The Time I Wasn’t Actually Dumped

In previous posts, I’ve been mentioned the girl from my office who I like a lot.  However, as time has passed, I’ve found it more difficult to try pursue anything with her.  She rarely seems to express interest in me, though she is the one who kissed me on our second date.  I tried to decipher her intentions of sitting near my desk at work one time, a handful of late night IMs and perhaps purposefully walking by my desk at the of the day on a Friday.  All of those events may have been signals that we should continue things or they may have just been me seeing signs that weren’t there.  So, because I’m uncomfortable trying to express any type of romantic interest while physically in the office, I’m pretty much placing her on the back burner.  It’s been three weeks since we went out for a second time and she’s showed no interest in spending time with me, despite a handful of my own subtle attempts to ask her out (“Let me know if you’re at all interested in getting a bite this weekend” “Will do!”).

But then something serendipitous happened.

At the beginning of February, before I started this blog, I thought I was dumped by a girl, a Grad Student, after two dates.  She had sent me a text saying she wanted to cancel our third date.  She “wasn’t feeling it” and said she had to settle some personal issues — I took that as an “it’s not you, it’s me” break up line.  I liked her a lot, she intrigued me, but I wasn’t completely heartbroken — things are always easier if they reject you early on.  I ended up trying hard to look on the bright side and moved on fairly quickly despite two nights of mild depression about it.

Fast forward five weeks.  I get a text message from Grad School Girl on a Saturday night.

Grad School Girl: “Hey! What are you up to tomorrow?”

Me: “Hi! Actually a friend is in town from the East Coast and we’re doing brunch tomorrow, but I should be free after 1 pm.  What’s up?”

Grad School Girl: “Gotcha! I wanted to see if you were interested in farmers-marketing in the AM but perhaps another time. (I’ve resolved [some of the personal things I was going through] and would love to hang out if you’re still down 🙂 )”

Me: “I’ll have to take a rain check” … “But let’s hangout sometime soon”

Grad School Girl: “Sounds good.”

Okay, so for the five weeks preceding this conversation, I was very confident this girl had dumped me and moved on.  I was now pursuing Office Girl and had come to terms that she wasn’t interested in me.  But, to be honest, I was still really attracted to Grad Student Girl.  She was smart, extremely talented, witty and gorgeous.  We actually texted a few more times that night, just catching up a little bit.  But soon after, I got sucked into work (and was in the process of giving up on Office Girl) and didn’t actually officially follow up on meeting up with Grad School Girl — I had already spent weeks training myself not to think about her.  So three weeks later she sends me another text while I’m literally on my way to the airport asking if I was free that night.  I wasn’t, but I promised I would let her know when I got back to the west coast I would reach out to her.

So early last week I returned to San Francisco and sent her a text setting up dinner.  She’s vegan, so I threw out a vegan restaurant and we agreed to meet there.  Dinner was a little awkward, since it was kind of like a first date but also kind of like a third date.  We had gone on two dates at the end of January / beginning of February over the course of 6 days and then hadn’t spoken for over a month.  After a bit, we started developing something of a report, catching up on the issues she had worked through as well as some of my own personal chaos.  We wrapped up dinner pretty quickly, which I surreptitiously paid for while she was in the bathroom (she wanted to split it, which I like, but sometimes I like to pay — especially since she’s a student and I have a full time job).

She quickly suggested drinks and we wandered around the neighborhood a bit looking for a bar we might like.  After accidentally going into a lesbian bar, we found a crowded Irish pub where I got a beer and she had a whiskey.  We got into more deeper topics while we were there and, I think, for the first time had a slightly deeper connection than our previous conversations, which I felt good about.  Two drinks later, she suggests we go back to her apartment and have one more drink and who am I to say ‘no’ to a question like that?

We actually end up going back to my place where I open a bottle of wine.  We spend the next 2-3 hours taking turns playing my guitar — she has an incredible voice and writes beautiful songs, compared to my amateur self taught mimicry of Mumford and Sons.  I don’t remember exactly how she made the move, but at some point she ended up sitting very close to me and she leaned in and kissed me.  I had spent the past hour trying to figure out how I could find a way to kiss her, but I suppose she was feeling more aggressive than me.  We kissed several more times.  I considered pushing things forward, but decided not to considering how much she had to drink.  I didn’t want this to become a drunken mistake, I wanted it to be a beautiful night.  It was at least 2 am and she said that she should probably head out soon and I subtly responded implying that she should spend the night.  We kept getting distracted by conversation and by 3 am, we’re both exhausted and literally falling asleep.  As she doses off, I tell her we should just go to bed.  We curled up in my bed (clothed) and both fell into a drunken sleep.

At 8 am, I got up to get us glasses of water and when I got back to the bedroom she was getting ready to leave.  Had she been interested in staying I might have offered to make breakfast.  But she needed contact solution and things to do, so she got her things together and headed for the door.  I kissed her goodbye and she was gone.

Texting & Pacing Things Early On

I feel like I was born at a strange point in history in that I kind of sit between two generations of people: callers and texters.  Granted, I think most people under the age of 35 use text messaging with some frequency, I think there’s a divide somewhere around people currently under the age of 26-27 and older folks as the older of the two groups tend to have a general understanding that there are times you call and times you text.  The younger generation, however, seems to prefer texting above all — unless they’re calling mom and dad, whose texts are so riddled with typos it’s easier to just have a full blown conversation.

Since moving to San Francisco, I’ve gone out with three girls, 1-3 years younger than me.  In each case, the girls would tell me to text them — not call them.  I’m not a big believer in the “3 day rule” so I generally text the next day after a good date to tell them that I’m thinking of them and had a good time last night.  In fact, sometimes I’ll send a text or two after getting home from the date if we left things on a particularly high note.  But I find text messaging to be really fragmented and it’s tough after a while to really hold a conversation over it.  At some point, I’d rather just call and ask a girl what she’s up to then sit on my couch and meditate over exactly how I should phrase every single text message I send.

But calling a girl, especially one in her early twenties has become taboo — it’s playing things to aggressively.  But at the same time, I feel like I can’t quite get the rhythm of texting someone I don’t know very well — it’s too hard to know if they get when I’m joking or being serious.  So after a while, I feel like I lose texting steam.  I’d so much rather talk to them in person or on the phone.  This gets worse between dates #2 and #3.  I’m at that point with a girl right now and I feel like by not talking to her during the week, I’m hurting the chances that things will take off between us.  I’d rather sustain the momentum somehow.  Just not over text.

Am I the only one who has this problem?  How do you keep the fire burning between dates?  Especially when a girl only tends to be free on Friday and Saturday nights due to hectic work schedules.  If I see her on one Friday and hope to see her the next Friday, how often do I need to send her messages in the meantime to ensure that whatever spark might’ve been there the first date will still be there the second date?

I’m getting too old for this shit.