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12 Dates and Beyond

Kind of like Bed Bath and Beyond, but way sexier…

So here we are at the end of the 12 Dates series AND at the end of the year, so I thought I’d take a moment to look back on both.

First, the numbers:

17 years age range
11 men
10 good dates
9 restaurants
6 kisses
5 pubs
4 dating sites
3 cities
2 shows
1 lost skirt

I’ve done improv comedy,
walked the zoo at night,
2-stepped,
salsa danced,
worked my way through a scavenger hunt,
go kart raced,
bowled,
played darts
and pool

What a ride!!

The 12 Dates of Christmas series was an interesting (and exhausting!) study in human interaction. 
I’ll take some great (and not so great) memories with me, as well as a few lessons about myself and the dating game.  Here are some of my observations:

1.  There are a LOT of boys out there.  But, there are still some men.  This gives me hope. 
Most of the guys I went out with were men of character… men that will be amazing partners.  How nice is it to know that they’re out there?

2.  Profiles can be deceiving – both for good and bad.
A couple of these guys, I may not have said yes to SOLELY based on their profiles, but because of the series, I agreed…and I’m glad I did – they were more handsome and charming in reality than their profiles let on.  I realize I’m a huge spelling/grammar nazi, so I often dismiss men who may just not be the best at representing themselves in writing, but are still very intelligent/talented/creative.

3.  I can broaden my physical parameters a bit.  I’ve had these ‘rules’ in my mind about age, height, race, hair…
I didn’t want to date anyone younger than 30 or older than 42, shorter than me in heels, a different race (read the post on that before assuming I’m a horrible person), or bald/balding.  And yet, I went out with ALL of those during this series, and had a fantastic time! 
The youngest and oldest dates were two of the most fun. 
I discovered a black man that kisses the way I like,
had a blast with men who were my height or shorter,
thoroughly enjoyed 3 men who were bald or balding
and basically all-around had to eat my own words.

I’ve gotten a lot of judgement for having too many first dates, very few second dates and being too picky. 
But, the more I’m in this game and learning about myself and the people I spend time with, the more confident I am that I CAN hold out for what I really want.  Not perfection… but perfect for me.

I’m going to keep being picky.
I’m going to keep eliminating quickly – being decisive and honest, so that no one gets unnecessarily hurt.
I’m going to continue expecting the best.  Because, not only am I worth finding an amazing man, but I have a big, passionate and authentic love to GIVE.

So, there you have it. 
The last year has run the gamut for me.  Almost exactly a year ago, I had my heart broken so badly – I didn’t think I’d survive. 
And, in some ways I’m NOT the same…that experience is still with me…it shaped me… but I’m good.  REALLY good.  And after the initial pain subsided, and I ventured back into the world of dating, I gained SO much!   What exactly did I gain from all this, you ask?

  • I’ve learned more about myself, my expectations and desires in a relationship.  The things I used to think were at the top of the list aren’t, and other things have become priorities.
  • I’ve grown more comfortable on dates, so that – as I walk into a bar/wine bar/restaurant/coffee shop, I’m not nervous or anxious… I just have an excitement and anticipation about what THIS date will bring.  I’m not worried that I’ll run out of things to say or that I’ll make a fool of myself… because I’ve learned now that I probably WILL and it’s ok!   I’m at ease in my own skin.
  • I’ve made some AMAZING friends.  A year ago, there was no Tyler, Brian G., Alan, Doug, Derek, Jenny, Denise, Jason, James or Brian K. in my life.  ALL of these people have been added into my circle of friends because of online dating/blogging, …and I couldn’t be more grateful. 

So, when we’re laughing (or wincing) at all the horrible messages, terrible texts and unthinkably awful profiles, remember that there is a huge GOOD side to this world.  I’m glad I’m in it.  Of course I hope that my search for love doesn’t last too much longer… but while it continues, I’m going to thoroughly enjoy the ride.

See you in 2013!  And see you on my website – launching TOMORROW!

www.sarahmariestone.com

-Sarah-

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