Sunday, September 27, 2009

Oy oy oy

I need to do something about Insta-BF soon. It seems like he's getting in deeper, while I'm sliding further away from him.

Time for a pros / cons list:

Pros:
* He's sweet.
* He dotes upon me.
* He's reliable.
* When we have schedule conflicts, he tells me that he'll be the luckiest man in the world if he can take me out to dinner that week.
* We have pretty good chemistry, though I feel that it's starting to wane a bit on my end.
* We met in a "real life" situation, and have lots of mutual friends.
* Very open communication -- though maybe a little too open.

Cons:
* He's unsettled -- he's in between jobs AND apartments right now. Currently crashing on a cousin's couch.
* He has a bit of an immature streak -- he has a tendency to mock other people. I've called him on this.
* other issues that I just can't go into here, of the "unsettled" nature. Just trust me on this.
* I'm going to sound elitist by saying this, but there's just a certain lack of sophistication. (and maybe I lack sophistication just by saying that -- so be it).

The other night, we were texting back and forth, trying to decide if we should meet at a mutual friend's party, or meet at my place and travel there together -- he mentioned that he wanted to come to my place first, because he wanted to talk.

Oh shit -- the talk! I was filled with dread -- really, were we going to have to do this right before going to a party together? Was he going to ask what I thought about "us"? I had a pit in my stomach for the next few hours until he arrived.

It turns out he was simply having some family issues, and just needed to vent to someone. Whew. But later, I realized that we really DO need to talk about "us", soon. I enjoy his company, but I'm not sure I see a future here -- meanwhile, he's already made references to birthday gifts he wants to buy for me, with my birthday being a few months away.

Ugh. I wondered about the feasibility of doing a gradual fade-away (don't initiate contact, take my time in replying, etc) -- but I think this situation will require A Talk after all. I have a very full week ahead with work and social engagements, so I'm considering having this talk over the phone. Face-to-face would be preferable, but I'm not sure we can get together before the weekend, and there's a chance we may both be going to our mutual friend's lake house over the weekend.

One of my social engagements this week is a date with Smooch. I'm excited to see him again -- our previous (first) date was over a month ago. His recent e-mails have been smart and funny, and I have a feeling our next date will follow along those lines.

Any advice regarding Insta-BF is most welcome. What would YOU do in this situation?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A little happy dance.

Remember Smooch?

Recap: we had one great date a few weeks ago, then I was momentarily sidetracked by Insta-Boyfriend -- I'm still embarrassed to admit this, but all rational thinking went out the window, and with my head in the clouds, I wrote to Smooch and said I'd met someone else, and would like to explore that possibility. (he'd left a message and texted while I was feeling heady about Insta-BF, and I felt pressure to tell him something. Next time, a simple "work is busy right now" will suffice -- which happened to be true as well).

Once I came down to earth and started to realize that maybe Insta-BF wasn't going to be my beshert, I realized that I definitely wanted to give Smooch another shot. It had to be a perfectly crafted e-mail: humble yet confident, a little apologetic yet subtly sexy.

I guess it worked because he wrote back: at risk of seeming like a pushover, he'd love to see me again. Yay! I actually did a little happy dance in my office. Maybe I've built him up too much in my head, but I'm excited to see him again. Unfortunately, we have completely conflicting schedules right now: I'm going to be out of town this week, then he's away over the weekend. Hopefully that will be enough time for him to forget that I temporarily rejected him.

********
Insta-BF update: I'm not sure what to do here. He's definitely into me much more than I'm into him. I'm not sure I see this as a long-term thing, so maybe I should just enjoy his company for the moment, as long as it's fun...? At the same time, I really don't want to give him any false expectations.

I'm seeing him tonight for the first time in a week, will have to see what the vibe is like. Might just have to let this simmer quietly for the moment.

*******

Hey, Guy Friend, start planning our dinner out! I know I still have another month to go, but I don't anticipate seeing Martin any time soon! Our last e-mail exchange was a week ago, and I'm too busy to feel tempted by him these days.

So! Momofuku, or Ippudo, or the Redhead, or Hearth... Just throwing a few ideas out there.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The bet.

Insta-Boyfriend still seems to be in the picture, though things have taken a much more chill pace. We haven't seen each other since the weekend, and won't have much time to see each other this weekend -- I'm really busy at the moment with work and a friend's wedding.

In the meantime, we've been emailing and texting here and there. He generally signs off with something sweet and sappy like, "good night, beautiful". I'm staying a bit cooler. No need to rush into anything, especially while I'm still trying to figure out what I think about him.
*********
Remember Martin? He's the guy I dated semi-casually twice this year, but I ended it most recently when he told me he'd slept with someone else while I was out of town. He was rather emotional when we had that breakup talk a few weeks back.

Nearly two weeks after the breakup, he emailed me:

Hi [LV],

I thought of writing earlier but thought it better to let more time pass.

When we spoke last, all the things I said to you, I just want to reiterate. I think the world of you and really adore you. I really, really miss you. I miss your company. You will always be one of my favorite people in the whole world and I want you to know that I would be there for you for almost anything.

My heart was broken before we met and I am still finding out it is not so easy to mend. But If I ever get down on the world and want to think of something good, I just need to think of you.

I would always do my best not to hurt or harm you so I might only commit to loving you like a sister. But please know that, easier and quicker than any woman I have met before, I fell for you.

I'll let you call the shots if and when you are ever ready.

Love always,
[Martin]


I'm still not sure what the "loving you like a sister" part meant. I happened to be with my wonderful but very cynical friend D when the email came in, and even she had to admit that it was nicely written. I just wasn't sure how I wanted to respond.

I wrote back nearly a week later, explaining that maybe we could be friends at some point, but he couldn't blame me for remaining skeptical. I pointed out that he had hurt me not once, but twice -- and to my recollection, I don't think I ever got an apology.

He wrote back:
Maybe I took it for granted that you should know how sorry I am for hurting you. I am sorry. Those were not crocodile tears of mine that night. I agonized and hated having to have that conversation with you. I do care for you much more than you know.

I am sorry. I never wanted to or meant to hurt you. I wish that love was easier.
[Martin]


I still didn't quite get the "love" reference, since we were never even close to that -- we hadn't even dated all that long. We'd had 17 dates in total (yes, I keep track of these things).

A few innocuous emails were exchanged after that -- a happy birthday wish (for him), what I'm doing at work these days, etc. He left a message on my phone (while I happened to be with Insta-Boyfriend), but I later emailed that I wasn't ready to move our friendship to phone lines just yet. I hate to admit, I do feel some kind of pull towards him, but I'm going to keep that can of worms closed.

I told Guy Friend about this most recent exchange, and he remarked that it's probably just a matter of time before I see Martin again. I insisted that I absolutely will NOT -- after all, I have *some* semblance of integrity and pride.

We now have a bet going: if I see Martin before Halloween, I lose, and I have to take Guy Friend to dinner at the restaurant of his choosing. If I stay strong and do NOT see Martin, I win, and GF pays for dinner.

Per Se, here we come! (or, more likely, some East Village noodle joint)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Insta-Boyfriend

Oh my. Where to begin. For starters, I found myself a new boyfriend this week – yes, “boyfriend”, as in, someone who wants to date me exclusively and is already talking about the future. And no, this guy wasn’t around the last time I posted here.

Let’s go back a week or so…

Labor Day weekend. I had plans at a lake house with a large group of friends and many extended friends. Insta-Boyfriend was amongst them. After spending some time (with the rest of the group) hiking, biking and drinking over the long weekend, we kissed. He was a good kisser, very charming and sweet, seemed smart and interesting.

He drove me home on Monday, and we talked a lot during the drive. There was a real honesty about him – we both openly shared details of our past relationships, disappointments, failures, successes, etc. It was one of those giddy-making moments where I found myself thinking, “I like this guy! And he likes me! Yay, no more annoying dating websites and blind dates and uncertainty!”. I also thought to myself that if I knew a friend in this same situation, I'd warn her to slooooow the hell down -- but I was too wrapped up in my own head.

The excitement continued as we got together two more times during the week, with texts and phone conversations sprinkled throughout. He cooked me dinner (how thoughtful!) – he snuck a cute note in my bag (how sweet!). Sure, I knew he was just out of an intense relationship, but he assured me he wasn’t on the rebound.

I’m not sure of the moment when I came back down to earth – maybe it was when I realized that he has a slight immaturity about him. Maybe it was when I started to think that maybe it does matter that he doesn’t exactly seem settled right now – he’s in between jobs and apartments at the moment.

I finally had a talk with him and told him we needed to slow things down – it’s way too soon for us to even think about using words like “boyfriend / girlfriend”. He listened and said he'd follow my lead.

So – back to taking things at a slow, normal pace – in the meantime, maybe I’ll follow up with a few J-guys. I’m going to be crazy busy with work over the next few weeks, so most dating will be shelved anyway.

In the “I’m a complete moron” department: while my head was deep in the clouds over Insta-BF, I got a message from last week’s great date, Smooch, asking to get together again. I foolishly emailed him, saying that I’d had a great time with him, but I’d met someone new, and wanted to explore where it would go. No surprise – no response from him. And it seems doubly flaky to email him now to admit that I got carried away with giddiness for this new guy. Maybe I’ll write or call him again in a few weeks. We’ll see.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A yes (136), a no (137), and a maybe.

Two recent dates to tell you about:

Date #136: Fabulous. Lots of fun, great conversation, wonderful chemistry. Drinks, dinner, lots of smooching while we walked along the street, or sat on a park bench, or rode in a taxi. He texted the next day, then called just to chat the next night. For an hour. A rarity indeed. I'm stuck on a blog name for him, so let's just call him Smooch for now.

The surprise for me: I've mentioned that a lot of my exes have had more or less the same look -- thick, curly hair, very Jewish-looking. (from the "David / Steven store", as dubbed by my buddy Brian) While Smooch is Jewish, it stops there -- he has more hair on his face than he does on top of his head. (but certainly not in a gone-crazy Joaquin Phoenix kind of way -- no big, furry beard here, thankfully) He's not my "usual" type, but I don't care -- I think he's adorable. (and smart, funny, vivacious, etc.) We're both going to be out of town for the holiday weekend, but hopefully we'll get together next week.

And -- he also has an old Jewish man's name -- again, it doesn't matter to me a whit. Rather, I find it somewhat endearing.

Date #137: Not so fabulous. Blog name "Wallace", because he reminds me of this guy:



I tried really hard to like him -- he's smart and semi-interesting -- but it just wasn't there for me. "Nebbish-y" was the word that came to mind. After an hour or so of milking my drink, I think I sent a clear message that there was no interest by announcing just how tired I was, and that I needed to call it a night.

Talked to a new guy tonight -- let's call him The Young'Un for now - he's five years my junior. We've been emailing on and off for a few months now, and might finally get around to meeting in person next week. This was a first for me: Young'Un and I talked via video IM tonight -- kind of surreal to talk to a potential date that way.