In the past couple of weeks I have gone out on a few dates with the same guy.  He is younger than me, and he is really NICE.  None of this is normal for me.  I usually cancel first dates before I go on them, and if I really feel like that isn’t an option I go with no intention of having a second.  I do feel like a jerk about it, but even though I keep trying to take that step and starting dating again, it never feels right.

But this guy is someone I know.  And the first time wasn’t really a date, it was just drinks between co-workers.  Officially.  Unofficially, it may have been the successful result of a half-baked scheme to get him out for drinks so I could see if he was more than just a nice guy to chat with at work – without the pressure of it actually being a “date.”  Mostly, things have been going well.  I enjoy his company and want to get to know him better.  But I have still had some reservations.

The drinks went well.  So we went out again.  And again.  And then we went out for drinks with his friends, who were also young and nice.  They were also funny in much the same way my friends are funny.  Watching him with his friends, and listening to their jokes – both inside and spur of the moment, I saw a different side of him.  It made me more comfortable.

See, it isn’t that I object to dating a nice guy.  It’s that I don’t want to feel guilty about dating a nice guy and damaging him in some way.  I’m confused about where I’m going in life.  I don’t want to drag someone into my indecision.  The reason I date guys who are not “nice” is that they become somewhat disposable.  If they continue to treat me badly, I will drop them the minute my life becomes stressful.  It’s justifiable, because I didn’t need to put up with them in the first place.  But they’re fun and I like sex, which is why I hang out with them and another reason I avoid nice guys.  Nice guys deserve to be treated like people, not just sex objects.

I know that I am not responsible every time someone I date gets hurt, and no one goes into a relationship assuming it’s going to be nothing but sunshine and roses.  But I don’t think I should get overly involved with someone who is looking for something I know I’m not going to give him.  And I just haven’t been sure that I’m ready for a real relationship with a nice guy.

Our dates have had me thinking, though.  He is respectful in all the right ways, and the side of him I saw with his friends has me thinking that he also might be disrespectful in all the right ways, or at least open to exploring the idea.  Bow chicka wow wow….

And last night he outdid himself.  Like I said, we work together.  Last night we had a special event at work that was insane.  People. Lines. Chaos. Frantic. The night was a jumble.  And I saw him after about 6 hours and asked if there was any food left for the employees.  I was starving by then, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up if it was going to take another hour or two to find food.  He assured me, however, that there was indeed food left.  I went to run a final errand, and just as I completed it and turned he approached me and handed me a sandwich.  He said it was the last one, so he had grabbed it for me.

To be honest, my heart melted.  We had been working in tandem all night, and it had been going very well.  He was always there when I needed him.  But that was work.  We kind of needed to work together just to pull off the event.

This was different.  He went out of his way to come find me in the back of the building at the end of a really long shift when he had to be tired and sore and could have just waited upstairs for me.

Instead we grabbed a few quiet minutes in a back room while we chatted about the night and I tore into the best. sub. ever.

In simple terms, I liked talking to him over a sandwich at the end of a hard day.

And as I stood there watching him I knew that I was open to seeing where this goes.  He’s a nice man.  Maybe he will understand that I am at a crossroads right now and not judge me too harshly for decisions I have yet to make.  Maybe it won’t go much further than it has.  But maybe it will.  The only things that have stopped me so far are my own hesitations and hang ups.  My own concerns that are based on nothing but generalizations.

And maybe the fact that he’s nice doesn’t mean he isn’t already as much of a closet freak as I am….