I've learned more about myself in the past week than I have in the three months that I dated S. previous to my "on-line experimentation" (almost makes it sound illegal! I knew that E-Harmony was a gateway drug. It could only lead to faster, higher highs and crashing lows. That bastard, Dr Neil Warren!!)
Basically, I've learned that the beauty of "dating", in the most classic sense, is that people aren't all up in your shit. I was bathing Zac last night on the second floor of my apartment and I yelled down to P. to see if he could find me any bath toys in the living room. He couldn't and he came upstairs to tell me that. He stood at the door and watched me bathe Zac. It was a loving, "Family Ties" type of moment, which he promptly ruined by asking me if I could bathe him next. I looked at him, and meaningfully (at least in my own mind) poured water over Zac's head and said, "No way in hell. Big boys bathe themselves". Then wrapped Z. up in his hooded towel and trundled him off to lasso him into a diaper and pajamas (he hates to get dressed and a greased pig would probably envy his mobility)
Then it struck me: I wasn't annoyed by the lame sexual inneundo or even the thought of bathing a partner, it was that I already have so much to do on a daily basis that the thought of adding in another responsibility (even temporarily...even voluntarily) was enough to turn my stomach. When P. is at my place, I have to run around and make dinner, clean up afterwards, take out the garbage (which I've asked him to do a couple of times. I don't want to turn this into a bash P. post), bathe Zac, dress him, give him a bottle, clean up the living room, and then possibly sit down to watch the last twenty minutes of CSI. The whole time, he's just sitting there, probably feeling as uncomfortable as I do. He doesn't know what to do and I don't know what I can ask him to do. Instead of a date being fun and relaxing, it is double the amount of work for me.
I realized, in striking clarity last night, that I want to D-A-T-E. I want to go out. Go for a walk in the park. Go to a movie. I don't want someone to move in and then sit on the couch. I could fly the FOB down here if I wanted that. I also don't want to date exclusively for the purpose of finding a Daddy for Zac. That seems strange and utterly foreign to me. P. volunteered to babysit for me tonight, instead of me paying my next door neighbor and I realized how differently we were viewing dating. I had to say no. There is no way that I would let a man who I've known for less than two weeks watch my son, no matter how much of a Daddy he wanted to be.