A few days after I posted that entry, I felt like a fool. Not because of anything I'd said, but because I'd even written about Shane at all.
On July 6th he responded to a message I sent a few days earlier about an upcoming event. His reply wasn't very substantive, except that it ended with a polite "we should have dinner soon." Thrilled by that idea and eager to get a date booked as soon as possible, I immediately forwarded him my schedule for the upcoming week.
I think my enthusiasm came off as desperation. He didn't answer for two days and when he did, he said, "Wow, sounds like you have things planned out very well." Followed by, "My dog is sick, I'm not sure how available I'm going to be for the next week or so. I'll be in touch as soon as I can."
His dog is sick???
Sure he is. He probably ate some kid's homework and now has such bad stomach cramps that Shane will be totally preoccupied 24/7 for two weeks. That would be the perfect excuse for Shane to give me the polite brush-off until his ex-boyfriend arrives.
Even if it is the truth, how does Shane know how long the dog is going to be sick? Not available at all for a week or so? Unlikely. There's clearly something else going on here.
Those were my thoughts but I didn't share them with Shane. Instead I sent him best wishes for his pooch's full recovery.
At the same time I decided I wouldn't contact Shane again unless he contacted me first. I'm not going to chase him.
Several days passed and I didn't hear anything. Then the weekend came, and still, nothing.
I had plans with friends on Friday night but was glad when they were cancelled. I was in no mood to go anywhere, talk to anyone or do anything. My mood worsened as the weekend dragged on. By Sunday afternoon I was deep in the depths of self-pitying, self-hating misery. It was as if the whole year I'd taken off from dating had done no good; one vague rejection was all it took for me to be absolutely miserable.
Sunday night I resolved to take another six to nine months off from dating. Clearly, I'm too immature to try again soon.
I expected my dark mood to continue on Monday, but for some reason it didn't. Instead I felt good. I don't know why, I just did. As the day progressed and my attitude stayed upbeat I began to wonder if I'd turned the corner with Shane. Maybe I was done agonizing about him?
By Tuesday afternoon, there was no doubt about it. It no longer mattered if I heard from him. The hurt of his rejection was over, and even better, I now knew that the time I took off from dating had made a difference.
Shane has been, by far, my biggest crush since Dean. To get over him so quickly is fantastic. It's a clear sign that I'm ready to get serious about dating again.
Much to my surprise the sick dog email wasn't the last time I heard from Shane. Just this past Friday I got a text from him that said: "Hey stranger! You free for lunch today?"
As it happened, I was free.
We ended up spending three and half hours together. First we had a long lunch, then we took a drive to a pub near the ocean. We would've stayed together longer, except I had to get back to work.
It was an awesome date, on multiple levels. First, his sick dog story was true. He said he spent nearly $10,000 on veterinary intensive care. He could be lying or exaggerating about that, I suppose, but he showed me pictures of the facility and his dog's daily progress. Listening to him talk about how much he loved his dog was very touching and a major turn-on. Deep love, sincerely expressed? That's the kind of man I want in my life.
We also talked about his ex-boyfriend. I made my pitch, which was that Shane should use the time with his ex to convince him to give a long-distance relationship a try. The way I see it, if Shane propositions his ex, the outcome will be good no matter what. Either they'll get back together, or, Shane will take his ex's rejection more seriously and be ready to emotionally distance himself.
My favorite part of the date was watching (or really, feeling) Shane's body language. On our prior two dates he was always very respectful, which was nice, but it was hard to tell if he was attracted to me or not. On this date he touched me multiple times when he didn't need to. His touches were subtle, but they definitely made me feel wanted. I have no doubts now that he's interested.
Finally, and I didn't fully realize this until after we parted, but the whole three+ hours I was on a sexually-charged endorphin high. I felt his absence the second he drove away, and once I was back in the office, I couldn't concentrate on anything. I was all keyed up. Incredibly horny, really.
So, ya. After that date, I'm crushing on him more than ever.
Unfortunately, unless he surprises me somehow, his schedule is so busy that I may not see him again in July. Then, I'll be gone from August 2nd to 11th. This means our next date isn't likely to happen for a month.
That might be a good thing. Because I'm hoping Shane can get things better clarified with his ex, it's probably best that I don't see him again before they have their week together.
The other goods news is that, although our date went exceptionally well, I'm pretty confident I can handle disappointment too. My hopes crashed and burned once already, yet I recovered within a few days. I feel like I can do this dating thing. I can deal with disappointment and rejection. With or without Shane, I'm on a much better path.