I guess it wasn’t a crush.

Jason didn’t seem like more than a friend, until he said he wanted get away with only me.

I’m not sure how I expected things to play out. I never would have predicted reality.

Winery from Unsplash

I was introduced to Jason through a friend at work. We immediately hit it off. We’d regularly meet up after work.

Jason invited me to play in pick-up sports teams. Nothing that could be considered romantic, but playing games was a lot of fun.

After playing, everyone would go to the diner. Jason would always grab the seat across from me. I liked the way he smiled and looked at me, but he seemed to smile at everyone.

I’ve made the mistake of confusing abundant friendliness for flirtation. Jason drew people together. I assumed him favoring me was making sure I was included.

I didn’t think he had a crush on me until…

“Do you want to go on a road trip with me?” Jason asked.
“Sure,” I replied.
“We’d visit wineries on the coast.”
“Sounds fun.”
“Can it just be the two of us?”
“Are you fine keeping the trip a secret?”

A secret road trip? Just the two of us? I’ve done one-on-one road trips before–but never a secret road trip.

While planning the trip, Jason asked, “Are you fine sharing a bed? We can save about $10 a night.”

Sharing a bed to save $10 a night? I better shave, just in case. Saving $10 a night between the two of us would be $20 a person. It’s not a lot of savings for the inconvenience.

I happily agreed. A secret road trip with alcohol and sharing a bed? Could this be the sign he’s interested in me?

When we met up to drive to the first winery, he dressed up in a fitted button-up shirt with the top few buttons undone. Jason normally wore sports clothes, so this was a refreshing sight. Consider me impressed.

At the winery, Jason ordered for both of us. He also ordered a bottle of wine. Everything was delicious.

After a couple of glasses on wine, Jason leaned over to me. He asked me, if I was willing, to help him with his online dating profile.

Part of helping him was photos of him at the wineries. He dressed up thinking nicer photos would get more matches.

Why keep the trip secret? Jason wanted some risque photos of himself to send matches. Two beds would have looked awkward.

“Sure.” Somehow, I agreed.

I helped take photos at the winery. I helped take photos at the hotel. I crawled into bed next to him, and I helped him update his dating profile.

The trip continued, and I continued helping.

Jason enjoyed the results. He already had new matches. He already had some scheduled meetups.

I did my best to enjoy the trip. The food and wine was good. The sights were pleasing, but not too enjoyable.

A few months later, Jason called me. Jason wanted to treat me to a fancy restaurant with a dessert bar.

“Sure,” I agreed.

After eating, he invited me back to his place. While we were heading there, he wanted to talk about his many meetups. No one wanted to enter a long term relationship with him after they slept together…

I have no clue how to read people or what they want.

I guess it wasn’t a crush.

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