Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

He Plays a Good Game. And I had a good time. March 19, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,seduction — datehazard @ 10:41 am
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I met The Author last night, at a rather swanky, old-fashioned cigar lounge where the female servers wear red cocktail dresses and you have to be buzzed in.

I was quite the sight when I arrived to meet with The Author; our age difference was perhaps the most pronounced aspect of the two of us. The two German men sitting two tables away kept staring at me and my companion. I sipped on my gin and tonic, flirted with The Author, and he sipped on his delicious, smooth Bourbon. He invited me to join him with the same libation, but I declined, to which he teased, “But G+T is such a summer drink; why would you drink it now?” I replied, “Because to me, it is summer, always, most especially when it is not.”

I knew he would find that charming. And he smiled and sipped while I smiled and held his gaze.

Flirting is such fun.

We talked about all kinds of things, he making statements, me listening, for the most part, then intervening with quips initially, then with interruptions. I would let him talk, seemingly passive, and alternate between being indulgent and complimentary, to being challenging, or skeptical. All along, he noticed, and appreciated my interventions. It felt like a dance of sorts. A fencing duel would probably be not a bad metaphor for the kind of back-and-forth repartee.

There are few things more attractive than intelligence. And few things more exhilarating than alternating between boredom and stimulation so unexpected that you’re left wordless.

We went back to his apartment, I admired his paintings, and we sipped champagne. I became incredibly drunk and realised I’d have to leave. We said our goodbyes and he put me in a cab, paying my cab fare. There is a lot to be said for the niceties of life.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll be in New York; it looks like I might not be able to teach here next semester. There was a problem with making up an additional course that I need. If I don’t get to teach two course sections, I will have to return. That’s a shame, since I’ve only just started really enjoying myself here.

New York is a tough place, there’s no doubt about it. And I think The Author is right when he advocates a “just don’t take it seriously” approach.

 

Playing games March 17, 2009

So, apparently, I’ve been doing it all wrong.

I had a most enlightening talk with a new friend (let’s call him The Author) this afternoon. He suggested that I stopped being so conscientious about the men I was pursuing and adopted the approach of a dog trainer.

Basically, if my “pet” was behaving, I would feed him treats and be nice to him; otherwise, I would train him to behave as I wished, and would punish him for being bad, and generally adopt an attitude of a lack of caring. He also advised strongly against pursuing the Analyst, saying that I needed to not pursue someone who was cold and distant (his translation for my, “he’s hard to read”). He also made a wide stereotypical statement about the Analyst, and said it was almost impossible for someone from his background to treat women with the respect that I was probably expecting and demanding.

Those words of advice played in my mind and lingered in my fears. But perhaps the most valuable thing he said was, “Don’t turn a farce into a melodrama. It’s just too much work.” How true. He also advised me to get laid.

I generally tend to heed men’s advice about other men, particularly if they’ve had some experience with the culture (which this man does have).

And so tonight I went out for St. Patrick’s Day to a local bar, got good and drunk and got someone’s phone number. But I didn’t follow the last part of my new friend’s advice.

Baby steps…

 

Loneliness March 14, 2009

Sometimes, I hate romantic movies. Or romantic scenes in movies. They bring up that aching, yearning sensation for intimacy, physical and emotional, which is generally present in most romantic relationships, even if the relationship’s going off the rails.

Yesterday afternoon I spoke with The Grad Student, who told me that he’d had a rough night, dreaming about his ex. He dreamt that he asked her why she just left, instead of telling him or talking to him. He’d awakened, angry and disappointed, and called me to talk about it. We went through the usual “why are you in this spot, what do you need to move on” stuff, but something he said made me think about the way that loneliness is so hard to delimit. It’s one of those things that just seeps up in quiet moments, a nagging lack.

Work is a good distraction, but no one can work all day, all the time. Friends are great, too, but the conversation ends, and echoes of that intimacy slowly fade into the emptiness.

 

Back on the dating scene (again) March 10, 2009

Tonight I’m going out for date #2 with The Analyst (same guy I had the Best First Date Ever with). We’re going to meet at a public monument, then meander and figure out what we’d like to do. Basically take it easy and wander around. It sounds like a lovely way to spend an evening with someone.

I know this will sound like I’m jumping the gun a little bit, but I’m not sure whether The Analyst and I have all that much chemistry. When we spoke on the phone last night, he was really hesitant and quiet. It made me think about the fact that I thought he seemed pretty depressed when I first met him. I mean, he laughed at all my jokes, and he seemed to really appreciate my sense of humour, but it seemed to be because he was really in a sad space and needed cheer, rather than that he was really genuinely appreciative. There wasn’t the witty back-and-forth or the one-upmanship that one would expect from someone who was really following.

Then there’s another guy who I’m meeting up with on Friday: let’s call him Hedge Fund Trader. Yes, yet another finance guy. He is hilarious and sarcastic, and seems pretty high-energy. We’ve been texting back-and-forth, and the jokes keep flying. I haven’t yet met him, so I can’t tell for sure, but he also seems like he might be a bit self-centred and maybe a touch of an asshole. The kind who would do something to someone else and not apologize, because as far as he’s concerned, it was funny/amusing. And his opinion is all that matters in this situation. He reminds me a bit of my good friend the Computer Programmer, who would also never intentionally set out to hurt someone, but who also has that “I’ll do what I want, thank you,” attitude, at times. We’ll see what happens.

In the meantime, the Charmer called. He called yesterday, and we had a brief conversation. He sounded guarded in his language and mannerisms, but said he’d like to meet up. He wasn’t sure about timing for this week, but wants me to text or call on Wednesday or Thursday in case he can meet up.

I spoke with my friend Kind Ninja (yes, she really is that fantastic), and I told her about how I’d reacted to The Charmer and everything that happened. She told me that she thinks I should just follow my heart and seize my desire with both hands. I said that I really just didn’t want to be heartbroken — that the problem I have with the Charmer is that my reason and logic are completely overtaken by a kind of senseless desire when it comes to him. And that I have no idea what to do with those emotions, let alone how to handle it if things go badly.

And then she said the sweetest thing to me that I have possibly ever heard: she said, “DH, listen to me. If things don’t go well and you’re heartbroken, I will come to you, and I will pick you up. Really.”

I am so lucky to have a friend like her in my life.

And today, I am feeling happy and confident, and optimistic.

 

The date with the Charmer February 18, 2009

Filed under: Dating,Desire,seduction,Singleness — datehazard @ 10:51 am
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So, my “first date” happened with The Charmer last night.

The reasons why first date are in inverted commas are because the date consisted of me spending the night at his house. Hardly conventional. And something I’ve never done before. It started off innocently enough: we ordered pizza, ate in his swanky apartment on his polished granite countertop in his steel-and-birch kitchen, we joked around, me in my jeans and t-shirt, him in his sweats and ball cap. Drank some wine, had a cocktail, cuddled and watched t.v…. and you can fill in the rest.

It was OK. Not great, but OK.

Why not great? Because the guy seriously is neurotic. He self-confessed when I first met him, and I understood more of his neurosis when in his space. He is a clean freak, and is constantly adjusting, cleaning, organizing, Putting Things In Their Place. I washed a cup I’d used with soap and water and placed it to dry in the sink. He noticed it drying, upside-down, and washed it again, with soap and water, then put it in his dishwasher. Any time he used the kitchen or I did, he’d tidy up afterward, wiping down surfaces, rearranging items, making things just right. He’d wipe down the kitchen sink with a paper towel so there would be no water spots any time we used it.

It started to make me really nervous. I wasn’t sure what was allowable and what wasn’t. At one point I wasn’t sure whether it was OK for me to place my ice-filled cocktail glass on my coaster on the granite counter-top, and asked for permission. The Charmer responded with an “Of course! Mi casa es su casa” kind of “casual” response.

During sex, he wanted me to keep my underwear on, which I at first thought was kind of one of those, “I find this totally sexy because of its novelty” approaches, but then I started to realise that it’s a thing with him. This is how he likes it. It’s no surprise that his preferred position is one of the “four-legged variety,” so-to-speak: he prefers to be in control. At All Times.

None of this is terribly horrible, but it’s not really something that allows for someone to really relax, either. Being in his space seriously started to make me itchy after a while. While he took a shower, I did some yoga, repeating the sun salutation a few times, a few warrior 2 poses, and lots of slow breathing.

And I still like him. A lot. In fact, maybe even more so than before. I can’t explain it. It’s just one of those things.

I honestly don’t know whether to go on vacation with him this weekend (which he’d originally suggested); I want him to ask me, but I don’t know if he will. He’s going to call me this evening. I suspect that’s when he’ll let me know what he’s decided. I have a pretty good hunch he’s finding a way to let me down easy. Otherwise I’d imagine he’d have asked me already.

I didn’t bring it up at all. It was the elephant in the room all last night, and all this morning.

And now, to bury myself in work.

 

Possibly Probably making a mistake February 16, 2009

The Charmer called. We made plans to meet up tomorrow, at his swanky apartment profiled in a major international newspaper (he was also quoted in the same article). I have to give it to him, he is a smooth operator. This is how it went.

“Hey DH, how’s it going? How are you doing, sweetie?”

“I’m fine, TC, much better now that I’m hearing from you — I’d been waiting for your promised call this morning. How are you? How’s work going? I’m glad you managed to finally squeeze some time away.”

“Well, it’s really busy since the acquisition of the other company late last year. Then at the same time that deal was being negotiated, we decided to expand operations into another country. Then my Dad had a health problem, so I was at one point in the hospital, with my mom and dad arguing in the background while I was trying to talk to the lawyers to negotiate both deals. You can’t make this stuff up.” (laughs).

“Yikes. Is your Dad doing ok? What happened?”

“Oh he’s better now. He’d had a quadruple bypass and they found out that his arteries were really clogged, so he had a choice of having to do another quadruple bypass or having stents put in. So he opted for the stents, which is why he was in the hospital for some time.”

“I’m glad to hear he’s better.” Pause. “I’m wondering if I could talk to you about your text message about meeting up.”

“Yeah… (laughs). I figured you probably thought it was a weird message, and a strange way to have a first date. I can assure you that I don’t always arrange first dates like that, but because this week is so packed and I want to spend some time with you and figure out whether we can get along, I felt like I had to send a direct message like that. But I really don’t do stuff like that.” (Laughs).

“I figured it was something to that effect. I mean, I also checked the time of your text message, and figured from your subsequent one that you were probably a little drunk when you sent it, so you probably didn’t intend for it to have quite the bluntness that it did.”

“Yeah, well, no, it wasn’t just that I was drunk, it was because I wasn’t sure how to fit all of these things together. But yeah, I probably would have phrased it somewhere along the lines of, ‘you know, I don’t often do this, and I hope it doesn’t make you uncomfortable, but how do you feel about…'”

We both laughed. Ha ha ha.

“So, I figure we could meet up tomorrow, I’ll get my car service to pick you up and bring you here, and we can have a carpet picnic or whatever, maybe I’ll get a DVD and we can watch something.”

“Uh… Well, where do you live? I mean, I could easily take the train there. The trains run all night, right? How far away from the station are you?”

“Nah, don’t worry about it. I’ll give you my address, I’ll just arrange for the car service. It’s really no problem at all.”

“And by the way, I don’t want to have you think I would stay overnight and you’d have to drive me in to town the next morning. Let’s leave that possibility open and see what happens.”

“Oh, no, really, you’ll see, I’m a perfect gentleman. I have an extra bedroom and everything, so if you want to stay there, that’s perfectly fine with me; if not, whatever — there’s no pressure at all. Seriously, I want to make sure you’re comfortable.”

I hate to say it, but he’s smooth.

He continued, “But I would suggest you might want to pack an overnight bag; I mean, just in case you stay. It’s also more convenient so you can have your stuff with you if you need it.”

The guy is seriously amusing me.

What the hell. I’ll give it a go. There are lots of horrible worst-case scenarios, but I don’t think many of them will apply to this situation. And I am seriously entertained by this guy’s shenanigans!