He likes you, you like him.. now what?
After writing endlessly about my 7 year spell of online dating, I need your advice.
I met a guy I like, who seems to like me and I have no.clue.what.to.do.now.
I am so out of practice with being around someone who seems sane, smart and straightforward that I’m acting like a vestal virgin. I don’t know how to be when I’m not on a first or second date. I honestly can’t remember how to do dating.. you know, regular, see each other every couple of days, chat on the phone.. dating.
I think I’ve got the first couple of dates nailed.. I dress up, put on makeup (and then scrub 87% of it off since it makes me look like a tranny), pull out the good underwear and make sure that the worst of my Crossfit bruises are hidden.
Sidebar: Crossfitters can easily be identified since we all look a bit beat down. Fit as f-k but beat. Literally. Bruised knees, shins, clavicles, necks, chins and boobs..all completely normal. But a little alarming to the non Crossfitter.
Anyway.. first few dates.
You skate around the big elephants in the room (the ex’s, how many other women he’s actually dating at the same time as you, whether he’s picking up the check, whether he drives a Subaru… ) and you chit chat about music and travel, trips and siblings, whether he thinks 8 cells constitutes a sentient being (sorry, its now on my checklist after the last guy), but you generally keep it light.
I try to stay away from tequila (makes me crazy), and too much vodka (makes me sloppy). I try not to offend, I mentally coach myself that lunging at him from across the booth isn’t a good idea (see how I’ve learned?), and making out stays above the waist. I see if he claims the check or if he ignores it studiously. Its taken a few years, but I can finally do a first or second date really well. You know, low percentage of men running out the bar or me climbing out the bathroom window.
Dates 3 and 4, I’m less familiar with but have some experience. You’re still full on trying to put your best foot forward, investing in looking cute and trying to avoid the landmines. Maybe you mention the ex’s, you tell each other how much fun you’re having (but not too intensely or using any L words – “enjoy” is very safe) and you try to figure out if he’s harboring any major insurmountable weirdness. But after date 4… I’m lost. Are you still ‘dating’? Are you in a relationship? (and can you be in a relationship if you’ve not yet slept together?) Can you assume that you’ll see each other again every couple of days or is a week to week ‘depending on my schedule’ thing?
What happens after date 4?
How soon before I can tell him that I really hate people who crunch apples loudly, that I have a daily amount of conversation I can engage in before I lose the ability to communicate and what about my attire? I’ve only got so many cute outfits in my wardrobe and frankly I need a new bike helmet before I need another damn sun dress. How long do I have to keep washing my hair every time we go out? Or biting my tongue to stop me staying something crude? And goddam it.. how long before its acceptable to get naked? In the last 7 years I’ve heard everything from ‘right now’ to 90 days..
(Yes you heard right.. 90 Days. You can thank Steve Harvey for that one. He also uses the term ‘cookie’ instead of ‘vagina’ which freaks me out. My vagina bears no relation to a cookie – at. all. Is it meant to?)
But regardless, I know its not 90 days – I’m 41 not 14- but when its right? I have no idea any more.
My experiences of late have involved not waiting (and regretting it) or waiting (and then discovering that I think of him like a brother). Where’s the sweet spot? And how do I find it?
(or is that his job?) *wink*
If you’re rolling your eyes and mentally telling me to ‘just be myself’ or ‘just go with what seems right’, just remember that’s what has led me to being single for 7 years and collecting dating stories which would kill my mother if ever aired.
‘Myself’ often wears clothes with food stains on them. “Myself” can’t be bothered to do anything except watch Ink Masters and order deliver sushi on a Thursday night, and “myself” really isn’t the nicest person to be around when she’s tired, or hungry, or PMSing or in need of a workout. And that’s before I even get into ‘myself’ thinking $156 for a bra is completely acceptable, but that my car plates can wait a month. Myself doesn’t wear makeup, is obsessed with Crossfit and often doesn’t put on pants until 5pm. Myself is like Shrek in a china shop where guys are considered. I’ve broken a guys jaw accidentally and thrown one on the floor when trying to show off my dance moves. I am quite literally retarded around men I find attractive. When does he get to see this real version of me’?
On reflection I’m thinking ‘never’ might the correct answer here…
So until I can figure it out, I’ll just keep scheduling ‘dates’, avoiding the ‘are you still on Match’ conversation and shaving my legs within an inch of their life. We’ll eat out, make each other laugh, make out and hopefully someday I’ll know that its ok to show up in my Nanos and introduce him to Crossfit. And I’ll keep praying that he’s not on the Steve Harvey 90 day plan.