(The above image came from this article.)
I’m falling for Mark.
Our third date Monday night went really well. I can’t tell you what a relief it is to find out that he’s just a nice guy and not some predator out to chew up my tender heart.
Here’s the thing about Mark: he reminds me of someone I’d have been friends with in high school or college but who I wouldn’t have dated at that time because I’d have judged some superficial thing like the fact that he likes video games (which today I could give a darn about, and hey, I’m just glad he’s not the leader of a sex cult). He feels like a real friend, someone who’s just funny and fun to hang out with. He seems to think the same about me which I find very flattering. He laughs at my jokes. Some guys don’t like women to be funny from what I’ve noticed. I also don’t want to be with someone who can’t be okay with me just being real, so I laid some big stuff on him from Date #2 just to, you know, see if he can handle this.
On our date I did my best just to talk to him the way I talk to y’all here on this blog, which is how I talk to my bestie, because I decided that the worst that can happen is he doesn’t like me which means we wouldn’t have been a good match. It’s better to figure that out early in the relationship. I don’t want to overwhelm him by throwing all my baggage out there up front, but I did lay some heavy stuff on him. Not on purpose–it happened organically—and that is that I let him know I’m twice-divorced and I’m a sober alcoholic. His reaction was the best I could hope for: acceptance. Even better, he didn’t romanticize either of those details which is the opposite of what someone can do when you tell them you’ve been through some real life shit that to them may seem “bad,” if they’re naïve or judging you for it.
One of my weaknesses is that I can be too passive and not ask questions I want to know the answer to, so I point blank asked him early on our third date the following question: Last time we met you said you’re looking for honesty, communication, and a long-term relationship. What does that look like for you? I used my professor’s interviewing skills she’d demonstrated for us in class over the weekend about how to ask leading, open questions, and how to repeat them using different words to get a full picture of the situation. And I asked it as a four-part question, with the LTR question being what he thought about couples who don’t live together or get married. I gave him the example of Judith Light, my favorite character on Transparent, who I’d read an article about in a magazine at the nail salon. She’d said she’d been married to her husband for over 30 years, and they lived on opposite coasts, but that it was perfect for them. It brought to mind something that I’ve been pondering for some time which is the changing nature of romantic relationships in today’s world. It’s not the white picket fence way of previous decades which is attractive to me in some ways and scary in others. The most important thing is to know and trust your partner. Anyway, Mark said he wouldn’t like living apart. He’s already demonstrated he wants to spend quite a bit of time for me, for a long time; he’s said point-blank he plans to keep me warm this winter and beyond. At first I thought he was full of shit, then I thought he was simply deluding himself, blinded by lust like me, but I’m beginning to believe he means it, and I feel the same about him. I also feel that of course we’re both gaga for each other now but this is the infatuation period that I’m all too aware goes away. The real test is what happens after that.
Here’s what I’ve learned about him: he’s an ENFJ-A on the Meyers Briggs while I’m an INFP, and our personality types are compatible. (He’s also a Virgo while I’m a Taurus, if you believe in astrology, which I don’t really except maybe just a smidge.)
Another funny thing happened the other night which was that for some reason I got the idea to send him a picture of me in my pajamas without make-up on. I had on a snug tank top without a bra, and my boobs are small, and I realize he knows by now I’m not well-endowed but I wanted him to see what I look like without a bra. Then I decided last minute to go ahead and remove my make-up, as if to say, This is the real me, buddy boy. Can you handle it?
What I didn’t realize was that I had two red spots on my face from two pimples I had last week, because my skin often breaks out with a bump here or there, and I’m so used to it, and thought you could see it through my make-up anyway, that I thought nothing of it. His reaction? Everyone gets pimples. NOT the reaction I had expected. I thought he’d say, Wow you look great! Because obviously I thought I looked pretty good in the picture—not glamorous but just natural. He’d already told me I didn’t need to wear make-up, and mostly I wanted to let him get a general idea of my boob size tbh. For the record I think my boobs look good but I would love for them to be bigger.
Well obviously he has no problem with my boobs.
Anyway, his honesty was refreshing and hilarious but also mildly hurtful. So I laughed and then was like oh wow that hurt my feelings, and he was like, Oh I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings I’m sorry. He was just surprised I’d send him a photo of me without make-up, especially this early, because no one does that, ever. LOL. I was like this is who I am, like it or not. I told him that, and I can see that he respects that.
It’s such a relief not to feel like I have to be perfect in every way all the time. I told my therapist that, and she reminded me of how with Steven I felt like I just couldn’t say certain things. I walked on eggshells the deeper I got into the relationship, the more I saw how judgey he was, the more sensitive I’d see him become about certain topics, how irritable he’d be if you disagreed with him. Mark hasn’t said a negative thing about anyone yet, nor has he had any bad days. He seems like a happy-go-lucky guy who loves his job and his friends and his family and life.
There are some things about him that are just weird, like for example, he loves the mall. He thinks the mall is beautiful, and he loves the carousel in there, and he just loves walking around there. He loves the suburb where he lives, which is hilarious to me, because really? Who loves the suburbs? Actually now that I think of it, I must admit I think I kind of do myself. Really what I like is my town on the outskirts of the city, surrounded by country. Oh wait, that’s a suburb.
So yeah Mark seems like a good person, who I am attracted to, and he feels like someone I can be friends with. Someone who I can be comfortable with. I had no idea this would happen so soon after Steven, nor did I think it would happen so soon in the online dating world. I don’t want to jump to any conclusions but I just have a good feeling about it. Everything so far is really good, but I’ll just take it one day at a time and we shall see what happens.
PS: We haven’t even kissed yet. 🙂
Peace and love,