I'm not really sure where to start. I don't want to go into a lot of detail because, gun shy, but I met someone I really like. When I say like, that's exactly what I mean. Sure, I find him attractive, but the connection is operating on a deeper level than that. Goofy much?
I have to say this upfront--I have no idea what's going to happen. It may "work out," it may not. We might have a short run...we might have a long run. We might have no run at all. I don't know and I'm not sure. I had a flash of that feeling of certainty when I first met him. I felt very sure. But I've felt that way in the past and what I've learned is 1) I love that feeling and 2) it's an illusion often based on lies (either ones I'm telling myself or lies from the guy in question). What's interesting is that I had that flash, but then it evaporated. I'm going to count that as a good thing. You can't know anything much after meeting someone once. But you can know if there is something to build on, and we definitely have that.
Years ago, I wrote an epically long post about an epically long date called "kickball pays off" (count me too lazy to link). The post documented a very long accidental first date that went from chatting at the kickball tournament, to dinner, drinks, movies, more drinks, startling revelations, and a little kissing. What followed was traumatic dating of a separated-but-not-divorced man. The writing was on the wall from the get-go, but I ignored it. I was swept up because he was so attentive and insistent, at least in the beginning. And he was fun and easy to be around. But obviously, it didn't work out.
This weekend, I had a similarly long date. It was planned (I met him online), but parts of it were unexpected. We met in a mutually convenient (or inconvenient--more on that later) place. We were going to take a walk but weather and an outrageously crowded mall foiled that plan. Instead, he suggested a nearby restaurant, where we sat and talked for three hours. Now, I've had unenjoyable two-hour dates. Some perhaps lasted longer while I couldn't figure out how to end things. But this date? I didn't even notice the time going by. We zinged along, talking, joking, getting to know each other. It was so easy talking to him and so much fun--we could've gone on quite a bit longer. Around 6:30 (the three hour mark) he said something about going to the (Orioles) baseball game. I said, "who's playing." He paused for a second and said, "the Mariners." Oh. He said, "Should we...should we go to the game?" I said, "We should go to the game." And we did.
The inconvenient part is that he lives quite far away from me--north of Baltimore. An hour plus drive. Of course, I know that doesn't make it impossible. It also acts as natural break--and perhaps a deterrent to flights of fancy. Given the distance and the necessity of planning, it's almost impossible to rush things. In the meantime, we're keeping up a friendly but not constant text conversation. Maybe we'll talk on the phone some evening too. Due to scheduling conflicts it will be more than a week before I see him again. At most I will see him once before I head to the west coast for ten days starting in mid-August.
The strangest part is the complete lack of anxiety I've had so far. He stays in touch. It's easy. We tried to make plans, it's not easy. I have the tiniest twinge because we can't meet this week. His weekend is completely booked with family so I offered to come up mid-week. He had one night free but was thinking about it. It occurred to me today that it might be too much to ask him to spend his one free weeknight with me before hosting his sister, brother-in-law, and three nieces for the entire weekend. So, this morning I told him maybe we should try for next week. Basically, I let him off the hook. I knew he'd feel bad saying no. I knew I would hate to hear him say no, so I preemptively called it off. I was worried that he would think I wasn't interested, but he seemed to understand. As today wore on, it was hard for me not to say something like, "sure you don't want me to come up?" but so far I've resisted. I could spin that as a joke, but I think we all know it's not funny or a joke. So I'm not saying it. And I can wait. I think he's worth it. But even if he's not, I have plenty to entertain me in the meantime. Per usual. I cannot account for my lack of anxiety or weird obsessive thinking otherwise. Maybe it's how we got along, maybe I've finally learned something. Maybe it's a combination. Whatever it is, I'm relieved.
Grateful for: the future.