On Saturday I went on my first official date with Abstinent Admirer. It was super fun, his sister and brother-in-law were hecka nice and I felt comfortable even though I knew nothing about football. Let me amend that last statement: I felt comfortable when we were all four together. I think that Abstinent Admirer (who now shall be upgraded to the name of "Sexless Suitor") prefers to spend time with me well chaperoned. I felt a little rejected that he didn't touch me at all. In fact, he made great effort NOT to touch me. His sister, through the course of normal social interaction touched me more than he did. I'm not taking about anything sexual here. Sexless Suitor has already laid down his no-sex card. I'm just talking about a hand on a shoulder, a gesture, a tap, a bump --- the normal things that happen when you're sitting next to a person or (gasp) lightly flirting. I think Sexless Suitor is terrified of touching me. And it kinda hurt my feelings.
Between that and realizing the next morning that one of my roommates had unexpectedly skipped town, I feel a little rejected all weekend. My confidence was in the crapper.
So I had a mighty unproductive weekend. I called all my friends and told them the story of the evening, about how Sexless Suitor sat on the very far end of the sofa and I on the other. I told them about how I had to initiate a HUG at the end of the evening. I said I didn't know what to do! Does the man like me? Does he not like me? What is going on? How do I proceed? I felt at a total loss. I felt overwhelmedly confused. It had taken me so long to embrace his abstinence and now it appeared that I was going to have to embrace puritan standards of pre-marital conduct. Or maybe Sexless Suitor just isn't attracted to me at all? Excuse my language, but my little heart just spent 48 hours in a cluster fuck.
And then I went swimming, solo. I had planned on going with a friend but she was too tired and swimming in 68 degree water at 9pm does require some extraordinary willpower. So I just decided to go by myself. I was a little scared of jumping into the cold and dark depths by myself (this is an outdoor, natural water pool and you really don't know what is down there) but I just did it anyways. And once I was in the water the Singlution came flooding back to me.
I remembered that I am fine on my own and that I don't need Sexless Suitor to build me up. His admiration is extra but I already admire myself. If I want to go swimming or go running or travel, I can do all those things on my own. And if I can't snuggle myself I can do other activities which reduce my craving for snuggling. And I remembered how much I enjoy my own life and being able to do things on my own and spending time hearing myself think. Until now I've NEVER in my adult life had so much freedom to do what I want when I want and to focus so much on myself. I am enjoying that for now, living my life with my dog and my house and my job.
Going to the game with Sexless Suitor was a bonus because it was an experience I wouldn't have had on my own. The things that I most enjoy about Sexless Suitor have to do with our friendship. Yes, I am attracted to the man (which makes sitting on one sofa while he sits on another quite aggravating) but I am in a great part attracted to him because of our conversations and the things I learn from him and the way we seem to be perfectly matched on the strangeness scale. I don't have any peer-aged siblings so attending a football game with Sexless Suitor's functional family was an interesting thing for me to participate in. It was a new experience all around and a rather pleasant one. There were some awkward moments and some disappointing ones and some frustrating ones and for the most part I felt like a foreign exchange student the whole evening. But it was fun. It was a good experience. And that is the only thing I need to take away from it. If Sexless Suitor wants to ask me out again, I will certainly say "yes". I like the man. But I also have to accept that if I am going to get involved with a guy who hasn't had sex in 18 years, I am going to have to be patient.
And its so much easier to be patient when I am busy swimming through my own life and jumping into my own unknown depths while he builds up the courage to hold my hand.