How is this supposed to feel?
It’s what I’ve waited for – worked for. And finally, I found it. Now what?
After a crisis of confidence, betrayed and frightened and made a fool of by a man I met online, I got back on the dating horse. Wary and weary, my hopes were not high. My excitement was mitigated by memories of my past experiences. The day before our first date, I told a friend, “Ugh. Another first date. I’m over it. Should I just cancel?” “You’re gonna marry this one, Jane. You’ll see.”
Jewish, tall-ish, hill staffer, musician, writer. Hadn’t tried that combination yet. I think the completeness of the checklist my mother had created for me years ago may have been what put me off the most. But the first date was amazing. The second date even better. Our first kiss was in front of the Capitol at dusk. A perfect kiss. The perfect kiss.
Two weeks later, he returned from a trip. I picked him up at the airport and we enjoyed an amazing reunion. The conversation was as comfortable as the company. Dinner, a movie, a kiss or two or more. The next night he made dinner. Kind of. Bought me flowers. We talked and joked and told stories, not many, about our lives and our past. It was the first time that we had tried to be serious – to learn a little bit about the other.
And that’s when I think my panic began. Should I say this, tell him that, go there? Does he need to know? Should I ask? Will he tell me?
When my dating life has, to this point, consisted of one, two, three dates, I’ve never had to do this. This “getting to know you on a deeper than sexual level” thing. I’ve never had to be vulnerable in this way. Patient in this way. I can feel myself ready to run. I can feel myself picking apart the things he says and does that annoy or frustrate me. I can feel myself making an exit strategy and I want to stop. I need to stop.
I just don’t know how this is supposed to feel? Should the butterflies be gone so soon? How do I keep him interested while I sort through the mental and emotional bullshit that will sabotage this amazing thing before I have a chance to right my ship and sail toward peaceful waters?
It’s a good thing – the best thing to happen to me in a really long time. I cannot fuck this up. I will not fuck this up.
But you’ll be the first to know when I do.