Post by Cali
Over the last 3 and a half years since starting Sex and the Twenties, I have learned countless dating lessons… Brads are bad, there is no such things as no strings attached, you can be friends with an ex, and of course, the very unfortunate one, throwback bangs are only good in theory. (Le sigh!)
And you know what, for the most part, all of this learning and reflecting has been an awesome thing. It has made me self-aware of patterns and reticent of repeating the same mistakes over and over.
However, I think all this learning comes with a price. Allow me to explain.
A little over 3 months ago, I shared a post with you all about the guy I was dating. To sum it up, I really liked him, but everything I had learned about dating in the past told me to run the other way. He wasn’t ready for a girlfriend, he was on the rebound, and he wasn’t too keen on discussing his feelings with me… clearly, if I were to make a decision based on past lessons, then this was an easy one. Walk away.
No surprise, you all agreed. The comments universally said I should let go of this, (actually every single one of them said run) and that I deserved better. And since it was the logical thing to do, I decided to do just that.
So, a few days after writing aforementioned blog post, I informed him we were no longer dating and that I’d like us to try being just friends. I figured, if I can be besties with Mr. Cute but Whiny now (true story), then there’s no reason he and I couldn’t maintain a friendship, amiright?
No, I was wrong. Our friendship lasted all of a week and a half, and was over the first time we hung out. To his credit, he went along with my friendship demands like a true gentleman, but I just couldn’t ignore my feelings for him. I was all over him in less than 2 hours. (I don’t know what to tell you, he’s really very attractive and I have no self control…)
After that night, I knew friendship was out the window, and despite all the signs to run and all the challenges, we’ve continued to date. It has now been a little over 5 months and while it hasn’t been seamless, it has been the best thing to have ever happened to me in my entire life. I am happy to report to you, anonymous friends on the internet, that I am very much in love and for the first time, dating a guy who it makes sense for me to be dating. We are so similar it’s scary (both in what makes us awesome and in our downfalls) and I love him for every aspect of him.
Now, while I’d love to pretend that you all are reading this just to hear the intimate details of my first real love, I’ll go ahead and cut to the chase. Here’s what I want you to consider… All of this happiness, a happiness I never had before and still sometimes don’t fully believe now, happened because I didn’t apply logic. I didn’t “learn” from my past mistakes and run away from something sticky. I waited, and put myself out there. And yes, I’ve been sad from time to time, (I’ve even cried….). BUT I can say without hesitation that it has been completely worth it.
Looking back at what I wrote in that last post only reinforces for me how much our relationship has changed (although I still can’t get him to officially use the world girlfriend…. blimey!). But he has continued to find time for me – canceling other plans in order to see me more than just once a week. He’s let me talk, incessantly, about my feelings and what I am expecting and where I want this to go etc. while being incredibly open and self-aware with me about his feelings. And best of all, his freaking ex moved out of my building and I was finally able to have him over for dinner.
Now are things absolutely perfect? Um no. I am not sure things are ever perfect for anyone. But this is by far the healthiest, most fun relationship I have ever been in. I am loving seeing what it’s like to let my guard down, to just be patient, and to have someone love you for yourself. I am (slowly) learning to be less dramatic about every little bump along the way and instead am working on just being secure in his feelings for me. And while I am excited for all the self growth this relationship has brought me, I am infinitely more excited by the fact that I just like this guy so damn much.
Which brings me to my original point. If there is only one lesson you take from reading my words for the past 3 and a half years, I hope it is this… sometimes you have to just throw out all the other lessons you have learned and just go with your gut. Dating isn’t scientific. It isn’t a guarantee that if you put the same variables into the same situation you’ll get the same outcome. Not to mention the fact that there is no such thing as the same variables. Every person is different, and just because dating one guy on the rebound blew up in my face, doesn’t mean I can’t be happy with another guy in a similar situation.
True, I can’t predict the future, but all I can say is that right now I am really really happy that I decided to ignore logic and go with my gut. Because maybe, just maybe, this “mistake” might end up being something real.