Never get involved with someone for the reason of “helping them”.
When he walked into the club, he stood out. First of all, he was tall. He also had an attractive face and I swear I could feel his European-ness a mile away.
We were in a fifties style club, for a friend’s birthday. He seemed to know all of my friends. Everyone, except for me, which wasn’t a surprise – I pretty much just got back from Panama.
I waited and waited to be introduced. This is my new tactic – relax and let things happen. When I realized I might wait the whole night like this, I reverted to my old technique – make the move. I walked up to my friend and got him to introduce me to the guys, which he did with a sarcastic grin on his face.
Lenard, the chubby shorter guy was the chatty one. Theo was the one I liked. Both were from The Netherlands studying for their masters.
Theo was cute. With dark blue eyes, light brown hair falling in strands over his forehead and a nice built he looked as if he had no trouble getting girls. But when he talked to me, I didn’t sense his interest. His eyes did not gaze into mine with meaning. He seemed detached, completely disinterested and not in the least bit flirty. He talked and talked, but never actually took the time to slow down, smile and really look at me. I figured he really wasn’t interested and I was just wasting my time. So I reverted to my new technique of not giving a damn and excused myself to go to the bathroom. In addition, he was only here for the remaining month and I have been through and over this with similar consequences. Another guy who would leave. Another, whatever it was. I was getting quite sick of it.
I spent the night dancing and fighting the urge to initiate conversation. My new motto was: if someone wants you, they will make it happen. Especially if you already took that extra step. His friend and he never danced. They simply walked around talking to people and when they left, he walked right by me without saying bye.
The next day I noticed that he added me on Facebook and I was slightly surprised. I guess waiting did pay off in the end. When he began chatting to me online, I figured he must be somewhat interested.
I didn’t hear from him for a couple of days and let’s be honest here. I didn’t really care. I thought he was cute, yes, but was I really attracted to him? He seemed to miss a presence, a spark – something that would really get my heart beating faster.
A few days later, I got a text message out of nowhere asking me if I wanted to grab a drink. I got a bit excited until I realized – his friend was coming too. When we met, I noticed that Lenard was much more engaged in a conversation with me, while Theo never gave me a prolonged stare to show his interest. He talked, surely enough, but there was no extra attention. It didn’t disappoint me as much as add more water to my already melting interest. Also, I didn’t appreciate the fact that I was treated like one of the guys. They had this rule that each person would buy a round of beers for the other two. I thought it was a ridiculous rule, given that I am a girl, but went along with it.
Either way, they were both fun, more so Lenard who was very opinionated and cracked jokes about everything, including his love of sexual innuendos Theo seemed uncomfortable with. But Theo was good-looking and European and I suppose, it made me feel good to walk around with him, as shallow as that sounds.
The next day we met for the Rugby game and after, joined a rooftop party my friends invited me too. They were very surprised to see the Dutch boys there and threw me a couple of inquiring looks. I stayed with Theo the entire evening, slightly interested in him and flirting as much as I could, touching him constantly, but there was no sexual energy between us. Again, he stood out of the crowd, with his big hands moving his unruly hair back every so often, so much that all the girls seemed to drink him up. I felt a sense of pride at this, knowing he really was interested in me. I felt it, though he has made no move up to this point.
By the end of the night, as they walked me back, I really gave up. I have had enough of both of them, inseparable, and Theo who was too chicken to make a move.
And so continued a couple of weeks. He would write to me and invite me out, always accompanied by his best friend. I began to get irritated and bitched to my guy friends about his lack of initiative.
“Maybe he only likes you as a friend?” suggested one of my female friends a little smugly.
“Well why does he keep on inquiring about my day, what I do, where I am?” I almost yelled at her in frustration. I hate it when people turn the problem around and make you sound like you are inventing problems. And they make you feel almost guilty for being so arrogant to assume that someone actually likes you!
My guy friends found this hilarious. I couldn’t care at this point. It was getting ridiculous and I was too old to deal with childish behavior. So, one night when he invited me over to his house to watch “Die Hard”, I told him my perfect Saturday evening did not involve watching an action movie with two guys. Get the point there, mister!
But as I was walking down the street the next day, I ran into the Dutch guys by some weird stroke of .. luck? Theo looked me up and down, but let Lenard initiate the conversation for most of the walk. We were going to the same barbecue as it turned out.
It was a freezing August night and I didn’t bring anything to cover myself so as I stood on the street, he offered to “keep me warm”. Keeping me warm consisted of hugging me and awkwardly and tapping my back, as if I was a male buddy and not a girl he was actually interested in.
“Theo” I said “That’s not how you hug a girl!”
“Let me hug you again” he offered awkwardly. I swear to God, good looks can go to waste when someone is that insecure.
This time the hug lasted longer, but just as I began to relax and actually feel he was treating me like a woman, he tapped me again.
Towards the end of the night, we stepped out of the bar. My friend let me borrow her shawl and I put it on to keep me warm for my forty minute walk home. Theo hugged me again, this time with no tapping and I found myself learning into his warm body as he gently caressed my shoulders. Leonard looked us up and down. I suppose we looked really intimate.
I figured Theo would say goodnight and join his inseparable self, but instead he asked me if he could walk me back.
“It’s a thirty minute walk” I said, both challenging and warning him.
“It’s OK” He looked me straight in the eyes uncomfortably.
“You don’t have to” I emphasized. I didn’t actually know if I wanted him to agree or disagree. We have never been one-on-one for longer than ten minutes and this might have gotten awkward as I always felt around him. After seeing he would not give up, I shrugged with a smile. OK, let’s go.
We walked hugging each other all the way back and I think that this physical closeness made it easier for us to be honest.
“So” I asked “What do you think about Dutch girls?”
“How is this related to our conversation about people?”
“Well girls are people. This is merely for anthropological purposes” I added.
He stalled. “I don’t really have much experience with girls.”
As if I couldn’t tell at this point.
“I mean, I know what to do.. I am just too shy about actually doing something” he continued, afraid to look at me.
“I can see that.” I said “You just don’t know how to make a move.”
“The thing is I know what to do. I just don’t know how to get around to doing it. I get nervous”
I looked at him. “Are you nervous right now?”
“Yes” he said looking straight ahead.
I stopped in my tracks and he looked at me questionably. Then I did something I haven’t done since my early twenties, when I thought that making the first move would at least rid of the awkwardness of having to wait for the guy. I leaned in and kissed him. The thing is, he needed this. This would be the only thing that would make him feel more comfortable and it was long in coming. Poor Theo was not a good kisser. He wasn’t bad, but he was really nervous and that made the kiss unnatural and awkward. I felt like I was kissing a boy and not a twenty-five year old man. His birthday was in a few days. He would be twenty-six. The age when a man has normally experienced a string of dates, one-night stands, relationship(s) and possibly even a threesome.
“That was awful” he admitted after we stopped kissing. I shrugged it off and said “practice makes perfect”. We walked back a little more comfortably and when we were in front of the condo, I asked him if he wanted to get some water.
He jumped at the opportunity to come up, so we did. Once he got some water in him, I told him he could technically stay but..
He didn’t let me finish the end of that sentence, saying that it was late and he would much prefer that to the hike back.
I offered him the couch, but figured he was harmless and let him sleep on my bed.
Do I look like I would make a move? He confirmed for me and I actually felt sorry for him.
But surprise of all surprises came when he pulled a what I call “Italian” on me and his hands started wandering. I could have stopped him, I know that, but a part of me felt bad. The poor guy needed this. The other part was intrigued. The last one was kind of horny. After all, I was in bed, half naked with a good looking guy. And his kissing was progressing at a fast rate.
“You know” He told me “I really have limited experience. This is as far as I have gone”
I was shocked. I really didn’t know what to say to that. So, I didn’t say anything. I half expected it but to actually hear someone was a virgin at the tender age of almost 26 was unbelievable. The worst is, he was way better looking than Lenard, yet Lenard seemed to have almost a porn star experienced compared to his.
However, I stuck to my rule and did not have sex with him that night. I don’t think he even wanted to. He was still dazed from being in bed with a naked girl. It was amazing to watch his expression as he ran his hands over my body. It was as if he was a sculptor observing a beautiful sculpture he had just molded.
We slept together and the next morning he had to go home, since I was having a barbecue, inviting all of our now collective friends. Had my guy friends found the guy I bitched about in my condo, they would have never let it go.
During the barbecue I ignored him mostly. Being around him was slightly awkward and Lenard with his annoying remarks that got under my skin didn’t help matters. All the winking and giggling made me feel like I was back in high school.
My girlfriends who now saw him for the first time expressed their thumbs up and told me to “go for it.” He was “so cute”! Even when I pointed him out to my brother, he dropped his mouth. I guess I wouldn’t have believed it either. But the reality was, he just wasn’t my guy. Eloquent and confident as he seemed, he lacked fire and sex appeal. So I ignored him until I started to feel bad and then led him onto the balcony and kissed him.
“Just sleep with the guy” offered my brother. “I mean, it won’t be a big deal for you but it would mean a lifetime for him.” Yes, in reply to your answer. My brother and I talk about everything.
I pondered this thought. Yes, he wasn’t really for me, but I have been with quite a few unworthy guys and here was one who really deserved it. I could change his life. I could be his Stefan (read the German). I have never been anyone’s first.. Not that I have wanted to be. I prefer experienced guys.. but hell. Why not?
I think I was really bored and have not felt anything for a while. It is really sad that I did this for such shallow reasons, because it did not make this ‘thing’ any more memorable.
I suppose a part of me wanted to feel a power that Stefan must have felt when he made me a woman. The other part felt sorry for him. No one should feel inadequate for being a virgin at such an age. Having lost my virginity late in life (two weeks away from my twenty-third birthday) I knew what that felt like. Theo would lose his at twenty-five. I wanted to help him. Hmm, maybe I could also put that on my resume. Teacher/virgin helper.
He stayed over that night and early in the morning, as we woke up and started getting kind of worked up I offered it to him matter of factly. “Soooo.. Theo… you wanna have sex?”
“Um. Yes?” he finally got out. I could have laughed then at how well his serious face concealed the emotion. Ah, good old Northern Europeans!
So we did. It was less awkward than our first kiss and actually not bad at all. Afterwards he took a shower and sat in the living room with his hair wet and an entranced expression on his face. Finally he got up and said he had to go but hoped to see me before his birthday.
He had a week left in Canada.
I guess I was so set on being some perverted form of Mother Theresa that I didn’t bother thinking about the ‘what would happen’. Theo began to see me as his girl. It was obvious to both of us he was leaving but he was fully set on returning in four months. He didn’t bother me, send me love letters or cry at my doorstep but I felt his need for me.
Kind of like that. Except I am not blonde
I saw him on the day of his birthday that he was celebrating on the lake shore. I didn’t bring a present. Actually I told him that was his birthday present after sex. I told him no one else would bring such a great one. Not even Leonard.
When he actually paid for my drink and began offering me more, Lenard looked at me in awe and said “You made a Dutch guy un-Dutch.”
All of my friends realized we had a thing going on and made hilarious faces behind Theo’s back. The joke centered around how I made Theo a man. Little did they know how close to the truth they were.
I realized how much Theo changed when on Saturday, who, while we were at a Greek restaurant had walked in wearing a new collared shirt, with his hair freshly washed, smelling of deodorant. There was a Greek festival on the street and everyone was dancing in circles, so he jumped in and began dancing in a circle. When I met him he seemed deadly afraid of dancing and now he was practically turning Greek. When we entered the Latin club, he offered me drink after drink, even though I knew he would normally not do that. In fact, he once mentioned he would never pay for a girl. Then, he asked me teach him salsa and actually turned out to be a great dancer.
Not quite as professional
When I couldn’t stop laughing at this sudden change, he looked at me and said “You woke me up. You know that, right?” I told him that was probably the most romantic thing anyone has said to me. Seriously. It sounds like a line right out of the movie. I almost answered with “You had me at hello”.
The sex has gotten way better and I quite enjoyed lying next to him as the freezing August weather made it too chilly to go outside. He was so much more relaxed, so much more open and more of a man too. Apparently, having spent lots of time in front of a computer when he was a child, he felt socially awkward for quite a while. I hoped what I did would help him. On the flip side, it could also hurt him and close him off even more. I didn’t want a future with him and he began talking about coming back to stay in Canada indefinitely.
The last night I was at his place, we were watching movies on his couch and I got quite pissed off at him not having bought a bottle of wine. I sat there quietly and he broke the silence, saying he felt really guilty. Then he finally took initiative. He ran out and went to buy a bottle. When he came back, he offered to take me out for Mexican and then he took another one. He paid. (A guy who said he would never pay for a woman. Praise Jesus!)
The sex didn’t quite look like that either
The last morning he told me I was the best thing that has ever happened to him. I guess it was a sweet thing to say, but I was his first. Of course I was the best thing that has ever happened in his life. I gave him the gift of SEX.
The last day was very hard for him. Not only was he leaving me, but he was leaving the closeness that we shared and he wasn’t sure he would find it again. After all, it took him years to find me. By that, I mean a woman willing to de-virginize him. As we kissed goodbye, I could still see him on the other platform – his eyes red. I was upset for him, but I wasn’t emotional. In a way, I was happy to be rid of him.
Theo was a great guy, he would be a good boyfriend and maybe he would definitely make some girl happy. But for me, I need someone with presence, someone with passion, someone who is strong and who knows how to take initiative. I was still on a quest to find him however long that would take and wherever he would be from.
For now, nothing is better than settling.
PS. I recently ended it with him and he wouldn’t listen when I told him to remember life is full of pain and disappointment, but you have to take risks. For me, I learned that people need to help themselves. Sure, I made him a MAN. But it doesn’t mean I made him happier. And I surely didn’t make myself happier nor more powerful. The only thing that can make me feel is actually FEELING.