Leslie is a 31-year-old lady, who is a marketing consultant. She says “I’m a new brunette after a decade of going blonde. I’m still trying to determine, if it suits me. Lesley says “I love being surrounded by people and I find that I’m happier after socializing. I like to read a good book in a bubble bath, but will never say no to a night out.” She adds, “I have been dating a lot lately. I’m not sure if that’s a ‘yay’ or a ‘nay.’” Leslie likes guys who are “smart and funny — and athletic doesn’t hurt.” She says, “I’m picky about who I go on dates with, because any time away from my friends and family has to be worth it.”
Sunil looked the same in all of his profile photos, which was reassuring. We chatted for a few days and then exchanged numbers. We’re both busy, so after volleying a few suggestions back and forth, we settled on a date that was 10 days away. Ten days proved to be too long to wait, especially considering we were both going bananas about the U.S. election. One night soon after we set the date, Sunil mentioned over text that he’d finished work — it was just after midnight — and I said something like “You know, the bars are still open.”
I wondered what kind of message I was sending. We debated meeting up, but Sunil didn’t want me to feel pressured. Finally, we agreed that neither of us were going to get anything else productive done that night and we were not very good at delaying gratification anyway, so what harm would a beer do?
We met at a bar close to my house, where I know most of the bartenders and regulars. In the event that things went sideways, I would have backup in the form of a tough bartender and a throng of salty septuagenarians.
No need. . We hugged right away and he let his hand linger on my back for a moment, which I liked more than I usually would. I tend to get “touched out” and need my space, but I did not need it standing next to Sunil. I liked him a lot. He was very polite to the bartender, held doors for people coming in and out of the restaurant and was polite to everyone who had to squeeze past us. He was kind and unpretentious.
We started talking about recent vacations. He had just gotten back from a week of surfing. I told him about a trip to Europe I was about to embark on. We talked briefly about work. When the bartender said hello, Sunil and I talked about the small-town feel of the neighbourhood I live in. He said that he dated a girl who lived there and mentioned her name. I laughed and told him that I know her. The six degrees of separation made us feel even more comfortable, I think, and from there we started talking about families and exes and who we were when we were younger.
We ended up closing the bar and he offered to make sure I got home OK, without being pushy at all. I agreed, and when we got back to my place, I invited him in to open a bottle of wine with me. This is not who I am on a first date, but between the fact that he didn’t assume he was coming over, the connection to his ex, and finding out over drinks that I work in the same field as his father, made me comfortable.
We stayed up until just after sunrise talking. I know that’s a high-school line: “We were just talking!” But it was all we did. We eventually hit a wall of exhaustion. At that point I said he could just stay over and get some sleep, but there was to be no sex. He obliged and followed me to bed. Add “respect for boundaries” to “immediate connection” and “an all-around good feeling.” Bonus: I got to sleep next to a guy who was as warm as a space heater and I saw him without a shirt. Score.
When we woke up the next morning, he asked “So, we’re still on for our ‘first date,’ right?” I am as insecure as they come, so this demonstration of him being genuinely attracted to me was very comforting. As if sensing my inability to process his interest, he said, “I like you. I want to see you again.”
Well, it’s a done deal!