My old friend and I have kept emailing. We agreed to get together and catch up one day after Thanksgiving when I'll still be in town visiting my family and he'll have returned from visiting his. Then the emails led to telephone calls, the fantastic, funny, "Are you aware that we've yet again spent over an hour on the phone without realizing it?" sort of calls. It was nice.
Then he rather abruptly asked me, "How do you feel about me?" In the course of what may have well been among the top ten most stilted conversations of my life, he asked if we could consider it a date when we go out. Fool that I am, I said yes. Then I proceeded to explain why I really shouldn't be dated by anyone. Unfortunately, he was not dissuaded.
I'm going to panic, already am panicking actually. Although I have, as he pointed out, dated before, I'm pretty sure he is unaware that the total number of first dates I've been on is exactly one. The only thing I know for sure about this whole date thing is that he's already insisting on buying me lunch, and I don't want to let him, but he insists that he's really happy he can do so (his financial situation was much tighter a couple of months ago before he got roommates), and I don't want to wound his pride. So money is complicating things before they even begin.
I'm nervous that things will go badly, and I'm even more nervous that they'll go well. If the whole thing crashes and burns, we've needlessly added layers of awkwardness to what was a pretty pleasant non-romantic relationship. If it proves to be an enjoyable experience, well, I still don't need a boyfriend. There are far too many reasons why that's a horrendous idea right now, most of them too personal to go into here. Tentative, casual dating might prove to be not the worst thing in the world, but I can't see how casually dating someone who lives three hundred miles away would work. So I'm doomed, doomed but momentarily happy.