Note: This blog originally published in September 2011.
“So how do you play this game?” quipped the tall, European-looking guy next to me.
“I think you’re just supposed to try to get that puck thing in the designated area at the other end. It’s tricky, though, because you don’t want it to shoot over the edge.”
This is how I met Pieter: while watching my roommate play shuffleboard at a local bar. We talked for quite a while that night and he even played my favorite song on the jukebox. Upon leaving, I gave him my number in case he wanted to meet up with us later. My roommate and I went on to have a great rest of the night and I didn’t think I would ever see Pieter again. That is, until he called me the following Monday to ask me out! After settling on a day, he very thoughtfully asked if I had any dietary restrictions and what time he could pick me up for dinner.
That Thursday, he came to my door, escorted me to his car, and treated me to one of the best Belgian restaurants in the city (a type of food he had remembered I was interested in trying). After dinner, we caught a movie at a small local theater, and while driving me home he played my favorite song, again, before introducing me to another great band.
When my boss asked me why I was beaming at work the next day, I announced, “I just went on a date with a grown up!”
Guys I’ve dated in the past have often been intelligent and fun, but rarely have they treated me as considerately. Pieter showed me he cared by thinking through what would make an enjoyable evening for both of us, then by making plans and following through. Every subsequent time we hung out, he demonstrated this high level of care, ultimately earning my trust and admiration.
Unfortunately, Pieter recently had to leave for graduate school on the West Coast. Not ready for a bicoastal relationship, we decided to part ways. Even though this relationship will not continue in its current form, I am so glad for the time we had together. Not only did I get to meet an adventurous guy who shares my taste in indie movies and music, I was also reminded that thoughtful men do exist.
Let’s all continue to recognize and appreciate the “reminder guys” in our lives: those friends, family members, coworkers, and short-term lovers who we will not marry but who treat us like gold—guys who remind us that great men exist. Reminder guys convince us that we don’t need to lower our standards and that we deserve to be treated well. Not only is this inherently valuable, the resultant boost in confidence can make us even more attractive to the great men who are available.