Saturday, October 17, 2009

The One Nighter

When I first moved out on my own, I was blown away by the dating scene. Entranced, really. Ordering cocktails, dancing to a great tune, looking your best, flirting the night away and hoping for a magic moment across a room with that incredibly handsome stranger. Essentially, I created a romantic image of what dating must be like and was determined to imagine my nights to be just like that.

The first time things came to a sobering reality was with a co-worker at my first "grown up" job a few years ago (he's actually mentioned in a previous post, "Eric"). He was hot, and I'd had a crush on him for a while. We'd played intramural sports together and had spent a great deal of time in the same circles. I didn't know how to tell him I was into him so I just made sure to be wherever he was (Pathetic, I know).

Anyway, he took me by surprise when he kissed me one night. I initially pulled away, stunned at what was happening. But instead, I was swept up into it all and gave in. To be honest, I had been so caught up in the fact that he seemed to return my feelings of attraction, that I failed to think even for a moment that it wouldn't go any further than that night.

In the morning, I was still glowing, but was soon washed over with the reality of the situation when he seemed to rush out of my place just as quickly as he came in. Before I knew it, he was gone and I was so confused I didn't know which way was up.

I've wised up considerably since then and in the process, I've met men, wanting "so bad" to get to know me, so I give them my number - but never hear from them again.

These days, I wonder: Well, why wasn't that guy more direct? At least it cuts through the bullshit and we don't kid each other. It's like Eric: maybe his honesty would have spared me the couple of weeks of agony afterward wondering whether he'd call.

From that day forward, I've pretty much adopted a simple mindset: It's OK to allow yourself to have a little fun once in a while (Playing the field does have its moments). However, when push comes to shove, I'm still a romantic. So, generally, I aim to play the relationship game (with real prospects) the old school way -- which means more than a fleeting moment or buying a drink before he gets my affections in or out of the bedroom.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Couple Syndrome

I know a couple of very cool females in my life who, for as long as I've known them have always had a man in their lives. And by that I mean a significant other always by their sides. Now, as a person who is not always coupled up, this is a foreign concept.

I mean, seriously -- I'm 27, and still trying out my wings. The simple fact is that I do believe a person should be single for a while ESPECIALLY in their 20s. It's a way to really get into your own skin and play the field. If you find your soul mate during that time, that's great. But for the people not so lucky, there's no need to rush into it.

Now, many of my posts are event or action driven, and this one is, too. I got a text from a very old friend complaining that since breaking up with her umpteenth boyfriend all of a few weeks ago, she's ready for a new "relationship" - yet again. I write her back and it goes something like this.

Me: Try single. Is that so bad?

Her: WHY? I need a man. I like to date and have regular sex.

Me: Um, most people do. Myself included. Your point?!

Her: I dunno. It's better for me. I'm a Boyfriend Girl.

Me: No Comment. We WILL talk later.

When it's all said and done, she's conditioned herself to believe she needs a boyfriend for the comfort and stability. And I won't lie: for a moment in my early 20s, I thought that having a boyfriend meant I was dating, having regular sex and being happy. So when I did get one at 24, that's exactly what I expected. But between our jobs and our social lives outside of each other, sometimes we needed a break from "us". There was no two ways about that.

Since breaking up (and that will SO be another post) I've totally missed him. We had a GREAT physical chemistry, we clicked intellectually, shared lots of the same goals and he's one of the few men that had patience with the fact that I have a career and went out often without him. He also had a demanding work life and loved to be with his boys. And did I mention the physical chemistry?

In hindsight (which is always 20/20), now that it's over I kind of like the idea of flying solo and doing my thing until that person comes along, likely when I least expect it. And it gives me a chance to grow into my skin at my own time. Yes, I crave that steady companionship at times. But when push comes to shove, I'd rather take my time to get there. Plus, something tells me that many guys feel the same way.

Maybe this urge (or overwhelming desire, depending on what side of the spectrum you fall under) is part of our genetic DNA, or part of our social conditioning - this need of being with someone. Not too sure. But in the meantime, I'll continue my serial dating approach until I get that feeling when I meet the one. Whenever that is.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Second Chances

Even though I'm pretty hip to the dating game and usually on point when playing the scene (see the previous post for slip-up example), one of my weaknesses is to revisit the past.

YES, I know. Opening up a can a worms when you should just leave well enough alone is an ugly, and often unnecessary thing to do. But, call me a glutton for punishment, it's something I can't help.

Anyway, since becoming a "grown up" (and I use that term loosely), my past has come back to bite me in the fanny several times. From old college flames to elementary school crushes (let's NOT go there now) I always seem to find a way to let it back into my life. But then there's high school.

It's bad enough that high school is ALWAYS intense. I mean how can it not be during that phase of your life? Everything seems so... Important. But then bring it back into your life and you find yourself being transported back into that period and for no apparent reason.

Just recently, it's been resurfacing in the worst way. First there was an old "boyfriend" of sorts that just randomly started to IM me and at first it was kind of fun. Then it just got weird because we seem so connected to stuff that happened 10 years ago. I promptly had to slow down those conversations.

Then there was the ex boyfriend. You know what I mean: the bad boy that cheated on me in high school, brought another girl to prom and even got engaged to another person -- but still found time to call you and tell you he loved you, at the exact moment his life seems to be crumbling. I got hip to that game REAL quick and pretty much pushed off those advances. I think he was intoxicated with who I was all those years ago and couldn't seem to let that go. And then the second things got better, he's suddenly over it (wonder why!).

Now, it's my first high school crush in the picture. Granted, he and I were never any more than friends (timing was NEVER right), he pops up and makes me feel giddy inside all over again. Suddenly, we're on the phone like school kids, texting and e-mailing like crazy, doing the video phone thing... And for a while I feel like I'm 15 all over again, when you crushes made you feel like ALL was right with the world, even if you had a trigonometry test during first period.

But, as I think about it, it sinks in that so much has changed. I mean, we've missed more than a decade of each other's lives, and a lot has happened - I'm a career girl, flying solo, dating often and not quite ready to settle down. He's been engaged, has a child and lives nearly 800 miles away, starting over after an ugly break-up.

Here's the truth: in the couple of months we've reconnected, it still feels awesome - like we click so well, maybe even better than we ever could have as teens (I guess that's growing up for you). But on the other hand... It's like we're worlds apart and no feelings in the world can bridge that gap.

I'm finding that the more time we talk and get to know each other again, the more I want to believe that maybe second chances happen. Maybe, just maybe, it wasn't meant in high school but we can do it this time. But I don't know if that's the hopeful side of me or if it really does happen.

All I know is that he's sure he knows how he feels. But as for me? This is one I don't quite have figured out... So I may have to shove logic aside for this one and just go with my gut.

Sheesh. What a concept.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Casanova

Regardless of your personal dating history, everyone has that one individual in their past that just sent them into a tizzy. You know who I'm talking about: the one that was the guilty pleasure... The one that you knew you shouldn't want - but you did. They seemed so off-limits, so bad for you. And that was what seemed so right.

Well, before I became the wise person I am today (insert chuckle here), I had one of those guilty pleasures that I'll call Terrence. He was smooth, confident, attractive and said all the right things. In short, he had taken a page from the book of Casanova, and somehow caught his hooks into me. In short, I was sprung.

Anyway, we had this whirlwind thing when we started spending time together - stolen afternoons, evenings, mornings... All very sweet and innocent interactions. And, I got a kick out of being seen with a guy so hot and smooth. Not that I didn't think highly of myself, but he was extremely good-looking and I loved every second of it. What an ego boost!

And then the situation changes. He meets my friend at one of his performances (oh, did I leave out he was a wanna be musician?). Yes, so I bring her to one of his shows and soon, I'm long forgotten - he's taken an INSTANT liking to my friend.

After that he starts reaching out to her. Repeatedly. And over the course of several weeks. And while she responded back (let's save that for another blog post), his trying to run that game on her and hit on me made him a CREEP, even more than Jerk. I called him out on it, fought with him and even cursed him out. But, he continued to deny it, letting me know that he still thought of me and he didn't know what I was talking about. Essentially, he was trying to game me.

And here's the kicker: I almost let him. Then, after a LONG rant session with friends, and realizing just how silly he made me, I decided to quit him cold turkey. It was hard. But I did.

Then, this past weekend, I was tested when Terrence sends me a text, wondering (ever so casually) why he hasn't heard from me in a while. Now, at this point I ask myself: "Are you f****** serious?"So, as opposed to devoting energy to this, I deleted the message. There was no way I wanted to keep this alive.

My personal lesson: Even if his eyes do shine a golden brown that give you butterflies and he has a killer smile... All that glitters isn't gold.

That's why it's a good thing that I like other shiny metals like silver.