It’s something I genuinely didn’t believe until relatively recently. And yes, I’m well aware of how jaded that sounds, but without delving into my past and boring you with the oh-so common stories about dating jerks, I’ll tell you what changed.

 

I met someone. Now stop—don’t you dare roll your eyes. This isn’t your typical, he swept me off my feet and now we’re madly in love story. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We don’t even talk anymore.

 

But… I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up to our first date. He was late. Over 15 minutes late and while that in itself isn’t charming at all, I’ll tell you what is. While I sat at the bar with a drink in hand, waiting for my date (We’ll call him Brad) to arrive, an older gentleman sat next to me. Never did get his name, but he was very sweet and asked me if I was waiting for someone. When I said yes, he smiled knowingly and told me he’d keep me company until my date arrived.

 

True to his word, he did keep me company. Kept me laughing and told me all sorts of stories. When Brad did arrive, he thanked the guy and we dove into the process of getting to know each other.

 

Are you wondering where the sweetness comes in at? It’s coming…

 

About thirty minutes into our date, the older gentleman got up to go to the bathroom and asked us to save his seat, so we did. In that time, Brad took it upon himself to order the guy another beer. Why? Because he wanted to thank him for keeping me company while I waited.

 

Now I don’t know about you, but I know a lot of guys and I don’t think many, if any, would have done that. They might have verbally thanked him like Brad did, but that probably would have been the end of it. Not with Brad. No, Brad wanted him to know how much he appreciated his kindness.

 

But I’m still not done yet. On that same date, he refused to let me pay for anything, minus the one drink I’d already paid for while waiting. We walked around downtown St. Pete for hours just chatting and anytime I spoke, he listened to what I had to say. GENUINELY LISTENED. And asked questions.

 

On top of that, he wouldn’t even let me walk on the left-hand side of the sidewalk. Why? Because of old-school chivalry. It used to be, and I guess still could be, dangerous to walk on the side where vehicles are. Puts you at greater risk of getting splashed or even worse, hit. Say what?! It’s true and I KNOW most men wouldn’t even think of that one.

 

And that’s still not it. He asked to hold my hand. Not because he was afraid or too nervous, but because he respected me and wanted to make sure I was comfortable with the idea. Not once did Brad make me feel pressured to do anything I didn’t want to do and I cannot express how much that means to me.

 

Beyond that night, Brad and I had another date where he, yet again, didn’t let me pay for a single thing, opened doors for me, and did all the things you see guys do in movies. Up until Brad, I’d thought I’d stayed pretty positive about the dating scene, but I was genuinely surprised someone like him existed. I’d always thought that guys like him were just a romantic’s version of how things should be.

 

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “If this Brad guy was so great, why isn’t it one of those madly in love, swept you off your feet kind of stories?”

 

Because life isn’t always fair. You see, it’s not that we didn’t like each other, or that we had a bad time, or that he did anything wrong. In fact, he did just about everything right including texting me good morning and goodnight damn near every day.

 

What it really came down to is the fact that Brad is in the military and was only in town for a short amount of time to begin with. Which he didn’t hide this from me either. He actually told that to me within minutes of starting our date. Props for honesty, right?

 

With that knowledge in mind, we decided to make the most of his time here in town and when it came time for him to pack up and head on his way, we said goodbye and wished each other luck. He even sent this as his last parting words, “Sorry things weren’t different.”

 

Me too, Brad. Me too… Heavy Sigh

 

And even though Brad and I aren’t together and will probably never speak again, it’s because of him that I have a little bit of faith in dating again.

 

So to all of you ladies and gents out there who’ve given up hope on finding someone who treats you with respect, just know that they’re out there. They’re rare, but they do exist.

 

As always, thanks for stopping by the Sassy Flamingo. I hope you enjoyed the read and if you’ve got any good dating stories, I’d love to hear them—leave them in the comments below.