Nice, but not too nice = just right!

In the fall of 2004, I figured that I should start dipping my toes back in the dating pool to see what was out there. At that time, I was looking for someone with whom I could have a "normal" relationship. I wanted a lot of great sex (obviously), but also some love and companionship.

I went back on eHarmony's website, and a guy named Austin caught my eye. He was two years younger than me, 6'1", black, good looking and well-rounded. We e-mailed for a couple of weeks before scheduling a lunch date at the old Cafe Asia on 19th Street. We exchanged phone numbers in case something came up at the last minute. The day before our lunch, my phone rang.

"Hi, this is Austin. How are you?" he said.

"Good, thanks. Is there a problem with lunch tomorrow?"

"Umm…no," he replied hesitantly. "I was just calling to talk."

"Well, I'm in the middle of something right now. Is it okay if we just meet tomorrow as planned?"

"Yeah. Sure. I'm sorry to have bothered you," Austin commented.

"No worries. See you tomorrow!"

I didn't mean to be rude, but I'm a big believer in chemistry. Much like a dude, I know within five minutes of meeting a guy whether I'm interested in him or not. The eHarmony website already did some of the basic compatibility matching for us. The chemistry part would either be there…or it wouldn't. I didn't care to have a whole lot of conversation before that.

When I walked into Cafe Asia, Austin was already seated at a table. He was cuter than his photo (bonus!) and had a great smile. We hugged hello, and he said,

"Wow! I'm glad that you hugged me because I didn't know what to expect after you didn't want to speak with me on the phone yesterday. I was hoping that you would be as nice and cool as you seemed on your profile."

I laughed and told him that I'm better in person. Weekday lunch dates can be awkward, but this one wasn't. Austin was a really good guy who liked sports and music and was very protective of his three little sisters. It was easy to talk to him, and nice that he was a total gentleman, paying for lunch, even when I offered to split the bill.

Normally, guys who are too nice annoy me, but Austin was kind without being a wuss or overly complimentary. He didn't seem interested in fast-tracking things with me (no talk of marriage or children on the first date), and he was genuine. Before the date ended, he asked if he could see me the following week, and I said that would be great.

The following week, I had a minor surgical procedure scheduled. Austin suggested bringing dinner and a movie over the night before the procedure so I would have some company and not sit at home by myself worrying. His caring and initiative won huge points!

He came over, and it was very easy to have him in my condo. He wasn't intimidated by my place, and asked a fair amount of questions about my friends and my parents. Simply put, Austin made me smile…and want to get to know him better.

As we watched the movie, he held my hand and ran his fingers through my hair. When the movie ended, he gave me a big hug and a small kiss, and told me that he hoped that everything went well at the hospital.

I had wanted a kinder and gentler guy in my life. I had found him! All my needs were met, and I slept soundly before the procedure.

Did Austin have staying power?

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