Sophia is a 28-year-old high-school teacher who lives in Corso Italia. “I take risks and speak my mind, but only after listening to everyone else first,” she says. “When people meet me and I tell them I’m a teacher, they nod their head and say, ‘That makes sense.’” Sophia describes herself as personable and outgoing. For fun, she enjoys going to book launches, dancing, and taking part in city-wide challenges.
I’m part of a social circle of friends in Toronto that is centered on our faith. We don’t really do any religious things except attend mass together before we head out to drink. Usually we just share food, play Frisbee, or talk. Different people drop in on a weekly basis, so I know almost everyone.
I had never dated anyone in the circle before. At the time, I was using a Catholic dating website but not having much luck. I had been seeing someone for a while—well, just sleeping with him—but I was really looking for a guy who had a good relationship with his family, rational expectations of the future, and who donated his time to charity. I’d noticed this person posting in our Facebook group a lot, and he was popping up all over my Facebook news feed, but he was using a screen name. I figured I had already met him, but didn’t recognize his virtual identity, so I friended him to find out more.
When John accepted my friend request, I didn’t recognize him, but he was cute. He sent me a message to ask how I was doing, and said that it was great to hear from me. I didn’t know what he was talking about. He told me that we had met years before, playing soccer in the park; he had recognized me from my photos. I instantly remembered him. We first met when I was 18 and he was 28: I joined our meeting group for a soccer game one day, and I jumped on his back to distract him so my team could score. I wrote about it on LiveJournal that night.
We continued chatting on Facebook and then started texting. I decided that I liked him. John worked in security, volunteered, and asked me all the right questions about myself. Finally, he asked if I wanted to catch a sunset with him. I wasn’t sure if it was meant as a hangout or a date, but I prayed about it and hoped it would go well.
We met on Queen Street, then walked to Cloud Gardens at Bay and Adelaide, and then to the Music Garden at Harbourfront Centre. The conversation was really relaxed; he made me laugh a lot. We didn’t talk about typical, shallow first-date topics—we discussed our fitness regimes, our families, our mutual friends, our career paths, and senses of humour. We agreed that we were on our ideal date: strolling the city and wandering around, capturing glimpses of beauty. Just as the sun was setting, he kissed me.
When it was really late, and the subway was about to stop running, John walked me to Union Station and we said goodbye with a beautiful kiss. I was in a dream-like trance as I got on the subway. We have been going strong ever since, even planning the rest of our lives together.
Sophia rates her date (out of 10): 10
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