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Mary Gorham Malia
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!)
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.”
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 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?
Photo source: new-hope-recovery.us.