Friday, December 16, 2011

Dating.... Around?

So damn true, but I'm working on it.
So in my efforts to be less like Cher and not continue on as a serial monogamist, I vowed not to settle down too fast. So no, the surgeon didn't move in, but I did end up dating him longer than any other guy in the running.

Things with the surgeon were going very well by the middle of May. We had fun and intelligent conversations and a little bit of chemistry. He was a great guy and again, a guy any woman would be happy to date. My bestie and my friends were already planning our destination wedding by the 2nd week of dating.

He did sweet and thoughtful things all the time. He brought me flowers when I wasn't feeling well. He made me a mix CD. And he used to do something I found absolutely heart-warming. Since he was a doctor, he would carry around a few blank index cards in his front shirt pocket along with a pen. Throughout the day he would use these cards to jot down notes about his patients. But one day, I asked to read his notes because I was interested in what he did all day. Without a moments hesitation, he handed them to me and I began flipping through them, and while I read random thoughts about how to treat his patients or how to get ready for an upcoming qualifying exam, I found notes about me. Ok, it's not as creepy as it sounds. It was sweet. He cared. He thought about me throughout the day and took brief notes about what I might like to do, where he'd like to take me, and things I'd mention in conversation. It was very thoughtful. He was incredibly kind. Our dates were like nothing I had experienced yet in my new and very young dating life. He took me to amazingly fancy and delicious restaurants, we had picnics in the park, we went to a play, and we explored areas of the city I hadn't really spent any time in. He was also very caring. I remember my stomach was upset one day and he poured me a little cap-full of Pepto and handed it to me as if I was one of his pediatric patients, "Here kiddo, drink all of this." This was hysterical to me. We had fun.

But by the end of May, I began to notice signs that showed that he just wasn't right for me. He wanted a committed girlfriend, better yet, a wife, and he wanted that wife as soon as humanly possible. He had been divorced for many years and was ready to get married again. On the 4th date, I think he may have asked me how many kids I wanted and shortly thereafter admitted to falling for me. It was too much, too soon, too fast.

It was hard for me to navigate how to handle all this at first. I liked him and wanted to give it a chance, but I had to keep him at arms length and make sure I listened to my instincts too -- which were telling me that I was in no way ready for a commitment. I don't have a strong track record of doing what's best for me, listening to my instincts (see above), and standing up for myself. So when he pressured me to make a commitment, I had to stand my ground and be firm about what I wanted. I basically said I wasn't ready and was only interested in dating, but I still liked him. I told him what I was capable of and left it up to him to decide what he was capable of as well. He had to ask himself if he could just be happy to date me, or if he needed to move on and find someone who was ready for commitment.

It was hard to do and I was proud of myself for using my voice and sticking to my instincts. It all seemed pretty mature to me actually. I think it's important to tell people up-front who we are and what we need.

So the surgeon decided to stay with me we kept our relationship open. This meant that I was officially "dating around." Is that even a term people use? I had no idea. I just wanted to meet new people and see what was out there. So who was out there, you ask?

Stay tuned and I'll tell you all about it, Dear Readers.


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