the dangers of infatuation

No doubt if you’ve been reading lately, you’re thinking, “Duh, lady; he’s just not that into you.” And it’s probably true.

I’m doing my best to keep my head on straight and just enjoy the blissful anticipation and agony associated with my not-particularly-secret crush. But the truth is, I’ve entertained so many fantasies that I’ve already decided I like him. And this is what’s dangerous about a situation like that…which is, in fact, infatuation:

Before he’s ever asked me out, before I’ve experienced whether he behaves like a man and treats me like a woman, before I’ve even experienced one-on-one time in a dating situation, my mind is made up that I like him. And that’s not always a good thing.

You see, we’ve done the colleague happy hour thing — and he’s lovely and genuine and always picks up the tab and surprises me a warm hug each time we’ve gone out — but that’s as a colleague at happy hour. I’ve felt a few people out:  he’s as well liked and respected as I suspected…in a professional context.

But the other day, I ran into him and he picked on me. Being smarter than my fifth-grade self, I thought, “this boy likes me.” Yet few adult women really want to receive affection in the form of being picked on. Teased yes; picked on no.

So, if we ever did go out, it would be interesting to see how he behaves toward me in that context. Would he be different or the same as he is every day? And the purpose of dating is for two people to explore whether they have a connection or like each other or their values and desires match. So when one of two have already decided…well, feelings can get hurt.

And that’s why I’m dialing my feelings back, enjoying whatever flirtation or interaction there is, smiling and being friendly, and just enjoying the exciting feeling of having a crush. If nothing more comes of it…well, the sense of anticipation and possibility still feels wonderful, and I may as well enjoy it!

shocking new updates from the land of liking boys

My stomach is all aflutter after a rather scandalous happening a few days ago:  The gentleman about whom I wrote in my last post, object of many a fantasy, planted his lips on mine and kissed me, therein setting off a series of delicious, physiological responses including the aforementioned sensation in my stomach, weak knees, racing heart and, most dangerous of all, careening thoughts. A brief moment of shock and wonder was followed quickly by euphoric reverie and then, only hours later, confusion.

Now, days later, my body seems to cycle rapidly through feelings of elation, befuddlement and horror. I have identified two primary root causes of this array of emotion:

  1. I have proven myself colossally bad at choosing appropriate mates and I am already convinced that this will end horrifically…at least for me. Unless it doesn’t! I mean unless he truly is as sweet as he seems. Simply put, I am already terrified for the end of something that has yet to even begin.
  2. By flirting suggestively with this fellow months ago, I’m afraid I’ve likely given the impression that I seek a mere lover. While my desires have changed dramatically, I cannot be certain I’ve informed this fellow of my changed set of requirements. Put another way, I’ve no idea his intent:  does he mean to submit himself for the role of lover or boyfriend? Or neither? (Only serious applicants need apply.)

Having positively obsessed about this situation for a full two days, I’ve decided that the only practical approach is to be blithe and nonchalant, as I am while dating men I’ve met online. This proven approach, which requires I simply enjoy myself with complete detachment to the outcome, seems to work much better when I don’t know whether I like a fellow. (Worked like a charm on the man who became my last serious boyfriend!)

You see, while dating men one has met online, it’s quite easy to be biased against the likelihood of anything ever working out. What are the chances? So one sits through a coffee, a drink or a meal, all senses on the alert for warning signs of misogyny, prejudice, misguided political leanings or other wrong-headed beliefs, cheapness, poor taste and all manner of other sins, always at the ready to employ a sensible “slow to hire; quick to fire” policy.

This fellow, however, is someone I’ve gotten to know rather slowly. We have drifted in and out of flirtatious encounters and might already be dating were the logistics not so nearly impossible. After a happy hour a couple of weeks ago, I made a startling discovery:  I feel a strong impulse to be sweet in his presence. This is revelatory because it is not at all how I’m feeling during most dates (see paragraph above) and because, while I am often kind, charming, gracious, considerate, helpful and even loving, I very rarely feel sweet. Something about his quiet strength makes me feel those lovely feminine qualities of softness, sweetness and yes, maligned term though it may be, submission. Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot state this strongly enough:  I feel I might be able to submit to him, a sensation so foreign to me I don’t know what to do with it! Surely you can understand why I’m in such a tizzy.

But onto other loose ends, as well:

My former boyfriend and I talked the other day: I find myself both yearning for the love we shared and also wanting to sock him in the face, all in the course of a single conversation. He is infuriatingly self-righteous and smug about certain things I can only hint at here.

The fellow (and I refuse to say “gentleman”) who vowed to spend yesterday with me doing yard work did not follow through on said plans. There is something charming and in earnest about him, and I’ve always envisioned he and I would find ourselves fast friends, so I was rather disappointed. Still, it’s probably for the best, given all that’s a-swirl in my mind. Unfortunately, he seems intent on wanting something to come of whatever time we spend together, rather than simply enjoying getting to know one another.

Finally, I went out Friday night on a third date (second to some, perhaps) with a fellow I met online. As usual, I was half dreading the encounter and, thus, ended the evening on a high note, having had a far better time than anticipated. He is taller and better looking than the kisser, his sun sign is more likely to be compatible with mine and, in all likelihood (if you believe what they say about a man’s hands and feet), better hung. Of course, while he was holding my hand, I was daydreaming of the fellow who’d kissed me the day before.


And so life goes on in the land of liking boys…