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The email banter with Alex the Architect increased during the week after our first date.

I can’t remember what the banter was about, but he obviously maintained my attention.

He told me he would like to see me again, and I secretly was dying to see him.

He was happy to fit me in for a quick drink after work before his sporting commitments, if I was free. Not exactly the most romantic of 2nd date invitations.

I apologized as I was feeling unwell that day, and did not want him to see me in anything but my best form.

Instead I suggested that he could keep me company for a drink the following Wednesday – I had to attend a client event, but had a few hours to spare between work and the event.

I imagine Alex laughed when he read my email as he quickly wrote back.

“I can’t believe you are fitting me in.”

Did he not do the same thing to me? Had this guy never heard the term ‘double standards’?

Again I was left waiting for him to arrive at a bar that Wednesday night. It was crazy how physically attracted to him I was as he walked in.

It was like my body was not responding to my head’s commands of “playing it cool” and I could not keep the stupid smile off my face as we ordered drinks.

He didn’t reciprocate.

Our conversation was light hearted and easy going.

It was just our second date and he already felt comfortable speaking about the potential future between us.

He would drop lines like “when you meet my friend…” and “Next time we should…”.

This kind of talk would usually have been running for the hills, but for some reason the need to flee did not engulf me.

In fact – to my surprise – I found the idea very tempting and just as I was getting comfortable with perhaps making this a more regular occurrence, he pulled the rug from under my feet and proclaimed his need for independence…

“Having just come out of a long term relationship”, he rationlised, “I want to be single for a loooooong time.”

Why the fuck would you put stupid ideas in my head then? Those ideas were definitely not there before he started talking about them!

He then changed the subject to get my advice on his approach of picking up ladies – he was interested in a female viewpoint on his technique.

What the fuck is going on here?

I can now see he was completely running the show. If we were in a boxing ring he would be dancing around me, like Ali, disorientating me with his quick footwork. He had much more experience in these mind games and I was completely out of my depth.

As I played along – giving him opinions on what I did and did not like in men’s approaches – he stopped and looked at me in awe – whether genuine or part of his game play, I will never know.

He quickly looked away and for the first time I think he almost blushed, “You are hitting the jackpot”, he told me, “You’re like one of the boys.”

I felt my stomach go hot and butterflies wake up…  At this moment, I realized that I started to care.

He brushed my hand, the first sign of any physical contact, and he asked me what type of men I was attracted to.

Either I was completely shit at this game or he was giving off some serious mixed signals.

My head started spinning, and after three glasses of wine I realized I was drunk… again…

Needing to sober up and attend my work function, he walked me out of the bar and hugged me goodbye.

“I’ll email you”, he told me.

Again not exactly the most romantic words to hear as a guy farewells you after a 2nd date.

I remember standing there as he walked away – confused, my vision blurred – thinking what the hell just happened?

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