“I finally decided to date dead guys for a while.” I heard myself say to a client recently. She laughed and so did I, but it wasn’t a joke. Before I met my husband (or before I could recognize him when I met him) I needed more experience with the type of man I found attractive – so I found a few guys who couldn’t say no to my invitation.
My first definite date night was with Henry. His full name is Henry David Thoreau. He had the most interesting things to say. I would half-seriously share my appreciation for his wisdom out loud, saying, “Henry you have a keen eye for observation. I love seeing the world through your eyes.” I talked to Henry often about how his words spoke to me.
I secretly hoped he was able to hear how delighted I was to have his company on a Friday night. I enjoyed believing that he was an angel, sitting on a cloud, listening to me read his words to myself. “You’re a big help, Henry,” I would tell him, “You are just the kind of guy that makes me swoon.” On our second date, it occurred to me that he may hear from many girls every Friday night, but I was happy to be one of them.
I knew that I needed practice dating men who were respectful, insightful and intelligent so that when I met one, in person, I would recognize those qualities. Henry was all of those things and he was great to spend a whole evening with – I could listen delightedly to his ideas for hours.
When Henry was finished sharing his thoughts, I was able to enjoy the company of Leo Buscaglia and Erich Fromm. You may be thinking these guys left some big shoes behind for someone to fill. I believe they left the right footprints behind for me to follow.
It was no surprise to me that when I met my future husband in the summer of 2010 – I first fell in love with his writing. He posted on his Facebook page with creativity, poise, and depth.
I had become familiar with words and sentiments which touched my heart. I had learned to fall in love with ideas that made life seem more beautiful. Then when similar ideas were right in front of me – receiving them was comfortable.
One Thing to Do: Think about what you love in people and then find those qualities in books, movies or music. Purposefully take in the beauty of the qualities you admire through the medium of your choice – let it fill you with delight and determination.
Dawna J. Daigneault, Ed.S. LPC.