After a very nice date Wednesday, I was pretty happy. It had been a while since I had a good first date. I spent a lot of time having strings of bad first dates or finding guys to simply have fun with and send on their way. Nothing was fulfilling, but for the first time since PR, I was hopeful.
Thursday nights are always my volleyball nights. It’s the one night of the week I get to fulfill my competitive edge and work out some of the frustrations that have built up over the week. I always look forward to it, and I almost always commence the night at my favorite watering hole, McSwiggans.
Before riding home on the motorcycle from volleyball, I checked Grindr to see if I had any messages. A few started flowing in as soon as I opened the application. Where I play volleyball is a hotbed for Hispanic Grindrs and it seems they flock to me like a moth to the flame.
When I got home, I started chatting with one guy who seemed nice enough. When I told him where I lived, he was confused why I showed up so much closer. I explained to him why I was in his neighborhood. He was disappointed to hear I’d already left the area. “We could have grabbed a drink or something.” I told him it wouldn’t have worked out since I had the motorcycle and was disgusting from playing three games.
I did, however, invite him to come to Hoboken and join my friends and I at the bar. I had already texted a few friends and told them to meet me there. Two of my friends were already in the process of getting ready to meet me.
He entertained the idea for a few minutes before finally accepting my offer and dragging his roommate along for the ride. I was going into this arrangement mainly thinking this would be a friendly drink. I made it clear I had friends with me so he wouldn’t think I was asking him out on a date.
I arrived at the bar at the same time my friends did. We grabbed beers and sat at one of the tables. I informed both my friends a guy and his roommate would be coming by to hang out. My male friend looked very leery, but I told him this was just a friendly drink thing. I think he was worried he was basically going to sit through one of my dates. After some time passed, my Hispanic Grindr friend and I started texting. He arrived and was sitting at the bar. I had walked up and ordered right next to him without noticing him there.
I immediately walked over and said hi to him and his roommate and introduced myself. I called my two friends over to introduce them as well.
It wasn’t long before my male friend’s comfort level dropped, and he decided to meet other friends at another bar. My female friend, P, was hitting it off with the guy I met through Grindr. They are both Colombian and were sharing a few stories. The other guys seemed very nice and decently cool. We started with the small talk and then got into more of a discussion. It was nice, but I wasn’t really attracted to this guy at all. This was purely going to be a friendly drink. We talked for at least another hour, and more than a few rounds later, we decided to head out.
He was a really nice guy, and we all left at the same time. P lived uptown and in the direction they were heading to go home, so they offered to give her a ride home. They were parked in the direction of my apartment, so I agreed to walk them to their car at the least before heading home. As we got closer, the convinced me to hop in and let them drop me off. I finally agreed.
When we got to my apartment, it was slightly awkward because I could tell this guy wanted a moment alone with me. Maybe he wanted a kiss out of the night. I don’t know. I reached up and tapped his shoulder and said, “Thanks for coming down here. It was fun. We should connect again sometime soon.” He smiled and agreed. It was my subtle way of letting him down easy without getting his hopes up for a “date.”
Finally, I was making gay friends without overcomplicating things with hookups or sex. I needed to do more of this. I had one local gay friend, and he was all but married with a serious boyfriend, an apartment, a shared dog and a shared car. This was something I looked forward to, but maybe I needed to find a wingman to help me find the right guy first.Follow @onegayatatime