I say 'sort of' because I don't want to label what I felt as a spark. That term doesn't seem accurate. My idea of a spark is an instant electrical connection between two people, something mutual and sexual. Physical attraction is key because without it there is no sexual aspect to the spark.
What happened to me was different than a spark, for a number of reasons. First, it happened during a telephone conversation. Second, it happened without meeting the guy. Third, it wasn't based on physical attraction because the pictures I'd seen hadn't particularly excited me. Fourth, it wasn't mutual. Fifth, it wasn't electrical. Hmmm. Now that I'm writing about it, I see that what I felt wasn't a spark at all.
The best way I can describe it is as a realization, a 'click' - but not the kind of click where you feel instant rapport with someone. It was more like an "aha!" moment when you're doing a difficult task and you suddenly realize that if you do this, that and the other, your problem is solved. Or, it's like when you're doing a puzzle and you have a sudden burst of inspiration from nowhere and it causes you to put exactly the right piece in exactly the right location and as you do it you realize that finding that one piece will make finishing the rest of the puzzle simple.
Finding Dean made the puzzle of my life seem simple. He was the missing piece, The One, and now that I'd found him, the other pieces would easily fall into place. Or so I thought.
All that stood in the way of destiny was actually meeting him.
And the small matter of mutual attraction.
Because of work demands, Dean scheduled our first meeting more than three weeks in advance. Knowing that I'd have to wait 23 days to confirm my 'big realization' was slow torture. The days dragged by.
During the long wait I tried to subtly woo him, especially by email. He told me that he did a lot of writing for work so I saw that as an opportunity to share some stories about my past. I thought that would be a good way to 'show' him who I was rather than 'tell' him. I also hoped he'd reciprocate and that sharing our tales would ensure a good first meeting.
I can't be certain if I charmed him with my emails (ha!), or, if I just got lucky (much more likely), but about a week before we were scheduled to meet he told me he had an opening in his schedule. Could I meet him in four days instead of eight? I felt like I'd won the lottery.
Conventional dating wisdom says that when you meet someone for the first time you should have reasonable expectations, otherwise you're likely to be disappointed. I didn't care about conventional wisdom. This was an exceptional situation - I knew Dean was destined to be the most important man in my life.
The more rational part of my brain wasn't going to accept such silliness without a fight. How could I think a man who was so work-obsessed would be a good match? If it took him three months to spare me an hour, how long would it take before he'd schedule a second date? And what about physical attraction? Our email and telephone conversations were fun, but I couldn't be certain I'd be physically attracted to him until we met face-to-face. And even if I was attracted to him, there was no guarantee that he'd be attracted to me.
As the days ticked by, the battle between my crazy, confident intuition and my skeptical, rational brain waged on. Then, just two days before we were supposed to meet, I got a lucky beak. Two of them, actually.
In an email, Dean told me that he liked my pictures on Facebook. Facebook?! I rarely log in there. What pictures is he talking about? Hopefully not the ones from freshman year of high school! I immediately logged in to see what he meant and as I was doing so, the dim light bulb above my head flickered a little: I wonder what pictures he has on his profile?
As I mentioned above, I wasn't especially excited about the pictures he'd posted on the dating site. They weren't very good and he was wearing sunglasses. His Facebook pictures, however, were high quality and very clear.
Dean was so much my type that the minute I saw his pictures on Facebook I was drooling over him just as much as I'm drooling over this picture of Ryan now. To say that I was "more excited than ever" to meet Dean is a huge understatement.
The two lucky breaks pretty much obliterated my rational brain's attempt to keep my sky-high expectations in-check. As the day arrived for our auspicious first meeting, I expected nothing less than mind-blowing fireworks.
As I've said in other posts, I've liked every guy I've met but I didn't really feel sexually attracted to any of them. As I drove to meet Dean and the final minutes of my fourteen week wait ticked down, I wondered if my expectations had become totally delusional. What if there's something wrong with me? What if we have no chemistry? What if he's not attracted to me?
Dean arrived at the coffee house before me.
He was sitting outside, and instead of looking around expectantly, he was looking down at his phone, with his back to me. Although I couldn't see his face, I knew it was him just by looking at the nape of his neck; he had exactly the kind of nape I would most want to nuzzle. Seeing that bare strip of skin from behind was all the proof I needed. He was indeed The One.