Follow-upsGood dates

The Anti Type, part 2

If you haven’t read the first part of this date, give it a read

So here we are again. An unprecedented second date with the guy who, aesthetically at least, really isn’t my type (see the first date). I’m curious to see whether he’ll be able to maintain the level of charm he laid on with a trowel during our first date. On first glance, he’s ticking all the right boxes. He arrived at the chosen pub before me, and has a drink waiting – he’s remembered my ‘usual’ from our first meeting. He looks keener, cleaner and more dashing than he did on that first date, like he has harvested some information from my brain thanks to that end-of-date kiss at the bus stop and is tuning himself in to my particular predilections. Still no hair, though, of course.

If I were less of a cynic, I’d be knocked off my feet. I remain firmly upright, however; I’m not about to lose my head over someone recalling my favourite lager.

Knowing someone really fancies you is quite an unsettling feeling in a way, almost a dangerous power to have. I know I can say anything, act any way at all, and he’ll still lap it up. Sometimes it can be tempting to take advantage and be more playful – in the way a lion is ‘playful’ with a gazelle – but my date is so overwhelmingly nice that the prospect doesn’t appeal. Instead, I distractedly drink my pint while his dilated pupils threaten to devour me at any moment.

It is only our second date, but I feel like I have known him much longer. He seems to second-guess what I’m about to say, and when he does let me speak, he completely agrees with me. Are we already so in sync that there is nothing left to discover, or is he just going along with everything and trying to impress? I should be lapping this up, but I feel a bit like an old emperor being toadied to or placated by loyal, but frightened, subjects. He’s not rolling over or anything, and there are a few sparks of challenge coming up in the conversation, but this is almost going too well. It doesn’t feel authentic.

While we walk home – to my home – I feel a little empty, and not just because I forgot to have dinner. My date is too compliant; he likes me to a level you shouldn’t after only spending a total of six hours with me. While I’m not in the business of badgering men who have no interest in me at all, that old chestnut about ‘the chase’ isn’t just a cliché.

The farmer has left the door to the chicken coop wide open; the lid is off the sweetie jar. So why aren’t I ploughing ahead, enjoying the spoils of my victory? Because I have no battle scars to show my toil; the true winner here is my vanity. He believes he has done everything he can to make me fall head over heels in love with me. He is wrong. He has, in fact, done rather too much.

I unlock my front door with a heavy heart but a painted smile. My date steps over the threshold, but only a cup of tea and a shake of the head await him. No surrender.

I let him stay, but I already know the way this is going to go; my mind is made up. Nothing really happens save for a few drunken kisses and then we sleep.

The next morning, I make him another, final, cup of tea while he stands behind me and wraps himself around me, his arms like chains across my bare belly. I am meeting a friend for lunch and so have to leave. He sets off with me, brightly going through his list of plans for the day, not quite daring to ask to see me again. That, I know, will come in a text later.

At the fork in the road, it is time to say goodbye. A peck on the cheek, a sincere smile and then we walk off from each other. As I walk away, I think maybe it isn’t too late – perhaps I could see him again. But when I think of the realities – of his fitting into my life or getting on with my friends or him managing to stay so bright and breezy when he has had a prolonged taste of the real me and a selection of my particular idiosyncrasies – I realise my first instinct was the right one. This is the end of the line.

And the text does come, just an hour later. I send the reply straight away. I don’t want to give him false hope or leave him dangling; that’s not my thing. He replies immediately, shocked and puzzled and looking for answers. Nothing I have to say will be of any use or help so I reply vaguely, but as kindly as possible, and hope that will be the end of it. Only one more text comes through:

“Shame. I hope you find what you’re looking for. Not sure you ever will though. You don’t seem the type who even knows what that is. x”

———

Truncated versions of both parts of this post originally appeared in my monthly column in Gay Times magazine. Take a look at the Gay Times website to see when the next issue is out.

Image: Flickr

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  1. aw man! reading this 2nd part is like watching a horror movie when you know what’s at the end of the door and yell to the character/screen “DON’T GO THERE!!!”, but it happened anyway.

  2. I’m sorry to say this, but it reads as though you have potentially wasted a good opportunity to get to know someone who could have made you happy. Someone with a good job, nice looking, sane and intelligent. You said that he liked you far too much after just six hours in your company, but maybe equally, you made a judgement about him far too quickly in those short six hours. He was clearly only trying his best to make you feel at ease and demonstrate his interest. He was clear and honest in his intentions, but you dismissed it. Maybe he’s right, maybe you don’t know what you want.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your honesty.

      You may well be right, of course. But even if I didn’t know what I wanted, you can be sure that I knew what I *didn’t* want.

      There were other things that didn’t quite work which wouldn’t have made for interesting copy, but I suppose we can say that at least he dodged a bullet. He may have been right for me, but I wasn’t for him – and he’d have realised that eventually. It’s always a two-way thing.

  3. Interesting story. I think I have been where you are now. You may not know what you want, but when you find it you will know. It might be an ex- coming back into your life; could be anyone.
    Just don’t settle for anyone because its convenient.

  4. The more I read your posts the more sure I am that gay and straight dilemmas with dating are the same. Women dating men go through similar things: the uncertainty, the thrill, the nervousness… I love reading your blog. I learn quite a lot from it.
    This post makes me a little sad for the poor guy, but a situation like this finishes always in the same way-if someone likes you just a little too much, you just reject them. That’s just the way it is.

  5. bloody hell…we learn so much about ourselves along the way…what an awful and brilliant ride though?!…
    it would be a trip to encounter that ‘social mountaineer’ in five years from now..

    your wordpress is fantastic fun.

    1. Thank you! I have definitely learned a lot about myself over the last few years. Some of it is has been quite disappointing, but most of it has been invigorating. I’ve managed to find positives in even the most horrifying of “never again”s. I think.
      The Social Mountaineer has so far not crossed my path again, but it’s only a matter of time…
      Thanks for reading.

  6. Reading this, I don’t feel sorry for the guy – that last text is a pretty creepy/nasty thing to send to someone you barely know. Especially combined with the “x” at the end, very passive-aggressive. His obsequiousness strikes me as a form of control too. Lucky escape!

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