When is the right time?

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Back in London I’m wondering when is the appropriate time to stop talking to other guys when you’ve met someone who you’re interested to know more about?

This question doesn’t have an easy answer. It came to my mind (again) when I read a comment on a previous blog post from a guy wanting to join the queue to take me out for dinner. He’d then commented on the next blog where I introduced the Milkybar Kid and said that it was nice I’d met someone lovely and hoped it would lead to something beautiful.

It’s been on my mind as guys get in touch on Tinder, Bumble and Inner Circle: Should I still look around? Should I have conversations with other guys?

Let me rewind to just before I moved to London. I was on a dating website and met a few guys. At that time I thought the right thing for me to do was to meet one guy, see how that went and then not talk to others unless it didn’t go anywhere. My attention was focused on one person at a time.

When I moved to London I quickly realised that most people, if not all, were not doing that! The dating game here is quick because there are so many options (I believe it’s the New York way…). Often you can meet someone, think they’re quite nice and then get immediately distracted by someone else who messages you. Before you know it the first person isn’t interested anymore and you’ve realised the other one has become a no-go option. But it’s ok because you’ve got 10 others lined up and ready to interact with.

So, I joined in. I wasn’t particularly looking for anything serious – I’d been through some pretty traumatic relationship experiences so was quite happy to just enjoy my time, meet new people and if anything went somewhere, so be it. If it doesn’t work out then you’re not too hung up on it and just move on to the next one. It definitely has it’s benefits.

I met a cuban guy out dancing and he got intense very quickly. The problem with liking men to be in control is that they can very easily abuse that, and he did. But that’s another story. 

We were hanging out only a few days after we’d met and my phone rang. ‘Gabriel’ flashed up on the screen and I answered thinking it was a good friend of mine chirping out “Hi Gabe!” with a big smile on my face. As you have probably guessed, this wasn’t my good friend Gabriel, but it was a guy I had been on a date with the previous week, also called Gabriel. 

I’m not very good at hiding anything as my expression says it all! As Gabriel started to speak I realised who it was… “What are you up to?”

Me: ‘Oh, I’m out with a friend…’

Oh shit! I kind of laughed.

As soon as I hung up the phone out came the 20 questions and I was asked to make a decision… I was dating 5 guys at that time. One of them took it really badly and still won’t speak to me. He and the Cuban were the only guys I’ve ever dated who I met dancing salsa and I’ve always told myself never to get involved with anyone I meet there because I wouldn’t want to ruin what I do for fun. That totally happened. Happy to say I’ve started going again now without any negative thoughts.

So, Friday evening I was out for dinner with the Milkybar Kid.

This was the third time I’d seen him – the first being when we met out with friends and the second for a drink about 10 days later (read my previous post now if you haven’t already and then come back to this one so it makes sense).

After my hints (if you can call being massively obvious a hint!) that I was interested in him, the Milkybar Kid very quickly asked me out for dinner and we arranged for Friday after I finished teaching – finding time to meet guys is always tricky with my job being at unsociable hours – so it was a bit of a late one, but worked out well as we met up after he’d finished a round of golf.

(Side note: Isn’t that one of the signs of a proper man – being into golf…?! Have I just opened a can of worms…?!)

We had texted on and off throughout the week but nothing lengthy, which I am so happy about. Some guys can get into endless texting conversations and trying to get them out of it is a nightmare (pick up the phone? Come see me? No?!) Also meant we had plenty to talk about when we were face-to-face.

We met at a gastro pub in Chiswick – I like that he makes sure where we meet is convenient for me – and straight away asked to open a tab and put his card up there. No question that he is taking me out on a date and being a gentleman. 

This is what women like: it’s not about having a guy who pays for everything, but it’s a man showing a woman that he wants to provide and is actually interested in her rather than getting a quick shag out of it. Whether that is what actually goes through a guy’s mind is another matter and I have no idea!

I do remember going on a date with a guy a couple of years ago who texted me the day after exclaiming ‘I can’t believe you didn’t even offer to pay!” I sat there with my mouth open not wanting to believe what I was reading. In actual fact when we were going to leave, I reached for my bag and had it open when he asked the waitress ‘Can you bring ME the bill?’ So I closed my bag again. Of course I thanked him completely unaware he was expecting me to pay. I shouldn’t have assumed he knew correct use of English…

So many guys are like that these days, and it can sometimes feel almost like a form of prostitution: I’ll take you out to dinner and buy you drinks but I better be getting sex from you. Loads of them write it on their profiles – “Can’t we just skip the dinner and just get straight to the sex” – which makes me wonder if women respond to that. I certainly wouldn’t. But they must do as why else would those profiles be there.

Actually come to think of it, I wonder if women write that kind of thing too…?

I have to say that guys probably also get a lot of girls just going on dates with them to be taken out to dinner and get drinks when they’re not really that interested in the guy himself.

Perhaps a solution would be to have some kind of system on these apps and websites where you can select what you’re looking for. Maybe even for each person you match. There are definitely guys I’ve seen and thought C or D for sure!

Something like, Looking for:

A.  a long term relationship;

B.  dates;

C. a FB (no, not a Facebook… think about it… no idea…? A f*ck buddy);

D. casual sex.

Oh… we could have all kinds of fun coming up with different categories!!

But when you meet someone naturally, you don’t have that kind of luxury. There’s no pretence and can’t be any expectation of what either is open to. I have no idea what the Milkybar Kid is looking for – if indeed he’s looking for anything. I haven’t asked him and he hasn’t asked me. 

Come to think of it he doesn’t know I’m divorced – some people are weird about that, and it’s often the ones you don’t expect. It’s on my dating profiles but he hasn’t seen them. When’s the right time to bring that up?! Should it even be brought up? Does it matter?

We drank a little and ate good food. The Milkybar Kid owns two gastro pubs in London – one award-winning – so I definitely trusted his choice of eatery!

The pub garden was pretty and had an air of being in Tuscany dining al fresco with lights strung up and long tables with friends eating together. We’ve been blessed with some great weather and it was warm – Well I was warm anyway… The Milkybar Kid started to feel chilly although that may have been a ruse to get me inside and change seating arrangements from being opposite to next to each other!

He sat close to me and put his hand just above my knee and kissed me… quite a few times… He’s a good kisser. Can you read the smile on my face…?! 

I like a man who takes control (have I mentioned that before?!)

We both had early starts so he dropped me home. Gentleman. 

First text came from him…”Thoroughly enjoyed this evening…Good luck tomorrow morning.”

So, I sit here wondering if this is going to go anywhere and if I feel comfortable talking to other guys. What about meeting other guys? 

On reflection I don’t think we’ve reached that time quite yet but the fact that the thoughts are there is a good sign.

SingleNaomi x

What’s your opinion on when to give your attention to just that one person?

(Dom is still in the picture for those of you wondering about that)

Check out Cass’s post about who pays: Dating is sending me broke!!!

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6 thoughts on “When is the right time?

  1. Ann

    Hmmmm when do you give your attention to just one guy…..this was something I also had to ask myself when I started dating again. The answer for me was when the guy has made the relationship exclusive; i.e. he also wasn’t continuing to date or speaking to other women with a view to potentially dating or having a relationship with them. With my current partner, (I can call him that now because that is how he introduces me and calls me), I had one further date quite quickly after meeting current man, it wasn’t a patch on him so I stopped dating other men. However after a few months I questioned myself if he was as fully committed to me as I him? Were we ‘exclusive’? I had reason to feel and think this (which I won’t go into here), so I thought I’m going to start dating again, if you’re not exclusive to me then I’m definitely not exclusive to you. I pulled away from him slightly (didn’t text/call as much), resurrected my online profile and went on a date with a local guy. It was a pleasant enough date and we got on. We had one other date the following week but I knew my heart wasn’t really in it. I didn’t tell my partner, and he still doesn’t know to this day, however he sensed something wasn’t right, that I had pulled away. When he saw me next, he said that he felt he had neglected me somewhat, didn’t want to lose me etc. From that day, I knew I had him hooked and our relationship has and continues to get stronger.
    So Naomi, date away, see and talk to other guys; don’t put all your eggs in one basket too early. I read an article recently that talks about the relationship ‘timeline’; men’s timelines are so very different to females. Google it, it’s an interesting read 😉

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  2. Marie

    I agree with Ann. If there’s no indication of whether the other person wants exclusivity, continue dating and not keep your eggs in one basket. Enjoy every moment and every experience, at same time, the lessons presented from each encounter. Besides, what’s the rush?

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  3. Caroline

    I totally agree that it’s hard, the last guy who I met online and then in person a few times seemed to expect me to continue looking around, in fact when I was at an event which included dance classes, I sent him a text saying I was really enjoying myself and his response was that he hoped I had found lots of young guys to flirt with… I just had to say to him I’m still getting to grips with the whole dating thing (being divorced since last year) and I don’t have the headspace to deal with more than one at a time!

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    • It’s so hard because everyone’s different and has different expectations so unless it’s very clear from both you just don’t know. I’ve had some guys contact me and then I reply and they don’t … Then a few weeks later they get back and say sorry I had met someone and wanted to see how that panned out… And yes, it takes up time and headspace and you can get easily confused about what you’ve told one person and not another not to mention feelings getting mixed up!

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