Thankfully, it wasn’t over after sex with Bruce on the second date. We exchanged a few texts as he drove home – an almost hour-long drive – and he called me “sweetie” when he texted goodnight. But I still had dating anxiety.
The next morning I sent a good morning text and we had a brief exchange. Mid-morning he checked in to say he hoped I was having a good day. We had another exchange at the end of the day. All consistent with the days prior.
That night I was at a sporting event with a close friend. A man who reminds me a bit of Bruce, actually, and Bruce and I bantered off and on throughout the game. I asked whether he was used to a woman squirting since he seemed pretty chill about it.
He said “It’s happened before…Not something I’m used to. But what was I gonna do…You seemed to be enjoying it so it was fine by me :)”
I complimented him on how great the sex was and he replied with a comment about the game. Which got me laughing and he said he wasn’t good with compliments. I cheekily explained how compliments worked, adding he’s supposed to say something nice back. Which of course isn’t how compliments are supposed to work at all… so I said obviously my compliment-fishing expedition didn’t work.
His response? “Do I need to gush about the sex ….. I thought that there was enough gushing last night”, quickly adding he was being a smartass.
Not wanting to leave him with an impression I was too insecure about his enjoying himself (which yes, I know only an overthinker like me would worry about), I told him I actually concluded since he stuck around for three rounds he must have been enjoying himself. His response? “Exactly.”
I am much better at reminding myself when a guy keeps “showing up” in various ways, it says more than any words he utters. So far, in the first couple of weeks, Bruce has been consistent in his communication. I have not been the only one driving the conversation forward. It’s felt pretty balanced.
I had planned to text when I got home that night, and he beat me to it when I was steps from my door. I asked if he wanted me to call when I got settled and he told me a friend of his had just phoned and he’d call me when they were done, if it wasn’t too late.
By 11:30 pm I was ready to sleep and hadn’t heard from him. I sent him a text to say good night and heard nothing back.
The next morning I woke to no text. Of course, my lizard brain decided to send me down a path, of wondering whether something had changed – had he reached he point where he no longer wanted to pursue me – and I fought mightily to not go down that path. I knew it was irrational and baseless,
But then he called. I didn’t say anything like “oh hey I missed you last night”, because there was no need and no point. We spoke for a half an hour while he was on the road into the city, until I had to leave for a physiotherapy appointment.
And like he has done every day, he checked in again midday. We had a few short text exchanges.
We’d made tentative plans to get together after work that day. He kept me in the loop about his schedule, saying it might be after 7pm when he was done.
We had some fun banter of me telling him he was welcome to sleep over if that made things easier for him. When I said he’d get more sleep, he retorted he was likely to get a lot less sleep. I told him he would have time to make me breakfast, and he joked that it was a crappy bed & breakfast when you had to make your own. It was fun. A sense of humor is so important to me, and I know it is to him as well.
I made plans to meet a girlfriend after work. He called when our drinks arrived to tell me his boss needed him to go pick up some equipment for their job the next day. Given the location, how long it would take, and where he had to travel to the next morning, it meant seeing me was not going to work.
I totally understood, and told him that. If I take someone at their word, and they’ve given me no reason to doubt them, why wouldn’t I trust what he said? Therefore I ensured I didn’t say anything that would make him feel like he’d let me down.
We talked for a few minutes and then I hung up to focus on my friend. He said we’d be in touch later.
Just before 10pm, I texted to ask if he got everything sorted okay. I heard nothing back.
I went onto Plenty of Fish to hide my pictures, as I was still getting messages and there is nobody else I was interested in talking to. Because Bruce is in my messages list and because I’m a premium member, I automatically see when he was last online, without looking at his profile or opening a message. He had been on the site at 5pm that day. Now, I know he removed his face pictures, and I am fairly confident he’s into me, but even seeing that he’d been online sent me into an unconstructive internal commentary.
I knew I was spinning when the thought crossed my mind that perhaps at the end of his work day he’d connected with someone else, had therefore cancelled on me and come up with an alternate story, and was now out on a date. While of course he could be talking to other people and perhaps even going on dates with them – it’s only been a couple of weeks, after all – I had ZERO reason to think he would cancel on me and come up with such an elaborate story. He doesn’t strike me as that kind of guy.
I literally shook my head to try to clear those thoughts. I knew they were ridiculous and I knew they were fed by past experiences. I have no need to get myself all twisted up when I don’t even know if he’s someone I want to be with. But the fear of being lied to or fucked around with is barely under the surface.
I decided I wasn’t going to text him again – why should I? – and that I was going to go to sleep. Suffering with a head cold and not getting enough sleep had me exhausted. And just as I went to turn off my light, my phone rang.
It was Bruce.