Funday Monday morning. Whoa, I have a date tonight. A second date. With contestant number 10. Eek! I am a bit excited *swoon* 🙂
I’m still a bit amused at how he went – in the space of an hour or so – from Point A: ‘maybe you’re not ready for a relationship’ to Point B: ‘You are intriguing, I have to know more about you, I want to see you again’. What happened? What did I say? What did I do? I’d pretty much shoulder-shrugged and put him into the Just Another Really Nice Guy In My Tinder Family category from Point A, right up until Point B. At which point I valiantly fought – and thankfully overcame – an insane urge to jump on him.
Oh well, he was right in a way. I’m not sure if I’m ready for a relationship, but I know for sure that I’m not in the headspace for a relationship. Crikey. I’ve only got my training wheels on with dating and have only let one person kiss me! Relationship?! Are you frickin’ kidding me?
I’m actually kind of enjoying just meeting nice guys, being a bit of a smartypants with them and going to cool shows/events/cafes etc. No pressure, no exclusivity, no expectations, no involvement, no messy entanglement, no snogging, no nooky. Just good friendly company. And it’s novelty enough with all these really nice guys actually wanting to take me out and hang out with me. No guy in church ever did in 23 years!
But this contestant number 10, he seems to be really really interested…and I am also, maybe, really really interested. This whole being in touch with my feelings lark isn’t my strong suit, so I’m not really sure. It could just be the caffeine kicking in.
Late afternoon. He messages me saying lovely things to me and asking if he can pick me up tonight. I say nah all good thanks, I’ll meet you there. It’s a second date for crying out loud, I’m thinking, and it’s a jungle out there on Planet Tinder! I mean, notwithstanding the fact that I am finding it difficult not to be wildly attracted to him, I barely know the guy. I’m like totally meeting him there. Nobody is picking anybody up for this date tonight. Just saying…
6:30pm’ish. Sitting in a trendy eatery in a trendy neighbourhood. He’s a minute or so away. Actually this place is in his trendy neighbourhood. About 5 minutes up the road from my (less trendy) neighbourhood. He suggested this place I think because he knows I’m a bit Asian in the head after years of living in Singapore, and this place does good Asian fusion food. I’ve eaten here before. It does do really good Asian fusion food. Good call contestant number 10! Impressed 🙂
He strides into the restaurant – tall, dashing, handsome, every inch the consummate Man About Town. Crushy schoolgirl swooning and gasping for air on the inside. You mean that hottie is here for me?! He looks around and his face lights up when he sees me. Huge smile, bounding towards me. He has such a positive, lively, energy about him. Oh that smile. Weak. Weak. Feeling weak. I think I am going to faint. Stand up, you need to stand up and say hello to him. You can do it! Stand up. Oh, mercy. Please, legs, please stand up!
He sees no evidence of my little internal dialog. I know this because my poker face is world class. And my body is not the boss of me. I totally stand up and we exchange kisses on the cheek. Easy peasy. But then he puts his arms around me and holds onto me, with this big, warm, affectionate, lovely hug. It’s so comfortable, I instinctively settle into it because it feels so nice there, so easy, so safe. He is hugging me like he means it, whatever ‘it’ is. No one has ever hugged me quite like that before.
Thank goodness I get to sit down now, and just as well. Because my legs are now no longer functioning.
We settle into easy conversation, talking about anything and everything, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Then he tells me that what we talked about yesterday, it really challenged him on so many levels. He says that when he got home after our date he kept thinking about the things I said, about my journey, my 23 year drought, about what it must have been like to feel so unwanted for so long, about what it must have taken for me to finally decide to fight back and kill the drought after so many years. He says it also made him think about his life, his journey, his regrets. He says it made him think about God, about what I said about God, about how I seem to have such a deep love for God, about how he views God himself. It made him think about where he’s going with his life, and what he’s here for. He says he’s been thinking about it, and thinking about me, ever since we said goodbye yesterday and all day today. He says he couldn’t wait to see again me tonight.
He seems so sincere, so genuine. His willingness to be so open, so vulnerable, is so lovely…and not like anything I have ever encountered before.
Who Is This Man? This Silver-Tongued Man? Am I being played, or could he actually be a Complete Sweetheart? Do they even exist anymore?
Then, he says something that I was not expecting at all. He says that he’s thought a lot about this since we said goodbye yesterday, and he said there is so much about me that he likes, and he wants to spend more time with me…and he’s still not put off by the whole sex after marriage thing, because there is so much more to me than that and he’s never met anyone like me…I am an amazing person and he is so taken with me…and he would really like to pursue a relationship with me.
*Cue audio of record scratch here*
Whoa whoa whoa whoa…back up the bus buddy.
So, let me get this straight. I am thinking this through in my head. I met this guy a little bit less than 36 hours ago, and in that time he has gone from:
Point A: ‘maybe you’re not ready for a relationship’
Point B: ‘You are intriguing, I have to know more about you, I want to see you again’
Point C: ‘I would really like to pursue a relationship with you’
I am looking at him blankly. I have no words. I am speechless.
Is he high? I don’t smell any weed. This place is far too trendy for bog-standard weed anyway. Actually I have his scent on me from that big hug, and he smells pretty yummy (just saying).
Silence. But not an awkward silence. I’m looking at him more closely. He actually looks like he means it. He couldn’t be more serious.
But how? How does someone go from Point A to Point C in the space of a day’ish? I can’t get my head around it. Heart – shush, you stay out of it. I’m not asking you. You hearts are all the same, just a bunch of flippin’ hand-holding kumbaya-singing tree-huggers, the lot of you. Sheesh.
I say to him that I have to be honest, I am a bit suspicious of this ‘instant connection’ type of thing that we seem to have had. I say that maybe this smells a bit to me like infatuation and maybe it will quickly dissipate for him and then where would I be once his fascination with me has passed? Yes that’s right, probably hung out to dry. I say that as far as I’m aware, things that start with a hiss and a roar also end with a crash and a burn. I say that he doesn’t know anything about me, apart from what I’ve told him. I could be a totally crazy psycho right now, and he could be asking to be in a relationship with a totally crazy psycho. Has he thought this through? Doesn’t he want to take more time to know more about me before he starts using words like ‘relationship’ and ‘with’ and ‘you’ in the same sentence to me?
I say that I am quite enjoying meeting and going out with a few people at the moment, and that’s about as much as I’m up for right now. I say that I really like him, I think he’s lovely and I admit that he’s totally my favourite Tinder date so far, but for now, he’s not my only Tinder date, and I don’t intend to change that. I still intend to keep dating other people. And I would love to keep seeing him. But I’m not thinking relationship. We’ve known each other for a day. A day, dude. I really like him, but it’s too soon for me. I mean, I’ll think about it, now that he’s said that’s what he wants, and because I think he’s lovely. I’ll definitely think about it.
He nods and says he understands. Yes of course he’d love to keep seeing me. He doesn’t look disappointed. He really does look like he understands. When he looks at me, there’s something quite comforting there. He looks like he actually cares about me. But how? He met me yesterday. Yesterday. One day ago. One. Day. Ago.
This is all very overwhelming. I’ve had 23 years of nothingness in terms of romantic male attention, and I am now suddenly faced with a man who I met yesterday, who seems to see who I really am, who seems to see my heart, respect me, value me, and appears to be ready to actively pursue me and commit to a relationship with me. He also thinks I am stunningly beautiful. But he says he knows that my beauty goes much deeper.
No man, and I mean no man, has EVER really seen past my externals and into my heart, and said, you are an amazing person and I want to be with you.
The space just under my ribcage and above my belly feels strange. It’s not painful in a bad way. But it does hurt a little, because it feels a bit tender. Like it hasn’t been touched in a long time, even though maybe it should have been. And even though it’s a gentle touch, it still hurts. I want to cry. For a long long time. But I can’t cry now. Not here. Just ignore your belly for now. Pay attention to it later. Date mode now dear girl. Smile. Sweetly. Smile Sweetly.
He eases me back into lighter conversation…it must be pretty clear that he’s taken me by surprise. So much for my world class poker face. I guess part of this journey will be being OK with the poker face not being there. He says something funny and I start giggling again. I make some smart-mouthed wisecrack in reply. And off we go again. Flirt-laden banter volleyed from one side of the table to the other.
After dinner we pop into another place for a drink. It’s a trendy bar, but it’s quiet because it’s Monday. And they serve peppermint tea. Yay. He knows I don’t drink, mainly because it seems more hassle than it’s worth to start now (calories, ageing, hangovers, anyone? No thanks!). He finds it kind of cute that I want to drink herbal tea in a bar. I suppose he’s accustomed to a much more sophisticated worldly-wise kind of woman. It dawns on me, how very different I must be from his usual kind of date.
We talk a bit more about his history. About The Crazy that we have in common. During our conversation, he gets a text from one of his sons and then calls him. He’d told me earlier that his sons live in a different city, but he messages or speaks to each of them every day. When they were younger he used to fly them up to stay with him every second weekend, or he would fly down to see them. It wasn’t cheap, but time with his sons was more important to him than any cost. They’re in their teens and early 20’s now. It’s clear that he loves his boys. They mean the world to him. He’s talking on the phone to his second son. It sounds like they’re pretty close. It sounds like they have a really good relationship. When they say goodbye, he says ‘love you’ to his son. His teenage son. That is extraordinary. It says so much about who this man is and what is important to him. My heart melts.
Afterwards he walks me to my car. I’m thanking him for dinner, I’m saying I’ve had a lovely time – which I have. He says he loves spending time with me. Would I agree to see him again? We get to my car and I say yes, of course, he is my favourite Tinder date after all :-). He kisses me, so sweetly, on the cheek, and gives me another of those warm hugs. There is something in his hugs that makes me want to stay there. But I don’t of course.
I’m driving home, half shell-shocked, and half ummm, what is that? Not sure. But it’s nice whatever it is. Before I arrive home, he sends me a text to say goodnight, and that he’s looking forward to seeing me again.
Is this what it’s like, to have somebody interested in you? To have somebody think you’re amazing and special and want to be with you? I’ve never had this experience before. It only took 43 years 🙂
He knows I’ll still see other people, but that doesn’t seem to have dampened his enthusiasm.
I think, for the first time in my life, that I am about to be romantically pursued…
Well, this is unexpected. To put it mildly 🙂