The Most Romantic Date I’ve Been On- Meeting Chance for the First Time (Part 1 of 2)

I met a guy. On the internet. Well, technically on a dating app. And technically I met three guys before him. But this post isn’t about those other guys. This post is about Chance. I gave him that pseudo name a couple days after we matched. It just felt right. He’s a year younger than me and while I haven’t done a ton of dating myself, I clearly remember wise women in my life telling me not to ever date younger men. “Guys mature slower than girls”, they said. “Only date younger guys if you want a boy not a man”, they said.

 

First Impressions

So, even though Chance is only a year younger than me, I was wary. He didn’t have much on his profile either. Just a few pictures of him in a cozy sweatshirt with his curly hair or him on a beach. His scant profile was generic with the typical interests cited: anime, movies, and one somewhat standout thing- that he is learning to play guitar. What can I say? He’s cute. I swiped. A few days later so did he. And like that we matched. I understand that’s not the most romantic story, but what would follow comes close.

He said “hey” (plus a happy emoji). Not something cheesy or a pick-up line. Just hey. That was red flag number one. Haha, just kidding, I remember thinking that was odd as it had not been my experience with the other guys. Either way, I forged on and we struck up a conversation. We talked about several different things. Not at all forced or overly formal like it had been with the other guys. I remember thinking he’s super chill. We eventually got to the topic of him learning to dance. To which, I replied I’d like him to teach me a few moves. He said he was just beginning and that I’d have to be the judge of his dance skills. I saw my chance and I took it!

Mind you, I’d been waiting for this guy to ask me out on a date for a couple days now. So, what did I do? He said I’d be the judge of his dance skills, so I slyly responded, “When’s judgement day?” That’s (sadly) one of the coolest moments of my life. X) And just like that, I had a date with Chance. That whole process was different too. I guess I did ask him out, but I assumed he’d take over from there. Nope! He gave me a range of days, I gave him a range of times then he asked if I had any place in mind. It’s kind of cool how we decided on the date together.

 

Date Part 1: The Café

Tuesday sometime after 5 pm at a random café I picked from Google maps. Those were the official date plans. I got out of my rotation early that day to procrastinate for our date. I ended up showering and getting dressed then dashing out the door, wet hair and all. I almost jogged to the café (which was about ten minutes away) where I waited in front of a big green bush until Chance arrived. He was about 15 minutes late. It was cute how we found each other. He sent me a text he was outside but couldn’t see me, but that he was wearing a blue shirt. I’d already told him I was wearing a black and white shirt. We both turned a corner in the tiny parking lot in front of the café and seemed to notice each other at the same time. That was cute.

Ah! Detail. We’d been messaging in English ever since we matched. So, I said hello in English when I met him. He responded in English with saucers for eyes. I smiled and laughed internally, deciding “Spanish. Definitely switch to Spanish”. X) With that, I began speaking to him in Spanish. I could see him breath again and knew that was the right choice.

I’d never been to this café before, so it was a tad awkward to go inside and try to order. He’d never been to this café either. Eventually though, we ordered a coffee and sat down to talk. It was the epitome of small talk. All polite and neat. Eventually we finished our drinks and I waited for him to make some excuse to leave.

Instead! He asked if any of the pastries/ baked goods had looked appetizing. He wanted to keep talking! ❤ Aw! I’m not a complete idiot, so I followed him to the counter to pick out something sweet. I got some corn bread and he got a slice of carrot cake. A few moments later as we sat nibbling our respective treats, he asked if I’d like a bite of carrot cake. Cute! I offered him some of my corn bread and we continued chatting. Eventually he asked if he was everything, I expected he’d be. I said, mostly. However, I expected him to be more extroverted. He seemed to be by via text, but here I was chatting incessantly to fill up space. Boring stuff about my internship mostly. :p

He said he’s usually shy around new people, but is a completely different person with his closest friends. I smiled. I’m the exact same way. I suppose many “shy” people are this way. There’s just has to be trust to be oneself. Cake was gone. What now? He answered that quickly. “Want to go for a walk or something?”, he asked. My heart sang. “Yes!”, I replied.

 

Date Part 2: The Drive

Once we got outside though, he paused and asked if I preferred to walk or drive around for a bit. I thought for a second then said that as long as I ended back in my neighborhood, I was good with either. He chose the drive, so I hopped in this red Mazda to parts unknown. I didn’t ask and he didn’t tell. Maybe dangerous, since I don’t really know this guy, but definitely exciting. Here, in his car, he started to ease into the moment and the conversation. From this point onward, my memory turns hazy. It feels like a dream.

He told me he’s clumsy. I bragged that I’m also super clumsy, but oddly I stumble at least three times a week, but never fall. “I’ve mastered the art of catching myself!”, I said proudly. He told me about someone robbing his car some time back. I shared I’ve only had my bike stolen before and that broke my heart, couldn’t imagine someone robbing my car (which is back in Texas). He verified that I’ll only be in Puerto Rico till the end of my internship in June. Five months. I’ll be here for another five months. I asked what his future plans are and he said after graduating this summer, he plans to stay in Puerto Rico for a few more months before probably moving to the United States (Miami, Florida).

 

Date Part 3: Old San Juan

When we stopped, we were in Old San Juan. Everyone I know says it’s a must visit. They quote the nightlife and the art and history. What they didn’t mention is how beautiful the architecture is. The streets are big and open. A giant plaza. Here we started walking (again, I have no idea where to) and talking about his photography. That’s a big thing that stood out to me: his appreciation of beauty. So genuine. We found a bench to sit and chat. It was peaceful. There were lights in the distance from ships and buildings. The bench we were sitting on was a few feet from the marina and on the other side was the path to what Chance referred to as “the castle”, a historical looking building.

After some time, we walk up that path and find another bench by the castle as we chat about tattoos (Chance has two; I fear permanence). There are other people here hanging out around the benches a little ways away from us. Two steps- no, not even! Chance goes around the left side of the bench and probably sat down the exact moment my ankle gave out and I fell shin first onto the gravely rocks surrounding the bench. Ouch! Haha, real life foreshadowing. I shouldn’t have bragged about my not falling skills.

Luckily though, as part of that conversation, I’d also mentioned how I hate it when people try to help me up if I do fall and how my first instinct is to hop up and pretend like nothing happened. I don’t like making it a big deal. And that’s exactly what I did. I was laughing so hard! I jumped up cackling and limped to the opposite side of the evil bench to sit next to Chance. He was laughing too, asking if I was okay between chuckles. I assured him I was perfectly fine. And that if I wasn’t, I would never admit it. X)

It hurt, guys. A lot. Later when I assessed the damage, turns out I earned a conglomeration of about four to five big, ugly, green bruises on my right shin, one deep brown bruise on my left shin, and even a tiny brown bruise on my inner forearm. What the heck? Who knows, but at the moment I just laughed it off, trying not to let my wincing let on how much pain I was in. Who decorates the last step around a bench with rocks?!

Who knows how, but the next memorable part of this section of the night, apart from him asking me to ask him questions (he said he liked seeing how flustered I’d get trying to think of something) was when he subtly bragged about his kissing skills. It was something like “people say I’m a good kisser, but I don’t know, that’s just what they say…”. Oh, I got the hint, guys.

 

Interlude: A Word on Affection and Promiscuity

Let me be real for a sec. I told you guys I’m not promiscuous. Uhh, yes and no? See, I like affection. Physical or otherwise. But I don’t often get physical affection. At home, yeah, my mom and dad (even my brother sometimes) would give out free hugs. My best friend greets me with a hug. I have a cuddly dog. Here? For seven months I’ve been on a literal island. No family. A different version of friends (all interns which means they are also my peers). None of which are huggy types. Least of all the one I spend most time with (my roommate Axyl). It’s not like I need hugs to survive, but I admit they do help immensely.

Mini rant over. My point being, I’m deficient in hugs and cuddles. I figured this whole dating thing could give me a version of that. Hand holding and maybe a kiss at the end of dates, I didn’t think it’d be something I’d be morally conflicted about. I figured it’s logical. I want affection. Here are people who are looking for some sort of romantic relationship, which last time I checked, usually involves physical contact to some degree. It’s a dating app, not a church group. People know what they are signing up for. I figured, a kiss is a kiss. It doesn’t have to mean anything. I don’t have to be attracted or want a relationship out of someone to kiss them. That’s what I wanted to believe.

But when Chance brought up the topic, hinting at an opportunity to prove my new life philosophy right, I changed my mind. I thought, “I don’t really know this guy. I can’t kiss him!”. I did want that connection. Kisses do mean something to me. I still feel bad I held the hand of the first guy I went on a date with a week prior to writing this post and not going on a second date with him. Gosh. Do I feel bad. But yes, so I care. I’m a hopeless romantic who craves the touch of another human. Nothing strange about that.

 

Date Part 4: Romantic Rain

So, I glazed over his comment and changed the subject. I think Chance got the hint, because he didn’t insist. A guy who understands subtle hints. That, I like. It means he truly understands how I think. Or that’s how I interpret it. At this point, it’d started to sprinkle, so the people around us started walking back to the safety of their cars or restaurants nearby. On the other hand, Chance and I, though I don’t remember the topic, were engrossed in conversation, so I only mildly noticed the little droplets from the sky. Soon though, those droplets turned into drop-lots! (….I’m sorry. I had to.) We looked at each other and agreed to start walking back down the path away from the castle.

And walk we did! I mentioned to him how he’s the first person I know that doesn’t exaggerate about the rain. He walked. Didn’t run or try to even cover his head from the sky water. He just walked, calmly and contently. Right by my side. 😊 It was beautiful.

The crystalline water dripping off his strong jawline and the curls in his hair shone a light on his attractiveness and made him the epitome of male beauty. Maybe I read too many romance books… And the night isn’t over yet! Maybe about halfway there. But I hardly expect anyone to make it through what I’ve already written, so, this calls for a part two! Now, I’m a lady, but you turn on the heat and water turns to steam. If you didn’t understand that… don’t worry about it. XD If you catch my drift, come back for part two to read about the exact boiling point. 😉 Okay, I’m done with the lame chemistry puns. (Ha! Chemistry!) Okay, okay, I’m seriously done!

Thanks for reading. Expect part two by next Friday, February 22nd!

An Exchange – Personal Poetry Collection

This is a bit of a cop out, but…. I’d rather do this than not post anything. Soo, remember I have a myriad of hobbies? Welp, here’s the poem that started it all. I wrote it for English class during 11th grade.  I got a good grade on it which encouraged me to keep writing more poems. Not sure if that was a good thing or not, but it was definitely a thing. X)

The assignment was to write a poem about love. It could be made up or real. Mine was inspired by a kind friend. (Link to the briefest of mentions about AJ here.)

***

An Exchange

January, 2013

He cares for you and protects you from harm.

You care for him but can not protect him.

He stays by your side despite your alarm.

He risks himself to help you from the rim.

 

Useless, you stand by as he thinks of you.

Meanwhile you think of him, and decide: no.

The unfairness overwhelms you. You rue

the time you met him. You wish he would go.

 

You must not burden him. He matters more

than your silly problems. This you know well.

With this you withdraw. You become poor.

You yearn for his thoughts. You yearn for his smell.

 

Him without your problems and you without

his company, makes you think, makes you doubt.

 

 

What I’ve Lost and What I Should Not Find… Yet Or Maybe Ever.

Originally Published February 26, 2018

It’s hard to live life missing something, but it’s almost impossible and tangibly painful when you are aware of what it is you are missing. What I am struggling with is common. Boys. Ick! I never really cared for them in a romantic sense. They were my buddies growing up. I associated girls with drama and guys were so much more chill. It was easy hanging out with them. Sometimes, yeah, I’ll admit often times, I’d flirt. In my last year of middle school I discovered the joys of flirting. It flustered guys and that made me feel good. It made me feel powerful. Influential. Important. Though, I did not date in my school years, I flirted. Still today, I’m a big flirt.

It was like a game to me. How to make the opposite sex blush. Because that’s often how it would go with the boys in my league. They were shy and quiet types. Often intellectuals. On one of these occasions I got an offer I’d never gotten before. A next step, if you will. By this time, I was 20 years old. I’d gone on one, I repeat, one (there was no second!) date. And now I was offered a relationship request. The last time I had been asked to be someone’s girlfriend was in fifth grade. I ran off the playground and left that kid standing there with his heart in his hands! So you can bet, I considered this request.

In the end, I accepted. This changed my life in too many ways to count. The one change I’m struggling with now is simple. I, for the first time in a romantic sense, got love and affection and attention. Up to this point, I lived my life solitary. It was my normal. It wasn’t a problem. It was just my life. I didn’t know another way… until my first relationship. Yes, my first relationship was at 20 years old. Actually, a month before turning 21! I just barely committed to someone before having my first shot. Also, yes, I did wait until I was 21 to drink. This tells you even more about the type of person I was… maybe still am.

My long winded point being that by experiencing a relationship I got to experience all the wonders that come along with it. For the first time in my life, I had a person. My person. Someone I trusted with all of my secrets. I trusted him with my whole being. I never felt judged. This was HUGE for me. As you lovely readers may have picked up on, I’m wary of people. I don’t open up easily. I have a twinge of paranoia about everyone and everything. I surprised myself with him. I gave myself totally and, arguably, gave more than I had to give.

In return, I got love. Love so deep and beautiful that I had never experienced before. People have loved me before. My parents, friends, and family members, of course. But never an other. Never someone completely distant. Never a stranger who owed me nothing. Never someone who I could not explain away his care for me. Because before we were in a relationship we were strangers. He had no reason to love me. But he did. We clicked. We understood each other. That was one of the biggest things for me. No one had ever tried to understand me. Not my friends, or even my parents. He not only tried to understand me, but I sincerely believe that he did.

Aside from understanding, and genuine love, I got something I had never experienced with anyone before: physical affection. Since I had gone on one date in my life prior to this relationship, I had not done so much as sit next to a boy before him. With him, I learned the beauty of holding someone’s hand and crying in someone’s arms. I was so jittery in the beginning. I could not sit still. I didn’t know how. He taught me it’s okay to just lay with someone. Just lay together and enjoy each other’s presence.

I don’t have that anymore.

It was okay before I ever had it, because I did not know what I was missing. Since I didn’t know, I did not feel like I was missing anything. Back then, love and hugs were like a fairy tale to me. They were this mythical creature that I’d run into in the future. Not a concern of the present. Even after breaking up, I wasn’t too torn up about this. I went a bit extreme. That, “I swear off boys” phase. I really was done. No hugs, no love? I really did not care. I did not want it. I had it and it hurt me. It was not worth it.

But now…

If no one had poked my bubble. I would have done fine on my own. I was adjusting well back into singledom. But someone popped my bubble. Now I crave. I want. I need. But I don’t have. And it’s killing me.

I know I let him pop my bubble. It’s just so hard to say no when I have seen life outside this wretched bubble. But it is not time. This is not my hand to hold. I need to remember, and accept, that my life is meant to be alone. I need to be my own best friend. My own support. My own care giver. Then, and only then, can I think of a partner.

Please, wish me luck.