This is clearly why so many people get married. Simply to avoid dating. It is nerve wracking. It is exhausting. And sometimes it is just plain boring. Tonight it was flat out uncomfortable.
I had a third date with a very nice man with whom it now seems I have absolutely NOTHING in common, starting with the fact that he interprets all caps in any correspondence as yelling whereas I use them for emphasis because italics and underlining take longer to execute. That small dispute is the tip of the iceberg. He finds it astonishing that I would stop seeing him because he finally admitted that he would in fact vote for Donald Trump. I realize now that we spent short but pleasant date number one exchanging basic information, longer but entertaining date number two arguing about gun control and by date number three we had already used up all our best repartee in emails, which I admit made me laugh out loud on several occasions. I honestly don’t think he likes my opinions any more than I like his, but the difference is he feels about me the way I felt about flannel shirt guy and spent all of dinner staring at me, complementing various body parts and telling me how cute I was. He has zero interest in traveling outside the U.S. and I honestly think he is somewhere deep down still in love with his ex-wife who cheated on him decades ago and then begged to come back.
I kissed him goodnight because he seemed to want it so badly and it was fine. Yeah, exactly. Fine. No bells, no whistles, no foot popping up like in the movies. Not unpleasant in the least, but nothing that sent me home wanting more. He asked if he could hold me all night and I said, no, just for another 30 seconds. He asked if we could go out again and I said—Why not? As in “I have already burned through 5 also rans and a keeper that wasn’t interested in me so sure, I got nothing better to do.”
He knows I don’t hold much promise for any future together but says he is not giving up until I send him away definitively and I’m not quite ready to do that. Being so blatantly admired physically is not in my experience reserve and I don’t know what to make of it. People have found me cute here and there but mostly liked my mind and wit. He says he loves strong, independent, beautiful women and that I qualify on all three counts. It is nice getting schmoozed, but it would be so much better if I felt the same way, which is what happened with Tom. Actually I think I was smitten faster than he was and I remember him actually telling me early on that he could tell I loved him by the way I looked at him. I thought that was egotistical and cheeky of him to say but in fact it was true. Soon after that he carved, sanded and polished a beautiful wooden heart that fits in the palm of my hand and told me I now had his. Sigh.
I had hoped tonight would be great, that I would decide my date’s basic niceness, intelligence and obvious interest in me would override our very different world views, but I actually had trouble keeping the conversation afloat in the presence of his intense scrutiny and my discomfort at our ideological differences. I was relieved to come home and hang with Alyssa.
If you have been married for a while and are feeling a little bored or maybe wondering what else might be out there that you’re missing by being in a long term, committed, monogamous relationship, let me help. You’re not missing a THING. Go hug your spouse and thank your lucky stars. Stay married. Dating sucks.