I have a rule. Don’t date men who, if it ends badly, you will still have to see them frequently. It’s a good rule, right? Safe. Thought-out. Smart. And hardly ever actually observed. In fact, I’d say there have been some glaring exceptions in my dating history:
1. Temp guy. Saw him every Monday-Friday. And while the date went awkwardly well, it was still a strange experience to see him every day after.
2. My “Big Split” ex: Started dating during an all-summer acting gig in the middle of the woods in upstate NY. Lived in the same building as him. Could have been really uncomfortable if things had turned sour there.
3. Pretty much every other guy I’ve dated.
So, fine, it’s not so much a rule as it is a hope. Or a very lackadaisical guideline. But after my last break up, in which I share a large group of friends with my ex, I’ve decided to try to stick to it.
This was complicated on day two of living in the city,when my roommate walked in. Tall, dark hair, killer smile- uh oh. The more I talked to him, the more my little guideline began to seem silly. Ridiculous, even. Why would I want to limit my options? Especially when my options have such nice teeth? (Seriously, they’re perfectly straight. It’s almost unsettling.)
The roommate and I have been hanging out pretty frequently ever since that initial conversation. We sit in the living room after he gets home from law school, eat dinner together, talk, and watch copious amounts of Family Guy. We get caught by our other roommate, who can clearly sense something stirring, when she walks in at midnight to find us still up and chatting away. He fills me in on the issues he’s learning about in his classes, and I explain the ins and outs of auditioning. It’s lovely. And to hear him talk about law is quite possibly one of the sexiest things I have ever done. His passion for what he does is so great and,therefore, insanely attractive.
Anyway, things were moving slowly enough for me to not worry about breaking my rule. Until a few days ago. We were standing in the kitchen, talking about our crazy work loads. He just kept saying, “I won’t be able to do anything this weekend. I have so much work to catch up on. I’ll be able to do stuff next weekend, but not this weekend.” He said it about ten times rapid fire. Why is he telling me this? Does he want me to do something with him next weekend? Does he usually repeat things 50 times? Does he not know he’s saying it out loud each time? So, I decided to try a more forward approach:
“I think I’m going to see a movie. I really want to.”
“Oh? Which one?”
“‘The Master.’ On Sunday, I think”
“Oh. Well, I would come see that with you! I could just finish all of my stuff Friday and Saturday!”
Mission accomplished. In fact, he is currently cooped up in his room, working his way through all of his assignments. As for the rule? Aren’t they made to broken, or something?