Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Maybe I Have to Come First.

I've been out a few times now with Single Dad, whose kid lives with him most days. Single Dad juggles parenting and a pretty rigorous academic job. After our first date, he sent me an email that evening telling me he'd had a blast, that the hours had passed by quickly, and that he wanted to go out again soon. I had enjoyed meeting Single Dad - I wasn't immediately smitten, but I was certainly ready to go out again, and I found his directness refreshing.

Due to conflicting schedules and various holidays on both of our parts, it took several more weeks for Single Dad and I to get together again. During this time, he completely won me over with charming texts and emails. He called me beautiful and gorgeous. He told me not to have too much fun without him (or at least to save some for him). He emailed me anecdotes about his vacation - in short, he wouldn't let me forget him. By the time he arranged for us to go out again this past Friday, I was more than a little ready to be romanced by Single Dad.

We met for dinner, and the conversation was free and easy. He made me laugh; I was my usual giggly self, which he didn't seem to mind. After dinner, he suggested we go for a walk, and we wandered to a local playground, where we played on the swings and talked some more. We finished up the evening with coffee and more chat - and we talked about everything, really: kids, relationships, friends, parents, religion, politics, art. It was a solid six hour plus date. After coffee, Single Dad walked me to my bus stop, and stayed with me until the bus arrived - which made for a somewhat awkward goodbye. I was hoping for a kiss, but wasn't going to force the issue with a bus approaching, and so settled with a hug. As I got on the bus I said, "Well, I'll see you when I see you..." "Email me!" he replied, miming typing on a keyboard as my bus pulled away.

On the trip home, there was a man speaking very loudly on speakerphone about baseball, so that the entire bus could hear. I found this funny, and texted SD. He replied with a bad baseball pun, I retorted, and for the next few hours (until the wee hours of the morning) we texted each other bad baseball puns every minute or so, until I cried Uncle in the name of sleep. "Sweet dreams," he replied. It left a smile on my face and made me feel reassured about the lack of a kiss that night. If he really didn't like me, why would he spend two hours texting me baseball puns, right? Maybe SD just wanted to take things slow.

The next day, Saturday, I woke up to heinous weather. Not wanting to lose *too* much momentum, I sent SD a short, witty text about the weather. I didn't get a reply, which vaguely disconcerted me for the rest of the day, given how responsive he normally is. I grew more and more anxious about it as the weekend wore on. Late Sunday night, I sent SD a chatty, "How was the rest of your weekend" email - he had told me to email him, after all - and shared some humorous stories about my weekend. It's now Tuesday night, and I've had no reply to the email.

I'm confused as to what happened. The date didn't feel like a bomb - there was no need for SD to hang out with me after dinner if he'd decided that he wasn't interested after all. I can't remember any particular awkwardness, other than me turning shy upon our goodbye (and he wasn't any more forward than I was). He certainly didn't need to engage in a late-night pun war with me, right? He could have responded politely and benignly to my text about the rude fellow passenger and stopped any further conversation in its tracks. I know that the evidence doesn't logically point to a sudden change of heart, but I feel in my insecure and self-effacing gut that SD changed his mind upon further acquaintance and isn't interested anymore - how else to explain the sudden lack of response, when he'd been so good about corresponding with me previously?

The Girlfriend Jury is out on this one. Some agree that it's strange behaviour, and that SD is definitely blowing me off. Others can't believe that he would do such an about-face and think he must be busy with dad or work-related activities - he's at least been direct enough in the past that one would expect him to be blunt about not pursuing anything further. So - he's just too busy? Too busy to respond to a girl he thought was gorgeous and beautiful two weeks ago? While I'd obviously prefer this to be the conclusion - that he's still interested but just very, very busy - I can't say it makes me feel that much better. Do I want to be with someone who has so many priorities before me, that even finding 30 seconds to text me is impossible? I don't know that my fragile little ego can handle that. Maybe I have to come first.

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