I woke up early and already anxious on the morning of October 12, 2017. It was a Thursday, which was my longest day of the week; on top of that, I had a date set for the evening. There was no time for me to come home and get ready—so there I was, at seven in the morning, getting ready for a date scheduled more than 12 hours later. I prayed to the makeup and hairspray goddesses that I would still look fresh and put together after the long day ahead.
Despite trying very hard to focus on work, all I could think about was Dalia. We had met the gay way: on the apps. One morning, I woke up to a notification from Bumble and another from Tinder—and they were both her. That’s about as close to a dating app meet-cute you’re gonna get.
The first thing I noticed about Dalia was her smile, followed by the cutest dimple on her right cheek. As we started talking (I messaged first), I was immediately captured by her charm and sense of humor. Even just through messages, I could feel her radiating positivity and a generally fun persona. It took only a handful of messages before I sent her my number (can someone say power bottom?), and soon we were sending each other our hopes, our dreams, and our favorite quotes from The Office.
Dalia asked me to get dinner later that week, but I had to work late, so she suggested we skip straight to dessert. Clearly, I was talking to an intelligent woman. We made our “ice cream for dinner” date and continued to text every moment until that date came. And it was finally here.
I pulled up to the rolled ice cream store near work, parked, grabbed my emergency makeup kit, and set up shop. I re-powdered, re-mascaraed, and re-lip-glossed my face in my rearview mirror in the dim car light. I fluffed my curly hair that had fallen flat from a day of work-related bullshit. I did a quick boob scoop, looked in the mirror, took a deep breath, and glanced at my phone. She too had arrived.
As I walked up to the door, I saw her sitting on the bench right past it. She was on her phone, looking in the other direction. When she turned to see me, her long, perfectly curled hair moved like a curtain behind her shoulder to reveal that dimple I’d been thinking about all week. She shot up out of her seat, shoved the phone into her pocket, and gave me a hug like I was a long-lost friend. As soon as we were in the light of the store, we noticed that we were wearing the same shoes and essentially the same outfit. Classic femme probs.
We got our ice cream dinner and spent the night talking. Or more accurately, I spent most of the night talking while Dalia sweetly smiled and laughed at my stories. I felt nervous because I wanted her to like me, but I had never felt more comfortable talking to anyone than I did with her. The whole world melted away, time was no longer a construct, and the only thing that existed was us.
While we were chatting, though, my eyes wandered over her shoulder to see a girl that I had talked to on Bumble for a few weeks but never met up with. As soon as I recognized her, I felt all the blood rush to my face and my stomach fall out of my ass. I just kept nodding and listening, as if nothing was happening, but I was positive Dalia could see that my core temperature had changed. She didn’t mention anything, so I shoved those feelings deep down and carried on until it felt like just the two of us again.
We stayed in the store until closing time, but it seemed clear that neither of us wanted to leave. We took a short stroll through the main street of the town, and then she asked me if I wanted to go to her favorite spot that overlooks New York City. I hopped in her yellow Jeep Wrangler, which is still one of my favorite things about her. We drove to a classic makeout spot, but despite my attempts to googly-eye my way into getting a kiss, we just kept talking. I was so happy to be with her, no matter what we were doing—but inside, I began to panic that she didn’t actually like me. When she dropped me off at my car, I gave her half a hug and nearly launched my body out of the vehicle before I could say or do anything to guarantee I’d never see her again. I got into my car and congratulated myself for putting myself out there, but I was convinced that there was little to no chance of her being actually into me.
A year later, Dalia and I are still together. We’re together for most waking and sleeping hours of the day, in fact. It’s so wild to look back on that night, knowing now how obsessed with each other we were and how hard we each tried to make a good impression.
It’s not fair to give only my side of the story, though. So I interviewed Dalia about our first date, and this is what she had to say:
What do you remember most about our first texting conversations?
I specifically remember us trying to get to know each other more by sending each other our quotes from our favorite shows especially The Office. An obsession with The Office is one of the top five things I look for in a person. With other people, I felt like I could just put my phone down and catch up with them when I had a chance, but with you, I wanted to keep talking. You intrigued me. Also, I liked that you spoke Spanish. I thought: This will be good for my parents. (Author’s note: Dalia’s parents speak mostly Spanish.)
How did you get ready for our date?
Well, everyone at work knew I had a date. I was so nervous, but I was so busy that I kept forgetting. Then I would remember I was meeting you, and I’d get so excited. I finished all my work and rushed home to change so I didn’t look like a loser businesswoman on our first date. I didn’t know what to wear, so I threw on my favorite sweater and jeans and those shoes that we both have. My hair was still flawless, obviously, so I went to leave, but my roommate just started talking at me. Like the nice person I am, I listened to her, but it made me late, and I was so mad. That’s kind of typical; I’m late to everything.
What were you thinking before you met me in person?
When we first matched, I thought you were beautiful, yet at the same time, I just thought it was going to be just another match. It’s just Bumble, you know? Not that it’s not serious, but it’s not like people meet their forever love. Well, I guess how else would lesbians meet their forever love? Anyway, I obviously thought you were good looking but also good to talk to. And then when you gave me your number, I was like: Wow, I don’t have to do anything. Also, I was drunk at the time, so it was more like: WHOA! A HOT GIRL JUST GAVE ME HER NUMBER. THIS IS BONKERS. I felt like I had known you for a while because it was so easy to talk to you. And I knew that when I met you, you’d be just as cool. Sometimes people’s texting and real-life personality don’t match. But you were everything and more.
What made you most nervous about the date?
It’s weird, I wasn’t that nervous. I was more worried about how I looked. I didn’t think we were going to run out of things to talk about, and I know you especially wouldn’t. I think I was most nervous about kissing you because I wasn’t sure if it was too aggressive, so I decided not to. What’s funny is as soon as I suggested that overlook, I genuinely wanted to show you the city, but I was like: Fuck, she’s going to think I’m trying to make a move. But now I know that you wanted me to.
What did you think when you first saw me? Feel free to include immense detail about how pretty I am.
You’re too much. Well, when I first saw you, that actually might have been the only time I was nervous. I mean, you look great in pictures, don’t get me wrong, but it’s different in person. I wasn’t trying to get catfished. The best way I could describe it is that you looked like sunshine. I remember when you turned the corner, I could tell it was you because I could see your dimple from a mile away. When you got close and you smiled at me, I could see genuine happiness on your face. It was like a light had shined out of the sky and brought a goddess to me. Then I noticed your big blue eyes and your cute pink tortoise-shell glasses that made you look stunning and adorable at the same time. I just couldn’t help but smile when I saw you. I also thought: Shit. She’s going to know I lied about being taller than she is.
Wait, so who were you on the phone with when I walked up?
No one. I just was nervous and started listening to voicemails to pretend to be on the phone. I have no idea why. I just needed a distraction. It was my mom. She said hi.
Be honest, did I talk too much? I talked too much, didn’t I?
Yes, you did talk a lot. I learned a lot about you in the span of an hour. Not even, like ten minutes maybe. You told me one story, and I knew everything about you. But they weren’t bad stories. They were so entertaining, and they told so much about you. I can be reserved when I first meet people because I want to learn about them. Don’t worry, though. I never thought that all you wanted to talk about was you. You asked me questions, and sometimes we would share stories of similar experiences. That’s why I suggested we walk around because I wanted to keep talking to you all night.
How did you feel on our date? Just, like, in general.
I felt great. At first, I was nervous/excited to meet you. Then as we sat down, and I finally stopped sweating, I felt so comfortable—like I was talking to an old friend who I was catching up with but at the same time also wanted to make out with. I never wanted it to end, but I didn’t want to be a crazy person and be like: Let’s never leave each other. So we both had to go home at some point.
Could you tell when I noticed the girl that I had talked to on Bumble?
I do remember you looking behind me a couple of times more than usual, but I didn’t think anything of it. I thought you just were looking at people walking in and out. I was so focused on your story and what to ask you next and what we could do after the ice cream place to think about anything else. I didn’t even notice that there were actually other people there. I thought it was just our own ice cream shop.
What made you think of taking me to that overlook?
That’s where I took all of my dates! Just kidding. I remembered from our early conversations that you were new to the area and wanted to learn more, so I brought you to the best ice cream place. And then as we were walking around, I kept thinking: OK. I could take her home, but that might be weird. I didn’t want you to think I was going to kidnap you or something. And then I remembered you really like NYC, and I think that’s the best place to see it. Well, I used to go there to smoke weed, mostly. But on occasion, I would go with my friends just to talk, and I remembered how beautiful it was, and I wanted to show it to you. But the whole drive there is up a winding mountain road, so I was like: Now she DEFINITELY thinks I’m kidnapping her.
OK, here’s The Big Question: Why the fuck didn’t you kiss me???
I was trying to be a GENTLEWOMAN. It’s funny because, with random hookups, I never get nervous. But when I truly like someone, I get really weird about even touching them because I don’t want to make them uncomfortable. I know I sound like a 14-year-old boy, but I felt like I needed more time to gather myself since you were so pretty and amazing. I wanted to give you a kiss on the cheek, at least, but you dove out of the car so fast that I didn’t get the chance.
How do you think the date went? I mean, you know how it turned out, but that night, what did you think?
I thought it went well, actually. We never ran out of things to talk about. We truly enjoyed each other’s company, and everything you said, I loved. I just thought you were amazing from head to toe. I couldn’t wait to see you again. And I knew you wanted to see me again.
Is there anything that you would have changed?
No, I don’t think so. Everything went how it should have gone, you know? Even though I didn’t kiss you that night, I did the next time I saw you. It was perfect.
So what have we learned here, friends?
TV shows can bring people together. Don’t take your date to a makeout spot if you’re not planning to make out with her. You can find love on dating apps. And I have the best girlfriend in the world.