He's a post-doc in genetics at Harvard Medical, engineer by training, claims to have practiced yoga on occasion. We met at 10:15 and were both fading by 11:15. But we did manage 2 full hours of conversation -- mostly opinions regarding match.com (too suburban, agreed) and OKC (he trusted the compatibility algorithms, I saw them only as rough guides and gateways), and then an extended, bantering discourse on how he had become drunk off of one Blue Moon and I was still lucid after 2 Left Hand Brewing Milk Stouts.
[I know it's cliche to live in this city and expect high-level academic discourse whenever Harvard (and in last night's case, Stanford and Brown, too.... and, furthermore, what is it about my ability to attract Brown alumni, this being my FIFTH?) comes attached to a date CV. I just don't expect queries about how I might have answered specific questions on online dating quizzes. ]
In any case, after we both relaxed into it, Harvard post-doc and I had a decent vibe not to be totally discounted. I think we will meet up again. He's out of town for a week; when he comes back we'll do a Southie dive-bar crawl. More to follow, perhaps.
In the meantime, I found myself fretting this morning after reading today's "Love Letters" column on boston.com. The subject: "She Dotes on Her Men." The downlow: the author, in past dating scenarios, has "waited hand and foot" on men as her way of demonstrating she cares for them; one of her guy friends has told her to lighten up and "act more equal" and now she's worried that this instinct is "unhealthy."
Then I read through the reader comments to this post, and most agreed that, indeed, she needs to back off and avoid a smother-fest. The following one specifically caught my eye:
"I read a book a while ago, called 'Why Men Love B*tches'. Don't be deceived by the title; she didn't mean you should treat a guy like crap. To quote the author, Sherry Argov: 'Women need to understand that trying too hard and sacrificing yourself turns guys off, and pretty much guarantees you'll be taken for granted and dumped.' Here is a quote from a guy on her website: 'Men need to put in some work to really appreciate what they get. When a woman gives too much, too soon, she is viewed as absolutely positively BORING to men.'
I read this and recalled Claudia's advice from Monday (and from countless previous conversations) about the emotional and situational perils of making myself just the right balance of "available." I recall how I struggle (and frequently worry to distraction) with, when interested in someone, I don't know how to show myself as interested and caring enough, but not too interested and caring.