• Alyssa Piperis

January 2019: The Two Guys I've Dated So Far & Wanting Love Over Needing Love

So, as always, where do I even begin? I blog so intermittently that I feel like I’m trying to cover all my bases with each new post, but that’s not necessary. I just want to word vomit some thoughts and feelings about the current state of my love life and sort through some things that have shifted inside of me over the last few years in relation to what I find to be attractive in a potential romantic partner.

We’re not even into month two of 2019, and very strangely enough, the two guys I’ve dated so far this year have both been 35 years old and 6’2’’ in height. I ended 2018/entered 2019 casually seeing someone—the oldest guy I had ever dated up until now, at 35. And then, somehow, the very next guy I dated was also 35. And the same height. So much silly goose shit already.

Aaaaanyway… Normally, when writing on here about my ex-boyfriends and guys I’ve dated, I use the first letter of their first name. But, of course both Mr. 35-Years-Old- And-Six-Foot-Two dudes have first names that start with the letter A. Of course. So, I’ll refer to the first one (the divorcee) as S and the second one as R (the non-divorcee).

Okay, now that we have that settled, let’s get into it. I started 2019 very casually seeing S. He and I had met and connected unexpectedly at the very end of 2018. He happens to be a regular at the restaurant I work at, so we have mutual friends/acquaintances and I’ll be seeing him around for a while. I wrote a whole blog post about that situation and then deleted it, because it made me feel too vulnerable. Yeah, yeah, sometimes shit gets too vulnerable for me, the preacher of vulnerability. I’m human, bruh. I just felt weird unpacking so many thoughts on that so early on, even though it brought up really interesting things inside of me. And that’s mostly because S was the oldest guy I had dated at that point, and he was in the very early stages of a divorce when I met him. I’m 24, so that was new territory for me. As mature as I know I am and other people tell me I am, that’s still a tough situation. S was/is nowhere near ready to pursue another relationship yet (obviously), and I know he’s not my person. But the night we officially met, our connection was undeniable. However, I’ve dated enough to know that doesn’t always mean much.

S and I toyed with the idea of doing the whole casual sex/friends with benefits thing, but ultimately, I called that off before it really began. I’ve never had casual sex in my life, and I think I tried too hard to be all “go women, go sexual empowerment, yada yada yada.” Casual sex has never been my thing, and I was into the idea of it for a hot second there, but I’m really proud of myself for calling it off. We messed around a little bit, but it never went too far for me, thankfully. The day we were going to “embark” on the whole casual sex thing, I went out and spent way too much money on some hot undergarments (so, if nothing else, I got those babies out of this!). Shortly before S was supposed to come over, he texted me to inform me that his soon-to-be-ex-wife had just stopped by to pick up the last of her things, it changed his headspace, and he needed to think on whether or not this was a good night to have sex first the first time since his marriage had ended. I felt this interesting mix of sadness and relief that ultimately led me to realize his ex-wife was a blessing in disguise that night.

I’m not totally against the idea of casual sex in my future (I can figure that out as I go), but this was not the right person or situation. If I’m being totally honest, S turned every conversation and hangout into something sexual, and as much as I like to feel sexy, it made me feel icky above all else. We did have some great conversations and were both very open with each other and on the same page about a lot of things, but things always took a sexual turn due to him. The whole “turning things sexual” thing very well may have been a defense mechanism for S in order to avoid getting too close to someone new so quickly, and that’s fine. It just wasn’t something I could deal with. He and I ended up having a phone conversation in which I called things off, we agreed that was best, and we said we’d be friendly with one another. He’s confessed since then that he regrets bailing the night we were supposed to have sex, because he’s been thinking about having sex with me (except he expressed that in much more X-rated terms), and that just reminds me that he and I aren’t on the same page. I’m not trying to change someone or make them fall for me, in general or before they’re emotionally ready to. I don’t play around like that. I know what does and doesn’t feel right, and I’m pretty dang good at following that.

And then there’s R. There’s not a whole lot to say considering we’ve only been on two simply good dates. But, my connections with S and R have been so different, it’s interesting to have experienced both of them so close to each other.

S and R are the same age (and height *insert shrug emoji here*), but the fact that one was getting out of a marriage when I met him and the other is looking for marriage just makes things so different. I mean, they’re both ultimately looking for marriage, but you know what I mean. With S, there was this electric connection from the moment we started talking. He had left the bar we were hanging out with a bunch of people at and then came back 20 minutes later just for me, because our connection was so intense. He originally left with a friend, but apparently while outside, his friend convinced him to come back to see me, because our connection was so palpable. Buuuut, the immediate spark is something I used to put more stock in than I do now.

To compare/contrast, R and I “met” on a dating app, so there was that first date pressure to feel something. We had a really nice first date, even though the wine I was drinking hit me harder than I was expecting it to. We had a great conversation, our fingers intertwined on top of the table, and the night ended with a really nice kiss (that I went in for, because that’s my power move, thank you very much). R didn’t try to add too much to the kiss, which I so appreciate. So often guys are trying to spice it up and make it super sexy, and I like the first kiss to feel nice and easy. Let your tongue rest, ya know? Save that homie.

In the past, I wouldn’t have liked to describe a date or a kiss as “really nice.” I was always looking for the magic and fireworks and lightning. As I get older, though, I think what I’m hoping for is shifting. I want to be excited about someone for sure. I want there to be a spark. I want to feel comfortable and respected and sexy. But I don’t necessarily need some intense version of that all at once, right away. I think I’ve come to realize that I just want to be consistently pleasantly surprised by someone. I want to have my guard up a little bit, but be hopeful and keep finding myself feeling safe enough to let it down.

So many of the things I used to find romantic and attractive aren’t appealing to me anymore. Up until the last year or so, if a guy referred to himself as “a relationship person” or “a serial monogamist,” I would have eaten that shit up. But now, immediately, I’m like, “Yeah, but are you good at being single?” I want to know if someone has taken time alone to figure out who they are and sort through their issues and trauma so they can be a great partner in addition to being a great person on their own.

As the child of a chaotic divorce, I spent my whole life up until very recently seeking. Seeking and craving love everywhere. I was trying to fill a void and have someone there for me when I felt alone, but I can do that for myself now in a way I never had been able to before. I’m good at being single for the first time in my life. I’m happy being single. I love doing things on my own. If I don’t have as much fun, or more fun, with you than I have with myself, I can’t commit to you. That’s where my head is at.

I had a second date—a brunch date—with R yesterday, and I went to the mall afterward. As I was walking through my favorite mall alone (something I do often), I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “I love that someone isn’t next to me right now.” I don’t know if that was an empowered thought or a “fuck, I’ve become too independent” thought, but it was hard for me to imagine wanting someone standing next to me. I do so much alone, and that keeps me both independent and approachable. In the past, if I was into someone I wanted to spend all my free time with them. But now I purposely don’t plan too many dates early on or say yes to a guy every time he wants to hang out. I need my space to process how I’m feeling and to make sure I’m not jumping into anything. I want time to see if I really miss someone and how much I really enjoy their company.

I don’t come from a place of deep craving anymore. And that’s fucking huge for me. It's a game changer. I’ve been in love twice, but now I see that whatever love I was giving, and however I was receiving love, came from a place of longing and need. I think now it comes from want. I want someone to add value to my life and make things even more fun and exciting than they already are. I want to be happy with someone standing beside me and holding my hand at the mall or in the grocery store. I don’t want someone who wants me to need them. I want someone who understands how much more beautiful it is to be wanted than needed.

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