Along with the other dating sites, I hid my Tinder profile over three weeks ago. I was having enough of a hard time dealing with the men I already had in the mix; I didn’t need any new applicants. I figured I’d work my way through the ones I was already talking to and then decide whether to unhide the accounts again.
So last Monday, I was surprised when my phone pinged with a Tinder notice: “You have a new match!”
I was admittedly a little concerned I hadn’t heard back from Gregory. I know some people tend to reduce their communication pace after a date is booked, but to not reply to a text at all? While I told myself everything was fine, the cynical I’ve-had-the-worst-luck part of me was stomping her mental foot deep down. I wasn’t sure if this Tinder date was going to happen.
But my burner app had been flaking out and I’d been receiving sorry-the-server-is-down notifications, so I suspected it was that. I didn’t want to text again on the burner app, since if it didn’t work the first time there was no guarantee it would work the second.
Gregory was now in my kitchen but I wasn’t quite sure what to do next. It was late, past 11 pm, and I knew I didn’t want to end up with him in my bed. This was one first date I wanted to take a little slow.
I offered him something to drink and he chose water. He’d driven to the date so I would have been surprised if he’d asked for alcohol. He looked around my main floor and commented on a variety of things which caught his eye. He loved the art. He made note of the vinyl and my gramophone: love of music is something we have in common.
It seemed obvious he was interested in me by his sheer presence, late at night on a work night, several hours after our date started. I was very aware where he was standing relative to me, but didn’t want to make the first physical move.
The morning after my first date with Gregory, I was excited. It was a nice change to have had such a great intellectual and physical connection, with a man who seemed to be on the ball and in contrast to some of my recent experiences, well-balanced. Lots of commonalities to explore.
Even my Mom hadn’t seen any red flags in her internet searches.
I told myself to chill out and take Gregory as he comes. Given what I had been experienced with John, I was keenly aware there is reasonable excitement at potential, versus the crazy-town reaction of expecting everything is going to work out. I was determined to not give any impression I was like John. Because I’m not. I had no idea what potential we actually had.
I don’t think I breathed until I saw Gregory’s reply: “Trust me, nothing shocks me.”
“And so have I done those things”
“And that answer was fluff, testing the water”
Yes, of course it was. It was already nerve-wracking enough telling him something I rarely tell anyone. So I said “It’s a big risk to talk about this stuff. I have found men either can’t handle it because it’s intimidating, or they feel insecure about it. Or worse, I stop being a fully fleshed-out woman and become only about sex.” Continue reading →
I’m so bad at this part, I know it: dating communication gaps. I do a good job of leaving my anxiety where it belongs – on this blog and with my close girlfriends – but it exists and it drives me bananas. It’s not logical, it’s not really reflective of how I think about things, but it’s definitely a deep-seated trigger. I’m reading about attachment styles to understand it better.
A new commenter said – unfairly, in my opinion – that things are always the man’s fault with me. This is a case where I would argue Gregory has done nothing wrong. We’ve had one date and a bunch of communication since. He doesn’t have to reach out every day and I would never request it at this point. Hell, if there’s one thing I understand, it’s being busy.
But it doesn’t change the fact that a gap in communication triggers me.
After I’d heard from him that night, Gregory and I texted back and forth a bit. He was hosting clients for most of the day, including dinner. He said it was exhausting. He was complimentary about my talents when I shared a work-related issue. I told him I was off to bed (I was getting a cold and knew I needed to sleep) and asked him if the next night still worked to get together. He said it did.
The next day arrived. I didn’t text him at all during the day – and at 6:30 he texted saying he hoped I’d had a good day. I replied a half an hour later when I saw his text, and then asked if 9:15 pm would work for him to come over.
All the Harper posts are down, as you may notice. He informed me today that a friend of his told him about my blog. Someone who doesn’t know my real life identity, apparently. Which seems inconceivable, but given I seem to be insanely unlucky with ugly coincidences, I suppose it’s plausible.
He read a bit about himself. Not sure if he read anything else.
So that’s it. He “called it”. Said he needed his life to be simple. We’d only been on two dates, he just got out of his 25-year marriage, and was busy traveling in December… all said to impress on me that his ending it was no big deal.
There was nothing I could say to change his mind. I apologized via text after we hung up the phone and said while yes, we’d only had two dates, I felt a compatibility I’d rarely found and hoped at some point he’d reconsider.
Then I sat at my kitchen counter sobbing for a good long while: loss of potential is far worse for me than a relationship which runs its course. And to be denied potential because of this blog gutted me.
We arrived at my place, got inside, I took off my coat, and Gregory was on me instantly. Gone were the perfect kisses I liked. They were replaced by full tongue-down-my-throat action. I don’t know I can call them kisses, I don’t know what the hell they are. I usually end up not knowing exactly what to do.
Those kisses are gross, guys. I feel skewered and unable to react. There’s a difference between a momentary thrust of a tongue down a throat… but keep it there? A whole lot of NOPE.
He didn’t want wine, he only wanted me. We stood in the same place for a while – his hands all over me, his tongue down my throat – until we agreed to go upstairs. Once again, we didn’t spend any time on my couch.