Of Fries, The Perfect Brunch, and The Perfect Man Part V (Final)

Part I here. Part II here. Part III here. Part IV here.

I said what I had to say, and then sat there in silence. The ball was now in his court. He turned to look at me and said “Okay, well I think you’re really great and cute too..” I held my breath waiting for a BIG ‘but’. “And,” he continued, “I’d like to see where this goes too”. I nearly jumped with joy! In fact, my initial response was that of disbelief. I responded with “Really??”

The next day, we agreed to go for a bite after our class. There weren’t many places opened at that hour, so we settled for McDonald’s. I was more nervous than usual, and I knew it was because I really liked Mr. V and wanted it to work.

I made a joke about how when our mutual friend offered to set him up on a date, I was almost tempted to blow off the whole thing and not say anything to him. His response was that while he was glad I didn’t do that, he was still interested in exploring the world of dating. He asked if I would be okay with that, and I’ll admit it stung a little, but I played it cool and responded with “Yeah, sure”. He asked if I wanted him to tell me when he went on dates. I said I did. Then he asked if I would do the same. I told him he didn’t need to worry about that because I wasn’t interested in dating anyone else.

Eventually we moved on to other topics, and all in all we had a good time, but when I came home that night, I knew I wasn’t okay.

The next day, what he said still weighed heavily on me and I couldn’t let it go. I asked him to call me when he could, and when he did, I told him I wasn’t okay with this arrangement. I gave him two choices: Either be all in, or we stay friends. There was a moment of silence, and I could tell he was caught off guard by this ultimatum. He said he liked me a lot and really wanted to explore where things could go with me, but that he also needed to be true to himself. With that said, he chose being friends.

I was extremely disappointed, but again pretended to be cool. For the rest of the day, I kept wondering whether I did the right thing. I had broken up with men before, and each time I had been sad and hurt, but I was not familiar with such sense of loss and disappointment. It didn’t make any sense for me to be this upset – we hadn’t even started dating yet!

Later that night, we both realized there were things left unsaid, so we spoke on the phone again.

He asked me what I was afraid of, and I told him I didn’t want to re-live my past of being with men who dated different girls at the same time. I said I was done with all that, and I wanted to be in a committed relationship now.

He said he didn’t want to have multiple partners, and that he was looking for a committed relationship too. He also said he wasn’t dating anyone at the moment and reassured me that the connection he had with me exceeded what he’s had so far with other girls. And that I could be the one. But I was asking him to sign an exclusivity contract and we haven’t even started dating yet. That wasn’t something he was comfortable doing at this stage.

When he put it that way, it got me thinking. He was absolutely right. Why was I forcing him into an exclusive relationship when we haven’t even been on a first date? And why was I already approaching this from a relationship context? We were just starting to date. The whole point of dating is to get to know one another and see if we want to take things forward. Why did I want to skip all that?

I realized it was all to do with my fears and insecurities. I was afraid of losing him, and so the only thing I could think to do was to ‘lock’ him into a relationship. When I understood what I was doing, I wanted to laugh because I’ve dated guys who had tried to get me to commit from the very start, and I had pushed them away saying they were too clingy and desperate. Now I was doing the exact same thing.

Once I came to this realization, I immediately felt lighter. I told him I understood where he was coming from and that he was right. I took back my ultimatum and asked that we revisit this conversation again – perhaps in a month’s time – to which he agreed.

And so he took me out on our first official date.

He met me at the train station and held my hand as we walked towards the bar he picked. I usually try to keep physical contact to the minimum on first dates, but it felt natural and comfortable to hold his hand, so I didn’t object.

We got a table in a more quiet and private corner of the bar. It was perfect because we could talk without having to shout over the music, but still could hear the music and had direct view of the live band.  We talked about all sorts of things, danced a bit, and every now and then he would place his hand on my knee. It was by far the best date I’ve had.

At one point when we were both quiet, I turned and asked him “What are you thinking about?” To which he responded with “Why don’t I show you?” and proceeded to kiss me.

Now, I was never one to believe in magical, fairy tale-like kisses. In fact, I found first kisses to be awkward and sloppy. But… that kiss… I kid you not – it was the best kiss I’ve had in my entire life.

I used to ask couples how they knew they were right for each other, and always heard the same response: “You just know”. I never understood what they meant by that.

That night, I finally understood. As my head rested on his shoulders after that fairy tale-like kiss, I just knew. It was weird and crazy and surreal – at the same time exhilarating and magical.

Our second date was a week later and equally wonderful – he took me on a motorcycle ride and a stroll along the beach, followed by food and ice-cream 🙂

While I was over the moon, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was dating other girls. He said he would be honest with me, and he hasn’t said anything up until then, so I guess there was nothing to worry about. But there was a part of me that was scared. I was falling hard for this man and a part of me wanted to hold back because there was a possibility that he’d hit it off with someone else.

A couple of days after our second date, he said he needed to talk to me and pulled me aside after class. He looked me straight in the eyes, and said in a serious tone “I’m in”. I didn’t get what he meant, so I gave him a confused look and asked “In what?”. He repeated again “I’m in”. I still didn’t get what he was talking about. Finally, he said “This relationship. I’m in. I don’t want to be in it half-way anymore, I want to be in it fully”. I was so excited and I couldn’t contain myself!  “Reaallllllllllllllyyyy??” I squealed. “Yes, really” he said with a reassuring smile. He then took out his phone and deleted the Tinder app. In that moment, he made me the happiest girl alive.

And here we are, five months later, I’m still the happiest girl alive 🙂

I hope you guys enjoyed reading my story, and rest assured there are more stories to follow.

In the next blog post, I’ll be sharing lessons I learned on how to be in the relationship of your dreams. Stay tuned!

Of Fries, The Perfect Brunch, and The Perfect Man Part IV

Part I here. Part II here. Part III here.

First of all, I have to apologize for disappearing. I could blame it on the holidays, but that’s really not the reason why I didn’t write. The real reason I didn’t write was because I was afraid. I was afraid my writing wouldn’t do justice to this amazing man I met. I was afraid my writing wouldn’t be..well.. perfect.

I had a conversation with someone about this, and he said something quite eye-opening for me. He said perfection exists when you have a barometer in which you measure it, usually against a precedent. But when you’re creating something new, there’s no precedent. How can you measure something that’s never been created before? By which standards would you measure it against? And if you can’t measure it, how can perfection exist?

The conversation happened so casually, but it’s one of those conversations I know I’d never forget because it completely altered the way I view the writing process.

Anyway, let’s get back to the story, shall we?

After I broke it off with T, my attraction towards Mr V started to grow. I remember an instance where we were talking, and I couldn’t hear a word he was saying because I was too distracted by his lips and kept picturing what it would be like to kiss him. I also recall gazing into his brown eyes as he was talking, and feeling like I was completely drawn to them. To him.

This was a really weird experience for me. It’s only been a month or so since we started talking, yet the attraction was so strong. And it wasn’t just lustful or superficial. There was more to it than physical attraction. In that split second, I knew I couldn’t dismiss it without exploring what “this” was. Only problem was, did he feel the same way too?

I knew he liked blondes. It came up in one of our conversations. In fact, there was a girl he’d been talking to. She was blonde. And a nurse. There was no way I could compete with that!

Don’t get me wrong, I know I can flirt and be charming. I could spend a bit more time getting to know him and figure out what makes him tick. It’s a strategy that’s worked well for me in the past. But I wasn’t interested in coming up with a plan to ‘charm’ Mr V. I didn’t want this to be another one of my ‘missions’ i.e. get the guy to fall for me and once he does – mission accomplished. I was genuinely interested in Mr V, and I really wanted him to like me. Without the seduction, without the flirtation, just me.

Over the next few weeks, we continued to meet in class. We talked on the phone every now and then, and he sometimes gave me a ride to the train station after class. One night while giving me a ride, he showed me a photo of a girl that he was planning to go on a date with. I took a quick look at her photo and almost squealed with excitement. She had dark skin and black hair – in fact she looked Indian or similar. If he’s dating Indian-looking girls, then I definitely have a chance! And, the best part, I looked way cuter than her! There was a part of me that was a bit annoyed though. If he was willing to date her, then surely he could date me – so why hasn’t he asked me out already??

That date didn’t end up happening, and I silently celebrated when I found out. At the same time, I realized he could easily find another date. Worse yet, what if they hit it off? What would I do then? Stay in the friend zone and wait around for him to realize he wanted me all along? I definitely didn’t want to go down that path. So, what was I going to do about it? Since charm and flirtation were off the table, there was really only one way: Yep, I have to actually tell him how I feel. Oh gosh. As much as it made me cringe and turned my stomach into knots, I knew there was no other way. I had to tell him, and I had to do it soon.

2 weeks, 1 overseas trip, a million pep talks from my friends and sisters, and 2 tattoos later, I finally mustered the courage to send him the “let’s talk” message. I said I had something to tell / ask him, and that I’d like to do it face to face. We would be meeting at the leadership course that night, so we agreed to talk afterwards.

At the end of the night, he said he’d give me a ride so we could talk in the car. As we headed out to the parking lot, we stopped to have a conversation with some mutual friends, one of which said to Mr V “Hey, aren’t you like looking for a date? I’ve got this friend I’d love to set you up with!” I was horrified but of course pretended to be cool. I stood there thinking Damn it, can you guys just shut up!

Luckily he didn’t seem all that excited by the idea, and we finally walked towards his car. I started rambling on about random things – which is what I do when I’m nervous.

We get to his car, and here I am, fidgeting in the passenger’s seat, my hands are clammy, my heart is racing a thousand miles an hour, and my stomach is doing cartwheels. He, on the other hand, appears to be calm and collected as he slowly drives out of the parking lot. I try my best at pretending to be cool and in the process make a random joke – to which he responds with a light chuckle.

In my head, I work up the courage to tell him, and then talk myself out of it, over and over again. This goes on for what seems like hours, until he interrupts my thought process “So, let’s get this difficult conversation out of the way”, he says. “Difficult conversation?” I ask, still trying to play it cool. “Well, you said there’s something you wanted to tell me. What is it?”, he asks. Shit, quick, make something up! I can’t think of anything, so what comes out of my mouth is a bunch of Ums and Uhs. I mentally kick myself in the butt and decide to go for it.

“Okay so”, I start off “I know we don’t know each other that well yet… “ I pause and take a deep breath. No turning back now. “…but from what I know of you so far… I really like” I continue talking and avoid any eye contact with him “So, I just wanted to say that I like you.. I think you’re cute..  and I’d love to see where this goes…” I can feel my face turning red  “Anddddd .. that’s it… I’m gonna shut up now” I quickly finish up, still avoiding eye contact. OMG. I can’t believe I did it. I hold my breath and wait for his response.

Final part here

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