Casual dating vs a relationship

I was thrilled with the way he was direct and appreciative: If he wanted to see me, he’d ask, and he always made sure to let me know he had a great time. But we were both keeping each other at arm’s length emotionally — at least I was, anyway.

Even so, I wasn’t immune to the warming effect of intimacy.

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I was open to going out and meeting people after escaping an exhausting and unhealthy relationship, but I wasn’t exactly eager to jump into dating, and I was nervous that doing so digitally might bring about potentially confusing situations. I felt embarrassingly out of touch with the culture of dating and was too much of a wuss to make an earnest effort.

There was a lot of stammering, pregnant pausing and a general lack of sense-making.

I knew he was emotionally intelligent enough to recognize that I’d put myself in a vulnerable position by addressing this elephant in the room, but since I’d done it with the broadest stroke possible, the open-endedness had him quite literally speechless.

When he re-introduced himself to me, I charmingly replied, “Of course I know who you are” — a partial lie, as I don’t think we’d actually exchanged names before.

He was scruffily cute and had an indistinct accent that pronounced tomato as A few days later, I received an Instagram DM from him asking if I’d like to hang out sometime. Our rapport was less flirtatious than it was friendly.

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