#83

I went approximately 6 months without going on a first date, which I believe is my longest streak since Tinder Tom popped my app cherry 5 years ago.

Last Monday, I went out with a Hinge guy (who knows the boyfriend of my coworker) on what I think might have been my most grownup date ever. I trekked all the way up to the UWS (I’m so nice!), where we got dinner and negronis at a lil Italian place, and then saw a jazz show even further uptown. I ordered an old fashioned and then a manhattan and was feeling fancy af. He walked me to the subway and we shared a delicate kiss goodbye. He seems nice and smart and funny, and he says he only wears red socks—quirky! He’s in China for two weeks, but maybe he’ll ask me out when he’s back.

I’m in no rush, and in the meantime am trying to figure out how to successfully slide into the DM of a very funny, very minor Instagram celebrity. Tips welcome!!!

P.S. Despite Venus Retrograde, I haven’t heard from Diet Coke Dealer, which I think is for the best.

P.P.S. How do you know if a couple you met at a dinner party is hitting on you for a possible threesome, or just genuinely wants to be friends? And if it’s the former, how do I successfully friendzone them?

#82

Diet Coke Dealer forgot that we had made plans to hang out on Labor Day, my saddest day of every year as I return from my San Diego vacation. I asked him to call me instead, and he said he would after dinner with his mom, but he never did. I didn’t hear from him at all that week. I called him that Friday night, and he didn’t answer that or the follow-up text I sent. On Sunday night, I texted: “If you insist on ignoring me, then I can only assume this is over.”

The next morning, as I was leaving barre class, he texted me. He said his uncle had a stroke and he went to Connecticut without his phone (I doubt the latter, but didn’t bring it up). He also said he hasn’t been doing well lately, and has been really sad and can’t seem to shake it. Having already experienced the Depression-Dumping on multiple occasions (see: Army Spy, Mr. Pineapple, Neighbor Boy), I thanked him for finally responding, wished him the best, and told him that I liked him a lot but understood this probably wouldn’t work out. He thanked me, told me he liked me a lot too, and said he hoped he could see me again. I told him I hoped for that too, but he’d have to be the one to reach out. He agreed. After a bit more texting and a lot more crying, I went to work. It was an awful day. On Tuesday, I couldn’t stop thinking about our 20-minute text conversation, how there might have been some miscommunication, and how I’d feel a lot better if we could talk on the phone. After work, I texted him (clarifying that this was not me reaching out, but requesting a continuation of the previous day’s chat) saying that I didn’t like having meaningful conversations over text and asked if he’d be open to a quick phone call sometime soon. It’s normal for him to take forever to respond—or sometimes, not respond at all—so I’m not getting my hopes up that he ever will. Either way, sending that text and asking for what I needed instantly made me feel so much better.

Diet Coke Dealer had the most red flags of anyone I’ve ever dated, and I know deep down we’re not supposed to end up together, so it’s probably best if he actually never reaches back out. Still, we had a lot of fun together, and I hope he can get a handle on figuring out his life. Also, I’ll miss his cats.

In the meantime, I don’t plan on re-downloading any apps until after I return from my solo trip to Finland in mid-October.

#81

Diet Coke Dealer and I have still been seeing each other, although not as frequently as I had once hoped. Mercury Retrograde was a doozy, and had me going back and forth on whether it was completely over or if I should woman up and have The Conversation. Knowing that I’d soon be gone for 10 days of family vacation, I decided on Sunday that I needed some answers in case my Grandma asked if I was ever getting married.

After a delightful Crazy Rich Asians date (my plan, obvi), we were walking down my block when we were greeted by some very loud, very danceable West African music (a DCD fave) [I also don’t know what the exact genre is called, so apologies for being culturally insensitive!]. We could see there was a party going on, and the guy hanging out at the side gate confirmed. DCD asked if there was dancing, the guy said yes, and suddenly we’re in a stranger’s backyard being offered food and drink at what we later discover is someone’s birthday party. We were there for about an hour, where we danced (after I more or less chugged a few cups of prosecco), mingled, and forced some delicious Nigerian rice into our already-full stomachs. In classic DCD fashion, he wowed everyone with his dance moves, to the point where people were recording videos and asking where he was from because he couldn’t possibly be American. LOL

But the best part of our party-crashing was how every woman we met (all two of them) immediately asked if we were boyfriend and girlfriend, or married. We awkwardly responded “I don’t know,” and he asked if he was in trouble. I told him he wasn’t but that we’d obviously be discussing it later. Thank you, fairy godmothers!!!

When we got back to my place, I asked what all the Nigerian women were dying to know: “So, am I your girlfriend? Are you my boyfriend? What are we?” He said he didn’t know and that he’s hesitant to don those titles because he knows his level of communication is already poor, that being a boyfriend would raise those expectations even higher, and he doesn’t want to disappoint. Momentary disappointment aside, it was refreshing to hear him acknowledge his lack of reaching out, because it meant I wasn’t crazy. Once we moved past expectations and got into feelings, we both agreed that we like each other, we want to keep hanging out, and we’re somewhere in between full-fledged BFGF and sporadic-Hinge-dates. He said he refers to me monosyllabically as his “girl,” which is fine by me because I’d certainly rather be considered his “girl” than his “friend.” All in all, I’m pleased.

Finally, perhaps the most exciting update of all: on Wednesday, he washed his dishes.

#79

3 more weeks, 3 more sleepovers. Also, it turned out that neither of us are able to go to The Cape this week, so nevermind!

I presume everything is going fine, but sometimes he’ll go dark for days on end. I’m currently in a he-ignored-my-last-three-texts-so-i’m-gonna-remain-silent-indefinitely standoff. Last time, he texted after four days, and I felt extremely victorious for holding out. It also helps knowing that I am, objectively, the catch in this pairing. Or is that just what confidence feels like?

The thing is, he’s fairly irresponsible (occasionally forgets we have plans, or will ask to hang out day of), and I can’t tell if that’s due to a lack of interest or a lack of what I consider to be basic adult social skills. Not to mention the fact that every dish he owns has been sitting dirty in his sink for months. Nobody would ever consider me a clean freak, so the fact that I think he should toss the lot and give up on owning dishes altogether means something. At least he has cats to keep vermin at bay. And like, all boys are filthy and forgetful, right?

He said he wants to come to my student loans payoff party, but I’m not getting my hopes up because all of the above. Oh yea, I just paid off my last student loan. :D

TLDR: Per usual, I have no idea where I stand or “what we are” and there are enough red flags to keep me from asking, “am I your girlfriend?” So, limbo it is until further notice!

 

#78

Diet Coke Dealer and I have had two sleepovers since I’ve been back. I (hardly) helped him install his air conditioner, and he volunteered to fold and put away my jeans while I was last-minute tidying. I told my boss about him on Friday because he had recently told her dad about me, so I had to get in front of that. She was appropriately astonished, but not upset; I’m actually just one of many crazy coincidences between the two of them.

He’s mentioned a few times that I should come to his family’s Cape Cod house, so we’ll see if that ends up happening—I’ll be just a ferry ride away when I’m on Martha’s Vineyard for 4th of July. In the meantime, I’m waiting (pretty patiently, if I do say so myself) to see if he’s capable of reaching out to plan a date.

TTFN

 

#77

It’s been less than 2 weeks, and Diet Coke Dealer and I have been on 4 dates. On Saturday, we did an escape room with 6 strangers (all male nerds). We escaped with 3 minutes to go! Plus, it was kinda fun to show off my bossy genius side. We were already in Chinatown, so we got hot pot for dinner, and he did all the ordering. Did I mention he’s fluent in Mandarin??? Code cracking and Mandarin, are we a power intelligence couple? He very sweetly invited me to spend the night, even though I had secretly already assumed and packed a toothbrush—a Girl Scout is always prepared!

We saw each other again on Monday because on Sunday morning I told him I’d be gone over Memorial Day Weekend. But before you get so excited, I’ve definitely been the one initiating these dates. What can I say? I love to plan! God help me. On Monday, we got dinner in my neighborhood, and then we hung out at my apartment for a bit. He didn’t sleep over because school night, duh!

So anyways, I should probably mention that we had sex on the second date, and since I do have a magical IUD, we’ve been raw doggin’ it since (but only after I got chafed to bits by the condom the first couple of times). I obviously asked him if he had STDs and HIV before I let that happen, and he said no, and I basically had to believe him. But, because I’m a risk-averse health freak, I couldn’t let all this go on unregulated. On Monday, postcoitus, I requested that since we’re now freely sharing each other’s bodily fluids, maybe it would behoove us if we didn’t share them with anyone else. He got all cute and tried to get me to say that I was asking him to be exclusive, so I romantically reiterated the importance of safe sex with a designated partner, and he responded in kind by agreeing to not swap bodily fluids in an unprotected manner with other people. He added in the “unprotected” loophole, so I’m… still cautious.

It’s always been fun when we’ve spent time together, and I don’t actually have any reason to believe he’s not being sincere, but we don’t really text (haven’t heard from him since he left on Monday). I’m going on vacation tomorrow, and we’ll see if he reaches out to make plans when I’m back. Sigh, I like him.

P.S. I still haven’t mentioned anything to my boss, but I’ll definitely start considering it if I ever see him again.

 

#76 It’s a small world after all

Friday morning, I started talking to a new guy on Hinge. In the afternoon, he suggested I join him and his friends (along with his sister and cousin…) at a Brazilian dance bar that night. The other option would be to “be normal” and meet for coffee at some point (oh, he’s sober). But he doesn’t go out often because he usually works weekends, and I wanted to check out this bar, so I rounded up a willing wing woman and told him I’d be there. (As soon as we got to the bar, we randomly ran into another wonderful wing woman of mine, and I felt popular as ever :D)

The bar was super loud, which made it nearly impossible for me to hear anything anyone was saying. Not exactly ideal for a first date, but ideal for forcing two new people to dance together. He is white as can be, but has moves for days. He made me look like shit—which doesn’t happen that often in my white-washed bubble. Ever since I danced with that model in Cuba, I knew I could never go back to awkward, boring grinding; so could this be the rhythmic boy band member of my dreams? Perhaps. We danced and made out and I left on the early side, but we made plans to see each other the next day.

On Saturday, it was raining and I felt weird about asking him to color soberly, so I decided that we should see a movie and get dinner. The movie was about Hasidic Jewish lesbians, and we held hands for 70% of it, including the sex scene. We ate dinner (I had one glass of wine), and then he invited me to meet his cats. As we talked and kissed on his couch, we discovered a connection: his mother is married to the father of my boss. They’ve only met once or twice, so I doubt she’d consider him her stepbrother, but that is definitely what he is if we’re getting technical. Small. Fucking. World!! Plus, it made me feel more comfortable staying the night knowing that he wasn’t a completely random stranger.*

We had a lot of fun, and it was pretty nice not having to wonder if he was doing/saying stuff purely because of alcohol’s dubious influence. But of course, that does not necessarily preclude him from being a player/asshole, so my guard is still up. We talked about hanging out next weekend, and I can only hope he’s a man of his word.

Also, he’s comically addicted to Diet Coke, but at least it’s a better vice than the hard stuff!

*To all my coworkers: this absurd discovery is currently a secret, so please keep it to yourselves.