Nonetheless, I am giving him the benefit of the doubt (including assuming the fact that he paid our bill, although I just feel strongly it didn't happen) and have set a date for dinner on Thursday night.
In the meantime, I've talked to two other guys I met online. John...the conversation was painful. He was about as exciting as a wet rag. I think I spoke a total of three minutes on a half hour call. I finally told him my Mom was calling on the other line and had to go (I'm sure my Mom won't mind that I used her as an excuse!)
Rich...we've been emailing online for some time. He is actually one of the first guys I met on the site. Seemed a little cocky...yeah, he's one of those guys who put up a photo with no shirt on. Typically I would just scoff at him and move on to the next, but in the interest of trying not to judge people without knowing them, I read his profile and his justification made sense -
"You may laugh at me because I put up a picture without a shirt, but I'm doing this to prove that I am who I say I am."Okay, fine, cuz I can tell you how many people I've met in person and thought "that picture on your profile is about 15 years old. You said you were 35 not 55, weren't balding and 80 pounds overweight." Again - be who you are. Own who you are or change it. Plus, he's attractive and the rest of his profile seemed honest and sincere. After the conversation with John, which about put me to sleep, I called Rich and we had a great convo for over an hour. If he appears cocky on his profile, I definitely didn't get that vibe speaking to him. He just sounded like a good dude. I eventually admitted it was my bed time (I don't like games, but you have to play a little. In this case, I always try to get off the phone first), and hoped we could catch up again by phone or in person. "In person would be great." "Awesome, I'm available this week, so why don't you figure something out and let me know." (Again, I always make them plan the date - hey, they can do some work to impress me!)
Yesterday I returned the call from the local dating agency and told Annie* that the timing was perfect and I am available. "Great. We'll determine if you're a match for this person and then get back to you. In the meantime, you might want to come back in for a face-to-face since it's been a couple of years." "Of course! let me know when."
I have to admit something: I often feel bad dating someone I know is interested in me and then dating other people. It's like I'm cheating or doing something behind their backs, when I know that this simply isn't true until sex and mutual monogamy is confirmed. It's weird, I KNOW, and I have no answer as to why I feel this way other than the fact that I have been cheated on quite a bit in past relationships. It's the reason that I probably do two things:
1. Ensures that I won't cheat. Ironically, I have NEVER cheated, but no one needs to feel the hurt I have. I think it's less about cheating and more about hurting someone.
2. More than likely is the main culprit in my meeting men, having a great time and then rushing to see what else is out there before settling down with that person. I want to make sure that I won't be more attracted to someone else, which is complete bullshit because I am the one who once wrote a column on men looking over my shoulder for greener grass and yet here I am.
In reality, I probably do this because:
A. If it's not going to work out I'd rather cut if off at the pass than let it go further and hurt someone more. I will not lie...I have hurt someone in my past. I was careless and disrespectful to him. Why? Because, if you believe it or not, I actually believed that men did not have feelings. Yep. Thanks, Dad. A mutual friend called and said that the bf was really hurt and crying nonstop. I never knew what to do about that so I let him go because I figured "why would he take me back?" I still feel guilt over this, the first realization that men aren't so different.
B. Protection mechanism! Scared to take the leap. My mind suddenly races to marriage and my fear of making the wrong choice, much like I fear my Mother might have done because she was expected to get married. After her engagement to someone she was crazy about was broken, by the guy, she picked the first handsome, eccentric, non-affectionate but hard-working man who fell for her. He was from a lower class and my grandparents never really approved of him. But hey, if she hadn't gone for him then I wouldn't be here, and we all know you couldn't live without me! HA!
As I told the BFF yesterday, I am really proud of my recent realizations (epiphanies) towards relationships and dating, but there is clearly more work to be done and I'm hoping that getting out and dating will help me conquer in "real time", so to speak. It's good to be aware of where you are and know what hills you need to get over. There's no point in not being aware and then dragging others through your black suitcase full of bullshit!