Saturday, April 23, 2016


Things slowed down a little with Liam. I thought things might have been off for good, but then he sat me down and apologized for acting weird and a little distant. He made it clear that he was interested, but he worried he wasn't meeting my level of expectations because he hadn't been single for that long.

That last part worried me. I learned that his breakup had actually happened earlier than I had thought, which, to me, is a good thing; however, I worried that maybe he still hadn't been single long enough to survey the other fish in the sea and be able to know with confidence that I was who he wanted.

He reassured me that he had feelings for me. Without any prompting from me, he also stated he wasn't ready to get as serious as he normally would be, but he wanted to get there with me soon. He said he was almost there.

He told me I didn't have to say anything back, and truthfully, I needed to process what he had said while I was on my own. When I started thinking back on it, he had said a lot of really great things, but also, I started to carry with me the thought that, in essence, maybe he was saying that he didn't like me enough yet to give me more.

This conversation happened about two weeks ago. The more I thought about it, the more I started to distill his statements into a simpler idea:  that he was saying he would just half-ass it for now, because that was what he needed - even though he wouldn't be giving me what I needed. I wasn't sure if that was an accurate distillation for not, but I did know that he needed to decide to do better if he wanted to keep my attention. I started to decide I was going to tell him I needed to stay away from him unless we were going to date properly.

He went out of town for a long weekend, which gave me the opportunity to have some distance and think some more. I realized that the last day of class was fast approaching, and we wouldn't be running into each other at school anymore; after that day, if he wanted to see me, it would have to be an intentional move.

The last day of class was this week, and I knew I would see him. We had been texting a little, but I had never given a response to his declarations. I knew I would either get clarity when I saw him or tell him I wanted to put things on hold. He started to warm up as that day approached, and he finally stepped up again and took me to dinner.

We had a lot of drinks to celebrate the end of the school year, which led to our first sleepover. Part of me thinks it's okay, because we've been building the attraction for two months now. A big part of me thinks he hadn't yet earned a sleepover. Honestly, though, sleeping together had been pretty easy to prolong, because at first, he was respectful, and later, he gave me easy outs. Despite being frustrated with him for a while there, I do know him well enough to determine that his intentions are good, and that this will move us forward in a positive way.

The night was really nice though - all of it - and I have to admit that I'd like more like it soon. As long as I keep reinforcing the idea that he gets rewarded when he does things right, I'm happy with where things are, and I'm hopeful.

My final thought for now is about how he drunkenly told me he loved me a few weeks ago. I still have never said those words to a guy, and I chose not to acknowledge that Liam said them, because he drank too much that night and was semi-freshly out of a long relationship. I guess I mention this because this is the first guy in a while that I (1) like and know on a deeper level and (2) believe has pure intentions with me. Even if we aren't there yet, I wonder if we might get there soon.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Despite this complication

Our spring break travels really changed things up back at school. It was really cool to have experiences with and get closer to classmates in different years of the program. I had started to have a crush on one of the guys during the trip, but I was disappointed when my travel roomie enlightened me that the guy had a serious girlfriend. Let's call him Liam (because he's Taken...haha).

Despite this complication, Liam continued to gravitate to me as the trip progressed, and he made a quick comment about his girlfriend one day that made it sound like he didn't want to be with her anymore. When the group went out to bars during our last few nights abroad, he seemed to be making an effort to situate himself in the room so he would be close to where I was. Every time we had to weave through a crowd, he would grab my hand to help me through, holding on a bit longer than he needed to afterward. It was starting to seem like we were interested in each other, despite the GF situation.

Back at school post-spring break, I was curious to see what things would be like. He made a few gestures that made me think he was trying to make excuses to talk to me, but we actually didn't see each other at school until the end of the first week back. The first of these was at one of our on-campus happy hours, were we spent a good amount of time catching up. The second was the next day, when the business school held an event at a bar. There I was talking to a few classmates about relationships during business school, and one of the girls broke out the latest gossip: that Liam and his girlfriend had broken up.

He seemed completely fine post-breakup, so the conclusion I drew was that he had been over the relationship for some time already. I'm not sure if it actually was serious or if they were together for long. But anyway, Liam and I hopped in a cab with a few other people to meet our classmates back at one of their houses, and he and I ended up spending most of that time talking to each other. He kept demonstrating that he was interested, and we decided we wanted to go dancing at a nearby bar. No one else was game to extend the night any later, so we went by ourselves. There, my intuitions proved to be right...because he kissed me.

We have been out together several times since, and things are good. He's actually a really great kisser. I love that because I've been dealt some bad ones lately. I'm not sure what to expect from him, but that's something I intend to bring up before we continue too far. That's one thing I'm trying to do differently with guys now - just be a little bolder and actually communicate about things that are important (which, kind of heartbreakingly, is my biggest weakness in dating right now). Also, I'm trying not to "sign up" to liking a guy before he's earned it/before I've finished evaluating him. At least, with the thing we have going now, I really appreciate the effort he makes to be around me and also how social he is, and I entertain him by being ridiculous. ;)

Until next time...

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Exotic spring break

Olá from Brasil!

Okay, actually I'm back in the U.S. now, but I just returned from a wonderful couple of weeks in Brazil. We ate, we drank, we beached, we clubbed. School has been a lot of extra work this semester, and going off the grid was the perfect way to let all my worries disappear. Most things in Brazil were really cheap too, because the U.S. Dollar is strong right now compared to the Brazilian Real.

Here are a couple of photos I took in Rio de Janeiro:

Of the few days we spent in São Paulo, my favorite part may have been the 360 views from this rooftop bar:

Photo cred: veja São Paulo (my photos of this didn't turn out, sadly)

It was pretty unbelievable being on this rooftop, surrounded by urban structures, thinking that 12 million people (!) live in the city proper.

All in all, it was an unforgettable trip.

The beginning of this trip was also my personal deadline to evaluate my situation with Cam. I subtly let him know about the deadline, because he had been half-assing it for weeks. Cam never stepped up though, so I have washed my hands of him. And by doing so, while in Brazil, I was able to start a great friendship with a male classmate, and it might be a foundation for something more.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Really in this

It feels like it's been forever. After a nice month-long break from school over the holidays, I am bewildered that I've been as slammed with schoolwork as I have. This is my last semester of grad school, and it was supposed to be easy. I was supposed to be coasting! Unfortunately, I picked all the wrong classes for that, and the MBA-vacation mindset is out the window for now.

I have been trying a bunch of new exercise classes lately, and it has been such an amazing change to walk into a new spa-like studio each day and have a different experience instead of going to the same ol' gym all the time. I've been loving Flywheel and other stat-based cycling classes lately; I tried kickboxing for the first time today (and loved it); I quickly developed an addiction for hot power yoga over the past several weeks; and I've even been doing hip hop and dance fitness classes. So much fun!

Oh yeah, and boys? Well, a few weeks back, I jokingly told Cam that I was going to "prom" soon and was trying to decide who I should let take me, and he so kindly offered to be my date. I had been putting it off for a while, because I wanted to tell him about it without directly asking him out. It was a prom theme party a couple of friends put together. Afterwards, several of them told me they thought he was really sweet. Cam seems a little more shy to me now than I had initially judged, and I felt bad when I left his side to join in girl-talk conversations at the party. He was fine watching the football game that was on, though, and made conversation with some of the guys, but I still am uncomfortable feeling like part of a "couple" when I bring a guy along to meet friends. I've been doing my own thing for so long that it feels odd not flying solo to events and to have to think about someone aside from myself.

I think Cam and I have been good lately. It's the busy season at work for him, so he's been at the office until late at night every weeknight and has been pulling full days on the weekends too. The last couple of times I've seen him since the prom party, it has been really low key nights at one of our apartments.

I understand that he's legitimately busy right now, and I honestly don't have much free time lately either, but I don't want to keep putting up with movie nights in. I don't need anything wild, but I'm used to being taken on real dates by guys. Even if he's tired from the long days, from my view, he has the bandwidth to put a little more effort in. The problem is we don't talk enough or really even know each other well enough for me to feel comfortable implying that he needs to step it up. I've never been good at communicating my expectations and standards in relationships.

So, I thought things were good with us until I had a deeper conversation than I normally have with a couple of girl friends, and it occurred to me that Cam and I never have come close to talking on that kind of level. So then I started reevaluating everything and started feeling like my needs aren't being met. I've had some emotional meltdowns lately related to stressful school things, and feeling like Cam (or any guy) is not there for me I think just added to that.

I really like Cam and think there are good things between us, but I think part of me is lazy and feels like it's so much effort to go back out into the dating pool that I don't want to cast him aside just yet - especially now that I've already put a couple of months into this. Furthermore, dating app guys are so flaky these days. If I'm brutally honest here? Pre-Cam, it was getting really tough to get a respectable, quality date off those apps (I shut mine off a couple weeks ago). And texting, ugh. I'm not a fan.

I think my main guy problem here boils down to this: How do I better communicate my needs to someone who isn't making an effort to spend enough quality time with me for me to actually talk to him? His workaholic spree is over at the end of the month, but I don't know if I should wait around that long to see if he's going to step it up. Put in such a situation, how do you show loyalty and understanding while still standing up for yourself? Deep down, I think I believe that if a guy cares, he will make time and fight to make things work...and there, I think, is my answer.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Third date

I really need to think of a better name for the younger man, so I'm going to go with Cam - for no other reason than it seems like a hot guy name that would suit him. He mentioned getting together over the weekend, and we ended up starting a new TV series together and making cocktails. I wore my new Anthropologie shirt I am obsessed with, and he brought cookies his mom made, which I thought was cute.

It felt like too long since I had seen him. It had been almost two weeks because of holiday travel. I had forgotten how attracted I was to him; I found myself not looking at him as much as I wanted to because I was trying not to stare.

I really love sharing a TV series with someone, especially starting from episode one together. It was fun trading comments with Cam about the odd characters, and it was nice having someone to drink the boozy cocktails I love to make. We kept having side conversations too, but somehow Cam managed to keep up with most of the plot and fill me in on the parts I had missed.

On our first date, at the cocktail bar, Cam would occasionally dive in when I wasn't expecting it and plant a surprise kiss; I really liked it. This night, he did it again, and during the third episode, we gave up on the show, haha. I need to go back and see what I've missed, but if I end up liking it, I'm not sure if I should wait for him to keep watching or not. He stayed over that night, and I rested pretty well having him there.

Cam worked in New York City for a little while after graduation, so unless he had it already, he must have picked up some of that assertiveness guys are known for from there. I still love thinking about the line he used to make me stop and turn around at the bar on the night that we met. I almost don't want to write out what he said, because it would cheapen it, or reveal my identity (I know, I'm paranoid). He laughs that he "can't believe it worked," but I countered that it got my attention, it wasn't degrading, and it was clever. Plus he looked like someone I wanted to stop for.

I've been reading and watching a lot of Matthew Hussey's dating advice lately, which I have been loving and is actually very different from The Rules. Matthew emphasizes not waiting around for guys to talk to you - sometimes you have to create those opportunities and even be the one that starts the conversation (but still let him pursue you). Well, I had really been diving into his material. Even though I used to purposefully avoid talking to guys at bars because I didn't think I could take them seriously, I was starting to come around and plan to use some of Matthew's advice on guys at bars. But I keep thinking that I got lucky - Cam made it easy for me and spoke to me first.

Still, I am trying to remember to use the new things I've learned. For one, I think I did a good job of making Cam feel useful, because I left it to him to figure out how to change the source mode on our TV (it's new and I am legitimately TV-clueless) and later I asked him to carry a heavy box to my car.

I really like the guy. I may be starting to have feelings for one guy (Cam), but that doesn't mean I no longer feel compelled to cyber-stalk a different guy (Sam, ugh). I realized I hadn't looked at Sam's Instagram page before, and I was pleased to find that it is public. I was displeased to find that he has posted three pictures now with female classmate. Ew. I haven't seen or heard from Sam since school let out last semester, but next week, we're all back on campus again. I wonder if he'll ignore me in the halls in the coming weeks, because he and female classmate are more established and cozy now, or if he'll still flirt, for fun's sake or just for a backup plan. Either way, I don't know if it's to my advantage to remain kind, mock-innocent to his recent coupling, or to adopt a bitchy edge (which I somewhat feel entitled to take on, given our backstory), thus ensuring he does not receive any amount of ego boosting associated with me.

One of my best local friends is having a big birthday party in a couple weeks. The invite description is amazing and hilarious, and the party theme is prom of decades past. Dates are "highly encouraged." I don't know if I should ask Cam to prom, or if I should tell him about the party and hint that I wish someone would ask me to prom. The latter seems like the better idea.