A few years ago, I was in an imperfect but mostly content relationship. My then boyfriend of two and a half years (we’ll call him The Ex) was my first love. No matter how shitty our relationship tended to be, I was convinced that he was the love of my life. Ahh, naivete…
Side note: Before we started dating, The Ex was the Ego-Booster/Unavailable Guy in my dah. He started dating me within a month of breaking up with his previous girlfriend. I came to realize over the course of our relationship that he was the exact same guy in about five other girls’ dahs… Ugh.
Anyway. Enter, The Hot Sex Prospect.
My Hot Sex Prospect is an artist, four years my senior. He plays electric bass in a rock band and he drinks rum like a pirate. He enjoys ultimate frisbee, doing back flips in the park and jamming with his guitar and harmonica around campfires. The Hot Sex Prospect was The Ex’s roommate.
One summer night in ’08 I went to a bar with a few good friends in Cambridge, MA, including the HSP. The Ex decided to stay home. He told me he was too grumpy and too tired for me to stay at his place, even though the bar was right near his apartment. I was in bad spirits.
I drank a few too many and decided that it would be wise to stay with a friend on her couch. The HSP came to a similar conclusion. One thing led to another and somehow our friend’s couch became the location of the most unbelievable four hours (four hours!!) of passionate lovemaking in the history of ever.
Up to this point, I had honestly thought of the HSP as nothing more than a friend. He was a very interesting person and we had great chemistry on the dance floor, but I had never before been tempted to cheat on The Ex with him. That night though… My eyes were opened. He knew how to touch a girl in ways that she didn’t know she could be touched. It was beyond phenomenal.
The next morning I made him swear never to tell a soul and I tried to go on with my life as usual.
One crisp October day, I was strolling through Harvard Square with The Ex.
Three months had passed, during which I was the shittiest girlfriend ever. At parties, the HSP and I would barely be able to keep our hands off each other. It got really bad, but (to my knowledge) we were okay at keeping it a secret. Even though the secrecy was SO HOT, it was tearing me apart. I cried constantly.
I wanted to have fun with the HSP and still keep my idealized future with my boyfriend. I knew that I couldn’t go on this way, but I couldn’t bear to choose between one and the other. To me, they each seemed to have their positives and negatives. Even though The Ex wasn’t always there for me he was relatively dependable. He was the kind of guy who solidly worked a 9 to 5, watched football on the weekends, and believed that marriage and babies were an inevitability. There was no question that eventually he’d be ready to grow old with someone.
The Hot Sex Prospect on the other hand was undeniably attractive, but he didn’t quite have his life figured out yet. He was struggling to make ends meet, between his art projects and working retail. He was also known for being rather promiscuous and I knew that I wasn’t the first girl he’d slept with who had been in a relationship. I assumed that to him I was just another vagina and I convinced myself that he wasn’t quite “boyfriend material.”
On this October walk with The Ex, the subject of marriage somehow came up and we began talking about how you know when you’re ready to finally tie the knot. I told him that if he asked me at that moment, I would definitely say no. He seemed shocked. And I was shocked that he could possibly be shocked.
I suddenly came to a realization. So many things were wrong with our relationship, but I was failing to communicate that with him. I made a promise to myself in that moment that I would stop crying alone and give our relationship one last genuine effort. And in order to do that, I had to firmly choose him over the HSP.
It was December 7, 2009. Over a year had passed and my relationship with The Ex had come to its inevitable conclusion earlier that week. A few people thought that the HSP was one of the main reasons we broke up, but I had kept my distance after making that promise. We still ran into each other occasionally at parties, but I barely spoke to him otherwise. The real reason we broke up was because we each wanted something very different in life and it was making us both miserable trying to compromise.
On this brisk December evening, I was heading out for a night on the town to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Still very upset about my personal situation, but free to flirt with other guys for the first time in almost four years, I mentally prepared myself for a night of debauchery.
Who should turn up at this party but – you guessed it – Mr. Hot Sex Prospect. Needless to say, I ended up in his arms once again. I went home with him, but felt far too drunk and vulnerable to do much more than cuddle.
The next morning, I wanted to stay. He was being incredibly sweet and I dreaded going home to my apartment, where The Ex still lived. He was happy to let me stay the afternoon, so we watched a movie.
As I lay there in bed next to this man, waves of feelings began to wash over me.
Oh my goodness! I can sleep with him any time now! I’ve dreamt of this for SO LONG! … But wait, what if he wants to be more than lovers?? I’m not ready for that! He’ll probably understand. … But what about later? Is this really the guy I want to be with? What will my friends think? What would my mom think? How could we build something from this relationship that has always revolved entirely around sex???
I became so freaked out that I excused myself to go to the bathroom, grabbed my stuff from the hallway, and fled.
March 2021. I was officially back on the market. With a real one-night stand and a couple OK-Cupid dates under my belt, I felt like I was well acquainted with single life once more. After my initial freak-out moment in December with the HSP, I started to relax about re-kindling my fiery romance with the him. I figured a bunch of my friends have non-committal lovers; why can’t I? I was finally free to sleep with whoever I wanted and I wasn’t about to let some girlie paranoia get in my way.
I was beginning to develop my own true dah for the first time in years… I had found a few ego-boosters, I had The Ex who was still around, I had the hot guy at work. My options were looking good. I had learned that single life could be a tad lonely, but really fun.
Still, no one attracted me quite like the HSP did. He has this way of moving, this sparkle in his eye that gets me every time. Even with all the possibilities I could see for the various men in my life, he was the one I always ended up with on Friday nights. I started to feel like he was irresistible. No matter who my brain wanted to like, it was his name I’d end up screaming.
After a series of amazing nights, I decided we needed to have a “talk” to define our relationship. I know that’s such a stupidly cliche girl thing to do, but it had started getting pretty complicated. As ruggedly sexy as that man is, he’s also sensitive and cuddly and I started getting the vibe that he might enjoy a candlelit dinner just as much as a romp in the bedroom. I still wasn’t ready to be tied down again, and I told him so. He seemed a little taken aback, but we agreed to just date and have some fun.
However, apparently it’s hard for friends to understand the subtle difference between “casual dating” and “in a relationship.” We leave two or three parties together and suddenly there’s a rumor that he’s my boyfriend. The HSP confronted me about these accusations, believing I had made these claims myself.
One very confusing argument about semantics later, I conceded – why the hell not? We made our relationship “Facebook Official” the next day.
Obviously, that isn’t the end of the story. Almost a year later, we’re still together and I love him more than I ever thought I could. My original reasons for worrying about his “boyfriend potential” are still there, but I could go on for days about how funny, honest, talented, devoted, cuddly, strange,and wonderful he surprisingly turned out to be. AND, I get to have The Best Sex Of My Life on a regular basis! Best decision ever.
Now, if only I could figure out how to answer the question, “So, how did you two meet?” Hrmm…….
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