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This morning I have almost no thoughts on my first real date since 2009. My head is amazingly quiet. Really, really quiet. Part of me, I am sure, doesn’t want to break the spell. Part of me wants to keep this lovely experience wrapped up tight against my heart protected from my own pickings. Part of me wants to keep it in it’s own little box, separate from my inner reality of barrenness of affection and intimacy. I am not sure this date would have happened if I hadn’t pushed the envelop and that bothers me. When I asked my date if he was ever going to ask me out, he  indicated that yes eventually something would have taken place. He was very casual about it, like it would have just unfolded.

I am literally of two minds of this. A significant part of me is just like this. My norm is to be around someone for quite a while and get used to them. My norm is to interact while in groups,  across various settings, over time, observing a man’s behavior and mine. Normally I don’t like much intrusion and I positively freak at any touching what-so-ever. Normally I am very skittish postponing anything definite for as long as possible. There is a lot to be said for allowing relationships to develop at their own speed. But here, I have just contradicted myself. Can I tell the difference between something unfolding at it’s own pace, and postponing out of fear?

In this case, I pushed the envelope. We have been bantering around for months and I wanted to know. I had to know. I seem to like this guy, does he like me enough for a date? Let’s go, we aren’t in our twenties. Was I being honest with myself and him that I want to check this out and either it goes or it doesn’t and I have learned to not waste my time and thoughts; or was I uncomfortable sitting with my feelings as I waited for him to decide whether or not to pursue me. Now I sit with my doubts because I pushed the issue.

I am smack dab in the middle this time. A few times I knew for sure I pushed something that I should not have pushed and the consequences were bad to horrific. I think once or twice I have missed a relationship that would have been fruitful because I dithered or turned away. Most of the time, the man’s behavior has been more obvious than not, letting me see his real goals. Not so in this case. In this situation most is unknown. This situation is also complicated by working for the same company.

I have never dated a co-worker. Seriously, in 30 years of working not once have I dated someone from work. I have flirted, made-out, and hung out with a co-worker here and there, but not actually had a real drive-to-my-house-pick-me-up-go-out-bring-me-home  date with a co-worker. This was totally new.

I know this is risky. It is so risky that it has been my number one dating rule. In this case, our company is gigantic, we don’t work in the same building (he crosses into mine), our managers are from different divisions, and when we do have to work together, it is brief and over a very concrete issue. My hope is that either way, we respect each other and continue to work the same as before we decided to see each other out of work. It helps that I am not given to vindictive bitchiness. It helps that in a previous life, I have been management. It helps that I have been on the Pepto-Bismol Bed for two and a half years doing “the work” on my insides. It helps that if he did do something dastardly, he’d have thirty pairs of eyes throwing daggers at him when he set foot in my area. It helps that I now have “people”.

I am actually crazy excited. Thus far, I like him. I am the kind of person that likes everybody and nobody. What I mean is that every person that I encounter starts out with unconditional positive regard. That is a given from me. Generally when something not so great comes into my view, I look for the why and how of this behavior.  Most of the time I see the why or how, or at least I have clues to it. This is all I need. If I can find one helpful trait in a person, they can be a real challenge, but I will still like them. I like people in general. I am fascinated by human complexities.

While I like almost everybody, when I comes to romance, I usually don’t like anyone in that way. I am rarely interested in the men around me. So this co-worker presents a dilemma. I like him. I like him in that way. BOOM!! Right away I liked him. That is exceedingly rare for me. The last time I felt something similar, well, let’s just say that I can’t go there. This was terribly close to that and this time I am not going to turn away. This time, if it is so comfortable that I am uncomfortable, I am probably on the right track and that is the train I am staying on!

Until last night, I had only had one perfect first date in all the first dates of my life. Since that date, since that person, every first date, every person, has been held to that standard deep down in my heart. I deserve to be treated well. I deserve for someone to really think about what I might enjoy and treat me to it. I deserve good manners, attention on me, and earnestness while on a date. I give a date my all and I want that returned. So far so good, maybe there will be a second date.

I did not kiss my Charming Date. Rule number two is no kissing on the first date. I really hope if or when it comes to that, that I don’t lock lips with a toad.