A million miles away P.2

Continuation of ‘A million miles away‘…

Me: Safe travels! Let me know when you’re here.

SA Boy: You know it.

Picture he attached upon arrival at airport

SA boy was here, in Canada! It didn’t seem real. We had been messaging and calling one another over Whatsapp since the beginning of February. The thought of finally getting to meet him face to face was incredibly exciting.

He wrote early the next day, saying he was pretty busy with family activities during the day – but could hang out later in the evening for dinner, with the potential of joining him and his cousins afterwards at a bar.

We decided to meet up at 8pm for a late dinner. I was disappointed to learn that he was just going to be having a guys night out with his cousins. That meant we would only have 2 hours together before he had to meet them, but that wasn’t going to put a damper on my evening.

I arrived at the restaurant right at 8, and ran straight to the washroom to freshen up. I awkwardly sat on the toilet for about 5 minutes, eagerly waiting for him to say “I’m here”. However, SA boy didn’t appear to be receiving my messages, and I was developing a pit in my stomach.. thinking that he wasn’t going to show up. Around 10 after I walked out of the washroom back towards the front entrance. As I’m walking, someone stands up from their table and taps my shoulder. Startled, I look over and it was him!

He grinned and showcased the most beautiful dimples I’ve ever seen. He bent his 6’4 stature over to hug me hello. I must have been blushing like a little school girl. Then he started talking…. and my whole body melted. It was one thing to hear his sexy South African accent over the phone, but to have the whole package *ha ha* in front of me, I just couldn’t take it.

Our time together whizzed by. We ordered some drinks and both got the same pasta dish. We were joking around about South African vs. Canadian lingo. Like did you know that in SA, they call street lights robots? Also, trunks here are called boots there! Before I knew it his cousins were writing, asking where he was.

He was quite the gentleman and pulled out his wallet to pay, but I insisted it was on me since he was a guest in my country. He then walked me to the subway. It was so cute… his teeth were chattering the entire walk over (they don’t get snow in SA, and the coldest it ever gets is about 5 degrees). I looped my arm through his, joking around saying I’d keep him warm. He clearly took that as an opening to place his arm around me and pull us closer together.

When we got to the subway, he ordered an Uber and we talked about potentially meeting up once more the next day before I left to go out of town. I looked up at him, our eyes locked, and like out of a fairy tale, we kissed. I completely blocked out the people walking around us – and soaked in those next 2 minutes before he had to go. He was an amazing kisser. ;)

We tried to meet up again the next day, but sadly the timing didn’t work. We agreed that when I go visit there, we would have more time to spend together.

I’m trying to stay realistic. He lives half way around the world. July is also a fair time away. I’ll keep my search going in the mean time, but rest assured there will most certainly be a part 3 to this story. Potentially part 4, if this fairy tale has more chapters.

A million miles away

Well it’s already two months into the new year, and I’ve only had one or two potential matches. None of which were exciting enough to report. Until now…

This year marks my mothers 40th year since she immigrated to Toronto from South Africa, so we felt it was the right time for us to go visit as a family and explore the part of the country she grew up in. So in a few months, we will be flying almost half way around the world (a total of 21 hours to be exact)… for what I’m sure will be quite an emotional and exhilarating trip.

As we started looking into our trip a month ago, I had a crazy idea: why not see what the guys are like in South Africa? So I hopped onto JSwipe, changed my location setting, and low and behold was presented with a few dozen new profiles of Jewish South African hunks. I knew my chances were slim of getting matched with any of them as they could see I lived so far away — but still swiped right on a few profiles.

The next day, I got a match! SA boy looked absolutely dreamy in his photos — beautiful dimples and the most perfect smile. You know you’ve matched with a guy from Africa when he has profile pictures with parrots on his shoulders and elephant trunks wrapped around his body.

SG (Suburban Girl): “Want to be my tour guide when I come visit?”

SA Boy: “Sure! Gladly.”

SG: What do you for fun in SA?

SA Boy: “You mean when not racing cheetahs? ;P There’s plenty to do, but like anywhere in the world we spend way too much time watching series.”

We started bonding over several TV show series, and he told me about all the romantic things we could do in SA when I came to visit — like going surfing and watching the sunset on the beach. I was already swooning. Fast forward a few messages later…

SA Boy: “Ironically, you might be the one being the tour guide first! I’m actually going to be in your city for a wedding in March.”

I couldn’t believe it. Of all the men I could have matched with in South Africa… he was already planning to come visit here for the first time — for his cousins wedding! I leaped in excitement.

Despite the 7 hour time difference, we’ve been managing to write lengthy messages back and forth to one another. The more I’m discovering about him, the more excited I am about meeting him in person. The countdown is officially on until we meet for the first time. Of course the reality is that he does live so far away, and it’s truly a fairy tale to think that it could end up working out and one of us moves to live with the other person. However, I am truly a romantic at heart, and you never know where life will lead you next.

What are your thoughts? Would fellow romantics route for this to go somewhere?

Hold tight for part 2 of this story.

Prosecco and a Onesie. Hello 2017!

Well 2016, it’s time to say farewell. Overall, you’ve been great (aside from not giving me my prince charming).

I went on my first solo trip to Israel, was a bridesmaid in two of my close friends weddings, purchased my first condo, and have held a full-time position at an amazing company. Definitely a lot of memories and milestones to be proud of!

Knowing that my mom got married at 25, and as I start watching my friends getting engaged and married off, does make me feel a bit pressured to do the same. I’ve learned this past year more about the type of man I need in my life; one that won’t play games, is ambitious, mature and close with his family. That’s not so much to ask for, right?

In case you were wondering, the last guy I wrote about ending up being commitment phobic and decided he wasn’t ready for a relationship after our 4th date. I was crushed, but eventually came to terms with the fact that I deserve better.

So tonight, I will be having a low-key New Years in my comfiest onesie, and drink one to many glasses of prosecco alongside the people that are most important to me. I will not wallow in sadness for still being single. I am optimistic that 2017 will come with new adventures and experiences that will hopefully lead to love. In fact – I already have a date lined up for Monday.

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HAPPY NEW YEARS TO ALL MY BLOG FOLLOWERS. Thanks for following along my adventures this year, and hope you’ll continue to do so in 2017. Have an incredible evening, and make sure to get your kiss in when the clock strikes midnight. ;)

What A … Delicious Bagel ;)

Two weeks ago I got a new match on Bumble. He looked very familiar… and I was almost sure that we had both gone to the same party on Christmas Eve last year (click here for a reminder). I recalled he was very tall and handsome, and I hoped he would approach me to dance, but instead I mainly had drunk, immature boys making moves on me.

Even if I hadn’t seen him last year around this time, I would have still been interested in meeting him since his looks (especially his height) were appealing to me. So what started out as a casual Friday night chat over the app, extended into a week long conversation in getting to know one another. I was thrilled to learn that he was working part-time at my favourite bagel place and that we shared a passion for bagels of all sorts. We continued to learn about so many things we had in common including the same taste in music, family values and work ethic. I was interested to learn that he was studying to be a tradesman in a very practical field and one in which he most definitely would have to be good with his hands…

What I found most refreshing during our conversations was that he almost always began with asking me how my day was or following up to ask about something we had discussed the day before. By mid week, we decided to meet up on the weekend.

Although he offered to pick me up, I declined – saying that I’d meet him at a restaurant for dessert and coffee. I arrived right at 8 o clock to see him already sitting in a booth. He stood up, revealing his sexy 6’3 stature, and gave me a warm hug hello. He remembered having seen me before too, and it didn’t take long to confirm that it was in fact at that party almost a year ago. Fate? Conversation flowed so easily and he was making me laugh – telling me funny stories about his family and imitating them with an accent. We shared 2 slices of cake which were delicious.

After about two hours, not wanting to end our evening, I offered for him to follow me to my house so we could watch a show I had taped that happened to be one of our favourites. My sister wasn’t too happy that we had walked in on her wearing PJs and baking cookies. However, he won her over by eating some of her freshly baked creations and bonding over a conversation about Breaking Bad.

I got us some popcorn and we got cozy on the couch. We were holding each others hands and my legs were casually draped over his. As we got closer to one another, I noticed he still had a bit of chocolate stuck to the corner of his mouth. I took my finger and made a move to wipe it off. However, after doing so he moved in for the first kiss… and it was definitely one I will remember. I hadn’t felt this way for a long time. It honestly felt like I had known him forever, and I think he felt the same way. Before we knew it, it was 1AM, Monday morning, and we both had to be up for work in 6 hours. So we kissed goodnight and he said that we would speak soon.

Never quite relying on those famous last words, I wasn’t 100% sure about how soon he would be back in touch… if at all. So I was pleasantly surprised when he texted me on my way to work at 8:30AM to ask if I had gotten up in time (with a wink face). By the end of Monday, he already asked if we could see each other the following night. I already had plans to meet a friend for dinner, but even if not, I figured it was better to play a little bit cool and so suggested that we instead meet up on Friday (tomorrow).

Since Monday, we have again been texting back and forth non-stop and I’m trying not to get my hopes up too high, but I’m already feeling like he could be boyfriend material. Will keep you posted on bagel boy.

Speed Dating Adventures: Round 1

Speed dating originated in 1998, and was set up by an American rabbi, as a way for young, single Jewish people to meet one another. Back in the nineties, speed dating events attracted large diverse crowds. But as the years have gone on, the popularity of speed dating has dwindled potentially as a result of people primarily finding their partners through apps.

Although it’s not as common anymore (at least for my age group) – the thought of having up to 15 mini-dates seemed very exciting. I mean, who wouldn’t want to experience being ‘The Bachelor’ or ‘The Bachelorette’ at least once?

My silent prayer was answered when my sweet Jewish mother purchased me 2 speed dating Groupons through 25dates.com as part of my birthday gift. I mean… do you think she was sending me a subtle hint?

So I went online to sign my friend and I up. Neither of us had any expectations – other than to at the very least to have a good laugh. We did agree to go in with an open mind, and try to take the whole experience seriously.

The event took place at a vodka bar & lounge. The ambiance was very nice and relaxing. We signed in, were each given a name tag with a specific number and a score card sheet. The first half an hour or so was just waiting around for the other 10-15 guys and girls to get there… we were one of the first few. It was painfully awkward waiting around to start, so I went up to the bar to get a drink, and as I returned back to the couch — I noticed a cute guy sitting there. We smiled at each other.

Him: “Hi – you look very familiar.”

Me: “Actually.. you as well.”

Him: “Have we been talking on JSwipe?”

I was so shocked… I knew I recognized him from somewhere. We had matched several times on more than one app and for some reason or another our conversation never led to meeting up. Anyway it was almost meant to be I thought, that both of us had signed up for this event!

Another guy had started talking to my friend – so I wasted no time getting to know JSwipe guy even more – and we pretty much had a 15 minute head start on our 5 minute speed date. He seemed quite normal and mature, and we had a bit in common. He said to me I looked a lot better in person than on the app… which I thought to take as a compliment, but also just goes to show that sometimes the pictures you post don’t always do you complete justice.

We pretty much told each other we were marking a ‘yes’ next to both of our names. It was a great start to the evening! Unfortunately, it only went downhill after that…

Kevin the line cook was one of my favourites – for all the wrong reasons. Mainly for entertainment. He jumped right into telling me that he was ‘a masochist who enjoyed getting hurt’… pointing out all the burn marks and scars down his arm. It only got better from there. When I asked him to tell me something random about himself, he said that he considered cherries to be very unsexy.

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When I asked why – he told me because he didn’t like the shape (red flag #1… thought to myself: So do you prefer the shape of a banana?) and he said also because they lower your sex drive. Who knew about that one? Anyway, with no hesitancy, I marked down ‘no’.

On the topic of food – Kevin the software manager asked me what I thought about Pineapples. Because of course, that’s something I think about on a regular, day-to-day basis.

Me: “They’re pretty sweet. What do you think?”

Kevin: “Delicious. They’re actually known to make everything taste so much better.” Throws in a wink at the end.

Grabbed my score card and marked ‘no’.

Aside from those, most of the conversations I had were pretty dry and I didn’t feel any chemistry, so by the end of the night – there was only one box marked ‘yes’ for the JSwipe guy. I hate to say, but most were quite socially awkward (which is not a bad thing) but they had absolutely no clue how to talk to woman.

Fast forward to 11PM. I’m about to go to sleep and I get a new Bumble alert on my phone. Oh my god… I still had JSwipe guy listed as a match. So for the next hour we continued writing back and forth. So much for waiting two days (at which time I would get an alert from 25dates) to find out if he was interested. Conversation was mostly great, but he was being overly flirty. To the point of saying things like I’m a naughty girl for following him to a speed dating event, and that he noticed I have a really nice bum. I was surprised he was talking this way after our great conversation that night.

I responded asking if he was examining me when I was at the bar. He replied…

“Admittedly I was. A good doctor always has to examine his patients.” (No, he’s not a doctor).

I responded jokingly asking if he had a PhD. He replied…

“Yeah, I guess I’ll have to be more thorough next time”.

Anyway — he wants to see me tomorrow evening (3 days after the event). He suggested a movie and wine night at his place, which I think everyone knows what that implies. I wrote saying I would be open to going to see a movie in a theatre and maybe grabbing a drink after. He liked that idea, but after having spoken with my friends about it… I’m feeling like he may just be a playboy looking for a good time. Thinking I may need to be honest about what I’m looking for before meeting up. Thoughts?

More adventures coming your way soon.

P.S. According to Toronto.com’s ‘100 Places to Pickup in Toronto‘ article – speed dating is pretty high up on the list of new ways to meet and mingle with other young professionals. I plan on checking out several of the other venues on this list over the next year, and will try to shift more away from all the online apps. Take a look, you may be inspired.

Signals

Jeremy and I got matched on Coffee Meets Bagel two weeks ago. The app had been on my phone for a little while and I really wasn’t having any luck… up until his handsome profile popped up.

Over the next week we were writing back and forth quite a bit. I discovered we shared a lot in common and he sounded quite mature and grounded for a guy in his mid 20s. He also conveniently lived a walk away from where I work! So it was only natural that the next step was to meet up for drinks after work one evening.

I met up with Jeremy last Thursday after work at a cute little Italian restaurant with a beautiful outdoor patio. He was waiting outside the restaurant when I arrived – and he looked even more handsome than in his photos. We hugged hello and made our way inside (he held the door open for me, which made my heart melt just a little). Unfortunately for us, it was 40 degrees out so we opted to eat inside.

We had the whole upper level dining area to ourselves – truly couldn’t have asked for a more romantic setting! Once we got past the initial nervous banter, conversation seemed to flow pretty well. We picked up where we left off on the app and started diving into more about our families and travel adventures. I was inadvertently twirling my hair the entire night and he seemed to be sending me signals he was interested as well. First off – there was no checking his phone the entire time we were together (except for when he showed me pictures of his dogs – which were incredibly cute). Second, he combed his hand through his luscious surfer hair multiple times — guys, am I reading too much into that one or is that a definite sign of showing off / interest? Third – there were a few times that he stretched his arms up to show off his biceps — I was definitely liking what I saw.

Once we finished dinner – he offered to pay. Huge signal he likes me, right? Otherwise, he could have just split the bill since we shared a salad and pizza. He then walked back to the subway station with me even though it was past his street to go home. At that point we hugged goodbye and I felt the date ended on a great note.

So here I am — trying to get through my work day last Friday… although every 5 seconds I’m glancing over at my phone hoping to see his name pop up. 5PM rolls around and nothing. Saturday, nothing. At this point I was starting to get worried but figured maybe by the third day he’d message (playing it cool). Sunday, nothing.

Monday evening I decided to send him a text playing it cool and just said, “Hey! How was your weekend?” He responded almost an hour later, “Hey, weekend was good. Went up to a friends cottage.”

That’s it. He didn’t ask me how my weekend was, or any question in return. Obviously, I was feeling confused and hurt. I thought I picked up all these signals that he was interested, but I guess I was wrong. There’s been no correspondence since Monday – I never responded, because I didn’t feel there was anything to respond to. Wishing I had some closure – even though I know we only went on one date.

Thoughts?

The Spicy Israeli Soldier

A few weeks ago I departed on a 10 day organized trip to Israel with 39 other Jewish young adults. The thought of traveling without my family or friends for the first time was daunting, while at the same time extremely liberating. It was an opportunity for me to develop a deeper connection with my Jewish roots, and challenge me to go on an adventure so far outside my comfort zone. I was also somewhat optimistic to connect with a nice Jewish boy to bring home to mom and dad. ;)

The first day or two of the trip was extremely exhausting; especially finding it difficult with the time zone change and lack of sleep. We were all running on adrenaline to get through the action packed days.

By day 3 or 4 – I unfortunately had to write the majority of guys off my list, as they were either in a serious relationship or had already hooked up with two or three girls. From the short remaining list – there was one in particular that I was really into. We sparked up conversation here and there, and it sounded like we had things in common. However, he seemed a bit more reserved and shy so I mainly stuck to hanging out with the girls I connected with.

On day 5 – we had a group of Israeli soldiers in the IDF join us for the remainder of our trip. Most of them were close to the end of their mandatory service period and were given the opportunity to travel their country with our group. As we shook hands with all of them, I was surprised to see that one of the soldiers looked a lot like my ex-boyfriend, so of course… he immediately caught my attention.

The following day we all had a long bus ride to the Judean desert. We arrived and got settled into the Bedouin tents. I still had to pinch myself, thinking how unbelievable it was that I was actually in the middle of a desert! When the sun went down we all went star gazing, which was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had in my life. While walking back, the IDF soldier I had been eyeing approached me, and we struck up a conversation. When we arrived at the tents, there was a bonfire going and he asked if I wanted to join him. I had butterflies gathering in my stomach, and happily accepted his invitation.

Over the next few hours – we continued chatting by the fire and it truly felt like there was no one else around us. I was so interested to learn about his life, and in return he seemed to want to absorb every little detail about mine. He was so open to telling me about his position in the Israeli Navy – specifically the submarine unit. Considering his first language was Hebrew, I was pleasantly surprised that there was hardly a language barrier. Hearing all the IDF soldiers share their stories around the camp fire made me gain such a deep appreciation for what they do to defend their country.

Over the days that followed we continued to get to know one another. We had a magical evening in Jerusalem where a replica of the Eiffel Tower was the backdrop to our first kiss.

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We walked around the markets where he bought me an army beret to remember him. Afterwards, we met up with the rest of the group and went to a nearby club. It was overwhelmingly jam packed – but once we ordered drinks and found a spot to dance – all of us had the most incredible time. My soldier and I were grinding against one another in the middle of the dance floor, and somehow or another we ended up dancing on top of the tables with the rest of our group. Meanwhile I saw the other guy I liked in the corner of my eye – and he seemed to be getting closer with another girl on my trip. One might I add that was the polar opposite of me personality wise, and was surprised he would be interested in her. It was a little frustrating knowing that he might of been a better long-term match – but my mind was focused on living in the moment with my soldier.

We all got back to our hotel at around 1:30AM. I didn’t want the night to end with him so he kicked his two roommates out for a while. He shut the door and played some Israeli music. We shared a beautiful night together – one that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

The time arrived when we had to say goodbye to all the soldiers – which was hard for me. Luckily, being the sweet and incredible guy my soldier was – he promised to come by the airport to see me one last time.

True to his word – there he was, waiting while my group checked in our luggage at 3AM. Once he finished hugging the rest of my group goodbye, he came to me and in the little time we had left together, we shared one last passionate kiss.

Upon my return home – we were still writing to each other quite frequently. Maybe once every day for the first few days. After a week, conversation started slowing down. Although he has plans to come visit here in a few months once finished with the army, I know that I just can’t do long distance.

Overall – the trip was eye opening, inspiring and an absolutely incredible adventure. Hoping there will be more exciting adventures to share soon.