This is what I know: I don't understand how dating works. The last time I "dated" (and I use that term very loosely because I really wasn't much of a dater) I was in my early 20s. Nobody texted, Facebook wasn't born, and I probably still had an actual answering machine somewhere in my house. In the last 13 years Rules have been written about Why He's Just Not That Into Me because He is from Mars and I am from Venus. I don't get it.
This is also what I know: I am 35 years old and I don't have time for bullshit. Playing games is for children.
I? I over think everything. EVERYTHING. However the most liberating dating advice I got was from my BFF The Literary Agent who told me to do what I wanted and go with the flow. If he waits 2 weeks to email me after a date which ended with "Can I see you again?" it doesn't mean a damn thing. It also means I don't have to wait 2 weeks to reply but that I can. Or I can not reply at all. While normally I don't trust my instincts, I am not on a search for my eternal soul mate. I am trying to have a little fun so if I fuck up, c'est la vie. I can't sit around and contemplate things like whether sending an email the day after is too aggressive or should I let at least an hour lapse before replying to texts. Cases in point.
Last night the Realtor and I had drinks at the bar at Del Frisco's. It was a mission-specific outing i.e. when I was at Del Frisco's last week for a work dinner the place was crawling with hot men and could we be so lucky a week later. I got lucky on 2 counts.
The Silver Surfer is an older gentleman that the Realtor knows through business. He was there with a group of friends for drinks and came over to say hi. He and I were introduced, exchanged some flirtatious witty banter and exchanged cards. Is he a long term prospect? No. But is he someone I may want to exchange further flirtatious witty banter with in the future? Absolutely. And so I emailed him a brief note this morning.
For one hot second I second guessed myself. I thought emailing him the morning after was too aggressive and may be considered a turn off. Then I thought fuck it: I would genuinely like to see him again and I don't have the energy for playing games. I hit send. He replied a few hours later. I sent a brief response that made my intentions pretty clear. Ball is in his court but it felt good to take charge.
Mr. Investment Banker is a whole, different story. Mr. IB was there solo last night. He and I made eye contact a few times and when I got up to go to the ladies room, he came over and started talking to the Realtor. The 3 of us hung out for several hours and during the entire time, neither the Realtor or I could tell who he was interested in.
Well, I got a "Nice to meet you" text first thing this morning. I happened to be sitting at my desk and my phone happened to be in front of me and I happened to see it buzz. Without hesitating, I replied back right away with a "Nice to meet you too - thanks for drinks and dinner." And then I smacked myself because HOLY MOTHER OF GOD - I didn't even let a minute lapse before replying. WHAT MUST I LOOK LIKE? Like some kind of psycho who's sitting around clutching her phone waiting for a man to text the morning after.
A few minutes later my phone buzzed: "You up for going out some time soon?"
"Absolutely. When are you back in town*?" Possibly 60 seconds had elapsed. That's it. I had done it again. The thing is: I had the time. I had the inclination. Do I really need to plan out when I am going to reply to a text? My schedule is busy enough.
* Right - so Mr. IB lives in Colorado because God forbid I meet an attractive, interesting, eligible single man who lives in my own fucking state. Seriously: Maine. South Carolina. Florida. Now Colorado. I call bullshit on this one.
Anyways, I figured that by asking when he was back in town (which it turns out, is pretty often) I was opening the door for us planning an actual date. HAHAHAHA. Apparently I am high on crack because the reply I eventually got was: "You looked very cute." Huh?
While I appreciate the compliment, why on Earth would you ask me if I wanted to go out, and then not actually plan anything? Is this how the world operates? Is this what people do? As an organized planner who likes to have things scheduled well in advance, this approach doesn't make sense to me. Do you see why dating gives me a headache?
I sent a thank you reply and that's it. No further communication. The downside of texting is that it's not an actual conversation with an actual end. It's more like a hanging chad.
So on the upside, I got a prompt morning after text and a direct request to go out. On the downside, nothing has actually been planned. I am trying to be easy breezy beautiful cover girl about all of this and let it roll off my shoulders. Whatever happens, happens. But let's be honest: this is me we're talking about and it's hard to shove 35 years of tightly-wound neuroses aside.
Whatever happens, I still don't get dating. I don't know that I ever will. But maybe that's ok for now because I'll tell you this: I am starting to have a little fun.