Storia D’amore

Over the last few days I’ve been writing back and forth with Joey on OkCupid. I stumbled across his profile and immediately liked what I saw. He was Italian (tall, dark and handsome). Joey proclaimed he was a huge geek when it came to TV shows, video games, board games, the arts — all of which I equally geek out over! To top of it all off he was studying to become a lawyer and spoke fluent Italian (what girl wouldn’t want to have the sexy Italian language whispered into her ear night and day?) Guys, time to pick up a new language!

We decided to meet Tuesday evening to grab dinner / drinks. I was pretty nervous, though excited! The plan was for him to meet me at the subway station close to where I work and from there go find a local pub and perhaps walk around the area afterwards to spot out some celebrities (as the Toronto International Film Festival is going on right now). At 5:30pm I received a text saying “can you call me when you get this?” I immediately braced myself for the worst, and dialed his number. He picked up after a few rings…

Joey: So I hope you don’t find this really weird but I was on the bus over to you and I got a horrible nose bleed. It’s pretty bad. Probably from the humidity outside. I need to go back home to shower / get changed.

Me: That’s horrible! I’m sorry to hear that. Do you want to take a rain check on hanging out?

Joey: No, tonight still works! I’m not too far from my house. Can we meet up in half an hour / 45 minutes?

So the new plan was for me to venture further down the subway line (about 10 stops away from where I currently was) to go to a shopping mall which was closer to him. We decided to meet on the subway platform. Pretty romantic spot, right?

I started walking down the platform to spot him. The humidity was dreadful. It’s about 40 degrees Celsius here and I was praying my hair wouldn’t turn into a complete frizz ball by the time I made it to where he was standing. I finally spotted him. I know what you’re thinking and no… we didn’t run into each others arms and share a passionate kiss. However, we did share a really nice hug hello. We walked into the shopping mall which was connected to the subway and instantly started cooling down.

Joey was just as cute as how he appeared in his pictures. Conversation started off slowly until we parked ourselves down inside a Pickle Barrel restaurant. We ordered food and conversation picked up — we talked about everything from our travels to family to our pets.

We shared a Caesar salad. Of course I had to order the spaghetti and meatballs (classic Italian dish). He ordered a curry dish, and shared a bit of my pasta as it was very filling (unfortunately there was no Lady and the Tramp moment).

We finished dinner around 8:30pm and he suggested we go see a movie, as there was a theater inside the same mall. I definitely wanted to continue our date so we paid the bill and headed over to the theater. The earliest time the next movie played was an hour later, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do as I knew the movie probably wouldn’t end til around 11pm and I would still need to subway back home to the suburbs. Joey said it was totally up to me. He had already seen that movie but would totally see it again. He even offered to drive me home afterwards, depending on what I felt comfortable with.

I decided to stay and watch the movie with him. Over the next hour before the movie started we explored the Indigo store next door, and then played a game of air hockey (which I totally let him win). Afterwards, we got cozy in the theater and started watching. There were definitely some flirtatious vibes in the air! Our legs were touching, and my head was pretty close to resting on his shoulder a few times.

The movie ended at 11pm and we got to the subway around half past. I knew the subway ran until 1:30am but I had never taken it on my own that late at night. Let alone, I had never taken that route before, and knew I’d have to transfer subway lines twice to get back home. Again, he offered to drive me home but I felt bad as he was tired so I insisted to just subway home. I was embarrassed to discover I ran out of tokens and the worker at the booth would only accept cash. Being the gentleman he was, Joey handed me a $10 bill and let me buy some tokens with it. I insisted on paying him back later on but he said not to worry about it.

He waited on the platform with me (got through with his monthly pass). We talked a bit longer although we were back out in the heat and the humidity started making us both fade quite a bit. When the subway started emerging from the tunnel, we shared a fairly long hug goodbye. I told him I had a really nice time and said hopefully we can hang out again soon. He agreed (which I certainly hoped he meant).

I managed to get home safe and sound that night! He texted me around 12:30am to make sure I got home okay, which was so sweet. I didn’t get to bed until 1:30am that morning. Joey and I talked more last night (he initiated the conversation) which is definitely a good sign!

Sweet, genuine guys like him don’t come around very often, and I really hope this one does work out. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed!

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The Ex and Her Daughter

Let me introduce to you Jon’s ex: Danielle. I learned about Danielle within the first week of talking to Jon. In fact, I was first introduced to her through his webcam while we were on Skype. She said a quick hello just as she was about to leave his house. When I asked who she was, Jon claimed Danielle was just a good friend of his.

When Jon was over at my house and we were lying on the hammock together, the past relationships topic came up. Not quite sure how, as I tend to avoid that on the first date, but it did. I knew there was a girl from South Africa who Jon had broken up with early 2013, but then he informed me that he was with Danielle afterwards and they recently broke up – about 2 months ago. I also learned that she has a little girl, and when Jon was dating Danielle he formed a strong attachment with her daughter and is now the primary father figure in her life. Danielle’s new boyfriend doesn’t have the same attachment with her daughter as he does. Jon told me that Danielle is still one of his best friends, but he knew it would never result to anything more a second time around. I prayed that was the truth.

This past Tuesday, Jon texted me:

Danielle wants to know if you want to go downtown this weekend for her birthday? It’s on Saturday. And she mentioned something about staying in a hotel but I don’t know the details. It’s totally up to you, just thought it would be fun. :)

I wasn’t quite sure what to say. On one hand, I thought it may be awkward going to his ex girlfriend’s birthday party. On the other hand, I was curious to see the dynamics between them. I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable staying at the hotel afterwards, but I’d at least go downtown with them so I could spend some time with Jon.

I asked Jon to call me later than day to give me more details. He then texted me back that night to say:

I think Danielle might cancel. :( Having boyfriend problems. So it might be the weekend after.

I was disappointed to hear that as my family had booked to go away for Canada’s Day weekend, so I wouldn’t be able to join them. That would mean I’d have to go another 2 weekends before seeing Jon again.

I asked Jon if he still wanted to hang out, just the two of us this weekend. He then told me his grandmother was coming in from South Africa and he promised to spend the weekend with her. I was like, whaaaaaaat? I wrote:

How would you be able to go downtown with Danielle this weekend if your gran was in town?

Jon: I told my mom that I had an obligation to Danielle and told her she cancelled before you asked me to hang out.

I guess that was fair, but Jon could have still made an effort to see me before committing to spending the whole weekend with his grandmother.

He then wrote to me 3 days ago asking how my day was. I responded but asked if he wanted to call me (easier to have a conversation that way). He wrote back saying he was at Danielle’s house watching The Sopranos. I asked where Danielle lived and he told me 10 minutes away. She had picked him up because he still isn’t driving. Jon said she owed him a ton of rides so the distance was nothing.

I didn’t respond and waited almost 48 hours before doing so. Even though I thought I wasn’t going to have to play games with this guy, I figured maybe he needed to pursue me a bit.

Yesterday early afternoon I texted him and asked how his weekend was going with his grandmother. I still haven’t heard back. I don’t know what’s going on. So many things are running through my head. Danielle was having problems with her boyfriend, so what if she convinced Jon to get back together with her? Should I be concerned about how close Jon is with her daughter? I really don’t want to lose hope about him, but I’m starting to feel like he’s drifting away.

The Most Unconventional First Date

It had been almost 3 weeks since I started talking to my South African boy, Jon, on Tinder. Since my last blog post, A True South African Gentleman, we continued talking on a daily basis through Skype and text. The more we talked, the more I felt like we had known each other forever. However, I also started growing a bit tired of our online relationship. I didn’t want what we had to turn into another one of my hopeless fantasies that would never result in anything.

Living about an hour away from each other wasn’t ideal, but Jon and I were both interested enough to make things work. He had gotten into a pretty serious accident and hurt his back around when we first started talking, so he still wasn’t completely comfortable driving on his own just yet. Jon told me that his sister offered to drive the both of them to my area. When he suggested that to me, I wasn’t quite sure what to say. It was about time we had our first date, yet if his sister came along it could make things a bit awkward and also make her feel like a bit of a third wheel. After a long period of contemplation, I decided to have them both over to my house Saturday evening.

When Saturday arrived, I was pretty nervous. I think I changed my outfit at least five times, and my nails have never gone through so many colour changes within an hour. I had actually planned a special surprise for them. My dad offered to cook up a South African delicacy, boerewors (which is a type of sausage).

So yes, I know what you’re thinking. We pretty much fast tracked ten dates for our first ever face to face meeting.

Jon and his sister arrived and my heart felt like it was beating out of my chest. I hugged him and his sister hello. Jon then presented me with a bouquet of beautiful lilacs and I smiled bashfully. He admitted his sister had helped pick out the flowers, which was so incredibly sweet.

We went out to my backyard and my dad had started cooking on the BBQ. I made the introductions. It was so much for me to take in at once. Yet, surprisingly it wasn’t as awkward as you may think. In fact, the four of us got into great conversation right away and it felt like we had all known each other for quite some time. Jon and his sister were grinning at one another as soon as they smelled the boerewors (they knew what it was instantly).

After dinner, my dad left and I opened up a bottle of ice wine for the three of us to share. I gave Jon my guitar and he started playing some of his own, original music as the sun was fading. It was so romantic, although I couldn’t get completely into the moment as his sister was sitting behind him. She was just relaxing and had her eyes closed, so at points of the evening it did feel like it was just the two of us. I sang along with him to ‘Yellow’ by Coldplay, and he even taught me a few of the chords which are perfection. Seriously, the most beautiful guitar chords I’ve ever heard. He’s such an incredible guitarist (I told him he needs to get his own YouTube channel going). After Jon gave us a little show, he passed it along to his sister for her to play a song.

I have a chimineya in my backyard, so at that point we decided to get a fire going. Jon started placing the firewood inside the pit. It was mesmerizing to watch the fire flutter back and forth and seeing little sparks exiting the pit, within seconds disappearing into thin air. The smell of the firewood was heavenly. We made some s’mores and afterwards Jon and I went to lie on my hammock. His sister was on her phone so we just went over. I colossally failed the first time around as I jumped onto the hammock and managed to do a complete 360 degree turn and toss myself over the other side. We just laughed it off and then positioned ourselves comfortably onto the hammock and were lying in each others arms. His head rested on mine and my one hand lay on his chest. He told me he could fall asleep right then and there. It was so perfect. In that moment, I felt like he was my boyfriend. His sister had gone to the washroom for quite some time as we were lying there. We looked at each other at certain moments and I thought of kissing him. However, I decided to wait. It was just the first date, and I wanted to share that moment when it was just the two of us and no one else around.

His sister came over to join us after a little while (dragged a lawn chair over to the hammock and lay facing us). We kept talking and laughing, and the more we talked, the more similarities I discovered. Around 10:30pm the mosquitoes had done an excellent job of attacking his sister and I, so we quickly brought everything inside. We moved into the living room and he had his arm around me on the couch, even with my dad hanging around the house.

Despite it being such a nontraditional first date, it somehow just felt right. Totally worth the 10+ mosquito bites. He texted me on the car ride home saying how incredible I was and thanked me again. It was so sweet and genuine and I couldn’t wipe away the large grin from my face.

As my dad and I got comfortable to watch the latest Hell’s Kitchen episode, we noticed Jon’s wallet had fallen out of his pocket and was tucked into the couch!

I quickly texted him: You totally left your wallet on purpose to see me again, right? ;)

Jon: Oh crap! I like having a great excuse like that.

He couldn’t get anyone to drive him back the next day. However, his mom was visiting their family friends in my area the following day so I just dropped it off there.

I’m really looking forward to seeing him again. Hopefully it’ll just be the two of us next time! The only thing that worries me is the hour distance between us. Do you think I should be concerned about that?

12AM by the Fireplace. Meow.

Last night I received a text message from French Fry boy. Let’s call him Matt. You can get a bit of a recap from my blog posts, I Fed Him French Fries for Crying Out Loud! and I’m Just a Playful Girl at Heart.

To summarize, I started talking to Matt at the beginning of January and there was an immediate attraction from both sides. He had just gotten out of a pretty long term relationship so we casually hung out a few times over the next month. By casual, I mean either hanging out at one of our houses or occasionally going out mini-putting or tobogganing. Whenever I was around him, he made me feel like a giddy school girl. Still, at the same time he scared me, as he had quite a bit more sexual experience and I felt our relationship was progressing faster than I was used to. In fact, further than I had gone with any relationship in the past. I liked where it was going, although I wasn’t ready to give myself for the first time to a guy who I didn’t sense was ready to be exclusive. I knew it would be absolutely heart breaking if he were to just drop me for the next girl afterwards. I went at a pace I was comfortable with. Then, when I got back from my trip to the Caribbean in February, he made no effort to see me. In all fairness, we were both very busy with finishing up the last few months of school. Still, the fact that nothing came of our relationship once I got back was upsetting, but I accepted it.

Matt and I continued talking casually through text – a bit more frequently as of a month ago. Things had calmed down for both of us school wise. I really didn’t think anything more would happen between us up until last night when he asked me if I wanted to hang out as his mom was out of town. His friend was coming in from Burlington to visit him around 7PM so he’d let me know when he’d be free to pick me up. I messaged him around 9PM to let him know my parents would be out between 9:30-11:30PM and that he should just come over to hang out with me. I didn’t get any response. I was waiting and waiting and still, at 11PM I hadn’t heard from him. I couldn’t believe it and was ready to officially write him off when he messaged me at 11:30PM saying he had just dropped his friend off at the bus stop. Matt asked if he could pick me up to go over to his house for an hour or two and then he’d drop me back off at my house.

I was thinking about it and first off, I wasn’t sure how comfortable I felt with him driving me if he had just been smoking weed with his friend. Secondly, I wondered what his intentions were for wanting me over to his house while his mom was away (aside from trying to get in my pants). So I gave him an ultimatum saying either he could come over to my house or it just wouldn’t happen.

Matt was trying so hard to convince me he wouldn’t ever do anything to make me feel uncomfortable. However, I stood my ground and stayed with my ultimatum. He was on the fence about it as he didn’t want my parents to catch us doing anything. I assured him my family would be fast asleep by the time he got to my house. He ultimately caved in… I couldn’t believe it. I was nervous and excited. I made sure all the lights were out upstairs. My parents had gone to bed and he got to my house at 12AM. Yeah, I know it’s late. Still, I didn’t care what time it was. I just really wanted to see him.

I waited by the front door for him and 10 minutes later he showed up. Immediately I was all giddy again (trying to still remain sexy and composed). I literally pounced on him when he walked in, gave him a hug, and in that moment it really felt like it hadn’t gone any longer than a week since I’d last seen him. We tip toed into my basement and plopped onto the couch. One of my kittens followed us into the basement and jumped onto Matt’s lap. All of a sudden, my kitten went ballistic and started digging into him and rolling in circles as if he was high off of catnip. I said:

“Wow, he must really like you.”

Matt: “It seems that way. Meow.”

“I’ve never seen him go this crazy. Do you think he’s smelling something on your pants?”

Matt: “Maybe it’s the weed from earlier.”

“Hahaha.”

Could the smell of weed really have the same effect as catnip? Who knows. Still, we both got a kick out of it. Then I joked around that my kitten was getting more attention than me so I moved the kitten upstairs and closed the door to the basement. Finally.

The pure, innocent angel in me was saying to just take things slow. However, the devilish, inner vixen was saying to turn out the lights, put the fireplace on and pounce on him. I decided to put the fireplace on and dim the lights. I joined him back on the couch and we talked for quite awhile. We seemed so comfortable around each other and I felt really relaxed. However, the more we were talking the more I wanted to kiss him. I could tell he was being hyper vigilant. I said:

“Afraid my dad’s going to come down with a gun?”

Matt: “Noooooo.”

“So then. Why are you being so good?”

Matt: “I’m always good. An angel, really.”

“Is that so?”

I decided not to get all Fifty Shades of Grey at this point in my blog post. What I can say, is that he was certainly a good teacher! ;) I also ended up with a temporary tattoo on my lower back (a snake). We were just having fun and he continued at a pace I was comfortable with. He gave me a goodnight kiss by my front door and left around 3:30AM. I was pretty flushed and overall I was exuding happiness.

I told Matt that the next time we go out he needs to surprise me with something special planned, so hopefully he will stick to that. I still haven’t heard from him since last night but hopefully he’ll get back into gear this time around and continue making the effort to see me.

So when do you think is the right time to ask him if he is seeing anybody else?

Little Boy Blue

Hope you didn’t think I forgot about you! It’s been quite the crazy last few weeks. I wrapped up my final University classes/presentations and can officially say I am done! However, I don’t think it will really sink in until I wear the graduation robe and shake the President’s hand in June. My feelings are pretty mixed about being finished. On one hand I am very excited to start a new chapter in my life and continue meeting new people and stepping outside my comfort zone. On the other hand, I have made such amazing friendships at my school that it will be very strange not seeing them around everyday.

I had talked to you awhile back in my post ‘More Than a Friend’ about a guy I’ve known since my second year of University that I instantly developed a strong bond with. Since then, our friendship has grown leaps and as time went on, he started developing strong, romantic feelings for me. I so wished I could reciprocate those feelings and have that happily ever after with him. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t see us as going past a platonic friendship. I considered him my best guy friend. Someone who I felt completely comfortable talking to about anything, with full assurance everything would remain between the two of us. Sadly, the physical attraction was never there on my end. He suffers from several health conditions, which makes him very self-conscious of his body image and as well struggles with self-confidence. He is also very shy to begin with and after having gotten to know him for three years, he opens up to me much more than his family. I knew that deep down it couldn’t go any further than platonic as I needed that special person in my life to have that level of confidence to push mine higher. Perhaps the attraction could grow if I was open to giving it a chance. However, the fact that I know how self-conscious he is and all the struggles he deals with makes it hard for me to be open to more between us. I casually mentioned to him when we first had this discussion that maybe it would be good for him to talk to someone to help deal with the struggles he faced, but he was very opposed to the idea. He said:

I have you.

I valued how he felt so open to talk to me about his feelings. However, I didn’t think it was healthy to not have any other close friends to talk to and felt it was important he was able to open up to someone else aside from me.

After all of this happened several months ago and we were completely honest with one another, I felt our friendship was strong enough to get through it (as hard as I knew it was for him). This leads us to today.

We were at school clearing out our lockers and fixing a final project to go on display for an upcoming graduate show. As I was eating lunch with him in the student cafe, I could tell he appeared sad. I asked him what was on his mind. He said:

A lot of things.

I asked:

Like what?

He was being kind of vague so I simply started listing off a few things. I asked if it could be about finishing school and not really having any definite next plans. He said that was part of it. I then asked if it had to do with me and being sad that we weren’t going to see each other as often. I could tell from his reaction to that line it was definitely part of it. He proceeded to tell me how he thought I knew how much he cared about me. It was hard on him recently when other students would ask if the two of us were dating. I guess being because we spent a lot of time together at school. He still couldn’t wrap his head around why I didn’t want to be with him. The more he talked, the more I felt sick and upset and I couldn’t form the right responses. I simply said to him how much I cared about him, but I just still didn’t see us as more than platonic. I told him that I felt he really needed to talk to someone about everything going on and feel better about himself/take better care of himself before I were to even consider that. He said:

That’s the thing though. I feel I can only get better when I’m around you. I feel totally comfortable around you.

Still, he would never wear a t-shirt around me. He still suffered from social anxieties and health issues – which I don’t think I could take on in a romantic relationship. I needed to breathe and so I made up an excuse to go to the washroom. After having taken some time to gather my thoughts together, I returned to the table and said:

I would really like to book for the two of us to see a therapist. We have health insurance through school and I feel it would be really healthy for our friendship to talk to someone at least once. Please at least think about it.

He was still very skeptical and didn’t seem like he would. I couldn’t say anymore other than to let me know his decision this weekend. The subway ride home was pretty uncomfortable. There was a lot of silence and small casual talk. When his stop arrived he said:

You’re still my best friend.

I said:

You are mine too. Don’t worry, we will get through this.

I really hope we can. What do you think of my situation and suggestion to him?

More Than a Friend

Over the last three years of school I’ve developed an incredible friendship with a guy who at first appeared to me as very awkward, closed off and shy. I was never sure whether to approach him to say hello (as I would see him on the subway going home often standing on his own) and always wanted to say something but never sure whether he wanted to talk.

It wasn’t until one of our classes when we were given a partner assignment and by chance happened to get each others names. Since then over the last three years I have seen him slowly grow out of his quiet, awkward shell and we have become so close that we can talk to each other about anything. We can relate on levels that others may not be able to understand due to our past and we both value each others friendship more than words can say.

Since last summer I noticed a change in his behaviour. The way he acted around me, his constant fidgeting… I could sense he was battling something internally that he wouldn’t share with me. Up until recently I remained silent as it was never anything extreme and I still felt at ease in his presence but this past week things changed dramatically. When we were together working on an assignment it felt very formal and tense talking to him. He was fidgeting more than usual and when I looked into his eyes I could tell there was something wandering in his head that was trapped. It was as if whatever was on his mind kept growing and trying to get out but the more he kept it in the more violent it became.

After our class this past Friday we rode the subway home together and before he got off at his stop, he turned to me and said…

I really want to tell you something. (pause) I’m just too afraid.

Then he walked off and I was at a loss. I reflected on our friendship over the last three years and what may have caused it to change. I had always sensed how much he cared for me; through his actions and harmless flirtatious comments here and there but I never knew exactly how he felt towards me. I never talked to him about my relationships out of fear he did feel something towards me and if that was the case never wanted to hurt him.

However, I knew it was time he told me how he felt whatever may happen as a result of it. I composed a heart felt email to him Friday night when I got home explaining how I genuinely cared for him and I could sense something wasn’t right. I told him that nothing he would say would jeopardize our friendship.

The next day I got a new notification in my email that he had responded. As I read it, I started crying as my prediction was right. He did in fact have stronger romantic feelings for me that had been growing since the summer. He was always afraid to tell me how he felt as he never wanted things to be awkward if I didn’t feel the same, especially because we are working on several projects together this year.

After reflecting and organizing my thoughts, I sent an email back to him. I explained how honoured I felt that he cared for me that much. I was also so happy he finally expressed his feelings which I knew was hard for him to do as I am one of the only people he feels comfortable talking to, and since the subject was me he had no one else to turn to. I told him that I value his friendship so much and it means the world to me, but I didn’t feel there was a romantic connection that could develop. I would also never want to sacrifice our dynamic work relationship, especially if we were to go into business together post graduation.

I know that it will probably take him some time to process my email response and it may be a bit awkward at first when I see him, but I really hope we can get back to how our friendship used to be.

Is he Playing Hard to Get?

The latest fish I met is surprisingly the guy I was referring to in my ‘What a Charmer’ blog post. Over a month ago I was talking to a guy who suggested to meet up for coffee soon after our initial online introduction. I was so excited to meet him but then he shockingly let me down at the last minute saying he was too busy with work and he wasn’t ready to date or be in a relationship. I was pretty upset over it as he had led me on and felt at the very least he owed me one coffee date, but that was the end of it.

I then saw he was online this past Thursday and knew he lied to me. Well, he could have all along just been looking for a fun time and wanted nothing serious but I still wasn’t going to let him off the hook. I called him out on it and sent him a message saying something along the lines of, “so much for you being so busy with work that you don’t have time to meet up with anyone.” I figured he would disregard my message but instead he wrote back saying between now and the 6th of November he had mid terms and he was just on the site wasting a bit of time since school/work was calming down a bit. Then he wrote:

After Nov 6 I think I will have some time to slow down and catch my breath. To be honest, when I was speaking with you I just got kind of overwhelmed, and I had to stop and catch my breath. If you are feeling up to it I would love to meet up with you after my midterms. I think we hit it off pretty well. What do you think?

He also apologized for cancelling last minute and said he understood if I didn’t want to meet up with him anymore. I took a bit of time to process the message. Ultimately I decided to meet him and give it a another shot since I also felt we hit it off the first time we talked.

We spoke quite a bit that night, and went from possibly meeting after November 6th, to the following evening (Friday) for coffee. It all felt like a bit of deja vu. I was excited but also a bit nervous he would let me down last minute like the first time.

Thankfully he didn’t and in fact was right on time. Just like in his pictures he was incredibly gorgeous and I felt at ease talking to him within the first few minutes of sitting down next to one another.

At the end of our first date, we hugged goodbye and he even asked for me to join him to a work function he was invited to the following week as his plus 1!

Update: almost the end of the weekend and still no text message from him (although I know he is more of a phone talker). Also I had deleted him off Facebook last time, and we had mentioned re-adding each other but I feel before I do, I should hear from him first. I absolutely hate this ‘playing hard to get’ game. It could just be he’s very busy with work but is it not a good sign I haven’t heard from him yet?