Once upon a time, I have forgotten where or when, I read a piece about the fate of blogs. It was half-humorously claiming that most blogs end up updated once every 6 months or so, and even this one post simply contains an apology from the blogger for not writing for so long and promises to update more frequently in the future.
And that is where this blog has ended up. I realize I have dropped off the face of the earth lately, and the thought I have abandoned my writing and the handful of faithful readers I accumulated bothers me regularly. But, unlike what the introduction would suggest, I am not going to apologize for it, because the reason for my disappearance is an important one: I am happy.
For those of you who still remember my last few posts, I was describing how I started going out with the dance instructor from my gym, Andrea. Well, Andrea is now my girlfriend. After around 8 months with her, I can confidently say we are in a very good place in our relationship. We now see each other regularly, or at least as regularly as our busy lives and obligations will allow us (remember, Andrea has a 5-year old daughter to take care of, as well as holding down two jobs). We enjoy a lot of the same things, we love each other’s company, and I dare say that I have never felt so adulated, appreciated and well-looked after in any of my previous longer-term relationships. And then, there is the sex.
Last time I wrote about sex with Andrea, I had something like this to say:
“It would be great if I could now write that what followed was a night of unparalleled passion where we both fulfilled each other’s deepest fantasies. Alas, life does not always work like [that]…”
Except, sometimes it does. Nowadays, every night Andrea and I spend together is a night of unparalleled passion. Deepest fantasies are fulfilled left and right. I have no hesitation to say that sex with her is by far the best sexual experience of my life. What is even better, that last sentence wouldn’t even begin to describe what Andrea’s opinion is on the matter. Far be it from me to toot my own horn, so let’s just say that adjectives like “amazing”, “mind-blowing” and “breathtaking” are in regular use in my bedroom.
Not everything is perfect in our relationship of course. We still struggle to find all the time we would like to spend together. I have no issues with Andrea having a child, but this fact does create some problems, since her daughter’s father is still in the picture. And my status as a visitor in the USA means that at some point we will have to worry about what happens next: either we call it quits, or we will both have to make some very serious, life-altering decisions about our future.
But we try not to worry about crossing that bridge until we come to it. For now, we enjoy the time we have together and try to make the best of it. Most of the time, we seem to be managing pretty well. Which means that, after a year on a personal journey filled with new experiences, inward reflections, exciting adventures and bitter disappointments, Greg is no longer dating. I have found someone, and with her, some balance and respite. The cynic in me reminds me to treasure it. Who knows how long it will last?
When I started this blog, my main motivation was to vent my frustrations with dating. From that point of view, now that I am in a relationship and no longer dating, the reason for the existence of the blog has disappeared. Even though Greg is Dating has given me the right motivation to focus my energies on my writing (which is something I have always loved and was good at), there is nothing more to write about. At least, not here. Logically, this brings us to the end of this blog.
But not yet. Not quite. There are still stories left untold. Two stories that happened very shortly after I started seeing Andrea. So here we go. Two more stories to write. And boy, are they good!
In the spirit of the season, here’s a little story from last year’s Halloween. Fair warning: this is not exactly a captivating story. But without this introduction, what followed would make no sense.
It was almost exactly a year ago, a week or two before Halloween weekend 2011. I was out on my first date with Anna. The date had gone great, and after saying our goodnights, I was walking home in a very good mood. As I entered the reception area of my building, I heard loud noises and noticed a big mess. The building manager, a friendly woman named Electra, and one of the residents in the building who was a close friend of hers, Karina, were getting drunk in the lobby of all places, and blasting out music from the speakers.
Electra was very happy to see me, although at her stage of inebriation she would have been happy to see anybody. She invited me to have a drink with them, and I accepted. It was then that Electra suddenly decided that we had to carve the pumpkins she had laid around reception as Halloween decoration. I was initially a bit hesitant about the idea of putting sharp knives in the hands of my new, very drunk friends, but in the end my curiosity won. I had never carved a pumpkin before and I wanted to try.
We cut the pumpkins open and made a royal mess of it. The lobby was in a sorry state by the time we were done. So were our clothes. During the festivities, I had a chance to talk to and get to know Karina, who I had never met before. In the beginning, she was not opening up to me, but a random moment changed all that. Karina was playing around with my phone, when a message from Okcupid popped up. She pretended to not see it, and waited until she could speak privately to me before she asked me about it. I had just signed up a week or two before, and I was still very new in online dating, but I was completely unembarrassed by it. Karina had also signed up recently, so we spent the rest of the night sharing our experiences.
Soon, it was really obvious that we needed to put Electra to bed. After we accomplished this task with some difficulty, I invited Karina to my place for another drink and a look over my Okcupid profile. Karina, as I found out, is a brutally honest girl, which makes her exactly my kind of person. She thoroughly demolished my profile, criticizing my writing, my pictures and my choices. She was also very outspoken about warning me to “not try any moves on her”. I thought the evening was hilarious. Karina is Asian, 30-something, and even though she is quite attractive, she is very short and therefore not exactly my type. But I thought we clicked.
Even though, as she told me months later with her usual bluntness, Karina “wanted to tear my clothes off that night”, nothing happened between us. She and I tried to stay friends, and we had dinner a couple of times after that. But eventually we lost touch. It was months later, thanks to a chance encounter in the elevator, that our relationship was rekindled.
But that is a story for another time. And what a story it is.
(to read all about how I met Andrea, click here)
Two weeks after our salsa evening, I was getting ready to meet with Andrea again. Like the day of our first kiss, this was not a traditional date. Rather, Andrea had invited me on a night out with her colleagues and friends.
The venue was a large bar with pool tables and a huge dance floor. I arrived very early, and the bar was still almost empty, but Andrea was already there with one of her friends. At first, as is natural, there was a bit of nervousness between us after not seeing each other for two weeks. Several glasses of scotch and the constant stream of introductions because of the new arrivals to the group soon took care of that. As the evening progressed, more and more of Andrea’s colleagues kept showing up. I thought it was a bit curious that she had invited me out to such an event, but as I have since found out, this is simply Andrea’s way: she does not hide much from the people in her life, be they family, friends or colleagues. There was no effort to keep our growing infatuation with each other out of the public eye either; we kept touching and kissing throughout the evening.
But that was nothing compared to when we got up to dance. As one of Andrea’s friends later would describe it, “we were practically doing it on the dance floor”. She was right too, which is why after less than an hour of suggestive and titillating dancing, I leaned closer to Andrea and simply whispered in her ear: “Let’s go home”.
That was all the motivation Andrea needed. We stormed out of the bar, jumped in her car, and drove to my place as quickly as we could. Once there, our clothes disappeared in seconds and we were in bed before we knew it. Before our date, I had a pretty good sense that we would end up in bed, and Andrea expected so too. The anticipation, for both of us, was off the charts. But especially for Andrea. From her confessions to me in our previous meetings, and from what I had pieced together, she had barely had any sex for a year, and she had been fantasizing about us for quite a while.
It would be great if I could now write that what followed was a night of unparalleled passion where we both fulfilled each other’s deepest fantasies. Alas, life does not always work like in a romantic novel. Sometimes, you can know too much for your own good. My knowledge of Andrea’s anticipation and expectations; the whiskey I had inside me from earlier in the evening; my intimidation by the fact that I was in bed for the first time with such a fit and attractive woman; some deep seated insecurities caused by my debacle with Lily; all of this conspired against me. And as every man knows, once problems appear and you start worrying, things can only go downhill from there. To avoid beating around the bush: I didn’t really show up for the main event that night.
We did have sex in the end. Andrea was very understanding and helped me overcome my anxiety. She also did not seem to be disappointed at all; my guess is that she was already so into me that she was more than happy with spending the evening together and getting to the physical level of our relationship. But I was upset by my performance. Meeting expectations (either set by others or by myself) is something I take seriously. I felt like I had something to prove after that night.
Luckily, that was not the last time I saw Andrea. Not by a long shot.
I have already hinted at the fact I was spending some time back home these past two weeks. It was an opportunity to get some paperwork and personal chores done, and also see my family. Of course, I took the opportunity to catch up with old friends too.
I was walking down the road with a childhood friend, Becker, when he pointed to a girl standing at the street corner and said “who would have thought it? There’s Christine!”. Good thing I was with Becker; my observation skills, as I have said before, are just terrible. I would have just walked by Christine if I was on my own.
Christine is a girl who, about 15 or so years ago, dated Becker’s brother, as well as a couple other of my friends over the years, so I used to hang out with her on and off. She was a bit too much of a party person for me, and she also seemed to jump around our friends a bit too easily, so after a while I decided she is not exactly my cup of tea. As the years went by, we lost touch; and I hadn’t seen her for 8 or 9 years.
Christine used to be a swimmer and I remember her having a great body, and she has always been a fun person to be around. For these reasons I used to be attracted to her. Of course, my 23 year old self was too timid and clueless to do anything about it. I settled for being the perpetual “friend” instead.
Christine was very happy to see me and invited me out for a drink. I had no plans for the evening, so I accepted. Her business partner and ex-boyfriend, Lex, was drinking with her, and I spent the night getting to know him a little bit and catching up with Christine. Time has not been extremely kind on Christine, but she still looks good for a 36 year old. I found my attraction for her had not completely evaporated.
A couple days later, Christine texted me and invited me out for a drink once more. Lex was there again (of course), but this time something was different. Christine seemed to be giving me all the signs in the book, despite Lex’s apparent unease. The three of us formed a strange triangle, and they resolved to take me out to every single bar in town, supposedly to honor me as the “guest from America”. In reality, the two of them had transparent and competing ulterior motives: Christine was trying to spend more time with me and see where things could go, and Lex was trying to cockblock me by getting me drunk.
Here’s the thing: I don’t get drunk. I never have, and probably never will. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, my size is a big factor; I need very large quantities of alcohol to even feel buzzed. Secondly, I seem to have a high tolerance for chemicals and substances. Thirdly, I am not actually a fan of drinking that much. Even if I push myself and start consuming drink after drink, I normally start feeling sick before I feel much else, and I stop drinking any further.
So in this case, two things ended up happening: I spent the entire night, until 6am, bar-hoping and not paying for a single drink, since Lex kept buying me drinks and shots; and Christine and Lex found themselves very, very, very drunk, whereas I was still only slightly buzzed. Lex did manage to achieve his primary goal: even though I briefly entertained the idea during the night, I wasn’t going to take Christine home at 6am and completely drunk.
But Christine did openly confess her attraction and intentions to me (not that this wasn’t clear even before spoken), and she asked me to go out with her the next night as well, promising that this time it would be the two of us. I agreed, but explained to her that this would be my last opportunity to go out: the day after that I would have to stay in to get ready and pack for my very early morning flight back to the USA.
Unfortunately, the long night and drinking caught up with Christine, who slept right through the next afternoon, evening and night. My last day was a very busy one, and as I had explained to her, I had no time for anything else. Nevertheless, Christine completely blew up my phone. In the end, she called me at midnight and asked me to go by her place at that time. I was exhausted, fighting a cold, and knew I had 4 hours of sleep ahead of me if I was lucky. And to be honest, I wasn’t even that interested to begin with. I declined Christine’s advances and bid her goodbye.
Despite the anticlimactic ending, this little adventure was symbolic for me of how far I’ve come in the last year. Until a year ago, I was still the same guy as 15 years ago, the kind of guy who liked a girl and didn’t do anything about it. Now, I attracted the same girl without even wanting to or making an effort, and had her practically begging for me to take her home. When Christine told me that she feels very attracted to me, she also expressed her shock in that fact. I completely understand where she was coming from. I have changed a lot in the last year.
One of this days, I am going to decide if this change is for the better.