I met the second guy I described in this take a couple of days ago and wanted to share my reflections on this topic with you. The first part can be found here, this take is about how giving him a second chance was a good decision.
This was again not a date, simply a meet-up. I had made sure beforehand that he knew what to expect and what not to expect.
Small disclaimer: I know how to keep myself safe and would have immediately left if I had felt like this guy wasn't the same in real life.
If you want to read more about my experience with dating apps (Badoo, Tinder, Lovoo), check out the other takes I wrote :)
The second encounter
The next day, I met him again - it was his birthday and he had again traveled for a very long time to see me. I showed him everything I wanted to show him around the city. I may have overdone it, we really walked a lot, but I still thought it was a sweet idea to show him some spots that are fun and special to us.
I also "saved" some experiences for him. He had insisted to be the first guy I'd meet in my new home town, and since I was fine with letting him be that person, I didn't meet other people I knew from online dating in real life.
I could say many positive things about that second encounter - I felt incredibly comfortable around him, so comfortable in fact that I let him watch me eat. I usually can't eat in front of others (insecurity etc.), so this was rather special for me personally. He also told me that I had something stuck between my teeth when I did, which I appreciated a lot.
When he told me he liked my eyes and that I looked good overall, I felt noticed and seen. He even pointed out that my eyes are popping more when I'm wearing a mask, which was funny to me, I hadn't noticed that before. I had previously gotten very friendzoney vibes from him, but I noticed that he enjoyed getting closer to me, both physically and emotionally. He also told me later that both the teacher vibes and he mixed messages he'd gotten from me were gone entirely, which is nice.
We had a lot of fun - I asked him to hit/push me to prove a point (sounds a lot stranger than it was), which he obviously didn't, but when we were standing at a traffic light a few minutes later he wanted to stretch/guide me (I'm terrible with traffic (cannot assess risks and dangers), made sure to tell him that before) and I started to panic because I was afraid that he would hit me (in a playful way). I yelled "NO please don't slap my neck" out of nowhere, which amused the elderly lady next to us a lot. He started laughing and explained the lady's reaction to me (didn't get what was so funny at first).
I also showed him a local church and I think neither of us realised how stupid we must've looked - he forgot to take off his hoodie, I was wearing leggings (not to show my ass off, just to be more comfortable, I had asked him before meeting up whether he was cool with that) and the guy at the entrance did not take any of that well. Europe, I guess - you have to dress to impress and take off everything that covers your head as a sign of respect (mostly applies to men). Neither of us is catholic or protestant, so we just forgot.
He texted other women (best friend and random Snapchat girl) while I was with him but stopped when I told him that that's rude. He also let me talk to one of them (voice message), which interestingly at least temporarily ended that friendship. I recorded that voice message next to him and didn't say anything offensive or weird, but 15mins later when he looked a his phone again and saw that she had sent him a message, he grabbed my shoulder, gasped and told me that she'd be done with him upon listening to what I had had to say. He showed me her incredibly aggressive response - I still don't get what happened there but according to him, she has a bad temper.
I don't think him texting people is a major red flag, I like it when people mess up and listen to my concerns/wishes. Also, it was his birthday and he got a lot of calls and messages, I think it's only fair to give him time to respond to that too.
When I'm with other people, I'm not on my phone. I only responded to my dad and showed him how many group chats I'm in (uni-related) to prove to him that when I'm distracted I'm not texting other men.
My personal takeaway points/reflection
I am glad I gave this guy another chance, I was not in a good mood after that first encounter, but the apology convinced me to meet him the day after. We were able to laugh about that first meet-up and ended up getting along really well.
I'm not in love, I don't even feel like I'm crushing yet, I'm just getting to know this man and enjoying the process more than I expected and anticipated.
I do feel like he likes me more than I like him though - he said "I really like you"/"I'm enjoying seeing you"/"I love that you're here with me right now" more than I did, I don't mirror compliments/statements like that (many women do that in my experience out of insecurity), so I just smiled at him whenever he said something like that and more or less ignored it.
One more thing I appreciated a lot was that he told me that meeting me wasn't awkward at all and that he feels very comfortable around me too.
What I'm really looking for
I already learned a lot about who I am and what I'm looking for in men, which always happens when I meet new people.
For example, he's more jealous and "controlling" than most people I've met and straightup tells me when he fees like I'm about to do something stupid (e.g. meeting someone I've known for 3 years but do not even find remotely attractive). I love that, I never expected it but apparently I've been craving having someone tell me what I should do more than I admitted to myself.
I enjoy being someone's #1, their main focus, the only thing they care about, but I'm noticing that I probably won't be able to open up to him as much as I was able to open up to the last guy that hurt me. This person is also the reason why I decided to take a break from serious dating in 2020 - anyone I'd meet with the intention of starting a relationship with them would be a rebound. I've come to love not having any expectations, that way, I'm pleasantly surprised more frequently.
Please note that I did not download any of the apps I now have quite a lot of experience with to actually meet someone, I much rather wanted to see what online dating was all about. Meeting cool people there was a coincidence, not an event I had planned/sought to happen.
Has anything good ever happened to you from giving someone a second chance?
Do you like meeting people you met online in real life?
How do you feel about not labelling a potential relationship to avoid expectations on both sides?
Very curious to read and respond to your answers!