My roommate’s band is putting on a show in Kendall and I’m there for four hours. Every couple minutes I check my phone.
A friend reaches out and wants to get lunch and he happens to love and long for a Honduran restaurant just two blocks from my apartment. I walk over there at 1 and we sit and he’s brought his older sister, Jesse, and over the meal we do a little catching up and Danny, who reads the blog, asks about R.
and about dating overall and I tell him, “Well, oddly enough, I went out on Thursday with this woman who’s fucking brilliant, super intense, a big reader…”
And then I get to the part about the text I sent. The silence.
“And I was torn up about it yesterday but now I’m kinda resigned to think, like, if a whole day passes without her feeling compelled to respond to the text, let alone send one of her own, I probably didn’t make much of a splash.”
Jesse, over beside him, nods. “Probably.” Covers her mouth, chewing: “Which isn’t to say anything bad about you–“
“Yeah I know.”
“– just she didn’t feel the same connection.”
I nod. Eat a little. It’s quiet and then I say (more to Jesse than Danny), “I was thinking I’d give it another day and then text her again.”
She gives a sympathetic wince. “Yeah,” she says, “but why? Like, look at your own texting habits. You might not respond to every text you get, right? Probably most of em, but not all. How many of your own texts do you actually see, though? You see every single one.”
“Ahdunno, some things slip by.”
She shakes her head, chewing. My phone’s on the table and she gestures at it with her fork. “Not a text from somebody you just went on a date with and liked. You’d be looking for it.”
The lime they put in my Corona is brown and bad and it’s polluting the beer but I take a long sip and think.
“Dude,” she says, “it sucks, I know, but this girl’s making a statement by not making a statement.”
“Yeah.” I drink a little more. Set the mug down. Watch as a flower vendor paces the restaurant dipping his discount dozens into booths for patrons to sniff and consider. “I do still plan to get in touch with her tomorrow, though. See what’s what.”
Jesse shakes her head, looking at her plate and stabbing things up with her fork. “Why bother?”
At the annual Christmas party with old friends tonight I get caught up in conversation and drink a little and hug people, talk about the past, eat lasagna and trade gifts and, for the first time that day, forget about her.
Two weeks ago I went on a date to an ’80s-themed bar in North Miami. It’s called The Anderson. The woman was slightly older, 32, and she does research at a UM clinic and we had fluent conversation but I felt no spark. Figured I wasn’t being all that interesting and that the evening was doomed and so eventually just talked and drank as I normally might.
When, at the end of it, the 32-year-old offered to put her number in my phone (we’d only been communicating through the dating app) I gave it to her and she did her thing.
Next morning she sends me a message through the app. Says we’re definitely very different but she had fun and would like to see me again.
And then suddenly, even though I’m reciprocating none of her warmth, I say to myself: I guess this is the woman in my life now.
I waited seven hours to respond because I was torn between relief at having found someone new and angst at the idea that this woman, with whom I have nothing in common, is “the new woman in my life.”
I go to work that afternoon and recount the situation to a colleague and he says, “Y’know you don’t actually need to jump into the first pair of arms that’ll have you,” and somehow this hits me as an epiphany.
Had no idea I was this desperate.
Sam says the same can be applied to my bad first date with C. (chronicled in embarrassing detail here). My agitation about it, before and after. Sounding less like a man on a date and more like a man in withdrawal.
I talk about it with Jay at work.
“A woman’ll flirt with me and I immediately wanna ask her to spend the night — not even cuz I wanna fuck but cuz I feel like there’s less oxygen in the room when I’m not sleeping next to somebody.”
The silver lining: I had a great time with the med student. Liked her a lot.
And she lives like three blocks away from me.
I’m in a densely populated part of a densely populated city and in just one month of sparse casual dating met somebody I could see myself being happy with.
The lesson: they’re out there. Good attractive friendly virtuous intelligent people. My own age. Ambitious.
No need to settle. Just gotta be patient, active, available.
One of the worst things in falling out from the breakup was thinking of how insanely fucking hard it’d be to find somebody with whom I not only have a whole lot in common but with whom I can laugh and go out and do things and who’ll like me enough that I’m not constantly on the ropes, tryna outdo myself, struggling to be somebody cooler than I am.
And yeah, I’ll have to wander around for a while, but there’s somebody. (Right?)
There’s almost definitely always somebody.
All that aside, I’m pretty bummed about the med student.