Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How Do 28-Year-Olds Flirt?

Answer: I have no idea.

Okay, I don't have the time or the energy to give every single detail - and, in fact, many of you reading this know me in real life, and you've already heard every detail - but I did want to give an update for those of you who have been curious about Dr.B.

Things are going well. What exactly does "well" look like? Let's look at positive recent signs:

1) When I invited him out to a weekly pub trivia night with some friends, he expressed sincere interest in joining us. Sadly, he was suffering from a bad cough / sore throat, so couldn't make it, but when I next talked to him, he reiterated that he really wanted to come and hope I would keep him in the loop about future outings.

2) He hung out with me and a few friends of mine last Friday. He met up with us before a school concert, came to the concert with us (and sat next to me), and even came out to get food afterwards with me, Tpiglette, and Tpiglette's husband (almost like a double date). We got along very well throughout the night - we laugh at each other's jokes and get each other's references, which is awesome.

3) He chose to sit next to me yesterday morning at our morning devotional time, even though we didn't walk in together and he normally sits in the back (I'm a front-row person).

4) He stopped by my room during his lunchtime supervision yesterday afternoon, just to talk and hang out for a bit.

5) He stopped by where I was standing in the quad at lunch (I was watching fun student antics on the other side of the quad) to talk to me for a while this afternoon.

I figure these are all excellent signs that he likes me, and by "likes me," I mean in the general sense, not necessarily the romantic. Until recently, I wasn't sure he liked me at all, even as a colleague, and definitely not as a potential friend. Before I can even hope for anything romantic, I have to know that we can have a genuine friendship. So it makes me really glad to know that we get along and that he seems to really like me and enjoy my company.

That said, I'm willing to acknowledge the possibility that these are signs he would be willing to consider something beyond friendship. Only the possibility, though, because I know all too well that none of these signs is a guarantee of romantic affection. But the thing is... I can't really describe it perfectly by writing it on this blog, because I'm actually there interacting with him, but I get the strong sense that he's flirting with me. Okay, okay - he IS flirting with me; that's not even in doubt. The question is whether he's flirting with me in a friendly way (he's that kind of guy) or flirting with me in an "I'm interested in pursuing a romance with you" kind of way.

Example: Our conversation this afternoon... I was standing in the corner of the quad, watching the student antics, as I said. I was quietly taking in the scene when I saw a fellow teacher come walking towards me. She was asking me something, and I began responding to her question only to notice something out of the corner of my eye. When I turned my head, I saw that Dr.B. was purposely standing THIS CLOSE behind me - basically his nose about a centimeter away from my ear. I jumped about three feet in the year and barely avoided shrieking an expletive in my fright. This is the second time this week he's scared me (yesterday, he came into my classroom from around the corner of the building, jumping in and shouting my name), and I yelled, "Don't DO that!" He responded with a wide-eyed innocent look, "What? I was just standing here..." The other teacher who had been asking me the question was chuckling, and she said, "I was wondering if you knew that he was standing right there." So apparently he'd been there long enough that she didn't see him approach even. The three of us (I like this girl, but I did kind of wish she would leave so Dr.B. and I could talk alone) chatted for a while longer.

So... is this flirting? I suspect if we were 16-year-olds this would be normal behavior, not flirtation. But for 28-year-olds? It's flirting, right? But again, I'm only barely in doubt about whether it is or is not flirting. I'm more unsure of whether we're friendly flirting or romantic flirting.

Honestly, it shouldn't matter. As I said, he likes me on a friendly level, and that is already a very good thing. I think we could be great friends, even if he decides he's just not interested in anything more. So I'm happy with what's been happening because we're progressing in our friendship.

But I can't lie - I want more. Remember when I said I just wasn't sure if I wanted to pursue a relationship with him, regardless of whether or not it would work? I'm pretty certain at this point that I do want that relationship. Oh, I still have the questions - What if we don't get along? What if it gets awkward? What if we start hot-and-heavy and then fade quickly into awkwardness? - but his story gives me not the slightest pause anymore. I've passed that phase completely. And now that I know that, I want more. I want more interactions with him, more flirting, more conversations, more smiles and laughs.

I've never been good at being patient, and this is especially hard. And yet, I know the waiting is necessary, because jumping into this wouldn't be any good for either of us.

But that doesn't mean I won't do a little impatient whining while I wait, at least to you, dear readers.


fjd said...

Maybe his hobby is millinery and he was estimating your head's circumference.

Mrs. Chili said...

Sigh. I love the nascent stages of possibility...

Still Jill B said...

I think it's worth keeping in mind that if he's a teacher at a Christian school, chances are that he's not very far removed from maintaining 16-year old flirting styles.

Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud at what Jill B. said! : ) He is definitely flirting with you, but it does give me a bit of pause that he's doing so in such immature ways (the jumping out at you, the sneaking up on you). Not just because it's immature--let's face it, a lot of guys are immature forever!--but because of some of his background, he may be out of practice with proper boundaries (and mature ways of expressing his interest in you...). I am rooting for both of you!

BetteJo said...

Oh Honey - what if he finds your blog?????

Clair said...

A friend and I had a very similar conversation last night to what you've written about. Sadly, the early 30s set doesn't know how to flirt either.

Lara said...

BetteJo - If he finds my blog, the worst thing is that he'll know for sure and for certain that I'm romantically interested in him. I'm not sure I think that'd be the absolute end of the world, though it's certainly not ideal. Trust me - if I'm concerned about someone finding my blog, it's my principal or vice-principal, not Dr.B.

Natalie said...

For what it's worth, if it were me, that would be indicative of romantic flirting - or anyway, of flirting-that-is-exploring-the-possibility-of-romance. My merely friendly flirting does not invade personal space.