The Year of Dating Dangerously (II)

#4

Next in line is the Irishman. Now this man and I have been corresponding happily for many months, but we’ve never met. We were just always out of sync. He was in a relationship for a while so we thought it best not to meet in person. However, he was willing to act as my dating / fashion advisor when I go out on dates. He is a laugh a minute, and our conversations via our cell phones are beyond hilarious. But eventually, he’s single again and we meet for supper. The man is seriously sexy, he oozes warmth and sensuality. He blows my mind with his wit and intelligence. We have a lovely evening. I am weak at the knees when he says goodbye with the sweetest little kiss one can imagine. I drive home rather shakily…. Despite meaning to meet again for “coffee and kisses”, we never have. We talk often, just to give and get updates on each other’s dating adventures. He’s become more than just a fashion advisor. He’s become my life coach!

#5

Fast forward another month or so, and I have a date with the Jaguar. We connected through music and sent each other interesting and sometimes obscure songs for quite a few weeks, communicating almost entirely through the music. When we meet, it confirms my impression that this is a most unusual man. He is dark and slim and handsome, and full of surprises. I can’t say anything about his job, in order to protect his identity, but I am fascinated by what he does, and how this is so different from the artistic, musical side I’d come to know. He is smooth and has impeccable manners, and he moves like a dancer, he has the grace of a jaguar. I’m quite nervous, though. We have coffee and talk for a long time. We say goodbye with a quick peck on the cheek and a hug. I think I might see him again… We continue our song exchange and I collect the most awesome music you could imagine. Several weeks later, we meet for lunch. I am still nervous. We talk about life and work and kids. He is so different from anyone I know. We say goodbye rather awkwardly after lunch, both thinking a little kiss might be appropriate, but in the end awkwardness prevails and eventually the songs and the sms’s dry up.

So back to base. This dating game is exhausting. I’m not sure I can keep it up. I’m feeling rather wobbly. Perhaps I should take a break. Besides, I have my best friend to hang out with, so I’m not lonely.

After a few weeks, I have recovered my strength and start corresponding again. After all, it’s a numbers game. I estimate that for every one potentially compatible person, there are nine nice but incompatible people out there. I’m only up to five. I’m halfway then…

#6

I get a message from someone who lives very far away from me. I’ll call him Mastermind, because somehow in a conversation I called him the mastermind of some plot, and the name stuck. My policy is normally to cut short communications from people who live too far away, nip it in the bud, so to speak, but somehow this man manages to slip past the perimeter guards and before I know it, I’m chatting to him on the phone like we’ve known each other for years. He is open and friendly and makes me laugh. I’m still not sure how he did it (perhaps this is the Mastermind at work), but the man persuades me to meet him halfway between his country and mine, in a city which happens to be my parents’ home. Not sure why, but I agree. He pays my plane ticket, and I know that this may well be interpreted as something else… But, no: we have an idyllic and innocent weekend, with no funny stuff. What a sweet man! Someone from similar background as mine, and I feel so comfortable sitting with him on a mountaintop in the wind, it’s all a bit unreal. At the end of the weekend, I fly home feeling decidedly bittersweet. It was good, and I’m glad I went. But the distance is just too great. I don’t believe I’ll see the Mastermind again. But we stay friends and chat often. Out of the blue, many months later, he is in my neck of the woods, and we go out and sit on a different mountain and feel unreal. “Holiday romance,” I keep reminding him, showing him a “V” sign with my fingers to indicate “vacation”. He smiles his cheeky smile and I feel grateful for this little oasis on my dating journey.

Onwards. Who’s next? Ah, the blind date.

#7

This was a rather odd date. An acquaintance says she knows someone that I might get along with. I’ve never been match-made before, but what the hell. Nothing to lose. So we arrange to meet for coffee. As I am walking towards the designated coffee shop, I get a message from the man, saying he’s bumped into a buddy, and they are sitting at a different place, but not to worry, the friend says I’m welcome to join them. I stop in my tracks. Crap. This is a tough one. Do I play the primadonna and throw a hissy fit and tell him he’s downright rude and walk away? Or do I play along and show how easy-going and cool I am? I hesitate. A blind date is hard enough as it is, without friends observing. Deep breath. I walk on and meet him and his friend. The man (I won’t bother with a nickname this time) is attractive, bright, interesting. The two of them chat happily about people they know and stuff they did and I am not really included. The friend makes an effort now and then to draw me into the conversation, and it could be said that it wasn’t unpleasant altogether. But after an hour, I decide to cut my losses and go. The message it clear. I shake his hand, I shake the friend’s hand, thank them for the nice time and walk away with my head held high. I never hear from him again, nor does he hear from me. I preferred his friend anyway, so there.

This is getting ridiculous. I should just give up and become a nun, but I don’t, I slog on. I’m nothing if not determined. I remind myself it’s a numbers game and I must be getting close to the jackpot.

#8

Next, I meet the Family Man. We meet for, guess what, lunch! We’re pretty comfortable with each other, given the fact that we’re complete strangers. He is rather adorable in an off-beat way. There is chemistry. This man attracts kids like the Pied Piper. He says he not only has his own three but also his ex’s two kids with him most weekends. I find it endearing. After a couple of hours, we say goodbye with a fond hug. I think I’ll probably see him again. We do go out again, and again, and again, for a couple of weeks. I enjoy his company, his outrageous stories, his sense of humour. But then I bail. A bit suddenly, I fear, but I realise better now than later. I just don’t see a future here. I’m sad, he’s sad, but we part amicably enough and have stayed in touch.

I lick my wounds and stay offline for a good few weeks. “I’m done with dating,” I tell the Biker. “No more, I can’t do this. Enough.” He gives me an ironic smile. “I’ve heard that one before, bun. Give it a few weeks and you’ll be at it again.” I shake my head, no, no, no…

But, he’s right, as usual, and a while later I’m drawn back in.

(Continued here…)

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