This week, I decided to ask Bert out for an evening event at a bar with some friends. I would know a few people, including one of my oldest friends, C-money. I figured, nighttime would be good and doing something with other people would be good. I invited him to have dinner before hand--but he couldn't make it. Instead, he met me at the event. Knowing that he would be early, I arrived early too--and, in fact, we were the first two people there!
At first, I was happy to see him. Good sign! We talked and then moved to where the party was happening. Everything was fine, we met the other folks, lots of handshaking and some small talk. We sat at the bar and ordered drinks (so he does drink). He didn't pay for my drink, which, not a big deal, but it would've been a nice gesture--and I would've offered to get the next round. Fine. We sat next to each other and talked but there were many, many awkward pauses. Many. The other times we've met, the conversation was easy. I think he was uncomforatable and that made me uncomfortable. I did chatter and I could've kept the conversation going all by myself, but what is that?
When C-money showed up, Bert was in the middle of eating a sandwich so I couldn't introduce them right away. Weird. Later, C, ask how we met. I let Bert answer and he said, "an internet dating forum." Yeesh. That confused C who thought "forum" was the name of a website. Ok, maybe they're both weirdos?
After a few hours (around 11pm) Bert said he had to leave. He'd left his car at the metro near his parents' house and he had to go there to get it. That seemed odd to me since he lives on the same metro line as the bar and why would he leave his car further away? Why not just visit his parents, which he'd told me he was doing earlier in the day, then drive home and take the metro from there? Wouldn't that make life easier? I asked him about it and he got embarrassed and said something about his mom and parking and, honestly, I couldn't figure out what the issue was. I didn't press. I said I wasn't offended and if he needed to go that was fine. Not long after that, he did go. I stood up to say goodbye and he gave me a distant hug (he very gingerly touched my back, but didn't make any other contact). He said he'd look out for a good movie for us to see. And then, "If I don't talk to you before, happy Valentine's Day."
Wow. I am so done with this guy. I talked to C-money and he asked if it was a first date situation. I held up four fingers. C said, "FOUR?!?"
I said, "Right, I KNOW. I don't get it. I don't get this guy."
C said, "He seemed kind of...remote."
"Formal. I think he's formal. I think there's something wrong with him."
I will admit that my feelings about Valentine's Day are complicated. I don't want to celebrate it. However, if I'm dating someone, I want him to do something nice for me. I don't want a grand gesture. I don't want flowers (I don't like flowers). What I want is a call or a box of conversation hearts or an invitation to dinner. (Note: if someone ever actually gives me a box of conversation hearts, I'm pretty sure that will the man I end up with.) Any dummy would know to either do something small or ask me about it. That's not Bert and, you know, I don't even care that much--but if you've been out on four dates with someone, and she's actually asked you on two of them, don't you think it would be worth the trouble to at least send her an email on Valentine's Day? I expect I will hear from him again. I may even go out with him again, but I am done thinking we have romantic potential. I am moving on and pursuing other things.
Grateful for: clarity.