208.0 (not bad for the morning after Cheesecake Factory)
I'm not even quite sure where to begin. MM and I had a fun third date last night: short, compared to our first two dates. We met for dinner, chatted (& made out) in the car for a while, then got ice cream. On the whole, I would say things went well. Unlike our first two dates, though, there were a few times when each of us felt a little awkward. . . . he asked me a question or two that I felt a bit uncomfortable answering and the reverse was also true.
The interesting thing was that we acknowledged our awkward feelings and talked about it. To me, it is unusual the way I feel that we can talk about just about anything openly. I tend to be quite straightforward myself, but I know that that communication style does not work well for many men.
There will no doubt be some reading this entry who will disagree with my decision, but I'm going to have sex with him on Friday when I go to his place for the evening. Honestly, I no longer see what there is to be gained by waiting. It has been several months since I had sex at all, and I hadn't had really satisfying sex in nearly a year prior to that (long story). Even though MM is not my usual physical type, he is in good shape and really turns me on. I suppose it's open to debate whether any man who showed interest would turn me on at this point--LOL--but I doubt it because that's never been true before. It is growing increasingly hard for me to deny myself, and I don't see the point, particularly in light of our later conversation. So I'm just going to do him. LOL
I came to this decision about the sex thing during the date. After we parted ways to drive home, I called him, hoping to gain a little insight into how things would shake out if we slept together by asking him about what he would do to me in bed. This conversation started out as a fun, light chat and somehow morphed into a (way premature) talk about "where this is going." Aye, aye, aye.
Even though we both thought it was too soon to be discussing this, I'm glad we did. The bottom line: he is looking to keep things casual; apparently he has had some bad luck with his last few relationships. He says he has engaged in a pattern of getting attached quickly and then getting hurt when things go south. (Note: I can totally relate.) He is satisfied with his life as it is now, but wants someone he can hang out and have a good time with. He is not wholly opposed to getting more deeply involved eventually, but he's not looking for that specifically and not soon. He wants someone in his life, but doesn't want a "girlfriend."
MM told me that he had assumed that, given the fact that I'd be engaged until earlier this year, I was not looking for anything serious at the moment either. He figured I wouldn't want to get right into another relationship after ending a serious and long-term relationship like that so recently.
As he was explaining all this to me, I realized that, though I wanted to know what his expectations were, I wasn't totally clear on what mine are. Upon further reflection, I've realized that I've very seldom casually dated anyone. Usually things progress very rapidly after the first few dates once the man and I realize there is something there worth pursuing. For example, SL and I were seeing each other 3-4 times a week within a couple of weeks of our first date (and talking daily on the phone). The same could be said of the other two longer relationships I had with men in my 20's: RC, who I lived with and dated from '94 to '96, moved in with me after we'd been dating for a month; and I was seeing RD, who I dated in '00, 3-4 times a week by the 3rd or 4th date.
I will say that I think there is some merit to keeping things light and casual. I am not looking to jump feet-first right into a new relationship. I like MM; I enjoy his company and the time we spend together, and I think I will enjoy sex with him (though I'll know after Friday). I'd like to get to know him better before I make any kind of commitment and before I allow my emotions to get deeply involved. At this point, there is what could be called friendship and lust between us. . . . and while I know this can sometimes evolve into more, it doesn't have to.
Is there anything wrong with knowing that this is what the relationship will be? I have a full life without MM in it: I don't *need* him. Seeing him once or twice a week and talking occasionally when it's convenient, with no commitment from either of us, should be just what the doctor ordered.
My only real reservation about this kind of arrangement is that I generally prefer exclusivity with someone I'm having sex with. But I don't believe it would be appropriate for me to ask him for exclusivity after 3-4 dates anyway. By definition, the kind of relationship MM has described would not be a commitment, and we would both be free to pursue other people, if the opportunity arose. He says that he thinks it is unlikely that he would actively seek out anyone else to date, so long as things were going well between us, but doesn't want to promise that he wouldn't pursue someone if the opportunity happened to present itself. For my part, I feel the same: I tend to be single-minded when I'm dating someone. On the other hand, keeping the option of dating others open could be a good thing. Who knows what might happen?
In any event, I'm a big girl. I should be able to handle sleeping with MM, even knowing that the possibility that he might date someone else--however unlikely--is out there.
Coincidentally, J sent me a text message toward the end of my conversation with MM, saying he hoped the date was going well. I replied once we hung up, and J called me immediately back. So he got an earful about all this, as I was still trying to process everything in my mind. For what it's worth, J thinks it was a good thing we had this talk (though premature), and doesn't see anything wrong with the way things are going. He'd be the first to admit that his perspective is likely not that of the typical male, but it's a male perspective nonetheless.
So we'll see. I suppose I'm not really in a different position than I would have been had MM and I not discussed all this; he would have still had the same feelings regardless. I believe it's a good thing to know where he's at in his head, though. And I'm looking forward to sex with him on Friday. ;-) I know, I know: I'm bad.