Li Ming also felt that this had probably been a little too sudden. It wasn’t that he had done it on purpose. He had just felt that Si Tao was the most suitable person to meet up with that he could think of right now. But either way, he could see why it would be a big deal to Zhao Chen. “Well, it’s still some time until then. Let’s focus on something else.”
Zhao Chen nodded, happy with that suggestion. He didn’t want to think too much about this. He could still freak out about it later on when he was alone and wouldn’t make himself look like a fool in front of his boyfriend. Right now wasn’t the time for that. Anyway, today was their date and he wanted to use it to get to know Li Ming better and spend some quality time with each other.
Looking at the bowl that had already been cleaned out, he nodded to the door. “Well, since we’ve finished eating, maybe we should leave here and go somewhere else? It’s not that late yet.”
Li Ming nodded and the two of them left after paying, just strolling down the street.
“I assume that you haven’t anything else planned?”
Zhao Chen shook his head. “No, I don’t. I wasn’t sure how long the gym and the meal might take. Is there anything you would like to do though? I’m open to anything.”
Li Ming gave a hum and tried to think of something but, to be honest, he wasn’t that good at coming up with date ideas. Especially not on the spot. Usually, when it came to going out — whether it was with a boyfriend or just friends in general — he would always first look up online what they could do and then pick something from there. He wasn’t somebody who had an easy time coming up with ideas on his own.
He looked at Zhao Chen and faintly raised his brows. “Well, how do you normally come up with ideas for dates? With that restaurant, you asked a friend, didn’t you? Do you usually do that?”
Zhao Chen pondered and finally had to nod. “I guess I do tend to do that. It’s surprising that they are still able to come up with new things. But honestly, quite a few of them are big into dating. The friend I got this tip from is actually married, you know? But the two of them still make it a point to go on regular dates.
“Honestly, I admire that. For a lot of couples, everything is slowly taken over by the daily grind after they tie the knot. Actually being a couple will slowly be forgotten about.”
Li Ming nodded although he had never gotten to that stage so he wasn’t sure if he could say anything about that. “I guess it’s difficult to make sure that things stay the way they were in the beginning, right? But I’m not sure, maybe it’s also a good thing. When you are so comfortable with each other that you don’t have to go on dates to keep the spark alive, that also speaks for how good of a couple you are, doesn’t it?”
Zhao Chen looked at him and tilted his head from side to side. “Well, I guess it depends on whether there still is a spark or not. You see, I think when you fall in love, everything is new and exciting and there is so much to learn about your significant other. I mean, just look at the two of us: We go out and you can bring up a million things that I didn’t know about you before. It’s the same the other way around.
“But after staying together for several years, there isn’t that much that’s new. One day, you’ll get to a point where all you can talk about are things that happen outside of your relationship or reminisce about things you shared once upon a time. I don’t think that’s the same. I mean, of course, it’s not the same. But I think as a couple, maybe that is just dying a slow death. Isn’t it?”
Li Ming took a moment to ponder the question, not sure if he felt the same way. “I guess my opinion on that isn’t all that strict. I’ve never been in a relationship that lasted long enough to feel this way. It just never got to a point where I felt that it was boring. Or maybe I’m just a boring person who would be alright with that.”
Zhao Chen couldn’t help but feel a little helpless. He didn’t want Li Ming to think that he was the type who just up and left when he got bored with somebody. That definitely wasn’t the impression he wanted to leave him with. Now, he had really maneuvered himself into a bad spot, hadn’t he?
He rubbed his forehead, wondering how he could explain himself better. “Maybe I’m just not making much sense with how I am explaining it. It’s just … there are so many things we do every day: We get up, eat, go to work, sleep, those kinds of things. But we’ll do those things whether we’re alone or in a relationship. I guess I just want something more from being with somebody.
“Of course, there is a general sense of companionship. And that is awesome, really. But I think that it should be more than just that. I want to … experience things, you know? It doesn’t have to be every day or even every week, but I just want something special with that person.
“Like … you would also go out with friends every now and then, right? And it’s just to keep the relationship going, to keep connected. And that is what I would also want to have with a partner. I don’t want it to only be about both our daily lives. I want both.”