Friday, January 27, 2012

Possible relationship?

Today's post: dating. Some people love it, others hate it. I think I fall in the in-between. In my last post, I mentioned a new Match guy. I'll call him Music Match. We've had two dates so far and both went really well. But then, there was a snafu last night. He wanted to come by and pick me up at my house which made me uber uncomfortable. I said I'd rather meet somewhere. This led him to feel like I was not trusting him, that this offended him, that I was being paranoid, and that by the third date, it was customary for a guy to pick up his date at her place. We ended this chat at midnight and continued it this morning.

He wrote an e-mail, apologizing for jumping down my throat, expressing what he felt, why he felt that way, and that yes, he was interested in a relationship with me. The e-mail was very helpful and it did make sense. He's not a dater, he's had some failed relationship experiences, is ready for a real relationship, expects "barriers" as he puts it to be broken down by each date (my comment of meeting elsewhere made him feel like we were at square 1), the time and financial commitment he's made so far (it is a 90 minute drive for him, and our dates have been 3-4 hours long), and that he understood if I wanted to "shop" around.

I responded back giving my viewpoint which was helpful to him as well. Basically, I said I was not a "shopper," that I did think there was relationship potential, that I equated "house/visiting" with intimacy which sort of scares me (okay scares me a lot), that I understood the financial and time commitment (though I must admit in the back of my head, I'm thinking if he is already moving here, then he it's like a kill two birds with one stone type of thing), and that we likely both overreacted a little.

He agreed with all I said and said if he was going to pick me up, it would be a drive by, honk the horn type of thing which did make me feel better. But still, it did almost seem like he was going to dump me just because I wouldn't let him pick me up at my house.

We corresponded back and forth for a few additional e-mails, and one statement jumped out at me: "I've met women in the past where it would take a bulldozer to get through the walls they've built up over the years." Gosh, I'm really hoping that is not me. I reassured him I was not that type of woman, but does fear of intimacy make me that type of woman? He apparently is a bit opposite in this way and easily displays it once in a relationship. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like intimacy (in whatever form), but I have some reservations about it. Plus, I think body image issues kind of wave back in. This almost made me feel like calling my former T. who I haven't spoken to in like two years, though I have sent her holiday cards. Then, I think that maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit, and once I feel more comfortable, I will feel differently.

In a funny kind of way, we are both glad we had this conversation. We plan on meeting on Monday.

So to all you daters out there, does his seem fast? Was I overreacting in not wanting him to pick me up at my house? Do you equate house visiting with intimacy?


Anonymous said...

Hmm. I'm glad that you found someone you hit it off with, but I do think he over-reacted about the pick-up issue. I know we talked about this via Twitter already, but I think it is not just fine but *smart* to not let a guy pick you up from your house that early. There are creepers out there, and you don't want all of them knowing where you live. I'm not saying he *is* one at all, but it's a good rule to have and he should respect that boundary. I think that's sort of the red flag that I see in this whole thing, from what I can seems like he was really being pushy and wanted the boundaries where he thought they should be, even though it didn't match what you want/need. I'm not trying to say he's a bad guy or that you should end it, of course, but from what I've gathered that's sort of something that sticks out in my mind about it. It is a good sign that he was willing to talk it out with you, not all guys will do that.

I think my Match and I had been dating over a six weeks before I had him over to my apartment, just for a movie one afternoon. We'd had quite a few dates during that time, though, and I had been to his house. The first times we did a "hang out at home" date it was at his place, which made me more comfortable because I could leave whenever I wanted to, instead of being nervous about when he would leave if I wasn't having a good time.

I have actually have never really associated house visits with (physical) intimacy, that didn't cross my mind when I read about this incident on Twitter earlier. Intimacy is an issue where you definitely want someone who will listen to what you need and are comfortable with.

Remember, *you* are the prize in the whole dating game and should be treated accordingly. =)

I'm glad that you got it worked out and hope that you have a good time on Monday!

Anonymous said...

Now that I think about it, I think he probably did pick me up at some point before he actually came into my place to hang out. But not as early as 3rd date.

Anonymous said...

Long-time lurker and enjoy-er of your blog, first-time commenter :-) Just wanted to say that it's definitely not just you - I find the 3rd-5th date mark incredibly awkward for this very reason... It always feels like there's an elephant in the room in terms of where the dates begin and end (geographically, I mean), and what exactly going to another person's house means.

I do equate house visits with at least a general expectation of some kind of physical intimacy, which is hard because I am (a). a very slow mover, and (b). have trust issues - I have been a victim of violent sexual assault on a previous ocassion (though not from someone I knew, and not in my own home, but it still makes me wary), and as such I have a higher level of vigilance than a lot of people do. I live by myself and my friends probably don't realise that it's a big deal the first time I invite them into my home (especially male friends) in a one-on-one situation. Certainly it's not something I'd do with a guy I was dating unless I felt we had established a strong level of trust. And that's hard to say out loud, because I can see how that sentiment could offend someone, and I'm totally not saying that a guy is inherently untrustworthy, just that I don't like to have any man in my home in a one-on-one capacity until I'm sure I trust him, because it's my safe space and that's really important to me.

I think usually it's not actually malicious when a guy doesn't understand this - it's just that (generalising wildly), some men have never had to consider personal safety in the way a lot of women do on a daily basis, so these issues can take some getting used to.

So I don't think you're being unreasonable at all, and if the guy eventually understood where you were coming from, that's awesome. If he doesn't get where you're coming from (he doesn't have to agree, but if he doesn't even GET IT), then I think that's a problem in a wider sense than just the issue of house-visiting - it means he doesn't understand why it's important that you feel safe and comfortable at each step of building a relationship with him.

I'm 25 and putting myself in the dating pool for the first time in my life (had previously had two longish relationships with people I already knew well before dating them), and I'm really struggling with these issues. I stopped seeing a guy because he couldn't get his head around me needing to be comfortable (he kept pushing to be in certain situations with me very early on, and eventually accused me of not making an effort, at which point I stopped seeing him... Oddly enough, he claimed to be a staunch feminist, sigh). And I'm currently at the fourth-date stage with a guy who seems pretty attuned to my needs, but is definitely keen to have a DVD night at his house, and I do feel like that comes with a tag of at least physical contact/potentially kissing, which I need to decide if I'm ready for. Bleh.

tl;dr: I totally get where you're coming from; argh dating minefields; and good luck with the guy - I hope he really does make an effort to see your perspective :-)

Anonymous said...

I think that the most important thing that someone can do while dating is respect your boundries. If he can't respect your boundries now, then what is to say that he will later, when it comes to even bigger issues? You hardly know the guy after a 2nd date, there really is no need for him to pick you up and drop you off this early on. What if you wanted to end the date early because of something else that made you uncomfortable? You would be stuck, hoping that he respected your desire to go home, or you'd have to find a friend or cab (which can be expensive) in order to get away! And then you may end up worrying that he is going to show up later unannounced.

I don't think you're being unreasonable at all. Your safety is a priority here - he needs to earn your trust!

Tiptoe said...

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for everyone's feed back. I appreciate the responses. I'm going to have to address you by numbers since everyone was anonymous in the comments ;-)

Anon 1 & 2, talking about it last week with him was very helpful. I think he did see where I was coming from. I think the big thing is the time/financial/distance commitment despite the fact he is going to be moving here soon. I think he wants to make sure the relationship is going there or worth it. At least this is what I gathered.

Anon 3, I think you hit the nail on the head! This is exactly how I felt, so I am glad and sad you can relate. I live alone as well, so my house and my pets are my sanctuary. I've had some bad experiences as well involving men, so I think it is only natural that we are more wary.

Good luck with your date. I think just learning to trust someone is one of the most difficult things.

Anon 4, you make some very good points about dating in general. It no doubt takes time to build trust. Luckily, I do think this guy would take me home or whatever if I felt uncomfortable and not come back which is a good sign in that way.

I'll keep everyone posted.

Anonymous said...

If you communicate as well in person as you do in your blogs, you will be able to overcome any obstacle that dating will provide. You come across as very thoughtful and intelligent. Any man would be lucky to have you in his life.

Good Luck!

Tiptoe said...

Anon 5, thank you for the kind and sweet words. I hope one day to be someone's catch.

Sarah @ Bearing, Eating, Being said...

I think that this is really QUITE fine. The right guy will REALLY care about your comfort and feeling of safety/security. This isn't about "walls being built up," aka commitment issues, but about your sense of comfort and safety...those are two different things! Go with your gut on safety issues...always!! Just my 2 cents.

african girl said...

This one is really interesting!I really enjoy reading your post. For me,you shouldn't rush things first and foremost is to secure your safety. I'm not telling that you can't trust that guy but you should think out from the box and always trust your instincts!Good luck to your dating adventure.

asian dating said...

I can say that I am madly inlove with your post. I so love your dating experience. I guess there's nothing wrong to decline the offer of that guy to pick you up in your house because first you don't know him that much and it's important that you should be careful enough.
Anyways, I do hope that you will have a nice date.