203: The First Date

My first date with Leigh was an odd one compared to most of my previous experiences. We met locally, outside at a park. Once we had tiptoed around polite conversation we relaxed, but only slightly, into each other’s company. We touched on relationship situations and engaged in general monotonous small talk to try and gauge each other’s interest, but it was all very polite, and eventually I steered us towards more direct subjects. I couldn’t tell what was going on in his head and I had no intention of leaving that meeting without knowing exactly what he was thinking. I found myself being the one to initiate the ‘so, what do you think?’ conversation.

We had wandered about for a couple of hours. I liked that he admitted to having hang-ups and complex thought processes and was prepared to talk about some of it. He had already warned me that he did play his cards close to his chest until he got to know someone generally, so I thought there was a glimmer of hope there.

I am getting good at saying what I think. I surprise myself these days with my boldness and my transparency. The right men like that, and I don’t want to know the ones who don’t get it. I would never describe myself as a pursuer or pushy, but there’s no time to waste especially given current situations, and like I say, the right men love it. I have no issue taking the upper hand where necessary. So much time is wasted on unnecessary conversation and right now, every newcomer is someone I don’t want to invest time with if they aren’t serious.

Of course, you may have guessed by now that it was a yes from Leigh which surprised me given his body language. Even after our meeting was over, and we went back to our respective homes I was waiting for a ‘thanks but no thanks‘ backtrack. But it never came.

Maybe I felt more invested in this. Maybe lockdown has made me more sensitive to new interactions with actual human beings, and I’ve realised how potentially important each one might be. Maybe the consistent and lengthy conversations we’d had in advance made me realise I had found a kindred soul. I just feel like there’s no time for messing around. Unlike in my early casual dating days, I am not looking for numbers hoping to find someone (anyone) who will stick around and yet still finding it easy to replace someone when they disappear. I have picked one, and I want to invest in him, and him only, and he is the same.

Having put the effort in early on from a conversational point of view, I was going to make sure that we were on the same page in person. It felt like a job interview. Given that our meetings will be few and far between I need to know exactly what the situation is and if that means me asking direct questions and getting pushy, then so be it.

Getting to first base had been my hoped for outcome on our first date, even if only because I was desperate to be reminded of that kind of intimacy and waiting another week for it would have been sufferance. When Leigh affirmed his interest in me, and nervously moved in for that first kiss I felt like all my Christmases had come early. It’s been 18 months since I last experienced it. Every nerve in my body was jumping. Then I leaned into the crook of his arm and we sat soaking in the silence, both feeling quietly relieved. I realised how much I have missed feeling that body warmth – the strength of another person next to me. No man is an island. He is also a greater kisser.

Once we had stepped over that boundary and acknowledged that we had made a decision, everything changed. We sat there for a while, chatting, punctuating the silences with more kissing and then headed back, stopping en-route for more of the same before we parted ways. But there was no let up in the conversation that evening as we picked it apart and felt that rush of relief that only comes with a successful job offer, knowing that all the time you invested and the hope you built up in your imagination has paid off, that for once you were able to trust your gut instinct.

It seems to have been a relatively smooth transition. This was only my third interaction with someone on a dating site since I rejoined last November and the first person I had met. I always thought it was meant to be. But now of course I am overthinking, picking apart anything I don’t understand, thinking too far into the future. We have both acknowledged that it’s a failing we share and that the way to challenge it, is simply to talk. I know it will settle down given time. I just need to sail along and take each day as it comes and enjoy the journey, because there really is no destination with this relationship and I am objectively happy to leave it in the lap of the Gods so to speak. I cannot control it beyond getting out of it.

2 thoughts on “203: The First Date

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