Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

A boyfriend’s friends May 21, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating — datehazard @ 8:25 pm
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What do you do when you meet your boyfriend’s friends for the first time, and you don’t like them?

It’s a situation I’ve often felt uncomfortable about: a negative opinion has tended to suggest that I have less in common with the person I’m thinking of dating than I initially imagined. Generally when I feel as though I probably would not have anything to say to a partner’s friends, it’s meant that I’ll eventually have nothing to say to my partner.

I met Camera Technician’s friends at a live music show a few weeks ago. We happened to be on a date, and they happened to be there. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the caliber of the interaction; it felt that they were interested in partying and having a drunken good time, and the level of conversation wasn’t particularly stimulating. I know, not everyone’s an academic — nor should I expect them to be. There are really some ways that working in this field has made me socially unsuitable for smalltalk and ordinary contact. My level of patience for superficiality has decreased rather substantially in relation to the amount of specialized knowledge I’ve accumulated. It’s an attitude that’s generally associated with elitism, an ascription I both loathe and yet, it’s also a position I am loathe to relinquish.

So when I met his friends, an ad director, a filmmaker, and a television producer, all of whom hold rather sparkling, intriguing jobs, I felt very ungenerous when I struggled to find some common ground. They didn’t want to talk shop outside of their work hours, and the cultural capital they had was of a more mainstream variety, which left me rather bored. And so we eyed each other warily, superficially, scanned each other quickly and surmised that we swam in very different oceans, and that we’d probably best give each other respectful, if nevertheless wide berth.

Last night, I had my first “we are a couple” dinner party at my boyfriend’s apartment. We’d invited over two of my current boyfriend’s friends, a couple who paint sets for movies and tv shows. We quickly found that we shared a knowledge and passion for organic gardening, so the evening went along pleasantly enough. But it was a strange space to be in, to be talking about mulch, compost and keeled potato slugs with interest and vigour long into the night. They smoked, I tried not to cough, and we smiled at each other.

Then we talked about bikes, riding, and the summer. The conversation was punctuated with questions about my stay in New York and my summer plans to be away. In the silence broken by the sounds of inhaling smoke, Camera Technician’s friends cast sidelong glances at him and at me, gauging our estimations of each other.

 

Meeting the friends & family March 1, 2009

Filed under: Adjusting,Dating — datehazard @ 11:38 pm
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Last night, I met up with the Corporate Lawyer, his sister, his visiting lawyer friend, and her two married friends (another corporate lawyer, and an architect).

We had dinner at a delicious restaurant, and I got very drunk while we were waiting for our table. It took a while for them to get our table ready, eventhough we had a reservation, and Corporate Lawyer and myself were the first people to arrive. The drink I had at the bar, on an empty stomach, went right to my head. Fortunately, the drunkenness really came into full force during the serving of the main course, and no one seemed to notice.

Meanwhile, Corporate Lawyer had been particularly agitated that day, and told me that he was really worried that he was going to get the axe at work. He’d read one of his partner’s actions as a sign that his performance was not considered up to snuff. It didn’t sound that way to me, but I’m not sure if there was more information he was withholding, and didn’t press for details. He was miserable enough as it was. At one point, he said to me, “well, DH, I guess you’re going to be the only breadwinner soon.”

I laughed at him and gave him a hug to cheer him up.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re still not dating exclusively, and I still get the “I’m not sure I’m that into you” vibe from him, but he’s starting to open up a little more to me. Which is, frankly, neither a good nor a bad thing.

Call me opportunistic or just plain lazy — or most likely both — but I just don’t really care about this relationship. He has a lot on his plate, as do I, and I’m perfectly happy to coast for now. Especially after the drama of The Charmer. It’s nice to hang out (and occasionally make out) with someone who’s pretty undemanding, pleasant company, and pretty straightforward. I keep thinking that we should be having a serious conversation about Where This Is Going, but last time I checked (about a week ago), he was totally uncomfortable with anything serious, and told me that he was happy with how things were. Which I clarified as that we’re dating other people. The only thing I asked for was that he would tell me if/when he slept with someone else, for my own health’s sake. We’re both cautious and safe people, but I’d rather minimize my risk whenever possible.

So, I guess there’s nothing to worry about?

I’m not looking to date anyone else right now. Should I be? Should I hedge my bets?

This is starting to feel like work…

 

Adults will do what adults will do… February 27, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,Drama,Exes — datehazard @ 12:37 am
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My friend The Artist called today to ask to meet with me. When I saw her, she was agitated and looked like she had something on her mind. She told me it had to do with her roommates and how they were driving her crazy; but when I talked to her, it really seemed like an inconsequential problem.

So I was kinda wondering what else was happening with her?

Then she told me.

She’d spoken with my friend The Grad Student (remember him?) and told him that she’d told me what happened between the two of them. She asked me how I felt about the two of them dating, and I told her that I had no problems with it, but that I didn’t want to see her get hurt, and that I felt that his behaviour was pretty shifty from what she’d told me so far.

She told me, “well, actually, he told me that he’s not looking for a serious relationship right now; that he can’t handle one at the moment.”

I said, “And that’s ok with you?”

“Well, as long as he doesn’t mean that he won’t go running off in the opposite direction the minute something gets a little serious with the two of us. I mean, I have to have a talk with him and let him know that I’ve been hurt in the past, and that I won’t put myself in that position again. If he wants to date me, he has to be prepared to date me, not to run away the minute I say I want to date him.”

That was a mixed message, admittedly. But it also put my mind more at ease.

I told her, “Listen, I just want to say that I was hoping that the two of you would get together at some point — that’s why I introduced you to each other. I mean, I told him you thought he was cute the minute you met him and told me that.”

She: “Really??”

“Yeah! I mean, I think it’s great if you two want to get together. But I didn’t think it would happen so fast, and I thought that he was being kinda shady by not telling me what happened between the two of you the night you both kissed. I told him that you’d just broken up with your boyfriend, so I thought he’d have understood to hold back a bit.”

“Well, really at this point, it just feels so great to have so much attention from all of these men. And to tell you the truth, The Grad Student is a real catch. I mean, he’s smart, and really good-looking, and so much better than my ex. I can’t even tell you. So right now, that’s just making me feel even more convinced that I did the right thing.”

That seriously made me happy. I had a huge smile on my face.

“TA, that is EXACTLY what I was hoping for. I’m so glad you’re feeling better!!”

I gave her a big hug.

And I said, “one last thing. If he hurts you, I will break his neck. You can tell him that. Seriously.”

She laughed.

And then I went off to meet up with The Grad Student to attend a lecture that he’d invited me to that evening. And I told him exactly the same thing: “If you hurt her, I will break you limb from limb. This is not a joke or a threat. It’s a promise.”

He, after joking around a little bit, said, more seriously, “well, I mean, how am I not supposed to hurt her? I mean, unless we end up getting married and stay together for the rest of our lives, it’s pretty impossible not to hurt people.”

I didn’t have to say much. I turned to him and said, “You know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s about acting on ethical principles. You know her headspace, and you know what I mean.”

End of conversation.

And end of my matchmaking and guidance.

Now I wish someone could do the same for me…