Date Reporters

What Exactly Does it Mean to “Take it To The Next Level”?

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This is the latest post from our Boston-based Date Reporter, Becca Strong. Catch up on her story here. In this post she goes into one of the most adorable dates we’ve heard about in a long time.

After my first date with Chris*, I figured that one of two things could happen: Either I would hear from him within a day or two to set up a second date, or I’d never hear from him again. I’ve learned, as most semi-jaded 20-something females do, not to get my hopes up.

Within a matter of 24 hours, I got a text from him saying he’d had a great time, and that he’d like to plan dinner that week. We both have busy work schedules, so it took a little bit of finagling and back and forth re-scheduling, but we stuck with it. At this point, most of our communication had transferred from HowAboutWe messaging to texting since we had exchanged cell numbers.

He suggested a Korean restaurant that was a bit of a hike from both of us, but I was thrilled as I’d been meaning to go. At this point, he was doing everything right: he was responsive via text, timely, affectionate (without being overly so), and thoughtful. The only thing he hadn’t done right was texting instead of calling for the second date, which can easily be forgiven considering a busy class/work schedule. Just to keep my options open, I had continued messaging with several other users making small talk, but I found myself distracted and lacking interest. I couldn’t stop thinking about Chris.

Sunday rolled around and I woke up with a pounding headache, a cough and congestion. I warned Chris that I wasn’t feeling well and proceeded to nap and medicate in hopes of feeling better in time for our date, but it wasn’t working. A couple hours before our dinner date I told him I didn’t think I’d make it through dinner. The idea of sitting there with my nose dripping into a hot bowl of Bibimbap and miso soup was too pathetic to bear.

“What kind of tea do you like? I’m coming over,” he insisted.

I didn’t want Chris to see me pale and worn out, but I had been looking forward to hanging out with him all week. When he arrived, we stopped at a local cafe and he bought me a tea. And in a grand heroic gesture, he also pulled out a bag of throat lozenges and NyQuil.

On the walk home, I noticed he kept switching from my left side to my right side, weaving back and forth as we turned corners and crossed streets. It started to get a little distracting, so I asked, “What are you doing?”

“What do you mean?

“You keep jumping around on either side of me.”

He laughed. “I’m from Ohio, and where I come from I was taught by my grandfather that you’re always supposed to walk on the outside of a lady. It’s second nature to me, I can’t help it.”

They certainly don’t make them like that in the Northeast.

We stopped at my door, and I worried that he might try to kiss me.

“Listen, I don’t want to get you sick…”

He waived his hand to signal he understood. And after explaining that he’d be away for a week visiting his family, he asked if he could see me the following week. I agreed, beaming despite my pounding head and inability to breathe through my nose.

And then he dropped the bomb.

“Good. Because I’d really like to take this to the next level.”

How, in a matter of seconds, did I go from smitten to panicked? What does that even mean, “the next level”? Are we slapping labels on this? Or, more realistically, is it just a nice way of saying he wants to take my clothes off?

Too drained and hazy from the medication to have him clarify, I smiled, hugged him, gave no concrete response, and walked inside.

As perfect as he seems thus far, it was becoming clear that he may, in fact be too good to be true. And despite his over-eagerness for either exclusivity or just sex, I’m still willing to find out for myself.

Because after all, HowAboutWe is is all about trying new things, however scary.

*Chris is obviously a fake name.

Becca Strong is a stylist by day and a writer/pool shark by night. She enjoys drinking bourbon or anything out of a mason jar and iced coffee in the dead of winter: preferably sub-zero temperatures. She was the captain of her Hip Hop team in high school, so don’t be surprised when she starts busting a move to Tyga unexpectedly. She’s still on the hunt for a man who loves dogs, knows how to make a mean chili and isn’t afraid to sing karaoke at the Hong Kong at 2am.