D8 with a Suitcase and a Stopwatch

I received a message from a very handsome man via a gay social networking application. It was a simple “Hi, how are you?” that started the ball rolling between this gorgeous man and me. We talked about our families, our careers, and our dogs. He gave me a hard time for not liking mustard and I loved the fact that he’s no stranger to making his own ice cream.

We made plans to meet the following night, in spite of one thing about this man that I’ll get to later…

The following night became the night of my first date with Jeffrey. He was even more gorgeous than his photos. Tall and burly with salt and pepper hair and a trimmed beard to match, Jeffrey embodied a level of sophistication and confidence impeccably wrapped in the looks of a model straight from the Cabela’s catalogue. Our eyes met, we both smiled ear-to-ear smiles, and before I knew it, Jeffrey planted one right on me without saying one word.

After I caught my breath, I knew that starting a date with Jeffrey in reverse and getting the first kiss out of the way at the beginning was the only way to begin an experience dating this man. The next five hours were spent laughing, talking, and really getting to know each other. There were quiet moments where we just stared into each other’s eyes, and not one moment was an awkward silence. The entire evening flowed, and with each glance and every laugh, the connection we felt was undeniable. Jeffrey was like a tall glass of refreshing iced coffee after an hour of mowing the lawn on a 90-degree afternoon.

But… My1FineD8 was a resident of Washington, DC and was here on business.

I knew that going on a date with a man carrying a suitcase was not the smartest thing to do. I thought there could be no harm in meeting him and possibly making a new friend. Considering that my last few dates didn’t result in any deep connection, I saw no harm in meeting him for coffee. What I didn’t think about was what would happen if we really connected. In the case of this man with a suitcase, we connected to a point where I can safely say that it was one of the deepest connections I’ve ever experienced.

Which brings us to the stopwatch. I knew time was ticking with each laugh and each smile. This fine date would come to an end, and for the first time in a very long time, I wasn’t ready for it to end. Luckily Jeffrey was of the same opinion. Unlike my other dates, I could simply close the deal on a second date. But with the distance thing, I knew that would be impossible this time. Jeffrey, on the other hand, was of a totally different mindset.

“What are you doing Friday night?”
“Ummm… wishing I was in Washington?”
“I think I’m going to change my return trip and take you out Friday night.”

Which is what came to pass. My 1FineD8 with Jeffrey turned into two fine dates. Two extraordinarily fine dates. Yes, the suitcase and stopwatch were there, but I did my best not to think about them. Jeffrey made is super easy to forget about them, and his changing his return trip just to have a date with me was probably one of the most considerate things I’ve experienced in quite a while. In spite of the stopwatch, every minute with this incredible guy made the last seconds of our second date not so sad.

When I said goodbye to Jeffrey, I knew there would be a third date… and a fourth, and a fifth too.

suitcase

1Gr8Lesson
One hazard to online dating is meeting a potential 1FineD8 that isn’t exactly zip code friendly. You may set your profile to only search for potential dates within a close mileage range, but there is nothing stopping someone else that has chosen an expanded reach that happens to read… and like your profile.

It would have been very easy for me to dismiss Jeffrey based on zip code alone. There was no investment of time, no drinks purchased, and definitely no emotional tie. But there was something special about him- a spark that has been lacking in a lot of the dates I’ve experienced. I threw caution to the wind and gave into the hunch that he was as great of a man as he appeared in his pictures. Fortunately, my hunch was right.

And unfortunately, my hunch was right. Unfortunate because of a zip code. Unfortunate because it presents a challenge that most daters don’t have to face, which is getting to know each other via phone and text while most couples get to date the conventional way. Dating in this manner is not what I envisioned for myself, as I’m confident Jeffrey would agree. I am also confident that Jeffrey would agree that if our biggest unfortunate is a zip code and a ride on Acela, we’re pretty damned fortunate.

My advice to you is to follow your gut when it comes to getting involved with a potential date that may not be geographically convenient. If you feel the distance is going to present a hardship, then by no means go on the date. If you look at the distance as secondary to the person that is asking you out, then go for it.

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