I’ve recently heard a number of stories, through friends mostly, of people who make bad choices in their relationships. Stories of people who continue to go on dates with guys (or girls) who don’t call them back, cancel on them unexpectedly and with no real warning, treat them badly, sometimes even cheat on them, and I often don’t realise why they do. My housemate Amy is the most vocal critic about such people, so I guess this post should probably be called, The Date That Amy Would Have Told Me Not To Go On.
I’m going to have to go back in time a little for this one; sometime around February this year. I had a date lined up with this guy, let’s call him James, after meeting once and some pretty awesome text message banter. He was smart, very handsome, and knew how to place a semi-colon; just my kind of guy. However, he cancelled the first date because he had to go into a crisis mode for his sister and he apologised profusely. I let that one slide, telling myself, he’s a man who really cares about his sister in a time of need, and I liked that. So we rescheduled for the next Saturday, I texted him at around midday to confirm a time (somewhere around the 6.30 mark) and at 6.00pm I got a text message from him telling me that he had to cancel on me.
This sent me into a bit of an angry spin, I think mostly because I did like him so much from the conversation we had had. Not in a, he-was-meant-to-be-the-love-my-life way, but more of a, finally-I-meet-one-that-I-click-with-and-now-he’s-cancelled-on-me way. So I resolved to never speak to him again, and lived in perpetual fear that I might end up bumping into him at some work function as the companies we were employed by did a lot of work together.
So things carried on and about a month ago I went on a number of dates with a handsome Ginger Lawyer (sorry I didn’t blog about that one; it had all started up quite quickly). Things had progressed quite quickly with him and we were approaching that stage where a conversation was necessary about the next step, and I was feeling pretty confident about what that step was. Of course, just when you make such a decision, life throws you a curve ball, and this curve ball I am calling a Facebook message from James.
He opened by apologising for the way he acted. He told me that there were dramas with an ex and that he wasn’t ready for a relationship and that our chemistry had scared him. I know, I know, dear reader, it sounds like a wonderful cliché doesn’t it; exactly what I would want to hear. He wanted to know if there was a chance he could buy me dinner and take me on a date. I replied and said that there were no hard feelings, after all, it had been a few months and in all fairness there were no hard feelings. Additionally, the fact that he is possibly the most handsome man I’ve ever met didn’t hurt. However, this time things were different; I had the upper hand.
I told him that something had started up with someone and I wasn’t keen on a date, but would be happy to meet him for a drink. So, after a day of some very guilt heavy text flirting, we decided to meet for a drink (or what turned out to be three) and just catch up. I’m not counting that as the date, though I did leave it completely and utterly smitten with him. I rushed home and FaceTimed my good friend Daniel (who lives in Melbourne, I should add; I’m not just some Apple fan boy who no longer believes in voice calls) and explained my predicament. I truly wasn’t sure what to do. I felt as though I owed something to the Ginger Lawyer, at least until we had had “the conversation.”
The next day the Ginger Lawyer called me and we realised we both weren’t quite feeling it and decided to call it out there. Excellent, a decision made. So, a day or two later, I sent James a text asking him to dinner and a movie, and also asking him to read the subtext into that text. In what I’ve now learnt is a trick of his, he asked me to spell out the subtext so that he wouldn’t read it incorrectly. So I told him a conversation had been had, and that I wanted to take him on a date. We booked one in for that Thursday night: a drink, a film and a late dinner.
I don’t know if I’ve ever been as nervous on a date as I was on that one. I stumbled over words and had difficulty delivering the punchlines of jokes. I wasn’t sure if he was interested, or if he thought I was funny, or if he just wanted to go home; apparently that’s what a handsome face does to me. I lost all of my moves when we were sitting in the theatre, wasn’t able to set it up so I could hold his hand, or cuddle up to him a little. It was truly a disaster of epic proportions. I was half (read, actually) expecting him to tell me that he was really tired after the film and wanted to go home.
After the film (Warm Bodies, a zombie rom-com) I took myself to the bathroom to give myself a minor pep-talk in the mirror (silently, but actually), and went back outside where he then proceeded to take me to his favourite mexican place. Apparently I hadn’t done so badly after all.
After the film, I felt as though I had relaxed a little more and the conversation flowed a little more easily between us. We chatted about our families, about growing up, about our jobs (a lot), about our friends, and it all flowed quite well.
After dinner I walked him home, or at least I thought I was walking him home, it turned out he was walking me to my car, which was parked quite near his home. He took me to my car, I thanked him for the night and he smiled, stepped forward and kissed me softly; I still get little butterflies thinking about it. We pulled away, I smiled, then leaned in again for a second kiss. He said goodnight and went to finish his walk home, I asked him to text me when he got home, and he did. He thanked me for an awesome night, I replied with something quite witty no doubt, and we went back and forth ’til I fell asleep with a smile across my face, and spent my Friday with little flutters in my chest when I thought about him and a grin from ear to ear.
I guess, part of the reason why Amy would have told me not to go on the date was that at some point, he didn’t know what he wanted, and I guess I’m still afraid that he might not know what he wants. But, recently I had it put to me that liking someone is about fear; that’s the joy of it.
I hope it’s worth it. I really like this one.