Friday, December 03, 2004


I am so frustrated. I feel like I must convince myself that I am not meant to be married. It's amazing how dramatically my perspective has changed in three years. Being 30 was fine. It seemed like there was plenty of time to enjoy life. Now, I feel like I'm in a dead end alley with a huge brick wall clearly at the far end. I have no where to go.

I know people tell me I'm attractive. I suppose at least I have that to get people's attention. Unfortunately the minute I open my mouth or get one-on-one with someone, things go nowhere. Lately I've felt like all I can do is put my foot in my mouth. I'm jealous of Sh. Guys enjoy talking to her and want to get to know her. Among her male friends they all consider her a great person to know and hang around with. I feel like with everyone I know, there's always somebody they choose to call before me. Now of course you might say it doesn't matter since her dates were unsuccessful but at least she gets them. Still it's that "foot in the door" opportunity that I can't even get past.

Feeling this way makes me want to just stay home and do my own thing. I know I can't get anywhere if I don't make an effort to go out, but it's just so depressing. In the past I've compared dating to job hunting. But it's just so much more personal. And you know how personally I take even the smallest things. I don't handle rejection well. It's easier to avoid the truth and live alone. I feel like there's nothing out there for me.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Where to hide

I didn't plan it though I knew it had to happen soon. We went to a cooking class last night and then met up at my place to watch "Survivor." When the show was over, he started cuddling and kissing me. I felt totally uncomfortable.

I turned to him and told him that I'm still not sure how I feel. I didn't know what else to say? He asked what we could do about it? However I said it, he seemed to think my mind was already made up and there was no point in fighting for me. He wanted to understand why I thought this was over. I told him, very frankly, that I didn't feel like my heart was in it. As much as I enjoy spending time with him and feel happy, something's just not right. When he asked what else, I told him that while on the plane, the thought popped into my head about how I would respond if he proposed marriage. I couldn't see myself saying "yes."

There are a bunch of little things, but they really don't explain the situation. He still wanted to know the details. And perhaps against my better judgment I mentioned some of them. The biggest one is still that something doesn't sit right with me that he's not Chinese. It's a preference thing that's out of both our hands. Then there's the struggles we've had with sex. It's not a good sign to not feel passionate and fulfilled. Maybe it's just something that needs more work, but I have a feeling it goes deeper than that. There were other little nuissances I dare not mention. I closed with saying that sometimes our mismatched humor didn't help.

He mumbled dozens of comments during those hours on the couch:

- Darn, darn, darn
- N0 Yellowstone, no Xmas present?
- I don't get to take you to Paris
- But I just told my Dad about you
- I just made a key for you
- I knew it was all too perfect
- I was going to go and buy you a sushi mat
- I was going to watch football with you
- You gave me a puppy just in time
- You're not coming to the wedding?
- and lots of other thoughts where I only saw a sad smile on his face

He didn't want to leave. He calculated how long we've been together. He tried to be positive and say that he was glad we had this time together when I could have broken this off after one month. He was hurting, he was crying.

He talked about how different this was and how it came out of nowhere. Thinking back, now he understood why I had asked him last month if he would date someone if he knew it woudn't go anywhere. He thought there'd be more warning before we broke up, like having an argument. The feelings were also different because with his past relationships, it had been over long before the official break up. He went in knowing that it was not serious, whereas this time he went in thinking about the long term. I have no doubt that he wanted to marry me. He was just holding back his feelings until he was more sure about mine.

As he prepared to leave, he looked around my place as if to memorize every detail to preserve in his memory. We want to be friends. I just don't know when he'll go through his anger stage. What will it be like?

What's wrong with me? I know, nothing. It's not my fault. Still it's frustrating to find someone so amenable, so supportive, so loving and not be able to feel the same.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

What to feel

So here I am dating Tim for almost four months now. At first I wasn't sure, then I was content to just date him. Now I find myself growing unhappy, not with him, but with myself. He's such a wonderful guy. He has so much of what I need in a man, and yet, I do not have passion for him. Why is it we love the men who treat us poorly and take us for granted? Then we find nice guys who fit the bill of what we think we want but then can't find enough feeling in our hearts. Grrrh.

I've been honest with him throughout this relationship. I don't know how I feel, I don't know if this is going anywhere. I am happy and content when we're together. I look forward to talking to him. But there's no spring in my step at the thought of him. There's no chill when I see him at the door. He's just there. I want to feel something more. Shouldn't I? What's the problem?

I admit I'm not as attracted to him as I'd like. I'm so used to dating Chinese men that anyone who doesn't have black hair, brown, slanted eyes and a clean face just doesn't do it for me. Oh it's so sad. Tim's a handsome guy. He's a little rugged looking from his time in the sun and has a big dimple on one side. I don't mind that he's 5'6". Why can't I get excited about him?

He's so into me. He's sweet and thoughtful. He comes over and takes care of my place when I'm gone. He'll go to the library and borrow books for me. He loves to just hold me and snuggle into my neck while we watch tv. He returns my playful nibbles with kisses and nibbles of his own. He's content to kiss and cuddle rather than rush to have sex. My God, I don't understand!

Lately, I think he's sensed more and more my distancing. I want to be with him. I take good care of him. I just am not all there. He's jokes about me breaking up with him, but I know it's because there's good reason to be concerned. I can't keep going like this; it's not fair to either or us.

The one thing I do find interesting is how much more I can be myself around him. Sadly, maybe it's because I'm not crazy in love with him. I know from my own past that I've done stupid things or gone along just to keep things "good" with men I dated. I'm not afraid to complain to him about his apartment. I'm not afraid to criticize the way he cleans the dishes. I don't worry about how I behave around his relatives. I act like myself and they all like it. I can't say the same when I was with previous boyfriends. In fact, I'd have to say I've definitely sabotaged a situation or two because of my self-conscious behavior.

My girlfriends have noticed the same thing with themselves. You can't care when you're on a date. You have to stand up for yourself. And guess what - guys find that attractive! Go figure. No wonder I was such a bore with the last boyfriend. I gave up my personality to keep the water calm. Little did I realize how I was killing our relationship.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Another full weekend

I had an absolutely empty weekend once I got back from my business trip. I was happy to catch an earlier flight and arrive home around 7:30pm. I called Tim just before getting home to tell him to come over. We always kind of play coy with each other about whether we'll spend the night together. This was the third weekend in a row.

After he arrived we went to have Indian food. Tasting tikka masala earlier in the week had left me yearning for the taste of the yummy sauce with naan. Tim ordered the pamb with spinach. I always thought that was referred to as saag, but it was listed differently depending on whether you ordered chicken or lamb. He paid for dinner though I offered some cash. For dessert I offered to treat him to gelato across the street.

After dinner we had a simple evening of watching the tv "Sex and the City" episodes that he recorded off TBS. Watching the show always brings up questions, mostly things I don't want to talk about. As much as I appreciate the openness and honesty of our relationship, sometimes it can get me in trouble.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Kindest Call

Tan called last night just as I was heading out the door. He went on about visiting a friend while on his business trip. I do like talking with him. We seem to get along well in that respect. I have to admit writing him on Monday was a difficult choice because I'm still not completely sure.

I wasn't sure where to interrupt him. I wanted to chat more but was already running late. I apologized and told him that I couldn't stay on the phone long. He moved to the point of telling me that he received my e-mail. He thanked me for being honest and was incredibly understanding. Once again I commented that I'm just not very good at dating. His response was, "none of us are."

He bought me a small gift while he was gone. Yes, I felt like a heel. He wants to still meet up "as friends" sometime so that he can give it to me. I told him I would definitely like that thought it may be awhile considering I have two weeks of travel coming up soon. He suggested I give him a call next time to set up something.

Gosh, why does this all have to get so complicated. I can't tell him about Tim. That would really make him feel bad. I think I just have a hard time being myself in these dating situations. I don't feel like I've necessarily been myself with him and I worry that his impression of me is not accurate. Perhaps taking the pressure out of getting to know each other will be better. We'll see if we actually hang out much from here.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Down to one

It was probably a rash decision, but considering how little I've thought about him over the past week and how much time I've been spending with someone else, I figured an e-mail was in order. People have told me to not rush into any decision and not feel pressured. I can't help it, I'm not the type of person to have my attentions spread all over the place. It seems like all my female friends are torn about the people they are dating. Can't any of us be completely happy?

So I wrote Tan this morning. I think he's back from his business trip. I was very honest, I really didn't even close it off completely. I didn't know exactly what to say. Part of me wonders if things would develop with more time together. Am I being patient enough? Did I give this enough time? We'll see if he bothers to write or call.

"Hi Tan,

Hope you had a good trip to Asia. Thanks for the links. The Verizon event looked interesting though I guess it's hard to participate if you don't have a camera phone. It would have been intersting to watch people randomly running through the city.

I've been thinking a bit this past week and need to let you know that I'm not sure that there's enough chemistry to continue dating. I enjoy hanging out with you and think we get along well. It could be that I'm just not very good at dating. I believe in trying to be honest with people about these things because I know we're all trying to find that special person.

Take care,"

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Cooking weekend

Tim spent almost 48 hours with me this weekend. Other than a few hours when I focused on cooking and he went to play ultimate, we were no more than a few feet away from each other.

It started Friday night after I got back from dinner with a friend. He was just hanging out at home and came over when I called. I suggested he pack something to stay the night. Am I too forward and not playing hard enough to get? He teases about it, but I know that he's happy to get to stay with me. Nothing happened; he's been very well-behaved in that department. I was tired and wanted to get up early to go to the farmers' market and start preparing food for my Sunday lunch. We kissed and cuddled before falling asleep.

In the morning, it was tortured to wake up. We lingered an hour longer in bed than I had originally wanted. We did play around for awhile. He used his fingers to arouse me. I love the attention and genuine desire he has to understand me.

The farmers' market was fun. All the produce looks so scrumptious and plentiful. I picked up everything I needed fairly quickly. It gave us time to prepare a few things like the gazpacho before it was time to head out for my company picnic.

Monday, July 12, 2004


I saw Tim all but six hours on Sunday. First I stopped by his place late after being out with friends all day Saturday. I knew he might be asleep but decided to check around 1am. Turns out he was just about to go to bed when I knocked. We ended up kissing and talking until 4am.

It was painful waking up at 9:30am. He sounded so chipper in comparison when I called him. It is very nice to see him at my door when he comes over. We sat around talking as we waited for the delivery to arrive.

The bed took longer than expected to arrive. The guy bringing it had forgotten a few pieces and had to drive back home to get them. They were a very nice couple I bought the bed from, so I was very patient and understanding about the whole process. I was very happy when he arrived to see that he had made some effort to protect the wood from getting dented and scratched by covering everything with blankets and cardboard.

The gentleman had brought his 1.5 year-old son along. He was a sweet little boy named Zachary, who was wide awake, not shy but quiet. He was allowed to walk around on his own as the guys unloaded the truck. Zach was good about staying close to the car and was content playing with the plant leave and looking at the rocks in the yard.

After moving all the pieces up to my room, we head over to the Creamery for brunch. Tim has suggested this last week. It's becoming difficult to know when we're on a date because it's become rather informal. Nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn't mind another opportunity to get dressed up and go out.

Since we arrived towards the end of the lunch hour, the wait wasn't bad at all. While we waited, I took a look at all the pies on display. They had a nice variety but the prices were a bit higher than I expected. It was more than a dollar higher that the price at Apple's in EB.

I remember having a discussion with him about coconut as we waited for someone to take our order. The brioche french toast sounded really good, but when Tim said he was thinking about ordering the Caribbean french toast, I changed my order to the Belgian waffle so we could share. When he found out that the Caribbean part refers to adding shredded coconut to the toast, he went with the regular french toast. It was funny that we had just talked about it.

He ended up spending all day with me. In the afternoon we assembled the bed.

Curious response

I realize rejection is no fun, but etiquette these days is so lacking with technology such as e-mail. I'm not the greatest at tact but I think it's important to be honest with people. I have to say I'm rather annoyed with an e-mail I received today.


I had a fine week, thanks.

I agree with everything you say. I don't think there's
enough chemistry either. I wasn't planning to ask you
out again anyway, so your message surprised me because
it presupposed I would.

Good luck to you!


There are two things that bother me about his response:

1) He clearly implied that he had future meeting in mind when I exited his car on our last date.

2) So he was just going to not contact me again rather than be polite and say I'm not interested? The "anyway" comment makes me think he's hurt or being defensive with me.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

In his court

TJ joined us for dinner on Saturday night. Friends were asking me about my dating prospects. As I worked through my list of potential candidates and how I have eliminated some, I felt compelled to indicate my disappointment not to hear from GF. TJ informed me that GF recently asked him if he had talked with me. GF's response was that he had written me but not received a response.

I was disappointed and frustrated to hear that. He wrote me back on July 2nd. You'd think he could take some initiative and write me to ask for a date! Duh, you don't have to wait for the girl to write back. I have written him two fairly clear e-mails hinting that I was available for a date. Neither time has he made any effort to actually try and set a time with me. I don't understand and am unwilling to continue being the one to try and initiate something. As independent and modern as I am, I still would appreciate a guy who will make the effort to properly ask a girl out (at least for the first few dates).

Well, I'm not going to write him. It's really too bad because of all the speed dating guys I've met, I really wanted to get to know GF. I found him attractive and likeable. But if this lack of motivation and assertiveness is reflective of his overall personality, then it wouldn't work anyhow. That's one of the reason my last boyfriend made me unhappy; I don't need to repeat that.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Fahrenheit Thursday

I was surprised to receive a call from Tan on Monday. It was a brief call as it was getting late and I had plenty of house stuff to take care of. He called to see if I wanted to meet up for a movie during the week. He suggested seeing "Fahrenheit 9/11." I said my Thursday would be the only available day. Turns out for him that Tues. and Thurs. are the two days he'll be working in the neighborhood. So the plan is to pick up some burritos and go to the movies.


He was waiting for me by the fountain. I was on the phone coordinating plans for Friday night when I walked up to him. We hugged and then hopped into his car to go pick up burritos from La Costena. He told me had watched "Amazing Race" the night before to see what it was about. It sounded like he found it interesting although I guess he hadn't heard of it until I mentioned it. As we got out of the car he said, "As a way to get to know you, how would you act in this situation?" He was asking how I would approach being a contestant on the show. I said I would pretty much take charge. But I buffered my response reminding him that it really depends on the situation because obviously if my teammate was familiar with that city, I would delegate decisions to them.

He also commented about my positive attitude. He asked if I am generally an optimistic and upbeat person. I hesistated to answer that. I suppose it's a good thing that these days everyone notices my positive attitude but I know all too well that my mood can change. I told him that generally it was true but that everyone has their bad days. It's interesting how attractive a positive attitude can be to men.

On our way back to the theatre we talked about music. He recently cancelled his satellite radio subscription but swears by it. I mentioned that I'm going to see Sarah Mclachlan. He has a few of her albums and recalled seeing her at the Bridge concert several years ago.

We ate our burritos on a bench by the fountain rather than inside the theatre. It was such a tasty meal. I felt stuffed after getting through about 3/5 of mine. Somehow I ate faster than him, maybe it's an indication of how much more he was talking. He told me about setting priorities in his life. His cousin just got engaged and it will likely force him to reschedule his planned Hawaii golf outing in October. She got engaged after 8 months of dating and plans to get married in three. What's the rush?

Related to setting priorities, he told me story about being in b-school back in 1994 when he lost a high school friend to drugs. Instead of being a pallbearer at the funeral, however, he showed up at his summer Motorola internship. At the time he was more concerned about making a good impression during his first few work days than saying goodbye to an old friend. He regrets it now and says he would not do it again for a job.

He also briefly talked about cars. He seems fixated on the idea of buying a Subaru Outback as he mentioned it during our last date too. Nothing wrong with that, believe me, I love those cars. When he asked a friend if he could picture him in the car, his friend poo-pooed it as a family car that he didn't need. He likes the car because of the cargo room and the stability of all-wheel drive. When I asked him how often he travels to places such as Tahoe, he said he only made it up there once last winter. I thought it didn't make much sense to get the AWD if you don't use it. It appeals to him purely from a stability and safety standpoint. It has nothing to do with needing it. While I can see him point, I don't necessarily think is adds that much.

Maybe I'm looking for problems, but sometime I feel like he's just saying things to make himself sound good. Mentioning the car, how he is responsible with money, just other little things that get emphasized that seem out of the ordinary. I probably am just imagining things. You know how hard I'm trying not to commit to any of the men I'm dating. This is a big hang up I need to get past.

The movie theatre was decently full when we finally went in. We waited until 15 minutes before the start because he didn't think it'd be that busy. He did remember my preference for 2/3 back in the center. We ended up a little further back, but the seats were still good. We ended up in this couple-like seat. I have to admit I was a little concerned about him potentially making a move on me. But as fate would have it, a pair of people walked in late and asked us to move over one seat so they could sit. By shifting over one seat we ended up separated by a spacing between the seating segments. Two permanent arm rests separated us.

Occasionally during the movie we'd turn and look at each other during a funny moment. Once or twice I leaned over to make a comment or ask a question. The movie was good thought obviously slanted. It made me wonder what the other side has to say in terms of rebuttals. It makes me question the truth and how you can trust anyone in government when it comes to money and power.

As we walked to the car, Tan kept running into me. I was walking a straight line towards where the car was parked. He tended to walk with a slight veer to the left which cause him to bump me a couple times. It turns out that he must hop onto a plane on Saturday to Singapore for work. He will also stay there a couple days to catch up with family.

Overall, it felt about the same as last time. I can't say my affection has grown. I enjoy talking with him, but something still seems out of place and I can't describe it. It may simply be that I'm too involved already with someone else to make room in my heart.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Another one bites the dust

There's a fellow I've been writing off and on since we met at a speed dating event back in April. We've never managed to meet up. The first couple times it was me being too tired and busy with moving. The last two times, he's picked dates that I already had other engagements. I feel bad, but honestly I can't remember him anymore so it doesn't give me much inspiration to put in any effort to make time. So today, I just decided to write this opportunity off.

"I'm actually taking a friend out for an all-day birthday outing.

It would be really nice to meet up with you, but frankly the timing just doesn't seem to be working out. I have been seeing some others and I think it's going to be really difficult at this point to play catch up. Perhaps sometime in the future we'll run into each other."

He was really nice about it. I got an e-mail back from him wishing me well with the other guys. I appreciate the reponse. People like him are the guys I'd like to get to know better. It's just too bad the timing has been so off.

Bye to the older guy

I've been sitting on the idea for days now. My friend definitely felt that I should move on since I'm still not that crazy about his age. He's a decent guy but I just feel like life would be a little boring.

So this morning I wrote him an e-mail:

"Hope you had a fun weekend and have a found a good way
to enjoy your week off.

Thanks again for dinner and hanging out at the movie
last week. I have enjoyed getting to know you. After
thinking about it some more, however, I don't feel
like there's enough chemistry to continue dating. I'm
sure you would agree that finding the right person is
important, and I don't want to waste your time."

I wanted to be as nice as possible about it. He really is a very smart and well-mannered person. I'm sure somewhere in there is a fun and funny person. I just wasn't interested enough to try and draw our more of his personality.

Monday, July 05, 2004

4th with family

Tim invited me to spend the 4th with him. His brother, Ar, drove up from LA to visit. We met them for sushi in PA. His brother is four years younger and has a new girlfriend. This would be the first time Tim would get to meet her.

Ar is definitely different from Tim. The two of them sat across the table from me and Sy. I took a good look at them. Ar has a younger face. I think Tim's outdoor exposure and experiences have aged him a little. They do look somewhat related but not a lot I think. His brother is an LA type who would never appeal to me. His hair was gelled to spike a bit and he had silver rings on his left thumb and pointer finger. It looked odd and not at all to my liking. Still, he seemed like a good guy.

In the afternoon, Tim came home with me. He helped me clean, volunteering to scrub my kitchen floor while I worked on the guest bathroom. When you think about it, it's really amazing the things he'll do for me. How many men do I know who'll do help me with cleaning just to spend time with me. I would definitely never imagine my last boyfriend offering a finger to help. Don't know if that's a good or bad thing. When I say that I mean that I don't want him changing or not being himself just to make me happy. Would he really be like this when/if we're living together?

We met back up with Ar and Sy in the evening. We drove up to their mom's house in order to watch the fireworks. His mom seemed very pleasant. She's a bit into the health food craze and new age things. Her home is quiet lovely and soothing. It was very funny watching the two of them interact as we waited for Ar. Tim helped put together some photos to give her an idea of what her relandscaped front yard could look like. Just the simplest image was very exciting for her.

We walked down to the park to claim a good space for the fireworks. We were all stocked up with fruit, cheese, and snacks to eat while we waited. Ar and Sy kind of did their own thing and we sat together talking or playing cards. There was some great live music at the amphitheatre. I was really bummed there was no around to swing dance with. Tim could see that I was very much into the music and he felt bad that he couldn't dance with me. I hope it persuades him to take a lesson or two.

I haven't watched fireworks on the 4th in several years. It was really nice to just sit back and relax under the stars. The show was short, maybe 20 minutes, but it was cool. We all really liked the one firework where a smiley face appeared. They've come up with some great designs in the past twenty years.

When we came back to the house, his mom seemed to be all ready to go to bed. We talked a little about music and dancing. His mom's boyfriend put on some of his music and we started dancing around the kitchen. I demonstrated my knowledge of swing and salsa to everyone. People started trying to dance. His mom actually went and changed so that she could dance with us. I think Tim got a kick out of seeing me happily dancing around and knowing that his mom liked me. She gave me a hug when we left.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

El Corte

With about seven hours of sleep under my belt I woke to prepare for a hiking date with Tan. It seems funny to hang out with someone in casual, sport clothing. I don't necessarily look all that attractive in my outdoor gear but I'm not going to dress in anything impractical.

Tan always seem to ask if he can pick me up. The plan was to go hiking in Woodside and then have a late lunch in Half Moon Bay. I suggested we meet up at Hillsdale Mall around 10am. That way I could do a little shopping early and run errands afterwards. I was expecting the date to go for about 4 or 5 hours.

I left home around 9am and managed to shop for about 30 minutes at Macy's. I definitely wanted to go back and look through the kitchen section for deals later. I headed over to Starbucks just after 10am and sat outside with a vanilla latte. Tan pulled up in his silver Acura TL minutes later. He looked much better in casual clothing. Maybe it just seemed better because I wasn't wearing heels.

We drove up to Skyline and parked across the street from the start of the trail. The hike was easier than either of us expected. In fact, we finished in just over an hour whereas I think we both had the impression it would last 2-3 hours.

The conversation flowed well. His habit of adding my name into conversation still bugs me. Sh said I should tell him that next time. We talked about various things. Real estate is obviously an easy topic since both of us purchased recently. He really got tired of all the hunting. The market is a tough and tricky area to navigate. We also talked a little about movies and then about shopping. I felt like he asked more questions. I just didn't know what to ask or was not as curious.

We spent some time talking about pet peeves. It was obvious from my statement about SUVs that I had very decided opinions about things. He seemed intrigued and pushed me to share more. We touched upon pets for a spell. I think he intends to get a dog someday. Like most guys, the thought of some wimpy dog does not appeal to him. I, on the other hand, do not want a large dog. Generally it was all small talk about regular things. At some point it would probably be good to get into more serious talks to determine where are common interests lie and where we could potentially disagree.

After the hike, we drove down to HMB for a late lunch. On the drive down the hill, he promised that our future hikes would be more interesting and longer. He referred to future planning several times. I guess that's his way of making it clear he's interested and wants to see me more. I am really learning that I suck at dating, I wish I had learned earlier in my life.

HMB was a little overcast but nice. First, we simply wandered the streets to see what restaurants we had to choose from. We also did a little window shopping, stopping in a furniture store and the local grocery/general store. I think out tastes and spending preferences would be an okay match. I still think he'd probably be a little more extravagant than I am, but we'd be fine.

We walked past a place called "2 Fools" and Tan couldn't resist the smell of the oil and the onion rings on the menu. We ended up ordering the same plate, a mix of fried seafood. The only difference is that one plate had fries and the other came with onion rings. These rings were the thin-cut, string type rather than the thick-cut rings that I like. It was a good meal. We talked about credit cards for awhile. I found it strange that he has a United Mileage card since he accrues so many mileage points just from flying. He told me that he cancelled his REI card on principal after they refused to waive his late fees. It sounds reasonable, but we he explained that he'd asked several times before when he had paid his balance off in full but two days late. Well, from my perspective, what he did was annoying and I can't say that I agree with his attitude. Perhaps I'm not pushy enough in life, but if you pay late, that's your fault and you can't keep expecting other people to make exceptions for you. I won't get ahead in life being that fair, but that's how I operate. Sometimes I think I need someone who will be this pushy to take of me and teach me to get what I want.

It was around 3pm when we finished lunch. I was ready to go home. Tan is a good guy. Like other dates, I find that men grow on me with time. Of course, in his case, I've felt like we had a good connection from the beginning. I'm finding it a challenge to know how to get more personal with people. I don't know how to ease into serious discussion that reveal people's values and ideals.

Dinner Art Deco

Tim called a little before 1pm to see if I was ready. I had to admit I'd fallen behind and was in the middle of putting my makeup on. He gave me another 30 minutes and admitted that he could use the time to shave. I was going to get to see him without facial hair.

So around 1:20pm my doorbell rang. My handsome guy stood there at the door dressed in a nice brown shirt and khakis. We hugged and kissed. Then he said he had something for me. I hadn't even realized that he had kept one hand behind his back until he said that. He gave me one, long-stemmed, red rose. He liked my red dress. I was very happy to be going on a date.

It was a beautiful day to be going to the city. I can't remember what we talked about in the car. I played navigator as we drove through GG Park. The Legion of Honor is in a great location because it's surrounded by a golf course yet near the Richmond's local restaurants. We passed El Mansour and Tim said that's where they took Jy for her birthday. I noted that it couldn't have been this year since that was at Buca. He thought I was wrong at first but then retracted his claim once he thought about the timing.

The museum area was incredibly crowded for a Friday. Obviously we weren't the only ones to try and go to the city. We ended up parking quite a ways down the street. It would have been nice except for my slightly impractical shoes.

While there were many cars, the museum was relatively mild. There was no line at the ticket counter thought there was definitely a good crowd inside. Overall the exhibit was so-so. As is often the case, there were several pieces that were interesting, but the exhibit overall was not as impressive. In many cases it felt like they tried to fill in the gaps using pieces from their own collection that were only remotely related to art deco. Also, I think they failed to show a lot of significant artists from the period including Erte.

Halfway through, I was feeling a bit hungry. In my morning wanderings, I had neglected to eat lunch. So we took a break and shared a bowl of zucchini mint soup at the cafe. It was a little chilly but sitting outside on the patio was very nice. I feel very comfortable with Tim. He's a handsome and sweet man. I still can't help ask myself if I like him just because he's so into me. It seems so ironic that I'm scared to fall in love with him because I expect him to leave me someday. I know it's terrible to think this way, but I can't help be jaded and apprehensive considering all the difficult relationships I've been through.

We did the second half of the exhibit after our snack. We tended to stay together as we moved through the pieces, though occasionally I'd skip a step and move on because of the crowds. I thought it was fine. We also took a look at a few of the galleries in the museum's regular collection. Unfortunately, the impressionist art was removed for the special exhibit. Most of the art remaining on display was not really my style. Time seems to be most interested in modern art like Miro. I like some modern but I told him that impressionist art is my favorite given my years learning French.

One of the other interesting events happening was an opportunity to listen to John Santos play his latin jazz. The crowds were already forming in the cafe. We debated going as I was originally interested. But honestly, my feet were tired and I wasn't sure that we'd find any seating. It was interesting to see all the older folks entering the museum dressed in 1920s and 1930s outfits.

Because my feet weren't in great shape, Tim fetched the car and picked me up. Originally he had planned to take me to Slanted Door, but the restaurant was full. Instead, he made reservations at the Baker Street Cafe. It's a little place in Cow Hollow. The original reservation was for 8pm, but fortunately we were there early enough, 6:30pm, they had a table for us.

For other reasons it was actually good timing. Just as we left the Legion of Honor, I had a light headache and an ache in my abdomen. I realized that it was a warning that my period was about to start. Tim was hoping that we could fool around a bit that night. There was no way for me to know when it would actually start but I implied that it was likely to be soon given that I usually don't feel cramps until after I've started. Sure enough, as soon as we sat down at the dinner table, I felt a drip. I immediately ran to the restroom to find a large spot of red. Oh well.

The dinner menu was surprisingly reasonable. Their prix fixe was only $14.50. I have to admit it made me feel a little better since I knew Tim would be paying. I like going out, and I like that he wants to pay, but I feel a little bad knowing that he's spending all this money when he doesn't have any income. It's strange going out with someone who is unemployed. It's not real life and I worry what other issues will come up when he starts working again. I'm a little spoiled right now because he can make time for me.

The conversation was still good though I felt it a little slower than usual. The time just seems to fly by. There are times I really feel like I don't know what I'm doing.

When we returned to my place, we sat on the couch at first. Since it's a small loveseat, it doesn't make for a great place to cuddle and make out. I took him upstairs to the study where there a futon we can lay on. We kissed and talked for hours. I finally had to make him go home at 1am.

I feel very in tune with him physically. I enjoy kissing him and being next to him. He is enjoying exploring my body and discovering what turns me on. It's so much fun. I think it was good that I started my period. As much as I want him, it's not time yet to get that intimate. I think we need to talk more and learn about each other.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Exploring my fears

After watching "Spiderman II" I stopped by Tim's place. I had intended to just stop for an hour to cuddle and kiss though I definitely had issues on my mind. His place was roasting hot when he opened the door. He was dressed in a t-shirt and jersey shorts.

There were things I had wanted to discuss with him Wednesday night, but I wanted to just enjoy seeing him and not have to get into any serious talk. However, I did want to bring it up this night because I want him to understand where I'm coming from.

My memory of the night is fading fast. I prefaced what I told him by reminding him that what I say is more meant to just give him an idea of what's going on in my head. There's nothing he can say or do to change things, it's just a matter of me getting to know him and overcoming my internal fears and concerns.

There's no way I could possibly explain all the little things that go on in my head. I think I've done a good job of expressing many of them through our discussions. The one I chose to tell him about was my fear that eventually, after the initial thrill fades, will be that he'll see my flaws and generally get bored being with me. I can't help it, it's one of my biggest fears because I've been the one dumped in the past. It wears on my self-confidence. He's so enamored with me right now. It's wonderful to feel like the center of someone's world, but it can't possibly last. My heart hurts just thinking that I might have to suffer through all the pain again.

I don't know that he understands no matter how much I try to explain. He asked me to try and described to him why the other guys didn't want me. I was unwilling to get into that. I figure if he doesn't see it, then it's not something to be concern with. I don't want him looking for it. He's never had his heart broken nor do I think he's ever been in a truly serious relationship. How can he understand why I and others like me tend to tread more carefully into these situations?

At one point he even said that he asked himself, "Why is she single?" I couldn't tell him how much I ask that question of myself. It's a very upsetting thing to think about and I'm not sure if he could tell that by my reaction. I never wanted to be single this long. Why else would I would be so sensitive about getting dumped.

His apartment

I've been joking with Tim for weeks about wanting to see his place. Wednesday night, I got to visit him after coming home from a business trip. He procrastinated all week about cleaning and warned me that it was not ready but that I was still welcome to come over. He had told me before that my place is much more comfortable - I didn't understand how much so until now.

As I approached the door to his apartment, all I knew was that it was a small, one-bedroom apartment with hardwood floors. As I pushed the ajar door open, I could see him fiddling with some gadget in his bathroom. We gave each other a hug and kiss. It was nice to see him after almost two weeks apart.

Okay, yes, his apartment is rather frightening to me. Every potential open space is covered with something. I'm talking about the desk, the dining table, the coffee table... . Even the floor is covered with stacks of miscellaneous items. I have to say it's the nightmare you hear about it terms of guys, but I've been fortunate up to this point to have never run into it. All the men that I've known well, loves and friends, have been much cleaner.

I couldn't help be a little disappointed. I'm not one to hide my expressions - good or bad. I was clearly frustrated with his place. He took it well. I think I asked a lot of "what's" and "why's." I had thought my storage room for a bedroom the past year was totally embarrassing and unacceptable - Tim beat me by a mile. The dirt and particles were clearly visible to me on the floor. I couldn't help ask if he's concerned about attracting bugs.

For someone who spends more time at home than the average person (due to his unemployment) you'd think it would be more organized. The piles of obviously unused things was probably most troubling to me. Granted I probably have plenty of unused items laying around, but at least I put them away. The pile of computer products not only lays in the corner of the room in unorganized piles, it has collected a layer of dust over the years. I imagine when he moves, he'll have little to actually put in storage because he can toss so much of it.

When I sat down on his futon, I wanted to rest my hand on the armrest. The armrest has little bits of crumbs and dust. While Tim was in the kitchen, I brushed all the dirt off the armrest onto the floor is disgust. Underneath the legs of the futon, you could see where he had tried to wipe up the dirt but still missed a considerable section. I felt an overwhelming desire to find a vacuum and start cleaning.

How am I supposed to deal with this?

We had a nice time together. We talked a bit, caught up with what each other has been doing. There's just something nicely comfortable about being with him.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Back to technology

I called Tim last night from my hotel room. I had tried twice already and was about to go to sleep. He had returned home only ten minutes before I called. He sounded happy to talk with me. At times, however, he only seemed mildly interested and perhaps a bit unsure of me.

He said that many of his buddies saw him writing the postcard to me. They asked a bunch of questions about the "friend" who had dropped him off at the camp. Probably this whole time they've known him, they've never heard him mention a woman. He told them I was "kind of " his girlfriend. I didn't stop him on that. I figure it's best to wait and discuss that when I get home. He invited me to come with him when the group has a BBQ party in a couple weeks. I'm sure they're curious to meet me and I suppose I can learn a little about him through them. I am curious to meet the people he spends so much time with.

The phone call ended after about a half hour. I know he's said before that he's not particularly into talking over the phone. He let me go to bed and wanted to take his shower.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Giovanni's and The Stepford Wives

This Friday I'll be having Italian food with the 45-guy. Afterwards we'll go to see "The Stepford Wives." The movie doesn't start until 10:05 which is annoying. I'd really like to get home before midnight. This is his second, and likely final, date with me. I just can't get over the age difference.

I took my time in arriving. I guess B was there early because he mentioned walking down to the bookstore beforehand. I didn't see him standing outside the restaurant. I peeked inside to check if he was waiting at the bar. As I scanned the room, I saw him walking towards me. He had already been seated.

He looked okay. He's not a bad looking person. He was dressed decently in black pants and a plaid, button-down shirt. I thought about his height and it seems okay, but I'd have to say his height is definitely the minimum I need. It's funny how just an inch or two can make such a difference.

The restaurant was a bit loud to have a decent conversation. I couldn't lean back if I wanted to hear everything he was saying. It was also difficult to eat without sitting on the edge of the bench seat.

It is probably true that people can improve upon you the more time you spend with them. It's not bad talking with him. I guess maybe I approach these dates a little too formally at times. The conversation is interesting but a little dry. I smile but there's no jokingly or laughing much. I also found a couple times that he just kept talking and I had nothing to say.

I don't know what life with him would be like. I fear it would be boring. He had a cousin over this week with their two kids. It sounds like he had a decent time entertaining them. He never mentions much else that he does. He obviously is very used to living alone. When we were eating the bread, he would continually dip his bread in the vinegar/oil mix. I think he eventually noticed that I was breaking off pieces before dipping them. On his second piece I think he avoided double-dipping his bread.

We talked about 9-11 because it turns out that he was in D.C. at the time. It was a challenge to deal with everything but he still managed to get some site-seeing done. He expressed that the whole ordeal taught him to let go of the petty, little worries that happen in everyday life.

I found some of our conversations started to repeat things we talked about before. I just didn't know what to ask that wasn't totally direct and serious.

Again his travels seem to be always alone. I told him that I don't prefer to travel alone. I'd rather save my time and go with friends rather than take an extra day on business travel to explore. He told me how he once he went to Club Med in Cancun. He spent most of his time seeing Mayan ruins. Not exactly how I'd spend my time at a Club Med. Apparently there weren't many social events and since he wasn't interested in any water sports there wasn't much draw for him. Personally that seems like such a waste. I still don't get the impression I'd be very happy hanging out with him. Not much of an outdoors person, but then, how often do I really plan to go out?

He drove us to the theatre. He has a 16-year-old Acura Integra. I can't say it surprised me. He has some 190,000 miles on it and has only has to invest in a new fuel valve. When I asked about how long he'd wait to replace the car, he said this is now his second car. He didn't bother to mention what his new car is. The Integra is more for driving to the city because it's small and he wouldn't worry about scratches or dents. He's taken good care of it thus far. But why pick me up in this car rather than the newer one - just because of the tight parking in Mt. View and at the theatre?

When we got to the ticket line, I asked if I could buy the movie tickets. He seemed please and said I could if I wanted. As I paid for the tickets he thanked me as he put his hand on my shoulder.

Inside the theatre, we had to figure out where to sit. He prefers to sit on the edges because of his height. It helps to sit at an angle to avoid being blocked by a taller person. He says he's 5' 5". We laughed about how it becomes an unspoken rule with tall friends how to arrange people in a car. We also talked about old 70s tv. His favorite show was "The Bionic Woman." We discussed Star Wars and Star Trek briefly. He recalled standing in line with friends for the Star Wars premier, but he did add that they were chaperoned.

The movie was okay. It was rather bizarre at times. I loved the gay guy. At the end when he joked about having more highlights in the world, I thought of Tim.

He drove me back to my car. As I prepared to leave, he held out his hand to shake. He expressed the expectation of seeing me again though he understood that I'm already pretty busy next weekend.

I don't know what to say. Could I really be comfortable with someone who is a decade older than me?

I just sifted through Yahoo Personals to see if I could find any information on him. Sure enough, he's there. He last checked in a few days ago. The profile describes him as 43 years old and 5'6". So what is accurate? He sounds okay in his self-description. If it weren't for his age I might think him okay. It doesn't completely jive with the impression I've gotten from talking with him. It just goes to show that it's easy to judge and jump to conclusions before you know enough.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Found a cell phone

Wednesday night I got a little freaked out as I prepared for bed. Standing at my bathroom counter, I realized the door to the deck was unlocked. It was unnerving because I have no idea how long it's been like that. I panicked a little wondering whether anyone had been inside my home. It was very unsettling. To add to the situation, I was startled by the angry meows of two cats outside. They sounded like they were fighting and had fallen from some perched position. One cat was clearly in pain. It was creepy.

That's when my phone rang. The timing was odd and I didn't recognize the number listed on caller ID. I answered and the guy on the other end of the phone said, "hello." I wasn't quite sure of the voice though I suspected it was Tim. I asked who was calling and he wanted me to guess. I said I hadn't heard enough of the voice to know and so he started describing himself as far away, in the dark, ... . Yes I knew it was him.

He had managed to find someone who had a cell phone with reception at the camp. He bought her ice cream just to have the chance to use the phone and call me. So sweet. Unfortunately I think I was a little paranoid from the door and cats so it took me a bit to calm down. It was very nice to talk to him. I probably could have been more affectionate. I did tell him that I was glad he called.

We kept it short since it's someone else's phone. He said, "I miss you," before saying good bye.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Goodbye to #6

When I was deciding who to mark down on my speed dating sheet he was someone I wavered on. Since my feeling were already lukewarm and I have not really communicated with him much in the past month, I decided to let him go.

It's tough writing that kind of e-mail. You want to be nice and not hurt their feelings even though you really have no obligation to them. So I was somewhat honest and said that I have chosen to focus on someone I've met. I told him that I enjoyed meeting him and wished him luck. Seems polite right?

Bold e-mail

I've had it with wondering what's up with GF. My better judgment says to just bail on the whole thing. If a guy really likes you he'd put in more effort. But I believe in giving everyone one extra chance (whether or not it's the wise thing to do). So this morning I sent him one last e-mail. I tried to be careful in my choice of words so as not to make him feel cornered or pressured.

"Hi G,

Still unpacking but the floor is definitely more
visible these days and I can actually use the kitchen
now. Thanks again for the boxes.

I'm guessing you've been rather busy. I thought that
we had a nice time at dinner and that you were
interested in hanging out again. Since I really
haven't heard from you lately, I thought I'd ask if
that's still the case. If not, I understand, I'd just
appreciate knowing that.


He wrote back a couple hours later.

"Hi P,

I'm glad to hear your new place is starting to come together. I just had my contractor come out last night to finish up some track lighting in my kitchen. And, this morning, I finally got my cable TV service setup. Although I still have some home projects to tackle, I feel like the major work is done and I'm pretty well settled in now.

Yeah, it's been hectic lately, but I suppose that's the way it goes sometimes. This week is pretty busy for me, but maybe we can catch up next week?


p.s. How was your Yosemite weekend?"

Did I mention to him that I was going to Yosemite? I have a feeling T must have told him that since he's going this weekend and still trying to figure out which trails to hike. So I'll leave it at this. I want him to initiate this. As independent and strong-willed as I am, I want to be asked out. Gosh it's going to be a complicated week if I try and schedule him in along with Tim and Tan... yikes.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Since you asked...

Just thought this was a very appropriate advice column article to come across:

Dating rules
Is it possible to go out with two women at the same time and get away with it?

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Cary Tennis

June 21, 2004 | Dear Cary,

I'm in a bind: After going a couple of years without a serious relationship, I recently met two very cool women in the course of two days. Gal No. 1 is smart, funny, confident, good-looking and slightly counterculture. Gal No. 2 is smart, witty, lighthearted, self-deprecating and a little bit kooky. On a shallow level, I find No. 1 just a little bit more physically attractive.

As I met them at essentially the same time, I thought it would be OK to get to know them both. I had enjoyable e-mail and then phone relationships, and then had very nice dinners with each. No. 1 is open but taking it as it comes; No. 2 seems to be more proactively interested in me. I might be a slightly better personality match with No. 2, but I really don't know either one of them well enough to say that with conviction.

In the event that everything continues to proceed well, is there any general time limit or number of dates by which I should get on the stick and make a decision? I'm not the kind of guy who feels OK about simultaneously dating two women, and the last thing I want to do is hurt someone's feelings. Is it totally stupid to be swayed by the attractiveness of No. 1 even though No. 2 and I get on very well? I'm in my early 40s (as are both women) but feel like a dumb, naive high school kid. I don't want to screw this up. Help!



Dear Conflicted,

Does God exist? If God does not exist, then this is random nature at work, which means that randomness can be as kind as it can be cruel, which means that consciousness has no monopoly on agape. I see no reason why you should feel compelled to tamper with nature. On the other hand, if God does exist, then God has put these two women into your life for some unseen but no doubt lofty purpose -- not the least of which might be the beneficial effects of certain fantastic imaginings that may occur to you. God, if he exists, is not altogether without a sense of humor.

So what to do? Do whatever you feel like doing. Leave it up to the women. Don't try to control everything or be super cagey about it. Just lay it out there. Say that you met two women at the same time and you're currently dating both of them. Say that such a situation has never happened to you before, and you don't know where it's going to lead and you don't want to do anything rash, dishonest or hurtful, so you're just laying it out there.

I don't think that you have any great responsibility beyond just saying what's going on. In fact, I would hesitate to try to spin it in any particular direction, because that could backfire; the minute you start trying to spin, you enter the realm of unintended consequences. You really have no way of knowing how it's going to end up.

But if the totally Zen approach is a little much, and you'd feel better guiding the conversation toward some definable options, you might ask each woman if she has entertained any notions of your relationship becoming serious enough to warrant the easing out of the other. In other words, try to find out if either of these women is thinking seriously about you.

You might also remind these women that you are a man, and thus completely without guile or cleverness, and that if they think you're cooking this up as some kind of manipulation, they vastly overestimate you. Remind them that you don't particularly relish the difficulties it poses.

I don't think you have much to lose by being open about the situation. I do not think that either woman will refuse to see you on account of it, although if one does, it probably means that she wasn't all that into you anyway. If that happens, consider yourself to have been granted a second piece of good fortune: It relieves you not only of the burden of a difficult choice, but of the potential heartache of a futile courtship.

So, again, I say, just let go of the outcome and explain the situation. Nothing bad can come of it.

Sunday, June 20, 2004


How soon after you start dating someone can you bring them on a camping trip?

Well, Tim came with me to Yosemite this weekend. It was four of us - Ph, Les, Tim and I. We started out at about 3pm with a quick stop at In-N-Out Burger. He wanted to hold my hand as we drove to meet up with the others. It's only been two days but I can't remember any specifics from the drive conversation. My only thinking is that while it's nice to get to know each other and talk about important things, it has a way of taking the romance out of the courtship process.

The one thing I do recall bringing up is the money situation. We've both been very honest and forward about trying to determine if we are a good match for each other. I brought up my concerns about his ability to provide for a family in the Bay Area. Is he comfortable knowing that I make more? Going into this potential job he is realistic about the fact that his future wife could be making more. He said that while job satisfaction is high, the most common reason people leave the bureau is because of salary. I shared my concern that when I have children I want to be able to provide a good life for them. It's also nice when the husband makes enough to give me the luxury to stay home with a baby rather than have to hand them off to a babysitter at three months. I don't think he liked that idea either. He asked me how much I think one person has to make to be able to support a family in the Bay Area. It's a tough question, and I guess at least six figures considering the cost of a mortgage, living expenses, and child care. I don't know that we defined anything from the conversation, but at least the issue is out there and Tim knows my priorities.

Ph was not aware that Tim and I are dating. So toward the latter part of the drive to Yosemite, he asked about my speed dating experiences. It was a little awkward with Tim sitting right there. He played along and was a good sport about it. Fortunately, Ph did not ask for any specific details. I revealed my knowledge of all the various dating sites and they teased me, asking if I've been on all these sites including the alternative lifestyle ones. It was more of a general discussion about the current state of dating. What we did talk about was the e-mail process. During the conversation I revealed that I use an alternate e-mail address for contacting new people. My reasons are two-fold, first I don't want them to know my personal e-mail until I know more about them. Secondly, I learned that I do not want strangers contacting me by instant messenger. For whatever reason, everyone jumped on the alternate e-mail and began teasing me about leading a "double life." I think it particularly intrigued Tim.

Tim and I are still playing subtle games with each other. During dinner, he made some comment about having the time to put up his tent. In my mind, I thought, "oh, okay, he's planning to sleep alone." We hadn't discussed it yet, but I had imagine we could share a tent since it didn't make sense for him to have to set it up twice. I trust that he's a good guy and wouldn't try anything if we shared my tent. So when we finally arrived at the site, I asked if he wanted to stay in my tent and he seemed happy to go along with it. Later, he told me that he had wanted to but also wasn't sure whether to ask me.

Like our first date, we ended up staying up quite late talking. Of course this time, the talking happened in between mini makeout sessions. I'm always amazed at how serious and in-depth our conversations get. It seems too soon to be talking about so many life issues. Granted it's an important part of getting to know each other but normally this happens over a period of months not weeks. It's a very honest and open relationship which is refreshing though scary at times.

Since it's difficult to recall all that we discuss and in what order, I'm just going to write down what I can as I go.

We started out laying side by side. He was so happy to be next to me. Much of the time he was holding my hand and hovering over me slightly. Early on, he was telling me how he thinks of me every day. I asked him what he thinks about. He started his reply by saying something about how he needed to limit what he shares with me until our feelings are more equal. What he did say is that it's simply about spending time with me and being happy. I remember thinking that what he's not telling me is how he is thinking about our future together. I wouldn't be surprised if he was already thinking about being married and spending his life with me. I just get that sense when he talks about us.

He says many nice things about me when we talk. There comments about how cute I am in a pony tail and with or without makeup. I feel like the Bachelorette at times because I'm not comfortable or sure of what emotions to show to him. I'm scared because I don't know if I'm simply holding back my emotions or if I don't like him enough to make this happen.

I told him that I am concerned because it hasn't been that long. I don't know how to figure out if this is what I want. At the same time, I do not want to hurt him. I'd never do it on purpose. He calls me dangerous because he knows that I could break his heart. He's being very patient and understanding about the dating process. I've told him several times that I am wary because of my past and don't want to get hurt again.

We kissed quite a bit in the tent. This another area of question for me. I am trying to figure out how important "fireworks" are. I don't really feel them when we kiss. When I think back to all my other first kiss situations, there was a nervous anticipation. It was exciting to finally press the lips together and get a little taste of the other person. With Tim, however, it's nice but it's almost like we've been together for years - the passion is not there. Maybe we just need a little bit better communication. Neither of us are sure what to do with our tongues. There were times he seemed a little hesitant what to do. I will admit I'm probably not that great a kisser but I've definitely had better encounters. I'm hoping this works itself out soon. Chemistry is important. It would be frustrating to not have a sexy kiss. What do you suppose is the problem?

In the beginning, one of the things I asked him was if he thinks he's changed in the past few years. He feels that the last two years have been the most impactful in shaping who he is. For him, work was his life. Like with many people in the dot-com era, his life revolved around going to work and staying there late. There wasn't much reason to do anything else. He did date W during this time, but I don't know that he would have pursued it had she not been the one who first hit on him. (And that's another concern of mine when it comes to his relationship judgment.) Once he quit his last job (he worked at Savvio and knows of SL), he signed up for karate. Through an outdoor adventure mailing list, he learned about volunteering in Search and Rescue. He told me about how these activities have improved his skills. He's also become better at interacting with and making presentations in front of people. Participating in these activities are what made him consider a career where he could help other people and contribute. I was really impressed and proud of how he assessed the challenges and changes in his life.

At least he's into exploring a little. We behaved very well that night. The only other things he did were run his hands along my back and kiss my neck. It's been a long time since someone's has put in some gentle attention to my favorite spot. I responded to his neck kisses so he made a mental note to remember that spot. The first time he focused on my neck for a good minute, boy, did it drive me nuts. In later visits, it just didn't seem to work as well. I guess the moment had passed. But his willingness to try things is a nice sign.

Soon after that I also expressed to him my concern about going too fast physically. I started by reminding him that men are better about separating physical and emotional attachment. I then indicated to him that I am much more the type of person to associate to two which is why I have to be very careful about what happens. I said that I like teasing guys a little, even though it could be dangerous. It's titillating to talk about walking around the house naked or in underwear. He joked that I need to tell him to come over the next time I do that. I explained how there is a part of me that wants to "go crazy" and have fun with him. It's a struggle for me to keep that desire under wraps and be patient. He assured me that it takes two people to go that direction and that he wouldn't let that happen for awhile. His analysis of that was that it was good for him to hear that I am afraid of getting hurt. Somehow it sounds like it reassures him that it's not just him who is taking a risk.

I have no idea what time it must have been. We did get a little into our sexual histories. Previously, Tim had implied there was something unique about his first girlfriend, K. The relationship lasted 4-5 months. Several months after they broke up, she came out of the closet. I forgot to ask him if that bothered him. When I did ask him how many people he's been with, he had to qualify the question because there are so many definitions of being sexually intimate with people. In the truest sense of the term, he's been with two people. My guess is that it's Ap and W. He said that with K, they fooled around quite a bit, even being naked with each other but not actually having traditional intercourse. Knowing that she's a lesbian, I can imagine how that might have worked.

When my turn came, I reported my three. He asked if it was the last three boyfriends. That's where I hesitated before implying that there was one circumstance that was not normal. I was very hesitant to talk about it. I wasn't sure if this was the appropriate time to get into detail versus waiting until we are more involved. I made it very clear that it was something that was not like me and that it was something I would not choose to repeat in my life. At first when the subject came up, he thought of all sorts of terrible things like cheating on a boyfriend, cheating with someone who's already unavailable, kissing a woman, being with multiple people. I finally relinquished my secret and admitted that I had a purely physical encounter with a friend for a period of two months. He was surprised and agreed that he never would have expected that from me. I was still unwilling to say who it was and he didn't pursue the question. I did indicate that it's someone I still talk to. For Tim, on the surface at least, he seemed more satisfied that I was willing to reveal that information to him than anything related to the actual secret.

Overall he expressed how happy he is that we can be so comfortable with each other. A couple times he would say, "I wish I had met you a couple years ago." I reminded him that based on our conversation we were both different people back then. We wouldn't have appreciated each other as we do now. He told me how recently he has just come to assume that, while he wants to get married and have a family, that he would be content if he got the FBI job and did some good. Somehow he thought that the satisfaction from work would be good enough to compensate for missing out on the rest. I don't get the impression that he was counting on meeting anyone significant which is why the training and potential relocation for the job was something he was willing to make a sacrifice for.

Now, I think he finds himself second-guessing where he wants to be. He confided to me that he's thought about if it would bother him to give up his dream. Only after he received his acceptance letter did he start to tell people that he could be going to the academy. So the question is would he be satisfied knowing that he got in but not go through with it? He seems to think he'd be fine with it. His mother would certainly be happier if he just gets a normal job. She's worried he'll become jaded or desensitized to life because of the job. I also made sure to ask him if later he regret or feel resentful later if he gave up the job and, for example, our relationship didn't work out. It sounds like he thinks it would be worth the risk. Alternatively, he's thinking he could go to training and find out his assignment. If it's not what he wants, he'd finish the academy and come back home to find a regular job. At times, he sounds so sure that I'm the one. I'm uncomfortable having him make any sacrifices for me this early though I do appreciate knowing that he'd do what's important over his own wishes if necessary.

Do you see why am I a little scared of this whole situation? His feelings are quite intense and serious for two people who've only known each other one month. It makes me incredibly nervous. I am concerned that this is just an easy setup for major disappointment.

Another indicator that was sweet yet disturbing happened Saturday evening as we prepared to cook dinner. A large group of families set up camp behind us. In our struggle to light our charcoal without lighter fluid, we asked them if they had anything lighter fluid we could borrow. They didn't, but the boys came over with other aids including a lighter and metal pole. The older boy was rather precocious and kept making unhelpful suggestions. I tried to strike up a conversation with one of the other boys, asking why they were hear and what activities they had planned. The 8-year-old told me about their rented rafts. He also told me they would probably play Big2 at night. I asked him to explain how to play the game. After the boys ran off, Tim came over and told me he liked seeing that I could interact with kids and gave me a kiss on the forehead. I know previously he had mentioned that he is looking for someone who can get along with kids. He seemed very pleased with me. For some reason it seemed demeaning. I tend to think it would have been better if he had kept that to himself.

A couple hours later I took him over to his Search and Rescue camp site. As we pulled into the gated road, he chose to mention something rather serious. I can't recall the exact wording, but basically he said how some people are on the dating track and that there are others who are boyfriend/girlfriend. It was clear that he was trying to tell me that he wants us to move beyond dating. I kept getting distracted with driving in the dark. As we finally reached his campsite, I told him that I respected his opinion, but that I need more time. I hate giving myself hard deadline but that I understand not wanting to drag this process out too long. I came to the conclusion that I wanted until the end of July before making a decision about us. I couldn't look at him while I was driving, so I don't know what his reaction was. He seemed okay though a little frustrated. He reminded me again that he'll be happy for me whomever I may end up with but that he'd be sad if it's not him. After we unloaded his stuff he asked if the weekend had been okay. I think he wanted to make sure that I wasn't feeling uncomfortable with our conversation and intimacy. I assure him that it was good.

He came with me back to the gate and gave me a couple kisses as he exited the car. He didn't want to leave me. If there had been a way, I think he would have bailed on his responsibilities to spend more time with me. His last comments were, "don't fall in love with anyone this week... fall in love with me." I smiled but wasn't sure how to respond to that.

Sitting here now and writing this, I have to admit I'm a little more uneasy than before. I am very concerned that he's too wrapped up in me. Thankfully, we have a one-week break from each other. I am hopeful the time apart will calm things down. It could very well go the other way and make his feelings more intense. He's trying hard to be patient and not pressure me, but I am starting to feel it. We need to talk more when we're both back at home.

Thursday, June 17, 2004


Tan and I plan to meet at Cascal's for tapas tonight. I hope to stick to ending dinner at 10pm so that I can get ready for my weekend camping trip. Originally he offered to pick me up. I wrote back saying I need to run errands and would simply meet him there. As friendly as he seems, it's too early for him to know where I live.

I arrived minutes after 7:30pm. Apparently he arrived 30 minutes early so he walked the street and ended up buying a few things. He was waiting in the bar area and had just received his ice tea when I walked in. He's not bad looking but his height challenge became obvious when he got up to welcome me. I was wearing two inch shoes. I felt like we were the same height. My best guess is that he's 5'4". It's weird to me.

He's very friendly and sociable. From the minute we met I've always felt like we were comfortable chatting. He remembers a lot of what we've discussed over the phone in the past. He asked about what kinds of activities I have. He mentioned his houseboat trip and his plans to go to Hawaii in October for unlimited golf.

While waiting to order we talked about small world coincidences. He has a friend named, Chi?, who went to Berkeley. It sounds like he's talked about his dating with her. They were trying to figure out if maybe she and I knew each other at all. He couldn't remember the name of my company and she told him to ask me if I ever worked at the Lawrence Hall of Science. No connection there. Then I told him one of my small world examples about how Jy and Ap knew each other and Ap is my old roommate.

Ordering was kind of bizarre. He left it pretty much up to me to choose all the tapas. His only request was not to have too many things with cheese. (What a shame.) I suggested about four dishes when I started to look for his input. He said something like, "it's all up to you, dear." Um, okay, that's a very odd way to speak to me. We don't know each other and I found that wrong. Plus several times in the conversation, he stated my name as he conversed. It wasn't necessary to repeat my name, I know who I am. I don't understand why it was necessary. It doesn't feel very personal when people act so formal. I'm trying to think of why I would ever state someone's name back to them in conversation and the only thing I can think of is that I'm trying to get their attention or emphasize something very important. There was nothing that important about our conversation.

He seemed to think we had a lot in common. We talked a little about kids because he seems to have many friends with young children. He tends to have modern furniture tastes and dislikes the planned community areas like Walnut Creek and Orange County. It was difficult to get a sense of his personality. He likes his work because it offers a lot of autonomy but he's not surprisingly getting tired of all the travel.

He has an older sister with a 7-month old girl. We talked a little about my brother. I wish he were moving up here so I could hang with him more often. I remember making a comment about whether he will eventually marry his girlfriend. I made a reference to Tan asking about his experience with college sweethearts but didn't get any reaction from him. He refrained all night about any references to past dates or girlfriends.

I couldn't help look at my watch towards the end of dinner. It was a little before 9:30pm when we ordered a dessert. It was a very disappointing and deceiving souffle. It was not a souffle at all - not light and fluffy nor hot. I took about two bites and let him finish the rest. While I enjoyed the night, I was ready to go home and pack for camping.

On the way out he asked about doing something when he gets back into town. I indicated that I would be interested. He suggested maybe going hiking since that will be a three-day weekend with plenty of opportunities to do things. We gave each other a side hug goodbye and walked opposite ways to our cars.

Conversation wise, I enjoyed hanging out with Tan. The height thing is still a big irritation for me. It seems so silly because other guys I've dated have been only a couple inches taller. I bet it's been a big disadvantage for Tan. The other thing that is a little questionable is the "dear" and saying my name during the conversation. It's not normal. It's so strange, I don't like the idea of dating a guy who's an introvert, yet when I meet these outgoing and forward guys, they turn me off.

Movie night

I was at REI when Tim called around 7:30pm. His meeting had been cancelled so he was checking if we could start a little earlier. We agreed to meet at my place around 8pm.

He arrived just after me. My place is still a mess from the move, but I'm okay with him seeing it. He was stunned by the movement of the furniture. He agreed the tv is in a better place, but the couch is a tough one to position.

The first hour was more getting thing settled. First, we debated whether or not to get something to eat. He wasn't feeling that hungry because he had snacked at home before coming over. I was hungry but didn't need a whole meal. So I finally just decided to make some caprice salad.

We worked on transferring the Caribbean photos to his laptop so that he can make copies for Ap and Jy. It didn't take long. He was happy to see that I'm a little computer savvy because apparently the littlest things can take several minutes to explain to some of the people he knows. He always seem to find something amusing about me that pleases him. Of course, I suppose that's how it tends to go when you're learning about someone you think you like.

We talked a little in between parts of the movie. I don't get the sense he's real keen on religion given how he described needing to pray at every meal with his father and stepmother. At another point, he gave me an update on the job situation. He talked with his contact who says that, so far, they have been able to place everyone who requested the Bay Area. They still have not reached their staffing capacity for this region. The only potential reason he may go elsewhere is if there is a specific need for a special talent - i.e. if his computer expertise qualifies him for a specific assignment. I appreciate that he's trying to reassure me he'll be around.

He was very touchy with me as soon as we sat on the couch. He kept his arm around me or held my hand much of the night. As we watched the movie, I got comfortable by draping my legs over his lap. I hadn't thought about the fact that I haven't shaved my legs in a month. He didn't seem to mind. He was trying to find ticklish spots on me. He stroked my legs throughout the movie. I switched positions a couple times, sometimes resting my head on his shoulder. As I got comfortable, my body got warm. I think that tends to happen in general when I'm calm and at rest. He noticed and said he liked that. I could have said that's why I'm nice to have around in the winter (in bed) but I thought that was a little too forward to say.

Lots of random conversations went on. The sexual tension I sense is building. I made some illusion to looking hot and dressing in better clothes than I used to. He asked if I ever show off my belly. I can't remember the particulars, but he was definitely curious about more of my sensual nature. If he only had some idea of how I could let myself go if I wanted. ;) In contrast, we briefly talked about my weight. He was curious about how I went from a full-bodied 122 pounds to my now 102 pound stature. So would he mind if I gained it all back? I alluded to how difficult things were for me last year. He asked if I cried myself to sleep every night. I said it wasn't literally like that, but it was a time full of sadness, anger, and hurt. He tried to understand but had to admit that he's never been in a situation where the relationship got so serious and ended badly. He guessed that by the time his breakups occurred that the feelings had already faded. I wonder if it's better to date someone who's had their heart broken? Does it make them more understanding or more cynical about relationships?

Our faces were very close most of the night. I'm sure there were times he thought about kissing me, but we'd just look at each other. He did kiss me several times on the shoulder or on my head. Finally, towards the end of the movie, he did give me a gentle kiss on the lips. It was brief and we seemed to continue talking as if nothing happened. It seemed a little anti-climatic. After each of the next two kisses, he'd rest his forehead against mine. Nothing was said.

The stubble wasn't too noticeable. It's pretty short right now because he said he shaved Sunday. I asked when I get to see his bare face. He said that he'd shave and take me out for a nice dinner on the upcoming holiday weekend. He suggested that we go to La Fondue. We'll just have to find something to do afterwards. After Saturday, we won't see each other for a week and a half. I definitely want to see him more.

As he prepared to go home, we stood holding each other for a couple minutes. It was a long, nice hug followed by a few more kisses. While we stood there he asked how it's going with the speed dating. I coyly asked, "which one?" I gave him some indication there are several guys with whom I'm talking. His face seemed to kind of go blank. I asked if it bothered him. He had to think for a second. He was very mature in his response. Tim said that he's okay with it. He said that if there's a guy who I decide I like he's happy for me but sad for himself. Then he tried to protect himself a little by suggesting that maybe he should go date some other women. He wasn't really serious though because he didn't sound too confident that he wants to. I did half suggest that he attend a speed dating event next week. His last question was, "can I be jealous?" I smiled and said, "yes." Maybe we should have had a more in depth conversation about this. It was late and I knew that it would not be a short conversation. I guess I thought that we had kind of developed an understanding of the situation but it sounds like we need to have an honest talk. But I do appreciate his attitude, it's the sign of a patient and good heart.

It's weird because he's going at just the right pace no matter how much parts of me want to go faster. For example, every kiss last night was just lips. Sitting where I am now, I can say that it was nice and sweet. I didn't get shivers, it was just nice. Is it just me protecting myself from getting too attached? But there is part of me that night that wanted more. I wanted to make out. I wanted to taste him. For whatever reason, he didn't try anything. On one hand, it drives me nuts to go so slowly, however, I know with my apprehension about getting physically involved with someone I'm still getting to know, this is the wiser route. God, you should have felt how wet I was being in his arms and kissing him. What will happen when I don't see or talk to him for two weeks?

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Postponed again

Tan called on Sunday night. We had tentatively agreed to meet up this Thursday for dinner. I felt so bad that I had to cancel because of the apartment move out. I reassured him that I felt bad and was disappointed as well. I explained how important it is for me to be there to insure I get as much of the deposit back as possible. My roommate isn't the cleanest person and I have to put in some extra effort this week. He said he understood.

Alas, I was hoping to reschedule for next week, but he's being sent to South Africa for two weeks. Ouch! We now have a date set for Saturday, July 3rd. Dang that's a long ways away. I do want to meet up with him. We seem to have a good rapport over the phone and from when we met. I don't know how attracted I am to him physically, so I definitely want to see him again in person. My impression was that his face was okay but that his height was a little disappointing (~5' 4"?). Being only 5' 0" myself, it seems very discriminatory to judge guys, but it's what I'm used to and what I prefer.

We chatted a little. He might bring me back some African art piece from his trip. I definitely want to learn more about going there. He also mentioned how he and his friends are trying to plan a trip to Mount Shasta. The generally like to rent a houseboat and do some jetskiing and boating. I didn't say anything but the idea didn't totally appeal to me. His friends just like to sit around and drink. I also don't like the motor sport since it pollutes the water and wastes gasoline. I gave him the impression that me and my friends are a little more outdoors and active.

We also talked about poker briefly. He at first asked if me and my friends had jumped on the hold 'em bandwagon. I assured him that we've been playing poker for years. He, on the other hand, is part of the trendy group that has just started to play. Lately, however, he hasn't had much luck organizing friends as the casual and competitive players don't mix well.

I like him thus far. My prejudices are developing, however, just based on these little things. He reminds me of Rich in that he probably a very social creature with a more party-type social circle. I'm trying to be open-minded.


Well, as luck would have it, we were able to reschedule for this Thursday. I found out that I am not required to clean the apartment since they plan to chrage us $75 for cleaning. I think it's probably worth it to pay the money and use my time for better things.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Date 1.5?

I left work early Friday so that I could focus on preparing for the move. Tim offered to help me again with packing. He came over and we stopped at CostCo to pick up some snacks for the moving crew. After a brief stop at the new place, we went back to the apartment for some serious work.

It's definitely better to have someone else help with moving. I know it would have taken me more than double the time because I would have been stressing about packing related items together rather than just throw it all in a box. From time to time we chatted, but for the most part we just filled boxes.

Around 7:30pm we walked down the street to get some dinner. While this wasn't officially a date I think we both acknowledged that it was an opportunity to talk more. Gosh I wish I could remember more of the conversation. He asked me if there was any reason that he shouldn't date me. (Yes, these are somewhat weird questions.) I had to think for a second, but I found it to be a good opportunity to make my feelings and concerns clear. I told him that his comment about wanting to find a woman who is comfortable with herself worries me. I talked about how different and depressed I was last fall and that things have changed quite a bit for me. He's only seen the happy times and might be disappointed and unwilling to be with me in the bad times.

From there I extended my comments to stress how I feel like I've just gotten back on my feet. I'm happy and want to have time feel independent and enjoy my present situation - friends, house, work, etc. It just seems like every time I start to find myself, a guy comes into the picture and I never have enough time to get comfortable before throwing a complication into the mix. People, especially women, tend to change when they get involved with someone. I want to be sure of who I am before that happens again.

He seemed okay with my explanation. Joy says he's a very good listener and a very patient guy. As odd as it is to have these serious conversation so early, I appreciate the amount of open communication we have with each other.

We revisited some moments from the cruise. Somehow we talked about when he started to think about me for dating. He had mentioned before that it was the day on Guamache. He had wanted to toss me into the water at the beach but figured I'd get mad. Moreover, it was that night when we went around the boat taking pictures. He wanted to be with me in the photos. I asked him about the Settlers game when I helped out as dealer. He did intentionally brush my hand whenever I passed out resources, very sneaky. So I wasn't imagining things. I told him he made a good choice in waiting until after the cruise to ask me out.

Somewhere in the conversation we talked about the dresses I wore on the cruise. He like the black halter dress from our second formal dinner night. It seems like everyone likes that dress on me. He wasn't as into the one-shoulder, striped dress. He also remembered my casual, red knit dress. I commented that I have another red dress that's nicer but didn't bring it on the trip. His response was that he guesses that he should take me on a date where I can wear something nice. I smiled at that.

I insisted on paying for dinner. I told him that it was appreciation for helping me pack. At first, I think he was reluctant, but he seemed okay with it once I insisted it was a "thank you."

We flirted a lot while packing up. I think he asked me whether I flirt in general and something else about my intentions when I do it. I told him that I only flirt with people I know or like. We got into a little poking and eventually I asked him if he is ticklish. There were several times that night when he would look at something over my shoulder and press up behind me. He'd also have his hand on my shoulder and make small stroking motions with his fingers. I'm just amazed at how smitten he is with me at this point. I worry that this will all end in big disappointment if he sets his expectations too high.

There were the embarrassing moments too. We got into this mode of snooping into each other's stuff. Obviously there was more of my stuff to look at. I went through his wallet. Nothing really interesting. The only thing is that I don't seem to like any of his photo IDs. They all make his face looks square and dark. I want to seem him without the goatee. I got caught in a couple awkward moments as he browsed my things. Tim opened my medicine cabinet and was shocked by the amount of stuff. As he examined each shelf, I realized that I had a stack of old birth control pills there. I hoped that he would pass them by, but eventually he started to reach over toward them and ask what they were. I was honest about what they were but felt *totally* embarrassed. Not sure what he thought, but it was clear we were both feeling a little uncomfortable. For him, it was probably more feeling bad about making me embarrassed.

He stayed until 1am. I can't believe that he came and helped out for so long. When we said goodnight, he kissed my shoulder as we hugged.

The one thing I do wonder is who his friends are. Granted he has a lot of activities, but when does he hang out with friends? I need to investigate that a little more. Obviously he's spending a lot of time with me, which is nice, but it makes me wonder what he would normally being doing.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Contact paper

Tim called me up when he got home last night. He offered to come over and help me with the new house. It's clear he wants to spend time with me.

He brought me some cherries (which I left on the counter last night). I gave him a tour of the place. He had to entertain himself a little while I talked to Dad about the loan and the house. He immediately offered to help me move boxes.

Next we sat in the kitchen and put down contact paper on the shelves. We teased each other and talked about various things. His apartment sounds a bit messy as he joked that I won't be seeing it anytime soon. I gave him a hard time about it.

We talked little about tv. He used to like watching "Buffy." I asked if he watched shows because of the cute girls. He said not always. Then he asked the same about me. I told him the only show I ever watched for that reason was "Lois and Clark." I said that I'm more attracted to dark-haired men. Then I commented that it was very different in high school because all the guys I had crushes on were blondes. Under his breath he mumbled that he could die his hair. When I asked, "what did you say," he said replied, "nothing." There was another time when he said something under his breath, but I honestly don't know what it was. It does seem fairly clear that he likes me, maybe more than I am aware. It's hard to separate liking him for who he is versus liking him because of how he feels about me.

When it was time to go, we hugged and he kissed me on the side of my forehead. As he headed out of the garage, we were talking about Joy. So I had to ask him if she knows we had a date. He said, "yes," and then asked if he shouldn't have told her. I assured him it's fine, but I was just curious what she thought. He revealed that they had actually spent a bit of time talking about me that night they went out to salsa dance. It sounds like she knows him well and was the one who put the question to him. I can't help wonder what she noticed that made it clear to her that he was interested in me.

I truly enjoy spending time with him. I don't know what that means for us in terms of a relationship. I do my best to be myself and not worry about things. Because of how he seems to feel about me, I feel like I need to make up my mind quickly. I don't want to string anyone along nor would I want anyone to do that to me. I want to make sure I get to know him. I find, however, that I'm not sure how to determine if he's what I'm looking for.

His concerns are valid one. The job, the money, those could be things that bother me in the future. But how much weight do I put on things that you can't predict or guarantee will happen?

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Sushi, Shrek, and a talk

There's no way I could have guessed what Tuesday's date would turn out like. Typically you'd think you'll have some good food and conversation and that maybe you'll hug or kiss at the end of the night. It was a very good date, it just wasn't something I was prepared for.

Tim called around 6:30pm to check that I was home. He asked if I still wanted to go. I thought it was a strange question to ask, so I replied, "would you like me to say 'no'?" He responded by saying he just wanted to check in case I had met some suave guy recently. He came and picked me up at 6:45pm. He wore an orangish, outdoors, button down shirt paired with a faded pair of jeans.

I felt assured this was a date the minute he came to the passenger side of the car and held the door as I got in. It was a strange feeling for me because it seems like a long time since I've been treated so nicely.

His car seemed unusually clean. Except for a yellow bag he removed from me feet, there was barely a scrap to be found. I should have asked if this was normal. ;) We only had about 45 minutes to eat if we were to make the 8pm showing. Unfortunately, Tim couldn't remember where the sushi restaurant he had in mind was located. He had just given up when he spotted it.

It was awkward at dinner since we were facing the bar rather than each other. The conversation didn't flow as smoothly and I felt like we were struggling a little. The service was a bit slow too. We clearly were not going to make it so we slowed the pace and counted on seeing the 9pm showing.

Tuesdays are nice and quiet for movie watching. We had virtually no line. Tim bought our tickets and we sat at a table for 15 minutes to talk before going inside the theatre. We sat in the row where the armrest flip up. I wondered if he try to make any moves during the movie. A couple times, I leaned over to make comments during the movie or we'd look at each other during a funny scene, but nothing else happened.

It must have been 11pm by the time we got back to my place. I didn't wear a watch which was rather dangerous. We sat on the couch and chatted until around 11:30pm. He commented it was past my bedtime, but then asked if I had ten more minutes.

That ten minutes turned into more than I would have ever expected for a first date. He basically tried to premise it as a round of speed dating. He wanted to know what I was looking for in dating. I quickly corrected his understanding of what happens on a speed date. Getting that serious in a five-minute date does not happen; I didn't add that it tends to freak people out.

You can quickly guess that this conversation took longer than 10 minutes. We sat there until 1am. What did we talk about? Well here's my best recall:

- the general list, i.e. kind, smart, responsible, thoughtful, ambitious but not a workaholic, someone who wants to get married and have children, who knows what he wants, etc.

- how long it's been since my last break up

- he was concerned about whether I would be accepting of someone who makes less than I do and who doesn't dress as nicely

- I told him that no one's perfect and there are definitely things I work on for myself such as complaining, sense of humor

- On religion, I told him I have no problem marrying someone religious as long as he doesn't expect me to convert. I will also raise the children to a different religion but not to expect me to actively participate all the time. Although he was raised Catholic, he is content with his values and morals. He doesn't feel a need to be part of the church (even if he was taught that he will go to hell).

- he asked if I vote. Paying more attention to politics is something he started to do only recently. I have to admit I only know issues on the surface. It's something I'd like to know more about but it's not a priority.

- I emphasized that since money and kids are the two biggest things that couples argue about that it's important to find someone with similar values and ideas about how to raise children

- what kind of relationships we've had in the past and who we still talk to

- we agree somewhat about wanting someone who has their own interests, shares some in common, and someone willing to try each other's hobbies

- he is looking for someone who has a good relationship with her parents (yeah, still working on that one)

- he said that he wants someone who is happy with themselves (just imagine the doubt I had inside when he said that) and works well with kids. He was surprised when I said I really don't have any friends with kids.

- he thinks from what he's seen of me that I have a lot of what he wants. I think we're both wondering how accurate one's personality during vacation is an accurate reflection of what people are like in normal life

So finally at 1am, he let me go. There was a funny pause and we sat, with legs crossed, facing each other on the couch. I'm not sure if he was struggling with whether to touch me. There were several times he would touch my knee or foot during the conversation. He was very gentlemanly. After he slipped on his shoes, I thought he put out his hand, and I began to give him my hand. He gave me a look like "we can do better than this" and reach out his arms to hug me. It was a little longer than a normal hug. He stepped out the door and we said "goodnight."

Needless to say, I was EXHAUSTED all the next day after only getting 3-4 hours of sleep.