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The date: Dinner at Jack’s Wife Freda (224 Lafayette St, 212-510-8550)
Vaughn: “He was wearing a leather jacket, which I thought was bold. He reminded me of several of my friends mixed together, so I felt very quick to warm up around him.”
Justin: “He’s very handsome—dark hair, blue eyes, great smile. He seemed very comfortable with himself, which was great, because I’m not one to make the first move.”
Vaughn: “I have a hard time registering romantic chemistry lately, so I don’t know if I can judge that. But I cared about everything he said, which doesn’t happen on all dates. I felt very comfortable. I liked his stories a lot.”
Justin: “We could have had that standard conversation—What do you do? How long have you been in New York?—but instead we were really open. I talked about my physical transformation. It was a very personal conversation.”
Vaughn: "Until I feel like I’ve hit my full alone period, I think it’s going to be just me for a while. I never really had a significant time in my adulthood to be on my own, so I’d like to know who that guy is. I’m not closed off to the idea of dating, but very hesitant. It’s tricky when I don’t feel real open to romantic connections with people, because I’m afraid of what their expectations could be and what I am or am not capable of returning to them."
Justin: "I used to weigh 250 pounds, but I've lost a bunch of weight in the last two years. Iv’e had to go through this physical and identity transformation. I’m still kind of awkward in this body, and people aren’t really willing to deal with that. They want somebody who knows everything about themselves, and I’m not there yet. My natural reaction when somebody looks at me is to be defensive. That’s what happens when you’re overweight most of your life."
Vaughn: “We were both going in the same direction on the train. I got off earlier than he did. We had a gentlemanly goodbye right before the doors closed.”
Justin: “He almost missed his stop, so he quickly got my number and gave me a kiss. It wasn’t an intense kiss, because he was running out the door, but it was not on the cheek.”
In three words
Vaughn: Justin is "pleasant, interesting and colorful."
Justin: Vaughn is "honest, charming and unexpected."
Vaughn: “He was a delight, but I’m in a pretty conscious period of taking some time alone. I’m having a hard time being into anybody right now.”
Justin: “I’m kind of smitten. I was really able to let my guard down with him. There was a connection that you usually don’t get on a first date.”
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