As you may have noticed, the whole dating thing isn't really going these days. I am still on the free site, and I go through phases of checking in and times of completely ignoring it. Most of the messages I get are from highly questionable guys--and I don't mean skeevy. I mean, maybe they're bots! I know it's pretty common for men to get trolled by bots but I think it's starting to happen to me too. But whether or not they're bots, when I get messages that are barely intelligible, I just ignore them. Any spark of intelligence or something clever, I might write back.
For the guys I do agree to meet, I have one fundamental rule: the first meeting must be in a public place. You wouldn't believe how many guys put up an argument about this. But I've enshrined this rule. It's not negotiable. The second rule is harder to keep but probably more important, "don't be an asshole."
I think the first rule ends up being a pretty good test of whether you'll be able to follow the second rule. Guys who whine about the first rule, even if they ultimately agree to meet in public, tend to be at least a little asshole-ish. Even the ones who ask a lot of why questions about it are problematic. The first rule is so simple and obvious, why would you even bother arguing about it? It's almost literally the least I could ask--heck, I don't even bother talking on the phone with most of these guys anymore--it's email on the site, maybe some texting, then we meet.
How did you like that build up? Last night, I met a guy--and he was from this site. His profile said very little but I liked what it did say. He had a post up expressing an interest in meeting someone for fun and laughing. You wouldn't think that would be unusual, but it really is. I wrote a short answer and then yesterday, he asked me out. When I said we had to meet in a public place, he didn't ask any questions. Actually, I sort of missed it at the time, but before I even invoked the rule, he mentioned meeting for a drink would be cool. He came to my neighborhood and I picked the bar. As soon as I saw him, I had a good feeling. He only had one picture up, but he did look like it--and much cuter in person. He had a beer and was sitting at a little table, a bit away from the bar--and he offered to go get me a drink. Before he had the chance the waitress came and I ordered. We sat there and talked for an hour or so and it was easy. I don't know why but I told a couple of old stories, one about a romantic attachment I had to a fellow in the Marine reserves that started when I was 19. I can't remember if I've written the story on the blog, but for many years, I never talked about it. The reasons were that I was terribly embarrassed by my behavior and he really broke my heart. So it's not always the easiest story to tell--but this time it wasn't so bad. And the new guy...he totally understood. That I was so young and so stupid and so hard on myself. That was the real problem--I didn't live up to the expectations I had for myself and I couldn't get over it. Sort of vain, right? But so normal for one that young to take things so extremely seriously. These days, it's not that I don't ever get worked up over what ends up being nothing (this whole thing may be a case in point!), but I get it in perspective much sooner and it doesn't tend to haunt me. Or, when some bad feeling or disappointment (in myself) lingers, it's muted. I know that I haven't done anything wrong, I get to feel how I feel, and I'm much better able to move on.
So, there I was, telling all my stories to this sweet guy who listened and interjected humorously and told a few stories of his own. Then I invited him over.
Now, before we met, I'd had this thought that at the beginning of a date like this, it would be nice to have some coded way to tell the person whether you'd like to see them again. Because these are usually more causal situations, it's not that easy to know if you should call them up and ask them out or just wait for them to come to you or how to indicate that you are good with something mellow but that it would be cool to meet again. Anyway, I forgot about this thought at least a couple of hours before our actual date, but later that night, it popped into my head again. I will tell you that we got along great. Like a house on fire. I didn't feel awkward with him. There was no hesitation. I was really happy to be with him, to hang out and talk, and later kiss. Usually, before the first kiss, I'm kind of a mess. I giggle and turn away and it's actually pretty ridiculous. But I think it means I'm just not really into those guys--I'm not all there and I'm pushing myself. And, I guess that's fine. No one gets hurt but I don't always have a ton of fun. So, observing myself, I'd say my orientation to this guy was fundamentally different. I don't really get it. We were still strangers--sure, we had a good rapport, a good connection, but that's--I mean who knows what that is.
So, also when I was 19, after the first round with the Marine, I dated my first serious boyfriend (can't remember his blog name, but I know I've written about him. I remember going to a party with him and Audrey and she was giving me a ride home after. Audrey and I sat in the car and we were talking about him and she was cautioning me to not get my hopes up. She'd seen me like this before and I said, "I just know. I know." And I did know. I knew I'd see him again and that we'd be together--and we were, though not for as long as I would've liked.
This new guy, I want to do my usual song and dance, 'maybe he doesn't even like me,' 'maybe I won't hear from him again,' 'I'll be happy with that one night, no matter what happens next.' And that's all true, maybe he doesn't, maybe he won't, and I have no regrets. But even in the moment, we started talking about seeing each other again. I told him my thought about the "code" and he just laughed and then we tried to come up with what the code phrase would be and then I realized how silly it was. If you go out with someone and you want to see them again, you ask them out. Duh. And if you don't want to go out with them again, you say no or I'm busy, or something ambiguous. It's not that complicated but yet, it is.
So, what am I trying to say? I met a guy. I like him. I know I will see him again.
Grateful for: something to write about other than work.