First date with Elysha: I also had no idea if we were on a date or just “hanging out.”

From a piece in TIME:

A new survey commissioned by and says that when out with a potential love interest, 69% of singles have absolutely no idea if they’re on a date or just “hanging out.”

This is not as crazy as it sounds. The same thing happened with Elysha and me.

Elysha and I began our lives together as colleagues. We were teaching together, one room separating our classrooms. When we met, I was married and about to get a divorce, and she was less than a year away from getting married and about to break off the engagement.

As we both became single, we also became friends and started dating other people.

As our friendship grew, we began spending more and more time together. After a year, we found ourselves single again. I was already falling in love with her, but I also thought that there was no way in hell that she would ever date me.

She was Elysha. I was just me.

Even though we were talking on the phone until the wee hours of the morning and spending enormous amounts of time together, I assumed that we would always remain friends.

There was simply no way that I could ever envision this amazing woman ever wanting to be with me. 

Then one day we went on a hike up Mount Carmel in Hamden, Connecticut. It was a beautiful spring day. We chatted and laughed all the way to the top, climbed to the top of the tower at the summit and spent time taking in the view. 


As the sun began to sink lower in the sky, we proceeded back down.

Halfway down the mountain, Elysha reached out and took my hand. She didn’t let go until we were at the bottom.

That was the moment I knew that we were more than just friends.

That was the moment I knew that this hike up the mountain was a date.

We were living together less than three months later and engaged to be married eight months after that. It sounds like a whirlwind romance, but we were friends for so long before we fell in love that we knew immediately that we would be together forever.

But that first date?

I had no idea it was a date until she held my hand for the first time.