This entry has been a long time coming.
Last summer I took a complete break from the dating scene. I decided that after basically being attached to someone every single summer for the last four years that it was time to do something different since for once I was single. So I went and did my own thing, pursued my own interests, and it was a lot of fun for myself. I also learned a number of things about myself along the way, with the primary one being that my interests don't always run in line with most other folks. Later on, as I got into the fall and actually extended this self-moratorium, I became aware that one of the groups I had identified with for a few years was a group that I did not fit in with, and I would never really fit in with, and yet, I was okay with that.
So eventually I reached the point where it was time to maybe consider jumping back into the dating pool and see what was out there. However, I also wanted to change up my approach a little bit. In the past I had typically met men via the bars or via friends, whether it had been at a party hosted by said friends or being set up to meet this person. I also had tried a shot or two at paid online dating, with some mixed results. I started to talk with some folks and they had suggested I give OkCupid a shot for finding dates, since it was more about being fun and friendly and not too serious. It sounded right up my alley because I really didn't feel like looking for anything serious, I just wanted to meet new guys who had similar interests and if we hit it off, great, and if not, it wasn't a big deal.
So to make a long story short, I created an account on OkCupid in November and I found that the site had a much larger dating pool for the DC area, and that meant that for a few months I went on a number of successful dates with a number of guys and I had fun with it, but that's not the point here.
There was one guy in late November who showed up as a recommendation from OkCupid, a 27 year old from DC with brown hair, brown eyes, and a cute smile. I read his profile and he was a guy who was in college getting his masters, a geek, and sounded rather interesting based on some of his answers to the essay questions. So I messaged him and we started talking, and admttedly my interest was piqued. Over the next week or so, as I answered more of OkCupid's compatibility questions to help get better recommendations, the percentage of compatibility between us actually went up. So besides that, there was a good rapport going on and we definitely were interested in meeting. The one catch? Scheduling. If you've been to college, especially as a grad student, you know that your focus is on your schoolwork and whatever schedule is handed down to you by the classes you have to take. As I like to say, you're the school's bitch for a few months. In his case, he was also going for his masters in theater, so besides classes, he had work and roles on whatever show the department was doing at the time, which meant extra work in the evenings. Of course, I have my own obligations going on, between work and traveling and life in general.
So, we started talking in November, right? It would be March before I would finally get to meet CW face-to-face. Prior to that, we had kept up with one another via messages and IM's on OkCupid. Since we both like to keep things simple, we decided to grab coffee at the Chinatown Starbucks in DC and just hang out. Well, grabbing coffee turned into a walk around the city, which then turned into a very long walk and lots of talking, and then about three hours later, we realized we had been walking for three hours and it might be a good idea to stop somewhere and get food. We were back in the Chinatown area by then, so it was over to California Tortilla since he does like mexican food as much as I do. I was planning to head to a fundraising meetup that evening with some friends, and I ended up meeting them about 2 hours later than I had originally said because I was having a lot of fun with CW.
Through that first date, I learned just how deep the geekiness went; besides sci-fi, he also was heavily into anime, horror movies, and video games. Also, he helps produce a Star Trek podcast. Besides studying acting, he's also studying theater tech and he's also done voiceover work. He knows how to fix his own car and he isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. Hell, we even had a discussion about religion (I know that's supposed to be a big no-no) and he had no problem with the fact that I am an Episcopalian, even though he is pagan he doesn't mind the non fundamentalist religions. I also found out he had been a computer science major for part of his undergrad before he switched to theater instead, choosing to follow something that interested him more. I could actually speak computer geek to him and he understood it!
So let's see, he's cute, made me laugh throughout the afternoon, we have a ton of common interests, clearly he's smart if he's getting his masters, he's one of those guys who is independent like I am, and we have a lot of the same values. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to pursue further dating with him. Later that night he would text me saying he had some free time the following day if we wanted to hang out again. You can guess what my answer was.
So from there we hit it off big time, seeing one another when we could get a chance, and still keeping in contact online. Since I knew he was busy, it did mean times where I would not hear from him for a few days, but that was to be expected. As time went on, I found myself growing more and more interested in him, to the point that I wasn't quite so interested in other guys. The bar had been raised pretty high for someone else to catch my eye. We could both be utterly silly around one another and be able to laugh at ourselves, and we could talk about anything. He could tell me about the stuff he was doing with his shows and I would find it fascinating; I could talk about work or about something I was reading, and he could show interest in it. Plus we could sit there and play old NES games and have a lot of fun doing that. He also likes photography so we went during the Cherry Blossom festival and got pictures then. It seemed like we just liked being around one another, no matter what we were doing, and it was never boring.
Soon after we had started dating, CW went on spring break, and used that time to audition for several theater companies for summer work. He landed a gig in Ohio, and so once the semester ended, it would be off to Ohio to work for three different shows at the same theater. As late April and early May approached, I found myself liking CW a lot, though we were still casually dating. I knew I wanted to tell him so, but I also wanted to be sure we were on the same page about where things had been going and how we felt about one another. I was afraid that I could have been rushing things and moving way too fast and that I would basically get rejected. However, I also was trying to be practical about the situation. I liked CW but I also didn't want to tie him down for the summer since he would be over in another state, and it would have just made things more difficult to deal with if either one of us found someone else over the summer.
Ultimately though, I sucked it up and laid it all out to CW, that I liked him a lot but I wanted him to have his freedom for the summer, and we would see where we were at when he came back. It turned out that yes, he liked me as well and was interested, but he didn't want to tie me down like that for the summer either. Okay, so at least we're on the same page.there.
In May he left, and I found myself missing him pretty hard, harder than I had expected. The comfort I had though was that we were able to talk occasionally via text or IM, and there were plans to see one another at a convention in June, along with me seeing one of his shows. That weekend came and I got to see him, and it was a wonderful weekend for the both of us. It seemed to help us bond even better because he had been missing me as well, and perhaps the time apart had made us realize just how much we cared for one another. We both admitted that we were really into one another, but still we agreed to stick to the original agreement of giving one another freedom until he returned.
So as it stands now, CW and I seem to have a really good thing going here, despite the current difficulties that come with being apart for now. However, he comes back in August and from there we'll evaluate. Thing is, there really isn't much to evaluate from here; we've fallen for one another pretty hard and it looks and feels like love, so it's a very good bet we'll be together with one another after he returns.