This story begins with a Steven, a guy I met on Yahoo! Personals. Steven and I met immediately after making a connection online. I have a policy that online dating is only good for one thing- meeting potential dates. The Internet is not how you should get to know each other if you’re in the same city; you should meet immediately after Internet introductions, so Steven and I did. We went to the movies to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I was not extremely physically attracted to Steven, but he was a cool guy. He didn’t try to kiss me the first night. That was good. After the movie, I went home.
For the next several weeks, Steven and I would hang out. I’d go to his apartment and watch television, play on his awesome Mac desktop with double monitors. He helped me move out of a house I decided to move into with my crazy ex-boyfriend AFTER we’d broken up (I used to do dumb shit). Steven and I were together a lot. I’d go to his house and be with him, his friends, his roommate, Dave, and Dave’s brother, Joe. Dave and Joe had recently lost their mother to brain cancer, so it was a difficult time for them. Dave was always really sweet though. For weeks, this went on, and nothing ever happened between Steven and me. We never confirmed if we were dating. He never told me he liked me. He never touched me. He never tried to kiss me. I am not aggressive at all, so if I’m not getting signs that you’re into me, then I just stick with the friend box. One night, I thought maybe some wine would help. Nope. Nothing happened. I didn’t put him in the friend box; I thought that’s where he wanted to be despite meeting on Yahoo! Personals. I wasn’t overly into Steven, so all of this was okay. I thought maybe if he just hit on me, I would feel more for him; pheromones would kick in. I don’t know. I just never got the butterflies. So, the friend box was good.
So one night, I went to his house straight from the gym. I confirmed it would be okay if I took a shower. A friend of his was there as was his roommate. When I was done in the shower, I went to the couch and sat there like I was visiting with my best gay friend. Dave joined us. We talked and sat there, and sat there and sat there until Steven decided to go to bed.
So there we were, Dave and me. We got to talking about his family, his Jewishness, his mother, his father, his brother, the simple plan for his life as a graphic designer, his plan to leave his job and travel around the world using money from his mother’s life insurance policy. We discussed the important aspects of my life too. We talked until 5 a.m. Prior to that morning, I thought I might be attracted to Dave, but he was so different from every guy I’d ever dated in adulthood. He was extremely nice, genuine and nerdy. There was no edginess, no badassness. He wasn’t sexy. He was dorky cute. He wasn’t making a lot of money. He had an old, beat up Honda Civic hatchback with no air conditioner in LA. He wore crappy jeans and goofy tees. None of this mattered. Unlike so many other regular guys I’d liked in LA who thought I would be after a six-figure-making, BMW-driving man (a stereotype for women in LA), Dave never made me feel this way. He never apologized for having so little. He never made me feel like he wasn’t good enough for me because of it. He also never asked me why, when he had so little, would I want to date him. He knew I wanted to be there, and I appreciated that. We exchanged emails and phone numbers. We set a date for the Sunday after I returned from a career conference in Dallas.
Two days later, I left for a conference. This was right when sending texts to someone you were dating was still too impersonal. He’d send an occasional text, but he’d always call. And we’d email. He was so supportive of my career plans. He knew I wasn’t happy at my job, and that I was working to build up a business. I had never been to a museum in L.A., so, via email, I asked him if he liked museums. He did. Unsolicited, he offered to pick me up from LAX. That offer made me feel good. That Sunday, we went to The Getty Museum for our first date. He was knowledgeable about everything especially the biblical exhibits. He was the best guide ever. He was an art history major.
Our next date was at an Italian restaurant. Earlier in the day, I’d been venting via email about how unhappy I was at work and how they had told me to “dumb it down” because management thought I was too intimidating, efficient and effective, and this would keep me back; they were looking to promote someone who made mistakes and had flaws. He sent a message that included the following, “I wanted you to know that I think you’re awesome and anyone who feels differently is severely mentally disabled.” We had a wonderful date for which he dressed up nicely.
Now, I still hadn’t gotten the tingly feeling in the nether region that I get when I’m sexually attracted to someone. Here’s what was going on. I’d dated plenty of different races, religions, heights, weights and looks. Outside of the two relationships I had prior to moving to LA, I’d just never dated someone who was kind; called regularly or at least when he said he would; picked up when I called; wanted to date regularly; and wasn’t in to me just for the sex. Unlike all the unavailables before him, Dave was available. Dave was a habit I was going to have to make. So, despite not feeling the butterflies, I made myself stick it out. Twenty-one days it’s supposed to take to form a new habit. It had only been a week, but I was enjoying him very much. We were kissing too. I liked it.
Meanwhile, I had completely stopped talking to Steven which was stupid. Then, the worst thing that could happen happened. Dave told me that the night he got home after our Italian dinner date, Steven asked him who he was seeing. Dave told him it was me.
I have to get to training. To be continued…K.
Click here for Part Two…