• Alyssa Piperis

Unexpected Romance + My Little Fears

It feels like I haven’t written much this last week or so due to what’s been this kind of lazy whirlwind. I admittedly haven’t been very productive this week in terms of writing or meal prepping or working out, yet a lot has happened. I met someone unexpectedly, and there’s a part of me that feels silly writing about it so early on, but I want to talk about how I’m feeling, because I’m not where I’ve ever been before. It’s not like I’ve fallen in love all of a sudden (I don't think my heart's ready for that right now), but I did meet someone that I’ve shared three very long, fairly intimate days/nights with, and it’s bringing up some little fears in me. Maybe not fears, necessarily, just things I want to check in with myself on.

Long story short, my friends are engaged. They had this really fun bowling engagement party last Sunday night, and I met someone there. We’ll call that someone “B.” I had my eyes on B from the moment I stepped into the bowling alley, but I ended up having a really great, long conversation with another guy I was feeling out. As the night went on, B and I ended up bowling together. We flirted, exchanged phone numbers, and at some point we realized we had met very briefly about a year and a half earlier, and we both had had our eyes on each other but eventually forgot about the encounter. After he and I had both driven separate friends home to different parts of Los Angeles, he went out on a limb and texted me, because he wanted to keep hanging out. I was hesitant at first, unsure of his intentions, and before I could respond, he hit me with, “No intentions,” followed by a little explanation that he just had a good time with me and didn’t want the night to end. And that, to me, was very sexy. I’m a forward person, and if I like someone I want the night to keep going for as long as possible, so I appreciated him making moves. He told me to park my car at home, put on something warm, asked me what my favorite snack was (since he was making a 7/11 stop), and he picked me up in his truck about twenty minutes later around 1:30am. We hung out until about 5am and even made the semi-long drive to Malibu to walk along the beach. We kissed in his car and talked, and it was very nice. So, that was Sunday to Monday. We hung out again on Wednesday night, this time until 4am. And then this Sunday (yesterday), he came in to visit me and my coworker (our mutual guy friend who’s engagement party we met at) at our restaurant during brunch. B hung out at the bar until I was off work, then I took him on a Target run, took him to my favorite secret hiking spot, we got sushi and ice cream sandwiches, and then we shared lots of innocent conversation, laughs, and kisses in my bed until 2am. I even did my whole bedtime routine, which involves taking my makeup off and doing all my acne med stuff, which meant I was comfortable with him. My acne/scarring and the skin stuff I’m dealing with has been a presence in my life for about a year and a half now, but I haven’t seriously dated anyone while going through any skin issues before. This is all new to me, and it’s been incredibly frustrating. But, I showed B my current scarred face, and we lied in my bed for a while with me feeling as vulnerable as hell, and it was alllll good. So, that’s a huge step for me in general. Feeling comfortable enough to show someone my bare face where it’s at right now is a big deal to me. And B could not have been sweeter about it.

Sooooo, that’s that. But there’s more. Yes, this post is about my unexpected connection with B, but it's also not about that. It's about me. Where I'm at and what I'm confused about.

I find myself feeling comfortable and couple-y with someone for the first time in a long time, and as nice as it is, I have a lot of question marks and some bits of stress.

I’m the most independent I’ve ever been in my life, and that’s still kind of this new and exciting thing. I’m figuring out what I want to do with my newfound independence and if my heart is even ready to let someone in. I’m also about to begin this six-month long acne medication that has side effects that may mess with my self-esteem a little, and I’ve committed to abstinence, because that’s part of the process. I’m struggling to figure out my feelings about everything. Although I’ve gained this independence that I hold so close to me and don’t think I’ll let go of, I know that I’ve been somewhat dependent in my previous relationships, and I lost myself in both of them without meaning to. And that’s because I hadn’t really figured out who I was yet. But I’ve figured myself out so much over the last year and a half, and I just wonder, Am I ready to let someone else into this world I’ve created for myself? I’ve become so comfortable alone, and it took me months and months to feel comfortable sleeping alone post-breakup. But now I'm totally fine sleeping alone. It's just what I do. It’s only been a week with B, but he’s so into me and makes me feel so appreciated already. That freaks me out, because oftentimes guys that show a ton of interest early on and fall hard quickly end up not being able to sustain that. My first boyfriend was someone who talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk. He was a nightmare of a boyfriend, but he hid it so well for a while with big romantic gestures and beautiful words that I held onto. I know B’s not like that, and we’ve talked about this and so much more in such a short period of time… I just get nervous. I know this sounds kind of insane and premature, but this isn't me overthinking and getting crazy ahead of myself. I'm just feeling things and working through my emotions. A.k.a. I'm a human, yo. All these little worries I’m talking about aren’t really about B so much as they are about me just reflecting on myself, where I’m at, and what I’m feeling. I want to let myself explore things with B but also take it slowly, both for me to figure out what I’m really feeling and because there’s this wedding in October that B and I will both be at, physically, no matter where we are emotionally at that point in time in relation to each other.

With B, I already feel myself falling back into the girlfriend version of me (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, but I need to be careful), so I’ll purposely say no to plans on consecutive days, because I know how quickly I jumped into things in the past, and I need to give myself room to breathe and reflect. In both my serious relationships, I got lost in the excitement, and it was like, We hung out tonight and had a great time, so let’s hang out again tomorrow. And while that’s fun and part of the honeymoon stage, it can easily cause you to not check in with yourself. It’s so important for me right now to give myself space and not be making plans with a guy every night we can. I need my time to be creative and see my other friends and go to my improv rehearsals and work out and cook and see where my head is really at without being distracted by the excitement over connecting with someone who’s clearly very into me.

It's interesting, because I've dated more than anyone else I know-- even my friends who are five to ten years older than me. I'm really letting myself live out my 20s and date tons of different guys to put myself out there and see what I'm into (which has evolved a lot over the last few years). And I know how rare it is to feel excited about someone and comfortable enough to let go and really flirt and share deep and silly things. I’ve dated enough and experienced love enough to know that some things can feel really good and meant to be, but not actually mean much in the grand scheme of things. I’ve connected with guys before and had this feeling of, “Holy shit, I could listen to him talk forever. I feel like this could be the guy.” And it didn’t last long. Sometimes it did, sometimes it didn’t. Sometimes you just feel something strongly and think it has to mean something big, and that’s just not the case for whatever reason, or no reason at all.

But yeah, every now and then I'll meet someone who I feel comfortable with, whether or not there's a real, long-lasting romantic spark there. I think people--and by "people" I mean friends of mine, not the guys I date--sometimes mistake my comfortability and openness for falling quickly. In reality, though, I don't fall quickly at all. I'll have moments of, "Wow, it feels really right with this person right now." But I know it takes so much more than a good feeling to truly fall in love with someone and make that last a long time. That's why I've had to let down so many genuinely good guys over the years. So, while it's easy for me to fall into comfort and girlfriend-y tendencies with a guy (like right now), that isn't me falling quickly. I'm just a very open person. If I'm comfortable with you, I want to share things about myself and learn things about you. However, I'm way too self-aware to fall quickly for someone. There's lots of important conversations I need to have and things I need to know before I'm like, "Dang, he's fucking incredible. I can't imagine anyone else better for me right now." Because, let's be real, there's a lot of guys out there. I pick up on red flags easily, and my eyes and thoughts wander. But that's just because I'm looking for the person who excites me the most and makes me feel like there couldn't possibly be someone better out there for me. That's the goal. I'm a big fan of that goal.

I think right now I just have to keep checking in with myself. I want to take things slowly to an extent, but also let myself get excited and connect on deeper and deeper levels with B if that’s what feels right to me. And we’ve already talked about so many things-- our past relationships, the good and bad in our exes, what we're looking for, what we dream of, our families, etc. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but these are the feelings I have, and that’s totally fine. I want to stay independent and keep being okay sleeping alone, but also be open to sharing my bed with someone else on occasion.

I want to just explore and let go, and if this lasts a long time, cool. If not, it will have been an exciting little moment in time that leads me to even better moments in time.

Oy, all these human emotions! Beautiful and chaotic and all the things. I’ll just be here tryna figure my shit out.

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