On Friday I was worried. I felt like there was an inevitability about things with Tim. I had the feeling that I would have to work hard to avoid a relationship. And I was right.
Tim picked me up a little before 7:00 pm. He walked over from his place and we walked from my place to the restaurant. We chatted and got comfortable.
Dinner was good. He treated. He said, "You can get the next one" when I offered to pay. I was chatty, as usual. He's rather more Catholic than I thought. I asked him how important that was to him, if he went to church. He said he used to go, at least once a month, on his own, but he hasn't been back since...he separated. "I guess I feel some guilt." I nodded. "Maybe I shouldn't be saying that on a date..." I shrugged and said I that I understood. He asked me about my religious upbringing and I told him about my family, my brothers and some of our complicated life.
After dinner, he kissed me. I felt it coming. I didn't want to get away, I wanted to kiss him too. We went to a nearby park and sat on a bench. That was my idea. Tim suggested going to the movies, which I rejected. Later I told him, "I didn't want to go to the movies because I wanted to talk to you. We'll go to the movies another time." The weather was perfect. We sat and talked and held hands and kissed. There weren't many people around and I wasn't self-conscious.
We talked about bad dates. Mine were much worse than his. He asked me what the stupidest thing I ever did was. I came up with getting stoned for the first time before a physics test in college. And failing the test. And it was physics for poets. He laughed. He countered with a story about climbing through dorm windows and across ledges instead of using interior doors.
Then he said he liked me and he liked the way he felt comfortable talking to me about anything. I stared at him. He said, "That's a good thing."
He said, "I wouldn't have come up to you if you hadn't had the bike."
"Is that why you talked to me? I couldn't remember." I said something about it being easy because we didn't have an agenda when we started talking. We weren't making any moves. We had no game. It was the best possible way to get to know each other. We grew on each other over a short period of time.
He said, "I haven't had a relationship since the separation...I've dated. But you're the first person I've been interested in having a relationship with. I know no one wants to be the rebound guy or girl." I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing. What was he talking about? "Maybe I shouldn't say this, but I'd like to pursue a relationship with you. I'm not talking about marriage or anything. But I'm interested in pursuing a relationship."
I thought, "What is he talking about? What does he mean by 'relationship'?" I really didn't get it.
"Maybe I shouldn't have said that. Is it too soon? Should it have waited for the third date?"
"I don't know. I mean. I guess I knew it."
"I wasn't sure. I wouldn't want to presume." We sat quietly for a minute. I mumbled something about it being pretty soon and I didn't know but I wouldn't want to do anything if marriage was completely off the table, "I'm not saying I want to get married--I don't know. But I'd like it to be a possibility...."
"It was too much to say, I'm sorry. I understand."
"No, it's, just we can't decide that. But, wait. I get it. You want to go steady. Are you saying you want to go steady?"
"Go steady? I didn't know anyone said that--are we back in the '50s?"
"I say it. I'm kind of old fashioned."
"Yes, I guess that's what I meant. You want to be my steady? Will you wear my ring on a chain?" And we laughed and nothing was decided.
We went to get a beer. When the check came he handed it to me, "Your turn."
"If you want to trade bills, I don't mind."
"I'm not complaining." We left the bar around 12:30 and without talking about it, we walked back to my house. I told him he could come in, but he couldn't say too long. He stayed until 3:00 am.
Lying on the couch in my apartment, he said, "Jamy, I like you."
"I like you, Tim."
"Do you know how sweet you are?" We were on our sides, facing each other, and he slowly traced his finger across my eyebrows and cheeks and kissed me.
We laughed a lot. He's a good kisser. He wants to have sex with me but he knows we will wait. He asked me for another date and I said yes. He will call and I'm not worried.
It was good being close to him. Gosh, he's a good guy. He's so sweet. He's so open. He'll say anything to me. I could get caught up with him so easily even though we're so different. He is Republican, but not super conservative. He hates Bush--thinks he's stupid. A Republican who hates Bush; I can work with that.
I have this idea about being with guys and "knowing." You can know that it's not right and be sure about that. If you are sure about it being right very early, it probably isn't. What you're reacting to is not about the qualities of the person, but other, less tangible, elements. The ones to watch for are the guys who you don't know about. Who might be the right ones. The point is to not waste time on guys who you know it won't work out with. With Tim, I don't know. It could be good. I want to find out.
My rational side wants to me to go slow so I can decide if we're well suited. My emotional side wants to hold him fast. I suppose I'll end up somewhere in between.
My major concern about Tim (besides the separated-but-not-divorced issue) is that we might have problems stemming from our very different backgrounds and our very different perspectives. There are things that we may assume about approaches to life that won't be true, which could lead to conflict. I usually worry about guys getting on my nerves, but that hasn't even occurred to me this time. In over 16 hours together, we're yet to have an argument or even a heated discussion. That's not to say that we agree about everything--but when I've said, "I don't agree with you." He says, "You don't have to!" The Friday night date lasted eight hours, completely uninterrupted by any distractions such as other people, movies or tv. It's about a good a start as one could hope for. It's so good, in fact, that I completely stopped hoping for anything like it.
I think Tim is going to be in the picture for a while.
Grateful for: not knowing.
PS I'm taking the day off tomorrow. Have a great weekend.