I’ve met someone. A few months after I found myself alone with two dogs in a four bedroom townhouse I decided to create an online dating profile and get myself out there. I ended up connecting with a man who lived in a small town about 15 minutes from me. He was a foot taller than me, big and burly, a trimmed beard, five years older than I, and a little awkward in an adorable way. He kind of rambled when he was nervous. I could relate to the awkwardness.
We swapped numbers and after talking for a bit he asked me out. The first time we went out it was an incredibly hot July Friday night. He took me to see Trainwreck a week or so after it had opened. Soon after that he picked me up to watch him play hockey. He was a nice guy but I wasn’t sure I was ready to let go of my husband who was still promising to maybe come home. We hung out a handful of times after that. He’d pick me up and bring me back to his apartment and we’d watch movies. I’d get dressed up and put on something cute but nothing ever happened other than two adults sitting on a couch watching a movie in the dark.
It didn’t last long. I wasn’t putting enough effort into seeing him. I always had excuses even though he was willing to pick me up and bring me back home when it’d be easier just to hang out at my place. He got the vibe that I wasn’t into him and decided to cut his losses. I was annoyed but looking back I don’t blame him. It had been less than three months since my husband had decided to not come home. It was too soon and I wasn’t ready. A big part of why I kept going back probably had something to do with the fact that there was air conditioning in his apartment and my townhouse felt like a sauna. Before you start in on me I already know I`m a terrible person. We’ve already established this.
Fast forward a year and I get a message from him on my dating profile. He wanted to talk, maybe hang out, give it another go. I had gone on several coffee dates with other guys since then but nothing that had made it past that initial first meeting. At this time I had given notice on the town house and was prepping to move. I had gotten my license three weeks prior, was now taking medication for my anxiety, had lost a ton of weight since I’d seen him last, but still had a lot going on emotionally. I was annoyed about how things had ended a year ago but out of boredom gave him my new number. He invited me to hang out a few times and I shot him down.
The Friday before I moved though I was sitting in my hot sticky townhouse and tired of packing. I sent a text message which lead to him inviting me over. He had his kids but I was welcome to come watch a movie after they were in bed. With my sole intention being to get out of the heat I showered, prettied up and drove out to see him. We sat on opposite ends of the couch and watched TV for an hour before I decided it was late and I needed to go. To my surprise he asked me to come back Saturday night, so I did and brought a couple movies. This time we got closer and by the end of the night were full on cuddling on his couch. It was comfortable and felt nice and I was exhausted both emotionally and physically. I stayed far too late considering I was packing up my life as I knew it and moving it to a tiny apartment the following day. When the movie ended I said I needed to go, but he begged me to stay. As a compromise we put on the blooper reel and I agreed to go after that but when it finished we ended up moving onto the next special feature until they were all done and I was out of excuses to stay.
Sunday I, along with the help of some of my closest friends, moved all of my stuff and my dogs into the new place. It was a long and emotional day. When he invited me over again that night I went. He brought me into his room to check out the 50 inch TV he had mounted onto the wall. He had made it look like he had built it into the wall by surrounding it with wood. It was rustic looking and totally up my alley. Since we were already in his room he suggested we just watch TV there… in his bed… So we did. Nearing the end of our second episode of Tosh.0 he tilted my chin up and kissed me. This lead to more kissing which lead to wandering hands which lead to me asking if he had a condom.
I remember the look of shock on his face. I had just assumed that this was where things were going. You invite a girl into your home, late at night, and ask her to cuddle and watch TV in your bed… isn’t that basically what the kids are calling ‘netflix and chill‘… which is code for sex right? What did he think was going to happen? With that said though that’s basically the story of how I lost my virginity at 22. I naively believed that when you invited a boy to come over and watch a movie you were genuinely going to watch a movie. He nervously got up and ran to his bathroom.
It took a few minutes of me lying in his bed half naked from the waste down listening to him rummaging through drawers before he came back with one in hand, the only one he had. I didn’t have a lot of experience before I had gotten married and it had been over year since I had last been with anyone, since anyone had kissed me, seen me without clothes, touched me. This was foreign to me but I wanted it. I needed it. It was different then I remembered. He knew what he was doing. He took control. I just let go and went with it. I realized afterwards as we lied in his bed talking that he was super self conscious and had anxiety issues similar to those that I was now taking meds for.
Since that night we’ve had a friends with benefits sort of relationship off and on. I’d drive in after the kids are asleep and crawl into his bed or he’d stop by before he started work Sunday night. We’d stop talking for a bit as he decided to see someone else but came back around when it didn’t get very far. Being a Father of three who is incredibly involved in his kids’ lives he wants to make sure the next relationship he gets into his his last. He doesn’t want anyone meeting his kids unless they’re the one. I can respect that. We reconnected after a month or so of nothing and I gave him hell for going MIA. I stood up for my self and what I thought I wanted. After a few more late night trips to his apartment and a movie date we drove to separately he wasn’t sure if there was potential for us and didn’t want to lead me on. A few weeks after that I messaged him to hook up and it’s been ongoing ever since.
It’s taken time for me to settle into this new life that I’ve created for myself. You can’t go from married and dealing with infertility to being separated then divorced and then in a relationship and then a step mom in a blink of an eye. In a year’s time I got a new job, learned to drive, bought a car, lost 75lbs, had to put down my 9 year old dog, got a new dog, moved to a much smaller place and started dating. I did this all on my own. I took the time to make sure I was okay with who I was and to figure out what I wanted. For the longest time I thought that I was going to be on my own for the rest of my life. I went through a phase where I didn’t want to be in a relationship, didn’t want to depend on anyone, wanted to be fiercely independent and only wanted sex… nothing else.
The thing about that though is that it can’t just be sex. Eventually someone gets feelings and if you’re lucky it’s both of you. Luck is typically not on my side. I’m not 100% sure but I think things are changing. Something feels different.