“I’m not feeling it between us.” He made a back and forth motion with his hands at chest level. “I think you’re very beautiful — very — fascinating, intelligent, really funny, but I just don’t know if it’s there between us.”
I sat beside him, about 18 inches away, a wine glass in my hand. I looked away, swallowed. I felt trapped and helpless, foolish. Of course he doesn’t, I thought. Men never want me.
I’ve spent the last couple of days fighting that voice and it’s left me low and energy-less. I hate that voice.
Since none of this is happening the “normal” way for me I have been out of touch with things. None of our dates have lent themselves to anything more than a brief goodnight kiss. He’s responsible and has dogs and has left after every one and declined to come up after another when we instead sat in his car outside my building where I worked really hard to convince him I didn’t actually care about dick size, only the size of a man’s heart.
On the couch I continued my case, “I want to get to know you, Rex, I want to unwrap you and discover the man inside. To learn about you. I find you interesting and kind and sexy. I want to keep learning about you. You intimidate me because you’re so grown up and accomplished; I’ve never dated an adult before…” My voice sounded desperate and clingy to my ears, but there was nothing to do. It was all true.
I looked away again when he didn’t respond and he said something about me shutting down. I dragged myself back up to the surface. “You’re right. I am. I’m trying. This is just so hard for me.”
I looked at him, my face an implacable mask. He said he couldn’t read me. I told him that was the point.
I have never felt something slip through my fingers the way that evening did. He licked his plate, but was passing on me it seemed.
“What are you thinking?” I asked. He said he didn’t know. “Well, do you know what I’m thinking? I’m sitting here wishing I could kiss you.”
He looked surprised. “Go ahead,” he laughed. “You should always kiss me if you want to.”
I leaned over on my knees and kissed his warm lips. His hands stayed below my hips, perhaps on my thigh. He began to talk. I asked him if he wanted me to stop. He said, No, but I felt like I was forcing myself on him.
I pulled away and he followed me, kissed me more. I breathed him in and waited as my hands roamed his neck and jaw. Nothing.
“I have to get going. It’s a work night.” It was 10:30 when the failure really sunk in. Either there was just no chemistry between us or my strange flailing the previous two weeks had set the stage for this.
“Do you think you knowing about Hy made us both think we were more connected than we really are?” I’d asked before I’d kissed him.
“No! Definitely not!” he jumped to say. “I don’t think that at all.”
We stood up and I walked to the kitchen to send him home with leftovers. He kissed me again at the island and it was intense and sweet, but still stopped short of full-blown passion. I don’t know why.
He dipped down once or twice for more and I eagerly met his lips, but he seemed already halfway out the door.
I handed him his baggies and tinfoil-wrapped pot roast and walked him to the entryway and told him I was free on Saturday if he wanted to hang out again. There was still so much more to say and explore, right? The kissing was good, wasn’t it?? I didn’t know which end was up, perhaps more talking and spending time together would sort it out.
“Ok, sure. I might be going out of town for a bike trip. I’m not sure. I’ll let you know.”
We kissed again and he left and I crawled into bed with the animals.
It’s Saturday night now and I didn’t hear from him about going out of town or not. I assume he did, but perhaps not.
I went on a date with a man recently who was incredibly eager to meet me. He leaned in at the bar as I sipped my glass of Chardonnay and his hand occasionally grazed my thigh. I had no doubt of his attraction for me and I felt the chemistry buzz between us as I imagined what his body would feel like over mine.
We parted ways with a steamy, but appropriate kiss against my car under an abnormally warm winter sun, and I drove away contemplating chemistry and connections.
Another night I had a date with a different man who really liked me. It was our second date (the first was coffee a week before and his eyes lit up when I walked into the Greek coffee house). He texted me nervously the morning after because he was worried he might have said something that put me off, but the truth is as I sat across from him sipping cider under a chilly moon I couldn’t muster an attraction. I tried, but it just wasn’t there.
There was nothing he said that made that happen. It just was.
And as he kissed me and earnestly held me close my heart sank because I felt nothing in return except his soft lips and nicely groomed whiskers. I had to tell him, like Rex told me, that I didn’t feel it between us and if Rex feels as little for me as I did for that other man then that hurts. Not a lot, not a little, but somewhere in the middle like when you studied really hard for a test, but still only got a B-/C+.
I really wanted this thing with Rex to be an A.