December 2, 2011


Oliver (he was the commitment-phobe I went on a couple of dates with last year) and I are friends. We go out for beers and talk about the dates we go on, and he gives me the honest boy point of view on things. I started sleeping with him again a couple of weeks ago. Nothing regular, but it’s fun. (He’s moving to Thailand for a year later this month, so that’ll all stop soon.)

Anyway, Oliver has a two-date rule–he’ll give someone two chances. Sometimes first dates seem awkward, or you think you might like someone, but you’re not sure. Everyone has bad days.

I’ve adopted his two-date rule, with an exception: If I know I’m not attracted to them on the first date, I won’t go on a second. But if there’s potential, I give them another chance (I hope I get the same).

A 22-year-old named Nik (his actual name is Nikita, like Nikita Kruschev–he was actually named after him or something?) sent me a message a couple of weeks ago. Normally, I’d just delete it and move on, but this guy seemed funny, smart, interesting, and very into food and cooking. He even said something about Harry Potter that I’d been wondering, but that I hadn’t put into words (Is Gringott’s like a wizarding Federal Reserve?). We messaged back and forth a bit and he fit the bill for a first date.

We met at a wine bar two weeks ago. Cute: check. Well-dressed: check. Paid: check. But he’s freaking twenty two years old. He’s in his first job and first apartment. I asked him when he’d be 23, and his response was, no joke, “I’ve been 22 for a while.” I expected him to say he was 22 and three-quarters. He went on to say that he wants to date someone more mature.

Hey, I appreciate that. When I was 22, I didn’t want to date anyone my own age. But there’s something about him, a lack of confidence that he tries to cover with declarative statements about dumb things (“Obviously this show is the best,” etc.), that makes him seem 22.

But we’ve got enough in common that I thought, well, why not? He seems to like me–I cancelled on a date on Tuesday because I wasn’t feeling well, and he said I could take it as a compliment that he was disappointed that we had to reschedule. I think that’s cute. I’d be happy to date text message Nik.

We met up in Adams Morgan last night for beers at MiG Bar, a Russian-themed bar that I’d very much like to go back to. I offered to buy the beers, since he’d taken care of it last time. He didn’t seem to know what to do–“If you’re comfortable with that,” he said. This isn’t 1950, buddy, I have a job too.

We talked about various things–food, his relatives that still live in Ukraine, his experience at Yale, being Jewish but not being very good at it–but I found myself zoning out a lot and just nodding my head. When I asked him when he’d turn 23, he said April. “I guess I’m about 22 and two-thirds.”

We walked outside, and luckily we were going in opposite directions. I’m pretty sure he was going to try to kiss me, but I gave him a logistically bizarre, underhanded kind of hug. People walking by probably looked on in pity.

He tried. I sort of tried. Not meant to be.

I’m going on a fifth date with a 24-year-old named Ben tonight or tomorrow. I wouldn’t need to provide the number date that it is, except that he HASN’T KISSED ME YET. I don’t understand. But I like him, and I think we have good chemistry, so I’m keeping that going despite the perpetual goodbye hugs.

In a way, it’s sort of charming and sweet that he’s maybe just nervous. But if this keeps up, it might become a dealbreaker. I’ve been enjoying having the whole bed to myself, though, so that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.


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