Dater X: My Date With A Gentleman

It brings me great pleasure to inform you all that I’ve gone on another successful date with Scar Twin.  After our first date, where I oh-so-gracefully mimicked JLaw’s Oscars fall on my way up the stairs at the night’s end, I was eager to redeem myself on date No. 2, and I can pretty confidently say that I did.

Prior to our date, he sent me a link to a new restaurant in town that had been recommended to him, and when I agreed that it looked good, he made us a reservation for Saturday night. I parked my car in the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot right next to his place since there were no spots left in his lot, and he greeted me outside with a strong hug and kiss on the cheek. He insisted on driving us into town so I wouldn’t have to drive in unfamiliar territory, which was sweet. When we headed to his car, I was caught off guard when he walked to the same side of the car as me, opened my door, grabbed my hand and helped me in. Acts of chivalry are few and far between these days, so I was impressed. Once we arrived, he, again, opened my door for me and helped me out. I thanked him and he replied with a joke about my fall from our first date. “I wouldn’t forgive myself if I let you go 2 for 2,” he said smiling. He was off to a very good start.

We had a great meal, caught up with each other about our weekends, and even got into some deeper topics that might normally be considered taboo so early in the game. Somehow, our conversation went from football and our friends’ crappy (but totally laughable) relationships to gay rights and religion. I was actually relieved to find that we both share the same perspectives when it comes to some issues that are very important to me. The best part about it, though, was that the conversation came so easily and comfortably that neither of us felt awkward talking about it, even when we didn’t see eye-to-eye. There was a mutual respect there that showed me he’s capable of listening and trying to understand my viewpoints, even if he doesn’t necessarily agree with them. To me, that’s important. After dinner, he asked if I wanted to grab a beer at a cozy place he knew of nearby. I willingly accepted, and we continued our date for another couple of hours talking with the ease of old friends (but with the mutual attraction that every new romantic connection should have).

On our way out of the bar, he shook our waiter’s hand and thanked him, opened the door for me, and led me outside with his hand on the small of my back. His manners certainly hadn’t been lost over the last several hours. On our way back to his car, he walked closely by my side and I felt his hand slyly lock into mine. He ran his fingers over my knuckles as we walked and talked about our night until a tree in the middle of the sidewalk split us up. He then threw his arm around my shoulder and held me close as we walked the remaining two blocks to the car. Once we got back to his place, he walked me to my car.

“I didn’t say it when you got here earlier because I didn’t want to sound cliché, but you look really pretty,” he said. And considering the way I had caught him looking at me throughout the night, I could tell that he meant it.

“You’re not so bad yourself,” I winked back at him. “I had fun tonight, thank you.”

He gently pressed me into my car door, cradled the nape of my neck and kissed me in a way that made me completely unaware (or care) that we were in a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot. When we finally pulled away from each other, he looked at me in the super romantic glow of the ‘Open 24 Hours’ sign and said, “I want to invite you up and continue to hang out, but I really don’t want to fuck this up…so I’m not going to.” I appreciated his honesty and felt the same way. I wanted more to happen, but knew that our best shot at making things work would be to wait and take things one step at a time. I’m just glad he knew it, too.

“Let me ask you a question,” I said, grabbing the collar of his shirt and nervously fussing around with it. “What is it you’re looking for? Like, are you just looking for fun or are you looking for a relationship? Do you just want to casually date around? I’m curious if we’re on the same page.” Mind you, he didn’t know what page I was on, and had no way of knowing, especially since my question followed his declaration of not wanting to hook up right away.

“I want a relationship. I’m not getting any older younger, and I’m finally in a place where I’m ready to find someone I love to be with long-term. I wouldn’t be on a dating website if I wasn’t,” he said. To that, I laughed and said “you’d be surprised.”

“I like you,” he said. “I want to take things slowly, because I genuinely think you’re great and don’t want to screw things up with you. In fact, I want to cook you dinner … if you’re up for it, of course. I’ll even let you pick what you want me to cook, and I’ll take care of everything else.”

I was NOT expecting that. Not only did he say he’s looking for a relationship, but he’s also willing to show off his cooking skills on our third date? Things were looking very promising. Since then, we’ve talked every day, and he’s even texted me to say goodnight, just because. I’m doing my best not to get my hopes up because I know that’s how I can get hurt, but I’m not sure I need hope. I just need to be myself, let him be himself, and cross my fingers that his chicken marsala will guide me in the right direction.