Since moving and becoming part of The Men of Ten, I have gone on 180 dates. Alright, go ahead and start the judgement on that number. I mean one doesn’t get the bad reputation without a high number, right? (Side note, the reputation will be addressed later, so remember it). It is a very high number and the only way I have counted is because I have a song that I play one time while getting ready for every date. That song just hit 180 plays about two weeks ago. I have learned so much from those 180 dates that I felt the need to share it with the world.
Now, in those 180 dates, three girls were given a large amount of dates. They were even given that scary word of commitment, but sadly saw the sting of rejection in one shape or another. These three taught me how to open up and truly be vulnerable with someone. They taught me to take down the walls that I put up. They were each a blessing that I needed at their particular parts of my life. One taught me to not miss my chance and to love a friend. Two is the one that taught me that I could truly love someone. She helped me to see the hand of God more in my life. She was there for me in the beginning of my bad reputation and over looked it. Three, poor Three. She started out as a way for me to get over two and seemed more like a game. I wasn’t ready for her and I didn’t respect her. Sadly, she found rejection the hardest with a hand-written letter and the boarding of a plane for a goodbye. Not my best moment in life. She taught me the depth of my reputation and just couldn’t look past it. She taught me that I needed to learn to move on and focus on the things that matter most.
I was labeled as a heartbreaker, a man slut, and one that disrespects women. The last one hurt the most. The thing about rumors are: they are terrible and cruel, but most of them are true. I admit that I wasn’t the best with women when my heart got broke the first time since R. However, I honestly had the best intentions when it came to my dating life. When I moved to Provo, I felt that it was preached that we were supposed to date a lot. I set the goal to get married and I figured that 3-5 dates a week would help me to obtain it. That is how it all started. When I tarnished my name among those from my mission, I dove into dating like it was a sport. I didn’t see what would follow it.
Among all this dating, I feel like I learned what I didn’t want to have in a future spouse. There are some girls that I wrote off very quickly because I saw traits that I knew that I couldn’t live with. However, there are some girls that I just never asked out again because I wasn’t in the right state of mind at the time. I thought that I could use dating as a way to avoid my problems and broken hearts. I’ve learned that that is not good and healthy to do, and it is plain rude.
Since coming home from my mission, I struggled with dating in the aspect that everyone in my life seems to want to be a part of my dating life. I’ll go on a date and everyone seems to have an opinion and somehow ruin things that are going well. My friends and family seem to all be so noisy about my dating life. Even if it’s just been one date. So, I hide my relationships and dates. In these 180 dates, I’ve managed to keep most of them private. I’ve come to learn when it comes to relationships, I want them to be all for me. Not that I’m not proud to be dating the girl, but I want it to be the one part of my life just for me. I just don’t want the world to ruin it.
When my bad reputation was in full bloom, I pulled one from Taylor Swift’s page and went into hiding. I figured that the gossip would settle. What I found was that I was still in love with someone that I could no longer have. I realized that I had taken the time to mourn. So, I found myself struggling to compare girls to this one girl every time I went out. I felt really bad for them and I really have struggled to date till about two weeks ago.
My 180th date taught me so much about myself. It was simple and a lot of fun. It was very private, and I felt extremely nervous. I used to be nervous on every date and that went away. For the first time in a long time, I felt like the old me was coming back while in this date. I didn’t compare her once to another girl. I just saw her for her. I was able to be my childish self and not feel judged. I don’t know if anything will come from this date. I mean, I haven’t even gotten the courage to ask her out again. I don’t know if she enjoyed it, but I am very grateful for my 180thdate. It’s something that I will forever cherish in my life. It took 180 dates to realize that I can be me again, and that’s a victory. I learned that I can just go have a good time with someone and not worry about the outside world. I just have to worry about if I’m impressing her enough and not saying the wrong thing. The boy before the reputation is back, just a little older and little more refined. I’m back and ready to take on the world with my large dreams.