I’m not too nervous for this date because the chances are high he’s going to be a complete wanker and after half an hour, we’ll be paying for our drinks and ordering separate Ubers.
My first thought on seeing Robert was that his online photos are really rather out of date. Still, he is handsome, friendly and welcomes me with a chamomile tea.
I think maybe he’s a little nervous as he speaks at length about political autobiographies. It gives me time to notice that I’m glazing over and check in with myself: “I know that I’m very good at listening and being polite to men who talk at me; look- it’s happening now. This is not a pattern I want to repeat. It doesn’t feel good.”
Just as I think it is dead in the water, something shifts and we actually have a quality two-way conversation: mindfulness, meditation, Buddhism, Christianity, sex, shame, death, impermanence… that rates pretty highly in my book!
It’s just about worth staying for another drink and he insists on buying. I have a crisp autumnal Sauvingon Blanc, and he has a large glass of something red and a beer. That seems a tad unusual… does he need two alcoholic drinks at the same time just to get through the remainder of the date?
Nearing the end now, I ask him “How do think it’s going?” curious to hear how this developing connection feels to him. He responds by saying that some people would think my question comes from insecurity: wanting to know what he thinks of me.
“That’s not actually what I asked you though.” I explain, trying to smile through my irritation, wanting to defend myself. I go onto say that I’m interested in what is between us, rather than his opinion of me. I still don’t really think he understands the difference. It bothers me. Despite what I’ve said, he goes on to deliver his verdict: that I seem very nice, very polite (in an authentic way), and very bothered by what people think about me. I don’t think he’s wrong there.
As I leave, he offers me a handshake which confirms my thoughts that we perhaps exist in different emotional worlds.
A second date? Hmm… possibly. He’s not such an arrogant prick after all. I’ll see how it goes but I’d be surprised if the connection has got enough momentum in it to go anywhere. Let’s see…