Mr. Architect: An UpDATE for Date #1 – When we first met

Bringing you up to speed on Mr. Architect, my future (maybe?) house builder “if this works out.”

It all started when he asked me to meet for a late Saturday lunch. We met at Casa del Mar, a swanky hotel about 5 minutes from me, in Santa Monica.  This is my favorite place to meet to watch the sunset.  There are HUGE windows and the hotel is right on the ocean. It’s gorgeous.

We met up and to the right, in the library part of the elegant lobby.
We met up and to the left, in the library part of the elegant lobby.

I’m nervous to meet him, but look reallly cute.  I was wearing a dress, high heels and my fab new spray tan.  (Btw, don’t judge the paint.  Everyone looks better bronzed, and my white butt needed some color! 🙂 I felt very Californian.)

I had plans to meet my girls for brunch right before (just down the street, at another fabulous hotel, Loews), and then would head over afterwards to meet him.

He had texted me to meet him “in the upper bar, at the library.” Extra points already for giving me specifics. I love that, and it’s a big hotel.

I walk in and see him across the way.  He stands up from his chair, smiles, I wave and cross over to him.

He then reaches out his hand and helps me up the 3 steps to where he was sitting.  Well, folks, we have a gentleman on our hands! I appreciate the assistance as I’m wearing 4 inch heels.

He immediately makes a comment about how great I look and I’m pleasantly surprised to see him look even better in person.

He’s wearing some sort of golf shorts, a polo with its collar popped, underneath a light blue sweater – its collar also popped. Ah, yes, that man has style.  He’s an architect, after all.

He’s also wearing a fitted baseball hat.

Now, I’m not sure where or how I grew to LOVE a man in a fitted hat, but there’s something about that look that drives me crazy! Maybe it’s from my appreciation/fascination with athletes.  They can really pull that off.

I sit down at the couch next to his chair, in this small area with a few other comfy chairs and a flat screen TV on the wall.  It’s warm and sunny and a perfect Saturday afternoon.

We begin to chat.

The conversation is going great! He’s telling me about his family, growing up in SoCal, a bit about his work, etc.  I’m telling him similar things.  There’s a lot of smiling and laughs.  My cheeks hurt.

I ask him why he wanted to contact me and what he liked about me/my profile.  I’m always curious.

He tells me he likes that I’m smart, “put together,” and beautiful.  It’s really cute, because he’s trying to be super polite and wants to elaborate on that one more, and I can tell he’s looking for the right words.  Words that won’t offend me, but will get his point across.   He did a good job.  I blush.  I’m flattered.

He takes his hat off and puts it on the table in front of us.

I ask him to please pick it back up – and to put it back on, but backwards.

He smiles, and does it.

I die.

I look at him and his matching blue hat, and think, “This man can not be 47 years old as it said in his profile! Wow, he looks good.”

At that moment, he leans over and asks for a kiss.

Wait, what?? I just met you! But then again, you are wearing the heck outta that damn hat…

He gives me a sweet kiss on the lips.

I died again.

Those lips!

We continue conversation for another TWO HOURS.  A few more kisses snuck in.

I learn two things:

1.  This man doesn’t care about PDA.

2.  He knows what he wants.

In the meantime, a family of 4 visiting from another country (maybe Ireland or England) comes over to our area to watch the Australian Open on the TV.  A mom, dad, son about 13 and daughter, 21-ish who comes back from the bar with a drink.

Mr. Architect and I are chatting amongst ourselves.

He still has the hat on, backwards.

He’s leaning over to me to tell me something quietly, but stops abruptly, and says, “I think she just took my picture.”

What??

“Yeah! I think that girl just took my picture!” he says, quietly and in shock.

I turn my head to the right, where the girl was sitting, and sure enough, she’s holding her iPhone in the “I’m-trying-not-to-look-conspicuous-while-I-take-your-picture” way.

Well, what the what?!

She looks away.

He’s confused, yet flattered.

I’m smiling, laughing to myself.  Hell, I’m flattered.

He does look like someone famous.  An athlete (he’s 6′ 4″), the backwards hat, his attention that would glide to the sports on the TV in front of us occassionally.  Yep.  I can see what she was thinking.  I also remember that we’re in a high density of tourists area and people not from Los Angeles hope to run into a celebrity during their stay.

Awkward and awesome at the same time.

The real irony here, however, is that his ex (and mother to his two girls, 10 and 15) is somewhat famous.  A well-known TV personality who I went home later to Google.  Yep.  She’s someone.  He’s all too familiar with the Hollywood scene, and prefers to remain in the background. (This makes more sense now and I recall how he doesn’t like having pictures up online.)

So, we’re there nearly 2 1/2 hours by this point and he says he needs to put more money in the meter where he parked.

We get up to leave.

We walk across the street.  His Range Rover is up the block, so I suggest I wait for him at the bottom of the street.  When he comes back we can watch the sunset on the ocean.

He heads up the hill to his truck and not a minute later two of my girlfriends who I had brunch with earlier pop right up in front of me! They were still hanging out in the area and had seen us walk right past them moments ago.

They saw my date! And I wanted them to meet him, so moments later I’m introducing him to my girls.  Random! Awkward! Awesome! haha I love them, and it’s now fun to have them put a face and name with the shenanigans I dish later on. 🙂

We all walk across the street to the sand so we can watch the sun go down.  My girls decide to part ways, though, and Mr. Architect and I are now alone again.

We stroll on the promenade, walking slowly, talking and holding hands.  He’s very affectionate.

We find a spot to sit and talk some more.

We’re being all cute and kinda lovey-dovey and flirty and people are watching as they pass by on their walks.  (Something I learn to get use to on Date #2, Date #3 and Date #4.)

But it’s just me and him there, really.  The conversation continues…

The topic of his age comes up, and I want to verify that he’s really 47, as it says on his profile.  I love an older guy, and prefer someone in their 40s, but I just can’t believe that he’s that old! He looks much younger!

(Side note: I later asked my girls who met him how old they thought he was, and they said “late 30s, if that.”)

He reacts strangely, and just smiles.

Oh, no.  You did not lie on your profile, buddy! Did you??

He tells me he’s not 47.

I immediately begin to get nervous.

I ask again, demanding that he tells me how old he is.

Maybe he’s younger? Or not, wait, maybe….older? Oh no, how MUCH older?

He chuckles a little and says he’ll tell me.  He’ll be honest with me.

“I’m actually fifty.  Fifty…five.  55 years old.”

WHAT?!?!?!

Holy amazeballs, Batman! That can’t be right.

I feel like I’ve just been given the biggest shock of my life.

“Yep, it’s true.  But only for a few more weeks.  I’ll be 56 in two weeks.  On Superbowl Sunday.” He smiles a big smile.

WHAT?!?!?!?

I look for a paper bag to breathe into.  This is not what I was expecting.

I’m 33.  That’s a 22 year difference!

Ummm…ok, focus.  What do I do now? Hmmm….everything was going so great!

I look at him real close and just shake my head.  I don’t believe him.  He has to be younger.

But then he goes to tell me that he knew I wouldn’t respond to his message on Plenty of Fish if I had seen his real age.

He was right.

And now I think I’m kinda glad he lied.  Otherwise I wouldn’t be here on this fabulous date.

So at this point he’s conscious that I’m either two seconds away from bailing on this date and never talking to him again, or kissing him cuz he’s clearly the hottest AARP-card-carrying member I’ve met. (Omg, please don’t let that last assumption be true. How old do you have to be to qualify for AARP?)

He grabs my hands and then my waist and pulls me into a hug.  He gives me a playful kiss and that helps calm me down a bit.

I decide not to bail, but my mind is still reeling.

We have a bit more conversation and then we know it’s time to get going.  He had something to do with his daughters at 6:30pm.

We say goodbye, but not after me giving him crap about his age some more.  I appreciate that he was honest with me in person, and I know that a lot of people lie in their profiles about age.

And for some reason, I’m more curious than creeped out about this guy.

I’m fascinated by who he is, what he does, his story, his personality.  All of it.

I mean, there is an age difference.  And he was building Denzel Washington a house when I was still in high school (as I later found out), but I think I’m ok with that.

I think. 🙂

The shenanigans continue…

And a question for you!

upDATE: My Final Diagnosis About “The Doc”

To be totally transparent and honest, I went back on my word to not see Mr. Amazing Unavailable again, and totally saw him. A few times, actually. (You can start judging me now…)

But I swear I have a good reason… Lol.

He’s not just some guy I was seeing.

Over the last 5 months, we’ve grown close. He’s become a good friend, a confidant, a sounding board, an advisor, a teacher – and I’ve been the same for him. Beyond our chemistry, there was so much SUBSTANCE there.

I learned his taste in music and his boss’s name, and what’s been bugging him at work. I learned he loves to keep things clean and organized and separates his v-neck tshirts from his regular tshirts. He learned I’m crazy about my baby and how lately I’m missing him while he’s at his dad’s and how I start to have bad dreams when he doesn’t respond to his mother’s texts and phonecalls.

One thing that sucks about being single is that you don’t have that guy there to always talk to. Your best friend, your partner. Someone who’s ready and willing to listen to you, and is there during… life.

So you turn to girlfriends or your sister or… a blog…to communicate your feelings and hash things out.

As much as I love the above alternatives, nothing replaces that heart to heart connection with a significant other.

And this is what I had with The Doc from Day 1.  We always agreed that it was just “easy” with us.  He would call me to talk and we’d be on the phone for hours.  We fit. We clicked. And as he always would say, “We’re on the same wavelength.”

So it was easy to respond to his text to see how I was doing when I was having a bad day recently and needed to talk/vent to a trusted person.

Turns out he wanted to see me (whatta shock, Mr. Cake and Eat It, Too) but when I confronted him on his intentions, he made it clear he truly wanted to console me and catch up.

And we did.

And I actually had a very clear understanding by then of where he was. I had come to terms with the fact he wasn’t ready to entertain the idea of being a “relationship guy.”

Ok, fine. I do love our friendship, too.

So I saw him a few times more and those instances drew us closer again. On all levels.

Cut to last week…

I invited him to have dinner. I wanted to talk to him and get clear on a few things I’ve been contemplating.

I happen to work in the industry of love, dating and relationships, and allllll dayyyy longgggg I consume, organize and communicate about these topics to the world at large.

The fact that I’m living through these topics in my personal life at the same time is a coincidence, and it can get a bit overwhelming. However, it’s also allowed me to really identify what I want in my life.

And here’s an update: As much as I want to find my partner, I don’t want to find my next ex-husband.

Been there, done that. If you want a full dose of pain in your future, marry the wrong guy, at the wrong time.

Too many people spend all their time planning for the wedding, and not nearly enough time planning for the marriage.

So with all of this chatter, both inside and outside my head, I’ve decided to chill out a bit. Really, there’s no rush. Why was I making it feel like there was?? Maybe I was getting caught up in all the hype of “finding love” and the urgent chase that comes with it as a single woman in her 30s.

No. That’s not me, and I’ve never followed the path of normalcy in life.

I’ve decided I needed to chill.

The date:

The Doc picks me up from work. He’s wearing a suit and just coming from a conference with other PhDs and smart folks in his industry. I die.

But I’m looking just as good in my lace dress and heels. He dies.

We really are a great looking couple.

We have an amazing dinner at one of the best sushi spots in Los Angeles, and I watch the sun set on the Pacific Ocean to my left as we talk and laugh. And smile and flirt. Why does it always have to be so romantic with us?! Gah!

(view from our table at Sushi Roku in Santa Monica, CA)

image

We had such a good time that I never found a good time or place in conversation to bring up the conversation where I wanted to propose the idea of slowing down a bit, acting a bit more casual with us yet hoping to see if he’s on the same page of wanting to just only see each other, and see how things go. Perhaps he’d be more open to this pace, too.

So he’s dropping me off and I finally get the courage to bring it up. I tell him I love what we have now and he agrees. After I tell him my new revelation of wanting to pace myself, I ask what his thoughts are about being exclusive. And then he comes straight outta left field and tells me he’s seeing someone else.

BAM.

There ya have it.

Shocked, I ask a few simple questions to try and understand just a bit more about this man’s choices and who this other woman might be. He reveals that she doesn’t connect with him nearly as well, and not nearly as deeply…on many different levels.

Well, duh! I could’ve predicted that. After meeting so many different people over the years, it’s a special thing when you find a rare connection. Ours is very obvious.

I’m hurt but not mad. He’s totally allowed to be seeing other people. Hell, I am, too… and after all, you’re all getting the inside scoop on my dating life, not him. 🙂

So we’re sitting in his car and I’m now feeling VERY different. Yet very wise.

I’m sad for him because knowing there’s someone else now, shows me he’s really not interested in building anything special with me, or with anyone else for that matter. I also realize that as amazing as a friend as he’s become, and as close as we’ve gotten since 5 months ago, I know what i need to do…

I tell him she’s his safer choice.

I tell him that whatever happened in his past that made him so adverse to wanting a relationship and thinking he’s not adequate enough to be a “relationship guy”, is the same thing that’s going to make me get out of his car and watch me walk away.

I tell him I don’t have the jackhammer required to bust through the concrete walls reinforced with steel beams around his heart, nor do I want to put in the time and effort.

He understands. And he acknowledges this would be the case.

I wish you could see his eyes. They are full of fear and apprehension that I’m seriously about to leave him, yet softened by this man’s genuine feelings of love and care towards me.

If internal contradiction had an expression through someone’s eyes, he’d be the poster child right now.

We talk some more and I’m actually holding up ok in the tear duct department. He sees I’m disappointed but I actually have an attitude of “it is what it is.”

I tell him I’m seeing other people, too, and in fact, there’s someone who works across the street from me who’s been trying to ask me out to dinner for the last two weeks. I also tell him I was practically proposed to by someone from my past who’s re-entered the picture.

He tells me he’s not shocked by this.  He repeats “how amazing” I am. And then he’s silent.

After a pause, I ask him what he’s thinking about. He says he’s processing what I just told him.

Good, I say.

More silence.

I tell him I have to get going. So with pretty much nothing left to say, he asks if he could at least give me a hug goodbye.

I shrug and agree and we get out of the car. He comes around to my side and then gives me the longest hug of my life.

It’s not a hug. It’s an embrace. He’s holding me tight, not wanting to let go. It’s a long, freaking hug.

I wasn’t sure at the time what that was all about, but looking back it felt like it was him silently wishing he could be that guy I need, yet apologizing with this hug that he couldn’t be.

Or, wouldn’t be.

Either way, it wasn’t gonna work for me.

The hug finally ended. We look at each other and I wipe a tear away.

I told him I wish I could say “See ya later….” but I don’t WANT to see him later.

I start to walk away and he tries to make light of the goodbye and makes a joke…

“What about “Til then!” Let’s use the corporate thing.”

I stop, turn around, look at him, and just shake my head “no.” I continue walking away.

No. Nope. Not gonna happen, although I appreciate the closure I had just received.

I think that’s really what I needed to finally close the chapter on “The Doc.”

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