Getting back to Date #6… we did indeed go for dinner on Thursday night. On account of it being Restaurant Week here in a Philadelphia, we decided to try Cooperage, a wine and whiskey bar just off Washington Square Park.
After my lunch date with the men of A.R.T.T.E, I fixed my hair, changed my shoes and headed into town to meet my friend-who-became-slightly-more-than-a-friend three weeks ago after a few too many glasses of red wine at the Fringe Festival Bar in Northern Liberties.
Was it a drunken hook up? Of course not. He came to my show afterward, and I’d been thinking about hooking up with him for the better part of the summer (granted, I was always a drink or two in when such thoughts occurred to me, but surely the consistency of such thoughts is more important than the cause?)
Nonetheless, I knew there was a lot riding on Thursday night’s dinner so I chugged a cup of coffee before heading out and resolved to pay very good attention to everything he said or didn’t say and, at the advice of Zak, everything I felt or didn’t feel.
(God forbid we simply discuss our thoughts on our relationship or lack thereof; that would be entirely too simple.)
He offers to meet me in my neck of the woods so we can walk to the restaurant together. (Total boyfriend move.)
He does not kiss me hello. (Hmmm… back into the Friend Zone?)
He breaks our usual pattern of going Dutch and puts the entire three-digit meal on his credit card. (Boyfriend?)
He doesn’t bother to follow me when I decide to check out the courtyard down the hall from the restaurant. (Friend…)
He offers to drive me home, opens the door and closes it after me once I’m tucked safely into the front seat of his car. (Boyfriend… or friend. Really, it could go either way as he’s always driven me home and has always opened doors for me.)
He walks me to the front door. (Boyfriend.)
He declines my invitation to “come in for a minute” despite my having previously alerted him to the fact that my parents were out of town for the evening. (Friend.)
At this point, I begin to think that maybe he’s just tired. I mean, there have been plenty of times when I’d rather go home and go to bed than go home with someone…
But those times aren’t usually three weeks into a relationship.
At last I muster the courage to suggest we have “little chat.”
He agrees. Immediately. As though he’s been thinking the very same thing all evening.
He goes first and even though I like to think everyone I’m dating is madly in love with me, it becomes clear to me that he is not; I find myself simultaneously relieved and disappointed. Also, he hates my blog. He’s always hated it and this whole three-guys-at-once-thing is so not his cup of tea.
I go next. I tell him that our friendship is really important to me and I don’t want to gamble it on a relationship that may or may not work out, especially as there’s “something” between us but it’s “just not enough” (his words, not mine, but it did, after all, take me an entire year, a co-producing meltdown and almost an entire bottle of wine to finally kiss him).
So we’re good—I think?
But now I’m curious. Is it really possible for two people to go back to being “just friends” once they’ve been something more?