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I must admit something to my faithful readers. I owe you a dose of honesty, because you deserve at least that much from me. So, here goes nothing. Ready?

I’m a huge Taylor Swift fan.

There, I said it. It’s the truth. I cannot deny it. Because underneath all her slightly off-key live vocals and annoying feigns of surprise at award show after award show, she is an a-m-a-z-i-n-g songwriter. The kind of songwriter I’d hoped to be in lifetimes past, but never quite became.

And last night after another first date, I found myself humming the tune to one of her songs as I walked home. It was a clear, chilly night in Northern Virginia as I made my way down Clarendon Boulevard (and used all my might to resist stopping off for a Pinkberry frozen yogurt). My mind raced, thinking about the date —  both the good and the bad. I found myself asking the question: Did sparks fly tonight?

“Sparks Fly” – By Taylor Swift
 
The way you move is like a full-on rainstorm
And I’m a house of cards
You’re the kind of reckless that should send me running
But I kinda know that I won’t get far
 
And you stood there in front of me
Just close enough to touch
Close enough to hope you couldn’t
See what I was thinking of
 
Drop everything now, meet me in the pouring rain
Kiss me on the sidewalk, take away the pain
‘Cause I see sparks fly
Whenever you smile
 
Get me with those green eyes, baby
As the lights go down
Give me something that’ll haunt me
When you’re not around
 
‘Cause I see sparks fly
Whenever you smile
 

Let’s get to the story you’re all waiting for (based solely on the texts and emails I’ve been receiving since 7:00 a.m.) — my date with The Attorney. He was a perfect gentlemen, apart from a few awkward moments (stand by for details). We met on eHarmony and exchanged a few emails before he asked me out for dinner. It felt nice to have a man take initiative, to pursue me, because — as I’ve detailed in several past posts — that doesn’t always happen. From our conversations, I could tell he is successful, smart, witty and loves God and his family. Oh, and did I mention he is 6’4″? Seems like a perfect guy, eh?

We met at a local restaurant. He greeted me outside in what turned out to be Awkward Moment Number One. He didn’t shake my hand. We didn’t hug. He didn’t even ask me how I was doing. The Attorney just smiled, said hi, and then sort of led me into the restaurant. I think I literally made a “sheesh” face when he wasn’t looking, which the hostess may have caught a glimpse of based on the fact that she continued to monitor our table all night to make sure I was okay.

The restaurant turned out to be on the expensive side — the advantage of dating a lawyer instead of a musician, I suppose!(See ya later, Nashville!) Between some kind of duck and lamb appetizer, a glass of chardonnay and a salmon entrée, my meal easily topped $60. And I enjoyed every dollar bite.

The conversation wasn’t bad, just very informative. I suppose this is simply the nature of first dates, but I felt like I was put through law school in just the explanation of what he does for a living. Litigations, magistrate judges, appellate procedures. I felt really silly saying, Um… I’m a writer. But, he seemed gracious enough.

Sidenote: To those who have asked and those who are wondering, NO, I do not tell my dates that I write a dating blog. No normal, sane man would want to risk the details of his date being spilled all over the Internet for the world (or my mom) to read. I figure, once a man falls head over heels for me, then I’ll break the news. Gently. With steak, a cold beer and season tickets to something sporty. At least that’s the plan for now.

The Attorney and I continued chatting and nibbling our food. When the subject turned to churches, I learned he grew up Baptist. I, on the other hand, grew up in an Assemblies of God church, which might be considered charismatic. He proceeded to laugh and ask me if I spoke in tongues, which leads us to Awkward Moment Number Two. Moving on…

The rest of the date was fine. More informative, tell-me-about-yourself conversation. Not much laughter at all, which is tough for me. And then, he busted out his wallet to pay for the meal. Very gentlemanly of him. Because in the words of the ever-wise Chelsea Handler, “Some things shouldn’t change. Men should propose and men should pay.”

Awkward Moment Number Three happened after leaving the restaurant. Instead of the traditional hug goodbye, he simply looked at me and said, “I’ll be in touch,” like a businessman would say to a colleague after a meeting. And then he walked off into the distance to catch the Metro. I’ll be in touch. It was a very cold goodbye. Not the best ending to what I’d consider a fine first date.

Now it’s the next day, and I’m sitting at my desk on a quick lunch break, typing at warp speed and scarfing down a still-too-hot Cup o’ Noodles. Wow, life’s really gone downhill since last night. I just burned my tongue and I can’t even remember what that lamb tasted like.

Taylor Swift, I need your advice, your words of youthful wisdom. When you began dating John Mayer… or Jake Gyllenhaal… or that werewolf from Twilight… did sparks fly right away? Or did it grow over time? Because after last night, I didn’t feel any real chemistry. And, truth be told, I felt bad about it. The Attorney is such a nice man. He paid for my expensive meal. He prayed over the food (minor heart melt!). He seemed genuinely interested in my life. He was just an overall nice guy.

But no sparks.

I can’t help but want what you write about in your song, Taylor. I want “something that’ll haunt me when [he’s] not around.” And, sadly, I’m left with little haunting after last night.

How important is chemistry on a first date? I’ve got friends left and right telling me what I know is true: first dates can be awkward and unnerving; second dates can get much better. I agree completely. If The Attorney is interested in me (which is questionable after his all-business goodbye) and asks me out again, I would definitely go on a second date.

Because the woman in me knows he’s a good man. I know he’s handsome in a professional, older gentleman kind of way. I know the importance of spiritual, professional and financial stability. I know his close family ties are a great sign. The woman in me knows all this.

But the girl in me still wants to see sparks fly. 

~Ruth

**To learn what happened with The Attorney after our date, read the follow-up post here.