Dating 101 – The Non-Date

After years of comments on my blog, and months of texting, I finally met the man we will call, the “Vegetarian”.   The Vegetarian has been reading my blog on and off for years, comments often, and has not been shy about sharing his take on them.  He shares not only his opinions, but his feelings, which have really come to matter to me.  We have an unusual friendship.

There is no judgment.  I think we are both intrigued by the other.  He is curious about my ability to share my life in such a public way, and I am intrigued by his ability to be honest and open about how he views me through my work.  I value the friendship we have built, and truly never thought we would meet in person.  He would just be the guy who writes me.

The guy that is completely non-threatening and safe.  I can tell him everything, and never have to worry about feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable because it is not only me sharing.  He shares in return, so there is comfort in the give and take.  He is kind and has become my go to man for a male perspective on how men view relationships.

He has comforted me when I cry about my broken heart, smiled with me when I talk about the love I have for my son, and laughed with me as we both stumble through our single lives at this stage of life.  He has become my friend, so when we met yesterday there was no fear or nerves.  I was just hanging out with a pal for movie and maybe some dinner.

There is no bullshit between us.  There is no need.  It is a friendship based on a desire to be connected to someone, not a romantic interest.  I met him without worrying about how he thought I looked, or whether I would be attracted to him.  There was no threat, no pressure, no expectations, and no obligation.  It was a non-date, which made it wonderful.

Sidebar: It is lovely to date a vegetarian when you yourself are a vegetarian. He has been a vegetarian for decades and is much more disciplined than I am.  I still occasionally have sushi, but he is hardcore. To go out for dinner with a vegetarian is really nice.  To not have to watch my dining companion eat carcass is rather refreshing and I totally dug it.

We went to see the Israeli film “Fill the Void”.  I highly recommend it.  It was beautifully shot, showed the life of religious Jews in a beautiful way, and shared a story of loss and love in a profoundly moving story.  It has won many awards internationally and if you can find it playing near you, go see it.  You don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate the story.

After the movie we went for dinner.  It was comfortable, but also slightly awkward.  As I sat across from a man whose friendship I have come to trust, I found myself thinking about how handsome he was.  As he touched my hand to make a point, I thought about how lovely he was.  My confusion may have been seen as indifference, but it was actually fear.

We all know I am dealing with the loss of love, and clearly a bit of a mess, but as we had dinner I saw him in a different light, and it freaked me out a bit.  I actually panicked because the safety with him comes from him being my friend, and if I view him as something else, then I put the friendship at risk, and the friendship means a great deal to me.

Our friendship has been very organic in how it started, how it built, and how I hope it will continue.  He was my friend first, and he will be my friend last. The question becomes what to do in the middle.  You cannot be friends with someone you have had a relationship with once the relationship ends.  My last relationship  is a testament to that.

I will over think, over analyze, and over complicate it all.  I will think about my friend and our meeting.  In the end I will let him guide us because I trust him. He is aware of my fragile heart and my lack of trust in my choices.  He is my friend, he has no hidden agenda, he is lovely, and he knows that I am simply striving to keep the faith.