Disclaimer: mostly a dating story with a hint of food at the end.
Paying for online dating has made me go a bit dating mad recently. The more dates I go on the more frustrating it becomes. I really do want a relationship...a real one. By "real" I actually do actually mean serious. I have been trying to deny my interest in anything "serious" for a couple years. Many times I have said..."I am not looking for anything serious". I say it because I think it is what men want to hear...and also because I want to clarify that I am not going to insist we move in, get married and have babies next year. But I do want exclusivity, I want future plans (like holidays), I want frequent communication and I want to be incorporated into their life...and let's actually be honest... I want to work toward the wedding and baby thing. So basically, I realise, I want serious.
Recently online dating sent me on a lovely second date with someone amazing. A very good looking, intelligent, successful, and incredibly sweet 39-year old lawyer. The catch...recently separated (after a 20-year relationship) with 2 kids...3 and 5. He was keen, very keen. Almost put me off with lots of talk of future plans. Maybe you think I should have been put off by the ex-wife/kids, but I don't mind the idea of kids and if he gets along with his ex (they are best friends) then I think it could all work out fine. The problem, however, with dating a divorcee is dating them when it's fresh. This I have experience with...my last relationship was with someone in a disturbingly similar situation.
We had plans for a third date...the morning of I received a cancellation..."Dating is emotionally frenetic...sorry to halt things. It was nice to meet you". He wasn't ready for something serious. He was just learning how to date...and I was one of the first. He'd made a mistake talking about the future and scared himself more than he had scared me. I replied, letting him know I understood. He followed that with, "...I really do adore you, you are beautiful in every sense...".
A week later, we ended up going out once more. This time we ended up at a restaurant I had been to before, sitting at a table I had sat at before, and I had the opportunity to create a relationship I had had before. We were nearly finished with the main course, when he brought up the events of the previous week. He thanked me for my understanding text, said it was the nicest thing anyone had ever said. I said I had meant it and then there was silence. This silence could have been filled with, "I like you, you like me and since I don't want anything serious...." and I am certain I could have started a slow pseudo-relationship like I spent 5-months in recently. In retrospect given the location and the situation, it seems as though life was testing me. I looked at him, our eyes met, I smiled and I let the moment pass silently. A painful relationship with an amazing man is still painful...and a second one was avoided.
He dropped me off at mine. He went for a kiss, I turned my head and he got my forehead. I said goodnight and I left Mr. Amazing...probably forever.
I am still single, maybe a little bit stronger, but maybe not strong enough to actively seek out the sweet but confused and not-ready-for-relationship? I think I should just let them come to me. Me and online dating might be done.
OK...I will mention the food. I have been there twice after all. It's good and perfect if you fancy thai food, happen to be in Greenwich and you're on a date with a divorced father of two. Last time I had the Yum Nua beef salad, this time I had the squid stir fried with basil and chilli...both dishes are recommended, but I didn't really enjoy the mixed starter to share.