Even so, for a while I was toying with the idea of pursuing hook-ups.
There's a good argument to be made that hooking-up is a smart way to look for a relationship. This is because finding a compatible person is a numbers game and arranging ten hook-ups is far easier than arranging ten coffee dates. Hook-ups are a prostate-healthy way to speed-date, really.
|Professor of Mathematics, Pietro Boselli|
Helping to push me off my "hook-ups aren't for me" high-horse were a number of readers here who shared stories of meeting their partners through sex dates. They were pretty convincing. But just as I was about to give that strategy a try, fate intervened. Instead of trying to turn a hook-up into a date, I found myself in a situation where a first date turned into a hook-up.
Is that such a bad thing?
Normally, I'd say no. Very few first dates go anywhere, so what's the big deal if one ends with sex? I'll tell you when --- if the sex replaces, or makes a confused mess of, a potentially great emotional connection.
What I mean is, when you're on a first date with someone, and you have good chemistry, and the date ends with sex...what was the *actual* reason you had chemistry? Because you were both horny? Because the thrill of flirting your way to sex was so intoxicating? Or, because you genuinely liked and were attracted to each other, in a special and significant way?
Also, sex changes things. Once you have sex with someone, the thrill of the chase fades. A good first date with lots of flirting that ends with sex therefore doesn't mean very much.
And finally, hot sex on a first date sets the bar pretty high for date #2. How often is the magic better the second time around?
Thankfully, my second date with the Architect went extremely well. The sex was at least as good as on the first date and being able to maintain our connection gave me hope for the future. But then, just as I was leaving, he surprised me by announcing he was a day away from a two week trip to India.
In addition to the disappointment of missing out on some potentially great sex, I was concerned that the long break would break us. Specifically, I was concerned that one or both of us would realize that we didn't click in a meaningful way, other than when we were naked in bed together.
Well...long story made short...my fears were realized.
Although being able to text halfway around the world is a technical marvel (what would Christopher Columbus think?), two sentences a day are not enough to sustain a good connection. They were maddening, actually, because the days dragged by.
The good news was that I was able to convince him to let me pick him up at the airport when he returned. He seemed somewhat reluctant to allow that, but ultimately he did.
With two weeks of expectations built-up inside of me, I was as hyper as a squirrel on meth on the day of his arrival. Masturbation is normally a good way to take the edge off, but I didn't want to do that right before seeing him again. Working out helped a little, but not much. Eventually, and somewhat unknowingly, I chose to pour a lot of my nervous energy into a simple, understated gift for him: a $5 bouquet of cheap flowers. I'm not sure why I picked that. It just seemed appropriate, I guess; something thoughtful and traditional but not too special.
When I bought the flowers, I imagined handing them to him as he walked out of the boarding gate, with not many people around. Well, silly me, ALL international flights exit Customs and Immigration through the same gigantic door. This means there's a constant flow of large numbers of people exiting, and an even larger group of family and friends waiting to greet them. I live in a liberal, gay-friendly metro area...but as I looked upon more than 100 non-Westerners waiting at the exit...I felt like I could have easily been in Dubai, Shanghai or Mumbai.
I waited about five minutes and watched as travelers arrived and were greeted. One or two other waiters had flowers, but not many. I saw a few men greet other men, but none of them were an obvious couple.
The longer I watched others, the more I felt like a fool. I really don't know him that well...what if I embarrass or humiliate him with an inappropriate greeting?
I couldn't take that chance. In a sudden panic, both because I was worried I'd made a mistake AND because I was afraid he'd exit Immigration while I was gone, I jogged through the airport, to the parking garage and to my car where I gently tossed the flowers on the passenger seat. As I did, I muttered to myself, Why did I buy those? I'm so stupid.
It turned out that leaving the flowers in the car was a good call. I don't think I would have actually humiliated either of us if I'd given them to him in front of a hundred Sikhs, Indians and Arabs, but I certainly risked being over-the-top. Honestly, the instant I saw him exit Immigration I realized I needed to relax and be low-key. Two good dates could be the start of something meaningful but we certainly weren't anywhere close to that yet. Especially after two weeks of very little contact.
Our communication was so minimal that we hadn't discussed what we'd do after I picked him up. Was I merely giving him a ride home? Would we have lunch? Would we cuddle? I really had no clue. But whatever happened, I was just glad to see him.
The drive back to his place took somewhat longer than expected, more than an hour. At about minute 35, the conversation started to lag. Was he tired? He'd been traveling for 30 hours, after all. Or did we really not have much to talk about?
The rest of the ride wasn't exactly awkward, but it wasn't great either.
Once we arrived at his place, and hauled his luggage into the house, he said, "I'm hungry. Are you? As a thank you for picking me up, I'll make you lunch." Since he'd been gone for so long, he had no food in the house. "Do you mind if we go buy a few things?" he asked. "Not at all," I answered.
Somehow, from that time forward, the minutes melted away. We spent the rest of the day together, nearly nine hours. We had lunch, then dinner, then got naked and had some fun. Afterward he quickly fell asleep, which wasn't surprising given his long journey.
As we laid there together, intimately intertwined in his bed, I looked up and noticed a high window where I could see a three-quarter moon shining above us. In that moment...I realized for the very first time...just how completely comfortable I was holding a naked man.
This feels right.
The longer I spent looking up at the moon, the more closely connected I felt to the man gently breathing on my chest.
I could spend every night like this. In this bed, with this man. Together.
We texted a little in the morning of the following day, a Tuesday. It was his first day back at work so I knew he would be busy.
I texted him on Wednesday morning, but didn't hear back.
When I hadn't heard anything by Thursday morning, I debated whether I should text again. I decided I should, but I'd be brief and upbeat.
Finally, on Thursday night, I heard from him for the first time in more than two days. He 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 further contact??
During our day together on Monday, we had talked about meeting on 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 again 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?
To be continued...