Date four with TED (the Editor) has left me reeling.
In fact, I wrote an email to him, which I sent, trying to mitigate some of the damage I think I caused to our nascent relationship.
He has not yet responded back, although he has texted me since he left my condo at 715 am, ill from a wicked hangover and lack of sleep.
It started interestingly.
We are now dating, sort of officially, I guess. What that means for us is an expectation we will see each other once a week, that we will be spending that night together, and that we will be each other’s plus one for events.
It’s completely normal, and yet so normal as to be exotic to me.
My best girlfriend RA is on the board of an arts philanthropy, of which Hot Blonde’s boyfriend is a founder. On Wednesday, she invited me and TED to their awards ceremony and closing party for a festival they were hosting. Um, yes, of course.
I asked TED, uncertain if he’d want to go, and knowing he’d rsvp’d us for something on Saturday.
He accepted, but wanted to make it clear “I can probably go out just one night this weekend. . . . Is your apartment mate gone all weekend?”
I told him in response: “I should have clarified that this was in lieu of Saturday, as of course I’d not presume to book your whole weekend. :)”
His next email contained a news update: “FYI, […] (the woman staying with me) is going to spend one night per week elsewhere in order to help preserve our friendship. ”
That was important, as on date three he was angry and upset about the fact she was there all the time and we couldn’t spend time the night together. There is something lovely about sleeping in someone’s arms.
But I assumed that our agreement that we would spend this night together at my place was likely to include sex. As it was date four, after all, sex seemed perfectly reasonable. And, yet, he’s sort of quirky, so I was not really sure.
What I did know is that I needed to finish cleaning my place. Given my mental health and then my destroyed toe and concussion, my place has been a wreck. Everything was cluttered, recycling needed to go out (we’re talking box after box of paper and glass), and it’s worse than you think. So, I’d started straightening it and taking out garbage bags and boxes and I got about 90% done, with the thought I would do laundry and finish on Friday.
Except, that’s not what happened.
What happened is I got inundated with work, missed three hours of the event I was supposed to attend, and got to the party, around the time I was expecting TED.
He was late.
He was nearly 90 minutes late.
I had already calibrated my expectations, so I was actually okay with his lateness.
I was with about a dozen really great friends and we were drinking and eating and having a fabulous time. HotBlonde and I took an official photo, which turned out well. She’s really glamorous. I believe she is thinner than I am, though we’re the same height (I am dysmorphic, so I don’t know, but I do know we weigh the same). She is a fashionista who owns the best salon in our city. Anyway, I love her.
RA is there and the Software Developer and his girl, the tv reporter, and a handful of others, sprinkled among the 200 guests. As usual, we are near the bar. As usual, we are having the most fun.
Into this environment, in a private club, walks The Editor.
He is, as I have said, ridiculously handsome. He’s over 6′, with salt and pepper hair, dark eyes, and patrician features. He’s thin, broad shouldered, and well-muscled from swimming and yoga. When he stepped away for a moment, SD high-fived me on TED’s attractiveness. Hilarious.
So, TED walks in and we kiss and I introduce him to the people I am with. He is already a bit overwhelmed. I mean, it’s a lot of people, all of whom are my best friends. We talk a little to each other within the group and I direct him to get a drink right behind us. Everyone is warm to him and we bounce from group to group for a while.
He tells me he’d not been feeling well, so he’d eaten before he came. We sit down together on a sofa and talk and eventually RA’s SO joins us. RA, immediately upon meeting TED exclaimed “you’re going to LOVE [my boyfriend]!” And TED said, wow, that’s a lot of pressure…
Which is sort of how TED thinks.
But, they meet and of course they instantly bond. At one point when he leaves us RA’s SO says, he’s great, he’s my age, right (which would be 39), I said, actually, 5 years older… The response: he looks amazing.
Yes, he does.
So everything is wonderful. He’s handling the pressure well, going awkward only once or twice and it’s all good. We are holding hands and being very coupley. All of my friends love him.
This is due, in part, to the fact he’s not the Bon Vivant.
Also, he’s smart, handsome, and mellow.
As the party winds down, we make plans to after-party. TED wants to go to his secret jazz club with me, but he immediately accepts an invitation to barhop with SD, his girl, the reporter, and a really cute girl the reporter just met. The six of us head 8 blocks downtown from midtown in separate cars.
TED is good, and seems to be having fun. We’re both rather tipsy at this point. We park in front of PR’s office building and head off toward’s SD’s condo and then this bar. We pass the historic hotel and see the lead singer of the band we saw last week. He says to me “hey, it’s [ ]! Let’s say hi.” So we do, we tell her we saw her the week before and how much we enjoyed it. TED and the singer, who is a bad ass woman in her 60s, talk music for a minute and then we’re off.
It has probably just occurred to him that we’re a little drunk.
We go to a bar that it sort of a hipster spot during the week and a douchebag bar on the weekends. It’s filled with former frat boys in the 30s and their blonde girlfriends. It’s packed to the gills. I buy a very specific drink for TED, at his request, and I get it perfectly, except apparently the glass of club soda accompanying it was too small. I rolled my eyes at him because seriously.
We each have another round of drinks, which none of us needed. Eventually, I find giant jenga, which is my favorite thing to do at a bar like this. We’re having a great time, despite TED losing the game for us. When we’re done, we decide to head back to SD’s as it’s on the way back to the car. I get another drink for him, but I am not drinking any more.
In fact, I feel mostly fine, as I’d eaten earlier.
We are sitting on a love seat and about 15 minutes in, I realize I should get him home.
We reconfirm as we’re walking the two blocks that we are going back to my place.
We do, and I park, and we head upstairs. The first thing that happens is the dog comes bounding out, needing to walk, so we hold hands and walk the adorable dog, and then we sit on the sofa.
He hates my place.
I know he does.
First, it’s messy, and second “it’s not what I was expecting.”
That he would have had any expectations is weird, but okay.
After just a couple of minutes on the sofa, we adjourn to the bedroom. I had enough time to remove my spanx without him noticing. Sex happened quickly. We did have the perfunctory “you’re clean, right?” conversation before we had unprotected sex.
But, let’s be honest, I engage in way riskier behavior than he does. He discloses everything about his health to me all the time, he would have mentioned if he were diseased.
I have no idea how long it lasts, but I think not long. It started slowly and excellently, and it ended with him realizing he didn’t feel that well after a position change.
We decide to fall asleep. He asks for his boxer briefs, puts them back on and I turn out the light. We are both up and down a few times and it’s not great.
I am surprised by how poorly he’s sleeping.
He’s clearly uncomfortable. I assume he is uncomfortable both because he’s not in his own space and because he is in a space he does not like.
The next morning, he is up and down a lot, and he decides if he’s awake at 7 am and hungover, he wants to go home to be miserable.
We don’t hug or kiss goodbye. As he gets dressed I am describing how to get back to his car and I walk out onto the terrace to show him (I’ve thrown on a nightgown). He says, as he’s heading down the stairs “I’ll call you.”
And, I am immediately chilled to the core.
I text him to his computer not is cell “I am so very
Me: I am so sorry. Hope you feel better soon. 7:32 AM
TED: No need to feel sorry about my own dumbness. I’m okay now. 1:30 PM
Me: Glad to hear it. I was concerned, as I know how epic your hangovers can be. 2:42 PM
Between my reply to his text, I sent him a long email: thanking him for coming, telling him how much everyone enjoyed meeting him, apologizing for the place and for another drunken night (although this is the first drunken night that was my fault, I didn’t even drink on date 2 and I had a glass of wine on date 3), and inviting him and the woman who is living with him to a show on Sunday and inviting him to be my plus 1 for a party on tuesday.
It’s a great email.
I have heard . . . nothing.
That’s unusual for the Editor. He’s direct. He’s inquisitive. He’s responsive.
I honestly don’t get it.
I fear he had decided for whatever reason that we’re done.
It could be a combination of things, of course.
Now that sex is involved, things shift a little bit. It’s more serious.
I literally have no idea where we stand, but it feels done.
But, then again, I think that every time.
I was chatting with my girlfriend C: well, he’s not spoken to me today, so we might be dunzo
To which she replied: “No he’s just being a dude”
Which is probably likely.
I don’t think anything happened that we canot overcome, with conversation. We have been talking since May 4th. We talked through my reconciliation with the Bon Vivant, and our frequent breakups this summer.
He does not know how close in time BV and I are to him, but that’s okay.
What’s not okay: I could have slept with BV tonight if I had wanted to. He tried to hang out with me all day, and as the day progressed, he started sending me texts that were not even innuendos. Had I responded to him directly, I would have been in a cab, on my way to him and his bed. Instead, I joked with him playfully and claimed illness.
Which is true, but also, not enough to keep me from having sex with BV had I wanted to.
I have one rule about sexual monogamy: only one partner per cycle. But, here’s the thing . . . TED and I did not complete anything, so the thing that the rule is designed to protect against is off the table, so technically, I could sleep with BV if I wanted to.
As of Friday night, I was dating The Editor. We were happy. We kissed in public, we held hands, we laughed and played and had fun. He got to see me in my element as a socialite and as a downtown girl, barhopping. And he had fun.
And then we had sex, which was drunken, but you know, it felt good and everything worked perfectly, and then he got increasingly uncomfortable. And then he left.
And now he is silent.
There could be weird emotional stuff happening. There could be health or exhaustion things happening. There could be a lot of things affecting him. Or nothing.
I am surprised that he did not respond to my email in any way. There was a lovely invitation in there.
I am terrible when it comes to dating, as I am unwilling to commit, until I decide to commit, and then it’s for good. Like, as I told C, “I am an amazing girlfriend I am a fucking horrible person to date.”
And I am. I have been tempted by BV because I am bored and because I love him. I mean, I do still love him. We never really broke up, we just haven’t seen each other in a while.
But, I was, until early Saturday morning, dating the Editor. I introduced him to my friends. I barhopped with him across town. I let him into my home and into my bed.
He glitched. He fell apart. It’s up to him to figure out if he can be comfortable outside of his normal comfort zone and to spend some time in my world, with all of its great things and awful things.