Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Fine Isn’t Good Enough for Me

Fine Isnt Good Enough for Me single and happy  1105969 63159092 1 225x300So this is a story inside of a story, written by a still-very-sick woman. It may or may not make any sense.

A friend came by with soup and juice, for which I was grateful. More for the company than for the soup and juice.  She mentioned a couple dates she’d been on recently and so I asked how they went. She sighed and said the dates were fine, but… And then she looked frustrated.  They were fine, and she wanted that to be enough. But it wasn’t. And I could tell that she was struggling with that, in some way.

So I told her this story, about a running joke I had with an old friend. I’d go on a . She’d ask how it was. And then, before I could answer, she’d say, “let me guess, ‘it was fine‘.” And I’d say, yeah, it was fine.

Then she’d say something about how all of my dates couldn’t be fine.

But they were, mostly. Over the years I’ve gone on a lot of dates. With a lot of different guys. A lot. And most of them were perfectly nice men. Most of them were attractive enough, smart, funny, successful – all the good stuff. And most of them were kind to me during the date.

Sure, I’ve had some truly horrific dates. But those were the minority, which is why I don’t like to dwell on them too much, here.

But, there just haven’t been too many times when I’ve left the first (or second) date thinking, Damn, I can’t wait to see him again. Maybe 15 times in the last decade. Tops. In other words, we’re talking a very low % of my total dates. Very. Low. And, um, I think that this is normal or at least reasonable. I’m not a cold-hearted bitch. Rather, I’m cautious with my heart. I get that there are people who go all gushy over every single date. Well, I get it, but I don’t get it.

Now, I don’t know what other people expect from dates or relationships. Really I don’t. Because sometimes I read shit other people write, here in the comments and on other blogs, and I shake my head in confusion. But I know what I expect. And for me, baseline = I need to/want to/believe that I deserve to be excited about seeing that new man in my life. To be a little giddy with anticipation about our next date. For starters.

I want someone who I like with a capital L. Who I can maybe grow to .

Because otherwise, we’re really just talking about finding a pleasant dinner companion who’s a decent lay. Which isn’t that hard.

In other words, fine isn’t good enough for me.  Never has been and it never will be.

Which is what I told my friend. The first one. The one who sighed when I asked her about her recent dates. Maybe not in those exact words. Followed up by something about how unrealistic it is to expect things to be different.  That love is rare.  And that, once you’ve experienced it, you’re not willing to settle for something substandard.

And we both kinda nodded in agreement. And frustration.

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12 to “Fine Isn’t Good Enough for Me”

  1. Sandyvs says:

    Simone, this post made complete sense to me. I understand and agree with everything you’ve written.

  2. jackie says:

    Fine is an acceptable answer if you’re eating day old pizza for breakfast and someone asks how it is. Fine is insufficient in a love interest.


  3. Casey says:

    You took the words right out of my mouth. I am pretty laid back and “fine” usually does it for me, but not when it comes to dating. Continuing to date someone who falls under this category is the same as settling and who wants to just settle for someone? Not me!

  4. IntrigueMe says:

    Fine shouldn’t have to be enough! If we all settled for fine, this would be a very mediocre world!!

  5. Jenn says:

    Couldn’t agree more! I had actually almost given up on online dating because I had so many dates that were just ‘fine’ – I had sort of convinced myself that there was something about the online thing that took the ‘spark’ out of these first dates. But then I met the RIGHT guy and one way I knew he was different was that I spent the last half of that first date wondering how soon I could see him again without seeming pushy. Almost two years later and every time he leaves, I still feel like I can’t wait to see him again. Fine is definitely not enough…

    • Simone Grant says:

      I love happy dating stories. THANK YOU for chiming in with yours. There is that difference, and I think any once of us who has ever felt it knows exactly what it feels like (and isn’t willing to settle for less).

  6. Kelli says:

    “Fine” certainly isn’t enough to get me to the altar. In fact, I don’t think it’s ever been enough to get me much past date #2. (to give it a shot at being more than “fine.”) Being that I like the commitment side of relationships… it doesn’t make much sense to let the “fine” stick around too long… :)

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’ve convinced myself, on more than one occasion, to give “fine” a chance up to the 6th date. Maybe even 7th or 8th. Always turns out to be a bad idea.

      No spark in the beginning = No spark ever.

  7. Kelly says:

    That was always my biggest struggle. No drama with my many dates…just…nothing. They were nice; they were fine. But none of them provoked me to really open up, to feel anything significant. That might have been my loss. But then sometimes it shows up slowly, and just a little bit of interest can help move things forward, rather than falling head-over-heels immediately. If you find a guy intriguing, it’s worth exploring further.

  8. While I can sympathize on a general human level with the desire to fall in love and feel something wondrous and special, I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t a female fantasy/archetype that doesn’t survive real world experience. I’ve met people where I felt a spark but it took months to develop into something truly unique–the process of shared experiences and a deeper understanding of where the other person is coming from.

    The idea that you meet someone “and can’t wait to see them again” is, I think, naive and ultimately destructive.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’ve heard that before, but I don’t buy it. Without that spark, the one you mention, I’ve never had a relationship make it past date 6. And believe me, I’ve tried. Repeatedly. Trial and error tells me that that spark is required, as a foundation to build on. And it’s that spark that I’m talking about – that gut level desire. Nothing more complicated than that.