For years, my social – let alone dating – life has been pretty dormant, much of it due to work and school. As I’ve gotten older, taken courses, passed the certification for my profession, and forged ahead in my new career, I’ve also seen my mates from high school and university forge ahead in their careers (or graduate/professional school) and in their lives. Ultimately settling down, and moving away from the city and spending more time with their partners, families and if any friends, their other coupled friends.
I’m not getting at ALL into the “woe is me” argument. I understand that I needed the extra time invested to fully pull off the career change that I needed to make. I was willing to sacrifice my social life yet again so that I could guarantee the grades needed to get into a top firm fresh off the program. And finally I am also happy for everyone else because everyone needs to find their own niche and it is through these years that I’ve come to understand that I have far different niches (and philosophy to how I should live my life) from my longtime friends.
Only lately have I met people with common interests that I’ve hit it off with, whether it be through a party, running club or whatever. And lately, I’ve run into a few guys that I think have the potential to be good boyfriends if it gets that far. So far, just informal dates – no pressure (thank goodness!!!) – just trying to get to know each other. Just hanging out and enjoying time and conversation. Which to me is FANTASTIC, especially just coming off the craptastic train with Simon in NYC and desperation to get away from him.
Unfortunately, at some point the way things are going now, if I decide that there’s chemistry, that there’s serious potential, at some point I will have to “choose” between them, and THAT I hate. Not so much THAT I have to choose period, but how I go about choosing. Oy. It’s weird because I never would have guessed I’d be in this position, having even one guy have the remote crush on me, let alone two or three at once. I hate thinking of myself as “playing the field” but at the same time, I haven’t kissed any of them, nor do I consider myself to be in a relationship. But now, I do have to start considering where the line may or could possibly be, and who I’d click the best with. So far, all three are keeping it informal.
The one guy – let’s call him Max – is a graduate student at a nearby university who so far I met for a drink and dim sum. The second guy – Jeff – is a fourth year medical student who I’ve met for drinks a couple times. The third – let’s call him Felix – is a working professional who I met for dinner over the weekend. All three live downtown, two of which are in different neighbourhoods from myself.
Obviously there are also other issues with regards to timing here. If you know anything about medical school, you know that final year students get “matched” – that is, placed at a residency program, usually by a computer after residency applications and interviews have been submitted. Jeff has applied to schools both in and out of Philadelphia, and whilst his specialty, psychiatry, is not as competitive as say, surgery, he still could end up anywhere. Which is understandable. It’s dependent on board scores, grades, class rank, etc. It’s a crapshoot. Felix on the other hand has a strong career going for him, however, he is very seriously considering applying for full time programs, again, could possibly pull him from the city.
So that said, even if I enjoy the ride truly with one guy, it’s possible it could all be cut short should they have to go elsewhere for school. Which I’d understand. Being the career driven person I am – you gotta do what you gotta do. And I’m not a long distance person at all. Starting grad school myself next year, it can’t happen. Not for me. And if I didn’t have the secure job that I have now, I would have been open to attending a full time program somewhere and possibly leaving Philly even though it would have killed me to do so.
It’s just that if I only knew where the two guys were going, it would make my eventual “decision” easier. Maybe it sounds shallow of me, but while all these guys are cool as people, I also hate to think that if I knew any of the three were not staying in Philly I would break things off with them, or indicate why I couldn’t enter a relationship with them. Chemistry, I think I’m clicking a tad more with Jeff and Felix, but at the end of the day I still think it’s way too early to say. I just know all three of them have said to me “let’s do this again” indicating at the very least they enjoy my company. But if one wants to get serious or more serious, it will put me in a bind, and from there it will be more difficult what direction I want to put myself.
I know at this point, maybe not the next date, but somewhat relatively soon, I do want to ask them more lifestyle questions. It appears all of them love city life and living in the city long term, if not permanently, which is a big one for me. Kids…I know Max wants one kid, which I can handle, I think later in life. Any more than one, and I think that would be a dealbreaker for me. The other two, no idea yet. I think I may need to ask them preferred lifestyles. I know Felix is a cyclist, and enjoys an active lifestyle and travelling a lot like I do. Jeff works a lot with children in his rotations, but still hard to tell. Oy. In an ideal situation I would not have any children, but later in life, I could handle one.
All three, with the time I’ve spent, there’s never been a moment of dead air time. The conversations are endless. We’re all always laughing. All three are intellects of sorts in their own rights. I picked Jeff’s brain a little tonight on values at a local bar, and it appears we are both the same religion, though more socially progressive on the whole.
But yeah, I’m not feeling a twinge of guilt since I think I’m in the “getting to know you phase”. Just not sure how to approach things once I hit the fork in the road, once should one want to become serious. It would be nice to be able to buy time until March (when Jeff matched to residency and maybe when Felix is deeper in the grad school application process) but I know that’s way out there and something will definitely have happened before then. Probably going to hunker down and eventually address things one on one with each of them.
Or at least ask them steadily more slightly probing questions, but not too personal. I need to start getting to know them better as friends. And sooner rather than later.