In my last post I wrote about a guy who caught my attention on a dating site. He was my exact age, had three kids who were near my kids' ages and he'd only come out of the closet three years ago. Although those things would normally make him pretty appealing, other parts of his dating profile, including the fact that we lived 60 miles apart, put me off any romantic interest in him.
The guy said he was open to meeting but couldn't do so for a few weeks because he was temporarily working long hours. He promised to get back to me the next month, which he did. Then he put me off for several more weeks, again because of work. But this time he started an email exchange. At first his emails came slowly, then progressively faster. His "cold then hot" behavior had me confused - all I wanted to do was meet and ask him about his dating experiences now that he was a gay single parent. I couldn't understand why he wouldn't spare me an hour for a cup of coffee.
Eventually we spoke twice by phone. The first conversation was very short. He called late in the day and I had to leave to pick up my kids. He seemed normal enough. Mostly I was glad just to make some progress. Maybe if we weren't going to meet I could at least talk to him about his experiences by telephone.
After the first phone conversation we played phone tag for another full week. Grrr. Then FINALLY, nearly three months after I first messaged him, we had a real conversation...
We talked for about 40 minutes. He was at work and a co-worker was nearby listening to him, even so, he was pretty chatty. As much as possible, I tried to direct the conversation toward his coming out, his dating experiences and how he balanced raising his kids with work and his personal life. Not surprisingly, he said he didn't have much of a personal life; since coming out had only dated one guy and that was very briefly.
As our conversation became more personal we talked about growing up, our sexuality and getting married to women. He was raised in a very religious household and was in denial about his true sexuality until shortly before he came out. He found it fascinating that I had always known I was gay and yet had gotten married anyway.
The more we talked, the more natural and effortless our conversation became. I found myself really liking him in spite of my concerns about his profile and the way he kept stringing me along. I hadn't expected to be so taken with him. Then, late in the conversation, something even more strange happened. A sudden cold chill swept through my body. I don't know what triggered it; it wasn't anything specific he said and it wasn't a particular thought I had. All I know is that for a nano-second I was unable to see, hear or speak. I felt very confused. I didn't understand what was happening. Then, the realization that first hit my body crossed into my mind: I was having my first real conversation with The One.
As my regular readers know, I'm a very analytical thinker. I've been accused of over-thinking the minutia of dating by more than one person. I've even tried to dissect what a "spark" feels like. So, I'm not going to be polite about saying this: putting a label as audacious as The One on anyone is ridiculous - especially after only a dozen emails and a 40 minute telephone conversation. And yet, as I hung up the phone, I had no doubts about what I knew.
For the rest of that day I did my best to 'talk myself down' from the high I was feeling. "It's all in my imagination." "It's wishful thinking." "It's one-sided." "It was just a telephone conversation, meeting him will change everything." "It was a one-time adrenaline rush." "Tomorrow you'll think much more rationally."
Much to my surprise, when the next morning arrived, I remained convinced that what I felt was real. The one allowance I gave myself was that the guy, Dean, almost certainly didn't have the same epiphany I did. But that didn't matter. I knew I was right and I knew that it was only a matter of time before he came to the same conclusion.
I'm crazy! I'm stupid! I know!
Faced with the problem that I knew the big secret and he did not, I had to decide what to do next. Say something? No, he'd think I was a nut job. Wait for him to figure it out? How long would that take??
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that destiny is destiny. Pushing, pulling, begging or cajoling don't make a difference in the long-run nor are they necessary. If I was Dean's One there'd come a day when he'd realize that too. All I had to do was be myself and let nature take its course.
Although I was feeling extremely confident, I was still very impatient to meet; I was more antsy than a 4 year old girl on Christmas Eve. Every email or phone conversation gave me hope that he'd finally set a date.
He tortured me for another two weeks, then, finally, the heavens parted and at long last he gave me the date when we would meet - a Wednesday afternoon - in three weeks. THREE WEEKS???! Wow, did I have to bite my tongue hard when I heard that.
I silently clenched both my fists and my teeth, then said in a very cheery voice, "That would be great. I'm glad we finally have a date set."
Did we actually meet?
I'll tell you what happened, and what didn't, in the next post.