Sunday, March 30, 2008

The "B" word...?

This was a first: Good Voice met some of my friends this weekend at an informal dinner party. AND he mentioned the “B” word. (which B word, you ask? Read on…)

Whenever you bring a new romantic interest to a gathering like this, it provides new insight into his personality. Does he mingle easily with others? Or does he cling to you, expecting you to entertain him?

Thankfully (but not surprisingly) – Good Voice passed with flying colors. He was charming and amicable, and was happy to chat with people on his own if I happened to be in another room. After, he told me that he was happy to have been introduced to that part of my world. Later, the report from two friends was an enthusiastic “I like him!”.

Another development: earlier in the night, when we were heading to the party, GV asked me about his choice of clothing. He was dressed in all black, and asked something along the lines of "will your friends think your boyfriend is depressed if he's wearing all black?". Hmmm... did someone say boyfriend?! (we’ve yet to have “THE” talk)

I reassured him that he looked very nice, and was dressed appropriately – but in the back of my mind I was savoring his use of the B word. It was on the tip of my tongue to ask him about it jokingly – but I felt that even joking about it would carry some weight, leading to a discussion about “us”. And I’m feeling resolute that it’s still too early for that – and that I want HIM to be the one to bring it up – eventually.

However, I later came to sense that he may have used this B word loosely, and he probably doesn't think about semantics the way I do. This seemed apparent when we talked about a guy my friend M has been seeing -- GV made a reference to her "boyfriend", and I corrected him, saying the guy wasn't a boyfriend, more of a fling. He dismissed it, "oh, whatever". Ah.

Regardless, things seem to be moving along nicely. I’m liking him more and more – which is slowly resulting in more angst-ridden thoughts of how much does he like me – where is this going – will we be OK even though I have a lengthy out-of-town trip coming up? (more on that later)

So much for all my mellow / relaxed / one-day-at-a-time blather! Oy -- I should have known that was too good to last!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Birthday dilemma

Good Voice's birthday is coming up soon.

So far, I have a surprise dinner planned at a romantic-sounding new restaurant -- it sounds like it'll be a lovely evening, though not over-the-top expensive. I've thought about also buying him a gift certificate for a class in which he's expressed interest... but do you think that's too much?

My friend M suggested that in a case like this, perhaps less is more. After all, it hasn't even been two months since our first date (with occasional gaps due to one of us being out of town). We haven't had the "exclusive" talk yet, but we either talk on the phone or e-mail quite regularly, about every other day.

In a nutshell: I like this guy, and would like to do something thoughtful for him. But should I save these gestures for down the road, if / when we're a bit more established?


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hi honey, I'm home!

Got back a few days ago from my business trip – it was one of those places where the people were lovely and hospitable, and the food was wayyyy too good! I think I’ve put on a few pounds this past week, will have to get into “warrior woman” workout mode to take them off, stat.

I was in touch with Good Voice a few times over the week, and even got to hear his lovely, deep voice on the phone a few times. He made it clear that he missed me, and was looking forward to seeing me when I came home.

I was quite busy during my trip, and didn’t have a whole lot of time to pine for him – but at one point, while sending a late-night e-mail to a friend about him, I had a sudden longing for him. And it felt good to miss him, knowing that he was missing me as well.

I’m feeling a good vibe here… and yet it’s not that drunken, heady feeling that I had in the beginning with TC. Maybe that’s a good thing? As I told shrink recently – even from the beginning with TC, I felt like it was too good to last, that I’d have the rug pulled out from under me. Looking back, the rug wasn’t exactly pulled out – but the warning signs that he didn’t really want to get serious were there (after a month or so), I just chose to ignore them at the time.

I don’t feel that with Good Voice. It really does feel like a nice, mellow, “one day at a time” vibe. Maybe because I feel pretty confident that he likes me as well? Maybe it’s because, even before I left town, we had already made plans for when I returned -- and he called and e'd regularly while I was away.

Funny – as I recently wrote to a friend: I find that I’m NOT obsessing about him as much as I usually do over other guys, and find myself worrying about THAT fact… does this mean I don’t like him that much? Oy! It never ends! (no worry, this is just a thought that has crossed my mind… I’m not dwelling on it!).

Did you read about the interesting coincidence with Cute Jewess? A few weeks ago, we nearly had dates with the same guy, Zoolander, on the same day (he was going to meet me for lunch, and meet her for an after-work drink). Alas, I got slammed at work, and had to cancel – but that would have made for a great story!

He recently dropped a line to see if we could re-schedule, but I’m going to write back and let him know that I’m seeing someone exclusively now.

On that note – GV and I haven’t had the “exclusive” talk yet. But guess what? For once, I’m not in a hurry to stick on the “boyfriend / girlfriend” label. When it happens, it happens. At this moment, I don’t need that to feel that we may* have a good thing going here.

* “may” because it’s still early, and I’m trying to stay realistic and somewhat cautious.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

When it's time to change...

Just a quick one – work has been kicking my ass this week, and I have a business trip quickly approaching that needs my attention.

In the meantime – I’ve had a few more lovely dates with Good Voice (including – ahem – our first sleepover…).

I really like him, and have a comfortable, easy time with him... but in a way, I feel like I'm holding back a bit, maybe because:
1. the idea of getting hurt is still fresh in my mind
2. I haven't quite come to grips with our age difference yet – for most of my adult life, I’ve tended to date guys either my age, or a year or two older. GV is a few years older than that. BUT – I do like the fact that he’s very mature and “together” and, to borrow a very apt expression from my friend M, emotionally present.
3. looks-wise, he's different from my usual short/Jewish-looking/full-hair type. That's not a terrible thing... just takes some getting used to. I have a guy friend who used to joke that I "got" all my guys at the same store. Years ago, I even had a boyfriend find a pic of an ex-boyfriend and remark that they looked somewhat alike. So – here’s to change! Change is good.

Amongst other positive qualities, he DOES have something that's a must for me: a fabulous smile. And I like that he uses it quite frequently!

In other news – the FOF (Friend of a Friend) left a message tonight – quite a surprise. If you recall – we had a bit of a wine-fueled smooch session a few weeks ago, on our second date. (the first date was two months prior). We tried to make plans after that, but couldn’t seem to coordinate a night – in my last e-mail from him, a week ago, he said to give him a shout when I was back in town. It felt like a brush-off – but I was OK with that, since I was starting to feel that I only wanted to date GV.

Anyway! No decisions need to be made today! In case I don’t have a chance to write, have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Optimistic, yet cautious

I think I’m in a good place re: Good Voice. That giddy, heady rollercoaster feeling seems to have leveled off into a nice, mellow, happy vibe. We had another date this week, with another planned for tomorrow night. We’ve been talking about things we’d like to do together when the weather gets warmer – biking, having a picnic – we’re both pretty outdoorsy (yet we’re both diehard city people – it’s always nice to find someone else with that combination!).

I may have said this before on these pages – I’m a planner. I especially love researching restaurants and bars in the city – of course, this being New York, there’s always something new to discover. Not necessarily high-end – I also find a great deal of satisfaction in finding a little hole in the wall with fabulous food.

My experience with dates is generally that I tend to be the one who makes the suggestions of where we should go – I don’t necessarily mind, after all, I enjoy this type of research. But when a guy takes the reins – ala Good Voice – and says, “hey, I made a reservation at X restaurant for Saturday – what do you think?”. It’s a very refreshing change of pace.

I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to date anyone else at this time – the date with Nice Guy earlier this week made that pretty clear -- but I’m going to keep this information to myself, and wait to see if Good Voice brings up the topic at some point. No hurry.

Amidst the good vibes about Good Voice, I’ve come to realize: I’m still hurting a bit from the TC breakup. (and I’m very annoyed at myself for feeling this way, but what’re you gonna do?) With this in mind, I’m afraid of getting hurt again. I find myself thinking back to the early days when TC was very effusive and excited about me – yet he lost interest over time.

I know. This happens. It’s all about getting to know someone, and sometimes you realize, as you’re peeling away the layers, that you really don’t like what you find underneath. Like anything else in life, dating is about taking risks.

Just something lurking in the back of my mind – I’m not dwelling on it, but it’s… there. A little bit.

And – as a few of you have said – if I do get hurt again? I’ll (eventually) bounce back and will be just fine.

I have a business trip coming up next week, so that will definitely occupy my mind for the near future. Overall, will just try to take it day by day. For now? Looking forward to tomorrow's date with GV.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Dating karma

THANK YOU, everyone, for your feedback to my latest dating query.

After discussing with shrink, and telling her that, in my gut this just didn’t feel right, I sent an e-mail to Fun Bobby that I thought it best for us to not see each other right now. I didn’t feel the need to go into detail, but told him that certainly, if he wanted to call me to discuss this, he should feel free to do so.

A few of your comments hit home – how would I want to be treated in this situation? It reminded me of my situation with TC a few months ago – I sensed for a while before we broke up that he was losing interest, but I was afraid to ask (deep down, I knew what the answer would be). When we actually broke up, I asked him why he hadn’t brought this up sooner – his response was that he didn’t want us to break up just before the holidays and just before I was leaving the country for a few weeks. What wound up happening was that even though I was on vacation, I was still pretty miserable, wondering what was happening with “us”. It sucked. In retrospect, I wish we had nipped that thing in the bud earlier.

With that in mind, I feel like I did the right thing with FB. Now just waiting for his response.

I had a lovely conversation with Good Voice earlier today, and it’s pretty clear that we’re both excited to see each other again later this week.

And yet – in the meantime, I had a date with a new guy tonight (which we had arranged last week) – my 108th first date in the past three years. And guess what – that didn’t feel right either.

Let’s just call him Nice Guy. Nice Guy, under other circumstances, could have been a contender (no, I’m not trying to evoke Marlon Brando here). Smart, reasonably good-looking, interesting, well-traveled. And yet – I kept thinking about Good Voice, wishing I were there with HIM, holding his hand instead of trying to think of things to say to the perfectly nice guy sitting across from me.

I wrote earlier that I had planned to still date other guys as a distraction from Good Voice until I get to know him better – but now that just doesn’t feel right. I feel like I’m just using them – and in a sense, I am.

I’m thinking that there has to be other ways to stay level-headed about a guy in these early days of dating, without dating other guys for sport. I’m happy that I have lots of plans with friends in the near future – that’s a good distraction. Work is also keeping me busy these days. And – I’ve been meaning to blog about this, more details to come – I’ve embarked on a new “10 in 10” plan (lose 10 lbs in 10 weeks), which means I’m going to try to spend more time in the gym – another good distraction.

I’m open to any advice! What’s YOUR suggestion for turning down the crazy in the early days of dating someone with potential?

UPDATE: got a response from Fun Bobby that he appreciated my honesty, and that he had sensed that I wasn't fully into this. A few e-mails exchanged after that -- he truly is a very nice guy -- I could see us staying friends.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Good Voice... yum...

The latest: after three dates, I’m giddy about Good Voice. But more about him in a minute.

I’m sure this is going to sound flighty – after all, I was just giddy about the FOF a few days ago. In hindsight, I think the passion with the FOF was definitely alcohol-fueled. Yes, he sent a nice follow-up e-mail the next day – and after a few exchanges, we made tentative plans for a week from now. But you know how you just KNOW when a guy is into you, and is really psyched about seeing you again? I’m not feeling this from him. Still – he’s a nice guy, and I’m happy to keep him around for now – back-burner.

Other update: Fun Bobby. We had our third date this weekend – and while I like him, I don’t really “like him” like him. (have I just regressed 20 years?) This is a guy who IS making it quite clear that he “likes me” likes me: he told me how he thought about me all week… how he wanted to be in touch more, but knew I had a busy week… how he went back to my J-date profile to see what my interests were, so he could plan a fun date for us. Really, a sweet, nice guy. I’m just not feeling it the way he is.

I’ve been wondering if I should continue to see him – and I don’t see why not, at least for now. He hasn’t come right out to ask how I’m feeling about him, or if I’d want to date exclusively. He has commented that he sensed I was “holding back”… I simply said that I like to take my time in getting to know someone. (true) Hey – if he asks anything else, I’ll certainly be truthful. But I can't help but wonder -- am I leading him on?

Quick update: Neighbor Dude – had one date last weekend, after which I wondered if he was my “type”, but would have gone on a second date to see. He never called after that – just as well.

Then there’s Good Voice. I just realized, I never wrote about our second date from last week. It was a great combo of a very nice restaurant, followed by a fun dive bar. I like a guy who can appreciate both. He e-mailed the next day, saying he’d had a lovely time – and asked if he could cook dinner for me next time.

This weekend was that “next time” – and let’s just say, I’m still smiling. We had a fabulous time, without drinking TOO much, so thankfully, any connection there was not necessarily alcohol-fueled. He’s smart, funny, cool, cultured – and yes, a good cook.

No sleepover. No “sexytime”, though there was enough of a connection where I sensed it would be really good – I had to keep reminding myself, anticipation is sexy!

I’m almost in the mindset where I feel that I could be happy dating just him right now – there seems to be strong interest from his end as well (he pretty much said as much). But I know myself – in order to stay level-headed, I need to stay distracted. And that means dating other guys. So I’ll continue to do just that – but I’m especially looking forward to my next date with him, later this week.

Question: given the situation with Fun Bobby – what would your advice be? It’s pretty clear that he’s into me more than I’m into him – and I like another guy (Good Voice) who seems to be into me as well, though it’s too soon to tell where it might go. I can’t help but wonder if I should stop seeing Fun Bobby – I certainly don’t want to lead him on. BUT, he hasn’t come right out and asked if we could date exclusively – if he did, I’d be honest, and say that I didn’t feel that way about him.

OR – could it be that I’m just overthinking all this, as usual?