The Number One Dating Rule

One of my oldest, dearest (male) friends lays it on the line for me, after I get increasingly nutso about how to interpret Sir Hugo. (Although I DO, finally, take action.)

My dear lovelies:

Very late Tuesday night, at 1am (after writing yesterday's post and setting it to publish first thing in the morning), I went ahead and did it:

I sent Sir Hugo a follow-up note.

I kept it short--just said I enjoyed meeting him, and talking; that I'd determined my mother's mother was indeed from his favorite part of Ireland; and signed off with a little question (How are your vacation plans coming?).

I figured that would show my interest and yet leave the ball in his court.

And ...

He wrote back promptly! He started off by saying he thought our evening and conversation were very pleasant. (Yes! Not just pleasant but VERY pleasant! Hot dawg!) It was a quite long, rather rhapsodic note about a few different things--mainly how much he enjoys the intense mind-altering heatwaves like the one we are currently having in New York, and also about the time he spent in my grandmother's (quite beautiful) part of the world.

But ...

He did not say: Would you like to get together again?

Nor did he say: Maura, I am hot for your body and please, please, do not make me wait much longer before I can have it.

(All right, fine. Maybe I wouldn't really want him to say something as cuckoo as that ... but ... well ... maybe I wouldn't entirely mind. Although I think it would be very out of character for him.)

In fact, he didn't even ask me one single question--which, as we all know, is an easy way to keep any flirtatious exchange going.

Simply ASK ONE LITTLE QUESTION! Something as innocuous as "How's your week been?" or "How's all your work coming?" or "Eating much broccoli these days?"

On the other hand least he didn't say anything like: I found our time really pleasant BUT I have a wife and children in another country and I have decided to return to them.

OR: I found our time really pleasant BUT you looked like such an idiot with that enormous blob of mascara on your face that I will never be able to forget it. Therefore I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN. Have a nice life.

Or: I found our time really pleasant BUT I also found your blog. And now I am frightened by you. You are way too obsessed with me so please go away. I have initiated the formal process of changing my name from Sir Hugo to something entirely different; I am moving out of my apartment tomorrow; and by next week, I will have entered the BLOGGER-TARGET PROTECTION PROGRAM. Do not attempt to ever contact me again or The FBI will be at your door faster than you can say DATING BLOGGERS ARE CRAZY PEOPLE.

He also went on for about five paragraphs. And who puts that much effort into a note if they don't care, right? (Well, maybe an unemployed person does.)

I had no idea what to make of it. I asked my darling Kermie Ottawa* what he thought, and he was flummoxed, too.

By the end of the day yesterday, I'd driven myself COMPLETELY BONKERS over the whole thing. So, in desperation, I called my very dear, very old friend Whiskers Garden.* I try to resort to contacting Whiskers only in times of REAL DISTRESS, because he is the ne plus ultra of a friend-counselor. Which is to say, he is the person who helps glue the pieces of me back into a cohesive whole after I've been blown to bits by some kind of romance grenade. Really, I should pay the man. He's better than hospice care.

Anyway, I got ol' Whiskers on the horn, gave him the skinny, and finished off with the question: "So what do you think? Sir Hugo is not interested, right? I should let this thing drop, right?"

Whiskers responded thusly:

"MO KELLY!** The guy practically writes you a novel--and you think he's not interested! Come on! Who knows why he didn't ask you out--maybe it's because his self-esteem is as collapsible as yours. But if you let it drop, you're an idiot."

He continued:

"Here's my advice: Stop overthinking it. Just ask the guy to do something. If he likes you, he'll be happy you did. If he doesn't like you, he'll decline--and you can move on with your life!"

Of course, Whiskers is 100% right.

In just about every single dater-ly case--certainly when we're talking about how to deal with the very early stages of courtship--THE BEST THING TO DO IS TO JUST STOP OVER-THINKING!(And many of you have advised me to do just that).

And really, I think taking action--in the form of, like, asking a person on a second date--is a far better idea than living in a state of total anxiety.

Don't you agree?



also--commenters--i love you. TO L.G.and the girl from Guatemala: I am really glad you can relate! Although I wish you were having better luck with this whole dating thing than I am, for your sakes. If it's any consolation, it sure does seem not-so-easy, world-wide. ... and NYC-chick who is incessantly commenting on dude's facebook page--ha! that cracked me up. xxx


*Porn-star names, of course.

**That's Whiskers' nickname for moi.