Thursday, October 18, 2007

Date #7

I've blogged before about how I think MM's behavior has been somewhat inconsistent with that of someone who wants only a casual relationship. After our phone discussion following our date last night, I think I understand why. But first, to tell about the evening. . .
MM came over a little after 6:00; he got caught in traffic and was a little late (first time he's been late for a date). We had a very chill evening: just went out to Applebee's to get a bite to eat, then hung out and watched some TV at my place. And oh yeah, had sex three times.
MM met Sebastian, and he seemed to really like him. He is definitely allergic to C-Bass--his eyes were itchy & watery, and he got sneezy & sniffly--but his reaction wasn't nearly as bad as either of us had feared. C-Bass didn't seem to bother his asthma at all. . . . which, at least to me, was a much bigger concern than the minor symptoms MM had. I mean, I'm sure congestion and irritated eyes are bothersome, but nothing like an asthma attack.
He was at my place a total of a little over two hours. After he got home, he said his eyes were really irritated from Sebastian, but he felt that it was because he "petted Sebastian too much." He commented a few times about how cute C-Bass is. So the "meeting the dog" part of the evening went OK.
MM seemed so sniffly when he left that I called him about an hour after he'd left to see how he was feeling. We ended up getting into a deep conversation. He had told me during the date that he's been thinking of me a lot since last Saturday, and not even in a sexual way. (LOL) He also said that the more time he spends with me, the more he likes me. Both good things, right?
Well, on the phone, he said that he has been going through some inner turmoil in regard to his feelings for me. On the one hand, he believes that he wants what he told me he wants: no strings, no commitment. On the other hand, he sees real potential for a longer term relationship with me. He thinks I am a "quality person" who is "grounded" and real. From the sounds of it, he has starting to have feelings for me. . . . but he thinks it is too soon for him to have feelings for me ("we've only been out on 7 dates"), and he is finding the prospect more than a little scary. Also, he seems to be under some impression that, as I get to know him better, I'm not going to like him or want to be with him. Not quite sure where *that* is coming from. . .
He had alluded to the fact before, too (date #3), that he struggles with anxiety. He has never been treated in any way for it (and doesn't seem interested in that), but he admits that his anxiety is "irrational" and that it affects his sleep, his relationships, and even his work sometimes. In relation to this, he said that he feels comfortable with me most of the time, but occasionally feels anxious for no discernible reason.
Anyway, he freely admitted that these are all his issues that I am doing nothing to cause. After some discussion, we both agreed that we are doing everything right in the way we are managing our relationship: taking things slowly and getting to know one another before jumping into anything more involved. We are both happy with our current "arrangement," and he didn't say that he wanted to change it (nor did I).
I will be seeing him again on Saturday night. He wants to take me out to dinner at Buca di Beppo (a favorite of mine, though he doesn't know that--SL and I were going to host our wedding dinner there), and maybe out dancing afterwards. He has to volunteer at a work-related thing from 3 to 5 on Saturday, so he's going to come over to my place after that.
I continue to like him. Honestly, as he was talking about his feelings and his fears, I could relate. If I stop and think about "where this is going," I can freak myself out, too. I have really liked him since the first date, actually, and that has not been diminshed by the time we've spent together; if anything, it's increased. He is by no means a perfect person, but I certainly think we are compatible, and I love being with him. The fact that we have great sex together is an added benefit, I will admit. . . . but I'd still be with him without that. I can just tell he's good people. He's smart, he's funny, and it's obvious that he has a very healthy self-concept. (In retrospect, one of the bigger, more global problems with SL was that he had no self-esteem. It's hard to love someone who doesn't even love himself.) He challenges me a little bit, and I like that, too.
I could go on listing great characteristics of MM's, but it really just boils down to this: I like who he is, and I like who I am when I'm with him. To me, that's really what it's all about.
Could I feel differently about him in another 7 dates? Maybe, but I doubt it. He is actually making an effort to put most of his issues out there for me to see--a novel, but not unwelcome approach--and nothing I've heard so far has made me want to take a step back. I kind of get a sense that one of the reasons he tells me these unflattering things is to see the effect that my knowledge of them will have before he gets more emotionally involved.
Well, time will tell. Neither of us is in a hurry. It's all good. :-)