An appropriate topic for Valentine's Day
So my first date last night went well. In hindsight I'd have done things a little differently but she loved the single pink rose in the bud vase I had "planted" and waiting for us at the table when we arrived at the restaurant for our reservation. (Our mutual friend had tipped me off about how her favorite color is pink and I wanted to also keep it simple, nothing overbearing).
Her condo is very nice, more than she wants to spend each month though, and we passed by my place en route to and from the restaurant so we stopped by to take BigZ out and those two got along quite well together too.
There was hand holding but we're both past the early life giddy sexual kind of dating to the point of not making everything about that and taking things a little slower. She's still finalizing her divorce and it's not a simple one. So anyway, so far so good. My only concern is whether it's moving too slow or too fast. It's so difficult to tell what another person's pace is sometimes. I'm OK with that either way only don't want to give off the wrong signals for her liking.
We have so much in common it's uncanny. Both of our sixteen year olds are boys with the same name! We both ski and love, no - skip that - have to get out and exercise (whether it be walking, biking, tennis, swimming) regularly every day. She's traveled Europe to most of the same places I have and out West in the US too. She has her BA in art (design) just as I have my BFA in art (photography). We both came out of abusive relationships where the other spouse was controlling, isolating, verbally abusive, and thinks everyone else lies all the time so it's OK that they do, only hers at least wasn't at all physically abusive. Both wanted to take every cent from each of us. We used to work in the same location and now still work for the same company only in different offices... It's amazingly uncanny.
So how does one know when they're moving too fast or too slowly? I'm thinking I might have to simply bring it up and say how I don't want to mess this up so please let me know if I'm off pace either way. I'm OK with taking my time or stepping it up a notch because I feel the attraction is real and viable. I also want to be able to be friends if it doesn't work out as I've done in the past. Of the last several I've dated after my split I still remain in touch with a few nearly 10 years later and photographed two of their weddings at their request, was asked to do a third but wasn't available. Friendship comes first and isn't something I take lightly. It's a devotion that requires less and gives back so much in return. As I see it, a more serious relationship certainly should not ever leave that out and ought to be able to come back to it. At least that's how it ought to be. It won't be that way with her ex and it wasn't with mine when they chose to be so vile towards us. That would not be so bad if not for the children. I only have one but she has four (two that are adults in college and two still in secondary school).
What a balancing act to sustain. Should I come right out and ask how I'm doing in terms of pace? My only hesitation there is that it might make me seem unsure of myself and she needs a certain sense of stability at this point in her life.