No Strings Attached

I’m sure most of you have had an experience where you were seeing a guy (or girl, whoever) you were into and may had even seen the possibility for a potential relationship with that person. You started out dating and things were going great, but then you eventually realized that you’d been doing a whole lot of the casual hang outs and staying in (usually in bed) with that person more than you went out on dates together. Before long, you felt like you had become more of a hookup to this guy/gal than someone that person actually wanted a relationship with.  Can I get an Amen?

amen

This scenario has happened to me before (ahem, my first Hinge guy and at least one other Chris), and it totally sucks.  Well, I should clarify and say it sucked because I actually wanted more than a hookup.  This post is a similar tale of dating-turned-hookup, except I got exactly what I wanted.  Allow me to explain…

After my Bumble fails, I took a break from dating for a few months.  Then in October, I matched with a guy on Hinge who was immediately hilarious to chat with.  I typically can’t stand the messaging part of online dating, but this guy made it more than bearable.  We swapped numbers and soon had a first date scheduled.

Only Dating Problem: Kinda Catfish

The issue wasn’t that he didn’t look like his profile picture.  In fact, he was actually taller than the height he listed, and he looked as attractive as I had expected.  However, his humor from our messages did not carry over into real life. At first I thought it was nerves, but nothing changed after three dates.  What’s worse is that not only did he not make me laugh, but he just didn’t laugh in general.  His goofy level was probably a 1.5 out of 10, and so it was a total letdown from a dating perspective.

no laugh

Ok, so I mentioned I went on three dates with him… but it didn’t take me that long to realize he wasn’t my person.  However, that didn’t discourage me from continuing to see him.  It might make sense if I divulge the progression of our dates and how it led to where things went.

First Date Makeout

This guy was a great kisser.  Not only that: he was great at making out.  Now, you might be thinking, “Isn’t that the same thing?”  NO!  While being an amazing kisser is half the battle, there are a few little underrated moves that end up going a long way:

When the guy has his hand behind your head and pulls you closer.

pulls closer kiss

Take another pointer from Ryan Gosling

When he touches your face while making out.

hands on face kiss

Sensual, eh?

And if things get more heated… When he ventures outside of just kissing your lips (woah, kiddos, all of this is happening above the waist, cool down!).

Obviously there is more to it than this to be a skilled makeout bandit, but I’m not teaching a kissing class here.  All I’m saying is that if you like to kiss people you should not forget these small things.  So basically, this Hinge fellah pulled out all these moves on me, which not only left me swooning, but he also had me thinking he would probably be pretty great in bed.

Second Date Hookup Hookups

We went to a bar near his place for our second date, and afterwards we went back to his place. For approximately half a second I thought I’d try to be a proper lady and keep my clothes on, but then I realized I’m a grown ass woman who will do what she wants!  So we tore each other’s clothes off, and I was far from disappointed with what I saw.  We did adult things, and for the first time since the Hinge guy I really liked back in 2013, I finally found someone who could get it right. Very right.

that's right

The First (Planned) Booty Call

Thanksgiving was that same week, but we were both back in the city that Saturday and had plans to do our separate things… but we also made plans to meet up later.  And it was a mutual understanding that later = after the bars start to close and there’s nowhere to go but bed.  That time rolled around, we were back in touch to figure out location, and soon enough he was in my bed.  For him being the first guy I’d slept with since that Happn guy back in March, I had to wonder why I let my dry spell go on for so many months when getting a good lay could actually be so simple and convenient.

what like its hard

Consistent Booty Calls

We got dinner once more after that (date #3), and it did nothing but confirm that he was not my person and delay what we both were really wanting at the end of the night.  So since then, we just skip right to the point.  We only talk on weekends after at least 7pm to put the initial feelers out there, and then we only see each other after we’re both done with our nights.  The only exception was one Sunday when he had his apartment to himself, so I went over in the middle of the day when we were both sober and took advantage of that opportunity.

Since New Years rolled around, we haven’t seen each other.  We have both reached out to each other several times, but neither of us are ever in the same area at the same time.  I suppose I could always go out of my way, but I haven’t really had a use for him lately… I’ll get to that in my next post.

suspense

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Recycling Seems Like a Great Idea at First…

By definition, recycle means 1) convert (waste) into reusable material, 2) return (material) to a previous stage in a cyclic process.

The act of recycling in life has a pretty good connotation to it and definitely does good for the earth and for us as humans. The act of recycling in the context of sex is when you sleep with someone you’ve slept with before, and there are benefits that come with this type of recycling as well. For starters, you don’t increase “the number” that you’ve been racking up throughout your lifetime. If you’ve ever seen the movie What’s Your Number? then you know what I’m talking about. Secondly, you should always usually only choose to recycle previous hookups that were good enough to hop back in the sack with. If you are recycling purely for sex, then you pretty much know exactly what you are getting yourself into, and if everything plays out exactly the way it did the first time around, then you got what you expected.

The act of recycling in the context of relationships is different, and I would argue that the connotation is not so great. Why? Well let’s face it, there was a reason the guy ended up in the recycling bin in the first place. Unlike recycling solely for sex, recycling a relationship rarely comes with the similar sense of contentment if the scenario plays out exactly like it did the first time. Usually when you recycle a relationship, you have hopes that the broken bottle you got rid of before has now somehow evolved into a piece of fine china. I am sure there are stories that exist where this actually did happen…

…this story is not one of them.

Enter: the guy from two years ago. Spoiler alert: I recycled him. Had I recycled him just for the sex, it would have been a success story would’ve been fine. However, I recycled for a relationship since that’s what I wanted from him when we ended things the first time, and let’s just say Round Número Dos was a letdown and he ended up in the waste bin.

Problem #1: The Hang Out

After we ran into each other, I took the initiative to reach out to him the next morning and just say it was great running into him. He responded but didn’t ask me out. A week or two later he texted me asking what I was up to… at 1am. I basically told him to take a hike and that if his intentions were to just hookup with me then he shouldn’t waste his time. I had made that clear when I ended things before, and I wanted to make sure it was clear that nothing had changed. He said that wasn’t his intention and he wanted to take me out. “Fine, reach out to me at a normal hour then.” A few days passed by, and he did just that; we set a date for a Friday after work.

When that day rolled around, I was really excited which hardly ever happens before I meet people out for dates these days. I arrived at the bar where we were meeting…only to see him with a bunch of his friends (and no, I didn’t know any of them). Hmmm, well maybe they just all went there together but now he will break off from them for our date. Nope, we got our drinks and sat down with them. Even though his friends were cool and I did enjoy myself, I didn’t agree to a hang out. This was not what I call “him taking me out” this was “me tagging along with you and your friends I’ve never met before.” Thanks but no thanks. (I say that, but yet I stuck around. I don’t make any sense.)

who are these people

Problem #2: First Date Check

Ok, so technically this wasn’t a first date since he had taken me out a few times two years before, but in my book, I was treating this like a first date hang out. He paid for my drinks at the first bar and then we (yep, his friends included) went to another bar for dinner. The bill comes…and guess what? He had left his credit card at the previous bar, so I ended up covering the tab for both of us. I know I won’t be getting any sympathy points from guys here, but the bill was not cheap by any means. I rationalized it because he had paid for all the dates we went on two years prior and the food at this place was absolutely amazing – plus, somebody had to pay and I knew it wasn’t going to be his friends.

im broke

Problem #3: Hot and Cold

Near the end of that same first date hang out, we eventually broke off from his friends and walked around the city by ourselves. During this time, he told me that he knew exactly what he was doing when he asked me out. He said, “I want to be your boyfriend. I want you to be my girlfriend.” I quote him to make it clear that this was not a situation where I just completely misread what he was trying to tell me. No, this guy literally told me those words. His intentions were to be in a relationship with me, and I absolutely loved how straightforward he was being with me. (Side note: had this been a first date with someone I barely knew and didn’t have any history with, then being that openly intense right off the bat probably would have had me running for the hills.).

Naturally, you would think that I’d hear from him afterwards. Nope. Later the next day I texted him saying thank you and that I had a great time with him. He reciprocated his enjoyment but made no suggestions for a next date. Several days go by, and nothing. I eventually reached out to see if he was free that week, but he said he was busy. No attempts were made to make future plans. Confused because of what he had told me the last time I saw him and pissed off because he had gotten my hopes up, I wrote him off. TWO FULL WEEKS passed by, and then one Sunday morning I received a text from him. But oh no, this was not just a casual text. He asked me to be his date to one of his best friend’s upcoming weddings! Completely shocked yet pleasantly surprised and flattered, I agreed. Readers, I know I make no sense and don’t have much right to complain since I walked right into this déjà vu situation that had most of the same problems that were there before, but my rationale was that I knew we would have a good time together, so what’s there to lose?

you change your mind

The story gets better. Stay tuned.

Don’t Settle for Less Than You Need

I ended up hooking up with the guy from Part 1 throughout the summer of 2012, and it was clearly progressing nowhere towards an actual relationship. I tried to be cool with this concept of hooking up without emotions or attachments, but clearly I suck at that game. I was starting to become miserable – and my friends definitely noticed how much of an effect this guy had on my mood.  Eventually, I came to terms with the situation and how I was feeling about it… and rather than just hoping for the best or letting it die out, I did something about it.

What Do I Want?

Before I could make myself feel better, I needed to truthfully evaluate why I wasn’t happy to begin with.  Clearly, I wanted something that wasn’t being fulfilled, but I needed to recognize it first.  Because I had been trying to convince myself for so long that I was okay being just a hookup, it took me a little while to accept that I just wasn’t capable of being that girl – at least, not with this guy.  Somehow, he had managed to make me like him (or I just managed to confuse my superficial attraction for real feelings), and it became clear that I wanted more than a hookup.  Soon I came to terms with the fact that I wanted more of a commitment; at the end of the day, I wanted to see this progress more towards an exclusive relationship.

wants only me

What Do I Need?

Once I recognized that I wanted a relationship, I needed to figure out what I would need in that relationship if it were to occur.  A lot of these things I already knew (this article actually does a great job of listing out many of the major qualities), but it was a good reality check for me to evaluate my needs in the context of a potential relationship with this particular person who until now had only been evaluated as a hookup.  Basically, I needed to answer this: if a relationship with this guy is what I want, then would he be able to give me what I need in that relationship to keep me happy?  My natural inclination was to make excuses for the areas where I knew he fell short, but then I had to be real with myself.  Yes, there are qualities or relationship expectations that I can live without…but what CAN’T I live without?  What do I NEED, and can this guy give that to me?  If not, what does he need to do to fulfill those needs?  I had already spent too much of my time and emotions on this guy, so why would I want to set myself up for further disappointment and potential heartbreak?

aint nobody got time for that

How Do I Get What I Want & Need?

I think the key here is HONESTY.  Especially with myself – even in the early dating phases. What is okay, what is not okay, and how long and to what extent am I okay with dealing with the parts that are not okay?  Once I figured that out, I was at the point where I needed to be honest with him, and that is exactly what I did.

I called him up and told him that I was beginning to actually like him and was done just hooking up with him.  He claimed that he liked me too, and – whether truthful or not – he said he wanted to see where things could go beyond hooking up.  So that’s where the honesty piece came in: I know myself well enough to know that I will go crazy without communication and that it was a must-have for me.  I told him that I would have no hard feelings if he wasn’t able to give me what I needed and that I would not be mad if he decided to just call it a day and move on.  On the flip side, I made sure there was no mistaking the fact that in order for anything to continue going on with us, I needed to hear from him more often and I needed to feel like I wasn’t “out of sight, out of mind” with him.  It was an open conversation and because I was being truthful and vulnerable by sharing my honest thoughts while not being accusatory, he was able to tell me what he wanted.

So what was it that he wanted?  He said he liked me and wanted to pursue something more than a hookup.  He said that he would call me more often and make more time to see me.  For exactly one week, he was great.  We talked on the phone almost every day, and if not then he at least texted me once (which is really all I needed).  We made plans for me to meet up with him one night, but last minute he said he couldn’t.  Obviously, I was bummed (and kinda pissed) because it was SO last minute.  The next day, I didn’t hear from him.  The following day I asked when he might be free to meet up.  No response.  EVER.

not worth my time

Stick to Your Guns!

Regardless, I just gotta remember what I need and what I absolutely won’t tolerate.  Sure, some things can definitely be compromised, but I know that if I am miserable when a reasonable need isn’t being met, then I shouldn’t make excuses for someone who can’t fulfill them.  It doesn’t make them a bad person; it just might mean that we aren’t the best match in the long run.  In my situation, obviously no relationship was developed.  However, several months later he reached out to me via email, clearly trying to revive something with me.  I responded to his attempt at small talk but then added something along the lines of, “It’s great to hear from you and hope you are well, but if your reasoning behind reaching out to me was to hang out again, then please know that my intentions have not changed.  If you are looking for something more, then you know where to find me; otherwise, I think it is best we go our separate ways.”

what else do you want me to tell you

Obviously, deep down I wanted him to respond back and say that he wanted more, but when he didn’t I knew it was for the best.  Plus, I only made it that much clearer what I was willing to tolerate… which becomes relevant again once we rekindled things in the summer of 2014.