I’m dating a new guy.
And by “new” I don’t mean “new to my life”. Wait, actually I do mean that. But that’s not the interesting part.
I mean “new” as in “a new type”.
He’s…different than any other guy I’ve dated (or whatever you call what I was doing in my 20’s). And NOT different as in “thinks dreads on a white guy are cool” , or “thinks beer is a food group” or “owns several costumes for Live Action Role Play” kind of way.
I mean his approach to dating, and his approach to me, is completely new.
He’s direct about his interest in me. (Without being creepy).
He’s charming and funny and interested in my life. (Without being stalker-y)…(ok, he’s a little stalker-y, but only in the way that’s come to be expected as an appropriate sign of interest in this brave new world of social media and google).
He’s sweet and complimentary and mannered. He holds car doors and building doors and helps me on with my coat. (Without being caveman-y).
He’s funny, holds his own in conversations, (which is no small thing around me) and even tells his own stories. (Without being overbearing-y).
He initiates emails, instead of just replying to ones I send. He suggests and plans actual dates – even after four weeks of dating. Like real dates, you know, where you go out to a restaurant with table service and no drive thru, and then go somewhere else for coffee or ice cream, all the while talking and laughing and showing each other new sides of yourselves and then making out in the car for half an hour because it’s a weeknight.
He says he wants to meet my friends and go to my weird artsy events, and then actually goes. More than once, which means even though he knows what it’s going to be like. AND not only does he not complain about bad parking, sold out shows, overpriced restaurants, being singled out from the stage, having my friends pet his face, or the fact that I turn away (or occasionally totally walk away) from him 25 times in an hour to hug and say hello to and chat with a million different people during the night, but he even manages to look convincingly like he’s having a good time.
What. The. Hell. Right?
I mean, who does he think he is? Where are the mixed signals? Where are the games meant to keep me disoriented and insecure as to his actual level of interest so that the balance of power always rests firmly with him? Where is the trademark approach/avoidance attitude toward monogamy seemingly endemic to men in their 30’s and 40’s?
Did he not get the same speech that I’m convinced all the other boys on earth got during their special sixth grade “assembly”? You know the one – while all of us girls were off learning about our periods and the great burden of being life bearers that we’ll carry for next 40-50 years, the boys are in the gym learning how to hide their emotions, be inconsistent, and act like they don’t have the ability for complex thoughts, let alone the ability to convert them into coherent sentences on any topic related to relationships or emotion.
And even though every man I’ve ever asked denies that this assembly takes place, or that they are ever specifically taught these things at all, I know that’s just because they all swear an oath on their testicles to keep the secret.
This guy has clearly gone rogue from the program. You know, the program I’ve spent my entire adult life trying to understand, deconstruct and develop strategies for? Yeah, that program.
I mean…what the hell am I supposed to do with that?
Other than, you know, enjoy it 🙂