I stood outside a Greenwich Village coffee shop at 6 p.m. on a Tuesday night, staring at the front door. I was meeting a very handsome architect inside, but for some reason, I wanted to bolt. Honestly, I had come close to picking up the phone and canceling our date earlier in the day. Three times to be precise. I just wasn’t excited about this guy. He’d written me a week before through OKCupid, two days after that nightmare date that turned into a therapy session. I won’t lie—his profile induced a few yawns (big shocker: he likes “good fun, good wine, and having fun with his friends”), as did his initial email. (You like my smile? That’s all you have to say?) But there was a funny line in there every now and then and he was exceptionally good-looking. I responded. Our email communication was reliable but tepid — while I go for charged, witty banter, he’s more of a here’s-what-I-had-for-breakfast emailer. Not to mention the fact that he asked me out for coffee. Who does that, unless he’s a recovered alcoholic? Coffee is the substance you drink when you need to fully open your eyelids in a morning meeting, not the liquid you reach for when you’re trying to woo a hot girl. Didn’t this guy want a chance of getting laid?
I took a deep breath and opened the door. The Architect was seated at a table in the center of the coffee shop, his suit jacket slung over the back of his chair. I guess I should specify that I don’t usually date the type of guys who wear suits. I like artists, musicians, non-profiters, writers—your typical New York City cliches. I cursed myself for not canceling. But then the architect smiled at me and waved. Something about him seemed so warm and appealing. I sat down.
And, surprise, the next hour passed by in what seemed like five minutes. We started out talking about our jobs, and the conversation flowed out from there in a complicated web of tangents and asides that would be impossible to chart on paper. He was funny—the type of dry humor that doesn’t necessarily come across over electronic communication. He was interesting—traveled a ton, and used to be in a band before falling in love with architecture. And he put himself out there, telling me I looked beautiful. After we finished our drinks, he asked if I was hungry, and I nodded. “My favorite Italian place is about 10 blocks away. Are you up for walking?” Since I’m normally the one who picks the locales and activities on dates, it felt nice to just go with his flow.
Dinner was lovely—as we talked and shared calamari, I felt myself leaning forward towards him, and wanting to touch his hand, but decided to let him take the lead. At 9 p.m., he walked me to my subway station and gave me a hug. I got on the train baffled that he hadn’t kissed me or let the date sprawl on through the evening, to the point where “your place or mine” becomes a functional question. I realized that was the shortest date I’d been on in months. But also, hands down, the best.
After our second date (my dating kryptonite, as you know), when he again didn’t kiss me, I had a mild freak-out. But finally, at a bar after a movie on our third date, he pulled me in for one of the slowest, softest, hottest kisses of my life. I will be the first to admit that I’m smitten.
I don’t know what will happen from here. We have date number four on the books for this weekend. If things go well, after that you stop counting the number of dates you’ve been on, right? But who knows—perhaps our vibe will change? Maybe I’ll decide that he is too conventional for me. Perhaps he’ll meet someone on line at the grocery store and will send me one of those, “It’s been cool getting to know you, but …” emails. Anything can happen—and I’ve adopted Amelia’s attitude of being content with the present and not spazzing out with expectations. All I really know here is that I’m enjoying hanging out with someone who’s completely not my type and who has a very different idea of how relationships are paced.
The big thing I’ve learned over the past two weeks is that you aren’t always into the people you think will be into. If the Architect and I don’t work out, I do know this: On my online profile, one of the first question is “What type of person are you looking for?” Before, I gave a long list of qualities I like. From now on, I’m just going to write, “Surprise me.”
Dater X last wrote about the art of conversing on a date in “Why Do My Dates Suddenly Feel Like Therapy Sessions?”