At the end of June I was facing my first child-free nights in several weeks, maybe even months. I wasn’t especially fussed about being alone, I was just bored.
We all know boredom is like an anathema for me.
I don’t do well with boredom.
I have spent my entire life working and raising a family. All this free time is hard on me. Of course, I enjoy lots of aspects of having free time which I never did, but I am actually less productive like this than when I am over-booked. I am one of those people who work really well under stress. Better, in fact.
So I fill my days and I do all the good stuff I should be doing while ignoring the house projects that I hate to do even when I am working. But, sometimes the nights drag on when I don’t have plans with friends or something very specific planned. I can only watch so many shows and read so many things. This happened to be one of those 3 night stretches were no one was available and my time was all my own.
I was fine the first night, watched the ending of a series I had started and got to bed early. The days pass quickly filled with odds and end of being a full-time mother (actually, take mother out and just replace that with chauffeur, cook, laundress etc…you get the idea…my teens hardly need mothering anymore which is really sad 😦 )
It was the second night I began to struggle and went back on Tinder. I matched with someone, started a conversation and he asked me to come out to meet him. We spoke quickly on the phone. I would have to drive 35 minutes to meet him, because he didn’t have a car as he was here on business. We discussed just having a date, no expectations, just a chat and a drink as he was from out-of-town and just separated. The stage was set for some friendly conversation so I didn’t mind making the drive just to get of the house.
I also matched with another guy who I have been speaking to, but we set up a future date…more to come if it makes it to that point.
The funny thing about this story is that I mentioned the Tinder date in my June First Date post as not even being worthwhile to write about, and the date itself is not. However, something else happened which makes the back story of the date more noteworthy…so here goes…
I arrived at the bar and bumped into him coming out of the restroom, so I smiled and acknowledged him and he kept walking. I thought “ok, maybe that wasn’t him?” and went and waited at the bar and sent a text “I’m here.” I waited 10 minutes and was just about ready to leave. I noticed a group of three men that couldn’t take their eyes off of me, but he wasn’t among them. Then, he walked towards that group of men, acknowledged them, and headed my way.
I knew in that moment how disinterested he was. The look on his face upon bumping into me clicked into place and I realized he was probably deciding if he should blow me off or not. I just knew.
He was nondescript looking, but had lied about his height. Although I wasn’t concerned about physical attraction as it was meant to be a non-date-date, I still am cognizant of not being Amazonian height compared to my date and I only wore 3″ heels. I was taller than him, so he was definitely not his suggested 5’11”
Anyway, he said hello and, as I mentioned, I could tell immediately he didn’t care for me which suggested he wasn’t as altruistic as he made out to be while setting up the date. Too bad for him I didn’t magically change into a 5’2″ slim athletic unicorn. The problem here was that whatever was in his mind then affected his ability to be a pleasant date.
He walked me over to the group of men, now 2 instead of 3, and introduced me to his friends (I don’t know where the third, who had been looking at me so intently, went off to, possibly the restroom). I stood there and spoke to them for 10 minutes assuming he was getting me a drink. Nope. I don’t know where he was, but his friends were very chatty and happy to talk to me. He finally appeared again and sat me down in a booth to the side of the bar, with no drink in hand. I asked for a drink, twice, and he made no move to get it. He continued to want to talk and finally succumbed to getting me a prosecco. When he stood to get me a drink, one of his friends slid into the booth to keep me company and chat again. The friend was more at ease than my date.
In hindsight it was clear his friend was trying to do right by me after having driven to meet my date. I think his friends felt bad for me.
My date was clearly inexperienced and awkward. He slumped in his seat, depressed I hadn’t turned into his unicorn, and wanted to talk about his x-wife. When I wasn’t game for that conversation, he started to show me his Tinder matches. I made him get me another drink. He wasn’t happy about it but he did it. Then another one of his friends came to me and introduced himself to say goodnight. The place was super dark and I couldn’t get a good fix on this guy, except that he had a handsome profile and was clearly a bit nervous around me for whatever reason. He held on to my hand just a second more than necessary and said “goodnight my lady.” He literally said hello and goodbye and made his exit.
We passed a little time looking at his Tinder and the night was a bust. We hugged goodnight and parted.
I didn’t give it a second thought. I actually had some fun conversation with his friends and I got out of the house for a couple of hours and enjoyed some prosecco. Mission accomplished.
I deleted him from my phone and Tinder and didn’t give it more thought.
Until the next day when I got the following text:
“Hi Madeline – this is Bennett. We met very briefly last night when I left the bar.”
Ok, then, that’s a surprise. After a little chatter, I told him it was uncool his friend gave him my number without just asking me first if it was ok….we started talking. He sent his photo and he was the nice-looking guy that said goodbye at the end of the evening, but I definitely didn’t have a good impression of his countenance, his photos showed a cuter guy than I recalled. Maybe not “just my type” but cute all the same.
My date the night before had told me that this particular friend was in a bad marriage and I asked Bennett about this immediately because I really am trying to make better dating decisions. Bennett has just moved out of his home a month ago after 21 years of marriage and hasn’t even hired the lawyer yet.
My thoughts are jumbled on this one and I am wary. I know the beginning of any divorce is not easy, but I feel somewhat confident that his head is out of his marriage, even if the paperwork isn’t started. He is extremely nice and sweet and we have had several great conversations on and off the phone. There is clearly a chemistry and connection.
He asked me out for next week and I agreed.
We have not stopped speaking. This, too, I know is dangerous. We text all day and talk for an hour each evening. We have an immensely strong connection. Bennett is a gentlemanly as they come and doesn’t cross any lines or throw out any innuendo. We just talk about a lot of nothing. His voice creeps under my skin in the most amazing way. I always wonder how certain people can do this to me. I’ve had a few moments of butterflies with him already.
So, before I write any more about Bennett, I will meet him and see where it goes. I am fully aware of the dangers of dating someone coming out of a marriage, but I also believe all people and circumstances are different so he is getting the benefit of the doubt at the moment.
I believe his story as it’s so similar to my own separation story. He sounds very level-headed and is clearly not tied into his marriage. But the initial divorce proceedings are tough on anyone, even in the best of circumstances. There is something about him that I like, we have easy conversation and he is clearly smitten with me. I don’t know if he is as strong as I would like, but there is a clear strength to him all the same. My feeling is that I have nothing to lose at this stage.
The best part – he is a musician on the side. When I speak to him on the phone I admit to having my knees go weak, he just has one of those voices. And then, after our first conversation, I teased him to sing me a song before we parted …. and he did. Then he did it again on our second phone conversation. And sent me some of his recordings. He has a voice as smooth as silk and it draws me in.
So I’m going to give this man and that voice a chance and see what happens.
Thursday is just around the corner.
And so is the limerence though I am holding it at bay. It’s so easy to get carried away and I love the crazy fluttery feelings of limerence but it’s not fun when they go away. I’m forcing myself to the deep breaths and enjoy the attention until we meet in person Thursday.
How’s that for reviving a failed date?!