The third date with My Gentleman was a marathon of some eleven and a half hours.
The initial plan was a drive to a cute coastal town, go for a stroll through the markets, grab some lunch down there.
It was low stress (a big deal for my introvert heart), comfortable, easy. Chatting randomly about nothing in particular and everything.
We stopped for a glass of champagne (me) and beer (him) at the town’s only pub after lunch, sat in the beer garden surrounded by trees, glimpses of the river.
After the drive home to mine, we ventured out onto my deck in the cool afternoon, drank more champagne, talked around a range of topics, gently learning how we each see the world.
The date reinforced the impressions I have of MG so far: He’s genuinely lovely, smart, interesting, and very solicitous and considerate in ways that are uber-gentlemanly. Holding the car door for me, offering to go back to the car for my sweater when he thought I might be cold, noticing when my glass was empty, offering to carry my things. I especially like when someone serves me drinks in my own home even though I’m the host. All of those.
There were some moments of annoying conversational behaviour that I’ve not struck in a long time in dating situations (offering solutions to problems I don’t have when I’m just sharing something, interrupting me to ‘correct’ me over word usage in a larger conversation). But when I drew his attention to it, he immediately acknowledged it, apologised, promised to do better. I get a lot of insight into someone when I see how they react to me asking them not to do something I don’t like. He handled it with grace.
It was getting dark and he asked if I’d like to get dinner. I wasn’t ready to let go of him yet, so we went out locally. It was too cold by then to sit on the restaurant’s deck overlooking the beach. We sat beside the fire instead. Light dinner, more chat.
The time went quickly, which is always a good sign.
When we got home, we ended up with some old-school kissing on the couch. Chaste, sweet. I felt like I was reaching for something inside me to wake up, but even after all of that time together, I couldn’t find it. Not his fault. I can’t put my finger on why exactly. There is ‘something’ I need that I’m not getting to light that spark. This is true even though I like him.
I’ve said before several times that I’m like a brick wall, that I need my man to be emotionally fearless as a counter to that, and it’s a big ask.
Way back when, I wrote this about things not working with Bambi which is a pretty good description of what I mean:
Emotionally, I am reserved and cautious, which is why I like the dreamy-eyed boys who brim over with unrealistic optimism and flights of fancy. They throw a palette of wildly-coloured open emotionality at my feet, and I toss pebbles into it and watch the colours swirl, and when I have an idea how the ripples flow, when I know how deep it is, I will finally finally dive in.
[He was] actually more like me than not; reserved, self contained, logical, rational. So emotionally we were kind of like two brick walls with a big void between us. I thought I could find a way to crack the barrier, get under it, dig around, bring out something more. I was reluctant to give up on him. But I couldn’t touch more than the surface.
My complement is (unsurprisingly) hard to find in grown men who are encouraged to stifle any such behaviour from a young age if they show it.
That being as it may, MG and I confirmed that we’d like to see each other again. I feel like if I can hit the right note, maybe something will open up. We shared a long hug goodbye, he said he’d miss me.
There were a couple of sweet post-date texts but he didn’t specifically suggest another time to get together. I thought maybe he was giving me room to initiate, which I was happy to do.
But then I got a long email from him in my inbox…