The Weekend Guy (2015)

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Always play by your own rules. And calendar.

“I’m kind of dating an Argentinian guy, Mia.. but I’m not sure what he wants. I’m not even sure if we are dating”.

This week, I received a few such messages from my female subscribers. Since I am supposedly an expert on the cultural aspect of dating or just have lots of experience being screwed over by foreign men, they assumed I would give them some useful pointers. But should you pursue a Dutch man just because they are known for being passive? Should you play the hot and cold game with the man just because he’s Argentinian?

Well, the short answer is – no you should not. You should have your own set of standards and not try to please him by adhering to his rules. No matter his culture. Because even though I think culture plays a large part in our dating ‘rules’, a man who is truly interested will invest genuine effort in pursuing you. Because a real man who truly wants to see you has to contact you. If not, he just won’t see you again.

No matter if they are Swedish, Japanese or Colombian.

Ironically, as I was receiving all of these messages I was going through a bit of an inner conflict of my own. It’s easy for me to tell you “Don’t call/text him. Don’t go home with him. Set standards” when I spent my own Monday morning with my head glued to the computer reading “The Rule of no Contact” – one of my most go-to sites about dating and one that I have referred to over and over again to remind myself I have standards.

So here is my own (relatively) short story. One that I’m sure many of you have experienced yourselves. The story itself – nothing earth-shattering. But one that really makes me feel united with my female readers: all of us girls who over-analyse, read into the situation, provide excuses for someone and forget our needs completely as we try to figure out what they want.

I met Marc at a language meet-up. I noticed him as I was walking into the bar since he was gigantically tall, big and slightly bearded. The last one did not appeal to me so much. The guy looked like a bit of a terrorist. And as it turned out part Egyptian. Sorry for the bad joke here.

I approached him and his two friends, striking a friendly conversation. His Canadian friend was the one that tried the hardest: poking me, leaning on me, being overly playful. But I wasn’t into him. You probably know I seem to always ignore the Canadian boys and go for the ‘other’. Feeling like the center of attention, I flirted with all three of them.

You know that moment when you feel everyone’s attention on you and you are your most fun self? The moment you are not yet invested? That’s the moment you are your most attractive self.

Marc (who was a mix of Polish and Egyptian) also flirted with me, but ended up leaving us as apparently it seemed like his best friend, the Canadian was ‘scoring’.

After they left, the Canadian tried to get my number but I gave him my Facebook. I wasn’t really interested. Truth be told, not one of them really interested me but I was slightly bored and tired of meeting men through online dating apps. I liked the spontaneity of meeting someone randomly. Something that doesn’t happen often when you live in Toronto.

As the Canadian added me the next day, mentioning how great it was to meet me last night, I did the not-so-nice thing and added his friend Marc on Facebook.

Instantly he messaged me and we began talking. Turned out he was sharing his condo with the Canadian five minutes away from me. We decided to grab a drink on a patio near my place.

Marc showed up looking very attractive in a collared shirt:  tall and big, his face tanned and chiseled, all the waitresses making eyes at him. Right away I felt it – he’s not for me. And I’m not for him. I could picture him sipping martinis in  a lounge with a made up, leggy blonde. I was not that type. And if I could describe my guy’s style it would be athletic/casual, relaxed and playful. Not that Marc wasn’t athletic – a former heavy-weight boxer he came to Toronto for Pan-Am games. From his Facebook photos, he used to be very built but now, due to a lack of real exercise he was getting kind of pudgy.Miami Selects 2011 couple in lounge Web

His eyes glowing a yellowish brown against the sun, Marc drank Caesars like they were water and really got into talking about himself. Sure, he would ask questions about me and even listen, but it wasn’t active listening. It was more like I-will-wait-for-her-to-finish-so-I-can-tell-my-own-story-about-that. I’m always the one that talks the most and sometimes it gets tiring, and I have to admit –  I also get kind of impatient since just like him I have stories about everything! So, it was a strange feeling sitting there like a Japanese wife, my palm against my cheek, listening to his stories with a look of awe. If I got that bit of space to say something, I went bullet style feeling like he would interrupt me. It was actually kind a Speed Dating. From my side at least.

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I love long walks on the beach!

Yet, I was attracted to him. Shoot me, because it’s so hard for me to be drawn to someone but no matter all these warning signals, I still wanted him to like me. And I still wanted to kiss him.

“So why did you really approach us?” asked he, clearly fishing for a compliment.

“Are you trying to get a compliment?” I asked playfully.

“No, no” he denied.

“Ok, well…The truth is that I noticed you outside”

“Oh, you noticed me?” he perked up.

“Yes. And that’s why I came over. Happy you got your compliment?”

“Ah, ok then” he said, reassured I liked him and shifted in the chair contently.

Later on in the date, he began mentioning places and saying he would take me to them. Now that I recall, it came after the compliment was paid.

As we were saying our goodbyes, he seemed kind of shy, but I was two drinks in. At this point the world could come crashing down, but I had to kiss him. Who cared if he talked about himself? If I couldn’t see us together? I just wanted to be attracted to someone.

So, right after the drinks, we stood around talking about his old bike. Now I was grateful for him filling in the silence of what is the most awkward part of all. We did the French double kiss (helps immensely!) and then we were kissing.

As I was walking away, he told me to stay in touch, which disappointed me because that generally means – you do the work cause I won’t, but then mentioned he was free Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The next morning he texted at 7am.

“Hm, I guess he liked me!”  I thought contently as I was getting dressed for work.

He kept on texting the whole day: sending me photos of his work trip, making jokes… And I would wait a couple of hours before replying. Normally, I don’t care for these games, but I was wary of him. He looked too much like a douche-bag to be treated seriously. But when someone texts you so much and answers back immediately, without any games – you can’t help but lower your guard.

He invited me to come to his place since has having some friends over. The Canadian friend was gone to Florida but managed to ask me out again. Twice.

Sorry, I told Marc, I have other plans.

I didn’t want to be available two days in a row. I wanted to be seen as someone who had standards.

When he told me he would go out with his friends I told him to have fun.

Stay in touch, he wrote again.

And then he wrote early on the next day inviting me over again. Seemed he had an array of friends at his place the whole weekend. I was wary of being invited over instead of being asked out separately but I justified it as – he’s spontaneous, he has friends, he wants me to meet his friends (yes, after that one spectacular date! He probably loved my listening skills!) and of course – he’s French. They enjoy the group dating more than our North American official one-on-one.france_dating

I went on a boat ride with my friends and then ran off to his place. I dressed up in a tight black top and jeans as it was quite cool outside. He looked like he was on vacation in shorts and a polo. We kissed hello and he introduced me to his two French friends. I seemed to be the only girl he not only invited but introduced to his guy friends. Were we together? Again I felt like the center of attention with his guy friends asking me things and one of them even getting competitive with Marc, seeing as how I was with him. Marc made sure I was comfortable, and would touch me every time he walked by me.

Afterwards a few more people came up to the apartment. Two guys we ran into in the elevator. Two girls he met a day ago. Seemed like he was meeting people left and right and no one past a week. Was I one of the weekly specials? Or should I say weekend?

Everyone decided to go to a bar and as we went downstairs to wait for a cab, I told him it made absolutely no sense to drink at his place then go to a bar to drink again. We decided to go up to his place and watch a horror movie on his balcony. I wasn’t going to have sex. I simply wanted something romantic. I have started to miss the closeness of having someone near you, of cuddling, of being hugged. How sad, right?

So we put “The Ring” on, cuddled under a big blanket and lay on the couch on the balcony.

I loved how affectionate he was. Right away he enveloped me in his arms and I felt like a little girl with a big, strong man. A bear, as I called him. Then I caressed his hairy chest and said in a Borat voice:

“Persian carpet. How much?” which made him burst out laughing.

Not that I’m into a hairy chest or anything. I much prefer non-hairy.

It was exactly what I needed. I don’t remember the last time I really cuddled like I did with him. It didn’t feel like a prelude to sex. It felt more like affection and closeness. Or maybe that’s my naive self talking.

We stayed like this for a while and then transferred to a couch inside. Actually now that I am writing this, I remember it was his idea. He was suddenly cold under a blanket. Truthfully,  I think he wanted to get me closer to his bed.

The kissing heated up. Yes, it was my fault. There is something really excitint about seeing a man turn into an animal as he gets excited. His breathing gets hotter and sharper, he begins kissing you more aggressively and in this case, holding me by my hair and my neck which is my weakness. I hate men who do not vary the rhythm when they kiss, or when nothing much changes as they get excited. When you want to ask – excuse me, suh, are you excited? In this case, that was not the problem. But I would go to the limit then stop and say ‘sorry…’ so yes, I was literally dangling raw meat in front of a bear. But he was a gentleman. He tried, yes, but would stop without complaining every single time.

“I’m sorry” I told him yet again. “I have certain rules”

“I respect that” he told me. “So when would you be ready?”

“Not today” came my vague answer.

“Would you want to stay with me?”

“No, I’d rather go home”

“I wouldn’t try anything”

“Come on, Marc” I looked at him with a smile “I’m not a teenager. I know if I get into bed with you, a hairy man, I wouldn’t even trust myself.”

If this is the first story you read by me, wait until you say “Good for her! What solid rules she has” and refer to my older stories.

“What are you doing tomorrow” he asked.

I told him I didn’t know. I wasn’t going to see him yet again, but I didn’t have time to come up with anything. So he invited me to his house. Again. Is that the way it would go?

I kissed him goodbye and left. And as my friend later pointed out, he didn’t even walk me home. But I live in a gay neighborhood so it might have been more dangerous for him to walk back from my house.

The next day his first message came in at 5:30pm. Not that I was sitting at home waiting by the phone.. No, I went to the park and waited by the phone. And then when he texted me, I waited an hour before I texted back with a bit of a question.

And he didn’t text for two whole days.

At first I thought it was because he didn’t want to be texting too much.

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Hey, I’m sorry I can’t text. Kind of busy right now.

Then I thought he was busy. Ah, busy. Don’t you love that excuse? Remember being so busy that you couldn’t pick up the phone and text two words? If you do, you probably work in the Canadian Tundra. As a pilot. Or possibly in the tunnels as a miner. I briefly dated a British Intelligence Agent and even he texted every day! (Yes, you can ask me about that one!)

When I saw he wrote about the state of French politics on his Facebook page, that thought quickly faded away. Not that I really believed in the first place.

By Monday I convinced myself it was fine to have some space. He clearly wanted to see that I was independent and non-clingy. Instead of working on my project, I spent my morning reading countless articles and watching Matthew Hussey discuss how high-value women should behave.

Then I was upset. I mean – what if there was something about me that turned him off. Was I too available? Should I not have come over? Should I not have stayed until 3 am kissing him on a couch? Did that mean I was too easy? 

By Tuesday I was between pissed off and confused. How was it that someone who responded right away to every text I sent, was now gone? Maybe he didn’t actually receive the message? I googled tips on checking to see if your text is send to the other person and wished I talked to him through Whatsapp.

By Wednesday I thought “Screw it!” Even if he never received my message, he should have enough decency to inquire about me. Women ignore men all the time and still get pursued relentlessly. Then he texted. 

Now I felt in control. Ha! I waited it out and it worked! Now I could it play it my way. I waited until the evening and texted back something neutral. Carefully going over the wording of course. He responded right after. According to his not so carefully constructed text message, he was going to the gym.

Again I felt like I lost. He never meant to ask me out or even really talk to me. This was a way to check in but not say anything meaningful. And the irony is – I didn’t even like him so much! And here I was obsessing over this person. The person who was not even right for me in the first place.

On Thursday he checked in again. I waited hours then sent over a short and flirty message. I wanted to remind him that I was a fun, exciting self but felt he wasn’t even giving me anything to work with. That weekend we started texting it felt natural because he was trying. Now, he was just sending over standard “how is your week” messages. When he only answered back on Friday and not even asked me out, I was done.

Saturday night he reappeared at 12 am to ask me how my weekend was going. This time I would finally leave him hanging.

Right?

Right?

I knew the truth – the guy was barely stringing me along so he could see who else was available. He just wanted fun. He was putting zero effort and wanted it to remain this way. And the most unforgiving thing of all – it was because of him I re-watched that horrible movie “Think Like a Man”.

My brother first laughed. Then he said “Come on. It’s obvious. The guy wanted to get laid. You were too much work. He was too lazy to lift a finger above getting drinks nearby and inviting you to his place.”

So the lesson here, girls is: do not become more invested in him than he is. I know most of you found me because you were googling “What do French/German/Italian etc. Guys like?”  and I am not telling you to discontinue that. After all, I need my readers!

But before you do that, think about this – by forcing yourself to adhere to his rules, his standards, his type, you are really losing a part of the natural you. That part that maybe even attracted him to you initially. Your freedom, your sense of humour, your playfulness, your fearlessness – that moment before you become invested, before you began stalking his Facebook, overthinking the text messages, reading about his culture, and really trying to be liked by him instead of thinking “What has he done to make me like him?”

And just like that you go from the weekend girl, from the casual girl he flirts with, from the casual sex girl to the girl that has standards. And that’s the most attractive quality of all.

Or he disappears. But at least it was you who let him go.

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Etrange Garçon (Strange Boy) (2013)

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A story of a guy I was really attracted to who I both understood perfectly and was baffled by at the same time.

His bright green eyes gazed at me from across the room. He was just my type. Tanned and dark haired, with an athletic, well built body and attractive face.  We locked our gazes over and over again as I waited for my food.

I was in Bocas del Toro, Panama. I came to Panama for a teaching job and was traveling for two weeks, before I had to start work in Panama City. That day was my last day of ‘real’ vacation. And that’s (conveniently) the day I saw him.

We received our food simultaneously. We ordered the same thing – hamburgers and fries. They called our order at the same time. When we both asked for mayo, I realized it was now or never.

Where we met

Where we met

“You are Spanish?” I asked in Spanish. He looked it.

“I am French” He responded still in Spanish.

We sat down at the same bench and began talking. Giles was from a small French city close to the Spanish border and that is possibly why he looked so damn Spanish, but also had his mesmerizing green eyes. I just had a huge zit under my nose. Don’t you just love how on time zits are? I was trying to hide it underneath my glasses the whole day, but now without them I felt like it was dominating my whole face. Thankfully, that didn’t faze him.

As I talked to him over our burgers, I realized he was exactly what I was looking for: attractive, smart, witty, easy to talk to and very genuine. Why, oh why did I only meet him today? Little did I know we actually spent an entire week in the same surfing village prior to this and never met. What an irony indeed.

After eating we headed to the beach where we lay around and talked about everything in the world. He told me about his anxiety over flying and I, who also sort of battles with the same fear, understood him perfectly.

I loved that he could talk to me as if he had known me for years. I felt an ease and a depth with him that I don’t usually feel. There was no pretending, no awkwardness, no guessing.. It seemed natural and effortless: this chat on the beach. We swam around and jumped from the dock holding hands. Then took a boat to the main island and made plans to meet that evening in the park.

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He came bringing candy and talked so quickly I could tell he was nervous which made me feel a little more confident.  We walked to a bar on the dock and sat in a boat. Up until now, I think that was one of the most romantic nights of my whole experience in Panama. At least that part of it. We drank rum’n’cokes on the boat next to the bar, listened to Latin music and finally he leaned in to kiss me.

The rest of the night we danced in the outdoor bar, kissing over and over.. I felt alive. And the strangest thing? He told me the same.

“I feel alive when I am with you” He told me and I believed him partly. It was a little too much, since we only met each other a few hours ago, but he was from France and they love to throw romantic words around.

It was perfect. Up until we went to the beach.

I have this rule of telling guys that I will not have sex. And of course that is the goal. However, my weakness lately has been that I couldn’t resist the foreplay and that had some not-so good results. The point is to decide what you want right away. I am way too curious and unable to think with my head sometimes. This was one of those incidents.

I told Giles I wouldn’t have sex with him, but it was actually my idea to go to the beach. I just needed to spend some more time with him. And to touch him more. As things got heated up, he started expecting I return the favor. Except, note: he never gave me oral. So I am not sure what favor he was really expecting.

Either way, I hate the tit-for-tat childishness, so I gave him a firm NO. Now, instead of acting like a 29 year old he was, he got MAD. He got up and began removing sand from our towel but literally whacking it against the tree. I just sat there with my mouth dropped open. I couldn’t believe someone over the age of puberty could be so mad about a lack of a blow job.

We walked in silence, which was broken by me.

“Are we seriously not talking because I didn’t give you a blow job?”

“What do you think?” He replied bitterly and I swear I saw a kind of mental glimmer and even his eyes got darker. But maybe that was just my imagination.

“This is crazy.” I said. “I am not some sixteen year old girl to be forced to give you oral.”

“What? What does sixteen have to do with this?” He almost yelled and walked away, leaving me alone under the rain.

I stood there, unable to process what has just happened. And please believe me when I say that even though what was happening was crazy I actually wanted him more. This fiery exchange ignited some weird twisted feeling in me.

He was waiting for me near his hostel. As I approached he took my head into his hands gently and told me he meant when he said he liked me. He kissed me then. I wanted him even more. How messed up is that?

I agreed to spend the night in his uncomfortable bed just to be close to him for one more night. Then, at dawn, I kissed him and left.

In two weeks, Giles was coming to Panama City for three nights before flying back to France. I knew what I saw were red flags, but I still yearned for him and the fact that I felt lonely didn’t help matters.

Panama City

Panama City

We didn’t meet the first night due to miscommunication, and I should have been very wary when he offered to meet on the last night only. At the end though, he managed to make a plan to meet me in the park near my house. I knew I shouldn’t have gone, but what do you do when you want to see someone so damn much?

As I saw him sitting there in the park near the giant Einstein head, all my negative emotions went away. He was wearing a gray t-shirt that made his tan stand out more and lit up his green eyes. I came in a flowery dress he couldn’t stop fawning over. Our eyes locked again and we couldn’t stop staring at each other as if we were dumbstruck teenagers.

We met near the Einstein head on my street

We met near the Einstein head on my street

As we had drinks and tapas at a nearby Spanish restaurant, he caressed my cheek.

“I remember why I like you so much” He said in that deep voice of his. “I am really glad I came to see you. And now we get to spend the night together. This couldn’t be better.”

I didn’t bother to tell him that he was being presumptuous in the whole ‘spending the night’ idea. Even though he technically wasn’t since I was dying to have sex with him.

We listened to a band play as he caressed my hair. It has been so long since I have had a boyfriend that I allowed myself to fantasize that he was actually with me. My own slightly weird but gorgeous and charismatic man. The man that then pressed me to the wall and kissed me passionately. I wanted him so much. No matter the consequences.

We took a taxi to his hotel and as he took a shower, I lay on the bed pretending to watch TV in a sexy pose, which I adjusted a few times.  He walked out dripping water,a  towel on his hips and lowered himself on top of me. Afterwards, as he entered me a crazy thought also entered my mind.

We are now one.

I have never had this thought as loud in my head, even though I have liked other guys so this surprised me.

The other thing that surprised me even more was that when I tried to actually give him the blowjob he desired so much on the beach, he felt all uncomfortable about it. Actually, he said his body was getting all tingly and he couldn’t handle me even kissing his stomach. What was this, Fifty Shades of Grey? (You can only get this joke if you read the book)

And the final thing that surprised me was that after all the post-sex kissing we slept separately. He never hugged me to him, and even said something along the lines of:

“It looks like this bed has three people in it. There could be another person on your side the way you are so close to me.”

Didn't see the third person

Didn’t see the third person

At that moment I told myself I had imagined it. But now I know it was real.

All night long I kept on dreaming about hugging him close to me. I yearned for it with all my body, but even as I complained about the cold air conditioning, he got up and turned it off but never cuddled me close to him. I have even had a one-night stand cuddle with me in bed, and a guy who seemed so genuine now felt colder than the air conditioning itself.

The next day was his last one. He watched me get ready for work with an adoring smile on his face, then kissed me goodbye, telling me we would meet at 5pm.

I left work early so I could move to my new apartment, get ready and meet with him. But he never wrote me. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t think of anything else. I was on pins and needles  the whole day. I was actually concerned he got killed and ended up calling his hotel twice. Later telling him it was once.

I sat here, unable to eat anything

I sat here, unable to eat anything

He wrote to me in the evening to tell me he was at the Canal, that his day was “amazing!”, that he was with a friend and that he would meet me at eleven a.m.

I was very hurt he wanted to wait until night to meet with a girl he was spending the last day with (make that last night), and the reasoning was that he made some friends he wanted to spend time with. However, I didn’t want to become the nagging wife and sadly,  I wanted to see him too much.

But he never wrote to me  by eleven and as I sat there, staring at the city out my window and crying like there was no tomorrow, I decided “screw this” and removed my makeup. The whole day I felt like there was a knife stuck in my throat. It hurt that much.cryingwoman2

As soon as I was getting into bed, I got a new message.

“I’m so sorry!” It said “Meet me at 12:30 in the park”

And what did I do against my better judgement? I put the damn makeup back onto my puffed up face and ran out the door.

He got outside of the taxi and ran to me, lifting me up in the air. Some guys clapped for us. We got some drinks and talked, but I saw his eyes were different. He no longer looked at me with the affection that lit up his face, and he actually looked troubled. I thought it might have had to do with the anxiety over the upcoming flight. But the point is, the connection we had was gone. He seemed a different person.

We went to dance, but he no longer actually wanted to dance. He didn’t even want to try salsa – too scared he would fail. I realized that he had quite a lot of hangups and there might have been some mental issues he was dealing with.

The sex was also different. It seemed as if he was going through the motions, no longer connected to me. If he ever really was.

As we fell asleep separately I was prepared to say bye to the boy I never really knew. But then came another surprise.

As I woke up early in the morning, the place beside me was empty and the door was left ajar. Assuming he went out for a drink or to the bathroom, I waited for him to come back. He never did. His flight was at 3pm.

There was no note and no explanation.8_fin40

PS. Since he is still on my Facebook, I asked him why he left like that. He said I looked so beautiful he didn’t want to wake me up. Of course, that is a load of bull. He still writes little things to me, but he has yet to write an email explaining his behavior. This is the reason I have not acknowledged them. Not that he deserves it either.

Hosting Avec Benefits (2012)

Here I recount a funny experience of CouchSurfing with a guy I was attracted to.

I was bored out of my mind. I was at work, supposedly creating school curriculum, though slacking off most of the time and looking for traveling jobs for the summer. It was May and I was once again tired of the same old.

I needed a little getaway even for just for the weekend. The idea popped up in my head as I sat in front of the computer and I discreetly opened up the CouchSurfing website (if you don’t know about it, it is used to find a host in another city/country) to see who I could stay with in Montreal. I could have stayed with a friend, but I just wanted something new and someone new to get to know. Scrolling down the list of available hosts, one name popped out at me. Florent. He was well-traveled, a  teacher, eloquent in writing and cute. And he was from France! Looking very much an artsy French man(those who smoke cigarettes in a cafe in Paris) he seemed tall with dirty blond hair and big light blue eyes. What the hell? I thought. I might as well write to him. It seemed like we would have a lot to talk about.

Maybe ze vine? Or ze museek?

He answered back almost right away in his slightly broken English and we decided on the next weekend. Don’t think that I picked him because I wanted something, but I will admit I was kind of interested in staying at his place. Some girlfriends told me I was ridiculous, though one classified it as a ‘very interesting and long date.’

I would go with the latter.

I arrived in Montreal slightly nervous. It was warm and breezy and I was wearing a sweater and jeans, my hair (and face)all messed up from the bus. I finally located his apartment, with a swirly staircase that went up to his door. I buzzed in, my heart thumping a little bit.

Finally he opened the door looking just like his photo. Tall, wearing a t-shirt and jeans, his dirty blond hair messy and his eyes bright, big and blue, smiling widely.

“Welcome!” he smiled to me and helped me carry my luggage in. “Come in!”

He showed me around the apartment and told me I would be sleeping on this huge mattress he bought ‘just for me’ as he recently moved in. We sat on the couch and I talked way too much, as I was slightly nervous and felt like I had to fill in the space with all my chatter. He smiled and nodded his head, answering with a typical French accent that seemed to form a lot of sentences into questions.

“So” he said “it is up to you if you want to hang out with me? If not, you can do what you want? But if you like? We can go to the park and tomorrow I show you some sights?”

“Sounds great actually.”

“Yes, it is a nice day. So we can grab some bikes and blankets and talk? If you like?”

“Yes, really that’s great.” I said. “I’m going to quickly take a shower and then I’ll join you.”

“Ok then. I bring you towels and everything? Oh and I give you a separate key if you like also?”

He clearly wanted me to feel comfortable and I actually did. Within minutes, I felt like I have known Florent for a few months.

I changed and put on some makeup and we biked to the park where we spread out a blanket near a fountain. I went to the store and got us some beer and some weird tasting nuts. We lay and talked for hours. About everything: history, politics, relationships, people, life in general. It was great to actually meet someone who was so well-rounded and who I could talk to about anything. Florent wasn’t a typical guy. He didn’t think typical thoughts. He didn’t try to be un-typical. He was just himself, with his own formed view on life, with his own opinions and a huge set of very random interests. For instance he did boxing and sang in the choir. He played the piano, wrote articles on politics and had a cat. Seriously. There was none of that ‘macho’ wannabe or any pretentiousness that I was so used to. The guy was actually just very comfortable in his own skin. I looked at him from afar, lounging in his black t-shirt and jeans, his hair all messy. He had that something. Definitely a French artist thing, though he didn’t smoke.

Montreal’s La Fontaine Park

He was very careful not to flirt with me, as I felt that he saw himself responsible for my ‘comfort and security’ so I decided to subtly flirt with him.

“You are my first” I told him coyly.

He seemed to process it in his head.

“I meant my first CouchSurfing host” I added with a laugh like it was a mistake. Oops! He laughed with me, feeling a little more relaxed.

At one point as we sat in the park I saw his eyes sparkle with that hint of male interest, but he quickly returned to being friendly. We biked to a restaurant where he urged me to try Tartare (which is basically raw meat). There we talked some more. Seriously, we never seemed to run out of topics.

Tartare

Tartare

It’s not like I was interested in him per ce, but I gotta admit I was a bit jealous when he began paying attention to our waitress. His bright blue eyes burned into her as he asked her questions in his beautiful fluent French and she flirted with her Québécois accent. Oh come on, I wanted to say. She is not even that good-looking and she is so young she is wearing braces.

Once we got home, rather his home, he asked me if I wanted to join him for his friends’ party. Of course he added that I didn’t have to if I didn’t want? But if I did? Would I like? And so on. Wiz French accent?

Of course I’ll come, I said.

As I was changing, he locked the door very soundly, which made me burst out laughing.

“You don’t have to do that!” I yelled through the door.

“No, I want you to feel comfortable!” he yelled back.

How very adorable.

I wore black skinny jeans and a sparkly golden top. He walked out of the other room looking at me up and down very quickly, then grabbed the keys. “You are ready?”

The party was deadly boring. It was a bunch of very French people, mostly married or in pairs, engaged in a (very French) conversation. The fact that I spoke about two percent French didn’t help matters. I gotta hand it to Florent who made me feel very comfortable by introducing me to everyone. However, I didn’t want to inconvenience him by clinging on to him, so I walked around and talked to anyone who spoke English. Everyone actually turned out to be very welcoming; especially his best friend who flirted with me and then while talking to Florent in French mentioned how jolie I was. I understand that, I told him. I know, he smiled and gave me a wink.

One girlfriend of Florent’s actually nudged him and winked at me as she wished us ‘a GOOD night’. As if it wasn’t awkward enough staying at a guy’s place who you were kind of attracted to and who seemed attracted to you. And even if he wasn’t – there was a girl in his apartment! He didn’t even have to ask me to come in so I could ‘see his beautiful view’.

One of his gay friends suggested we head to a lesbian club. Why not? I said. Let’s. Yep, it was a little strange and I actually got hit on by a beautiful girl, which I must admit was flattering! The best part is that she walked up to Florent and told him she was interested in me.  I beamed for hours.

We danced close to each other, but I felt awkward beyond belief. This wasn’t a guy I met in a club, or a friend. He was someone I had to stay with! OK, I already mentioned that, but I’m emphasizing it just so you get the strangeness of the situation. Granted, I put myself in this situation willingly.

When we got back, I put on my t-shirt and short shorts and sat on the bed-mattress combing my hair out. I swear I wasn’t trying to lure him in or anything. Maybe just a little bit. Florent looked me up and down and not very discreetly this time. The French seducer seemed to be waking up in him.

tam tam TAM!

tam tam TAM!

“Ok, so I go take a shower?” he said. “Good night?”

“Yes, good night” I smiled, continuing to comb my hair.

“Ok” he nodded to himself or me and shut the door.

Minutes later he stepped out of the bathroom and wished me good night again. “Ok, so good night, Mia”

“Good night, Florent.”

He closed the door behind him only to emerge minutes later.

“I forgot something?” he smiled to me and awkwardly shuffled into my ‘bedroom’ to get ‘something’. “You are okay?” he asked. “Did you have a good night?”

The whole thing was starting to get pretty funny, but it was still quite awkward. I wanted him to make a move already, but how could he? He didn’t know if I was interested and it was my ‘safety’ that was at stake after all!

“I had a great time. Thanks.”

He mumbled something or other to himself or me and wished me goodnight again. I chuckled and lay down on my humongous mattress to sleep. The light was off in the room and I was assuming he went to sleep. Wouldn’t it be funny, I thought, if he came out again?

And as if on cue, the door opened and Florent emerged. He smiled apologetically at me.

“I forgot to get my water?” he murmured and shuffled past me.

This time I couldn’t stop smiling. It was getting hilarious.

I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her

I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her

For some reason or other, this really reminded me of the movie “Notting Hill” and the scene where Julia Roberts comes into Hugh Grant’s room at night. This is why I randomly blurted out:

“You remind me of Hugh Grant.”

Why Hugh Grant? It was the weirdest comparison as the guy looked nothing like the English actor. At this point though, I think I could have told Florent he looked like Jackie Chan and he still would have acted as if that made sense. All he wanted to do was stay in the room. That was obvious.

“Yes?” He said and paused near me. “Okay, if you could pick one actress that looked like you, who would it be?”

Was this the conversation we were having at 4am in the morning?

“I don’t know” I mumbled. “Who do you think I look like?”

I was just as much of a retard as him. Someone clearly had to make a move here.

We went back and forth like two mumbling fools in a land of retardation until I couldn’t do it anymore.

“Florent. Did you really come to get water?” I awkwardly smiled to him.

“Why?” he asked.

“Nothing. Forget about it.”

“No, what?”

“Forget about it.”

“If you are referring to what I think you are referring to?” he looked at the lamp on the table. “Then, yes, I did want to? Kiss you?”

I wish I could describe just how adorably French and awkward he sounded at the moment. Especially the kissing me part.

“But” he continued “I was scared you feel strange and want to leave?”

“Well, I’m not going to leave if you kiss me” I smiled.

“Okay then” he smiled and finally put his damn water down, leaning in to kiss me. We kissed and kissed, over and over again and I was getting those pings of excitement at the bottom of my stomach.

“I propose” he said after a while( Yes, I actually made out with a guy who says “I propose”) “That you sleep in my bed. We will not have sex just, you know, sleep together?”

“No, I’m okay. I’ll sleep here” I said. I was exhausted and tired and the last thing I wanted to do was share a bed with anyone. So he wished me goodnight, for real this time, and went to sleep.

He woke up before me the next day because he had choir. No comment here. Anyways, I woke up later and cooked some breakfast in my underwear. Then, I went to explore Montreal and think about whether I wanted to have sex with him or not. Normal people just do it spontaneously. I had to talk to myself about it first. My reason told me no. I told me no. Everything told me no. I mean I didn’t even know the guy and I wasn’t smitten with him. Sure, I liked him. I had a wonderful time with him. But I wouldn’t go so far as to say I wanted to rip his clothes off. In conclusion, it was a no.

I nervously walked into the apartment and saw him lounging about, reading a book. He asked me how my day was and whether I was interested in going to eat with him that evening.

“But if you have any other plans, it is okay?”

Nothing at all about last night. Leave it to me to leave coy and subtle out the door since I have no patience for it.

“So do you feel awkward about last night?” I asked. Nothing like a question about awkwardness to make it feel more awkward.

“No” he looked at me. “Why, should I?”
“No, no. You shouldn’t”

He waited a beat.

“Well I do now a bit. Do you regret it?”

“No!” I exclaimed. “Of course not”

“Ok, then it is not awkward” he smiled.

We talked some more. He played me the piano. I sat on his bed while he made me listen to opera. Then he sang me something in French. I made him feel my diaphragm as I breathed, just so he could finally make a damn move as I couldn’t listen to anymore opera and singing. Then he leaned in and kissed me. Suddenly he was on the bed, my legs wrapped around him. We kissed and kissed.

Très romantique

Très romantique

“Okay” he said when he caught his breath. “Let’s go eat something?”

It was raining outside and he held my hand as we walked down the empty wet streets. Before that, he asked me what my favorite color was so that he could ‘wear it?’ I burst out laughing:

“From CouchSurfing to a relationship, Florent? How did we get here?”

He got us a bottle of wine and we ate in a loud Italian restaurant. He kissed me under the rain. Afterwards, we sat in a bar talking, as he caressed my knees. It really felt like we were together. Not like we met yesterday. I could talk to him for hours about anything. I loved that he would never answer with a standard response like ‘cool’ or ‘awesome’. Instead he would think about it and give his own opinion on it.

When we got home, I put on my ‘come hither’ shorts though I wasn’t technically planning on having sex with him. We did hang out in his room. And on his bed. So really, I could have just thrown my careful and well planned out resolution out the window by this point.

And then he put on the cheesiest romantic French music ever and I burst out laughing.

“Where is the champagne and the Eiffel Tower?” I asked.

“It is Joe Dassin. You do not like?” he asked.5099752049127

“How many girls do you use this on?” I asked him, raising one eyebrow.

“Just you actually” he smiled. “Ok, I will turn it off”

“Please do. I’m not sure I can keep a straight face if you are trying to romance me to French music”

He laughed. “You know if I met you in a bar, I would have come up to you. It was just very strange situation having you here. One of my girl friends was very uncomfortable when she stayed with a guy? So when I saw your photos and told her I found you very attractive, she said to not do anything at all. So I didn’t. Until now, I mean”

And yes, okay, I ended up having sex with him. And it wasn’t the romantic French music that seduced me. I’m not sure if it was his wonderful seduction skills either. I don’t really know why I had sex with him. Was the sex good? Yes, but I felt like I jumped into it a little bit fast. I’m not sure if real attraction was there or if I just loved spending time with him. The thing that threw me off was when afterwards he turned to me.

“Were you nervous?” he asked.

“What do you mean?”

“ I do not know. You seemed very uncomfortable. I thought you would be a little bit crazier.”

Excuse me?

fifty-shades-of-grey-cac1d39d5bb5c20810b1314bcbf61dee35d8219b-s6-c30What do you say to that? Maybe, it was because I just met you? Or possibly because I wasn’t that sexually drawn to you? Or maybe, just maybe, you mister are no Christian Grey in your seduction skills?

Instead I should have gotten an Oscar for the next performance. I felt disgusted with myself. Why act instead of saying the truth?

We did end up spending the night together this time and finally got out of bed sometime during noon the next day. He took me to get us some typical French brunch and then I kissed him goodbye.

“We will stay in touch” he smiled, but I wasn’t so sure about it.

I will be honest in saying that he didn’t contact me when I got back home. Instead I wrote him a message and he wrote one back. He was leaving for Europe for the next two months, so we wouldn’t see each other for some time, he said, but maybe in the fall?

By this point I was so mad that I didn’t want to stay in any contact with him. We will not see each other in the fall, I thought. Here we were, so close to each other and now we were polite strangers who could barely exchange two words.

Yes, this entry was going to have a negative ending and a little note about how French men are assholes.

But life is life and people are people. Instead, he wrote me a message recently saying he wanted me to accept a job in his city so I could be near him. And I ended up inviting him to visit me.

This is not romance nor is this a long distance or rather quite a short distance relationship. This is just something. A nice time to spend with someone who means something to you. What that something is,  I still don’t know. And who ever knows? Maybe this time the sex will not be ‘so uncomfortable?’ or maybe I will kick him out before we even get to it. But I do think that in life, we have to at least try. Hey, if it fails, at least there would be a great story to share.

And oh, I got one great review from Couchsurfing!

* Even though the story has developed since I last wrote this post, I decided to add a little ‘note’  instead of designating yet more space for this since I do not believe this guy is worth it. After Florent came to visit me and we spent quite a few nice days together, we decided to maybe work something out in the future. However, his ‘feelings'(I put them in quotation marks because I no longer believe he is capable of them) escalated so much and so rapidly, he decided to refer to me as his girlfriend. Then he began looking for teaching jobs for me as a way to lure me into Montreal. Ok, he wasn’t necessarily luring me since I wanted to move, but he definitely was the interested party.

After his second visit to Toronto, I realized that not only did I have little feelings for him, but he was quite cheap and not much of a gentleman. He wasn’t a bad guy at all. But he didn’t believe in doing one nice, romantic thing for me.  After he left and I didn’t get the desired job in Montreal, he began pushing me to come visit him. At this point I had no money since as you may have guessed – I was and am an unemployed teacher. He never offered to pay and when I mentioned that, we got into a row about money, which in my opinion is just tacky. In his opinion, if I wanted to see him I could have asked him to ‘help’ me out, not assume he would offer. While I could see his side of the argument somewhat, I also realized then and there that I needed a gentleman not someone who would argue about money with a girl. My stupid move came when I did in fact go to Montreal to visit him.

How did the weekend go? Well.. in short it was miserable. He didn’t take me out to ONE real restaurant and when I suggested eating out he acted surprised and mentioned that we would be eating dinner at his friends’ place at 7pm. This was 3pm. We only ate breakfast. And went boxing. My clothing was ‘too short’ (even it would almost reach my knees) and he would constantly point out ‘elegant’ girls, one of whom sported purple pants and brown boots. He would get offended at everything and when he didn’t want to have sex with me on the second day of my stay (out of three), I’ve had enough. This was not romantic. It wasn’t beautiful. I didn’t feel like a woman. We had completely different interests. He would prefer someone in running shoes   camping with him in the woods. I would prefer someone who would take me to a hotel in Hawaii or yes, also someone I could backpack with.. But that’s all I would ever be with Florent – a backpacking buddy he has sex with, where money is split equally, and I may as well be a man. His deep thoughts and analyzing that I initially found so charming and ‘French!’ has now shown me he was critical, difficult and set in his mind. He wanted me when I was happy and fun. He couldn’t take any sort of disagreement and confrontation. He watched me become upset and literally stepped away. He couldn’t even hug or kiss me.

We ended it then and there, not without some crying from me, even though now I cannot understand how he even deserved any of that. The funny thing is, even though we wrote each other a handwritten letter at the end, he has not contacted me since.

So this is my advice to you girls: if a guy shows you a trait that you ignore, believe me, it will come to later bite you. Florent didn’t speak to me for four months after we had sex the first time I met him. Afterwards he never even asked me how I got home. Lesson? This would and did repeat. A man always shows you who he is. It is up to you whether you accept it or not.

By the way, do you still think French men are so damn romantic?