I’ve been away for a bit because I haven’t been dating. Instead, I’ve been getting to know someone.
On April First, April Fool’s Day, I went on what I decided would be my last internet date. I had had enough of wasting my time and half-way putting myself out there. I had become resigned to either meeting people I had nothing in common with or meeting people I’d like to get to know but who somehow weren’t available for that. I had met Marc, a really great guy, and found I didn’t have it in me to spend all my time with someone else.
I wanted someone in my life, but I couldn’t see a path to making that happen. My chakras weren’t aligned. My vision board was empty. I was out of steam.
I almost cancelled this date. I would have cancelled but there was no reason to do so. He seemed nice and the week we agreed to meet up, he got in touch and he showed up, kind of normal-like.
There was nothing wrong with our dinner either. No red flags. Nothing that made a second date seem like something not worth doing.
If I sound less than enthusiastic, it wasn’t a lack of enthusiasm but more that I’d been ground down enough to expect very little.
So when, after a week or two, I noticed that this person had been in touch with me every single day, it came as a surprise. It was the single most romantic and compelling thing a person could have done, given how weary I’d become.
Still, I wasn’t even certain that romance was in the air. It could just as easily have been friendship. I leaned in and kissed him but he stayed in his own lane. He wasn’t sure enough.
I know that he wasn’t sure because after a handful of dates I asked him whether or not I should be leaning in and he said that he didn’t know. He got kind of rumpled and fidgety.
But he stayed in contact and I decided to do something that I should have been doing all along, this whole time I was dating. I soothed myself and I did my own thing and I didn’t overthink it. I realized that uncertainty wasn’t a bad thing. It was only a space that needed to exist until we knew what to put in it.
It’s easier to jump in quickly and soothe yourself in the arms of someone else. It’s like eating a big dessert or smoking a cigarette. It’s a quick fix to a bigger problem and in the end, it may not be good for you.
Instead, you can go for a walk, or eat some vegetables, or learn a new tune on the fiddle.
So I did those things and he kept hanging around.
I didn’t play it cool though, not at all.
I still kissed him, because I wanted to. In between walks and vegetables and new tunes.
And when he was ready, he kissed me back.
I’m not going to tell you that it’s better to take it slow. I honestly think it doesn’t matter, when you meet someone you like, how exactly you go about it. But I will say that learning to take it slowly when your natural instinct is to throw yourself at someone will certainly save you a whole lot of consternation.
There’s been very little angst and hand-wringing. Almost none.
I haven’t felt like I’m dangling over a ledge or about to lose my freedom or sense of myself.
I just have this happy addition to my life – someone I’m getting to know.
In the past I’ve feasted on everything wonderful about a person right up front…and then been left with a carcass and a pile of dirty dishes to deal with when the meal is over. No matter how good a feast, the aftermath is no fun at all.
This is more like a series of small plates. And after each one we take a break, do the dishes together and have a little lie down.
The savory bites keep coming at just the right pace. I’m the right amount of satisfied, there’s room for more and I’m not left cleaning up all by myself when it’s over.
This guy does his own dishes, and some of mine, too. Swoon.
It’s a funny twist that after so much chaos and noise, I’ve been given something quiet and nice. I’m not banging around or thinking about anything but what I’m going to do today.
He’s occupying a happy place in my heart.
No more dates was an excellent idea.
Luckily, life managed a little work-around and decided to take care of me in spite of myself.