I had two social events this weekend that were both surprising and positive.
The first was my company holiday party on Friday evening. Usually, I find those things awkward as hell and have a hard time enjoying myself. This year, I had a blast. It wasn’t at all difficult to mingle, chat, or have fun.
The second was a date on Saturday night.
There are three men who I enjoyed meeting a first time and expected to see again. I call them the dog walker, Benedict Cumberbatch, and the sexy professor.
I text with the dog walker often. We had a great time when we went out. But while he says he wants to see me again, he continuously does so in a rather whiny way. He’s made no effort to actually make it happen.
It was a pain in the ass to settle on a time and location for our first meeting; much more so than typical. The dog walker put it on me to do all the legwork. He expressed at the time that he was aware of this, and promised if we got together again it would be different and he’d take the lead.
This has not happened, and mentioning it to him is emotional labor I’m not interested in taking on. I’d rather spend time with people with whom it’s easier to coordinate.
Benedict Cumberbatch is the guy I went out with last week. I liked him so much I became completely and horribly nervous. We texted the day after meeting in person, but he hasn’t contacted me much since then and hasn’t mentioned getting together again. I’m sitting back and seeing what happens with him, without feeling stress about what might happen. I’m observing and learning who he is rather than trying to control the situation.
Saturday’s date was the only second date I’ve been on thus far, and it was with the sexy professor.
The sexy professor is a little older than me (6 years). For our first date, we met up for drinks after work.
I tend to gloss over my experience with the Narcissist during first date conversations. Whenever recent relationships come up, I simply say, “My last boyfriend wasn’t very nice to me, but that relationship ended over two years ago,” and leave it at that. With men I’m meeting for the first time, there’s no need to say more.
Somehow with the sexy professor, though, conversation went deeper and flowed remarkably easily. I didn’t completely open the floodgates, but I did share a bit more than I usually do at a first meeting. He was incredibly comfortable to spend time with and a wonderful conversation partner.
But then he started enthusiastically wanting to know about my taste in art, literature, cinema… All things of which I know very little. I became intimidated and felt, perhaps, he might be too much of an intellectual for me. He struck me as terribly cerebral.
And he was just so very serious. The few times he cracked a smile or chuckled it seemed like something he might struggle with or only do rarely.
I sensed there might be more to him than I was seeing that evening, though. I knew, as is often the case on first dates, he might have been nervous. There was a chance nerves were causing him to act more serious than he might otherwise behave. Plus, the venue where we’d met was loud. Hearing each other was a little difficult.
We texted a few times in the days that followed and I agreed to a second date. We made plans to have dinner on Saturday night. I sensed if he loosened up a bit, laughed a bit, he might be someone I would enjoy spending time with.
He was waiting for me outside the restaurant when I arrived at 5:30pm. We were seated almost immediately. The next time I looked at my watch it was 11:00pm. I was shocked. We had eaten and talked for hours and I had zero awareness so much time had passed.
We spoke of everything and nothing. We were silly together and he laughed and joked as I hoped he would. We each divulged more from our backgrounds and I was completely comfortable letting him in a bit more and making myself a smidge more vulnerable to him. The professor is an active and sympathetic listener.
Everything about the evening and spending time with him was lovely. I confessed to him that I’d been nervous about seeing him again. I feared I might not be enough of an erudite for him (and feared I was using the word “erudite” incorrectly, but I didn’t tell him that). I told him the time we were enjoying together and our laughter was making those fears dissipate, and how glad I was.
His jaw fell to the table and his eyes opened wide. “That’s how you saw me? As an intellectual? That’s how I come across?” He was astonished and a little embarrassed. It’s not how he sees himself at all, and his reaction was adorable.
He told me he had been nervous to see me, too. My texts are witty and clever. I’m vivacious and intelligent and emotionally aware and grounded. He is impressed by me. And he had felt rather intimidated by me, too.
We laughed heartily about how silly we both were, and the conversation then flowed easily to a different topic. It wasn’t a big deal, somehow.
We left the restaurant and he waited with me on the sidewalk for my Lyft. I leaned in towards him, and he put his arms around me. It was nice. He’s tall. My head fits into the crook between his shoulder and neck perfectly. I liked the feeling of being in his arms.
We said goodbye. I wanted him to kiss me but he didn’t.
The next day, the sexy professor texted and asked me to have dinner with him again this coming Saturday. Naturally, I accepted.
The sexy professor surprised me completely. He isn’t at all who I thought he was, and I enjoyed my second date with him immensely. I’m glad I gave him a second chance. It paid to not make a snap judgment about him. It makes me wonder… what other delightful surprises might be in my future due to allowing new men into my life?
I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to finding out.