Married to the sea, science, each other, as well as assorted ladies.
Dear Captain Awkward,
A week ago, I met this person my age at a sailors’ swap-meet. He was selling a marine toilet, and I happened to need one. I bought it, and we talked a bit about our respective boats, then went our separate ways.
But yesterday, a letter turned up. He must have pulled my address off the check. He wrote me a very sweet letter about how nice it had been to meet me, with two attached letters as well; one for if I was single and open to dating, and one for if I was just interested in making a friend. The first one, in particular, was very flattering. He rhapsodized about my smile, calling it a summer afternoon and ‘a small boat in open water, and … the lighthouse guiding it safely home.” In the friendly letter, he offers to lend me a few books and suggests some labor swapping on our respective boats, and just asks to stay in touch.
From a personally objective stance, he’s amazingly appealing. We just met briefly, but I remember him as being tall and handsome, and I definitely tried to get his facebook (he doesn’t have one). Like me, he’s a solo sailor with a long renovation ahead of him. We’re even of an age. I would certainly be interested, except:
1) I’m not dating right now. I have an intense restoration project going on for my boat, and when that’s done, I’m leaving the country for a lengthy period of time on a solo circumnavigation. I decided almost two years ago that I don’t have room in my life for both a relationship and the cruise.
2) Related to the above: I wouldn’t even know how to casually date. Every relationship I’ve been in has begun with me dreaming about spending the rest of my life with that person, and most of them have ended with me realizing that my dreams are more important to me than a future with the other person. Considering how big this particular dream looms in my life, I can’t imagine a person competing with it until I’ve achieved it.
I would love to be friends with this gentleman. He’s articulate and sweet, and from these letters, he understands at least the basis of my grand passion. We share a major interest, and we could trade help back and forth on our boats, which are similar. I don’t currently have any friends into boats, which makes it a lonely hobby, and it’d be so nice to have a project buddy.
But he’s obviously interested in me. Very very obviously. I’m confident that I can express my boundaries in words, but I don’t have a good history of friends respecting my boundaries, so I worry that I am not as good at expressing them in action. I also don’t have a mixed group of friends to invite him out with to give myself a buffer. So I’m just not certain where to start with him. I have his number and his email address, and the ball’s in my court. Where do I go from here?
Married To My Boat
Hi there, Married to my Boat.
Okay, we’re gonna logic this one out, right quick, and then take on the overthinking bits in a specifically nautical context. Groovy? Great. Read More