LP, who had been working like mad all week and weekend and moving and being a dad, wanted to pick me up at 9 after he’d wrapped up at the office on Sunday night to show me his new house.

He was delayed and it was starting to get late. Before he arrived, after confirming he’d be picking me up, he texted “Can you stay over?”

Well, that was unexpected, although I had mentioned to him when he was in his sick bed that I wished I had stayed. Still, it’s a school night and he goes to work ridiculously early, so I responded back, yes, I can, and threw a toothbrush and moisturizer into my purse, just in case.

We are taking the sex thing slowly, deliberately, so I knew he just wanted to spend the night wrapped around me, and, I agreed, knowing my period had just started, which took sex absolutely off the table.

He was visibly exhausted when he pulled up, and I slid into the car, and he held my hand on my lap. I told him quickly about my situation. He was disappointed, but recovered quickly. We would not have been having sex (this is only date 5, after all, and we’d agreed to slow slow slow), but it certainly limited the range of options.

His new house is about 15 blocks from my building, maybe fewer. It’s a straight shot from my neighborhood to his, so we held hands and talked a little in the car, and he told me that, in the spirit of full honesty which we have pledged [er, we did??? I think I pledged vulnerability and no games, which is a little different than full honesty, thinks the woman kinda-sorta-maybe still dating her ex boyfriend/potential business partner/owner of her once and perhaps future car], I would not be the first female in his bed in the new house. I told him as long as she was not over 8 years old, we’re fine. Otherwise, I laughed, we were going to have a problem.

He pulled up to his back gate and parked, telling me the first change he would make to the house. He walked me through the garden and the house looked so beautiful. He had clearly been home to change before he picked me up because our path was beautifully illuminated. It’s charming, an historic home that has been well remodeled and updated, and he loved showing me the very quick tour. The house contains nothing but his study and his bedroom at this point. Every other room is empty. When we reached his room, he started to kiss me passionately. I stopped him, so he could show me the bath and closet. He laughed, and said, you want me to finish the tour??? Yes, of course, as I’d already been kissing him in each room.

With the tour concluded, we kissed more passionately and got ready for bed. He stepped into the closet to change into pajamas and hang up my jacket and I just took off my clothes, leaving on my underwear and borrowed a big soft t-shirt from him. He climbed into “his side” of the bed, and I surprised him by climbing on top of him, and completely taking over the reins, kissing him, teasing him, etc. as we talked here and there. He said, you know, I know your secret . . . you are incredibly sweet. You are just incredibly sweet, and I know you don’t want people to know that about you. You have this hard surface, but you’re just an m & m. I reminded him that’s we’d agreed on the “first date” that he was an m & m encased in another m & m. I told him I expected him to keep my secret. He is right that I am far more open and loving than I want people to know. I prefer to feign indifference — see, for example, my relationship with BFD — rather than open myself up. So far, with LP, I am going open and vulnerable and it’s scary as hell.

Finally, after about an hour, he stopped me before anything got too far along, saying, “you’re amazing, but we know we’re good at sex, . . . let’s see how we do with snuggling.”

[The “we know we’re good at sex” comes not from experience with each other. We know that we’re very open and evolved sexually. We have shared a lot of things and we are very compatible. We have had relationships that replaced actual intimacy with sex, as he said last night as he held me tightly against him, and he is righter than he knows with BFD. So that is the primary reason we are both waiting. I drew a hard line because of my monogamy thing and he has listened carefully. I told him on our first date that I am only having “sex” with him if he is my boyfriend and he has respected that. As he considered the line I drew before our official first date, holding the line as I wavered a bit, he realized that we needed to postpone sex. No matter how challenging it is. And it is, especially when we’re each barely dressed in bed.]

With that, he wrapped his arms around me, held my hand, kissed my neck, and we started talking in the dark. A few minutes in, I said, you know, I was very angry with you this week. I heard nothing from you at all for 5 days. I know you’re busy, but you should have shot me a text or something.

I stopped speaking. I think he started to apologize. I do know that I started to turn towards him to look at him and kiss it away and he stopped me. He said, this is important to you and I need to feel and process this. Then he was quiet. Finally, he said, “You’re right, you know. You’re asking me for a de minimus nothing response and I did not even do that. I am so very sorry.” I told him I know, but I knew that if I told him, he would do better. He pulled me even tighter to him. I also said to him, look, I am a very good Penelope, but I don’t want to live that life anymore. I mean, I can do it for a time, but that’s not what I want. [Meaning, I will wait for you while you conquer worlds, but I am unsatisfied doing it for long periods of time. Be here with me.]

We spoke a little more, mostly about light things. He told me that he loved our 4th date, our quick dinner downtown, and he loved the fun of being somewhere new that was better than we’d expected. It felt to the two of us, and I cannot remember if he said this, but this is what he meant and how I felt, the closest to real life of anything we’d done up until last night. It was a relationship date, with us out exploring a new place together, etc. It’s the kind of thing we both want to do, to be together sharing new experiences. That we both need and want that is telling.

Still embracing me and holding my hand, he fell soundly asleep.

I did not.

New bed, new place, new guy. It’s been years since I have slept in bed with someone, which I told him before he nodded off. It took me a couple of hours to fall asleep. I was in pain, having a bit of an allergic reaction, and it was hard to relax fully. He was tossing and turning a bit, but in his sleep, he sought me out no matter our positioning, held my hand or my arm or my thigh, kissed the top of my head. At times, I became his pillow, with his head on my back or resting on my shoulders. It was sweet and tender and wonderful.

I did not mind lying next to him in the dark, although I did get up at one point to check my purse and his bathroom and closet for a benadryl, tylenol pm, or even an aspirin. I had only excedrin, which would have been counter-productive. I did glance at his closet and saw his beautiful wardrobe. Unlike BFD’s closet or BP’s, LP’s closet is slightly messy and his elegant ties were slightly rumpled. (As he walked out, dressed, this morning, he acknowledged the same, while pointing out his “goth” look, which it was for a gorgeous Italian ensemble, but he said he figured, eh, I just moved and I worked all weekend.)

Still in the closet which is between the bedroom and the bathroom and still bored, I flipped his wallet open to check his birthday. I know that sounds strange and I could have just asked him when he awoke, but I wanted to know his astrological sign. Weird, right? We are a significantly better match than me and BFD. In fact, he’s the same as A and as W: “This is a most exhilarating combination. You both share the same likes and dislikes. You are both always on the go, craving excitement, love and fun. This is truly a link made in heaven. . . . Your common interests and lusty passionate nature bring about outrageous social and sexual encounters.” So far, so good.

He is a very solidly built man. He is not skinny like Q the model, nor muscular and cut like BFD, but he has a great shape and a little belly, a slightly shorter version of A — nice broad shoulders, but very solid, very manly, not unlike many of my relatives. I can easily wrap my arms around him, which I did when I needed to have him switch positions while asleep. Because I had a decent amount of time to look at him unobserved as he slept, I can say definitively that I think he’s handsome and, as I told him this morning, when I was resting my head on his shoulder, I am really crazy about him.

I awoke him before 5 am the next morning inadvertently. I needed to go to the bathroom. I also needed to remove, to the best of my ability, the mascara and eyeliner now migrated under my eyes. I went to bed in full makeup, but since I wear mineral stuff, I was not concerned about a transfer to the pillows or a desperate need to wash my face. Because I was i there for a while, he became a little concerned when he awoke. I climbed back in and he nodded off for a couple of minutes and we kissed and talked for a few minutes until he decided it was time for coffee. It was only 530. He told me to stay in bed and he made decent coffee. I like it a little stronger, but whatever. We talked and laughed (he’s really hilarious and wildly inappropriate and a performer, of course) and watched news and then mtv until he decided he had to take a shower and get ready for work. We talked about décor decisions and I gave him my opinion about something I thought would work even better than he was thinking and he liked it. He loves that I love his house.

I could see myself spending significant time there . . .

As I put back on my earrings, I mentioned that I’d been very careful to leave no evidence of my presence. (I’d worn minimal jewelry in the first place and I’d made sure there was nothing that said a woman had been present — unflushable wrappers went back into my bag because I did not want his kid to be aware that someone had been there. It’s up to him to tell her at some point and there is no reason for me to do that, and certainly not so soon.) He teased, okay, but you know, I would have just added it to the pile of earrings, panties, and [sex toys] other women leave behind.

Yes, very cute. I called him a brat, which he said no one ever says about him, which I find incredibly hard to believe.

I made the bed while he was showering, stretched a bit, and was getting dressed as he came back out, looking all kinds of hot in his very fabulous lawyer ensemble. As I was not fully dressed, this meant he needed to make out with me again for a couple of minutes.

He loved having me with him and he told me again and again how attracted to me he had been since the beginning. He thinks I am beautiful and he’d fantasized about me since the night we’d met, joking about his own ridiculousness that he could not stop thinking about a woman “living with some other dude.” He spends a lot of time talking about my overall hotness and how he cannot believe he has such a hot woman — in his bed, in his room, in his car, half-naked, etc. As he is an attractive man who is ridiculously well-paid, he could easily replace me with a younger, hotter, still appropriate woman, but I do appreciate the sentiment and I love that he loves my body and thinks I am very hot. I feel more attractive because I am more attractive to him. It’s a wonderful thing.

We really had a lovely morning and a quick, no traffic drive back to my place and he was still at his office before 7 am. As I sat here, in my own bed, contemplating the night, and writing this out, I could smell his cologne on my skin from when I had hugged him, and I loved it. I texted him the same, still before 6 am.

Other items of interest: he deleted his fb account because it was challenging when he was going through things with his ex, and apparently he had/has a stalker who also tracked him on fb (okay, so that we have in common); and he’s very obviously deeply engaged in therapy. He had three books that I saw that each related to issues with which he is dealing with his ex and his parents — narcissism, codependence, and recovery. A little scary, but he is dealing with them and I would much rather have LP as the open loving man he is confronting these issues than in deep denial about them. At some point, I will ask if his therapist is okay with him being in a relationship. I believe the answer is “no,” but I am a little fuzzy on BFD’s therapist vs LP’s. A too is in therapy. I do not drive them too it, but I do tend to have some enlightened men in my life. I think he said his therapist told him no relationships for a while, but again, that could have been BFD or A.

Last night, I was steeling myself to spend time alone, missing him, still a little angry. Now, I know we’re doing very well. Our big challenge is continuing to keep the physical/sexual side of our relationship in check while we get to know each other, which frankly is a great problem to have. He has to deal with his ex and his work and keeping everything in balance; while I continue to juggle the men in my life, but after spending our first night together, I am so excited about more nights to come.