Left in Love is a dating column for progressive daters who give a damn! Each month, Meghan Murphy matches couples looking for radical love and documents the date in this space. Our couple this month is Autumn and Fabian.
Autumn is a 33-year-old work in progress -- a lifelong learner trying to create the life that she wants to be living. She works in the health-care field and is a lover of good books, music and documentaries. Sunny/Introvert.
Fabian is a 35-year-old student of holistic nutrition. He identifies as a third-culture kid, music creative and explorer of consciousness. His romantic mantra is: "Men are from Mars; Women are from Kinder Surprise." Optimistic/Equanimous.
Fabian: Autumn was already seated by the time I got to the restaurant. I'd had to rush to get there on time as I had a busy afternoon and as usual, I cut things too close… But when I saw her, she was calm -- like she was catching up with an old friend.
Autumn: Fabian is an attractive man and he greeted me with a warm smile and a hug -- it made things immediately comfortable. He brought a beautiful collection of crystals and stones and asked me to pick one as a gift… a very unique way to start things off which definitely piqued my curiosity and made me want to know more about him.
Fabian: Autumn got up to return my greeting hug and I just noticed how beautifully unique she looked. She had a clean and simple dress-style, which I like. I was actually on the brink of being smitten -- thank goodness her calmness had an effect on me...
Autumn: I was initially a little nervous when I was contacted about going on a Left in Love date but mostly because I couldn't remember what I had written on the questionnaire several months prior. I reassured myself by remembering that I couldn't have changed that much and that I'd tried to be very thoughtful and sincere when answering the application questions. In the lead-up to the date I didn't think about it too much so I didn't feel nervous at all the night of -- I just approached it as though I was going to meet a friend. I figured that, worst-case scenario, I'd meet a new person, we'd share some great food, and we'd either click or not. At the very least it would be an interesting experience.
Fabian: I'm actually good with meeting and spending time with strangers so the idea of a "date" wasn't at the top of my mind. It just felt like another opportunity to meet someone cool. So I didn't feel nervous about the date until a few words into the conversation... Then I got self-conscious about being mesmerized by Autumn's beautiful eyes.
Autumn: Three and a half hours of conversation is hard to sum up… Our conversation was very free-flowing and natural. Fabian was very interesting and we had a lot of things in common. He likes to garden and the community gardens in Vancouver was one thing that played a role in him moving here from New Zealand; I love to garden and have a plot in a community garden not far from where he lives! It was interesting to find out that Fabian moved here from New Zealand because I actually spent a year there on a cultural exchange with my grandmother when I was younger so we had lots to talk about in that regard. He is also very drawn to First Nations culture and that is part of my heritage so there was that. I'm not sure if Fabian is necessarily religious but he is definitely a spiritual person, as am I. We discovered that I know one of his roommates, who I used to work with and is lovely. We are both lovers of great food and interested in cooking, gardening, urban agriculture and foraging. I just started to learn percussion and am a musical wannabe and he already plays several instruments (percussion, drums, bass, guitar). We talked from 6:30 p.m. until I had to call it a night at 10 because I had to be up at 6 a.m. for work the next day…
Fabian: The conversation had such a good flow that the waitress had to come back numerous times to get our order. We had to consciously stop talking to look at the menu. Then we would talk about what's on the menu and get sidetracked into another round of conversation. Throughout the evening we talked about gardening, a mutual friend we had, what we did, what we like to do, travel, food, ice cream, smelly fruit, Indigenous cultures, learning languages, our families and even parenthood...
I found out that she lived in New Zealand for a year with the Maori community. We connected about that because I've interacted and learnt so much from Maori through my activism. We laughed about our disagreement about a New Zealand breakfast cereal called "Weet-Bix" and talked about native New Zealand birds. She also told me about participating in the Sundance Ceremony as a Chanupa Carrier (a Sacred Pipe Carrier) when she was a kid -- wow, mind blown.
Autumn: Fabian seems very warm, calm and open (if he was anxious or nervous on the inside he hid it well). He smiles and laughs easily. I felt like he was being his natural self and seemed intelligent both outwardly and inwardly. He seemed committed to evolving as a person and living his life as authentically as possible.
Fabian's interests were so varied -- a huge spectrum, from the political world to the natural world, to the spiritual world and the Self. He is currently studying holistic nutrition which I find fascinating, though I don't know much about it. I've been interested in nutrition for many years and it will be interesting to talk to him more as he progresses through the program -- I'm sure I can learn a lot from him. Fabian is also very interested in community-building and spoke very highly about his roommates -- he seems to really value and nurture his relationships with others. He seems like a really well-rounded person; thoughtful, adventurous, curious, political, spiritual, introspective, respectful, sensitive… Lots to say but also a great listener. One funny thing about him: he loves spicy food so carries spicy powder around with him!
Fabian: Autumn has a very pleasant and calm energy and is a curious listener -- definitely a talkative introvert, like me, so we both steer away from small talk. I was impressed that she is so well-travelled, experienced and knowledgeable. She told me that she is a health-care administration worker and that she wears pyjamas to work underneath her scrubs (the coolest work attire I've ever heard of). Her real passion, though, lies in labour rights -- she's already making waves in union politics. Autumn also told me that she is learning sewing and Brazilian drumming and that she spent her summer growing watermelons and pumpkins in her little community garden plot.
Autumn strikes me as a mature and independent person who knows and achieves what she wants at a steady pace… I get a sense that she has a really good heart.
To me, smart is sexy and Autumn has definitely got that!
Autumn: I really enjoyed myself. Before the date I was prepared to use the fact that I work early in the morning to make an early escape if I wasn't having a good time, but instead I was disappointed that I had to leave early. We started off by sharing an appy and finished off by sharing some desserts. Fabian was open and revealing of himself and seemed interested in getting to know me. I don't consider myself a talkative person, and it sometimes makes me self-conscious but in this case I didn't find myself struggling for things to say. There wasn't a single lull, but neither of us dominated the conversation…
Fabian: The date felt natural and really good! We both agreed we had a great time and I definitely wanted to see her again soon. I felt that we connected well and there was certainly potential for romantic chemistry. I'm never one to rush these sorts of things. But of course, I'm not building any false expectations either. Who knows the future? Que sera sera.
Autumn: He was worried that his car might have gotten towed so I walked with him to where he parked, just in case I needed to give him a ride if his car wasn't there. All was well when we got there, though, so he drove me back to my car. We exchanged numbers, hugged and called it a night. As we were saying goodbye it was nice to feel like there was so much more to talk about... I'm genuinely interested in getting to know him better -- he is a beautiful person inside and out.
Fabian: Time flew by so fast! It ended only because the next day was an early workday for Autumn. I knew she had a sweet tooth so I asked her out again to indulge in some gelato. Concerned that my car was towed away, I asked if she could accompany me to check on it. Strolling on West Hastings Street felt unusually romantic… My car was there so I gave her a lift back to her car and we parted with a tender kiss on the lips.
Autumn: I think it was the best first date I've ever had. I would definitely like to see him again, and I think I will.*
Fabian: I'm on my way to see Autumn as soon as we're done with this interview!
Autumn rated the date 9/10
Fabian rated the date 9.5/10 (-0.5 for liking Weet-Bix)
*Autumn added that she and Fabian saw each other the following night and had a great time.
Tired of wading through profiles on online dating sites? Apathetic offerings getting you down? Left in Love is rabble.ca's answer to dating fatigue. And where better to find your match than among fellow progressives! Who wants to waste a night out with someone who thinks heath care is bad for the economy or who suggests things like "pulling oneself up one's bootstraps?" Let us send you out on the town with someone who will tickle your radical fancy! If you're in the Vancouver area and would like to take part, contact us at love[at]rabble.ca and fill out an application.
Meghan Murphy is a writer and a journalist in Vancouver, B.C. The column Left in Love is published every month.
Photo: Meghan Murphy
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