Date 8!

I have been taking on some extra responsibilities at work. I am now in charge for the entire project for an important client. It has been stressful because it means more workload and more responsibility. The benefit is that I am no longer required to solve other people’s messes. Mostly because if anything goes wrong now, it will be my fault.

Our client calls at 18:00 and I am the only person still in the office. By the time I get her off the phone it is 18:40 and I still need to get home and prepare for my date and then get to the restaurant by 19:00. Two mad bike rides and a clean shirt later I arrive with a couple of minutes to spare. Those gym sessions are really paying off.

I am not in the mood for this date, though. I usually have plenty of time to prepare and get ready. I am still in rush-mode, I have not had the time to get in the right state of mind.

All of that stress immediately disappears when she arrives. We start chatting immediately and are connecting even before we have decided on what to order. We talk about our jobs: she works at a bookstore and volunteers at a library. I confess I haven’t ready any books for quite a while. I used to read more but lately I have not found the time with all the dating and dancing. We order a whole bunch of tapas so we can share.

It is nice to see her speak with passion about books. I tell her about some of the things I like. We share a love for alternative movies. We also discuss the 30 dates project, relationships and dating in general. I mention that I am thinking of changing the blog format somewhat, to put the focus more on my partner and less on me. This would raise come privacy issues and I have not quite figured out how to adequately handle those. I intend to write a “looking back” post after ten dates and maybe make some changes.

When she asks me about it, I tell her that when I started this thing I was not looking for a relationship. The whole project was set up to make single life more interesting: to do something fun and constructive with the extra time and energy I suddenly had available. It worked out a lot better than I had anticipated. Things have changed a little over time: while I am not actively looking for a new partner right now, I would be open to it if I met the right person.

After we finish our food we decide to go for drinks. We talk about dancing and the local salsa dance scene. Both of us are part of it and we love to dance. It is always interesting to get someone else’s perspective on something, especially if they don’t share your gender.

It is very different for men and women in Salsa. As a guy you need to know how to dance and to lead your partner. You need to ask women to dance with you, which can be daunting when you are not used to it. You also get to lead which means you choose where you go with your partner, so you have to be careful when there are tons of other couples around. In most dance places space is a major issue: it gets very crowded and you really want to avoid other couples bumping into you or someone landing a high heel on your or your partner’s foot.

For women it is completely different. You do not need to take as many classes, you just need a good leader and a good sense of rhythm. It is in no way easier to master, but the entry bar is a lot lower for women. That is pretty much the only advantage women get, though. They generally do not get to decide when they dance or with whom or to what song. Us guys are lucky.

We talk some more but we are both eager to hit the dance floor. We head over and finish the date with a quick chat and a slow dance. Another fun date, followed with an excellent evening of dancing!

Food: Tapas bar Los Flamencos, food plus 2 drinks each and dessert for €22 per person. The tapas were excellent and so was the service. It was also a lot cheaper than I expected it to be. Highly recommended!

Drinks: cocktails again, this time at Entreprise. I swear the staff recognises me by now. I might have to find an alternative from now on for post-restaurant chats, just to keep it fresh.

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