Corporate Lawyer and I had dinner this evening, much to my surprise. It was a last-minute thing.
I’d had to go to a networking event after work, and met him after the event. During dinner, we’re having a good time, and I realised how much I’d missed talking to a sane person, after the last week spent obsessing over The Charmer. We talked about the Oscars, and he let slip that he has an old friend staying with him right now, a fellow lawyer. He’s dropped her name a few times and mentioned her casually in conversation enough for me to ask for clarification on their relationship.
I immediately felt guilty that I’d asked. I mean, it’s not like I have been completely truthful with him.
But it’s so weird. I get the feeling that he likes the freedom he has to date other people, but we both don’t really like the feeling that both of us are dating other people, and would prefer to make it exclusive. But neither of us is really prepared to be in that space right now.
He has a lot on his plate. Corporate Lawyer is applying for work and constantly sending out his resume. He’s worried about the downturn in the economy and, as a junior lawyer, expects to have the axe drop on his neck at any time. I can see the worry and concern in his face, and I like knowing that hanging out with me, even if we’re just casual partners, makes him feel good. I also like hanging around with him because we come from very similar places, even if our politics don’t agree. His spending habits are not exorbitant, there’s nothing flashy about him, and he’s a genuinely decent guy.
Basically, he’s the opposite of The Charmer.
And that’s why I find him so uninteresting. The Charmer expresses concern, by habit: asking me to text the minute I get home, so he knows I’m safe and sound. Texting me first thing in the morning, at 6:30 a.m., and doing this consistently each day until it’s a habit; then abruptly stopping the practice. It’s a classic behavioural psychology move: he makes a gambler out of the other person. No wonder he leaves me breathless with anticipation: a critical intellectual is transformed into a cell phone text-watching junkie.
I respect the Corporate Lawyer quite a lot. I think he has integrity and is able to make a good partner. But I also see that he doesn’t feel as though he’s in the right space to have any kind of serious relationship at the moment. And so I don’t press the issue, and I keep dating.
And really, it’s not so bad. For now.