Posts Tagged brunch

The Next Chapter

Two years ago, I started this blog. I began writing because I felt alone. I knew there had to be other gay men out there who were looking for the same thing I was, and I wanted a way to connect with them.

grindrAt the time, I just ended my first gay relationship, and I found myself in very unchartered waters. I was already out to close friends, but not publicly. Because I had so few gay friends and a strong aversion to gay bars, I had to find a mate digitally. I began serial dating, at one point going on four dates in four days — And thus, One Gay At A Time was born.

Since the beginning, I have gone on MANY dates and put myself in many situations well outside my comfort zone. I have not only grown more comfortable in my own skin, but I’ve also grown up as a gay man. I got all the hookups out of my system and began searching for a meaningful, long-term relationship.

This blog began as an open forum diary of the daily occurrences I encountered navigating the gay world. I told my side of the story honestly in hopes that others out there would be able to relate, comment and most importantly, realize they are not alone.

The time has come for the next chapter of my life and for this blog. For quite some time I’ve been blogging about CK (aka Clark Kent or Superman). You’ve gotten to know him through my eyes in the early stages of our relationship. It’s been some time since I’ve blogged, and I apologize for leaving you, my readers in the lurch. I do not mean to abandon the small community I’ve worked so hard to foster, but I’ve been struggling with the next chapter of the blog.

When I first told CK about the blog, he was very open to and even grew excited about the idea of my writing our relationship. Over time, as you could probably understand, his excitement waned, and we began to argue about the content of the blog.

I had to make a choice between the blog and my man. It’s quite obvious which I chose. As a result, I will no longer be blogging about the specifics of my relationship with CK. However, in lieu of continuing to finish our story in a daily dairy format, let me catch you up on what has happened since July. Here are some of the highlights…

In July, CK joined my family for our annual beach vacation. While I went for the entire week, he only joined us for a few days. It was the first time we’d spent an extended period of time apart, and with my trust/cheating baggage, it was a true test of my sanity. I was thrilled and relieved when he finally arrived. It was also nice that he would finally get to spend some real-time getting to know my parents.

In early August, I traveled to Miami, CK’s birthplace to surprise his family with a visit to celebrate the birthdays of his two beautiful nephews (turning 1 and 2 only a week apart). I felt incredibly special taking this trip with CK. I was meeting his ENTIRE extended family. Before this point, I’d only met his mother. I was welcomed into the family with open arms and came to grow strong bonds with them over just a handful of days. This was unchartered territory for both of us, as I’d never been brought home to meet the family by anyone other than my high school girlfriend, and he’d never brought a man home to meet everyone before. It could not have worked out better!

Around Labor Day, CK and I went on week-long vacation to the Hamptons with 15 of my friends and family. While there, our relationship grew very strained. I felt he was trying too hard to impress my friends. I wanted him to be himself so all of them would come to love the man I knew, not the man I felt he was trying to be for them. By the end of the week, I reached my breaking point. I was so stressed out from organizing the vacation and ensuring everyone was happy that I made myself miserable, and I took it out on the person closest to me. In the penultimate moment of the trip, one night we not only exchanged words but also fists and shoves, as my closest friends and sister witnessed the lowest moment of our relationship.

It took a lot of time for CK and I to figure things out. This wasn’t the first time our relationship reached physicality, but I hoped it was the last. It also took a long time for things to return to normal between CK, me and my circle of friends. My sister wasn’t speaking to me for over a month and my friends had semi-ostracized me from typical gatherings. I burned a lot of bridges on that trip, and I am still working to rebuild them today. You can expect to read about my experiences and feelings dealing with issues such as physical violence in a relationship as one of the topics I will cover in coming posts.

In September, CK and I found an apartment in Hoboken to call our own. We moved in together in the midst of Hurricane Sandy’s wake on November 2. Although the experience of moving immediately following a hurricane is incredibly overwhelming, we are both stronger as a result of the experience. In my experience, moving in with a lover is unlike sharing a space with any other. You’ll certainly be reading about my experiences and the things I’ve learned from this experience as well.

After Sandy exhausted my last modicum of energy, I decided I was too tired to shave my upper lip. CK and I both decided to raise awareness and funds to fight prostate cancer by growing mustaches for Movember. I proudly raised over $500 for charity as a result of my stache, and I was thrilled when we both shaved them off — We both looked like pedophiles.

For the first time in my life, I had someone to take home to meet my family for Thanksgiving. Before venturing home, I sent my extended maternal family an email to get the awkwardness out of the way. You’ll be pleased to know my family welcomed him with open arms. I imagine coming out to extended family creates a lot of anxiety for man, as it did for me, so I hope sharing my experiences will encourage more to share the truth with the ones they love.

When I returned to Hoboken after Thanksgiving, preparations began immediately for what would have been my Sixth Annual Holiday Bash. This year, it became Our First Annual Holiday Bash. I finally had someone to share the hosting duties with, making it extra special.

Although CK and I spent Christmas apart, after all the festivities with my family, I hopped on a flight down to Miami to spend the rest of the holiday season and New Years Eve with my man and his family. CK’s sister and brother-in-law planned a trip with their two boys to Disney World for two days. After a little persuading, I convinced CK we should join them. I preferred Disney to a raucous gay party any day, and it was truly magical to see Disney World through the eyes of a two-year-old.

In February, CK and I took a romantic trip to Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. Although it seems we can’t go anywhere without having some kind of quarrel like an old married couple, the trip was amazing and couldn’t have come at a better time. We went ice skating, snow shoeing, swimming, hiking, and much more. It was a perfect escape for both of us to get out of the city and away from the bustle of it all after the holidays.

In between, there have been countless brunches, parties, trips, nights out, Broadway shows, fights… Oh yea, and plenty of sex — Can’t forget the sex! Overall, things have been going well for us. You have good days and bad days, but you have to realize the bad days are just there so you appreciate the good ones all the more. I am thrilled to announce, this past Saturday, CK and I celebrated our one-year anniversary at the restaurant we went to on our first date, Frankies Spuntino 570. Although we waited nearly an hour, the evening was perfect, and I look forward to many more years together.

Although I won’t be detailing the specifics of my relationship going forward, I hope to share with you what I have learned along the way. It’s not easy being in a relationship, but then again, the things that are worth it never really are.

To my most dedicated readers who haven’t let me lack of posting stop them from commenting words of support on my blog, thank you. You are what has motivated me to get back into this once again. I feel like many of you have integrated my writing into your daily routines, and I have left you with your morning coffee in hand and no reading material. You will not see the frequency of posts you may have grown accustomed in the past, but I still hope you find time in your lives for One Gay At A Time.

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“I Love You”

No matter how many times it happened, I never grew tired of waking up next to CK. The night before concluded with the most passionate lovemaking we shared to date. Everything felt amazing!

It was late in the morning, but I was still reeling from our late-night romp. I could only dream every time would be like that from there on out. Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. When I woke him with my kisses, he ran his hand down my torso until he noticed my morning excitement. He grabbed hold and squeezed, expressing his delight in his discovery. He pulled the sheets down, followed shortly by my boxer briefs. As his head bobbed up and down between my legs, I let out moans of pleasure. What a way to wake up!

Apparently, neither of us got enough the night before. We were both still excited about how amazing it was. It made me excited and hard just thinking about it. We both wanted a sequel.

He climbed on top of me, and we began passionately kissing. Of course, things escalated from there. It wasn’t long before I had him on his back, and I was deep inside him. The sex was great that morning. It wasn’t quite like the epic romp we had the night before, but it was great. We flipped, and he had his way with me.

When we finished, while we laid in the bed together, he took hold of my head and said, “[O.G.A.A.T.], I love you.” Even though I suspected it was coming, nothing could have prepared me for that moment. No man had ever told me they loved me before. I knew he meant it. I stared deep into his eyes — Deep into the eyes of the man I loved too. “I love you too, Babe,” I added. We hugged strongly and kissed passionately. It was an incredible moment, and I began to cry a little. He reacted by comforting me. I think he was a little panicked. He didn’t know how to deal with that, but that didn’t really matter. We were in love. That was all that mattered.

Because of this and the sex, we were very late for our plans to meet P on the pier. When showered up, ate something and packed our bags for the pier. P was there waiting for us when we arrived. We apologized for being delayed and hinted at the reason. She gave a giddy laugh and scolded us.

P and CK decided to hit up one of the food trucks/ice cream trucks after a while. They came back with all sorts of things and an ice cream sandwich for me. While they were gone, I played with P’s dog, Baby, and I texted the rest of my friends to see who was up for a day on the pier. A few responded explaining they’d be on their way shortly.

I told the other two everyone’s whereabouts and plans. CK asked about my sister, but I told him she hadn’t responded to my text. He was very concerned with her perception of him. They’d only met for a short while at the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival a few weeks earlier. Even when prompted, she still had no opinion. This worried him.

After some time, my friend G joined us. I also got ahold of D and his girlfriend. They were in the city for brunch, but they would join us on their way back home.

CK and I decided we wanted to have some refreshing cocktails to go with our small picnic of snacks. Just as D and his girlfriend were arriving, we made our way to the liquor store to get some prosecco. I had a great idea to mix this with a few flavors from Rita’s Italian Ice.

While we walked, CK and I discussed him meeting my parents. They were coming into the city in early June for a Broadway show and dinner. I wanted him to meet them. I invited him to the dinner a few days earlier. I explained to him my sister’s reaction to his invitation, as well as my parents. My parents had no issue, but my sister thought it was too soon. In telling CK this, I realized I made a big mistake. He immediately expressed to me, “OKAY! Now, I’m definitely not coming!”

“WHAT!?” I protested. I was not happy with that. I was very excited for him to finally meet my parents. I’d met his mother, and it went swimmingly. On top of this, he meant a lot to me. I wanted my parents to know this. They’d never met any of the guys I’d dated in the past. In my protest and explanation, I think I was able to bring him back around.

We grabbed two bottles of prosecco and made our way to Ritas. We got watermelon and mango peach ice to mix with the prosecco. We planned to make refreshing summer drinks for all.

As we walked back to the pier, he still didn’t give up on the fact my sister wasn’t joining us. He was harassing me to invite her, but because of her snarky email telling me I shouldn’t invite my boyfriend to dinner, on top of other things, I was annoyed with her. Then I checked my phone when I went to invite her and realized I’d already done so when I reached out to the others. She didn’t respond. I told CK this, and his guilt was alleviated.

When we got back, we shared our drinks with everyone in improvised vessels since we forgot to get cups. Everyone was talking and having fun. CK was fitting in nicely. I loved seeing him with my friends and how he interacted with them. He passed my friend test swimmingly. I care a lot about them, and if he could’t hang with them, it wouldn’t last. He was able to hold his own and impressed me to no end.

When the sun was going down, everyone was ready to head home, including CK and I. We made our way back to my apartment, telling each other how much we loved each other along the way.

We decided to plant ourselves on the couch and watch Immortals for the evening. We ate dinner and cuddled on the couch until it was time to head back into the city to his place. We didn’t plan for him to stay over. It was very late, but he had nothing for work the next day. Since he was close to my office it only made sense to spend the night there.

We got to his apartment and got ready for bed immediately. I brushed my teeth and climbed in between the sheets. It wasn’t long before I dozed off, but I was thrilled to be in his arms. I never got tired of sleeping with him, and hopefully, there would be infinite nights in the future we spent the same way.

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One Fine Day

After not sleeping for more than four hours, Friday night, I slept like a log. I was out very quickly and slept straight through to the morning. I was also starving. After not having a full meal the night before, I was feeling ravenous.

I went into the kitchen and began heating our Greek dinners from the night before in the oven. I returned to the bed to fool around with CK while they heated. He was waiting for me with open arms. I dove right into them. I loved waking up with him. It made my day begin so much better.

We continued to fool around and hug and kiss. Rolling around in the sheets with him was a perfect way to begin our day. When the food was heated through, I plated our meals and brought them to bed. We watched TV on his iPad while we ate our brunch. It was very tasty. I loved eating dinner food for breakfast.

Later that morning, I realized I forgot my toothbrush. I needed to go out and purchase one. I got dressed and made my way to a nearby bodega while CK got dressed for the day. I also popped into Starbucks for a Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. It was a gorgeous day, and I was happy to be outside. With delicious coffee in hand and a new toothbrush in my pocket, I made my way back to CK’s apartment.

I texted CK to get a move-on since it was so nice out. It was already after noon, and I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather. He finally had a weekend he wouldn’t have to stress about finding a new apartment, and I wanted to get some much-needed sun.

We made plans for him to show me his new apartment on the way to Central Park. CK finally got ready, and we decided to walk there. It was so nice out, I wasn’t about to get on the subway, nor did I want to pay for a cab.

We came upon a street festival on Ninth Avenue on the way. It seemed like fun, but it was a little overcrowded. I was anxious to see his new living quarters and hit up Central Park. With blanket in hand, we cut through the crowd to get to his street. Just before we got to his apartment building, we happened upon a cute garden society park. We decided to scope it out along the way. When we finally got to his building, it turns out we weren’t able to see his apartment. His new roommate never left a key with the front desk. The doorman wouldn’t let us up to see the roof-deck either. We didn’t fight it. We left and made our way to the park.

When we got there, Sheep’s Meadow was packed. There was little real estate left for us to put down a blanket. He laid down and took off our shirts so we could get a little color. We talked about a myriad of things while hugging and kissing each other. We made sure not to make a spectacle of ourselves, but we were enjoying each other’s company.

When a little boy walked by us and waved at us, he turned to me and said, “Awwwww. He’s so cute. Let’s get one!” I laughed, but deep inside, I melted a little. I could just picture how awesome a father he’d be. I looked forward to a long future with him, and the thought of us raising a child didn’t scare me in the least. I was excited! I agreed down the road it would be great to raise a kid, but I suggested we get a dog first. At that, he wanted to go shopping for a dog for me. I explained I am not able to take care of a dog. I lead too active a lifestyle, however, if the time came where we’d move in together, I would certainly love to get a dog together.

We spent a good portion of the afternoon lying around chatting. When CK was finally bored with this, he suggested we rent bikes and take a ride around central park. I thought this was a great idea, so we packed up and found some bikes to rent.

This was an incredibly shady transaction. I felt like I was buying drugs. We talked to about five different guys before we were given a bike that may or may not have been stolen. He asked for one of our licenses. Neither of us felt comfortable doing this because we weren’t sure we’d ever see the same guy again, let alone our licenses. He agreed to let us have them without the collateral. A simple fist bump sealed the deal. I guess we look like trustworthy guys.

We took the bikes and sped off on our ride. We did a complete loop of the park. CK broke out his iPhone and started using Video Star again to film us while riding. It was a lot of fun, until he dropped his phone along the way (However, this added greatly to the actual video that resulted from the footage). The phone survived unscathed, and we continued on. We rode around for about an hour before taking the bikes back. Many times we joked about running off with our new bikes, but we didn’t want the bad karma.

I was feeling peckish, so we made our way to Whole Foods to pick up a snack to eat before heading back to Hoboken for dinner. I had another Living Social to use up. We made our way back to his place before heading to the PATH. I left my bag there, and we made our way to 1 Republik. I called P along the way an encouraged her to join us. When we got to the door, we were denied because I was wearing flip-flops and CK and I were both wearing shorts. I’m sure if we stood and argued about going in for dinner, they would have made an exception, but I was in a good mood from an awesome day. I didn’t want to argue.

We decided to hit up Four L’s instead. We grabbed a table, and the three of us had some spectacular drinks and a few plates of food. We had fun people watching and judging the others making scenes in the bar.

When we finished, CK and I were ready to go home. P was disappointed because I think she wanted to hit up the bar, but I wanted to go home and do sex with my boyfriend.

We walked holding hands and having fun the whole way until CK stopped abruptly. He pulled me in and told me he had something to tell me. Just then, I let out the biggest fart I possibly could. My comedic timing was finally on point. We both busted our sides laughing. When I encouraged him to tell me what he wanted, he wouldn’t budge. I regretted the fart slightly, because I think I ruined what I believed was meant to be a beautiful moment. I highly suspected, based on his actions, he was about to tell me he loved me. I ruined it with a fart. I would have to wait until the next time he got the urge to express this. I’d already told him I was close to saying it, but I hadn’t said it yet. I was anxious if to learn if I was right about what he wanted to tell me then.

When we got back to my apartment, CK and I made our way to my bedroom. Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. He wanted to penetrate me, and I obliged. I wasn’t the biggest fan of bottoming on my back, so I turned onto my stomach and raised my hips into the air while he prepped. He was inside me, and it felt great. I loved feeling his body against mine while he kissed the back of my neck. Just before he was about to finish, he pulled out and shot all over my back. He grabbed me a towel, and we laid next to each other enjoying the lasting effects of sex.

When he asked if I wanted to penetrate him, I jumped on the opportunity. I really wanted to fall asleep inside him. He agreed to this, so we got into the spooning position. I lined up and slowly slide inside him while hugging him from behind. This felt great.

Of course, there would be no sleeping. This simply escalated to sex, but it was the best sex we’d had to date. I was penetrating him in the spooning position at first, but before long, I rolled over on my back, and he was on top of me while I was still inside him. It was unbelievably passionate. We changed positions many more times after that, one of which was the reverse cowgirl. I loved every second of it. He was making me feel things I’d yet to feel with him. It was inconceivable!

That wasn’t meant to be what happened, but neither of us complained. We both went to bed that night happy men. Not only did I get great sex, I also suspected my boyfriend truly loved me. I’d have to wait for confirmation on the latter portion, but I was still on a high from great sex regardless. I would sleep rather soundly that night with the most amazing man I’d ever had in my bed.

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His Mother’s Day

The day after my birthday, CK and I made plans for me to meet his mother while she was in town. I celebrated my birthday the day before without him, but I still managed to have fun. I was incredibly excited to see him. I was also incredibly honored to meet his mother. I couldn’t believe he felt comfortable introducing me to her exactly one month from the date we first met, however, we’d grown extremely close in that short period of time.

There was a plan for me to meet CK, his mother, and three of his friends at Essex and Beauty on the Lower East Side for brunch. It was Mother’s Day, so I knew wherever we were going was going to be a sh*tshow! I was slightly anxious. I was more nervous about meeting the one friend I’d never met before than I was about his mother. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t feel any pressure there. I was pretty relaxed about it. Either way, I was missing my Superman terribly.

I arrived a few minutes late for our reservation. CK and his mother were still in transport, but the three friends had already sat at the table. One of them came to the front to greet me and take me to the table. I’d met him before when we all went to see Avengers together. As we ascended the staircase to our table, he informed me of a problem in the kitchen. He mentioned something about a leak and having to shut the kitchen down. There was new immediacy to our plans.

Per usual, CK was running quite late. I learned they were in a cab, but they were on the other side of Manhattan, however, he shared the good news he finally found a new apartment. It wasn’t in Brooklyn. It wasn’t on the Lower East Side. It was in Hell’s Kitchen. I was thrilled!!

We learned they wouldn’t arrive in time for us to order, and one of the friends began to protest in uproar. He argued with the staff until he learned of the true nature of the problem. The maître d’ offered to walk us over to their sister restaurant, The Stanton Social to ensure we got a table and were served quickly.

On the walk over, we happened upon CK and his mother getting out of their cab. He was in the process of calling me. I said hi to him and was introduced to his mother. She wasn’t what I expected at all. I’m not sure what my expectations were, but she certainly surpassed them. She was gorgeous and very lively. I immediately loved her spirit and energy.

We continued to the other restaurant. Not only did we get a table quickly, we were also served champagne to start. They more than made up for the inconvenience. On top of that, I feel we upgraded restaurants, not downgraded.

His mother took the time to hug all the other boys and say hi. She knew two of them from Miami, where CK grew up, so there was some catching up to do. CK was rather reserved in regards to PDA. We didn’t kiss, but I got a hefty hug. He whispered in my ear how much he missed me. We held hands under the table nearly the entire meal.

It was very nice being with everyone. The conversation flowed, and there was rarely an awkward moment. Our food was excellent, and we all enjoyed our meal. I was worried I’d feel like an outsider, not because his friends wouldn’t include me, but because they all already knew each other. I was the new guy. I didn’t know the stories. I didn’t know the inside jokes. That would take time. Generally, until I’m comfortable, I get quiet. I was worried they would think I was antisocial, which clearly isn’t the case.

If they hadn’t done enough to ensure we had a great experience, our lovely waitress brought us a plate of complimentary donuts to make up for what happened at Essex and Beauty.

I really loved watching CK and his mother interact. She had a nickname she called him, and I found it adorable. They shared a lot of the same mannerisms. I watched her keep him in line (and made sure I took mental notes). They were incredible together, even with the hell they went through over that weekend to find him a new apartment. It was obvious the copious amounts of love they shared.

When we exited the restaurant, his mother returned to go to the bathroom. He took the opportunity to pull me in and give me the biggest kiss. It was quite a scene, but we didn’t care. His friends made comments, and he pointed out how he wouldn’t kiss me in front of his mother. Apparently, it made her slightly uncomfortable when he “flaunted his homosexuality.” I thought this was funny, because it’s the kind of thing I could hear coming out of my mother’s mouth.

I also learned that when I went to the restroom while we were eating, his mother expressed her approval to him. “He’s really cute,” he told me she added.

When she came back outside, we made plans to go back to his place and spend the rest of the evening on his roof watching the sunset. We stopped for a bottle of wine and some beers and went up to the roof with the batch of cookies I baked for his mother. Before heading up to the roof, CK and one of his friends were talking in the kitchen. That left myself and his mother in his living room to chat. I learned about all her dogs, as well as CK’s dog all living under her care. She told me how early she had to get up to take care of them the morning she flew out. We talked about what it takes to raise a dog and discussed CK’s desire to get a dog. He was constantly trying to take me shopping for a dog, but I couldn’t take care of one on my own. I wouldn’t have a dog until I lived with someone who would help me raise it. Maybe CK could fill that roll one day.

We spent a lot of time talking about cooking. CK’s friend was an avid cook, so we had a lot to chat about. I showed him my massive digital cookbook I created. I learned where CK inherited his lack of cooking skills. Apparently, his mother was a self-admitted non-chef. She barely cooked, so the two of them discussed their lack of skill in the kitchen, however, each had their specialty they could cook. I expressed my plan to teach CK how to cook, but ensure he wouldn’t cut his finger off again under my supervision.

After a while, a guy CK used to hook up with who lived in the building joined us. CK privately made a comment to me when we were downstairs how he may have seen us all through the window. He mentioned inviting him to join us, and I didn’t protest. My guard was up however. I had no idea how he’d treat me. After all, I was the one who got the man he had a crush on. They were almost roommates until it came to light he had a crush on CK, who told me he did not share the same feelings.

In the end, this guy was pretty cool. He wasn’t combative toward me in the slightest, and we actually got along. The conversation continued through the night. When this guy left, CK made an attempt to set him up with the friend who joined us from brunch. I really liked this guy. He seemed to get it. He was very realistic and had a great sense of humor. Of the friends I’d met so far, he was the one I felt I would get along with the best. When the old hookup left, CK’s friend called him to set up a date. This also killed two birds with one bullet. The old hookup would be tied up and would stay away from my man. Yes, I was getting territorial.

CK’s mother told us stories about him when he was a child, and I was really enjoying getting to know him, his mother and his friends. It was starting to get late, and CK and his mother still needed to get dinner. I needed to get home and get ready for work the next day. I too needed to eat something other than cookies. I said goodbye to CK’s mother with a big hug and CK walked me to the door.

We talked about how much we couldn’t wait until his mother left, not because either of us were tired of her, but because we were hungry for each other. We hadn’t slept together in days, and our animal instincts were growling. I said goodbye to him with a big kiss and made my way to the PATH to head home.

It was a very successful weekend. I had a great birthday, and apparently, I was a hit with CK’s mother. The whole day was a big success. I was all the more excited to be a bigger part of CK’s life, and I couldn’t wait for the next moment.

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Never-Ending Date

I’d begun an amazing date with a spectacular man, and I couldn’t wait for what was to come next. Although I had been to Frankies 570 multiple times before with multiple dates, this time was special. I had an amazing guy to share a meal with. Ironically, my meal from days prior was so good, I ordered the same the again.

Conversation over dinner we great. It flowed like water downhill. We were both very flirtatious and chatty. On many of my other dates, there were long awkward pauses, but not on this one. Everything was just so easy. When I excuse myself to go to the bathroom, he leaned in requesting a kiss first. It was incredibly sweet and adorable. I really liked this guy. He was everything I was looking for.

I was just taking extra care to make sure I didn’t get ahead of myself. I had a history of falling for guys who would hurt me or not be interested in pursuing anything further. While in the restroom, I looked in the mirror to keep myself centered. All I could do was smile at my reflection like a giddy schoolgirl.

When I returned to the table, the conversation picked back up where we left off. My hand was on his leg under the table. His body language was very positive.

Our meals came, and we shared them with each other. Both of us were very happy with our selections. When the meal ended, we agreed to order a dessert to share. We got the crème-brulee. I dug my spoon into it and fed him a spoonful. It felt incredibly romantic. He smiled as his mouth closed around the spoon. We finished dessert and began to chat about what to do next. He was dancing around what I can only assume were his true motives. He said, “We can go have more drinks.” I interjected, “I don’t want to drink anymore.” “We can drop our bags at my place and go out. We could grab Pinkberry…” he added. I cut him off at the pass saying, “You can stop dancing around it. We can go back to your place.” He immediately smiled and agreed that was the best idea.

I wasn’t thinking we were going back to his place for sex. I knew there would be making out and a lot of heavy petting, but I wasn’t planning to give it up that easily. We hopped in a cab back to his apartment. He asked if I wanted to go to the roof, and I told him I would default to him. We were on his home turf. He could run the show. I picked the bar and restaurant. It was his turn to drive. Before we got to his place, he warned me of the condition of it. He informed me he lived like a frat boy.

When we got to his place, we stopped in his apartment on our way to the roof. I didn’t think he was as bad as he let on. We began making out on the bed. This, of course, led to many other things. Slowly but surely, clothes started landing on the floor in scattered piles. Eventually, we fond ourselves naked and engaging in a myriad of sexual acts, but penetration would never occur.

He was a very passionate man. I have found it nearly impossible to find a man whose intellect, wit and sense of adventure outside the bedroom matched their passion in the bedroom. He was a diamond in the rough. I wasn’t going to let this one go without a fight.

I noticed he was very into music. It was like he needed a soundtrack. I liked it. Every minute I was learning something new about him, and it was all making me like him even more.

We never made it to the roof. We ended up passing out on top of each other’s naked body. In the middle of the night, we both woke up. It was around 2:00. He offered for me to stay. I was under the impression that was already happening. I assumed I would just stay the night. We cuddled some more, and he turned out the lights.

When we woke in the morning, things weren’t awkward at all. I felt very comfortable with him. We talked about how we didn’t have sex and how that made us both happy. We didn’t need to rush things. I mean, I was spending the night on a first date, but I was happy true sex didn’t occur. I was also thrilled he was the type of guy who would just bring that up and not keep it inside for fear of saying the wrong thing. He spoke his mind. I needed to get back to that. Being with him might help me get back to that.

He was amazing. There was no question about it. We were both starving and decided to get dressed to hunt for some breakfast. We stopped by a few places before finally settling on Jimmy’s American Grill and Bar. We grabbed a table outside and picked up the conversation where we left off the previous night.

I let my freak flag fly. I felt so free with him. I told him all about me and my idiosyncrasies. I explained my Christmas Bash and all the work I put into it. He referred to me as Martha Stewart, and I expressed my hatred for that referral. I didn’t like that my cooking and entertaining had a feminine connotation. I told him I was more the Nate Berkus type. He laughed and agreed it was a better reference. I told him about my crazy coworkers and how we would make an amazing reality show. I told him about growing up on a farm. Everything I could think of, I brought out. He loved it all! I learned about where he grew up and his career in advertising. Every word made me like him more and more. He also told me about his friends. They texted him while we were eating to ask him to come to brunch 2.0.

Somehow, we got on the topic of The Hunger Games. I was reading the books, and he had already seen the movie. I told him I was looking forward to seeing the movie. He told me he would go see it again and asked if we could go see it Sunday. You could have knocked me over with a feather. He was already planning date number two before date number one concluded. I was thrilled and immediately accepted.

He walked me to the PATH to say goodbye before heading downtown to meet his friends at Elmo. We kissed each other goodbye and gave a long lasting hug. There was a homeless man panhandling next to us who said, “Get a room,” through a smile. He began laughing, and I started to crack up since I was the one facing him. I said to my amazing date, “That made my day.” Immediately, he replied, “You made my day.” I was in heaven. I said goodbye and went down the stairs to the train.

Later, I learned from checking his Twitter that when he checked in at dinner on Foursquare, he wrote, “Easy conversation + tasty food + hot boy = great date on a Fri night (@ Frankies 570 w/ 2 others)” and the next day at brunch, “When last night’s date becomes this afternoon’s brunch date (@ Jimmy’s American Grill & Bar). He really did like me. I was just finding it hard to take. It was like a dream. I couldn’t really believe it. I didn’t want to get too excited because I didn’t want to get hurt. But, honestly, who gives a f*ck. I was happy, and that was all I cared about.

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Another Boring Date

Tuesday night, I was happy to be home. My date with S.D. wasn’t bad, but it helped me realize he wasn’t the guy for me. We had too many differences of opinion.

I noticed on my calendar Broadway‘s birthday had arrived. I made sure to call him to wish him a happy birthday, but he didn’t answer. If I recalled correctly, he was in California for a vacation. I left him a message and told him to call me when he had a free second. I didn’t hear back from him for over a week. I was a little disappointed, however, we still maintain a friendship. His friendship is important to me.

On my walk to work Wednesday morning, I checked my Grindr messages. I began to chat with one guy, but that’s another story for another day…

I had a date planned that Wednesday with a guy I chatted with on OKCupid, but he ended up bailing on me at the last-minute. This time, I had no one waiting in the wings. I debated just lying low and going home after work, but another part of me didn’t want to waste a free night. I thought I’d reach out to my current roster to see if any of the guys were free to meet. I figured I might as well get a first date out of the way while I had the time. I was really looking at dating like a job. This was bad policy, but with someone like me who has a busy schedule, you gotta do what you gotta do. I sent out feelers to the guys to see who was available to grab a drink after work.

Ironically, two of the guys responded. One was in Hell’s Kitchen and the other lived in Jersey City. I wondered if I could schedule them both in the same night. Hell’s Kitchen would work out because I could just take the bus home, and Jersey City could work if he came to Hoboken to grab a coffee or a drink when I got home later. I wasn’t all that psyched about the guy from Hell’s Kitchen, so I assumed it would be a short date and work out.

The first guy picked a nice restaurant, Pier 9, at the north end of Hell’s Kitchen to grab a drink and maybe an appetizer. It just so happened to be right across the street from his apartment. We met just inside the restaurant. I wasn’t excited by what I saw. He wasn’t unattractive, but he wasn’t attractive either. That being said, I wasn’t writing him off based on looks.

He was a regular here. He knew a lot of the wait staff, and they took good care of him. We grabbed a seat and began to chat.

The conversation was pretty relaxed. We both decided to order wine, and since it was happy hour, we split a bottle at half price. We also noticed a great edamame appetizer on the table next to us and ordered that to split while we got to know each other. It was a very nice place, and the wait staff was super sweet to us. They could tell we were on a date and treated us as such.

We talked about our jobs, our families, life in the city, etc. It was nice conversation. Nothing was forced or awkward, but there was no spark either. He seemed like a really nice guy, and we agreed on a lot of things. I could see us getting along really well, but more in a friendship capacity than a dating one. I could see him being a good date for Sunday morning brunch to talk about the weekend and talk about guys.

We were there for a decent chunk of time. The date lasted about an hour all said and done. We finished the bottle and the appetizer and decided it was time to head out. I could tell he didn’t find a strong connection there either. I had to initiate the goodbye hug, and there certainly was no feeling behind it. This would make things easier. We left with the same expectations of not hearing from the other much after we parted ways.

As I walked to the bus, I started texting the guy from Jersey City. We’d talked more than a few times before. We’d become Facebook friends, and I was supposed to see him on Hoboken St. Patty’s when he was attending the gay party across the street from my apartment, but he never made it. I asked him to an unconventional date. I lined it up for him to come to my place and just relax with a glass of wine. He agreed that sounded like a great idea, so he came over shortly after I came home. We were finally making time to meet up in person…

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FINALLY!

Today is another Fast Forward Friday!!!  

Hope you are enjoying these. It will help bring the blog a little closer to real-time. If you’re keeping up with the stories chronologically, please skip down to this morning’s post first, then read this one. I think it’s a good one! Enjoy!

Back to your special edition of One Gay At A Time…

Saturday had arrived, and it was St. Patty’s Day. I was out early in the morning to hit up the gym. I wasn’t going to find myself wasting another day lying around my apartment looking for sex. It was the true start to my staycation and to the new me. It was gorgeous outside, and I was motivated.

As I left the gym, I ran into K and one of my other friends. They were heading into the city to drink, but I wasn’t interested. I’d just come from the gym. I’m not a fan of day drinking to begin with. I said goodbye and continued on my way home. D’s girlfriend was up from Philly that weekend, so I texted them to see what they were up to. They were grabbing brunch and had no plans for the rest of the day. I told them I was bored and lonely, and if they thought of anything, I’d be game. I also called my old roommate to see what he was up to. He was studying for yet another test he had to take for work. I knew it was useless to try to convince him to do anything else.

Finally, D and his girlfriend decided to swing by. They came up, and we just lounged around chatting. She’d never been to my apartment before, so I showed her around. After some time, we decided to go for a drive and check some new cars for D to possibly lease. I was game, so we made our way uptown in the great weather to D’s car.

We decided to drive around Jersey City since there were a few nice neighborhoods I’d never explored. I was a bit curious, and the other two were as well. I also wanted to scope out a spot I had in mind for dinner that night with the guy I spoke to on the phone for two hours, Travel Agent. We drove by the cute cafe on the corner in an upscale neighborhood of Jersey City, The Hamilton Inn. I’d seen it a few times before and had been curious how it was. I pulled up the menu on my phone and suggested the idea to T.A.

He was still working, but he said it sounded like a good idea. We planned to work out the rest of the logistics later.

We drove around for quite a bit more before finally returning to Hoboken. They dropped me off at home. I hopped in the shower and began to get ready for the evening with T.A. I’d been texting him a bit and made a reservation at the restaurant for 7:00. When he told me it’d have to be later, I called and changed the reservation for 8:30. When the time came, he picked me up in his nice Audi. He was a good-looking guy. He wasn’t someone you’d stop on the street and say, “Damn!” but he was good-looking. We jumped right into conversation. It was fairly relaxed. I feel he may have been slightly uptight, but I tried to remain candid and relaxed.

The Hamilton was exactly what I was hoping for. It had a decent crowd, the food looked and smelled amazing, and we got a nice table to sit and chat with each other. The obvious and easy thing to decide was to order a bottle of Malbec to share. I still couldn’t help feeling he was uneasy about things. He just didn’t seem to relax. I tried to lighten things up and asked if he wanted to split an appetizer. He agreed, but it wasn’t terribly easy to pick something. He defaulted to me, and after discussing it, I finally decided on the pierogies with goat cheese appetizer.

We began by talking about where we grew up in more detail than we discussed on the phone. The conversation shifted to our jobs. I got to learn in greater detail what he does. I told him about my job, and slowly I began to realize I was monopolizing the conversation. He’d ask me a question, and I’d answer in detail. When I’d ask him questions, his answers would be short. I wanted to get to know him. He seemed like a decent guy.

The waiter returned and we ordered. I was debating between he risotto and chicken. I decided on the chicken, and he decided on the risotto.

We talked some more until our food arrived. Or should I say, I talked some more. I would never say it was a bad date, but I would also not say it was a great one either. We shared some of our meals with the other. It was a nice time. I was enjoying his company, and the food was delicious. I was looking forward to a second date so we could think of something more relaxed to do. Hopefully that would break him out of his shell.

We declined dessert since he had to get home because he had a big work project the following day. He expressed to me how much he enjoyed the date. I was happy to hear it. We split the tab and made our way back to his car. On the way back to my apartment, we passed another restaurant I was interested in trying. I mentioned it to him, and he said, “Maybe next time we should try there.” That was a very hopeful statement. If he was already thinking about next time, maybe he really did enjoy it too.

We stopped in front of my apartment, and he put the car in park. He leaned over and gave me a kiss. I pulled back and went in for a second. It was nice, and I wanted him to know I was interested. I told him, “Call me when you’re back from Mexico. Or, you can text/call whenever you like,” with a smile as I exited the car. He told me we’d be in touch.

After that, I heard nothing from him. He clearly stated his enjoyment and mentioned a second date. How was I not supposed to think he was interested? I sent him a text to tell him of my good time with him, but I got no response. I checked Grindr, and sure enough, he was online. Clearly he was ignoring me. I messaged him on Grindr as well. When a day passed and I heard nothing back, I decided he would either deny this or the “relationship” would be dead before it began. “I hope you’re not ignoring me. I thought you were a classier guy than that.” He had given me two different phone numbers, so I asked if I was texting the wrong number. Finally, he responds explaining he was busy and apologized. He told me he was interested in seeing me again as well.

However, after that, I didn’t hear from him again. I know when I’m not particularly interested in a guy, I don’t outright tell him that. However, I don’t talk to him about future dates to lead him on. It was very disappointing, but I wasn’t going to let one guy get me down. My Grindr diet was slowly working. I was back to concentrating on dates and not sex. Hopefully, with enough time, I’d find a good guy to settle down with — Someone to be the reason I delete Grindr forever…

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Creating Distance

Today is another Fast Forward Friday!!!  

Hope you are enjoying these. It will help bring the blog a little closer to real time. If you’re keeping up with the stories chronologically, please skip down to this morning’s post first, then read this one. I think it’s a good one! Enjoy!

Back to your special edition of One Gay At A Time…

No matter how far apart we were or how busy we were, Smiles and I managed to find time to communicate or at the very least, send a text. It was something that always reminded me he was thinking about me when I wasn’t with him.

Silence. From Sunday afternoon through Tuesday evening — Crickets. Our last contact was Sunday afternoon when I asked him if we could spend the day together Monday. He told me he had to work, but that never stopped him from taking five minutes to pick up the phone and dial me or send me a text. He also told me he would call later Sunday night when I said goodbye to him after brunch, but as you know, that didn’t happen.

When Tuesday passed by, and I didn’t hear from him, I decided to give him a call. After-all, I’m the one who royally f*cked up, not him. Sure, he was distant throughout our relationship, but he never did anything quite as heartless as what I did.

The phone rang and rang and rang — No answer. I didn’t want to leave a voicemail because I wanted to say what I had to say live. I wanted to hear his reaction. I decided to wait.

After an hour, I decided to send him a text message: “How was the first day in the office?” You can see how patient a person I really am. Five minutes later, I received a response: “Lot happened today…” The text continued on to completely cover my entire phone screen and then some. Instead of picking up the phone and telling me all this, he sent a massive book of a text. I could tell he was very excited as things were really taking off for him, but all I could think about was how hurt I was. He completely dropped me like a bad habit. His career was really beginning to take off, and he had no use for me anymore. I had been there to support him through the rough stages, and when he began to have success, he forgot all about me. At this point, I didn’t give a sh*t about his new job. I barely even feigned interest. My responses were, “Gotcha,” “Sounds awesome!” and “Congrats.” I wanted to be happy for him, but I couldn’t. He treated me like trash.

He made sure to add things like, “Say that again at the end of March when I have free time again.” This was his way of not just nudging me away but giving me a big ol’ shove. I didn’t feel the least bit of guilt for “shopping” on a4a and Grindr the nights prior.

Just when I didn’t think the knife could cut any deeper, he said, “Ok. 9pm. Bedtime! Hope your first day back was more exciting than your last week there. Night!” I simply replied, “Night.”

If he was getting ready for bed, why didn’t he pick up the phone and call. I assumed he was at dinner or something. I was trying to justify him writing out a massive text versus calling me.

That’s when I realized how much of a coward he was. He was just going to put down the gun and slowly back away instead of just ripping the band-aid off. It was clear he wasn’t interested in pursuing a relationship with me any further. He should have been a man and said do. I thought I was done with all the petty childish games when I started dating a thirty-six year-old, but I was sorely mistaken. I was going to have to be the man in this relationship, or lack thereof.

That night was neither the time nor the place. I was going to do this in person. He wasn’t going to get the satisfaction of an easy fizzle. If we weren’t moving forward anymore, we weren’t going to be moving at all. I was going to end things. The time had come. No more second chances. No more opportunities to drag me along. For me, it was over.

Before he pulled this stunt, I was okay with the relationship coming to a close. I had already resolved myself to the fact it wasn’t what I was looking for, and it didn’t satisfy my needs. The only thing I lacked was closure. Now, I was mad as hell. After spending three months with him and dedicating a lot of myself to him, this was how he was going to treat me. Instead of looking back on our time together with fondness, I now began to look back with bitterness and doubt. I wondered if he ever really cared about me. I wondered if I was the only one in his life. Sure, we spent a lot of time together, but we also spent a lot of time apart. It’s not physically possible for him to be carrying on a relationship outside ours, but it doesn’t rule out any extra curricular activities.

I decided that night, Smiles was going to hear it. Everything I kept inside while we dated was going to finally come out. I just needed to pick the time and the place…

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The Fog Lifts

New Year’s Day, Smiles woke me in the morning. I was in a complete fog. I immediately began wracking my brain to remember how the night ended. I knew we had sex, and once again, I could only remember a tiny flash of the intimate moment we shared the night before but no more than a flash. I could remember being p*ssed at Smiles on the walk home for walking five paces in front of me. And, I could remember smoking on the balcony.

I had now realized I completely wiped my phone, so anyone who texted the night before would certainly not be receiving a response from me.

Smiles was up and about walking around the apartment. I searched the room for my briefs, but couldn’t locate them. He came in the room and retrieved them for me from deep within the sheets. I had a massive headache, so he gave me some pain killers and water. It was sweet of him to take care of me in my still inebriated/hungover state. I asked Smiles about leaving the party, and he recounted the details for me. It was clear he wasn’t thrilled about it, but he also wasn’t holding it against me. The he uttered, “And I haven’t even gotten to the fun part yet!” he added.

He was going to leave it at that. I told him he couldn’t do that to me. He had to tell me what else I did. He asked if I really wanted to know, and I insisted. This is the “fun” part:

Apparently, the advances made by the guy on the balcony didn’t end there. Clearly he was persistent, and clearly I was vulnerable and well intoxicated. Smiles recounted a scene for me that drained all the blood from my face. “[The guy who sang my praises to Smiles] came up to me and asked me if you were okay. When I told him you were fine, he replied, ‘Are you sure? Because he’s making out with someone else on the couch.” I nearly passed out. I couldn’t believe it. Was I really capable of that? Could I really do that to another person after witnessing N do that to me? Was I that heartless?

I racked my brain trying to remember any bit of a make-out session on the couch. A vague image came to mind of this man kissing all over my neck. I remember asking him to stop, but also couldn’t remember putting up a strong fight. I’m not sure if my mind was making this up or if it was reality. Either way, my actions were deplorable.

I froze. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t believe he was still speaking to me. I couldn’t believe he still had sex with me that night after that. I was mortified. What was going on? My head was spinning!

“What did you do? Did you come over and stop it?” I asked. He shook his head no.

“[Smiles], I don’t know how to apologize for that. I can’t believe I did that! I can’t believe your still speaking to me right now. I can’t believe you didn’t leave me there. I don’t have words for how sorry I am. I don’t remember any of that. At all!” I plead.

“It’s okay. You were drunk. It was New Year’s Eve. Don’t worry about it,” he said.

Don’t worry about it!? I made out with another guy in front of you, and you tell me don’t worry about it?! Should I be happy you’re not that upset about it, or should I be even more hurt that you’re not phased by it. “I still don’t know what to say. I can’t believe I did that,” I added. He just looked back at me with a face that said, “Yeah. You did that.” I wanted to slither away into darkness and forget the world.

We continued to get ready for brunch and walked out the door. As we walked, all I could think about was how disrespectful I was to the man I’d grown so fondly of. Sure we had our moments where I questioned our relationship, but what I did was unforgivable. I would not have been able to forgive myself for what I did. When N did it to me, it signaled the end of our relationship.

I did this in front of his friends — Many of which I told I was dating Smiles. I made myself look like a complete whore, and I made Smiles look like a fool. The man who was singing my praises was the man who witnessed my greatest downfall. This was one of the worst things I’ve ever done in my life, and there was no making up for it and no undoing it.

I continued to tell Smiles how bad I felt about the whole thing. He was trying to make conversation and ignore the subject, but it was all my mind could fixate on. “It’s fine. Stop worrying about it,” he kept saying. We ate breakfast and talked about a few things I can’t recall because my mind was completely elsewhere. I was crushed. I almost had to leave the restaurant, Extra Virgin — His favorite restaurant, so I could go outside and cry.

It was a gorgeous day, and Smiles told me he wanted to go for a bike ride. He asked what I had planned for the day. I couldn’t think. I had no plans. I was hoping to spend the day with Smiles, but clearly that wasn’t an option. I decided I was going to try to meet Boston before he left the city, even if it was at the bus stop. I had to tell him what I did. I knew he wouldn’t look favorably on me, but I also knew he wouldn’t judge me. I left Smiles with a kiss as he walked south, and I turned and walked north. I decided to walk off my disgrace.

As I pounded the pavement from 11th street to 43rd, I tried reaching Boston. He wasn’t answering the nearly twenty-five calls I made to him. I needed him. I needed someone to talk to. I decided to hit up my roommate and see what she was doing. Maybe we could curl up on the couch and watch a movie to help make the day pass by. I talked to her for a bit, but she had plans. I couldn’t bring myself to tell here what I did. I was too ashamed. I would tell her later.

I decided to call Smiles during my walk. I wanted to make sure he knew how broken up I was about it if we were to survive this. I reiterated how bad I felt and how wrong I was as I tried to choke back tears and a vocal quiver. “Listen. It’s okay. It’s in the past. It was New Year’s Eve. You were drunk. That was 2011. This is 2012. Don’t worry about it. It’s alright,” he assured me. I think he realized how upset this made me, and that was all I could do. My fate was in his hands…

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How to Get Out of My Own Head

Rules are meant to be broken. Apparently, in my mind this is true. I said I wasn’t going to reach out to Smiles after our awkward night and breakfast the following morning, but that didn’t last long.

Wednesday afternoon, I got an email including two free tickets to a screening of a movie in the city. It was Friday afternoon at 12:30. I had absolutely nothing going on at work as we were leading into the holidays. I shot Smiles a text Thursday afternoon asking him if he wanted to come with me after I left him.

He told me he wouldn’t be able to join me because he had to be on site for a project he was working on. I didn’t get my hopes up, so I wasn’t all that disappointed. I knew I wouldn’t be seeing much of him that weekend, so it was an effort to mend that but a failed attempt at that.

In the middle of the day, he called to see how my day was going. I was a pleasant surprise. He’d done this in the past, but it was out of the blue. He told me about his project moving forward and the progress he was making. I told him how useless my day was turning out to be. Maybe he did care about me. Maybe he just wasn’t good and showing emotions or talking about them. I still had some figuring out to do.

I finished my workday early. When I got home, I called my other friends who were attending the birthday party that night. I coordinated with them, and made my way to my D’s apartment.

During the taxi ride with D and his girlfriend, she asked me when she was going to get to meet Smiles. She missed him at the holiday party. I couldn’t think of a scenario in which she was going to meet him. I realized he never really hung out with me and my friends in general. I never really hung out with his. I was repeating my relationship with Broadway all over again. The only difference was, Smiles had a better schedule than Broadway. In the back of my head, I knew things between us weren’t perfect. I told her I had no idea when she’d meet him. I then explained to her why he was absent from my side.

I had fun at the party. I was running into a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a long time — Some even years. I sat and talked with one of my old college teammates, and he asked him the dating life was going for me. I told him all about Smiles, and he was very happy for me. In the back of my mind, all I could think about was, “Am I truly happy with how things are shaping up?”

Out of nowhere, Smiles called. He was between parties in a cab. I guess he had time to kill so he thought he’d call me. I stepped away from the party and walked out onto the promenade overlooking the city. I appreciated the call. It was nice to have him call out of nowhere twice in one day. It showed he really was thinking about me. I was a little bitter though. He was telling me about all these parties in detail, and all I was hearing was stories of parties I wasn’t invited to. I kept the conversation on the shorter side of things. It was cold outside, and I wanted to get back to my friends. If I wasn’t good enough to be by his side, he wasn’t good enough to steal me away from the party. We said goodbye for the night since I knew that’d be the last time hearing from him for the night.

On the way home that night, I discussed brunch with D and his girlfriend. They expressed their desire to do it in the city. I agreed and mentioned maybe inviting Smiles to join us. I knew he had things going on, but maybe he’d be able to meet us for a little while.

I texted him at 3:00am to see if he would be onboard for brunch. I told him I didn’t have all the details, but I would get them to him in the morning. He told me he would try to make it. He was making an effort. I was expecting to be immediately brushed off for other plans, but it was nice to see him entertaining the idea at the very least. Maybe things were improving.

In the morning, D and his girlfriend were too tired to head into the city. I told Smiles brunch was off. He told me he wouldn’t have been able to make it anyway. He had to work. We texted a little bit the rest of the morning. That morning, there was a fire on my block that day that engulfed an entire building. I sent Smiles picture messages, and he expressed concern for my well-being.

That night, we spoke on the phone. We talked about our day, and he told me about the party he attended. Again, I was a little bitter considering I wasn’t invited. I asked him if he was available for dinner Monday night since I wasn’t getting to see him at all over the weekend. He told me he’d have to get back to me. As the conversation was coming to a close, I asked him if we were going to exchange Christmas presents.

I’d actually been thinking about it since Thursday, but hadn’t remembered to ask him. I was a little afraid too. I didn’t know how to pose it. This is so unlike me. I should have just said what I wanted to say. I didn’t have the chance to ask him where we stood yet, so I didn’t feel comfortable asking him about exchanging Christmas presents.

The day before this conversation, I bought him two cashmere hats he’d expressed interest in. I bought them from one of my favorite online stores, Bonobos (They have really amazing stuff by the way. I highly recommend them, especially for proper fitting pants!). It would work out well because they offer free shipping both ways, so if we weren’t doing presents, I could return them.

So, I said to him, “Do you want to do Christmas presents?” He paused a second and responded, “Let’s not over-think things. I don’t think we’re there yet.”

And with that, we said goodbye.

Not there yet? Okay. Then where are we? How do you feel about me. We’d been together three months at this point. I didn’t see why we couldn’t exchange some nice Christmas presents. I wasn’t buying him a Rolex.

This just further motivated my desire to have the relationship conversation…

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