When I look at you I see, everywhere we’ve been. And it’s exhilarating to be in so many places all at once. Sometimes when you smile I hear the sound of our laughter in the creperie. Flashbacks of fond moments, and endearing conversations. This bizarre comfort has come alongside me when I’m with you and it’s strange. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not ready for a relationship…but when you say “tell me things” I’ve actually begun to consider opening up to you.
Then I think about our awkward list of mutual friends. In fact, for the past four months that has been the one thing snapping at my heels. Of course I could only smile at the fact that we would run into one of my ex’s friends on a Sunday afternoon. What an absurdly small pond of fish. I am waiting quietly and patiently to find out how long we can keep dating without upsetting anyone. Oh well.
What should I say? People are gonna be mad about everything, and mad about nothing. That’s how it works. We’re still a complicated thing, but I like it. Our social circles overlap, but only slightly. Funnily enough my grandmother asked where I found you after I introduced you. Not sure what motivated the question, but I found it amusing. I suppose she would want me to be spending time with a young man from church, or a co-worker. Who knows. For me you are a refreshing change of pace. To be dating a loner – – – that appears extroverted is new. New and different from the social butterflies I’m incessantly falling for.
I’m flattered by the newness of it all, but of course that too will get old soon. What then? Where do I go when I start to get on your nerves and you start avoiding me, or vice versa. Are you really ready for me to start telling you things? I’m not so sure. It’s one thing to entertain light, funny, amusing topics, but once we’re outside of anecdotes it gets harder.
In fact, I remember when we had a difficult conversation about gender roles, expectations and cultural norms when handling emotional interactions. It was rough. You didn’t leave a lot of room for me to disagree with you, and that made me uncomfortable. I wasn’t caught off guard so much by your in-depth analysis, as much as I was offended/hurt by your accusation that my position was shallow and unfounded.
Not very diplomatic of you. But for the first time in a long time, I tried not to take someone’s criticism personally. It wasn’t easy, but I think it helped get me through the rest of our date. It helped that we got to talking about our affinity for redheads. That made me smile.
In fact, it’s getting better. Every time we’re together I learn a little bit more about you, and a lot more about myself. I learn what I like, what I don’t like, and how much freedom there is when the pressure to please, and perform is not front row center. I might even be willing to admit that the word dating has become so much less anxiety-inducing, but I’m not sure who to attribute this change to. You or me?