So I went on a date.
We were all set to meet up at a cozy little bar around 9pm on Friday. I was feeling excited. I was ready to bring the flirt. Then I got a message late in the afternoon from him saying that the weather (freezing rain) and some other stuff had thrown a wrench into his day and he hoped we could reschedule for Sunday. It probably helps to know that he rides a motorcycle and on that day he’d ridden it into work. He was in a bit of a panic about how he was going to get home safely because leaving his bike in the parking garage overnight was not an option. Since I was in the middle of a radiothon fundraiser for work, I texted him saying I understood.
I felt like someone had let the air out of my balloon. I did understand. But that doesn’t mean it felt good.
We texted back and forth a bit. I offered to come out to where he lived if transportation was an issue. But even in doing that I felt like I was diminishing myself some. I mean, I’ve read “He’s Just Not That Into You” (and seen the movie). It’s not rocket science; it’s dating etiquette. If someone wants to see you, he’ll make it happen. Without any cajoling or overt negotiation. How many times am I going to put myself out there only to not be met half-way? This is a behavior pattern I’m trying to stop.
After the radiothon was over a bunch of my coworkers went out for some nosh and libations. My coworkers are also my friends so they knew I had a date that night and the fact that I was sitting there with them instead of off at home gussying myself up was a topic of conversation. You get eight women together and you’re going to have some serious dissection of motivations and feelings. The majority of these friends are partnered up- either married or in long term relationships- so it was up to me and one other girl to explain how exhausting dating is. It’s not an easy thing in Seattle. Maybe it’s difficult everywhere but here people tend to be cliqueish and friendly but flaky. It seems like Seattleites give good talk but bad follow through. It’s insanely frustrating. And after the third, fifth, tenth time you’ve told your life story replete with amusing anecdotes and asides, you’re feeling pretty burnt. It’s hard to keep on shining.
At the beginning of our conversation my friends were saying to blow this guy off. That if he couldn’t follow through on a date and used the weather as an excuse he was not worth the effort. It was a red flag. But by the end of our conversation I think the partnered friends got a glimpse of how challenging it is to meet someone you can be genuinely interested in and they were encouraging me to give him another chance. I started to feel emotional like the weight of my age and circumstance was so glaringly obvious. . . I felt an intense loneliness wash over me and I just had to leave the restaurant.
I went home, texted the guy saying I was not up for meeting up in his neck of the woods (he lives about 20+ minutes outside of Seattle) and that I was a bit deflated by the day’s turn of events. He apologized for “screwing up” and said I could call him if I wanted to talk. While I didn’t think his choice of not meeting up was entirely about me, it still intimated that he wasn’t that into me. And that is a hard pill to swallow. It’s not like I was ga ga over him but the momentum you build when emailing and chatting can really lose steam if you don’t roll with it.
I let myself think about it for a day and then I agreed to meet up with him Sunday. I wouldn’t say I went begrudgingly but the initial giddy pre-date feeling had definitely worn off. We met, had a couple drinks and talked for three hours. It was a perfectly lovely evening. He is genuine and nice. And he did not flirt with me. NOT ONCE. There were no compliments, no inadvertent touches while sitting close on a couch together, no teasing innuendos. Nothing. And while those aren’t required on a first date you’d think I’d be able to get some sense of his interest level. Much like when we emailed back and forth, the conversation flowed easily and we shared some laughs but there was never any flirting. Not in email. Not on the phone. Not in person. At the end he said he’d like to hang out again when he gets back from a trip home. He handed over some cds of music he’d burned for me, walked me to my car, hugged me good-bye and that was it.