Ugh, you would not believe what a long time coming this post has been. Pretty sure it's been sitting as a draft in one form or another for at least 4 months. For the last few months, I would get a little glimmer of hope that Shane and I will get a chance to meet and/or hang out, and keep adding to this post, only to have things fall apart. The problem, I realize now, is that I never took control of the situation and let my crazy, irrational fears get the better of me. But that's the case no more. First though, let me start back at the beginning:
Shane is Nate's cousin, who Nate had mentioned in passing a few times before. Even before I was out to him though, it was established that Shane was gay. Even after I was out to him and his girlfriend Cara, his name would only pop in to conversation every so often (including that one time Cara suggested I be his FB...). It wasn't until I actually got to meet the guy in person back at the end of last summer that I really started to develop a bit of a crush on him. We've met once, at a (gay) club, where he impressed me with his cheerful personality, friendliness and talkativeness, and by turning down a hookup from a dude there alone without his boyfriend. That's where the saga begins: I never really got a chance to see him after that. On our way down to PAX in Seattle last year, I made it clear to Nate that I thought Shane was a good guy and that he should bring him to more things because I wanted to get to know him better. I wasn't sure if Nate got the hint (things like this sometimes go over his head), but I left it. Fast forward to Thanksgiving long weekend, and Nate and Cara (perhaps coincidentally?) had made plans for the four us to enjoy a nice dessert and coffee shortly after the Seattle trip. That fell apart, and somehow he and Nate managed to meet up, and I ended up running into him at the door as he was leaving and I was arriving to drop off some supplies for the vacation Nate, Cara, myself and others were taking the next day. Shane had also bailed on plans to go clubbing again with us, and he couldn't make a Halloween party that I had maybe too-subtly-suggested to Nate that he should invite Shane to. Then more teasing: I got a text from Cara while she, Nate and Shane had been hanging out, talking about possibly arranging a trip to Vegas for a bunch of our friends, and apparently Shane had said he was kinda into me. Of course, none of that materialized into anything (and I suspected Cara exaggerated a bit).
By now, I was starting to lose a little hope and patience (thus starting this post's journey as an everlasting draft), but then one night, things started to get interesting. One night shortly after I signed up, I hopped on OkCupid, deciding to finally make a move and check out the
site a little more closely. So I fooled around with some of the features
and other things, including the "Quickmatch" buttton. Maybe because it
was a little late and I wasn't thinking straight, but at the time I
didn't realize it would randomly pull up anyone's profile. And the first
profile it pulled up? Shane's. Of course. Browsing the site before, I had noticed a
profile that looked suspiciously like Shane, and this just confirmed
it. I was a little horrified at first, since OkCupid tracks who views
your profile, so Shane would see that I viewed/creeped his profile,
which I found a little more than awkward at the time. After that, I shut down my
computer, accepting the fact that I would have to deal with the
awkwardness of Shane knowing I saw his profile, and went to bed. I lay
there for a bit, slowly falling asleep, until I got an idea: why not
make this odd situation an icebreaker? Just log back in, and message
Shane saying how awkward and ridiculous this happened. And so I did exactly that...he responded back a little while later, although he kept his reply pretty short. I tried my best to keep a conversation going, but he really wasn't responding to it, keeping his responses pretty succinct...odd for a guy who seemed pretty chatty upon first meeting him. I left it on a note that we could hopefully get things together with Nate and some other friends in the future, which he seemed pretty agreeable to.
So thus came the next round of poking Nate to set us up. By now, Alex had wandered into the picture and I wanted to make SURE Nate understood that I was into Shane so I could get my chance before anything with Alex arose. I was at a Tim Hortons with Nate and Brian when I decided to try once again: I presented the whole Alex situation, and how I wanted to play the field
more before and message other guys before I settled on anything, which
lead me to tell him about the exchange between Shane and I on OkCupid. I really made it obvious this time: I asked him to bring Shane around
AGAIN, told that I'd willing to find out if Shane was a little dramatic
in his relationships like Nate suspects and I wanted to give other guys,
LIKE SHANE, a try before I went ahead with Alex. I had REALLY hoped Nate got it that time, and he may have since he started
texting Shane to say hi right afterwards. Nate even made the comment
while he was texting that "he wished it was summer, so we could have a
bbq or something, and (he) could just text Shane saying "Hey, we're
having a bbq, and you should totally come!". Promising, but I wasn't going to hold my breath.
Of course, more time goes by and things don't come to fruition AGAIN. I really started to lose hope again, and considered calling it quits. And sure enough though, another glimmer of hope: I get a text from Nate, saying Shane "really wants me to come" to the club for his birthday party on the weekend. Great! Let me know when it is and I'll be there. The weekend comes and a few hours before the evening arrives, I text Nate...and nothing. Apparently he fell asleep after playing touch football and didn't get up till the next morning. By now, I'm so exasperated that I don't even care that we missed out; I even start to wonder if Nate is just bullshitting me on some of the events and texts he's sent me over the last few months out of pity or something. I make one last attempt myself at taking a bit of action by inviting Shane to my birthday, hoping that Nate will pass on the message and things will finally work out. Nope. Shane's twisted his ankle and he can't make it.
I went back to counselling last week, and the topic of my dates happened to come up. We talked about my apprehension about dating Alex and his advances, and why I'm uncomfortable and worried about leading him on. Of course, part of this has to do with Shane, I'm still wrapped up on that first meeting and the things I've heard about the guy to commit to Alex just yet. I need to give other guys, including a try first, before I even consider settling down with Alex. We slowly talked about what I had to lose in terms of me making a move on Shane (Just about nothing, it's the internet and I hadn't seen him in person yet, at least if I was going to get rejected, there's no chance of me seeing him in person) and what that meant for me (nothing - I won't embarass myself in front of Nate because FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I had told him a million times now...I hope he knows I'm into Shane). I basically ended up my counsellor the entire story you see here, and yet I must've been still been gushing about the guy quite a bit because at one point, when he asked me about why I wasn't making a move on Shane, I answered that "I wasn't quite sure if he was worth it" and he just laughed. Total lie...he's worth it.
Which bring me to the other night. With the work on the topic from counselling still fresh on my mind, and perhaps with a little prod from a fellow blogger (thanks bud =) ), I decided to do it. I sent him a quick message on OkCupid:
Sorry I missed your birthday bud! From what Nate's been telling me, it's been a comedy of errors trying to get together.
Now I know it's a long time coming, but would you be interested in meeting up for a coffee or something? You seem like a cool guy and it'd be nice to get to know you somewhere outside of a club. =P
Let me know!
Felt awkward as all hell writing it, and I couldn't help feeling like I was sounding a little desperate, but I went for it anyway...what did I have to lose? Well, apparently nothing, and everything to gain too. Shane sent me back a message a few hours later after I was asleep apologizing for missing my birthday too (Awwww, what a sweetie =) ) and that it sounded like fun. He said sure! How about that. Plans are in the works =)
Writing this back, I realize how silly this whole saga has been, my friends (minus Nate and Cara) have been saying the same thing all along. I did let my fear get in the way of things, and hoped that things would just fall into place through Nate. I always rationalized as asking him directly would seem as if I was looking for more than friends, which goes against that "friends-first philosophy" I've been touting the last couple of months. But as I realized in counselling, Shane is definitely worth me "making an ass of myself" (says my head) and it paid off this time. All it took was a simple message, and now there's definitely a good chance we'll get the hangout I was after all along. I won't beat myself up for it though, now's the time to take in the rewards of me putting myself out there.