Tonight, I met BFD for dinner at our upscale chinese joint, the frequent site of our midweek dates. It is convenient to us both and the food is really good. More importantly, it’s really comfortable with great, unobtrusive service and we’ve often had long, involved conversations there. Like tonight.
Tonight, we told each other the truth about things I do not know that we have ever shared with anyone else. I know I shared things with him I’ve never told A. I cannot imagine he has ever told a romantic partner what he told me.
I have not been giving BFD enough credit. Because I have been depressed, and stressed, and navel-gazing, I just assumed that he was not really paying attention to me. I kept thinking that I needed to prove myself to him in some way, without realizing that he knows exactly who I am, without realizing that he is with me because he sees me clearly.
I have known that he knows I am intelligent and interesting and well-educated and sophisticated and cool. I know he finds me very attractive and he has been very clear with me (and with others) that he is “addicted” to being with me. He keeps integrating me into his life, taking care of me to the extent I let him, and he asks for my opinion or for my permission on personal things and business things.
Despite having known this for a while, I still have not really understood that he sees me accurately. He has been paying attention to everything I have been telling him and everything I have not said. He hears what I don’t say. He knows me.
This tight connection between us got even tighter last night. I asked for his in-depth advice on my deal with BP and he was amazing. He not only explained why BP’s offer was the right move for me, but he also told me why I was insulted at first. (Spot on.) Then, he asked for my help with something so real that our discussion of it alone raised the stakes for us and made us closer. He asked me because he trusts me. I told him the truth because I trust him.
We have been testing each other for weeks about it, to see if the other one flinched. We didn’t. We told each other the truth and we each stood firm together.
Who knows if we have a truly long-term future together, but I do know that he would be my first call in any situation. I know he would be there. He would rescue me. And he knows I would do the same for him.
BFD had come to the restaurant straight from the gym in shorts and a nice t-shirt. I showed up in skinny jeans, a low-cut, fitted t-shirt, looking slightly glam, but definitely dressed down (for me).
Though I was only four minutes late, he had already ordered for us (I always get the same thing, and he now craves it, too) and was playing hold ’em on his phone, so we played a couple of hands together while we waited. We spoke a bit about the challenges he is facing in business, which are many and complicated.
He was rather exhausted, very stressed out. He looked tired.
He asked what I was working on, so I gave him a brief rundown on the BP deal, which became a really long, really intense discussion of the industry, the business model, and how BP wants to set up the big deal. BFD walked through the industry, the pricing, the financing and really got it immediately.
He started to think through the economics of why the new business model would work, and he loved the vision behind it. I explained to him who BP is and slowly he began to understand how this whole thing came together. Now, he is very interested to meet BP. I know that at some point they will meet. They are both too important to me for that not to happen. I just hope they can each be cool when it does.
Then we moved on to speaking about what my position would be. I outlined BP’s proposal, and he said, “look, Plan, you need to focus on making money and creating wealth for yourself through income, don’t worry about equity because you cannot afford to worry about that right now. You need to think about cash and building up your reserves. If you have a chance to make 2.5x after taxes, you need to do it. There is no other decision to make. You can try to negotiate a different position, but you are not at the point where you can wait on a liquidity event in 5-7 years. You need to make cash now.”
He continued that he has a 5 year plan for himself, but he can afford to wait. I need stability first. He also mentioned he’d sold out of his previous project at a discount to launch this round, which is something he’d never said before, but I had assumed based on other conversations.
He also said, really, all you need is 3x to live well. Then he went through this long interest-rate arbitrage discussion showing how it works. He’s so cute when he does it. Because he often pauses to quiz me, I actually have to pay attention to everything. I only occasionally want to reach across the table to kiss him to get him to shut the fuck up. Though I am no neophyte, I always learn a nuance I had never considered. I see how he became who he is.
Then we got into the weird conversation. Like my boyfriend giving me specific advice on how to run my new business and negotiate my deal with BP was not weird enough.
BFD is a planner, too. He creates multiple paths and he often has to switch tactics as market conditions change. He is always careful in his preparation to give himself enough ways to get out of whatever scenario he finds himself in. He is currently taking a financial hit of probably a million to get out of a position that he knew wasn’t working, so he already knew what it would cost him. He prepared, and now, it’s done.
Because BFD knows exactly who I am and sees me accurately, because he loves and trusts me, he asked for my help on a contingency play he is thinking about structuring. I told him that I could make a call and take care of it for him.
Then I tried to excuse myself for the ladies room (as we had been there drinking tea and eating an impressive volume of chinese food for 90 minutes at that point). He would not let me go. I was like B, I have to go, and he said “yeah, yeah, yeah, so tell me about how this works . . .” He listened to me explain all the mechanics of my piece and he was enthralled. He loves this.
He finally let me excuse myself. When I returned, I said, I could help you, but I want to know why. He said, “well, you never know what can happen and it’s good to be prepared.” He outlined a couple of scenarios that would make the contingency important. True enough.
I reminded him that my early legal career was structuring just these sorts of contingencies for people exactly like him. I take a very conservative approach and none of the plans we created were ever challenged.
He grinned at me and said, “I always figured this about you. I mean, I tease you about it, but I always knew.” Yeah, uh-huh.
He made it clear he was exhausted and we would be ending our date at the restaurant, though he was tempted to go back to my place. We made plans for tomorrow night.
We left the restaurant, with BFD grinning like the cheshire cat. First, he gets to have sex with me regularly, and second, I can help him structure his contingency plan. I can also get him tickets to any sports thing he would ever want to attend, which he also loves, but I forgot to mention that I have a line on tickets for the fight. (They are 1k each, but it should be really good.)
As we walked out, he walked me to my car and said, proudly, how is the car working out for you? I said, honey, it’s great. He stopped me near the car and pulled me against him, while he whispered how much he wanted to be with me but he was just too tired. He was all grabby and affectionate, and told me we’d be together tomorrow. We kissed goodnight and headed off toward home. He was behind me at a light for a couple of minutes and we could not stop staring at each other. I know he continued to consider coming over until he turned one way at the highway, some five minutes later, and I turned the other.
That chemistry thing is unreal. We have it and it’s amazing. It’s just there and powerful. After tonight, we have added in a new level of trust, which is the only thing we were missing.
I have been such an idiot about everything. I could blame my insecurities on hormones or stress, but honestly, I think I have been scared to trust him with everything.