Remember the older gentleman (OG) I met at the singles event a few weeks back? We had a glass of wine together last week, and then a Real Date on Wednesday night (my first in ten years!): dinner at a nice restaurant. He's a nice guy, and easy to talk to, but I'm not (at least yet) feeling the spark. Our conversations so far have been pretty surface; no discussion of my loss or his divorce, nothing at any real level of intimacy or disclosure. On the other hand, he's funny, especially in his emails, a bit self-deprecating, which I find endearing, and sweet. How much more time do I give it? I've never dated anyone that I didn't first know pretty well as a friend, so attempting to become acquainted while also deciding if there's a romantic attraction is weird. What about kissing and such? OG gave me a nice kiss on Wednesday night, and I didn't know how to respond. My gut reaction wasn't favorable, I'm afraid, but I don't know if it's my intuition saying it's not a good fit, or just lack of knowledge of him. I don't think it's unconscious guilt surfacing, because I sure don't feel like I'm still married. I can imagine being attracted and responsive to someone other than T, certainly.
Since OG paid for our first two dates, I feel almost compelled to invite him to dinner on my dime, as I have an almost visceral distaste for being thought of as acting entitled to men's financial favors. So I'll likely give it some more time, and it may simply evolve into a comfortable friendship rather than a romance. Having a pleasant companion who cleans up nicely isn't a bad thing, after all.
In the meantime, I'm considering whether to make "finding a partner" a New Year's Resolution, or at least a focused project for 2010. A friend of mine recently described the very determined steps a friend of hers took to find a mate: he decided to go out with at least 20 (or maybe it was 50 -- some large number) of women in a short period of time. Intelligence was important to him, so he narrowed the field to women who had graduated from a local high-caliber university. My friend claimed he wasn't a player; he was serious about getting married and he knew that it's a numbers game. Treating it as a project worked for him, too, as he's now engaged to one of the women he met. Am I ready to dive into the challenges and commitments of a serious relationship? Heck, am I ready to invest the time and emotional energy into serious dating?