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Two Hours

After coming to the realization Middle Eastern was not dating material, I began my search for a boyfriend once again. I thought I’d give him a second chance, and he proved to me he wasn’t worthy of that.

I went back to my matchmaker once again – Grindr. I was a little addicted. I found myself spending hours out of my day on the app. I was searching with great fervor. When I woke in the morning, the first thing I did was reach for my phone and fire up Grindr. The next thing I did was grab my tablet and fire up Grindr on that. It was even better on my tablet. The pictures were bigger, I could multitask with my phone, etc. I fully realized how much time I was spending searching for a man. I saw how much of my day was stolen from me. It was like a second job.

On a few occasions, I would strike up a conversation with a guy I thought worthy of my time. One such man lived nearby in Jersey City. We started chatting on Grindr, and I did what I always do. I asked him for his number so I could take things out of the Grindr app and start a conversation over text. I always asked for a picture from the start so I could keep the guys straight in my phone contact list. I kid you not when I tell you I have around 100 contacts from Grindr, Adam4adam.com, ManHunt and OKCupid. I had a system in place as well. Everyone’s name began with where I met them. I was cataloging these guys in theory. Some I never spoke to on the phone, let alone met them in person, but they were saved no less.

After getting this guy’s number, We texted about chatting on the phone some night. He picked up the phone and called me. This earned him a lot of brownie points in my book.

We started with the superficial things – Where we lived. He told me all about his building. I was quite familiar with it. I’d run past it on many occasions. This morphed into a discussion about where we grew up. He was fascinated to learn I grew up out in the country on a farm. Through texting, I’d already learned he was from Canada. I told him how surprised I was he didn’t have a Canadian accent. It popped up a few times, but quite infrequently for someone who grew up there.

I quickly learned he certainly fit the Canadian nice guy stereotype. Everything he said was sweet and polite.

I learned he was slightly older than me. This wasn’t an issue for either of us. I had always liked slightly older men, but I am always leery that older men aren’t thrilled with dating a younger man. I’m quite mature for my age, so I hope my personality can make up for the age gap.

We chatted about our jobs, and I learned he worked in the travel industry. He jetted around the country and internationally quite frequently. He even mentioned the possibility of taking someone like me with him on said trips. I wasn’t getting ahead of myself, but I did enjoy the idea of traveling with my boyfriend to far off locations. He detailed many of the perks, which I really enjoyed, but I didn’t want to let that cloud my perception of him. On the flip side, I told him one of my most embarrassing secrets. I told him I’d never left the country with the exception of Windsor Canada from Detroit. He told me it wasn’t a big deal, and he would help me remedy that issue.

Somehow we got on to the topic of dating and being single and previous lovers. He wasn’t very forthcoming with the information of his major heartbreak, but all it took was one question for him to tell me the overarching story. It seemed it was a sensitive subject, but he was willing to tell me the story. He was dating a man for seven years. This was before he was traveling for work. He was scheduled to go away for work, and at the last-minute, his trip was cancelled. He came home to their shared residence to find his boyfriend in their bed with another man. I expressed my grave sympathy. After seven years with someone he must have been crushed. My heart broke for him. He told me he simply told his boyfriend he needed to move out and that was the end of them.

I tried to lighten the mood and asked him what he likes to drink. Ironically, our lists shared a lot of the same drinks. It was uncanny how similar our pallets are. I learned he too is a fan of Malbec. We discussed how it would need to be present on our first date. I was happy we were on the topic of meeting for a date. He seemed like a great guy. Maybe he was the ship I was searching for in the storm.

I asked him what he was looking for, and he described his ideal situation. Amazingly, our perfect pictures lined up quite impressively. I was really excited to meet him. I only had one picture, and he appeared to be an attractive man. I was more excited to meet him to see how strong the chemistry would be. It was already pretty strong considering we spoke on the phone for two hours.

Only time would tell, and we made tentative plans to grab a drink or dinner in the near future.

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Hard Candle Shell

After realizing PR wasn’t the one for me, I was ready to move on. I liked him a lot, but I felt we’d be sacrificing ourselves to stay together, and that’s not fair to either of us.

I had been talking to a cutie with glasses on OKCupid for a little while before finally asking him for his number and ultimately to go out for a drink.

Wednesday night after work, we made plans to meet down near his neighborhood for some cocktails. I let him pick the place, and he told me where to meet him. When I arrived to the corner where he was, he immediately came off as shy. We shook hands and introduced ourselves, which always feels forced and awkward for me. I sometimes wonder if a hug may be more appropriate considering we’re about to embark on a date, but I never have the guts to go in for it from the start.

We walked towards the bar he had in mind while we struggled to make small talk. I asked him about his day and how work was. In turn he asked the same questions, and I detailed my boring day at the office.

Finally, we arrived at the establishment, The Dove Parlour and took our seats on two bar stools on the corner of the bar. We ordered our drinks and returned to our awkwardly forced conversation. Again, we returned to the topic of work. Every question I asked him was returned with a quick short response. It was like pulling teeth to keep the conversation going. There were long periods of silence I wasn’t sure how to deal with.

When we finished our second drink, the bartender approached and asked if we’d like another. This is where I failed miserably. This is why I’m too nice. I defaulted to him, expecting him to have felt as awkward as I did, but instead, he asked for another round. I was shocked. Did he think this date was going well? How could he?

I sat there and struggled to find a subject to continue to talk about over the next round of drinks. I was ready to leave, but I felt I’d be rude. I was in for another night of wasting my own time due to my lack of confidence to say, “I’m sorry, but I think I’m going to go.”

I ended up staying for two more rounds — Four in total. Things were slowly improving. As the drinks passed his lips more words finally came out the opposite direction. He was finally starting to hold a real conversation. The topics were nothing exciting, but at least it was bearable.

By the end of our fourth round, he wanted a kiss. He moved in to make a move, and I allowed it. It’d been a while since a man kissed me, but I wasn’t entirely weak in the knees from it. He really did have soft lips and was a good kisser, but that didn’t negate the fact that our date was not going well.

He beckoned me to change stools so we weren’t straddling the corner. He wanted me to be closer. At this point, he wanted a makeout session. I wasn’t having any of that. I don’t make out in bars (not unless I’m hammered and don’t know any better, and the last time I did that was with a woman).

I told him I thought it was bad manners to make out at the bar. I pointed out how it always turns into a spectacle, especially when it’s two men kissing each other. He pointed out the lack of people in the bar and asked if I wasn’t comfortable with my sexuality in public. I pointed out if he was a woman, I’d feel the same way. There’s never a need to make out at the bar. Take it outside. This was going to be a point we differed on, because he did not stop attempting to convince me to lock lips. This is when I basically told him to back off. It wasn’t going to happen.

When we were ready to leave, he decided to walk me to the PATH — The complete opposite direction of his apartment. He was going to take a cab home and mentioned something about his supervisor paying for it.

When we got to the PATH station, he took the opportunity to pin me against the fence so he could have his makeout session. Again, I’m too nice and too accommodating, but at least he was a good kisser. It was an amazing change of pace from the night before, in which my “date” tried to eat my face.

Finally, I pulled back and said goodbye. He mentioned his desire to meet again in the near future, and I left that door open for possibility (seeing the too nice trend beginning here). When I got to the other side of the Hudson, I had a text waiting for me: “In spite of being terrified, I had a really good time! Hope to see you soon!” I simply responded, “Terrified?” “Oh, I have panic attacks before dates,” he added.

I didn’t respond, but in the morning, I had another text waiting for me: “Those French Lavenders (the drinks he was having) pack a punch. Sorry :/” I simply put his mind at ease and said, “No worries.” That would be the last I would hear from him. I was happy to skip all the awkward texts and requests. He simply took the hint I wasn’t interested and moved on…

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