Last night, I found myself ugly-crying while watching a British dating show.
If you’ve never watched “First Dates,” you need to. Like, right now.
It’s not like other dating shows. The people on it are real and raw and awkward and beautifully imperfect. No one is trying to get fame by going on the show. There’s no big cash prize. Just love.
The title of the show says it all—you show up at the First Dates restaurant (or hotel or, in the episode I watched, a pub for their Christmas special) and meet your blind date that the producers have paired you up with. At first, it’s usually always a bit awkward. Or they’ve got some friendly banter, as the British say.
But what I love most about this show is that it reminds me that there is someone out there for everyone.
We all have a past—something in our lives that has made us who we are and affected our relationships. But we persevere. We heal. We move on. And we hope that one day, someone will love us, just for the way we are.
I’ve been feeling a little bit hopeless about love and relationships recently. It’s hard to believe the good in people when you get hurt and when a relationship doesn’t work out. But I’ve found that the more I open my eyes to the good in the world, the more I start to see it.
“First Dates” reminds me that people will surprise you. That the Northern “lad” who seems cocky and full of himself, has a partly disabled mother who he cares for, and he’s actually quite sweet and a good listener.
The confident, well-dressed, beautiful girl used to be bullied for the colour of her skin, the texture of her hair.
Or there’s the elderly man who has known great love and loss and still, wants to find some kind of connection.
At the end of the day, we all just want to be loved and accepted. We don’t need to be perfect, we don’t need to have a perfect body, the perfect hair or job, or have loads of money. We just need to be kind. And open. And honest. And really, just be ourselves because that will be more than enough for somebody.
If you’ve been feeling down about the current state of the world (how could you not) and just need a sweet little pick-me-up, I highly recommend watching this.
Here’s a little glimpse into the wonderful awkwardness of “First Dates” magic. Enjoy!