Tonight, the Cowboy and I hung out, our first date in the two weeks since the catastrophe of me visiting him at his home.
I always knew that this was the time to bring up what had been bothering me for around a month or more:
He's a great guy. We have a blast hanging out together. But I just don't feel it romantically with him. Maybe it's because there's too much friendship. Or maybe it's just because he's too short -- we are the same height, which is average for a girl and short for a guy.
Tonight we went to what we thought was going to be a funny play, but ended up being a strange and mostly unfunny one-man show. Then we went to a local bar in a distinct neighborhood of our city that had a good mix of college students and older townies.
After having our first beer, a guy in his late 40s or so sat down next to the Cowboy. We started chatting about gambling, of all things. Then he asked the significant question out of the blue:
"How long have you guys been seeing each other?"
"We're not," the Cowboy said immediately. Wow. I was surprised. This clearly wouldn't be nearly as hard as I thought. "We're just buddies."
We talked for longer, then left the bar. On the way back, I knew I had to talk to him.
A bit buzzed from our beers, we walked all the way back without touching (as always), but as soon as we got into his car, he made the familiar reach to the back of my neck, and I had to say something.
"Wait," I said. "What was up with what you said to that guy?"
"Well, I just said that to defuse the situation," he said. "He just said that so he could find out if you were single."
Shit. I guess it would be harder than I thought.
"I like you," he continued. "I'd like to see more of you. I have a great time with you."
"Well..." I couldn't look at him. I kept my eyes down. "I just think that while we get along great as friends, and we have awesome friendship chemistry, I just don't think that we have great romantic chemistry."
He was blank. "Okay."
"I don't want to hurt you," I said, looking him in the eyes. "I really don't. I have the best time hanging out with you. It's just that chemistry sometimes can't be explained. I mean, I've ended up with some pretty weird people because of chemistry." Namely, ALABASTER.
"I just thought that you and I had this cool thing," he said. "I mean, I thought that you and I could be buddy-buddy and then go and hook up. I thought it was the best of both worlds. Maybe that's just me being a typical guy, wanting to hook up."
We talked for a long time. He's been hurt before, and because of that, he's been wary of getting into a formal relationship. I told him how much I had been hurt by the Hott Waiter and how it has been so hard to admit that.
We ended our super-long conversation with a hug and a kiss on the cheek (me to him). I kept reiterating that I wanted us to hang out again. "If you're cool with it, I'm cool with it," he said.
I hope that we do end up hanging out again, because he is a really great guy.