It’s late Friday night, and the bar in which I find myself is like an ancient ship’s lower deck: dark wood and barrels. The band performing in the far corner matches the mood. It’s a jug band, which is precisely what it sounds like: a few guys drawing bassy notes out of empty jugs while another guy plays the guitar made out of a cigar box. Couples are dancing, drinks sloshing out in little waves. I’m out with my close group of friends and, of course, I see a very attractive woman getting a drink at the bar. First I see her in profile, her dark hair tucked behind her ear. But when she turns to look out over the crowd, I see her brown eyes and a bright, warm smile. And she sees me. She’s pretty to the point of intimidation, but, importantly, I do not look away. And she doesn’t either.
We have a sweet long moment.
Walking over to the bar, with the hope of introducing myself to her, it occurs to me: What exactly am I looking for in this woman? What am I hoping to find? I’m past 30, almost settled professionally, and I feel like it’s been far too long since I’ve met someone I could fall in love with. I’m not sure if any of us can recognize real, lasting love the first time we meet somebody, but there a few things that help a man decide if a first meeting needs to turn into a first date.