid but also as scared as a kid who is afraid of the dark. I’d only been out a year, and I’d dated one woman in that time period for about 10 months. This was another new chapter in my coming out book.

As I look back, there was much about that date that was total magic for me. Everything from the intensity of the movie we saw together, “Monster’s Ball,” to the little gift of chocolates she brought for us to share. I fell for Carolyn fast and hard.

The rest of the story isn’t unusual and we didn’t live happily ever after. I was too intense and wanted too much too quickly. She was still struggling with getting over a previous relationship.

The relationship ended after four short months. Yes, it took me years to recover and became one of the impetuses for founding Gay Girl Dating Coach.

It’s a typical story about coming out later in life.

It’s also why women who’ve been out a good while don’t typically want to date women coming out late in life. It’s too intense.

Everything about the relationship gets wrapped up and mingled into the coming out process. The level of emotional intensity can’t be sustained and feelings keep getting hurt. Misunderstandings can abound.

That first date with Carolyn was life changing for me. It was the confirmation ceremony I’d been waiting for all my life.

No, we didn’t become friends. Our lives took us in different directions, but she was an amazing teacher.

I learned about deep and profound love for the first time in my life. I also learned I could survive the deepest pain imaginable. I discovered I am resilient and not to be stopped. I’m far less afraid of rejection now.

How about you? What have your failed relationships taught you about your strengths and virtues as lesbian and a person?

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