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.

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?

Real Estate Guy: Part 2

I recently got back from The Bahamas – which was the perfect remedy for escaping the cold Canadian Winter. I’d give anything to be back on the beach with a rum punch in my hand, while getting cat called by the Bahamian men…

In the midst of all the last minute packing and finalizing work projects, I forgot to provide everyone with an update on Real Estate Guy (who I talked about in my last post here).

I ended up driving over to his brother’s birthday party around 11PM and REG greeted me at the doorway. I could see the party was already in full gear; there were at least 20-30 people on the main floor. Some were playing beer pong, and others were busy putting together the final touches on his brothers birthday cake. He took me around and introduced me to all his friends – including his roommates and his brothers girlfriends. Everyone was very friendly! I was overall feeling very comfortable with the setting and surprisingly didn’t feel too overwhelmed by the number of people.

After about an hour – we went downstairs to the basement, and there I discovered another large group of people – who I found out were his brothers friends. When he introduced me to his brother – we gave each other a friendly hello, and that was it. I was so relieved his brother didn’t mention anything about us going on a date years ago…

Later on REG gave me a tour of his place – we laughed over all his embarrassing childhood photos on the walls. The tour ended in his old bedroom. It was definitely your typical boys room – with playboy model posters on the wall and all his sports trophies lined up on his chest of drawers. We lay down on his bed and stared into each others eyes. He just couldn’t stop smiling as he stared at me and I couldn’t help but giggle. He kept asking, “what’s so funny?” and I kept saying… “nothing, you’re just a really sweet guy”.

We started kissing and… I could feel something wasn’t right. I wasn’t feeling any sort of spark or excitement when he kissed me. I thought to myself — it’s probably just the setting. It wasn’t very romantic – and I felt a bit uncomfortable being there for too long while his friends were still downstairs. So I cut the kissing and cuddling session short, and we went downstairs to join his friends for a bit longer. At 3AM he walked me to the door, we kissed goodnight and with that I left.

We saw each other again last Sunday. The evening started with dinner at an upscale Italian restaurant. It was our third date and I thought conversation would maybe get a bit deeper. I was still unsure about where him and his ex stood (as 2/3 of his Facebook photos were of him and her). However, it just stayed surface level. Afterwards we went to see a movie at a theater nearby. About half way in he reached to hold my hand. I did feel something when he held my hand – which I thought was a good sign.

When the movie ended, he drove me home. I thanked him for a really nice evening. He told me I should come back to his place the following weekend for a hot tub and wine date and I nodded saying we’d speak more about it later. He then leaned in again and kissed me. I tried to completely relax and clear my head, and be in the moment. I closed me eyes and as we were kissing, but I still felt nothing. I felt… awful.

Perhaps part of me wished he had a bit of a play hard to get / bad side. I know I need someone who is sweet and sincere, but I crave that element of mystery and danger. Passion and chemistry are things you need to build in a relationship, and if I wasn’t feeling anything by date 3, I didn’t feel it would be fair to lead him on any further. It’s been almost a week since our date, and neither of us haven’t written to the other.

Another blogger I follow suggested you should wait at least a week in between dates when you first start seeing someone. I feel like there is something to that. Maybe it was too much too soon, and that was part of what turned me off. What are your thoughts on this?

So here I am again, back to square 1. Months away from reaching a quarter of a century, and trying to stay as optimistic as possible that my prince charming is out there somewhere. I still have a lot of adventures planned for the rest of this year, so I have faith that he is out there!

It’s a Small World…

About a week ago I got a new match on Bumble; let’s call him Real Estate Guy. We wrote back and forth during the week, and I learned we had quite a bit in common. He lived downtown, but grew up in the same suburban city as me (his family literally lives a few streets away). We went to the same high school — but I never crossed paths with him as he was a year below me. We joked about how the app had a brilliant algorithm in place to match people up.

His first name wasn’t very common and sounded quite familiar — so I thought why not do a quick Facebook search. Sure enough, his profile was the first to pop up – and as soon as I saw his last name, I freaked out. Years ago I worked as a front desk receptionist at my dads office – and this guy would come in frequently as he had a sports injury that needed treatment. I was smitten by him and got my dad to investigate – but unfortunately he was in a relationship at the time.

Fast forward 6 or 7 years later – and here we are. We had our first date last night! I chose not to tell him about my crush on him years before or even to remind him that he had been into my dads office.

He picked me up in his stick shift Audi and away we went to a local restaurant for dessert and and drinks.

Over the next two hours conversation flowed so well. I was happy to learn he was very close with him family and also a travel enthusiast. Most importantly, I found another cat lover!

After about 2 hours – we decided it was too early to call it a night on a Friday evening. Next stop: glow in the dark mini-putting. Trust me, you can never be too old to go! We had a great time.

He drove me home around 11:30.

“So what are you up to for the rest of the weekend?” I said.

“My parents are out of town and we are going to have a party for my brothers birthday tomorrow night. Actually, you should come!”

I told him that sounded fun and I’d let him know. With that he walked me to my door (what a gentleman!) As we said goodnight, he leaned in and kissed me. It was so sweet. He was so sweet…

I woke up this morning with another realization. Oh. My. God. I ran to Facebook and searched his last name again. I found his brother’s page – the one whose birthday it was. I couldn’t believe it. I went on a date with him years ago – I have no idea whether he remembers me or not. If he does, it could be very awkward if I go to the party tonight.

I think the best thing to do is just play it cool if I go. I doubt he’d say anything, but still. What!! What would you guys do?

—-

I wanted to give you an update on Finance Guy from Valentine’s Day. After giving it quite a bit of thought – I decided not to pursue anything further with him. I felt as though his lifestyle and mine just didn’t match. It was a fun adventure, but onto the next!

YOLO: A Valentines Day Adventure

I’ve been talking to Finance Guy for about a week on a new app called ‘Happn‘. For those of you who don’t know about it, it’s become an increasingly popular dating app where you get matched with people you cross paths with.

Finance Guy and I matched around mid town (probably while I was passing him to get downtown). I learned he worked around there, but also was from the same suburban city as myself and did the commute everyday.

On Friday, he asked if I wanted to grab drinks Sunday evening. I was pretty excited about it, and thought it was cool he chose Valentine’s Day to have our first date. He called and made a reservation at a romantic restaurant in our area for 8PM.

I arrived a few minutes before him and sat down at our reserved booth – feeling quite nervous (it amazes me how after so many first dates, I still can’t shake the nerves!) I was analyzing the drinks menu, and before I knew it he appeared in front of me. I got up and we hugged hello. First impressions: he was very cute – gorgeous blue eyes, sweet smile and my height (ideally hoped he was a bit taller but not a deal breaker).

I ordered a Bellini and he got a Mojito. We also ordered an appetizer to share. Conversation was pretty free-flowing: we shared quite a bit in common – from mutual friends, to both being animal lovers (specifically cats) to our shared love for pizza and electronic music. We shared travel stories and even found out we will be traveling to the same country this summer (we joked about meeting up when we were there). Now that would be pretty romantic…

After about an hour and a half – he got a text from his friend who invited him to go out with a group of other friends to a club downtown. He told me his friends really wanted him to join and asked if I wanted to come with. I was completely caught off guard – thinking, what on earth should I do? I just met this guy… although he doesn’t seem like a serial killer. He’s actually pretty awesome. What else would I be doing on a Sunday eve? Tomorrow is a holiday… 

YOLO – he said. You only live once. With that, I thought to myself, I need to do this. I need to continue stepping outside my comfort zone and trust my instincts. I told him I wasn’t wearing appropriate clubbing attire – so he drove me back to my place and I quickly changed – making sure not to wear heels as I would definitely tower over him. *sigh*

We drove over to his friends place – who lived not far from me. We were greeted warmly by all of them, who were slightly intoxicated by the time we arrived (which made for very entertaining conversation). He ordered two Ubers and away we all went on our downtown adventure. I still couldn’t believe I was doing this.

We arrived at the club, went in, and his friends scoped out the place. It was a pretty lame scene – so we all decided to go to a nearby pub instead. FG ordered us drinks and we took them to a table. I was already feeling a bit tipsy from the two drinks and was in the mood to dance, even though there was no one else on the dance floor. It’s like he read my mind, and asked if I wanted to dance – so I took his hand after finishing off my drink – and away we went. We had our own private dance party and he had some pretty smooth moves on the floor. I was a bit self conscious of all the people staring at us – but thankfully some other people took that as a cue to also start dancing. As the electronic beats picked up, our bodies were dancing closer together and our noses were right up against each other. Not long after, he went in for the kiss. Oh god – my second make out session in a bar / club – in a public setting… in the last two months! He was a pretty good kisser, and I was enjoying just being in the moment with him and dancing with his friends.

After about an hour and a half, his one friend said he had to head out and we decided we may as well join him. The others stayed behind, so we said goodbye and headed back out into the cold.

We arrived back at his friend, and he then drove me back to my place. It was around 2AM at this point.

“So this was fun. I’ve never had such a spontaneous first date before. Thanks for inviting me to come with tonight!” I said.

“Yeah it was a lot of fun, definitely a first for me too. Text me and we will do it again sometime.”

With that we leaned in and had our second make out session for the night. Not sure if it was the alcohol but he was a damn good kisser and I didn’t want it to end!

2:30AM I got inside and plopped right onto on my bed. I felt pretty proud of myself for going on this Valentine’s Day Adventure with someone I just met. I’ll text him soon and I’m sure there will be a follow up post to this one.

Hope everyone had an equally fun and entertaining Valentine’s Day!