I'm just going to vomit this up now as it's fresh in my mind and I don't want to forget anything. Perhaps tomorrow I'll have a different perspective, but for now, this is what happened on my date tonight.
The Love Interest came over with a cake and we talked in the kitchen while I cooked us a nice curry, then sat on the porch with the twinkling lights from the mountain across the train tracks blinking at us. We talked for four hours about all sorts of things. Then I mentioned it was 11 PM and he said he guessed he'd better get going.
I knew it was now or never, so as he was gathering up to leave and I was about to open the door for him, I said, "so, I invited you over here to tell you I think you're cute and then never got around to it."
As I had pictured, he sort of stopped, with an embarrassed smile, and shook his head. "You don't realize that I'm not." I kind of paused, waiting for him to say something else, and he just said, "I don't know what to say to that." And then he started to walk out!
I followed him out and said, "you're just going to leave it like that?" And then came the speech.
"I really enjoy hanging out with you, I find you very attractive, but I think we'd be better as just friends."
I said something along the lines of, "it's ok, you're not feeling it. I get it. I just had to put it out there."
I believe at this point he said something like, "...and I don't know why..." And it was getting so incredibly awkward that I gave him a big hug and said that we're friends and it's ok and not to worry about it. And then he pretty much sprinted down the stairs and I went in the house and immediately texted like fifty people a big thumbs down. And then talked to a sympathetic friend for an hour and a half.
So, that's that. We have our answer, and it is a big, fat NO.
I'm so glad I just said it. It's such a relief to not have that hanging over my head anymore - the last month, especially today, had been torture. I was determined to not let him leave this house tonight without a definitive answer, and I got it.
More importantly, I could tell by the way he was and the look on his face that yes, he had been considering me, that he was expecting this, and was a bit tortured over it. He was definitely very embarrassed (way more than I was) and reacted bizarrely - he really would have just walked out without saying much of anything had I not pressed him. I got the impression that he had probably been trying to convince himself over these months to go for it but just "wasn't feeling it", whatever the hell that means. And now he's afraid he's ruined a friendship, which he hasn't, because, as stated, I plan to completely forget any of this ever happened. Our next group meeting is in two weeks and I plan to act as cool as a cucumber. I'm a grown-ass woman. I can take it. Have I mentioned how I pushed two people out of my vagina?
But oh, you guys. We were sitting in the porch and he was so close to me, and just that maleness...the deep voice and the faint stubble and the shoulders...I'm just not that close to men that often and it's intoxicating. I just wanted to run my fingers through his hair and plant a big wet one on his lips. And he says he finds me very attractive. So...what gives?
Naturally my fantasy is in an hour or a day or a month he shows up on my doorstep and says, "I was a fool, I tell you, a damned fool!" and grabs me and kisses me as the music swells and the credits roll.
Nope. Not going to happen.
What will happen is I will never contact him again, and we will see each other every month at this meeting, and I will pretend none of this ever fucking happened.
I may call our mutual friend tomorrow and tell him I made a pass at our friend and he shot me down and what's his take on it. I would love to hear from someone who knows him his perspective on all this, if he even has one. Probably he will just say, "he's an idiot." That's guys for you.
So, that's it. I'm glad I did all this because I hate wondering "what if". And I did get some jollies from it even if it ended badly. At least I didn't do anything stupid and, if anything, behaved far better than he did. I think he was just thoroughly freaked out.
Maybe he will suddenly change his mind and realize what a catch I am. But I won't hold my breath.