Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Hook-Up, Passion and Glue

Right before Thanksgiving I had a first date that turned into a hook-up.  I saw the guy again five days later, then he traveled to India for two weeks.

We communicated by text throughout his trip, in short and somewhat shallow conversations.  The optimist in me was buoyed by the fact that he made such a consistent effort to stay connected.  Maybe he was genuinely interested in developing a relationship?

I certainly was.  I made that clear when I insisted on picking him up from the airport when he returned.

I don't know if he had planned to do so or not, but we spent that whole day and night together, including some quality time between the sheets.  I was thrilled.  This is quickly turning into something awesome, I said to myself.

In the days that followed, however, the guy went missing.  Or nearly missing.  Over a three day period I only received one text from him and it said, "Sorry, I have been sick and not been able to respond to you.  Please have a nice night."

'Please have a nice night?'  Was that sincere? Or a way to dismiss me??

During our long day together, which was on a Monday, we had talked about meeting the following Friday, but he never mentioned doing so again.  He also didn't return any of my texts that day.  What the hell is going on?

Finally, on Saturday morning, I heard from him: "Feeling better.  Hopefully fully recovered this weekend."

Later that day we agreed to meet on Sunday for dinner.

Despite a check-in from me on Sunday morning, I didn't hear from him until 4pm: "Still under the weather.  Would it be horrible if I cancel today?"

After not seeing him for more than two weeks, then seeing him once, he'd now delayed meeting again for at least another week.  What was odd was that he never explained his sickness.  He was just "under the weather."  And also, as meager as the texts were from India, I was actually hearing less from him now that he was back.

I hashed and rehashed everything that had happened since his return.  Why was he suddenly so distant?  Was he seeing someone else??  Yes, he could be sick, just as he said, but for me to be that out of it, I'd have to be comatose.  Why is it so hard to text a sentence or two twice a day?

Then it clicked with me...

Two good dates...two weeks apart...some reluctance to have me pick him up from the airport...his naturally super-polite nature...

He's not that interested and he doesn't know how to tell me, especially since I am so clearly into him.

Instead of addressing the problem head-on, he's avoiding me, which is the way so many guys play the dating game.

What should I do?  Confront him?  Or just let things fade out naturally?

***

As it turned out, I was wrong.  He wasn't purposefully avoiding me, he was badly jet-lagged *and* struggling with a version of Seasonal Affective Disorder, a condition that causes him to go into hibernation mode when the weather is especially cold, gray and gloomy.  So, his cancelled dates and lack of texts didn't indicate anything sinister, he actually was sick.

That was six weeks ago.  Since then, our relationship has blossomed.  We are as wild about each other as two middle-aged introverts possibly could be.  And while that description might not sound impressive, the passion is amazing, especially in bed.

Outside of bed, I'm experiencing something I never have before.  Normally, in a new relationship, I'd be hyped-up on endorphins, climbing the walls if I didn't get a "fix" by seeing or talking to my crush every day.  And yes, I have had moments where I've felt that way about the Architect.  But mostly, I'm at peace, grounded and calm.  The day-to-day stuff isn't that important to me, perhaps because I have this weird, matter-of-fact instinct that we will be together for a very long time.

I realize that might be a naive or delusional thing to say, but my comfort with the idea is so strong that I'm OK with being wrong.  Essentially, I feel like the glue holding us together is the best it can be, so if things don't work out it will be for fundamental reasons beyond our control.  This conviction gives me confidence not to sweat the small stuff, like, if he cancels a date or if we meet and don't have sex.  Both have recently happened, and I've been disappointed, but I didn't fret about them.

Getting back to the question of whether sex on our first date was a good idea, my answer is that it was thrilling but potentially dangerous.  The problem was that in the days and weeks afterward, I didn't know if our attraction was because of the sex or because we were compatible.  If we had gone the traditional route of three or four get-to-know you dates and then had sex, I would have had much more confidence in our connection earlier that I did.

Also, this didn't happen with us, but I could see how small miscommunications early on might have caused either us to assume our first-date chemistry was based on lust and horniness, not a meaningful connection. I therefore have concluded that hooking-up on a first DATE should be avoided.  Hook-ups that turn into dates are different story.
A partnered pair of middle-aged introverts.  (In my dreams!!)

So, ya, I'm coupled now. 

It felt fucking awesome to delete my on-line dating profile.  I don't miss any of that BS one bit.