“What A Difference A Day Makes…”

9/6/16:
My favorite movie touches upon theories of how time flows, and there’s a scene where they describe the start of a relationship as fast. I’ve always been able to relate to that. I meet people and I feel nothing again and again. They’re always nice on paper, no real flaws that I can find, but the connection just isn’t there. I’ll see them for a few times, giving it time. I start to like them sometimes, but it never develops past that. The few times I’ve fallen for someone it was fast. It was a rush of a sudden overwhelming amount of…liking them. I can’t say “love.” I don’t believe one falls in love that fast with someone they hardly know, but when I like someone, when I really like someone, I’m excited and it’s a complete rush. My brain obsesses at the beginning. It’s like an explosion of sudden emotion shortly after meeting them and it’s hard to quit. It fades some overtime, it settles, it might disappear, or just calm down, but the beginning is always a rush, and that’s where I am. Saturday I had nothing. Saturday I was still lonely. Saturday I was debating stringing along some mediocre dates just to have someone. Sunday everything was different. I spent Sunday, Monday, and this morning in a wave of excitement. I went to sleep after midnight and I woke up at 4am filled with anticipation. I’ve been anxious and excited because I can’t get him off my mind and I want to see him again. I’m trying to fight it. I’m telling myself to slow down or I’ll burn off this feeling too quickly. I’ll overdo it and tire too fast. But no matter how much I try to relax, I can’t switch it off.

It’s funny, as lonely as I was at times, and as much as I knew there couldn’t be any real future with someone who lived as far away as my foreign crush, I half hoped I wouldn’t wind up falling for anyone until he visited my city, and now just four days before he’s here, the urge to see him disappeared. What timing. I feel oddly guilty about seeing him. I’ve only half mentioned it to the guy I just met. It’s silly of course. We’re not in anything serious. I don’t know where this will go. I’ve only known him for two days. Two days! But I don’t want to date anyone else right now. I don’t want to keep my options open. I want to see what happens with him. I hope something happens with him where this just works out. I did like my foreign crush, but the bubble popped when I looked at that situation realistically. This cloud of doubt has always been above my crush on him and I knew my crush was more about fun and a temporary attraction. I haven’t felt this crazy about someone in…well, about four years. Since my last real relationship. And it’s scary because this is so new and it might all fall apart so quickly, still. I’m nervous about falling from where I’ve flown to in this now. I’m in my head, dizzy, spinning with so much hope and so many ideas of what could be. My mind’s already raced to the extremes: what if this lasts, what if I never date again after him, what if this continues, and he keeps feeling the same way about me too, how do I feel about his last name, what if we had children, what if we stay happy together for many years, will I get along with his friends, will we have a healthy relationship, we could go here and there together, if I still do that big vacation in a year I’ll miss him if he’s still in the picture, and so on and so on…

I woke up on Monday after meeting him ready to go on a hike with a friend I hadn’t seen in years, but hours passed and my friend didn’t answer my phone calls or my texts. Was my friend flaking out on me at the last minute?! I frowned at the time and although it felt too soon according to the usual “rules” to reach out to the guy I’d just been with ten hours earlier, I really wanted to see him again. Did he want to go on a hike with me instead? I texted him. He had made lunch plans already. I told him that was fine and not to worry about it, but he said my plan sounded much more awesome. “You can’t ditch your friend because I just got ditched, it wouldn’t be right,” I told him, as much as I hoped he would. He suddenly played down the lunch plans and told me to give him a minute. Fifteen minutes later he was headed over to my place and we were in the car headed to our hike. He cancelled plans for me, he liked me, and he couldn’t be upset with me over cancelling the plans because I’d already told him not to. I was excited. We were in the car for over an hour. I had intended to put some music on, but it wasn’t until we were already there that I’d realized we’d already spent the entire ride talking. He looks at me with this interested and curious smile when I say something that he likes. We started the hike. Sweaty and out of breath scrambling up some rocks we realized we’d gone a bit off the path. We looked around for the path and he paused. I knew he was going to kiss me, I anticipate it, and still I try to pretend as if he’d caught me off guard, except there’s this sort of energy in the air each time before he kisses me. Everything slows for a moment. And each time I’m left with the same smile. It’s comfortable with him. We got back on the path and continued on. I stopped to get a pebble out of my shoe, balancing on one foot. He came over to me and held my shoulders to steady me. I flashed back to a couple I’d been envious of on the train a week ago when the girl bent down to tie her shoe and the guy with her had held on to her to keep her from falling. How did I wind up in this position so quickly? We passed some other hikers and noticed something amusing. We made the same joke at the same time. How did everything come so easy with him?

I was exhausted on the car ride home. Drained, but content that he was still with me. I asked him for more details about his ex that he used to live with. I wanted to better understand his past and where he stood now. He told me about their breakup, their fights toward the end, and his theories on her behavior. Suddenly I felt sad picturing their relationship crumble and knowing the feeling all too well. I could already see what it would be like if it ever turned into anything more with us, and the horrible demise we’d one day face. I was quiet for a while. But we weren’t at that point now. I glanced at him and smiled. I invited him up to my place.

In my bedroom I described all the color I’d seen in his eyes and he laughed telling me I was very observant. We talked, listened to music, and I showed him a couple of songs he hadn’t heard after he’d expressed interest in the singer. He correctly guessed the meaning behind the title of one of my playlists. Soon all the songs that I’d been listening to over the last few years sounded like they were about him. Then he kissed me and our clothes started to come off. We paused so he could go to the bathroom, and when he came back I’d had a moment to think. I thought about what I would say. I didn’t want to tell him I liked him, so I decided to play it off as a lesser statement and just tell him that he was cool. “I always do this right away. But you’re cool, and so I was thinking maybe I’ll wait until the next time I see you.” Sure, it sounded silly, I sleep with those I’m not that into right away, but now when I like someone, I choose not to be with them? Only, I didn’t want to ruin what was going on. Maybe my feelings never properly developed for everyone else because it was too rushed. Maybe I’d ruin what had already begun. He told me that was alright and he was enjoying kissing me. I meant to say that I liked kissing him, but somehow, “I like you” came out, so I started talking really quickly, as if all of the new sentences would cover up what I’d said, but I was very aware of a flicker of a smile that had appeared on his face as I said it, moments later washed away with a look of confusion as I rattled on about other things. He liked that I liked him. Maybe he liked me too. Sure, it wasn’t so bad, “I love you” would’ve been a horrible thing to say, yet still on the second day of knowing someone, “I like you” still sounded too forward. But I do, I do like him. He said he hears about how great he is and “let’s wait” a lot. I wondered who said it to him last. I thought about what I’d said and hoped it didn’t sound like too much so early on, I wasn’t usually this sentimental, and I didn’t usually make such a big deal about this; It couldn’t be a big deal because it was a scary thought to acknowledge how I felt so soon. So I told him that he wasn’t that special. He nodded and said he knows. I think he knew what I meant. So, we kissed some more and lay together a little longer before he eventually went home.

We lingered by my front door. I’d be leaving on another business trip this weekend and we both had plans during the week. He said waiting to see me until after my trip sounded too far away. He asked if I was free Friday night –his birthday. Every time I start dating someone I always cross my fingers it isn’t around any holidays, our birthdays included, to avoid that awkward questioning of if you should get them anything so early on and if so –what. When he’d told me his birthday the day before I’d just assumed I wouldn’t see him because his family was visiting him, but now there were all types of pressure about that day. He smirked and I knew what he meant. I told him he should spend time with his family and friends, trying not to butt in as an important person in his life at this point of time, but he assured me his parents would be at their hotel by that hour and he had a picnic planned with his friends the following day (which I wasn’t really available for anyway.) I told him I couldn’t and he sarcastically joked, “Great, another year without birthday sex!” I was getting guilted in, but it wasn’t like I didn’t want to see him anyway. I told him maybe. And once again, as soon as he left, I couldn’t wait to see him again.

I sat at work the next day with a smile and a distant look on my face for most of the day. If I was in high school, I’d have probably been drawing little hearts around his name in my notebook. I thought about his birthday again. I decided I’d make him a card because I had a somewhat artistic side to me he’d already seemed to appreciate when he’d noticed my nail art. I worked on an intricate design for hours and then sketched out what I’d write inside on a post-it note for a while. I had to keep it simple and light, as I wouldn’t have even known him an entire week yet at that point. But I wanted it to say more than your standard “happy birthday.” I thought for a while about how to sign my name. I’d just write it. I couldn’t write the word “love” even though I might to friends. It was just too risky at this point. “From” was just too unfriendly. I couldn’t draw a heart because he might read it as “love.” X’s and O’s seemed too mushy. Maybe I had a sticker at home in my childhood sticker books of a silly face giving a kiss I could put in it…I considered all of this for a while. I’ve decided to see him on Friday, but I know so little about him I haven’t decided if I’ll include anything else in the card. What do I know about him? That he doesn’t like tomatoes and raisons? That he’s learning to play the banjo and sings in a chorus? How do I turn those things into a thoughtful present? Perhaps the card and my presence was enough. I couldn’t really do much or it would seem like too much for someone I’d just met, anyway.

I checked my phone every hour, writing down things I thought about texting him. I couldn’t come on too strong after seeing him for so long two days in a row. This is day three of knowing him. I had to leave a gap for him to miss me. I worried someone else would sweep up some opportunity and it’d be over before it began, but I couldn’t give in. We needed at least 24 hours where I didn’t reach out to him. Maybe I’d allow myself to text him tomorrow. Maybe I wouldn’t. Then my foreign crush sent me a message that he was looking forward to visiting my city. It made me nervous. I’d spent close to nine months anticipating his visit, and all of a sudden the excitement had faded. Would I really see him the day before I met with The New Guy on his birthday? What if we wound up at my place after midnight, would I sleep with him on this guy’s birthday and then jump back to this guy the next evening? It didn’t sound like me at all, I thought, and then I got a text from The Short Guy. He asked if I’d seen his acknowledgment to my drunken text from last week about hooking up with him. So there was that loose end too. I didn’t think twice about cutting ties with that one. I told that I’d just met someone I wanted to see where things went with. He wished me luck and said he still wouldn’t mind seeing me either, though. I kind of laughed to myself. I certainly can’t feel very undesirable at this point in time.

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2nd Date With The Scientist

“What’s the worst thing about you? Your biggest flaw?” I asked The Scientist at dinner last night. I don’t know why I asked him, but I certainly wasn’t expecting the answer he gave. He paused for a long time before telling me he had no morals. He explained that believes in being a good person (whew) but not for moral reasons. It was an interesting conversation but I guess telling me “the people that don’t like me don’t because they think I’m evil” didn’t send me a good message about him. “Do you want wine? Should we get an appetizer?” I looked over the prices menu of the fancy restaurant. They’d helped us out of our coats and pulled our chairs out for us. It was that kind of place. “I can’t really afford any of that. I’ll just get the chicken.” He laughed, “okay.” I didn’t really want the chicken, but it was probably the cheapest thing on the menu. It was a small portion and I filled up on bread. We split the check again, no questions asked.

We walked over to the little improv theater and he said he was curious to see my reaction to the show. I hadn’t really been to that type of show before, but for the most part it was amusing. When it ended we started walking aimlessly at 11pm. We talked some and kept walking. “What do you want to do now?” he asked. “Take my shoes off,” I said. I explained that my boots weren’t meant for walking long distances and my feet were starting to hurt because I’d been out the entire day. He suggested going to his apartment, which was a lot closer than mine, but I told him it was kind of late. We kept walking. “I don’t know if you like me,” he said. “What do you mean?” I asked. “I can usually gauge how things are going by now, but I have no idea with you,” he explained. I admitted, “I’ve heard that a lot.” There was some silence for a while. He looked confused and told me he didn’t know what I was thinking.

I thought about how often he’d said that he liked complete honesty and how open he was. In one breath I suddenly said, “I don’t want to go to your apartment because I don’t want to have sex with you tonight, I feel negatively towards you stating that you have no morals, I know I want things to be equal and I want to stop the stereotypes but I still am judging you for not paying for me, I don’t know if I like you in a romantic kind of way yet because it takes me a lot longer than most people to figure that out and I think you’ll probably be annoyed with me by the time I do, or maybe find how talkative I am annoying.” It was quiet again after that outburst while he thought about all the information I’d quickly released in complete honesty.

He started, “I wasn’t implying that you had to have sex with me, we could just hang out at my apartment and then go home. I don’t know any other place where you can take your shoes off nearby. You could sleep at my apartment and not have sex with me, I’ve done that plenty of times too. It was never implied.” I corrected, “It’s always implied after 10pm when you invite someone back to your place unless otherwise stated, even if I wish it wasn’t always implied.” He continued, “Well, you asked me what was worst about me, that was my answer. I don’t think it’s equal if I pay for everything. I’ve done that before, but I felt used for my money. So, that I’m not going to do. I don’t find you annoying.”

We kept walking and every now and then I’d remind him that my feet hurt, and would decline his offer to carry me. “You’re small, it’s not a problem,” he’d try to reassure me, but I’d protest that I was an adult and didn’t feel comfortable with being carried. “Why do you text me ‘good morning’ every day?” I asked him, feeling more at ease with the questions I didn’t have answers to. “I can stop if you’d like,” he said. “No, I don’t mind, I just thought it was a little weird –I mean, do you do that with everyone each day?” I asked. “No, we’re dating and I know you wake up in the morning and I know you always have something to say.” I started to feel bad about the date I have coming up with someone new next weekend. We continued to talk and walk. I realized that the thing that was keeping me from feeling a connection with him most was that he seemed to look at things too literally. I’d always thought I wanted to be with someone who thought of things logically, but I felt that he went to extremes where the wonder was taken out of everything. Instead of just accepting a certain feeling or action, I felt like he was always trying to break down the science behind it and rationalize what happened in someone’s brain behind that action. That’s what I didn’t like about him. When I asked him about it, he only partially agreed.

We were walking to the middle of no where when I realized where we were and I turned down the block so we stood outside a horse stable. There was a horse outside, and I started a conversation with his caretaker. I stroked the nose of the large white horse and noticed my date’s hesitation. “Are you nervous around large horses?” I asked. “I just don’t know how to tell if he’s friendly.” “Sure he is, look at his body language. You can tell from how his ears are pointed and from his eyes.” He gave the horse a pat. “If you scratch most horses over here by their withers you can usually find a spot that makes their lips twitch,” I showed him. He scratched the horse. There were some ponies nearby. “Are these ponies happy?” he asked me. “Yes, they look happy to me, sure” I assured him again. We pet the ponies and walked back towards the train.

“Does it take you a while to feel comfortable with someone physically?” he asked me. “Yes.” I answered. He told me that he doesn’t feel that way at all, and that he could hug a stranger. He told me that he felt somewhat uncomfortable answering some more of my intimate questions because we hadn’t physically touched each other. “Do you want to hold my hand?” I asked. “If you want to hold my hand…” he said. I took his hand, he laced his fingers in-between mine, and we continued walking. It clicked in my mind that it had been a very long time since I’d held someone’s hand. “I know when I like someone when I stop thinking about everyone else,” I told him. “When’s the last time you liked someone?” he questioned. I thought for a moment before confessing, “It’s been a really long time.” I asked him what he was feeling or what mood he was in. He was “slightly disappointed” because he didn’t know what to make of our situation yet and he turned my own question on me. I told him I felt a little sad because I was thinking about my answer to the last time I’d liked someone. We stopped on a corner and he touched my hair, sort of playing with it. I felt like he was going to kiss me, but he didn’t.

“I liked that I got to meet that horse and those ponies,” he told me and I was happy to have made it happen. We kept walking. “Okay, my feet really can’t take this anymore and I’m finding it difficult to think about anything else” I said in the middle of the night. We walked directly to the train at the next turn. “My feet just smiled” I told him as we entered the station. He hugged me goodbye but it was in a more lingering way this time. Again I thought he might kiss me, but he didn’t. I was reminded of why I don’t like dating people much taller than me, it’s extremely difficult to make a first move if I want to without being a bit more aggressive. He held my hand until my last finger slipped out of his reach as I turned to wait at my train’s platform. It felt weird to have finally ended the very long walk. “Goodnight” I said somewhat awkwardly. “Goodnight” he said. I texted him on the train that it felt good to sit and be off my feet, followed by a second text he didn’t respond to, “Holding your hand was nice also.”

Second Date With Blue-ish Eyes

It seems my declaration for not being able to date multiple people at once has gone out the window. There was another text from my hook-up buddy I’m not exactly ignoring, and a second date request from…Well, let’s call him Blue-ish Eyes from this post. Green Eyes and I are also still talking. The other night he mentioned having gone on a date with a woman he wasn’t sure if he would see again. Even though I’d encouraged him to continue dating other women because we’re nowhere near anything exclusive, it suddenly felt competitive and it was no accident I revealed my upcoming date with Blue-ish Eyes to him. Part of me thinks he caught on to the game. Shortly after he said he was thinking about asking to see if I was around that weekend but apparently he’d have to “wait in line.” On top of it all, you’ll never believe that as of last night, Clingy Guy is back in the picture after all these years, obsessively clicking on my dating site profile every half hour again! Of course, I no longer have patience for his creepiness and do plan on blocking him after the first message I receive.

Last night was my second date with Blue-ish Eyes, but I wound up working late. I rushed home to change my clothes and ran to the train. My go-to second-date-outfit was still in the laundry since it wasn’t that long ago I’d seen Green Eyes, and I’d quickly grabbed something else. I still wound up keeping him waiting 45 minutes and I had been 15 minutes late after getting lost on our first date. It’s unsettling for me because I’ve never really been late to anything. Any of my friends, employers, teachers, or nearly any other date I’ve been on will tell you the same, but by coincidence the only two times he’s met me, I was late, and he wasn’t thrilled about it. I tried to explain that this was some freak thing that never happens and sort of got this “yeah, sure” attitude back. “Two for two” he said. As much as I don’t like when people are late, I guess the fact that he wasn’t more understanding turned me off a bit. The next thing that went wrong about this night was that in my rushing to meet him, I’d skipped dinner, heading straight to the two-drink minimum comedy show he’d purchased tickets for. The first glass of wine in I whispered that I was accidentally drunk but would try to pretend I was sober. He laughed. I had trouble paying attention to the show after the second glass. Again he didn’t turn down my offer of splitting the bill. Again, I mentally swiped points away from him. I guess I just like to see that someone is willing to treat me to dinners, shows, drinks, and after that’s established, I’m open to treating them.

When we left the show, I insisted on dinner at a fast-food restaurant. It always seems like a great idea when you’re not sober. Blue-ish Eyes reminded me of a guy I once dated when I was fifteen years old. I’d noticed it the first time we met and mostly brushed it off, but on our walk I realized there were more similarities and it wasn’t necessarily a positive realization. I made a fool of myself at the restaurant. I guess you just look worse when alcohol’s affected you more than your date, as well. It was late and they were getting ready to close, pushing tables together to mop under them. After returning from the restroom, I’d forgotten my way around the maze of blocked off tables, and found myself squeezing through two that had been pushed together. “Miss, what are you doing?!” a worker cleaning the area asked me. “I’m sorry, I just couldn’t find another path!” I told her, knocking over her mop as I climbed over her cleaning supplies. Upon reaching our table, the group of guys at the table next to us were singing the opening song for the MadTV skit “Lowered Expectations” about the video dating service offering bad dates. Any chance it wasn’t about me? Embarrassed I asked my date if we could leave. Walking to the train he said that going to a comedy show and then just heading home was probably a mistake because it didn’t allow for us to get to know each other well. I guess I figured we should talk, but I quickly steered the conversation to a topic that made him go silent. Literally, just long pauses of silence while he starred at the ground followed my questions. He threw them back at me, and being pretty open I had no trouble sharing my own personal stories, but in the middle of one, my train came. So, there was a quick, extremely awkward hug goodbye and the abrupt end of the date. -I did get a “Remember to drink a lot of water” text from him when I got home. I guess he cares?

Well, that didn’t go so well. Perhaps I could blame it on being Friday The Thirteenth. He did get some points for noticing the design I did on my nails, which Green Eyes didn’t notice, but, knowing that he’s not very open seems to have put me at ease about not meeting him for a third date. On the train home, I texted Green Eyes. I asked if he’d ever accidentally been drunker than a date. He asked if I was talking about me or my date that night. “I’m texting you at midnight about my date, what do you think?” I answered. I think I’m still going to give Green Eyes a shot at a third date.
PS- That’s right, I actually forgot it was Valentines Day today, and really couldn’t care less.

The 19 Hour Date

Amongst my mental chaos of dating too many people at once, I got a textmessage from a hookup buddy I was tempted to see and I realized I couldn’t pull this off. So, I flaked out on the women I was supposed to meet this weekend, and never checked in with the first date from last weekend. I did have a good time talking to Green Eyes (on here, that’ll be the name of my second date from last weekend) over lunch on Sunday, so I figured I should try another date with him. He’d already invited me to grab a drink that Saturday, and I had asked to get back to him closer to the weekend. In the morning I realized I’d better lock something in with him before he had someone else lined up. Later on during our date, I discovered that we apparently read each other pretty well…
Green Eyes: “Hey, when you said you weren’t sure if you were free this weekend, did you have another date?”
Me: *laughs* “Yeah…That’s why I quickly texted you in the morning. I thought you might’ve assumed that out and made other plans.”
Green Eyes: “I figured when you said that, so I did tell another girl I might be free that night. I was thrown off getting your text so early in the morning, but it was nice to wake up to.”
Me: “I guess everyone does this kind of bullshit when dating.”
We both laughed it off.

I got to the bar early and skimmed the cocktails menu. Set on a drink I wanted, I stalled on ordering in case he was planning on treating me. I told him I was a lightweight and didn’t want to drink much before he arrived. That’s true, but it wasn’t why I didn’t order my drink. He paid and we chatted. We probably said more than we should’ve and definitely drank more than we should’ve. Towards the end of the date I found myself offering to pay for some of his drinks and my own. I didn’t feel negatively about it, it just felt fair. It must have already been the next morning when we were leaving the bar. He walked me to the train and mentioned something about coming back to my place. I had a good buzz going, but I do clearly remember my exact answer: “Oh. Um. Well, if you don’t tell me what time it is, so I don’t know how late it is, okay, yeah I guess you could come by.” So, we headed back to my place. You know how some movies cut to a black screen right before some bedroom scene begins? That’s kind of what I’m going to do here.

If it wasn’t already a given, the next morning we were both feeling pretty sick. I woke up at 9am and rummaged around for an extra toothbrush to leave him in the bathroom before getting back into bed. I glanced over at him and replayed the night in my mind, trying to finalize my opinion of him before any morning conversation began. He wasn’t exactly my type physically, but he was cute enough. The real deal-breaker was that he wasn’t a great kisser. It wasn’t horrible, but it was so “meh,” I really felt I could do without it. I’m not sure it’s something you can still improve when you’re nearing thirty either. I couldn’t stop picturing that he must have looked like a goldfish smacking their lips at the top of the water. If I see him again, I’ve got to say something or this will never work out. As awful as I think it would be to bring up, I kind of feel like it might not be so bad. We spent the entire morning and most of the afternoon in bed talking about…really just about everything. We went over each other’s past relationships, sexual experiences/likes/dislikes, getting over lost loves, funny stories, and shared other little anecdotes from each other’s lives. It was very honest and open. I liked that.

Green Eyes: “You know, you’re definitely…Well, just…You’re really the type I’m attracted to.”
Me: “Hm. …You have nice eyes.”
Green Eyes: “Thank you.”

Green Eyes: “After her and I broke up, I had to block her on FaceBook, but we had a lot of mutual friends. One day a friend put up this picture she was in and…You know, I mean there was just this picture…I had to see this picture of her…and…”
Me: “Well, I have a couple of ex’s that I felt it was necessary to block all our mutual friends in addition to them. I mean, I completely explained to these friends that it was nothing personal, I just didn’t want to run into anything like that…”
Green Eyes: “Exactly! I wish I could do that…But they were close friends.”
Me: “Yeah, and I mean you can be over someone but sometimes there’s still something that’s just…It’s like you can only be over some people to a certain extent…And you reach that point, and you’re over them and all, but…”
Green Eyes: “Yes. And it’s also strange that you can be so into someone and so in love with them, and then when you break up and you’re over them, it’s just gone. It’s so weird that it’s gone, like what happens to it, where does it go?”
I just smiled because I’d written this post about that before.

Green Eyes: “Hey, were you planning on bringing me back to your place?”
Me: “No. …I wouldn’t have if I drank less. But it’s fine.”

Around 1pm I finally decided to get dressed and that we’d go out for pancakes on me. So, we hopped in my car and headed out. At the restaurant I mentioned that I hadn’t accomplished a lot that day and probably should have gone grocery shopping. Green Eyes offered to go with me. I asked if he also needed groceries. “No, but I don’t mind going. I really don’t!” I still declined the offer. Was I on the 18th hour of a second date, or in the middle of a long-term relationship? Do second dates usually have 18th hours? (I wasn’t really asking.) When we got back to my place, I figured the date had to be winding down, but he asked to use my bathroom. Of course I let him back upstairs, telling him, “Well, it’d be kind of weird if I said ‘no’ now.” To my surprise he wanted to hang out even longer. He mentioned he was supposed to meet up with his friends hours earlier and another date a bit later. I encouraged him to do both, but he just seemed to make up excuses. I told him our date shouldn’t stop him from going on other dates. I believe “Right on,” was his exact response. This date didn’t make us exclusive, regardless of having this weird illusion we’d been together for a while. He claimed he just wasn’t into her and that it had nothing to do with me. Eventually, after repeating how tired I was, he finally stopped stalling on heading out, although he did seem to suggest other excuses to stay longer while putting on his shoes. I got nervous when he almost took his jacket back off. Then, hours after he left, he was texting me again. My reaction: “uh oh, he likes me…”
GreenEyesLikesMe
I want to be excited about someone and I want it to gradually progress into something. I want to save up all those new experiences with someone new and draw it out over time. Cramming weeks of dates into a nineteen hour period just isn’t as rewarding as falling for someone over time. I’d been thinking it would be nice to jump into the more comfortable and settled-in phase of a relationship, but I really found myself missing too much from the beginning…though that’s still where we should’ve been. I got a sort of “how was your day?” check-in text from him the next day. The attention felt nice, but I just didn’t feel like it had anything to do with the message being from him

Second Date Of 2015

I spent last week wondering if I’d decide to spend that weekend on a second date with the guy I saw last weekend. I didn’t make up my mind until the afternoon he texted me asking if we were still on. My mood at that moment? Go on the date! He chose a bottle of wine and an appetizer for us, and I skimmed the menu for the tastiest sounding dish. It happened to be one of the most expensive main courses, but seeing that he didn’t flinch when I mentioned it interested me, I figured it was safe to order. We started talking and I couldn’t help but wonder what had gotten me the second date in the first place. It seemed obvious to me that we were continuing to disagree on just about everything.

Again he seemed to try to slap a label on who I was entirely as a person. I couldn’t believe I was actually explaining that people were so much more complex than being given one label and how diverse personalities could be. I told him that most people weren’t one clean cut way or another and instead fell along some sort of spectrum of personality type and core being. He told me that some of my stories confused him and he was disappointed as he’d been under the impression he had already pegged me for exactly who I was. I’d shattered the image he’d already tried to set of me. He told me that he thought I was a hippy and I no longer fit into the box he’d categorized me into. But, this wasn’t Dharma & Greg and I wasn’t going to just be some novelty he’d hoped he could say he’d dated. For the record, no one else has ever considered me to be a hippy. We continued to discuss our differences, as it seemed there wasn’t any common ground to fall back on. At one point a radish flew out of his hand and landed on the seat next to us. I laughed and he tossed it onto our table. I told him it was still clean and he admitted he wanted to eat it, but wasn’t because he didn’t want me to judge him. I wondered why he even cared what I thought at that point.

A bit later it was discovered that my ex’s employer was actually his company’s main competitor. He asked me what I thought of that business, and I admitted I really had no interest in it. He told me that his job was very important to him and defined his life. He asked what I spoke to my ex about if I wasn’t interested in his company. “I don’t know, we just had fun instead. We talked about things we actually had in common,” I told him. I instantly realized this was, in other words, “I do not have fun with you and we don’t have anything in common.” We then debated a topic I’m passionate about that he’d mentioned he’d disagreed with, but was what he’d invited me to dinner to discuss. He quickly changed his stance and I lost some respect for him. If he hadn’t known enough or cared much for the topic, why had he taken such a strong stance in the first place? We continued to mismatch discussing our preferences and choices made in our lives, but this wasn’t one of those meals where you cautiously pick at a salad in order to not make a mess in front of someone you’re trying to impress. I enjoyed my darn dish. Again he swept up the check without even glancing to see if I’d reached for my purse. Guilt free about the meal with the date I’d had no interest in. The restaurant become crowded and the waiter asked if he could buy us a cocktail at the bar so we’d give up the table. I said yes and he said no. No surprise there. He walked me to the train and asked me to text him the title of a book that had come up in conversation. I gave him a half-assed hug goodnight, thanked him for dinner, and went on my way. When I got home, I did text him the title of the book. I think it was the first time in my life I was happy I didn’t get a reply text and have my fingers crossed it stays that way. My experiment with dating just for dinner wasn’t such a bad experience after all.

The Flakey Comedian (Part 3)

The date we had set for Wednesday got moved to Saturday, then Sunday, and then again to the next Wednesday. At this point I was losing interest pretty rapidly. I couldn’t tell if she’d met someone more interesting, or was just the kind of unorganized person with a busy life that I’m not into. If I was in any other situation I’d probably have stopped asking when she was free. I might have stopped replying to her texts completely. If I had anything else going on, I might have not allowed her to hold so much power scheduling the next date. A friend suggested I drop her after the third time she rescheduled. “What would I gain doing that?” I asked. “Self respect?” he said. “Oh yeah, me and my self respect are going to sit at home without anything else to do and have so much fun together,” I replied. But, Wednesday it was. Wednesday at 6:30, then Wednesday at 7:00, then Wednesday at 7:30, but still Wednesday it was. I waited for her at the bar and when she walked in I immediately knew it wasn’t going anywhere. The vibe was different. We were distant from each other, almost forcing something that wasn’t there. We looked at each other like we were bored already. I don’t exactly know what made that night so different than the first, but it reminded me of a guy I dated last July who told me that he’s never had a decent second date. (You might remember my brief mention of who I referred to as “Intellectual Guy” before he quickly became “uninteresting guy.”) He had explained that he was quite skilled at first dates, but somehow always used up his charm by the second. Her and I talked, we had a drink, we walked to another bar, we had another drink, we might’ve even laughed a little, and then she had to go because she was tired. I knew she wasn’t really lying, but I also knew that was my line when I’d had enough of a date. On my way home I started to wonder if it was just an off-night. The pressure of nothing else going on was building again. What did I have to lose at that point? I tried out this text about 30 minutes after we parted ways that night:
conv2

After my text was ignored I got the message. So, I was home on a weeknight three drinks in, back to nothing “romantic” going on in my life. I thought about how crappy my dating life had been going lately and then I remembered the person who had inspired this post. He had texted me out of the blue to meet up, when I wasn’t free one night about two months ago. I hadn’t seen him in about 8 months now and started thinking it might be a nice option to have on the table again. Without thinking about it too much more, I sent him this text and yes it was after 11pm:
Conv3
To my surprise he replied and this is how my night wound up:
Conv7
[Insert graphic details of the rest of my night here]

The next day at work I spent most of my lunch break on Tinder seeking out someone new. Then my date from the night before texted me. As soon as my phone buzzed and I saw her name pop up, I knew what it was going to say and didn’t even want to read it…
Conv5
Clearly I’d already received the message or I wouldn’t have texted my old friend the night before, or been back on Tinder so avidly. I would have rather she didn’t reply at all. I feel like that text just sort of made it awkward when it was unnecessary. As much as I always say I’d rather not be ignored and have people be straight forward with me, I think there are still certain times where it’s better when nothing is said. I got her message when she didn’t answer me the night before and it didn’t need to be rubbed in any further. If she hadn’t said anything about ignoring it, maybe we could’ve even been friends. That’s something I don’t like about online dating or Tinder dates. In the real world you can get to know someone without having to be on a date with them. You can start out as friends and see where it goes. When you meet someone from a dating site, the first time you meet it’s your first date. You can say you’re not going to call it that, but you always know it’s a date. By the second date if you know you’re not compatible with one another you basically have to break up. Being friends after a break-up generally has some difficulties. Although you’re on a much less intense level of breaking up, that awkward tinge remains. Maybe we could’ve laughed off my message and hung out again at some point if she hadn’t sent that totally “it’s not you it’s me” kind of text. It’s not so easy to come back leaving it off that way. I still think it would be fun to hang out with her though, do you think I should try asking about a friendship with her in a couple of weeks?