Monday, April 23, 2012

Swimming in the shallow end of the pool

Herein lies the question.  What the hell do I want?

I am the wrong person to ask.  If you do ask, I'm liable to say "I don't know".  Maddening, but true.

I am going on a first date tomorrow evening with a newby.  I don't know enough about him offhand to give him a nickname yet, so maybe tomorrow evening if he's noteworthy in one way or another.  I'm mildly interested in meeting him, but nothing over the top.  Seems nice and funny, so that's  start.

I'm talking to one other gentleman who I'm rather intrigued by, so maybe I will meet him soon, too.  Hard to say.

With regards to my weekend someone, I remain puzzled.  I need a decoder ring for this one, folks.  Pretty sure he likes me, but I can't tell if he just likes me because I'm comfortable and fun company to hang around, or if he likes me because he can see things turning into a relationship.  I'm the one who stopped it the first time around, though I'll admit that there were still a lot of question marks then, too.  He's so hard to read in some ways. One way or another it became clear that he did like me, but he is a different sort than I'm used to.

I am used to dating the charmer.  The personable, friendly, easily accepted, funny guy.  The one brimming with confidence and I'll say it again, easy charm.  It's the best description of my ex-husband and my most recent ex-boyfriend from last spring.  They were talkers, debaters, chatters.

This guy is not.  He's not the most talkative.  He's smart, but I definitely talk more when we're together.  He's much more introverted personality wise.  He's not showy or an entertainer for the masses.  He's harder to get to know, shyer at first, but not really shy at all if that makes sense.

I'm used to dating guys who dress well.  Who know how to look good for any event, and who pay more for haircuts than I do.  People who value appearance, possibly too much, and take great pride in how they look.

I like clean cut guys.  This guy needs a haircut.  All the time.  He needs a shave.  All the time.  He dresses lousy, standardly in jeans, an old t-shirt, tennis shoes and a hat.  I would steal and burn the hat if I could.  He looks better without it.  He's shorter than anyone I've ever been with.   He doesn't wear cologne, his wallet looks a thousand years old, his house was decorated by his mom (though he's admitted that was for lack of an idea of how to do it on his own, and he told me early on he was wide open to suggestion and change on that front).

And yet.  When we stopped dating, I missed things.  I missed the house whose decor I hated the first time I saw it.  I missed the shaggy, short guy. 

He cooked me meals.  We made cookies from scratch together.  He got my dog a toy, I got him  a Christmas stocking since he didn't have one.  It's still hanging up, LOL.  One time we pulled into his driveway and I had a hard time getting out because of the nature of his driveway and where the car ended up.  Next time he parked oddly and I asked why, and he said it was so I could get out of the car easier since it had been challenging last time.

This is not someone who will text me sweet nothings.  This is not someone who will lavish me with pretty words and compliments and bold promises.  I suspect this is someone who would show me in little subtle ways that he cared.  He would have to be reminded of the more traditional ways, but he would have his own.  This is someone who takes great pride in his home and is a hard worker.  He is spending all of his weekend days lately working on his yard, getting it sodded and green, planting flower beds and bushes.

He is afraid of me right now.  I'm not kidding.  I ended it the first time around.  I'm the one who skulked back carefully, cautiously, guiltily.  I offered nothing, just said that I wanted us to be friends.  We chatted for awhile over email before finally agreeing to get together.  I went, and he was so tentative.  He didn't touch me, not even in a joking manner. We used to wrestle around all the time, it was part of our silly dynamic.  It took him about 3 hours into a 5 hour first time visit to ask me if I'd dated anyone since we stopped.  He sat on the couch while we watched a movie, I sat on the floor.  It was strange, but I understood. I hugged him before I left, and he hugged me back.  We bridged a tiny gap. 

This time he relaxed a bit.  We played around like before, goofing off.  He laid with his head on my lap during a movie, I laid my head on his legs later on.  We hugged again before I left, and like last time he told me "Let me know when you want to get together again."  He keeps putting it in my lap.  He's still too cautious to take that back.  But it was better. 

I feel so weirdly comfortable in his house.  He'd gotten a dog since we last saw each other, an 8 month old puppy.  I'm madly in love with her and she loves me.  He also still has his two birds, fish, and two lizards.  Quite a little menagerie! 

I don't get it because on the surface, he is totally not my type.  Not physically, not personality wise.  He lives far away in a place I don't like, I don't even really like his neighborhood.  I know he would be a total 180 in a relationship than anything I've ever dealt with before. 

Do you know how weird it is to spend 5 hours and 7 hours, respectively, with someone you used to date, you used to spend the night with, and not kiss?  It is incredibly weird.  We are both so careful this time around.  Him because I've burned him before, and me because still, I don't know what I want from this.  I am so caught up in what I think I should want, and what others would think, and I'm obsessing over shallow, stupid nonsense like his hat and his height. 

A small, scary part of me wants to just say screw it all and go for it.  Trash all my preconceived notions of my physical preferences, and the personality I'm attracted to, and just throw myself into this and see what happens.  I never let my guard down with him before.  I know there's more to him.  Like me, he's been hurt before and he's protective.  He's also just a different, more introverted type.  I wonder what it would be like to stop over analyzing him, and me in relation to him, and the idea of an us.  I'm both intrigued and terrified.

I want to see if he really wants a relationship.  If he thinks we could ever be that.  But I can't ask, not until I know that I would be open to that.  I can't ask him to open up to me only to leave him hanging again. 

At the end of the day, I need to figure out what I want.  Do I want the charming, extroverted, well dressed, materialistic type who knows when and how to say all the right things, but never really follows through with them?  Who is great and shiny in the beginning, but once he "has" me, stops trying? 

Or do I want someone who may be kind of a disaster clothing wise, kind of shaggy and overgrown grooming wise, kind of quiet and succinct conversation wise, kind of slower to warm up to new situations and new people, but who does not make it a practice of hurting me?  Who, when confronted with criticism and concern offers the ways he could make it better or change.  Who shows me in tiny, minute ways that he's thinking of me.  Who doesn't give a damn what anyone else thinks.

I wish I had that in me.  I wish I could stop caring so much what other people thought.  I wish I could remember that anyone in my life who truly gives a damn will not be judging me by the scruff on my suitor's face, but by how he treats me, and if he makes me happy. 

I don't know where things are going with this someone.  I'm not saying he's someone I'm supposed to be with.  I don't know yet.  I just know that I don't want to rule him out just yet, and especially not for the bullshit reasons I did last time.  I want to see more of who he is.  I want to know more of how he is in a relationship.  I want to stick around and see what happens without talking myself out of anything.

I want to figure out what I want.


  1. Sometimes the guy who isn’t who you would typically go for, ends up being the best one. My current boyfriend is the same way in that, he’s not into materialistic things, he’s not enormously tall like everyone else I’ve dated (which I have to say, I like being able to easily kiss someone) and he isn’t going to do things in a way where society would expect (for the most part). When I get frustrated with this (because it’s not what I’m used to) I have to remind myself that what I was used to, didn’t work. Those relationships ended.

    This guy may be worth giving another shot! Also, I definitely have an introverted side and the biggest plus to that is that introverts are commonly more thoughtful and less needy and sometimes (a lot of times in my opinion) less maintenance.

    Also, I try and keep in mind that “should” is a very dirty word. You do what makes YOU happy – not what you think SHOULD make you happy or what other people think SHOULD make you happy.

    You will figure it out. Can’t wait to hear how it turns out! Keep us posted!

  2. What you said here is the key for me right now:
    "When I get frustrated with this (because it’s not what I’m used to) I have to remind myself that what I was used to, didn’t work. Those relationships ended." I am *CONSTANTLY* reminding myself of this.

    I also appreciate the sentiment that should is a dirty word. That may have to be my new mantra for the time being, LOL.

  3. You are going through what I did with the B and N thing.

    B was everything I should have wanted. N, with the shaved head, gritty way about him, lip ring, ripped up jeans, t-shirts and flip-flops is where I landed.

    I read your other entry, and it concerns me he doesn't think to ask about you getting home -or to offer for you to stay there - but I think if it progresses, you can openly talk about it.

    I think it boils down to, do you want charm or do you want depth? Do you want charm or do you want someone who -while he may not do it in a "traditional" way-deeply cares for you?

    You'll figure it out. :)

  4. It's funny because I should know from seeing this enough from friends that going for what I *think* I should want vs. something less expected can pay off. But it's harder to translate to my own life somehow. I get so, so tripped up on those shoulds, and like Ames said above, should is a dirty word!