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The Next Chapter

Two years ago, I started this blog. I began writing because I felt alone. I knew there had to be other gay men out there who were looking for the same thing I was, and I wanted a way to connect with them.

grindrAt the time, I just ended my first gay relationship, and I found myself in very unchartered waters. I was already out to close friends, but not publicly. Because I had so few gay friends and a strong aversion to gay bars, I had to find a mate digitally. I began serial dating, at one point going on four dates in four days — And thus, One Gay At A Time was born.

Since the beginning, I have gone on MANY dates and put myself in many situations well outside my comfort zone. I have not only grown more comfortable in my own skin, but I’ve also grown up as a gay man. I got all the hookups out of my system and began searching for a meaningful, long-term relationship.

This blog began as an open forum diary of the daily occurrences I encountered navigating the gay world. I told my side of the story honestly in hopes that others out there would be able to relate, comment and most importantly, realize they are not alone.

The time has come for the next chapter of my life and for this blog. For quite some time I’ve been blogging about CK (aka Clark Kent or Superman). You’ve gotten to know him through my eyes in the early stages of our relationship. It’s been some time since I’ve blogged, and I apologize for leaving you, my readers in the lurch. I do not mean to abandon the small community I’ve worked so hard to foster, but I’ve been struggling with the next chapter of the blog.

When I first told CK about the blog, he was very open to and even grew excited about the idea of my writing our relationship. Over time, as you could probably understand, his excitement waned, and we began to argue about the content of the blog.

I had to make a choice between the blog and my man. It’s quite obvious which I chose. As a result, I will no longer be blogging about the specifics of my relationship with CK. However, in lieu of continuing to finish our story in a daily dairy format, let me catch you up on what has happened since July. Here are some of the highlights…

In July, CK joined my family for our annual beach vacation. While I went for the entire week, he only joined us for a few days. It was the first time we’d spent an extended period of time apart, and with my trust/cheating baggage, it was a true test of my sanity. I was thrilled and relieved when he finally arrived. It was also nice that he would finally get to spend some real-time getting to know my parents.

In early August, I traveled to Miami, CK’s birthplace to surprise his family with a visit to celebrate the birthdays of his two beautiful nephews (turning 1 and 2 only a week apart). I felt incredibly special taking this trip with CK. I was meeting his ENTIRE extended family. Before this point, I’d only met his mother. I was welcomed into the family with open arms and came to grow strong bonds with them over just a handful of days. This was unchartered territory for both of us, as I’d never been brought home to meet the family by anyone other than my high school girlfriend, and he’d never brought a man home to meet everyone before. It could not have worked out better!

Around Labor Day, CK and I went on week-long vacation to the Hamptons with 15 of my friends and family. While there, our relationship grew very strained. I felt he was trying too hard to impress my friends. I wanted him to be himself so all of them would come to love the man I knew, not the man I felt he was trying to be for them. By the end of the week, I reached my breaking point. I was so stressed out from organizing the vacation and ensuring everyone was happy that I made myself miserable, and I took it out on the person closest to me. In the penultimate moment of the trip, one night we not only exchanged words but also fists and shoves, as my closest friends and sister witnessed the lowest moment of our relationship.

It took a lot of time for CK and I to figure things out. This wasn’t the first time our relationship reached physicality, but I hoped it was the last. It also took a long time for things to return to normal between CK, me and my circle of friends. My sister wasn’t speaking to me for over a month and my friends had semi-ostracized me from typical gatherings. I burned a lot of bridges on that trip, and I am still working to rebuild them today. You can expect to read about my experiences and feelings dealing with issues such as physical violence in a relationship as one of the topics I will cover in coming posts.

In September, CK and I found an apartment in Hoboken to call our own. We moved in together in the midst of Hurricane Sandy’s wake on November 2. Although the experience of moving immediately following a hurricane is incredibly overwhelming, we are both stronger as a result of the experience. In my experience, moving in with a lover is unlike sharing a space with any other. You’ll certainly be reading about my experiences and the things I’ve learned from this experience as well.

After Sandy exhausted my last modicum of energy, I decided I was too tired to shave my upper lip. CK and I both decided to raise awareness and funds to fight prostate cancer by growing mustaches for Movember. I proudly raised over $500 for charity as a result of my stache, and I was thrilled when we both shaved them off — We both looked like pedophiles.

For the first time in my life, I had someone to take home to meet my family for Thanksgiving. Before venturing home, I sent my extended maternal family an email to get the awkwardness out of the way. You’ll be pleased to know my family welcomed him with open arms. I imagine coming out to extended family creates a lot of anxiety for man, as it did for me, so I hope sharing my experiences will encourage more to share the truth with the ones they love.

When I returned to Hoboken after Thanksgiving, preparations began immediately for what would have been my Sixth Annual Holiday Bash. This year, it became Our First Annual Holiday Bash. I finally had someone to share the hosting duties with, making it extra special.

Although CK and I spent Christmas apart, after all the festivities with my family, I hopped on a flight down to Miami to spend the rest of the holiday season and New Years Eve with my man and his family. CK’s sister and brother-in-law planned a trip with their two boys to Disney World for two days. After a little persuading, I convinced CK we should join them. I preferred Disney to a raucous gay party any day, and it was truly magical to see Disney World through the eyes of a two-year-old.

In February, CK and I took a romantic trip to Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. Although it seems we can’t go anywhere without having some kind of quarrel like an old married couple, the trip was amazing and couldn’t have come at a better time. We went ice skating, snow shoeing, swimming, hiking, and much more. It was a perfect escape for both of us to get out of the city and away from the bustle of it all after the holidays.

In between, there have been countless brunches, parties, trips, nights out, Broadway shows, fights… Oh yea, and plenty of sex — Can’t forget the sex! Overall, things have been going well for us. You have good days and bad days, but you have to realize the bad days are just there so you appreciate the good ones all the more. I am thrilled to announce, this past Saturday, CK and I celebrated our one-year anniversary at the restaurant we went to on our first date, Frankies Spuntino 570. Although we waited nearly an hour, the evening was perfect, and I look forward to many more years together.

Although I won’t be detailing the specifics of my relationship going forward, I hope to share with you what I have learned along the way. It’s not easy being in a relationship, but then again, the things that are worth it never really are.

To my most dedicated readers who haven’t let me lack of posting stop them from commenting words of support on my blog, thank you. You are what has motivated me to get back into this once again. I feel like many of you have integrated my writing into your daily routines, and I have left you with your morning coffee in hand and no reading material. You will not see the frequency of posts you may have grown accustomed in the past, but I still hope you find time in your lives for One Gay At A Time.

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The Perfect Ending on a Cloudy Day

Saturday morning, I woke up to CK’s lips caressing mine with a gentle kiss. “Morning baby,” he whispered. As my eyes opened and slowly adjusted, his face came into focus and a smile grew on my face. What a great way to wake up!

After taking my sweet old time getting out of bed, I made my way to the kitchen to start making us coffee and breakfast. We planned to hit the beach for the day, but our coffee wasn’t the only thing with clouds in it. I realized trekking out to Long Beach wasn’t worth it if the weather wasn’t going to shape up. So, instead of having cereal, I cooked us eggs and pancakes.

CK asked if there was anything he could do to help as he wrapped his arms around me from behind. “No. I think I have it covered,” I responded.

While I didn’t need his help in creating the food we were going to eat, I was hoping he would keep me company while I did it. However, while I was cracking eggs, he was off in the corner tweeting, Instagramming, GetGluing, and emailing away. This was a point of contention between us. At times, I felt he put more importance on his virtual friends and followers than he did with the man who was physically present at the moment. When I asked him a question, and it fell on deaf ears. I started to feel unappreciated. I felt like making breakfast for us was my duty. It was simply expected of me.

I asked him, once again, to be more present and put the phone down. I pointed out how often he was glued to his phone. Even though I understood how important social media was to him, I felt overshadowed by it. Of course, he responded quite defensively, and an argument ensued.

This continued for some time before he used the same phrase I heard on Friday: “Do you really want me, or do you want some changed version of me?” I reiterated for him how much I loved him and how I was not trying to change him. There were so many inherent qualities he possessed I loved about him, but there were also a few behaviors by which I felt disrespected. This was something new for both of us, and we were both learning what it means to be in a substantial relationship.

Instead of diving into another world while I cooked his breakfast, perhaps he could have sat at the counter and engaged with me. I know I’m sound like an unappreciated housewife, but at the time, that’s exactly how I felt.

In an isolated incident, this would have been nothing. However, I’m a very analytical person, and I notice patterns, sometimes in their infancy stages. I didn’t want this to become a typical behavior. We’ve all seen it in movies — The dad who doesn’t engage with his family because he’s glued to his blackberry putting out fires for work. I wanted him to take the time to separate out the noise. I wasn’t asking him to give up his virtual world. I was just asking him to be conscientious of when and where he engaged. Obviously, I have my own social media accounts to manage, but I never put them before the people I am with in real-time, especially him.

I’d been on the other side of this paradigm. Before I met CK, when I went out to straight bars with my friends, I was often engaging with others on Grindr. My friends complained I wasn’t present, but I explained how that was the trade-off for spending time with them in places I was much less likely to meet a man. Looking back, I can see how insulting it can be to be physically with someone while mentally, they are in a virtual world.

The fight grew and grew much bigger than the initial sentiment merited. I tried to calm things and explain I wasn’t looking for a fight. I was simply trying to point out something I didn’t appreciate so he could do something about. I was trying to communicate. I didn’t want him to get defensive, and I wasn’t looking to take the offensive. In time, hopefully these situations wouldn’t escalate like this. I was trying to lengthen my fuse, while he was learning to deal with the enigma that is myself.

Diner BreakfastEventually, cooler heads prevailed, and we sat to eat our breakfast. He thanked me for making breakfast with a kiss.

Since the weather was far from motivating, we spent a majority of the day on the couch watching Game of Thrones and fooling around. Our ever-healthy libidos were calling out to be quenched as well. Fooling around soon turned into more vigorous exercises.

The front of my apartment is nearly all windows. This doesn’t exactly allow for privacy unless the shades are drawn. I didn’t want to interrupt the moment by closing the shades, and I knew it would only feed CK’s exhibitionist side to leave them open. Self-consciously, I glanced out the window and noticed a woman across the street. I had a feeling she’d seen us and tried to decipher whether or not she was continuing to watch us. I couldn’t decide either way, and I was far more distracted by the gorgeous man in front of me than the stranger across the street. If she wanted to watch, let her. All this commenced with a climax, and me taking an afternoon nap on top of him.

When we woke, I continued with my plans to bake a few pies. This time, when CK asked if he could help, I welcomed his assistance with open arms. Together, we made two pies, torturing ourselves with the delicious smells coming from the oven as they baked. We engaged in Instagram together, taking pictures of our masterpieces and uploading them together. At least our heated conversation earlier that morning was finally bearing fruit.

That night, to properly celebrate three months together and make up for the previous night, we decided to hit up a restaurant I’d been dying to go to for six years, Anthony Davids. It was always difficult to get into because there was usually a line of people waiting for a table. We didn’t have any other pressing plans, so we decided to give it a shot.

We were seated in the coziest table in the joint. The ambiance was already setting the perfect mood for the night. All the fighting and bickering from earlier in the week slowly disappeared from my consciousness. Our stellar waitress opened the Malbec we brought with us, and CK proposed a toast. “Here’s to the beginning of our 2nd quarter,” he boasted. It was a very cute sentiment, and it put a smile on my face.

Over the course of our amazing meal, I slowly began to realize the bigger picture. I realized it was all worth it. No matter how much fighting there was, the good times – times like these – were priceless!

Our night could not have gotten much better. The service was impeccable, the food was divine, the ambiance was indescribable… We finished our meal and walked back to my apartment hand-in-hand. We were exhausted from a long day of lounging about on the couch. When we got home, we brushed our teeth and climbed straight into bed. I could not have been happier. I was utterly in love, and my relationship with CK was really starting to take shape.

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Site Launch

First, I am thrilled to announce I am the new and proud owner of the domain onegayatatime.com. I feel so legit now! Please share the link with your friends and family and anyone whom you think might be interested in the content I write. You can also find me on Facebook, OneGay AtaTime, and you can follow me on twitter @onegayatatime.  If you’d like to contact me directly as some readers already have, my new email is blog@onegayatatime.com. Enjoy!

Secondly, I hope you are all having a very special Christmas Eve! Warmest wishes to you, your families, and the loved ones you have the privilege to share the holidays with.

P.S. Don’t forget to abuse the mistletoe.

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Quite a Cast of Characters

Yesterday’s video got great reception, so I decided to include another video I came across lately thanks to Smiles. I think it’s amazing shots and a very emotional piece. On top of it, the music is spectacular! Hope you like it!

On with the story…

Monday came, and I had a very light day at work. I was hoping Smiles would ask me to grab dinner, but alas, nothing. I was always the one to initiate dates, and I needed to see if he would take the initiative for once.

I gave up all hope and went home without hearing from him. Surprisingly, while lounging on the couch in front of the TV, I received an email from Smiles. He wanted to know what I was up to for the night. I logged onto Facebook to chat with him. “They are partying in the streets below me. I’m getting cage crazy,” he typed. I forgot about the Halloween parade that was happening in his neighborhood since I didn’t partake in the Halloween festivities this year.

I responded to him, “What do you propose?” He suggested coming to me since it was so crazy where he lived. I explained I was already home, but I would come back into the city to meet him for dinner. When he learned this, he said, “Oh, no don’t do that. I thought you were still at work.” I suggested he could also come out to Hoboken, which prompted the response, “I’ll get [my friend] and keep myself entertained.” That’s not the response I was looking for. I told him I was bored and really didn’t mind coming back into the city (So much for playing hard-to-get). He told me he felt bad, but I assured him I was as close as I’d be if I were still at work.

We picked a convenient place where we could find each other in the melee of the Halloween parade. We walked around the West Village and found a cute spot to grab dinner, Hudson Corner Cafe. There was a slight wait, so we hit up the bar. Once again, I was a little taken aback by the charisma he showed everyone at the restaurant. From the host to the bar tender to the waitress. He always made it a point to be personal with them, and I found it incredibly sexy.

We ordered drinks outside our comfort zones at the bar until a table was made ready. I wasn’t 100% sure, but I thought he switched the drinks when the bartender served them. Interestingly enough, we tried the drinks the other was served. I didn’t like his, and he wasn’t thrilled with mine. When we sat at the table, we ordered another round, and the waitress clarified the confusion. It worked out well considering we liked the other’s drink better.

We ordered our food and chatted while we waited. I was surprised the conversation was flowing so  easily since I’d just seen Smiles the day before. When the food arrived, he commented on how little food I received. We split a brussel sprout salad, and he encouraged me to take a much larger portion. It was a very sweet gesture. We talked a lot about work and his aspirations. I was being very encouraging, but I also gave him my strong opinion on the situation. He was trying to find a typical office job while struggling to reinvigorate and old company he started years earlier. I knew that was his passion, and he would be very unhappy with a desk job. I told him he was at a great advantage. He didn’t have a comfortable job he wasn’t thrilled with that he was stuck with because it was a paycheck. He had the freedom to do whatever he wanted. He should just take a job to have a job. He took my advice to heart, which I really appreciated.

After dinner, we walked the streets. We passed someone in an amazing E.T. costume like I’d never seen before. We decided to grab desert at Magnolia’s Bakery before more walking. I made friends with a few British pigs in a blanket while waiting in line. We ate as we walked, and when we finished, we were near the PATH station. He asked, “What do you want to do now?” I was under the impression he was dropping me off, but that wasn’t the case. I didn’t think very quickly, but I suggested we head over to the parade and check it out.

Smiles had his camera, so we snapped a lot of pictures of some special characters along the way. We finally arrived at the parade and watched for a short while. When we had our fill, we continued on. Smiles suggested we go into a bar. This sounded like a great idea to me considering I already thought our night was going to end a while ago.

When we walked into the bar, Julius’, Smiles needed to use the facilities, so I attempted to order us drinks. For some reason I had no luck with this task. Usually this is my forte since I’m 6′ 2″. While standing there, an old man was creepily eyeing me up. He wasn’t being nonchalant about it at all. His eyes were burning a hole in me. I made NO eye contact with him, even though he was standing two feet away from me. When Smiles returned, he magically had no problem getting service. He commented I wasn’t smiling, and that’s why I wasn’t getting service. (Probably cause I felt uncomfortable).

We drank our beers and had a chat about weight. I joked about the Magnolia’s stop and the beer and how it would affect my waist. He casually made a comment about my weight. This wasn’t the first time he alluded to my size. Over the summer, I was extremely confident about my body, but once fall arrived, I put on a few pounds. By no means was I fat, but I wasn’t as sexy as I was over the summer. I asked him,”What’s your waist size?” He told me and was shocked to learn mine, 32″, was only one inch larger than his. He couldn’t believe it. I wanted to point out to him we share similar body shapes, even though I think he thought I was heftier. I made a lot of jokes about losing weight not for him, but in spite of him. I was making it a serious goal to lose weight just to prove it to Smiles I could. He looked at me with skepticism. I still couldn’t believe he was basically calling me fat, even if it was playful.

After we finished our beers, we continued to a bar he frequented, Diablo Royale. He knew the bartender quite well. We found a nice corner to stand in and chat. We took in all the costumes around the room. I remember specifically realizing I didn’t feel 100% comfortable with Smiles yet. I questioned this. We’d been dating for some time, and while I enjoyed his company, I felt I couldn’t completely relax. It was as if I was on a constant audition.

When we had our fill of the night, he walked me to the waterfront. Even more than usual, there was quite a cast of characters walking around. He pointed out a piece or property he’s had his eye on for some time he’d like to develop. I agreed with him about the possibilities for the property. That night, he was opening up to me more about work. I liked learning about that side of his life. I shared a lot of the passions he had in that respect. Finally, he walked me back to the PATH. It was 12:30, and I knew I would be heading home. This was one time I wasn’t hoping/expecting to go home with him. I had to work the next day. I was still shocked and very pleasantly surprised the date didn’t end after dinner. He gave me a kiss, and I hopped on the PATH.

He was quite sweet and affectionate that night, but we still hadn’t completely clicked. Something was still missing, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it…

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Smiles Returns

While returning home from alumni weekend, I sent an email to Smiles to see if we could find time to get together Sunday afternoon: “Hey dude. Let me know if you’re still up for meeting up tomorrow…” I sent it around 11:00 at night, so I didn’t expect a reply until the following day. So, when I got back to Hoboken, I asked around to see who was going out to the bar. No one seemed to be up for anything, so I went home did laundry and watched TV.

I woke the next morning to a return email from him saying, “Hey bud, yeah we can work something out. What did you have in mind?” I replied back, “Your call… Grab bite, drink, coffee, walk High Line…” Apparently, he was already out and about that morning, and he responded, “Just finishing brunch. Let’s grab cords and walk up highland. What time works?”

I was a little confused, but I was used to deciphering autocorrect text messages. “I’m assuming that cords means coffee and highland means highline… haha  I can meet you in about an hour? That work?” I responded. He replied, “Ah yes autocorrect. Let’s meet at 4:30 at Doma in west village its 7th and Perry I think.”

I was very excited but still very relaxed. I was thrilled he was still willing to see me again after the less that stellar first date, but I’ve also done a very good job of not getting my hopes up about these dates anymore. I’ve had enough bad ones to know the drill now. Yes, I’ve become jaded.

I arrived at the coffee shop and waited for him outside. When he arrived, we exchanged hugs and went inside to grab coffees. He paid for mine, which I thought was very sweet of him. He suggested we take a walk through the West Village on our way to hop up on the High Line park. As we walked, he told me about the crazy time he had the previous night at the bars and how he was a little less than 100%. He put his arm around me and explained he was afraid to postpone on me since I was so broken-hearted when he didn’t respond within the first twelve hours after our first date (in a playful way). I was a little embarrassed by my lack of patience and told him he could have postponed on me, and I completely would have understood. We had a good laugh about it.

We walked and came upon a band playing in a courtyard. We stopped to listen before continuing on to the High Line. We climbed the stairs to the elevated park and began to stroll along like everyone else. This was the third date I took up there. I could tell Smiles was really enjoying it. He is very interested in architecture and design, as am I, so we had extensive conversations about all the surrounding buildings. I found it utterly romantic when he would turn my attention to a specific building by putting his hand on my shoulder to talk about a specific element. We talked the entire span from 14th street to 34th street. We even passed Joan Rivers and her small entourage while walking. When we reached the top, we walked back down to street level.

As we walked back downtown, we talked more. I learned he attended three different Burning Mans in the past. Just that Friday, I watched a movie shot by a bunch of guys who attended this years. It looked spectacular, and I was highly interested in attending. He gave me some of the insider tips, and the conversation shifted to the traveling we’ve done.

As we were walking through the West Village again, he noted he’d love to grab a beer and asked if I was interested. We stepped into a nice spot that had an outdoor space in the back, Entwine. We both ordered sangria. When I mentioned I wanted to order hummus and pitas, he noted he had to cut gluten out of his diet. I was rather famished, and I think he realized this.

He originally planned to meet his ex for dinner that night, but hadn’t heard from him in some time. Since this was the case, he asked if I would be interested in grabbing dinner with him. Of course I obliged. He mentioned two spots he could think of. I agreed Extra Virgin sounded great. He warned me he was quite the regular at that spot, but I wasn’t quite sure why that warranted a warning.

I paid the tab for the sangrias, and we started to walk to Extra Virgin. The night was shaping up to be quite a date, but it was only just beginning…

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A Smile That Makes Me Melt

After meeting Sexy Eyes for coffee, I continued on to my planned date that evening. I picked up a guy on Grindr one morning taking the car service to work. It was complete chance this happened. Normally, my driver takes the Lincoln Tunnel, but because of traffic, he took the Holland. I was particularly bored that morning, so I pulled up Grindr to see what would pop up. Once I was in New York City, I noticed a guy who had a great smile. I messaged him my standard, “Hey stud,” but I also added “Great smile!”

We began chatting a bit after that and he quickly found a spot amongst my favorites. Over the course of a week, we would chat in the evenings. Many times he’d be walking home from being out somewhere and pull up Grindr to pass the time.

He seemed like a very level-headed guy and I enjoyed our chats. We had a few things in common, but our conversations were never very in-depth. In my typical fashion, I asked him to go out for a drink sometime. He graciously obliged. When I asked him for his phone number, instead I got his email. He wasn’t comfortable giving me his number before we met. I assured him I wouldn’t stalk him, and he could trust me. But, I wasn’t going to pressure him into giving it to me.

On a Saturday evening, I sent him an email: “Not to be too forward, but would you have any interest in coffee or brunch tomorrow? Like meeting new people… Pretty chill… No expectations. You just seem, like a cool down to earth guy…” He replied back, “Normally I would say yes, but I actually have a full day tomorrow starting at 10 until late night. Sometime during the week would be better, this is an unusually packed Sunday. ” The response was promising, so I would just have to be patient.

We managed to figure out a time to meet the following Thursday. He picked a bar in the West Village and we agreed to meet at 8:00.

I was running a few minutes late for the date, so I sent him an email telling him I would arrive about five minutes late. I got to the bar at 8:05 and sent another email letting him know I was standing outside with an umbrella and a blue shirt. After twenty minutes and no word from him, my patience was waning. I began to wonder if I was stood up. I texted the guy who cancelled my OKCupid friend date earlier that evening to see if his interview was over and to see if he wanted to hang out since I was still in the city. I was about a minute from walking the block to the PATH to head home. I also had the prospect of meeting Sexy Eyes again that evening in the back of my head.

Just then, a man with an amazing smile emerged from the bar to greet me. I had no idea he was inside this whole time. He apologized for the confusion and told me he could explain. While he was standing at the bar, a man approached him and began chatting with him. All “Smiles” could think of was how much this guy didn’t look like his Grindr pictures (thinking he was talking to me). The guy happened to be there on a match.com date and confused Smiles for his date. After chatting for about ten – fifteen minutes, they realized they were talking to the wrong guy. Smiles hadn’t wanted to be rude while they were talking, so he wasn’t checking his phone. At this point he saw my emails, and he came outside to retrieve me.

I grabbed a drink, and we stood in the corner chatting a bit. The conversation started off VERY rocky. I didn’t know what to say, so I said, “So how was work today?” He replied, “That’s what’s going to break the conversation. Haha. Work was good,” jokingly. The conversation was much easier after that. I learned he was against Grindr in the beginning. His friend encouraged him to download it and use it. His response was, “If I want to take a guy home for a hookup, I can just go to the bar and get one. That way I can see him and feel him up (as he reached out his hand to feel up my chest) before I take him home. Why would I need a digital version of that? That’s not what I’m looking for.” I couldn’t agree more with his sentiments. He told me after begrudgingly downloading the app, he actually had gone on a few dates from Grindr. None were spectacular, but they were adequate enough to keep him on it.

While we were talking, he warned me he had to leave at 9:00 because he had dinner plans with a friend. I wasn’t sure if this was the real deal or if he was using it as an out because he thought the date was going so poorly. “I originally thought an hour would be enough time for us to meet for the first time,” he said. I barely had a chance to meet him, let alone get to know him in the half hour we spent together. I was very disappointed. He was very cute, smart, established, successful, funny, active… Everything I look for in a man. I wanted more.

After we awkwardly closed our tabs, we walked outside. The date ended with an awkward hug, and I said we should definitely try to meet up again sometime soon. He seemed a bit nonplused, but he certainly didn’t shoot me down. I left the date wondering if I made a bad first impression and if there was anything I could do to repair that.

Later that evening around 11:00, I sent him an email stating: “Let me start off by saying your smile pays off even more in person! But anyway… Great meeting you tonight. Hope we can meet up again some time soon…” And in a follow-up email, I sent, “And my number’s ###. Use it.” He seemed to be very good about checking his email, but I wanted his phone number. It offered the option to call. I would get it if he chose to text or call me.

The next afternoon, I heard nothing from Smiles. I wasn’t angry. I was disappointed. I thought I’d give it that one last stitch effort. I sent an email saying, “Or I take it you’re not interested…”

That’s when I finally got a response. “Easy big guy. Good morning. Haven’t had a chance to get into email yet today. Enjoyed meeting you last night, maybe Sunday we can catch up again for a little longer?”

I felt like a fool. I immediately replied, “Sh*t! I knew I jumped the gun! haha  Sorry bout that. I should be around Sunday. Hit me up and we’ll figure something out…”

I was elated. Apparently I didn’t make that bad of a first impression after all. He was interested, and now I had something to look forward to. Who knew what Sunday would bring?…

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