Sunday, August 26, 2012

Minimum Necessary Rule

A few weeks ago I went out with my sister to a happy hour sponsored by Match.com and ended up meeting a guy.  From the beginning I had a really good feeling about him.  He was cute, but not so attractive that he made me feel uncomfortable.  He was confident, but definitely not a player.  Our conversation flowed so easily.  At the end of the night he asked for my number.

Every time you meet someone new, it is an opportunity to reinvent yourself.  And for me, it couldn't have come at a better time.  I have always been responsible, organized and even a little bit uptight at times.  Sometimes I feel like I have boxed myself into a corner and I am not sure how to get out. 

I would like to know what it's like to be with someone who doesn't know that I hate to fly, or that I won't go swimming in a lake because I am afraid of fish.  Someone who has no idea that I can't watch a horror movie or that I am a total neat freak around the house.  Someone who will give me a reason to say yes to a new experience.

The new guy texted me the next afternoon.  I was pleasantly surprised that he decided not to wait the requisite three days before contacting me.  We ended up texting back and forth the entire weekend.

Sometimes I have a tendency to share too much information, but this time I played it just right.  It helps when you are sending text messages, because anything over three lines is too long.  Every time he would send me a text, I would draft my response, then read through it and delete the last line before I hit send.

At one point, he texted me while I was at a wedding shower.  The Bride and Groom are friends with the Boy.  When I told him where I was, he asked me if they were close friends of mine getting married.  My first reaction was to try and explain that they were friends of my ex and even though I don't see them as often as I used to, we are still close.  But then I thought better of it and simply answered that I had known them for about three years and they are a super cool couple.  Problem solved.

I was really enjoying my easy breezy approach to communicating with Mr. Texty Text.  And whatever I was doing, it must have worked because that evening he texted "Hey, you seem pretty cool.  Would you like to meet for a drink tomorrow?"  To which I replied "Sure."

The next night we met for drinks at a pub near my work.  We ended up hanging out for three and a half hours.  The more we talked, the more we had in common.  Both of us had serious jobs, but we refused to take them too seriously.  And we shared an obsession with healthy eating, without being afraid to splurge once in awhile.  Most importantly, we were true believers that communication and physical intimacy are the keys to a successful relationship. 

He was the male version of me.  After dating an engineer who never talked, I could not believe I was out with a funny, smart guy who carried more than 50% of the conversation.  Of course, there was one small catch.  He was recently divorced and spent half the night talking about the break up with his ex.  It actually didn't bother me at the time, but in retrospect it was probably not a good sign.

At the end of the date, he confided that he thought about asking me out to the Tigers game the night before, but he decided it was better to just go for drinks so he wouldn't have to spend three hours with me if it turned out that I was crazy. 

"Well, you just spent the equivalent of a Tigers game with me sitting in this bar tonight," I teased.  He just smiled back at me.

When I got home that evening, another text popped up.  "It was really nice seeing you," it said.  "You are really easy to talk to.  I would like to take you out again, if you're interested."

I could not believe that he broke the three days rule again and texted me when he got home from our date.  I immediately started tracing back through our conversation that evening.  It was Tuesday night and he said that he had baseball tickets on Friday and then I had a party on Saturday, so the soonest he could ask me out again would be Sunday. 

But he didn't.  He just kept texting. 

The entire time, I was trying to play it cool.  He seemed almost too good to be true and after several months of bad first dates from Match.com, I was afraid to get my hopes up.  I barely told anyone I had met him, let alone that I went out on a date with him.  I didn't want to obsess over when he was going to ask me out again.  In fact, I didn't want to talk about it at all.  This time, with this guy, I just wanted to handle it my own way and see what would happen.

After two weeks of texting, I started to get bored and a little irritated.   I could barely remember what he looked like.  That weekend, he said that he was going up north with some friends. I figured he would ask me out when he got back, but then the texts just stopped.

It had been a week since I heard from Mr. Texty Text, so I decided to throw out a quick note and see what would happen.  It was a Friday afternoon and I texted "Hi, how's your week going?" as if everything was normal.  He responded right away and explained that he was working a lot and his Mom had been in the hospital for a few days, but everything was ok.  He said he would explain more the next time he saw me.  Another week went by, and I never heard back from him.

Years ago, I would have spent hours agonizing over what I could have done differently to make things work out with Mr. Texty Text.  But at this point in my life, I don't have the energy to worry about it.  Maybe he was busy with work, or maybe he met someone else.  Or maybe he just wasn't ready to start dating again.  I will never know for sure.

What I do know is this.  It didn't matter that I texted just the right amount of information or that I kept all of the details to myself so no one would jinx my fledgling relationship.  No matter what you do, things are going to end up as they are meant to be.

And if I want to reinvent myself, I don't need a new relationship.  All I need is a new attitude.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great experiment - so in the future you can avoid blaming a guy's behavior on some small or imagined "mistake" of your own. What we do probably has so little to do with their actions most of the time!

Anonymous said...

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
Maya Angelou


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good opportunity to try some new things and see how they work for you. How often do you get that chance without repercussion? No pain no gain...no harm no foul. You had a chance to be a different version of you. Congrats.