Sunday, July 26, 2015

Changing my mind

My opinions have changed about online dating. I used to be a big fan; now, part of me feels like I have already dated everyone who lives here, and part of me thinks that I have been scarred from being "fooled" by Dreamy (because I met him online). I am back on Tinder and OkCupid now, and I just downloaded Hinge. I used to get so excited browsing all of my "options," but now, I am not feeling anyone I see.

I believe part of it is I am branching out more than I have in the past few years. Lately I have been meeting more people out in real life. I have felt quite optimistic about some of the guys I have met and gotten to know: Ryan, of course, and a couple others this weekend. Even if these guys may not necessarily be 100% all about me (yet! - haha), I am happy that I have good feelings on my end; it shows that by seeing them interact with people aside from me, relatively quickly I get a much better picture of the type of people they are. When I go on dates with guys from dating sites/apps, I only see what the guy chooses to show me. Interacting in person, in lots of different settings, also helped me vet Romeo much more quickly than one-on-one dates would have.

Lately, I want to learn about a guy's personality before I categorize him as attractive - and a few pictures online doesn't do that for me.

Yet another problem is that now that guys feel like they have more options (from all the apps and dating sites), they don't initiate conversations as much anymore. They expect girls to do more of the work (i.e., first messages), but I don't want to do the work!

I went on two OkCupid dates after I got back home from SF. Of course, I was comparing both guys to Ryan and the amazing date we had just had. I was pleasant with the guys, but I didn't feel like sharing myself or trying to establish a real connection. To be honest, I wasn't very curious about either of them and didn't do a great job of asking them questions. I just feel like I can't fake it anymore, and it's the first time in a while that I have had first dates where the guy didn't follow up afterward. Neither of the OkCupid guys did - they left things at, "Well, let me know if you want to hang out again." (I am the girl, and they are the guy - so I will not be doing that, anyway!)

Recently though, I am making peace with the idea of taking a little more initiative if I meet someone particularly special or spot someone really interesting online. This weekend, I went on a river trip with a group of about fifteen girls...and exactly three guys. In this case, I am thinking about trying to connect with the two cute guys in the group, deliberately and of my own accord, rather than doing nothing, since there were so many other girls there. I am still pondering exactly how I'm going to do this.

Despite the excitement of the cute boys at the river, what it boils down to is: one, almost no one compares to Ryan lately, and two, I want to move to SF, now.

I think the most mentally healthy thing for me to do is to put Ryan out of my mind until I'm back in SF. I don't want to obsess about someone long distance unless they are equally dedicated to me. I'm not asking or expecting Ryan to yearn for me while I'm living in the city he just moved away from - I truthfully think he wants to be fully present in SF. I am hoping for some good times once I'm back (in two weeks!) and then to put him out of my mind until, or unless, I am living there too.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Mission: Accomplished

Originally, I had Romeo on my mind for my return trip to SF. I was still excited to see him; however, on my (very long) plane ride over to the West coast, I kept thinking about Ryan.

With Dreamy, I initiated nothing. However, I think Sabrina was right in a comment she recently made; being completely passive doesn't work for me. In the end, I did not develop real feelings for Dreamy because I had nothing at stake. I never made myself vulnerable - never reached out to him unless it was returning a phone call or text.

It was a big step for me to procure Ryan's number and text him first. I was nervous about being rejected or not receiving a response. In light of what I had learned about Ryan - that he had had only one girlfriend and apparently had "no game" with girls - I thought it was appropriate and necessary for me to reach out to him.

Bestie had also prepped me that it would be best if I framed my request to Ryan around seeing new parts of SF (which I implied meant not to make it about seeing him). I took her advice. I sent the text right before my plane took off, then immediately turned the phone off so I couldn't obsess about it during my flight. However, I kept thinking about what a night with Ryan might be like. ;)

When I restarted my phone after landing in SF, I was bummed to discover I hadn't heard back from Ryan. I didn't hear from him that night either. The next day, all the interns were reunited, and I was able to see Romeo's lovely face again. We were together at the office all day but didn't talk much. When we were given a lunch break, Romeo and I decided to go out for coffee together (SF has the best coffee!), and one other intern ended up tagging along. It was nice to catch up a little, and I was hoping we would do more of that at happy hour.

Once we arrived back at the office, I checked my phone and was overjoyed to discover that Ryan had written back to make plans with me. Responding to him was going to have to wait, though, because he made me wait first.

HR had organized a happy hour just for the interns, so we walked to a restaurant several blocks away after the day of programming was over. Romeo had an open spot next to him at the table, and he motioned for me to sit next to him. After a few minutes of sitting next to each other, though, he didn't seem that interested and didn't really engage in conversation. Reflecting back on our first night out in SF (the previous visit), I don't remember what we discussed once we started drinking after dinner. I realized I didn't know that much about him, and I really didn't know what to talk to him about. Romeo started looking at his phone and then got up to talk to the male interns huddled around the bar. At that point, my read was, "Definitely not interested." Maybe once we were talking, we realized we didn't have much chemistry? My other guesses were that he had gotten back together with the ex he had recently parted with or that he already had someone new he was seriously interested in.

So, I started texting Ryan instead. He shot me a teaser photo of the amazing view from his apartment, and we made plans to go out the next night.

We all left the restaurant at the same time. I wasn't sure of everyone's plans but definitely wanted to go out. We arrived at one intersection, and Romeo's group walked one way. Another group started walking a different way. Someone quickly explained that Romeo's group was going home for the night, but the other group was going out. Something definitely had to be up with him, because Romeo was usually the guy asking who all was going out. I decided to walk with the party group, and we had an enjoyable and late night of more drinks. The downside was that we stayed in our immediate work area rather than exploring a new one.

The next day, I ended up being in a small group with Romeo when we went out to lunch. He seemed a little more sociable but still not that interested. He was surprised that we had all went out the night before though - he must have been walking with the wrong group. ;) I was surprised too, because I thought he had just wanted to go home. A group of four of us, including Romeo, went out for happy hour after we were done with the day of intern activities. Romeo didn't put much effort in to engage, and I noticed him yawning and checking his phone as well - definitely not the makings of chemistry. I didn't fret: I had a hot date with Ryan, who had decided we were going out for dinner and drinks in his neighborhood. After a drink with the intern boys, I said my goodbyes and headed on my next adventure.

Ryan's area of town was one new to me. He gave me a quick tour of his apartment, which was incredible given my expectations about SF real estate - it was huge and had a gorgeous view of the water. That view alone made me want to move to SF.

Talking with Ryan was starkly different compared to my interactions with guys who aren't interested (i.e., Hot Roomie and, now, Romeo). Ryan engaged right away and started (lovingly) calling me "nerd" and "silly" throughout our initial conversations. We headed out for a sushi restaurant, which involved a walk down a huge SF hill. I was in heels, and Ryan helped me without hesitation. He was so personable; it was very surprising to me that he hadn't had much luck with the ladies.

The restaurant ended up being really nice. Ryan bought our cocktails at the bar while we were waiting for our table. He shared a few personal things, including some comments that I read to mean that he hadn't been dating since he moved (at least I hoped so!). Like I knew him to do before, he asked plenty of questions, was curious, and was just a pleasure to talk with. I was having so much fun and was trying not to think about how rare it is to find a guy like this.

He started a conversation that turned into a game, essentially, where he said I had to give him a kiss for every wrong answer I gave. We had a couple more cocktails, and he went to town ordering all different kinds of sushi (and took complete responsibility for the bill at the end). While we were walking the stairs to exit the restaurant, he stopped me mid-stair to collect his first kiss. He was so adorable.

Ryan wanted to go to another bar afterwards, and I was excited to see more of SF. We ended up at a 1920's-looking bar, and I was pleased to find out that in addition to amazing coffee, SF also has consistently amazing cocktails. Ryan was so fun to talk to, and I was glad that I already knew who he was as a person since I'd spent group time with him several times before this. I really appreciated that he acted like everyone he met was a friend - he introduced himself by name to the bartender, spotted a friend and introduced himself and me to all the other people in the group, and had done this earlier in the night as well. I liked that he engaged everyone. The main thing that made me lose my attraction for Dreamy was that he was not great in social settings - he often acted like an asshole in social situations and made questionable/asshole-ish statements on the regular that made me not want friends to meet him. Ryan also kissed me at the bar, which I was impressed with considering his friend he knew (a girl, actually) was sitting a few bar stools down.

I was really on cloud nine at this point. I hadn't imagined that Ryan would treat this like a real date. We had talked about sitting on his patio (it's huge!), so we went back to his place. It was quickly reaffirmed that he was an incredible kisser, and I slept over. :) I had expected to feel a high and sense of pride that I had been able to score a date with Ryan while in SF, but I actually had so much fun that it started making me feel depressed. (At least it confirmed that splitting with Dreamy was the best decision ever, because it freed me up for dates like this.)

My next SF trip is coming up in a few weeks. I really hope I will see him next time. Honestly, I feel kind of attached - bad M! I am hoping I can focus on other guys back home; if I move to SF, it wouldn't be for another year anyway. But I had such a good time, and Ryan is kind of wonderful.

I only saw Romeo briefly on my last day in SF, so nothing eventful to report there. Yet once again, I'm counting the days until I'm back!

Friday, July 17, 2015

A guy I haven't told you about yet

My trip didn't go as planned - at all. However, to properly explain the events of this week's adventures, there is a backstory that needs to come first.

One of my favorite girl friends and I started dating guys at the same time: around the time Dreamy and I were a regular thing. This caused Bestie and I to see each other much less than we would have liked, but I was so excited to hear from her again earlier this spring. Since we had paired off with the guys, we kept missing each other at various events, so I was determined to make another gathering with Bestie happen soon. A group of us got together at the beginning of May, and we had the best time catching up. It was the first time I admitted to someone all the doubts I was having about Dreamy.

Bestie's boyfriend was also there that night. I had first met Bestie's BF and his best friend, a guy named Ryan, a few months before, out at our favorite fratty bars (where the crowds are now starting to feel way too young). It's nostalgic for Bestie and I, though, and it is still fun if we don't go too often and if we find a bar where people are dancing (or - let's be honest - a bar where Bestie and I can start a dance floor!). Anyway, the boyfriend's best friend, Ryan, was extremely attractive, and he was all about the dance floor too. I liked that, but I was focused on dating Dreamy and dismissed Ryan as a possibility.

About a week after the night at the fratty bars, I went out for espresso at a new location of my favorite coffee bar. A guy came up to me and looked so familiar. He asked if my name was M. I had participated in a lot of networking events during that time of year, so at first, I thought he was an alumni from my business school; it took me a few seconds to realize it was Ryan. Instantly I cursed myself for not wearing makeup to my coffee run, but then I reminded myself that it didn't matter because I was with Dreamy. I approved that Ryan had great taste in coffee, though.

Fast forward to the night in May. Ryan was out with us. I was in a girl-talk huddle with Bestie, quietly telling her about my problems with Dreamy. Ryan was looking hot, as always, and it was a weird coincidence to hear that he was moving to SF soon; I already had a bunch of SF trips lined up for the summer. I told him he'd have to find all the cool spots before I got there so he could share them with me later in the summer.

After the group exited our second bar of the next, we stood around, contemplating what to do next. Ryan got my attention and convinced me to walk back to the first bar with him, saying that everyone else would follow in a few minutes anyway. I had loved the cocktails at the first bar, so I agreed to go with him. He bought drinks for both of us, but we were quickly disappointed to hear that the bar was about to close. Fortunately, Ryan had the brilliant idea to sneak out, still holding our cocktail glasses, to a third bar. It was genius. The rest of the gang met us at the third bar, and we found it pretty hilarious to discover that the bartender from the first bar had come across the street to hunt Ryan and I down about 30 minutes later, because he needed their cocktail glasses back!

Bestie and I started chatting again, and Ryan went back to socializing with some of his coworkers who had tagged along. Finally, I was ready to call it a night, so I summoned a cab and said my goodbyes. I open the left back door of the cab, only to find the opposite back door opening and Ryan, getting in as well. He said he was thinking we could split the ride, since we lived in neighboring areas anyway. The driver stopped at my apartment first, but Ryan made an excuse to get out as well. We sat on the floor of my living room, playing with the dog, discussing coffee and other random things. I really liked that Ryan was curious, asked great questions, and was attentive to my answers.

Even though I was still dating Dreamy, I let Ryan kiss me. I thought he was really hot and sweet and in the moment, after all the conversations of that day, I was sure I would break up with Dreamy soon.

Ryan didn't ask for my number, and I saw him again that weekend (in a group) without any eventful happenings between us; then, he moved. I assumed he wasn't that interested, plus he was moving anyway, so I didn't think much of it.

Fast forward: Obviously, Dreamy and I have been broken up a while now. This past weekend, days before my work trip to SF, I went out with Bestie. She was taking a lot of pictures of the group and the shenanigans of the evening. She kept telling me that Ryan was texting her in Snapchat, commenting that I looked hot (haha). After this happened several times, I asked her if she thought I should contact Ryan while I was in SF that week. And that's when I learned some vital information about Ryan. Bestie's boyfriend and Ryan have a serious bromance, so Bestie has inside information about his dating life. Apparently Ryan has only had one girlfriend in his life, and he doesn't have much luck on the dating apps (something about him "not having game" with girls). She said that she had already kind of known about Ryan trying to go home with me before and told me that he seemed embarrassed about it because he was drunk. He hadn't seemed overly drunk to me, but he didn't try anything beyond kissing; now it makes sense, but at the time I just thought he had wanted to go home, decided he didn't like me, or was being a gentleman and not pushing his luck.

Even though Bestie is happily coupled, we both agree Ryan is ridiculously hot; so before my trip, she gave me his number, told me I was the only one of her girl friends that Ryan had liked, and encouraged me/planted the idea for me to try to hook up (yes, literally) with him while I was in SF. He's so hot, and I'll be there anyway, so why not?

Well, that's the backstory. I am back from SF, and I have more to tell. To be continued...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Obsessions true to my name

All of this will probably sound ridiculous, but I am excited to share anyway.

As interns, we have been viewing weekly webinars on various areas of the business. It's silly, but I get excited for them because I like to see fellow intern Romeo's name pop up on the participant list. (He's based in SF for the summer, and I travel there but am based somewhere else). Well, this week, the webinar was very eventful. There is an option on the program to share a video of yourself during the presentation from your laptop webcam, even if you are a participant rather than a presenter. So Romeo accidentally and unknowingly had his video turned on, so for the first 15 minutes, I could see a live video of his adorable face from his webcam. I had forgotten exactly what he looked like, so seeing his super good looking self was a nice treat. I kept giggling to myself and felt my face turning red just knowing that I could peek at him whenever I wanted.

Eventually, he must have realized his mistake, because he signed off of the participant list altogether.

I logged into LinkedIn today and saw that my profile had had a new viewer earlier in the day. Even though the viewer was anonymous, the tagline (a very unique one) was still visible. A few weeks ago, an anonymous visitor from the school Romeo goes to had viewed my profile - with the same tagline. Now the tagline included the name of our company rather than his school, so I 100% know it was him. I like that he is trying to creep on me.

I am heading to SF in a few days for our next all-intern session, so I am excited to see what this visit holds - hopefully a lot of time with Romeo. :) I was not single the last time I saw him, and now I am - so yay.

In other news, Paolo (yes, PAOLO! from 2012!) texted me this week out of the blue. He doesn't live here anymore, but yesterday he mentioned he was in town and wanted to have dinner before he traveled back home that night. We tried to get together last year when he was in town, but I was off gallivanting with Guy No. 1 and Peter and the gang so it didn't happen.

It was really nice to see Paolo. He looked good, and it was fun talking with him again. It's odd seeing someone you dated so long ago. We talked about how we have both changed and agreed it was for the better. I'm pretty sure he has a girlfriend now, but I'm flattered he wanted to spend part of his short visit to town hanging out with me.

In other other news, I was curious if formerly-known-as-Dreamy was back on POF again (where we met). He was, with almost the exact same username. I just rolled my eyes when I saw it - I do NOT miss him.

Not to be outdone, I created a new account on OKC. It was a lackluster first couple of days, but finally some quality messages came in. One guy seems really great - he sends me long messages back and reminded me how much I love to write long letters to people, and how I used to exchange long emails with my BFF back in college. I miss doing that. There really is something to writing to another person that is intimate, whether they are a guy or a best friend. I like that this guy wants to share himself in that way.

More adventures are coming soon - I'm sure of it.