Chemistry or Commitment?

“I like him…I like him a lot.”

I’ve been saying that often lately, when asked about the new guy.  It may not sound like starry-eyed gushing to your unacquainted ears, but, trust me, for me, that’s confessing much.

I’m no couch-jumping Tom Cruise.  My usual reaction on dating a new guy is something along the lines of, “We have fun together, but here’s a list of reasons why he’s not right for me.”  In anticipation of my gripes, my good friend, P, has taken to saying “What’s wrong with him” as soon as I tell her I’ve met somebody (and it completely irks me when she does so).

This week, I’ve been wondering, “WHY do I like him so much?”  I’m trying to decide if it’s merely the superficial – he’s the right age, hip, tattooed, a writer and great guitar player in a band – or it’s truly something more substantial.  I want to be able to say, “I like him because…” and have concrete, meaningful reasons. I don’t believe “he makes me feel good” is meaningful, by the way.

We’ve headed into month #3 and, as the pheromone and dopamine rush of new romance subsides, I want to see if there’s a deeper connection – if a friendship can be forged. Yes, I know it sounds silly to be discussing friendship after…well, after EVERYTHING that’s preceded it, but that’s the nature of most relationships today.  First we connect fueled by lust and chemicals and then try to form true bonds after we’ve shouted “oh god” in each other’s sweaty ear.  So, I feel like I’m at a crossroads of sorts – feeling that I Like him (capital L), and yet trying to decipher exactly why.

In March 2009, I posted a list of fifteen non-negotiable checklist items I would like to find in a potential mate.  I find myself returning to that list now.

1.  Attractive to me
2.  Intelligent
3.  Sense of Humor
4.  Positive Outlook/Zest for Life
5.  Passion for work or hobby
6.  Financially stable – not to take care of me, but enough to take care of himself
7.  Honest/Trustworthy
8.  Liberal
9.  Even Tempered
10. Similar Interests
11. Humble
12. Geographically Desirable
13. Chemistry
14.  Mutual Respect
15.  Love Me

Reviewing this list helps me clarify the “why” for him.  I think we’re strong on 10 of the points, while we’re still trying to figure out three points and two points definitely need work (of course, if I could answer “yes” to #15 so early on, I’d be scared).

So, why do I like him? He’s caring and loving to humans and animals. I haven’t seen him do it yet, but I know he’s a man that can cry.  As far as I know, he’s been honest and forthright with me. He’s humble and self-deprecating – even though I think he rocks. He’s even-tempered and emotionally stable; seems to be able to take daily setbacks in stride. We have similar beliefs and interests. He’s smart with a sense of humor, although I sometimes still struggle to understand it. I respect his determination in the face of his recent struggles. And, of course, the chemistry and attraction are definitely there!

Date night tomorrow.  I can’t wait.

Vulnerability and Distraction

I don’t think I can do this.  Why does this dating thing need to be so difficult?  We had a great weekend together.  He said he was happy.  He introduced me to his friends – they gave me “thumbs up”.  This week, however, things seem off.  We have vague plans for tonight or tomorrow night, nothing that he’s confirmed and I haven’t heard from him today at all.  In the beginning, he was making plans to see me again during our dates. Now, it’s a “Maybe Wednesday or Thursday – I’ll let you know.” I’m checking my email obsessively.  I’m the one suggesting activities now.   Am I really going to cancel my Thursday yoga practice for this?

A little more research showed me his profile isn’t down, as I had thought (boo!).  It’s just down to me.  He’s just hidden it from me, but not from the rest of the dating world.  That stings.

I can’t be this vulnerable.  It hurts too much.  I’m spending too much of my time thinking about him.  I hate when I act like a girl.  Friends say I’m tough. If only they knew the truth.

I like him, a lot.  That’s a rare reaction for me, but I can’t do this any more.  I need to give him his space.  He obviously doesn’t feel the same as I do.  I need to focus on my work, on my yoga, on anything but him.  God, I hate this.

Editor’s note:  He finally sent me a text at 2 p.m. today.

Romance and Pastry

I’m in a good mood this morning. I had a date on Saturday and I think it went well. The drought between datable men lasted just about a year this time. Not that I’ve seen “rain” yet, but at least there’s a few clouds on the horizon. He wants to see me again. I’m trying (unsuccessfully) to be indifferent about the whole thing, but I’d blow off yoga to see him tonight, if he asked. (He hasn’t asked).

Enough of this daydreaming about men…it’s time to talk about scones!

My search has begun for the perfect scone recipe. Standard scone “base” recipes appear to fall into two categories – egg or no egg. The egg recipes differ on amount – from two eggs to just one unctuous yolk. The no-egg recipes call for milk, buttermilk, cream or yogurt, instead of the egg, to bind the butter/flour mixture. I believe traditionalists don’t use an egg, but I’m willing to do my own experimentations to decide what produces perfection.


Cranberry Orange Almond Scones

My first attempt was an eggless, yogurt scone – Fresh cranberries, orange zest and toasted almonds. The results had sufficient rise, felt lightweight, with a good outer crust. The interior was a little doughy and the scone was lacking in sweetness. In its defense, I actually ran out of white sugar for the recipe and substituted an admixture of white sugar, brown sugar and honey, which may have lead to the result. The chopped, fresh cranberries added the right amount of zing, more pleasing to my palate than if I used dried cranberries.

The grande dame of baking, Nancy Silverton, recommends freezing the butter before cutting into the flour, which I’m hoping may give the interior the texture I’m seeking. For my next attempt, I’m trying an egg version.