First, there was the school administrator. He has long, curly black hair and fierce eyes that are a dark brown almost black color. He is fairly slight in build. I know that he plays guitar and is about the same age as I am. Beyond that, there are a lot of unknowns. For this reason and also because I’ve learned some good lessons as I’ve been doing this online dating thing, I have us meet at a coffee shop not too far from where I live. He’s there a little before me so when I arrive I see him sitting at a table. I can recognize him right away. There is something about his energy that is intense.
For a good 15 or 20 minutes, we sit and talk at the table without ordering anything to drink. Eventually, I find a break in the conversation enough to make the announcement that I plan to order a drink. He follows me to the counter. There seems to be an unspoken agreement that I will at least be paying for my own drink if not his as well. The barista forces me to clarify this as he asks me if I’ll be paying separate or together.
A time ago, I never would have thought twice about paying my own way, but now I’ve come to find that the guys who are willing and able to foot the bill (at least for the first date or two) are a little more considerate and mannerly in general. They open doors and give compliments and sweet goodbye kisses. Somehow, I think they will be better partners for me and less selfish than the non-payers. Who knows if this is true, and I try to keep an open mind. I’ve never minded paying for myself before and certainly love to be independent, so this tide could turn. For now, it is one more element that puts question marks in my head about this guy.
We continue to talk and he asks me a pretty personal question about my dating history. I am nervous about answering this question, so my response is way too long and way too honest. I’m embarrassed and then relieved when he gets up to go to the bathroom.
When he comes back, I return the favor and ask him to answer his own question. He tells me it was never that important to him to find a lifelong partner and he tops it off by saying that he’s never had any trouble finding women to be interested in him. The little me inside giggles and thinks to herself, “good, then he won’t have a problem if this girl isn’t interested…”
Soon after, I make moves to hit the road and he walks me to my bike. He tells me something like, “You are the type of girl I really like. You’re nice to look at and I’d like to go out again. Would you like to go out again with me?” There’s already something inside of me that is gently speaking, “no, I sure don’t,” but I don’t know how to express this having felt put on the spot. So, I say, “yes”. I think he could tell something was off about my response because he said, “really?” But, again I said “sure”.
At the time, I was thinking, ‘why not? He’s an interesting guy to get to know.’ In reality, I already knew I didn’t want to date him, and as much as it would be fun to have another friend, our connection was off-kilter enough that it would have been too much work even for that. I haven’t heard from him, so perhaps we are on the same page.