So Cute Speed Dating Guy messaged me (continuing from my previous post). He’d FB-friended me over the weekend, along with Cool Girl (accept! accept!), and then late Sunday night he’d sent me a message — which I didn’t receive until Monday morning, because Cortana mutes all my calls after 9pm. (Yes, I have a Windows phone. And I like it. Don’t judge. Also, I’m an early-sleeper/early-riser. The “lifestyle compatibility” category on my RFQ is there for a reason.)
We messaged back and forth for about a week and a half. Finally, we met up after work, one Wednesday night.
I was nervous. I knew, going in, that I’d liked him at Speed Dating months earlier, but the reason I’d “no-ed” him was because of where he lived (south of I-70 — outside my “long-distance, no-fly zone”). But when I’d run into him again on that dreadful Friday night, he was still fun, funny, and cute. And I’d still felt a connection with him — the can’t-put-my-finger-on-it “X-factor” that I’m always looking for in a potential relationship. (Know what I mean?) Unfortunately, that Friday night I’d been dealing with “other situations.” But between that weekend and now, I’d already had a mini-relationship with him in my head. (Completely ridiculous? Yeah. But, whether it’s a female-thing, or just a me-thing, I needed to play out the completely swoon-worthy scenario that popped into my mind… *sigh!* before reminding myself that I didn’t know him that well, and that the entire storyline only existed in my head *Ice bucket! Aauugh!* Maybe I’ll save that one for my writing. Onward to realty: )
It took me an hour to drive down from work, but I arrived slightly early at the Mexican restaurant that was halfway between where we each lived. He wasn’t there yet. Whew! I made a beeline for the bathroom. A few minutes later, makeup- and breath-refreshed, I passed the hostesses again… and was escorted to his table. He was still completely cute. Gulp! We ordered “medium” margaritas, which turned out to be ginormous (Thank God! 🙂 ), and started down the road of what turned out to be an UH-MAYZING conversation. I mean, seriously, we touched on philosophy, theology, existentialism, reincarnation, astrology, geophysics, and metaphysics in one, single, super-interesting dialogue. And we didn’t agree on everything, which was also super-cool. I felt my brain drinking in his perspective like new liquor, savoring this unique, different flavor, considering it…. Soooo interesting!
In addition to the natural chemical attraction and the incredible conversation, this guy was checking off a lot of other boxes for me, as well. For one, he was a Leo. Leos are also fire-signs, like Sags, and are therefore highly compatible with Sag. (Unlike Scorpio, Taurus, Libra, Gemini, Aquarius, Pisces… basically every sign I can think of that I’ve been with, previously, which are not compatible with Sag. How have I wound up with these guys?) Also, he not only prefers dogs, but he actually dislikes cats! Ha! (But, like me, not that he’d ever endorse being mean to an animal.) And he was a non-smoker. And his relationship-history was both understandable and empathetic, without being cringe-able (like, he wasn’t in a “you’re not healed from that, yet” place). I was increasingly impressed by this guy. “Leo.” 🙂
During our course of conversation I flirted lightly with him. I didn’t want to be lewd or anything, but wanted to test out small indicators, like flirty glances, extended bite-my-lower-lip moments, and a more obvious biting-my-pinky one. He didn’t respond. Hmmm. Okay… won’t push those any farther….
The evening wound down. We both had early mornings (lifestyle compatibility! 🙂 ), and the check came. I pulled out cash for my part of the bill; he pushed it back at me. “I’ve got this,” he said.
We got up to leave, but we were still talking (still an amazing conversation). He walked me to my car.
Then, when we reached my car, he turned. Heart-thumps…!
“This was awesome,” he said. His arms lifted nonchalantly from his sides. “Hug?”
I felt my emotions falter as I leaned in…. Yup, crap. It was totally a friend-zone hug. Crap. I braved my goodbyes, got in my car, and got on the road. Then I started to cry.
It’s okay, it’s okay, I reassured myself, as I drove home. It just didn’t work for him — fair enough. It’s okay. You had an amazing conversation, maybe that’s enough. Maybe you’ll just be friends. Or maybe it was enough that you got to feed your brain and have your mind opened to a new perspective. It’s okay. Fair is fair; it’s all good.
By the time I settled under the covers, it had only taken a small glass of wine to reassure me that I wasn’t a beyond-damaged freak-of-nature, who wouldn’t ever be desirable to anyone “normal.” And that having a new, amazing-brained friend was actually a really cool thing. I went to sleep.
But Leo continued to message me. The next day he said he’d had a really great time. Thinking maybe he was just being polite, or just talking about our great conversation, I messaged back. We exchanged cell phone numbers, and then he said he really wanted to see me again. Hmmm…? Not just “see you at the next meetup?” 🙂 I began to second-guess my Wednesday-night perceptions. What did he have in mind?
Then he said he was busy on the weekend, but asked if we could get together Sunday afternoon.
My heart sank: Sunday afternoon!
Sunday afternoon is not when you go on a hot date — or any date of special significance, with someone to whom you are attracted. Sunday afternoon is when you visit your grandmother. It’s when you hang out with your friends, watch football, or just laze-around, in general. For me, Sunday afternoon is when I do my grocery shopping, get prepped for the coming week, and then cook a “Sunday dinner” for my kids, whom I have every Sunday night. As far as dating, I’m holding out for being the girl who gets awesome, thoughtful, planned-in-advance, hot-Saturday-night dates. Not, “hey, all-I-have-left-is-Sunday-afternoon” ones.
Getting whisked away to an alternate reality, like this? Yeah, that would be an awesome-hot date! 🙂
Ugh. I feel about as special as your old running shoes in the back of the closet — the ones you don’t use for working out anymore, just for mowing the lawn. The idea of a Sunday-afternoon “date” was like a needle skewing off an LP. Total friend-zone! I told him I had other plans.
Then he said he still really wanted to see me. What about the following Wednesday? Well, okay…? We continued to chat. I mentioned that I was going to a Meetup in downtown Denver on Friday. Leo said he was going to be in the area and would try to swing by the venue, because he “really wanted to see me” again. I began to get my hopes up….
But that Friday night, I arrived at my venue, waited, and waited, but Leo never showed. I knew other people at the meetup — I danced, had fun — but I stayed longer than I would have, if I hadn’t been thinking he’d really meant what he’d said and would show up.
By the next morning, I’d made my decision. He was a great guy, and I really liked him. But he’d clearly and definitively demonstrated that I was in the “friend” category for him. That was fine-and-fair. But it meant that it wasn’t worth my time and energy to invest more in him than I would in any of my other (incredible, amazing) friendships. You see, between work, sleep, and half-time kids, I have only so-much time left over to develop other areas of my life. I’m willing to invest more time and effort in something that looks to be a long-term, life-partner relationship. But, shy of that, I spread my friend-time out over the months. I see my BFFs only a handful of times over the course of a year. (One month you, the next month you….) I’m busy, they’re busy. But if it’s an emergency, we’re there. You know how it goes. So I messaged Leo.
“Hey, missed you last night! Oh, btw, I’ve double-checked my calendar, and I can’t do Wednesday. Sorry. Rain check?”
Several hours later he messaged me back, apologizing that he hadn’t made it the night before, but he’d been caught-up, inadvertently hosting a friend’s birthday party. Okay, cool, maybe he’s just in a friend-zone-everybody place. It’s good that I’ve cut my losses early! Besides, he lives south of I-70…. He asked when he could see me again.
“LOL – speaking of birthdays…” I told him I had 2 kid-birthdays, 2 graduations, and lots of other extra kid-stuff coming up — all true. “So my May is kind of booked. Maybe we can catch up in June.” (My boss cocked an eyebrow when I told him this story. “You have, like, ten days booked, out of 31, in the month,” he pointed out. Yeah? So?)
Leo agreed. “See you in June.”
Oh, well. Friends.