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After talking to D, a lawyer (my favorite) on Grindr, we set up a date before a birthday dinner I had to attend.

At least, I thought we set up a date. I showed up to his Chelsea apartment wearing velvet pants and my best wool jacket; he answered the door in gym shorts. (We met at his apartment, in his words, to “decide where to go.” I should have known better.)

I sat down, and we talked for about 30 minutes before he opened a bottle of champagne. I knew we were spending the afternoon in.

With his “Pines Party Playlist” playing in the background, we drank and kept talking. Every now and then he’d say something flirty, or run his finger down my leg—but I couldn’t tell what he was thinking. So, I said as much.

“I can’t tell what you’re thinking.”

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“Like—well, I’ve been here three hours. We’re having fun, right? We like each other’s company?”

“Certainly.”

“But I can’t tell what vibes you’re putting out. Are you romantically interested in me? Sexually? Just friendly?” I shook my head. “You don’t have to answer. I’m not asking you to answer. I’m just saying, I have no idea.”

Our conversation went on, and somehow—as it often does with me—it turned to monogamy. “I’m just not sure it works,” he said, sipping the last of his glass.

“Maybe it doesn’t. I don’t know. What I do know is what I want, and what I need—and, in a relationship, that’s what I need.” I couldn’t help but think about my most recent ex. Would it have worked if it was open? Would it have just delayed the inevitable even longer than we’d already delayed it?

Feeling ballsy, I leaned over and kissed him—making him rock hard. Looking at my watch, I saw I had five minutes before I had to leave for dinner. “You couldn’t have gotten hard an hour ago?”

“You didn’t try to get me hard an hour ago,” he teased, tugging at the waistband of his best-first-date-gym-shorts.

I pushed him away, getting up to put my shoes on. “Listen,” I said to him, fumbling with the zipper of my brown suede boots, “I think we’re going to see each other again. I think we need to finish whatever it is we started here. But I don’t think we should go on a date, and pretend that’s something that will work.”

“You’re testing me to see how I react,” he smiled.

“No,” I shook my head. “Two years ago, maybe. No, definitely. But now—listen, I’m too tired to try and convince someone to want the same things that I want. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see you again.”

On the train ride to dinner, I saw a cute gay couple running their fingers through each other’s hair, smiling and laughing and being effortlessly in love. In the moment, I hated them.

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