As my odd first date with Hampton Man continued, I felt like I was watching a fender bender. It wasn't the worst first date that I had ever been on, but it wasn’t good either. In the back of my head, I laughed to myself, thinking:
Well, at least I’ll get an interesting blog post out of this.
I let Hampton Man do most of the talking when it came to his last relationship. But, when he called his ex-girlfriend, Janine, a “whore,” I had to speak up:
I have a problem with guys using that word to describe a woman. I get that she hurt you, but that’s not cool.
Hampton Man: How else should I describe a woman who lied to me and slept with another guy behind my back?
We were already in so deep that I just kept going.
Me: So, she cheated on you and you’re hurt?
Hampton Man: Yes.
Me: Have you tried talking to her at all?
Hampton Man: She said she loved me and kept lying to me. And, we talked some more after I found out, but I don’t think I can trust her anymore. [Pause.] I told her where I was coming from, and she was fine with that. She said that she didn’t want to be with anyone else.
Me [slightly confused]: So, where were you coming from?
Hampton Man: I’m not the monogamous type.
Me [with wide and incredulous eyes]: Wait a minute. You broke up with her because she slept with someone else, and yet, YOU were sleeping with someone else?
Hampton Man: But she knew that from the beginning!
Me: And, you think that makes it right?
Hampton Man: I’m honest. I don’t actively seek out other women, but if I feel a connection with someone, I’ll act on it. All of my guy friends cheat on their girlfriends and wives behind their backs, and no one is ever the wiser. I’m not going to do it like that.
Me: Why even get into a relationship then?
Hampton Man: I like coming home to someone…going on trips…spending the holidays…all that stuff. But, I don’t want to pretend that I’m going to be 100% sexually monogamous if I might not be.
Me: Being honest doesn’t negate the fact that the monogamy piece is often essential to having a solid commitment and strong level of trust. So, why did you get so upset with Janine?
Hampton Man: Well, she said that she would never have sex with anyone else…that I was the only man she would be with…and then she slept with someone else and hid it from me.
Me: I’m not saying she should’ve lied to you, but a relationship that’s only monogamous from one party would be tough to sustain.
Hampton Man kept insisting that it was most important that he was honest. He then proceeded to list all of his relationship faults, hypothesizing about how natural selection and events from his childhood had led him to this place. He mentioned family issues, his need for independence and some analogy with the male lion. I tried not to roll my eyes too much as I commented:
At least you’re self-aware.
Hampton Man: Aren’t you glad I told you?
Me: Well, in one sense, yes. I would have considered sleeping with you down the road, but now, I’ll think a lot harder about that. It might have been nice to just have a typical first date, though.
Hampton Man: Well, it’s not to say that I wouldn’t change for the right woman.
Me [with a skeptical look]: Maybe.
The end of our drinks date involved him showing me pictures of his ex-girlfriend. I did talk for a few minutes about my relationships with Mr. Agency, Mr. Exec and Best Boy and wasn’t surprised when Hampton Man didn’t know any of them by their first names.
We ended the date discussing legal policy and how it relates to one of his practice areas. He again admitted that it was tough for him to stay motivated as a solo practitioner in Virginia, but he suggested that we talk more about this in the future. I was amenable to that. (I do miss practicing so I could discuss my former specialty ad nauseum.)
As we walked outside, he offered me a ride home, but I politely declined. Hampton Man indicated that he wanted to see me again. I said that would be nice, although I didn't know if I cared to ever go out with him again. But, as “friends” or colleagues, he was interesting to talk to so I didn’t want to close the door entirely.
I headed home, feeling exhausted. But, as it would turn out, my night was far from over.
To be continued…