I date a very specific type of man: charming narcissists. It’s well-known, nearly a joke. It should be in my bios.

These charming narcissists are charming to not only me, of course. They tend to be playboys. I am, on occasion, not the only woman in their lives.

The joke — or not-joke — with FM is that we are dating other people. Except we are dating other people. At least I assume we are.

I am giving him wide berth. We are seeing each other 2 or 3 times a week, and in the in between times, I am giving him space. It’s early, yet, he has a life, I have a life, blah blah blah. So far, so good.

Except right now . . .

Because right now, I am a little freaked out. It’s silly, but I sort of don’t care who he’s seeing when I am not around. But I care A LOT about who he is seeing when I am.

I saw an exchange today that has me upset. We’re having a little gathering on Wednesday, for the second week in a row, and one of his friends, not a friend of mine, reminded him he’d (drunkenly) invited a woman who hangs out with them regularly. He said didn’t remember, but of course she was welcome to join.

So, I want to bail out.

I have three built-in excuses: 2 other parties and work. Essentially, if I cancel, I acknowledge that I am having an issue — at least to myself — and I miss a chance to see him this week, as I have plans for Friday and we have plans for Saturday to see our friends, but as friends.

I think I am being unreasonable, but I am wildly uncomfortable about the idea of hanging out at his place with a woman with whom he is also involved. And a bunch of our friends.

Do I know he’s dating her, too? Of course not. Do I think he would tell me if I asked? Yes. Should I? Oh, hell no. Yes, even I deal with jealousy issues, even when I am dating “down.” But, I need to not freak out about it. I need to be casual and good, even when I don’t feel that way.

Some of this is pms-related. Some of it is my own narcissism — as I frequently “joke,” it’s not that I want to date everyone . . . it’s that I want them all to want to date me, i.e., I want “all the toys.”

Sitting here, fevered, and pms-ing, I saw a friend check in at my favorite wine bar and mention FM was with her and ailing. I was on the cusp of calling him beforehand to see how he was, so I texted him something innocuous. Surprisingly, he replied back that he dragged himself out for a meeting for a charity function he’s organizing for December.

It’s all so early and so terribly perplexing.

My friendship with YM made it through the errant text. So did FM and YM’s friendship. My relationship with FM deepened Friday/Saturday — we spent the night together (again), but more comfortably this time — we went out with a mutual friend and were quite open (eventually) about the fact we are seeing each other — and he openly posted to everywhere “we’re totally seeing other people, right?” engendering a lot of joking comments from male friends — we grabbed breakfast the next morning and I drove him to a work thing. Then on Sunday morning, he posted something teasing me about coffee. I mean, I know he likes me. (Ahem, who wouldn’t?) And it’s obvious to our friends, too. It’s just there are a lot of other people in his life.

The difficulty of dating/seeing/whatever someone who is very different from me — younger, different world, etc., is that I am never certain if there are certain social mores I am missing. I am trying to be cool about him and his life, and, for the most part, succeeding, but I am really really really tempted to pick up my ball and go home for the party this week. Which also could mean for good.

My initial reaction, nearly posted elsewhere was “I guess 9 days is long enough.” I don’t know he would have gotten it, I doubt it, but it would have made me feel better. I give him a lot of space. We are in less contact now than when he was ardently pursuing me for weeks.

=== FM, YM, another guy I’d gone for wine with, and five other friends are now at the pub in our neighborhood, having, one would assume, way too much fun. Everyone but FM is checking in and commenting. There are times when I’d prefer to not know what’s going on, but that’s their world. Everything is well-documented in real time and in photos.

I spoke to YM after who confirmed I was a topic “Yup. You rock.” But a slightly more impartial observer, who has an unrequited crush reported, dutifully:

Haha. YM has a clear love/not love relationship with you. FM wants your ass. And [young friend] doesnt know you
Yeah, sounds about right.