Experimental Dater Southern Belle was one of those in the Wednesday Dating Club this week – getting out and about and taking one date at a time!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
It’s difficult to start dating again after a long period not, as Rebound Gal (and the rest of the world) can testify.
What I’ve come to realize though is that I’ve never really “dated”.
I’m a relationship person (my sister affectionately refers to me as a nester!) so if someone gets past three dates, that’s typically the start of a relationship, and has been for my entire time here in Houston.
It’s part of why being involved in the Dating Experiments was so appealing to me. It is so outside of my comfort zone to not screen for common interests and beliefs, to not go through all the emailing back and forth, and to not speak on the phone.
And so I just bit the bullet and said yes to the first two normal guys that didn’t ask me for naked photographs on OKCupid.
I literally had no positive expectations of my date last night. I was dreading it. We confirmed on Tuesday and then there was zero communication over text yesterday, which was my fault. As I got home from a long day at work and dragged my grumpy butt to the shower, I thought about cancelling. I was still thinking about cancelling when I put the bare minimum of make-up on, dragged on some dark jeans and a black sweater. Jumper. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.
I walked downstairs feeling and looking about as excited as a man walking to the gallows and my housemate just looked at me.
“Are you really wearing that?”
I love her, by the way. Hi Kate.
“What’s wrong with it?”
I knew exactly what was wrong with it. I had chosen a loose black sweater, dark skinny jeans and the minimum of make-up because quite honestly, I didn’t want to try.
Trying feels like I’m letting go of the last relationship that I’m still grieving for. I’m not sure I’m ready to really try yet but getting out of the house is a big first step for me. Anyhow.
I went upstairs and changed into a prettier fitted sweater. Put on a bit of perfume. Kate approved in a way that told me she knew I was placating her and still not trying very hard at all. As I walked out of the house, I actually told her that I’d be back in an hour and a half, which is the time I had allotted to some awkward small talk and a drink.
As I drove to the bar, I wondered briefly if he was going to cancel last minute and how I would feel about it. I decided I wouldn’t care and that it would give me plenty of time to unpack from my NYC trip last week, as my luggage currently lies neglected in the corner of my bedroom. I didn’t know this guy at all and I didn’t have the weight of pressure to make something work in person. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
On OKCupid, I’d liked the fact he’d clearly read my profile.
I specifically say in it that I’m not looking to email anyone; I’d rather give my phone number and meet, putting the face-to-face communication back into dating. So he asked for my phone number and while my instinct was to call and chat about the interesting things I’d seen in his profile, I ignored it.
We kept it fairly limited to text messages planning out a convenient time to meet and a little bit of banter, which was perfect. In fact the only time I didn’t hear from him in the week before our date was Thanksgiving and yesterday, both non-responses on my part.
I knew he was British from some of the spelling used in his profile. I knew he worked in Oil & Gas because he had casually dropped the name of his employer. I was expecting a lot of jokes about what I do as a job and relying heavily on our shared cultural upbringing. I was expecting someone 10% as attractive as his profile pictures. I was wrong.
He arrived on time, dressed in jeans and a nice shirt, which made me eternally grateful that Kate had turned my sulky ass around to put something better on. I had an awkward freak out moment where I wasn’t sure if we were shaking hands or hugging, but he just gave me a hug and we settled down to look at the drinks menu. For some reason, I wanted a cocktail that wasn’t on the menu, but knew they had the ingredients for, so the nice bartender made it for me. He grabbed a beer and handed his card over to her without hesitation to keep a tab open.
That was my first moment of surprise. American men do this all the time. I’ve had some heated conversations with a couple of them when they’ve refused to let me pay for anything at all and been offended by me offering. I wasn’t expecting it from a man originally from Sheffield, who had joked about his frugal nature.
Houston has variable weather at this time of year. but last night was a balmy 72 degrees fahrenheit, so we meandered out to the patio and started chatting: wonderful, easy, relaxed conversation that didn’t feel like a) I was working for it or b) an interrogation.
I realized an hour had passed when our drinks were gone and he went straight back in to get another, carefully repeating my weird drink back to me to make sure it was right. When he returned he came back out with a number for our table and didn’t mention anything about it but it was interesting to me that he took initiative and ordered food for us to share without checking first. I decided I quite liked that.
Two drinks in and I realized I was having a good time and that he was quite attractive. This seems like a good time to bring up the fact that my good friend Rob had been chatting to me on my normal nightmare commute home and said he hoped I had a good time and liked the guy. I had responded with a grumpy “doubt it” and he just said that he hoped I didn’t miss out on a nice guy because I was so closed off to the possibility.
This is a very real problem for me.
Three drinks in and we’re chatting about the amazing photography that he does in his spare time. Dorky job? Check. Nerdy creative hobby? Check. Physically fit and active? Check. Attractive? Check. Over 5’6”? CHECK!
Ladies and gents.. he’s an Alpha Nerd. I love Alpha Nerds. They are my kryptonite.
At this moment, I did what any sane girl would do – totally panicked and started talking about my 5am meeting.
We walked out of the bar and as he only lives a block away. I told him my car was in the other direction and refused the walk back. We hugged goodbye and I walked to my car, with a bit of an internal battle going on.
I had a great time. I’m not sure I’m ready to have a great time.
I would like to see him again. I have no idea if he’d like to see me.
I just ran away from a great date. It’s a work night and I couldn’t have stayed out for longer anyway.
In the car I decided the best course of action was to be myself and not overthink things. I sent him a quick text saying “It was lovely to meet you 🙂 ” .
Two minutes later I received a response “Thanks. I really enjoyed meeting you too! Hopefully we can do it again soon. Or at least try and fit in something between all the travel this month”.
So.. it looks like I’ll have to try and fit in a second date before I leave for the UK and Thailand over Christmas …
- GEOGRAPHY – National Geographic! (Southern Belle) (30blinddates.wordpress.com)
- Experimental Dater Twenty-Two – The Southern Belle (30blinddates.wordpress.com)
- GEOGRAPHY – The H-Town Chronicles (Southern Belle) (30blinddates.wordpress.com)