This time last year, I was trying to recover from my heartbreak after A decided to end our relationship. His impetus had been my birthday, and he decided he should end things so I could find someone who wanted to have a family.
I spent the first few months of 2008 actively Not Dating. I was recovering, focusing on myself, my personal goals, and not crying when people asked me about A.
I started dating BP before I was aware that I was dating him. Then I went out on a date with N, a friend of W’s I met at a gala. The next week, I was with BFD. I am still amazed that BFD and I are together, that we met in the first place, and that we are as connected as we are.
BFD was exactly what I was looking for, before I realized I was really looking.
Eleven months ago, I read a great post on Eleanor’s Trousers entitled Why I Voluntarily Live With a Crazy Person. It was a lovely discussion of her (now ex) fiancé. It inspired me to start thinking about my exes at a time I was not yet comfortable truly contemplating dating. Still, I wrote about My Interesting Exes:
The only common thread among the significant men in my life is that I find them interesting. Really that’s it: a variety of ages, ethnicities, and styles, nearly all were objectively handsome, and had absolutely nothing in common with each other aside from dating me. . . . . I dare say the next Mr. Planner will an interesting man — at least to me. Other than that, he could look any way, and do anything (or nothing). I just don’t see myself falling for someone romantic because it’s never happened.
Instead, I have fallen for strivers and slackers, philosophers and philosopher kings, entrepreneurs and entertainers, athletes and educators, and yes, a politician.
Score one for sticking with what I know. The two significant men I dated this year fit my pattern perfectly: very interesting and objectively handsome, and Not Romantic.
I could tell things were changing in March, when I wrote:
For the second day in a row, I ended a business call with the man on the other end, who I have never met, flirting with me. Setting aside the inappropriateness, I am actually rather flattered.
It’s one of those giant messages from the universe that lets me know that I am back. I am carrying myself with the confidence and general awesomeness that makes strangers order others off a conference call to continue a conversation about my general awesomeness. It is true, I am awesome.
The confidence I feel in myself and my abilities carries through in everything that I am doing. I cannot directly correlate my change in attitude to my weight loss, but I do know that I actively avoided some social situations because I did not feel like I looked like myself and I did not feel like myself.
When BP and I traveled out of the country together at the end of May, we realized there was an attraction between us, though we did not discuss it. We were in adjoining rooms and we had them open the doors. He picked my clothes, hairstyle, etc. He told me he had picked out two potential husbands for me — who were exactly like him, but younger. I should have realized what was happening then, but I am oblivious. I just knew I had a bit of a crush on him.
We started spending even more time together throughout the summer, which lead to my pre-birthday dinner with him when all was confessed, soberly. We held hands in our favorite neighborhood joint and agreed that it was impossible and nothing could happen. We repeated it in the car, where we sat, looking at each other in the dark. He kissed me on the neck, a reference to the unwanted neck kiss I had received the night before from one of JF’s friends, and eventually kissed me with “just birthday kisses.” That lasted for two hours. Nothing else happened then and did not advance much further throughout August.
At the end of August, I wrote:
I have no idea really what will happen from here. I like him. He likes me. We flirt. We speak constantly. We are very close and getting closer. Eventually, I will have to end it. I will have to date someone with whom I can have a future. Though it saddens me to say this, I cannot see it lasting through January, if that long. He knows that I want a family and, despite what he has said, I just cannot see him wanting to have a family with me at this point in his life.
We know we are supposed to be together. We just are. There is no telling for how long or to what intensity. We could fall for each other or we could call the whole thing off.
BP became ill at the end of August, and was ill throughout the beginning of September. He had a horrible conversation with me in mid-September. It was awful — a terrible, painful conversation in which I knew he was lying to me about not caring for me and he knew I knew he was lying.
But I took him at his word and moved on, which is what we both knew had to happen.
The next weekend, I attended a gala with W as his stand-in date. I met N, with whom I drunkenly fiirted so outrageously I had no idea he was there on a date. Oops. I also assumed he was gay. Oops. I saw him again the next night at a cocktail party and he asked me out, so I accepted.
The next Friday was my first date with N and it was Not Good. On paper, he was good: very successful, famous in his world, philanthropic, handsome. But, the date was extremely disappointing. He was clueless and uncouth. I was just turned off by everything he did and said. I was so bored that the best part of my date was talking to BP after the date.
Two days later, I joined eHarmony. I reached out to BFD on the day I joined because his profile was interesting, we had a shared passion, and he was handsome, if not exactly my type. I heard back from him right away, but it took him a couple of days for him to send me questions. That was the most amazing day. We exchanged questions, then email and we had agreed to our first date.
Our first date was the Best First Date Ever. It has been nearly three months now and I have fallen for him, hard.
It’s still a little uncertain — we do not get to spend much time together, he has been very stressed out over the last month, traveling constantly, and we’ve not been speaking as regularly. It’s hard being apart and I think about him every single day. We were instantly comfortable and now that I have stopped fighting the fact he is my boyfriend, I have relaxed enough to let BFD be himself without getting all tortured and weird (all the time). And, the sex . . . causes us both to wax rhapsodic and send slightly inappropriate texts or emails, which is not us at all.
I cannot imagine that he is as enthralled with me as I am with him, but then I realize that I am exactly what he has been looking for at a time when he wants to settle down. When I think about it from his perspective, I realize that he’s incredibly happy. He gets a girlfriend he has been crazy about from the beginning, who is equally crazy about him. He gets enthusiasm and support for everything he does and he does the same for me. Our existences can be so scattered and lonely, so finding each other and being there for each other has been remarkable.
There is so much that can go wrong and the stakes are so high, but I am just thrilled beyond belief that I met him, that we’re together, and that we are so happy, open, and honest with each other.
It is hard to believe how much has changed in a year.