I threw in a quick “A, want to write your version out for me?” line in my last blog post about our first date and how we ended up together yesterday. A obliged me with his version and it was super fun to read. Copy editing only, although there are a few of my comments interlaced again (I particularly like that I get to say what I want without interruption).
My first date with the person who has now been a regular part of my life for the past 9 months or so:
We connected electronically, and decided that drinks would be a good, safe first date. I was tasked the duty of picking a location, so I picked one of my favorite locales. This was shot-down nearly immediately as her husband was planning on having a date at the establishment, so plan B it was. (GF: day of, actually, when I checked our shared calendar and realized he was going to the same place! Nothing like the pressure of a last minute venue change on a first date!) We went to a pub on the edge of downtown, easy for both of us to get to after work, and big enough and loud enough that we would be swallowed up by everything happening around us, and our conversation wouldn’t be overheard!! Going into this date, I had learned from friends of ours that one of them (D) was struggling with the dating/poly culture in Edmonton, and wasn’t having much success. I will point out at that time, I wasn’t having much success either, but I’m picky and choosy and notoriously oblivious to obvious cues specifically from women who are interested in me, so its more my fault than anyone else’s.
The date. I think I arrived first, as I have an issue with being early for everything, turns out GF has the issue, so it was basically a race to see who could be there earlier! (GF: I arrived first, at least 15 minutes early, and A arrived late – the only time he’s ever been late in our entire relationship!) GF came in and we hugged (GF: He came in. I extended my arm to shake his hand, and he said “I’m a hugger!” and pulled me in for a quick hug) and sat down and started a 5 hour 2 or 3 bottle of wine conversation that ranged far and wide, and it was amazing. Or at least parts of it where amazing. The unbelievable coincidence of GF knowing two people that my wife and I are close to, and that the husband (D) was her second first date that week was a little surprising and off-putting. Still after that the conversation swung back into regular, natural conversation and it was still very good. Then she very casually, as one would normally in conversation when telling a story, said the name one of her daughters. GF has written about this a couple of times, but that name is uncommon – very uncommon – and to hear it unprompted and unprepared had an obvious impact on the conversation, the mood at the table, and my general talkative nature. The loss is not something I spend a lot of time talking about, and it’s not normally something that I just throw out on a first date! That changed the tone of the conversation, as I had to explain what I’m sure was a perplexing response to a name to GF as she was ‘pestering’ me for answers. (GF: I was so confused by his response. I said my daughter’s name and his reaction was profound and unexpected. I said he couldn’t react like that to me saying my daughter’s name and not tell me why. It certainly took some convincing to get him to spill the heartbreaking story.)
I picked up a vibe from GF that a second date wasn’t looking promising, the coincidences were just too close to home and that sexual energy just wasn’t sparking. (GF: Safe to say we found that spark and created a roaring bonfire!!!) I think that I had also decided at that time I needed to bow out for similar reasons but also for D to have a chance as I recognized that GF is a pretty amazing person and I wasn’t 100% sold on us as a couple/dating going forward. Sometimes my thoughts and compassion for others steps out and puts other’s needs ahead of mine. This is one of those cases. Generally speaking I’m a two date guy, first dates can be super hard, lots of pressure, unknowns, etc, etc, but a second date has less pressure and people are generally more themselves and thus I am able to get a better read on people. This probably explains why it took me so long to figure shit out with GF, I never had a “second” date.
The rejection email. Most of our conversations happened via email, so it was the natural choice to send the note that there wasn’t a second date in the cards. (GF: This is very true, it never seemed weird to me that he sent it via email. It’s not like we dated for six months and he decided to break up with me via email, that would be a douche move!) GF has eluded to it in other posts, and while I’m flattered, my ability to read people is not as good, precise, or as directed as she makes it sound. I’m no professional mentalist able to discern your thoughts based on what you are wearing, how you are sitting and what you do with your hands! It’s also something that I’m not always 100% aware of or that I do consciously (if that makes any sense). So the email, it was a genuine attempt to convey my thoughts and the lack of chemistry, I hate people being ‘ghosted’ or left wondering what happened. I also truly enjoyed the conversation, GF is smart, like crazy, could be scary, intimidatingly smart, which I love! So the offer to meet for coffee/drinks again, was just that, I enjoyed the spirited conversation and discussion we had. Finding someone who could have these types of discussions, and keep up, hold their own and have the spirit and back-bone to stand up to me and my thoughts was somebody I wanted to keep around. It was that simple, there was no, or I don’t recall there being any, ‘ulterior motive’ to continue the connection. Everything else that has happened has just been a massive bonus, and I’m thankful that I sent that ‘rejection letter’.