So, I called things over with Joshua today.
This kind of hurts, in a way that’s hard for me, but I’m fairly confident that it’s the right call.
This is going to be a long story, with an in-detail postmortem. I’ll split it into a few posts.
Joshua and I met on OKCupid. His profile made me laugh, and I sent him a message. We traded talk about books, roleplaying, the online dating experience. We had a fun, teasing banter that I really liked. I asked if he wanted to meet up, and we made a bowling-and-pool date for that Friday.
Friday was a blast. I had to drive into the city to get to our planned destination, which meant a normally 30-minute drive was more like an hour and a half (Friday evening traffic). Once I got there, though, it was great. We were vibing on little physical touches. I liked the way it felt to have his hand on my arm, my arm on his. We joked about our total ineptitude at bowling. He didn’t object when I paid.
We moved on from bowling to pool. The pool was even more fun, because he was actually good at pool, and I was not bad at it. I liked that he never let me win – he beat me every round and bowling and every game of pool.
It was while we were playing pool that he kissed me for the first time. I was not at all sure how I felt about this. I liked that he wanted to kiss me. I was feeling hesitant and nervous, though. I didn’t know what to do. He brought tongue into it very quickly, and I was feeling pushed faster than I really wanted to go. It was also very obvious in the kiss that he was a smoker, which I am really not, and am kind of turned off by.
He read my hesitancy and backed off, and I managed a fairly weak smile. We went back to pool. I made a point to do a few rounds of physical touch – backing into him until the back of my shoulder was against his chest, patting him on the arm as I wished him good luck after setting up a bad shot.
We tried another kiss in a little while. It went a bit better. I initiated this one, and he didn’t go as deep. I was still much more thinking about the experience than I was living it, and was awkward and uncertain. When I pulled back, he just smiled down into my eyes for a moment, like he was absolutely charmed in spite of my ineptitude. That was nice.
I asked if we wanted to play another game of pool (we were up to five or six by then) or to call it a night. He suggested we call the pool but find something else. I was up for that. He asked if it was too early to suggest heading back to his place; I said “Yes,” and he said, “Okay!” then suggested a local bar. We drove over separately. We talked there about a lot of things – our jobs, our romantic histories, books, movies, religion. We talked for a long time, and at around midnight, I regretfully said I needed to leave – I had to be up early the next morning. We paid our tab and left.
In the parking lot, we kissed again. And we went deep. And this time, I wasn’t having any problems at all with awkwardness. This time, I kind of wanted to fall into him and set up camp. I tried to catch my breath; I struggled with it. We definitely wanted to see each other again. I went home.
We traded a few text messages the next day, around my adventures in moving. That Saturday was the day of the Big Ball. I spent the day moving furniture into storage, and then got dressed up and went to the ball. The next day was Sunday, and I went to church, then messaged Joshua. “Hi,” I said. “What are you up to today?” Not a lot, was his answer. “Do you want to see me?” I asked. Absolutely.
We went to the zoo. It was fun. We had a cool playful vibe, talking about the animals there. He was amazing at spotting them, so I got to see a lot more of them than I usually catch on my own or with the kids. He interacted with a few kids in a way that seemed like he was cutely saying, “Hey, I’m good with kids! You have kids! This can work!”
We didn’t really want to leave after the zoo, so we carpooled over to a nearby hiking spot, and wandered in the woods for an hour or so. We talked childhoods in the woods; we made out on a rock. I had to stop him because I was seriously worried we were going to forget we were out in public and wind up getting arrested for indecent exposure.
After the hike, we went to a local bar, shared some appetizers, and had some drinks. We talked more. I liked talking with him. He was a bit of a dork, but so am I, and we vibed well together. He made me laugh, and I liked laughing.
We drove back to my car together, and made out some more. It was… really, really intense. Incredibly intense. He managed to hit all of the buttons I most love, and I desperately, desperately wanted more. I had to get home by 5 in order to meet the kids when their dad returned them, but I wanted to stay there forever.
“Drive safely,” he told me, with a little bit of a gleam in his eyes.
I laughed, out of breath. “After that?”
“Yes,” he said. “Be safe.”
And I drove home.