For the first time in a while, I arrived early for a date. Ivan crossed the street to meet me, and he gave me a hug. I'm still not used to hugging when meeting someone for the first time.
He was wearing way too much cologne. It hurt my nose a little. And that, my dears, was the worst part of the date. Right there at the beginning.
We walked around for a while, looking for a place to have a drink and talk without having to yell. While we walked, we talked about middle-of-the-road kinds of things: work, previous schools, what we liked to do for fun, where we'd lived before, etc.
Finally, fucking finally, we found coffee shop that was open and would be open for a while yet. Good. We got a table away from the other people in the place, way in the back. We sat at adjacent seats at the table, and turned so we were facing each other.
Then we got into it.
You might remember that I claimed to have the best first conversation with this guy. I can't say that the conversation we had at the coffee shop was better, per se, because comparing an IM convo to an in-person one isn't that useful. But since it was in person, it was way more fun.
I'll admit, I didn't expect to talk about love on a first date. But we did. A lot.
We talked about open relationships, what it means to love someone else, what it means to love oneself, how to motivate yourself, and standards you hold yourself to vs. other people. We both got pretty animated from time to time. It was kinda hot, actually. Ivan's the kind of person to give you shit (playfully) when you fuck up, and I like that. It keeps me on my toes and in Challenge Mode. It also lets me know I can jab at him without worrying that he'll take it personally.
Our interactions in person were quite similar to those online in the sense that they were friend-like and upfront, with little to no romantic flirting or traditional come-on tactics. During pauses in conversation, I'd gaze at my drink or around the room at the art on the walls. And sometimes I'd look back over at him and he'd just be staring at me, smiling a bit. In contrast to the non-romantic conversation, the staring made me feel a little fluttery, and I wasn't sure what to make of it.
Ivan said he'd never been in love. He has a girlfriend; they're long distance and open. From what I've gathered, he's looking for sex and friendship (but not love, I suppose). And I think the sex priority is way higher than the friendship priority.
The end of the date was the second worst part of it, and I don't mean that in some romancy-pantsy way. I mean it was a little awkward, and that awkwardness was completely my fault. See, by the end of the date I was feeling pretty sure I wanted to see him again, and I wanted to touch him more (way more than a hyper-perfumed hug). What I didn't know until later was that he was sick and didn't want to get super close to me because he felt kinda gross. So at the time, I was kind of lingering, and he was in hug-only mode, and I was getting nervous that I wasn't coming across like I was interested in seeing him again, and it was awkward. Not horribly so, but it could've been a lot better. Awkwardness aside, we said goodbye with a hug. Period.
We both said cliche things like "Let's do this again," but we meant them. I told him to hit me up sometime, and then I went to wait for my train.
While I was on the train platform, I got this text message from Ivan: "Too soon? :P"