Two Dates In Two Weeks

Back in late January, not long after my last post, I started emailing with someone on a popular online dating website (reminder: my old boss/friend gave me the remaining paid time on his account). The online guy (hereafter called Online Guy in this post) and I had similar values (like education and not rushing into sex) and some overlapping interests (like anime and boy bands), so we were able to connect on both superficial and deeper levels. We emailed back and forth every day for a couple weeks before I asked him to come visit me at my school and have a lunch date.

Online Guy and I met around noon at the center of campus on an unusually beautiful sunny Saturday in early February. Because we already had talked about many different topics by email, it felt like I was meeting a friend rather than a stranger. There wasn’t any initial awkwardness that usually accompanies an online date (or any date for that matter). I took Online Guy to my usual spot on campus for lunch. We sat outside and had paninis and coffee. We then went up to the top of the campus clock tower to get a view of the entire campus.

We walked and talked for quite a while. At some point, Online Guy mentioned that he traveled to Europe a few times and always enjoyed going to museums there, so I took him to a large museum on campus (my school has a really big campus). We looked at nearly everything in the museum until the museum closed. We made our way back to the center of campus, where we sat on a bench in the middle of a large open field and talked for another hour. Eventually, I walked Online Guy back to his car. The date ended around 6pm with a hug and an exchange of phone numbers. It was a great day.

Only about an hour or two later, Online Guy texted me, saying how much he enjoyed the day, and that we should get together again soon. We ended up making plans that evening to meet the following Saturday. We had just finished one date and made plans for second one almost immediately!

Online Guy lives somewhere between my school and The City. Since he drove to see me at my school, I figured the second date should be in The City. We both had the same idea to meet at a particular Japanese restaurant for lunch. I found out later that driving from his house to either my school or The City takes half an hour, whereas it takes me two hours to take the bike/train/subway to The City. Oh well. The City is more interesting than my school anyway.

The second date seemed even more comfortable (less awkward) than the first date (which already wasn’t awkward at all). We ordered our favorite dish from the Japanese restaurant (we both had the same favorite dish) and caught each other up on the events of the previous week. We both have an incredible sweet tooth, so we each had two desserts (ice cream crepes and cupcakes) after lunch. Online Guy then took me to a few Japanese discount stores (like dollar stores with exclusively Japanese stuff) and bookstores that he likes to frequent whenever he’s in the area. At some point, I remember thinking that the date felt more like two friends on a routine shopping trip than a date (not that that’s bad necessarily).

Online Guy drove us back to his neighborhood, where we had a third dessert (boba) for the day. At the end of the day, again around 6pm, Online Guy drove me to the train station. The next train was scheduled to arrive only a few minutes later, so we awkwardly hugged in his car before we parted ways. While I was still on the train, Online Guy texted me again, saying how much he enjoyed the day.

From our conversations, I knew that he was busy for the following two weekends, so we didn’t make plans to meet up right away. In the end, we never made plans again. While Online Guy and I got along really well, I never felt a spark between us. Perhaps if we had met under different circumstances (not on an online dating website), maybe we would have been good friends. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like there was any romantic potential. I never initiated another conversation, and neither did he. As Valentine’s Day was only a few days after our second date, I texted him “Happy Valentine’s Day” (I wanted to send an e-card or something, but I ran out of time that day), and he replied “Back at ya,” and that was it.

My New Years resolution was to go on two dates in the entire year, not necessarily with the same person. Even though nothing came out of my time with Online Guy, I can at least say that I went on two dates in two weeks, both before the middle of February, and both with the same person! That’s progress, right?

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Saturday Will Be Date Night

Making resolutions seems to get harder every year. Last year, I only had one:

1. I would like to finish another book this year. I cheated a little last year because I had a specific book in mind when I made the resolution. I was already eagerly waiting to read it. I want to see how I do if I don’t specify the book. Finding a book to read will be part of the challenge. If I can do this one, maybe I’ll up the 2012 resolution to two books!

I did read a book last year! I read the complete Bone graphic novel. It’s not a major work of literature, but it is a 1300 page epic with an amazing story and both depth and humor. Once I started, it was hard to put down. I finished it in about a week in September, which is pretty fast for me, even for a graphic novel.

For my new resolutions:

1. I would like to make an effort to spend time away from my office. When I’m studying/working, it’s so easy to spend every night, seven days a week, in my office until 12am or later. Whenever I spend even just an evening with my friends and/or family, I remember what it’s like to take a break from work. As much as I enjoy what I do, I need to find the balance between work and non-work.

2. Related to the previous resolution, I need to be more social. It’s been a long time since I went out on a date. I tried online dating a few years ago, but it didn’t go anywhere (partly because I didn’t drive on the freeway at the time). My old boss/friend (who now has a boyfriend) gave me the remaining paid time for his account for a popular online dating website, so I should use it. My goal for the year is to go on two dates, not necessarily with the same person. Two dates doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a big deal for me.

Even my advisor told me not to come in to the office on Saturdays, so maybe Saturday will be “date night,” or at least “social night.”

I’ll try to add more resolutions if I think of any. I graduate with my second master’s degree in five months, so this will be a year of change, regardless of what resolutions I make. It should be interesting to see what I’ll be doing at this time next year.

Text Dating

Last week, only an hour before my date with the second online guy, the first online guy text messaged me. It was Wednesday, and not a single day had gone by since the previous Friday without either a phone call or text message from him. I was starting to get annoyed. At first he asked how I was doing, but then he asked what I was doing for the evening, which I felt was getting creepy. Does he need to know what I’m doing all the time?

I politely responded to his messages. I was generally curt and didn’t really ask him questions, but he kept text messaging back. Eventually, he asked if we could “talk for a bit.” I thought that maybe he sensed my apathy and wanted to see what I was feeling, so I called him. No, I was wrong. He really just wanted to talk. About nothing. For forty minutes. I really didn’t care what he had for dinner, and I found it a little creepy that he asked what I had. He was asking almost as if we were officially dating (going steady). I don’t even talk to my best friends every day!

About 15-20 minutes before my date with the second online guy, I abruptly cut off my phone call (if I hadn’t, I’m sure he would have rambled on for hours). I must have been too nice to let him continue to talk to me for so long, because I was really not in the mood to talk to him. I guess I’m just not good at telling him what I really think.

The next day (Thursday), he text messaged me again, this time during lunch. He said he was at Third Street (Promenade) eating lunch. He asked how I was doing and hoped that I was having a good day. By this point, I decided I definitely did not want to get to know him any better, let alone have a second date. His “no pressure” approach certainly felt like a lot of pressure.

I initially replied to his text messages in a timely manner to be polite, but I eventually let this last text message go unreplied. My work bestie told me that replying quickly only shows that I’m also interested, so if I take a long time to respond (or don’t respond at all), then he would get the hint. Of course, she was right; he got the hint. I haven’t heard from him since that message. I felt bad at first for ignoring him like that, but I didn’t feel as bad as I should have had I really cared that much (that sounds like a confusing sentence, but it makes sense in my head).

Anyway, as the previous post indicated, the date with the second online guy went well. I deliberately refrained from any communication with him since our date. My plan was to wait a week and then invite him to see a movie or something, continuing to keep the date/friend situation vague. I was pleasantly surprised today (less than a week) when he text messaged me and asked how my weekend went. I’m glad he waited until after the weekend to contact me; it tells me that he’s not overly eager but he’d still like to hang out.

After a few text messages back and forth, I asked him if he wanted to see a movie later in the week. He said yes! We’re set to see Julie & Julia on Thursday night!

It’s funny. Last week, whenever my phone alerted me of a text message, I feared that it was another message from the first online guy. Today, I anxiously awaited replies from the second online guy (it didn’t help that I was getting messages from other friends interspersed throughout our texting conversation). I think it’s pretty clear which guy I like better.

Second Online Guy

My date with the second online guy was good! We met up at the cafe inside a local bookstore around 8:15pm (this was two evenings ago). Since my date had come straight from work, I figured he hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so we went to California Pizza Kitchen instead of having coffee. Both of my dates this week were supposed to be coffee dates but turned into dinner dates!

While we were waiting to be seated for dinner, there was a woman with a stroller trying to leave the restaurant and was struggling to open the door. My date jumped up in the middle of our conversation and held the door open for her. After she left, he sat back down and continued talking as if nothing had happened. What a nice guy!

We had a nice dinner with good conversation, but it felt more like dinner with a friend than a romantic date. It’s possible that our meeting wasn’t meant to be romantic at all; the wording in our emails is vague. We shook hands at the end of the night (no hug). This situation is completely fine with me, though. He seems like a really nice person, so I can definitely see being friends with him.

There’s actually a new/recent movie that we both want to see. I’m considering inviting him to see it with me sometime next week. Turning my date into a friend would be a great outcome of this online dating thing!

One last thing: he paid for dinner! I didn’t pay on either date this week!

First Online Guy

I was barely at work for an hour yesterday and my boss had managed to stress me out. It’s gotten to the point where she only has to instant message me with a simple sentence and I will feel terrible for the whole day. That coupled with freaking out about my date made for a very painful day. I almost thought of cancelling my date for fear that I wouldn’t be in the mood to meet someone for the first time. Luckily, I didn’t feel nearly as stressed after I got off work.

I met my date (the first online guy in the previous post) at Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. I initially asked him to coffee/tea (easier to escape if the date went badly), but it was only about 6:45pm when we met, so we ended up eating dinner together. We had Fatburger. I had never been to Fatburger before; it was really good, even though it’s clearly not a date place. We ate outside and watched the passersby (Have you ever noticed how strange the pluralization of passerby is? Weird!). Oh, and if you’re wondering, he paid for dinner!

After walking along Third Street for a while (stopping to check out the various street performers), we headed down to Santa Monica Pier. It was around sunset, so the view of the ocean was just beautiful. We ended up sitting on a bench at the end of the pier overlooking both the ocean and the city. At the end of the night (around 10pm), he walked me to my car (all the parking lots down there look the same, so I easily could have gotten lost if I was by myself) and gave me a hug before we parted ways.

The date went very well. Santa Monica is a great place for a first date (or any date for that matter). Even still, I don’t know if I like the guy in the dating sense. I think we could be friends, but I don’t currently feel like we could be more.

He, however, seems to like me a lot. As I was driving home last night, he texted me asking for me to text him when I got home safely (I live farther from Santa Monica than he does). Then today, around lunchtime, he texted me asking how my day was going and what I had eaten for lunch (creepy). After a few replies back and forth, he asked me if I was doing something on Saturday. I told him I was busy (I really might be!), and he sent this: “I had a good time yesterday and would like to see you again. When is a good day/time?”

If I felt the same way he does, then maybe I wouldn’t mind setting up a second date so soon after the first date, but this was a little (way way way) too fast for me. I was freaking out. I didn’t want to set up definite plans so quickly, but I didn’t want to be mean and shoot him down either. I don’t want to be a heartbreaker!

I’m not sure which is worse: being heartbroken or being the heartbreaker. I’ve felt sort of like a heartbreaker before (a totally different story for perhaps another time), and I possibly felt worse than being rejected by someone I liked. I don’t know if I can handle this whole dating thing.

I called both my sister (I love that I can call her about this!) and my work bestie and asked them what to do. They both agreed that I was probably reading too much into it. A second date isn’t a commitment, only another chance to get to know someone better.

The guy sensed my hesitation from the fact that I didn’t text back right away, so he texted me again with: “If you don’t want to it’s cool. Just tell me.” I felt bad, and I didn’t necessarily want to burn the bridge right away. I told him it would be nice to hang out again but that next week is better and I would let him know then. He replied: “Sure. No worries. I am a very no pressure sort of guy. Just want to make sure you are comfortable. That is all.”

Obviously, he’s a really nice guy. Who knows, maybe I’m only hesitating because I’ve never been on a second date before. Everything seems to be moving very quickly, but I really don’t want to rush into anything (I fear change). I still have a date with the second online guy tomorrow night!

Online Dating

A few days before her last day at work (this was about a week and a half ago), my work bestie created a profile for me on a free online dating website. I had tried online dating before with not much luck, but I decided not to delete the profile since my work bestie really wanted me to use it. Before I knew it, I was emailing back and forth with two guys. By the end of the week, one of them asked for my number and the other gave me his!

The first online guy text messaged me on Friday afternoon (while I was still at work) asking if I had time to talk. I called him back as I left work, and we were on the phone for over an hour. We talked about a whole range of topics, including ex-boyfriends (his, since I don’t have any), driving (he, like me, was also scared of driving for a long time), marriage (he doesn’t want to get married, I haven’t decided), children (he wants a child in the very near future, I’m undecided on when), and our life goals (he has very defined goals, whereas I don’t). It was a very loaded first phone call.

Honestly, I’m not a big phone person; I’d rather just meet and talk in person. He’s out of town this weekend, so we made tentative plans to meet early next week. But he called me up again last night, as he was on his way to hang out with some friends. I was on the phone with him for another forty minutes while he was driving. Did I mention I’m not a big phone person? Anyway, after the two phone calls, I already have my hesitations about this guy (but his profile picture is pretty cute, and talking to him via email was very easy and natural), so we’ll see what happens when we actually meet.

The second online guy text messaged me yesterday (Saturday) afternoon. I asked him to a coffee date sometime this week; we’ll probably meet Wednesday night (I’m actually texting with him as I’m writing this). We haven’t talked on the phone yet (might be a good thing), but from what I can tell, he seems like a really nice guy. Also, my work bestie thinks he’s cuter than the first guy (at this point I’m undecided).

As I had mentioned a long time ago, I honestly gave up on finding love. I don’t know if online dating will give me hope or reinforce my bachelorhood, but I’m really nervous!

The Price

Ever since I passed the first actuarial exam, I feel like I haven’t moved forward with any of my plans. I got a job at Target right away, and now I’m busy and tired all the time. Though I’m having fun at Target, other aspects of my life have come to a halt. I barely even have time to check my email and update this blog.

I already have all the study materials I need for the next actuarial exam. I had hoped to study on my time off from working at Target, but I’m so exhausted when I finish my shifts that I don’t want to do anything but relax. If my tiredness continues throughout the next few months, my chances of passing (or even taking) the next exam will be slim.

Romance has also been put on hold. I’m pretty sure my online dating guy isn’t interested in me, but we still email back and forth. Unfortunately, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t emailed him back in almost a week (which is a long time for us). Emailing with my online dating guy is basically my only interaction with any gay boys right now. I don’t have enough time or energy to find a boy. I feel like I’m not a very good gay.

An added problem at the moment is that my family’s annual Christmas party is only a few days away (my family celebrates on Christmas Eve). A lot of my relatives are expected to come, so I’m supposed to help clean the house and make it look presentable. Since my brother can’t lift heavy objects, I have to do the physical work, even after working all day.

As I’ve mentioned multiple times, I love working at Target. I always feel like I’m doing good work, and I love helping the guests find what they’re looking for. Sometimes life outside Target is so stressful that I’d prefer to be working over having a day off. But I can’t escape life forever. The price is too high.