I was driven home and was so kindly waited upon as the gentleman made sure I made it to the front door safely, flashlight illuminating my path.
Unfortunately, it wasn't my date who exemplified these courteous gentlemanly qualities, but my Uber driver.
And it was after the date I instigated and the NBA tickets I purchased (though he offered), that I was let off a half hour away from home that I realized that this was not the guy for me.
Those weren't the only signals I received that led me to this conclusive decision.
Throughout the evening, I was constantly given mixed vibes.
Aside from being greeted with a hug and the signature "Wow, you are tall" comment (like it's a flaw on my part), I was given some very deterring advice on the subject of moving to the city.
From that, I was suggested to be more of a hustler, that I should try dating apps (wait, were we not on a date?!), and at the very end, a hug and a "Next time you're in the city, I'll introduce you to some friends."
Granted, I do not know the circumstances of his feelings. While there was a wee bit of an age difference, I was attracted to him and unfortunately, he didn't feel the same.
Which is fine.
But the rejection sucks. It leaves you disappointed, hurt, susceptible to bouts of tearful outbursts, and has you wondering "Why? What's wrong with me?"
For a brief period, you wish his name would disappear from your mind, which actually further cements it, and then that stage turns into anger.
After anger comes the hopeful reconciliation thought process and finally, the "Boi, Bye" phase that has you pulling on your Beyoncé pants and moving on.
If you're like me, you experience them in the course of mere minutes. And being the sensitive and emotional young woman I am, I'm left over-thinking and at a crossroads as to how to go forward next. Do I text him? Why hasn't he texted me? Should I convey hurt, disappointment, rage, or should I pretend that that didn't just happen?
In my experience though, I've found that when I'm in a situation such as this: hurt, lost, and in a topsy-turvy state, I simply let things simmer.
I allow a few days to pass, I take a walk, talk to those closest to me (you know who you are), and eventually, I'm comfortable, clear-minded, and ready to communicate or simply move on.
I've found that in any of the above stages, my mind is muddled and that when I act upon my initial reaction, things never go well.
In the instance/case of being patient, I either communicate back with clarity with the proper thing to say, or I move forward, a more experienced and confident woman.
As much as I hurt at the time of rejection, I always appreciate the experience and what it has taught me about myself and men. I'm new to the dating scene (no surprise there), entering the stage and learning my lines. It's foreign to me, but so exciting! And all these dates have taught me what I do/don't like, and how I should be treated as the brilliant woman I am. With that, my girl jams playlist continues to grow with each and every experience.
I'm learning to live my life and start my fairytale when I meet the right guy, as opposed to attempting to squeeze a guy into my pre-conceived notion as to how my fairytale should be.
Until that, I'll let those tears dry and I'll continue to take these escapades in stride. Embrace them for what they are: experiences, and lessons learned.
Who knows? Maybe someday it'll be my date and not my Uber driver that takes care of me on the way home.
In the meantime, I'll embrace my inner Wonder Woman and be the superhero I know I am.