I know I wrote THREE posts about this topic last weekend, but I am constantly surprised I am dating GT.  Like, constantly.  Like, I have not really processed that it is happening, even as I am sitting with him on a variety of patios or having sex with him.

But, I am dating him and it’s a real thing.

For me, dating means an expectation that we will see each other somewhat regularly.  With GT, we are on an every week rotation and now making some more future-oriented plans, scheduling a couple of weeks in advance.

So, with our dates as an expectation, I do have to start thinking a little critically about whether this is what I want.

The positives: he’s smart and handsome and charming and ruggedly outdoorsy.  He is present in a way that most men in my life are not.  He’s solid and loyal and a really good man.  He is so many wonderful things in so many ways, and I enjoy all of the time I spend with him.

The negatives: he’s very young, which means this relationship will not last long.  He might be a little physically unaffectionate.  The sex is good, but not great.

I like him, but there is no deep, world-rocking passion behind it.  That’s not necessarily a negative.  Deep, world-rocking passion is what I had with LP and that was terrible.

The end of that relationship, when I decided finally that it was never going to happen and I was done waiting, is what inspired me to begin actively dating again.  And, I do mean active.

I counted up and I am in some way emotionally and/or romantically involved with six men: LP, the LDF, RSG, the older corporate guy who I have decided to friend-zone, an oil and gas exec who went to prep school with JerkFace, and GT.

But, GT is the one who I have brought to public events, who I have an expectation to see regularly, and who is now issuing invites to other people to join us when we are doing things.  Like the Reporter.

Saturday afternoon, he messaged me about 1 pm to let me know he was not going to his family’s lakehouse, as had been his original plan for the weekend.  As is our custom here, it was a gorgeous day, so his invitation to me started with:”I feel like I should be outside. You?”

We spent 20-30 minutes figuring out logistics, during which time I showered and agreed to meet him somewhere downtown.  For me, that meant a bus, which I did not mention to him until I got delayed.

He was already on the patio at the restaurant, and had ordered food, knowing I was not eating.  It was an avocado and bbq chicken pizza, of which I had a couple of slices. He had a cocktail he didn’t really drink, as it was far too spicy  (it really was).  We went next to the bar across the street where we had sweet tea vodka in a mason jar, befitting the hot afternoon.

We switched to beer, and played a game on the patio before deciding to wander in search of a charger for his iphone 5 — I have the 4s so it’s not compatible.  It’s wickedly hot, and it’s only going to get hotter.  As we walk about 5 blocks, I glance into the windows of a building and realize, for the first time ever, that GT is indeed a couple of inches taller than I am.

He is a handsome man, but his beard is getting more and more scraggly.  Which is amusing as he is wearing a really nice jade colored linen oxford over a white under-shirt and navy blue chino shorts.  He looks very sharp except for his beard, which just makes it that much better.  His beard looks like the laziest vacation beard, and less like a deliberate facial hair choice.

We head first to one bar, and realize they don’t have a plug and then to another, which is one of the Bon Vivant’s favorite bars.  It’s essentially a dive-ish sports bar in the middle of this entertainment district.  I never ever go there, and I try to never even glance in since BV and I split.  On our way there, we pass by a bar/coffee shop everyone I know frequents, and I see someone I used to date.  Who I stop and hug and then introduce GT immediately.  It’s clear this is a date.  I tell my friend we are looking for a plug and he offers his for the next 30 minutes while he’s still there.  We take it and walk next door and see one of my favorite former waitresses from the Chic Hotel Bar just two blocks away.  I introduce myself and GT and he orders a gin & tonic and I order my cheap beer.

We are just talking about sports and baseball and things and I realize exactly how much older I am than him.  He describes something that happened when he was a child . . . and I was a practicing lawyer.

Still, thanks to his scruffy facial hair and weekends at the lake, he looks older than his age, so it’s clear he’s younger, but not necessarily that much younger.

I think we look good together, and we are clearly comfortable in each other’s presence.  As time goes on and we get to know each other better, I am finding him more charming.

I do know it’s early on because I listen to his stories and I am interested in things I know I actually couldn’t care less about.

We stay at this bar for a while, talking baseball, while a game was on the tvs around us.  It’s a comfortable spot, but I wanted to be outside, so after a few rounds, we tab out and head off to a bar I love but rarely go to, which happens to be owned by one of GT’s friends.  It’s perfect and exactly what we’d been looking for all day. We walk all the way up to the rooftop patio and sit down at a table with giant jenga, which is my favorite thing to do at a bar.

We play, and it’s amusing because GT is an engineer who works in construction so we both get hyper competitive and delight in creating the least structurally sound moves we can.  It’s fun.

We drink a lot more.  He’s now switched to a different incredibly cheap local beer, and we are enjoying ourselves.  Eventually, we challenge a lesbian couple sitting near us, and the four of us have a great time.  They ask me about GT when he is away from the table, how we met, etc.  I think they ask if this is a first date, and I tell them, no fourth . . .

Fourth date.  It feels like longer, in part because two of them have been overnight. And we are very comfortable.

I remember him going to tab out, but I don’t really remember the walk back to his car. We had agreed early on he would be driving me home.  As we were making our plans at the start of the day, he told me “I have to be up early tomorrow morning to look at a boat for my mom,” so I knew this would not be an overnight date.

As we were driving the 20 minutes out to my place, we start fooling around in the car, which quickly escalates.  By the time we get to the house, the only question is where we would be having sex.  Somewhat ridiculously, but completely awesomely, he decides we should have sex in the car as we were already making out in it.  It’s not a large car, a 3 series, but we are small people.  He’s a very slender 5’7″, I am an equally slender 5’5″.

I slide between the two seats and join him in the back and slip off my shorts.  This is the first time we have had unprotected sex.  Because it was the first time, it was over much more quickly, to the surprise of us both.  He pulled out and ended up soiling his shirt, which he laughed was going to be rather embarrassing as he was leaving from my place to go straight to his mother’s, nearby.

Laughing, we get ourselves back together, and slide back into the front seats to talk and kiss goodnight.

It was the perfect end to our date.

My preference would have been for him to have spent the night, but we knew up front that was not going to happen.  It worked out for the best as everyone else was at home.  It would not have been a big deal, but this was definitely for the best.

I am glad we had unprotected sex because it does indicate a level of monogamy I was not sure we had.  We have not discussed our status on anything.  It’s still too soon.  We are only recently a we.

Throughout the day, we set dates for things in the future: a dinner I told him I would take him to, to celebrate this deal closing (“It will be ridiculous”), and talked about summer things and my move back downtown.

We are happy and this is comfortable.

We know that we will be seeing each other more.

I have no idea what will happen when I have to tell him about my trip to see the LDF.  I have no idea what will happen when I might tell him about other men I am seeing.  He has been the only man I have been sleeping with.  With one possible exception (the LDF), he is the only man I will be sleeping with for the foreseeable future.

I will need to figure out whether this is the relationship I want to be in soon.  I have deliberately waited to settle down, and I have no idea whether I want to settle down with GT.

He is really wonderful and solid in ways I am not entirely used to.  He is a very good man, and it is nice to have a very good man in my life.