Mr. Harvard showed up with such an impact and a quickness I haven’t experienced in a long time. It made me write something pretty profound which you can read here.
We met online, of course. First – the standard few dinner dates. We were polite and followed all the rules. He was a gentleman. I was a lady. We exchanged questions about our jobs and funny childhood stories.
And then one night after another fabulous dinner date at a trendy spot in Los Angeles where you had to call ahead for reservations to snag one of just a few small tables, it happened.
I was done doing the polite stuff and wanted to put us in a “normal” environment. The wining and dining was nice but we were ready to progress to the next level.
So we ended up back at my place and talked and talked and cuddled and did everything except our plan to watch some Oscar screeners my co-worker let me borrow.
(For those of you not in show biz, “screeners” are the actual Oscar nominated movies on DVD that people who are in the show biz unions get to vote on. Either way, it’s a privilege to get to see these movies when they aren’t yet out on DVD and some are still in theaters. But if you’ve been here more than 5 minutes, you most likely know someone who has a copy.)
By Sunday morning, the sun rose on a new day and also on a very new shift in our “relationship.” I use that word, although in air quotes, because between dinner on Friday and Sunday night we had spent the whole weekend together.
He cancelled a date he had planned with someone else that Saturday. (He admitted he never did that but wanted to spend it with me instead. We had had a major breakthrough and didn’t want it to end.)
I made a few phone calls/texts myself to “dead” other people I was seeing and you can read about that here.
We were excited and giddy and SO COMFORTABLE. It was so early, but SO COMFORTABLE.
We had gone from stiff and polite people who were dating, to weird and silly and vulnerable and honest and very REAL people that we are, which was easy and never contrived. We would laugh so hard and state into each other’s eyes even harder and just smile.
We were super touchy-feely all the time and that worked out well when I told him my top Love Language was “Physical Touch.” He was happy to oblige and he enjoyed the reciprocation from me.
Something like that is rare and hard to find with another.
I had found some of this with Mr. Vegas, but what was missing from him (ambition, career success, financial stability), Mr. Harvard brought in spades (an investor in real estate, a recent promotion as an engineer at his job, six-figure income). And a brand new Prius. Which made him lose points, actually…
Sorry. I can’t stand those ugly cars! Which I told him a few weeks later and it made him want to re-consider his purchase…lol. #granola
He was also almost the same age as me, a guy in his 30s who made me feel like I needed to step my game up, to get closer to HIS level, a welcome and refreshing change from many of the other people I’ve met over the years whose main mode of transportation came from riding the struggle bus. I sure am nowhere near owning an income property in another state…he made me aspire to do more!
For the next several weeks we saw each other a lot. During the week once or twice and then all weekends together.
It felt amazing to click with someone so well.
We did everything, too…
Fun stuff like a beach day in Malibu.
Furniture shopping for his new place he’d just moved into.
Playing basketball at the park and working out at my gym together.
And then we did some major “adulting,” like shopping at Target on a Sunday night because he needed paper towels and a lightbulb for his kitchen.
He had also connected his Bluetooth to my BMW for music and one day I was driving us to lunch and his best friend called. It was weird at first because I didn’t recognize the name that came up on my car’s dashboard. But then it clicked.
It was his roommate from Harvard, his bestie and long time friend who he’d told every detail to about this “amazing women he’s met” and then later would fill me in on their convo. (His friend was “Team Me.”)
But here’s the thing.
Everything we were doing felt like we were in a relationship already. Some of my friends said we basically were.
Mr. Harvard had just arrived to California about 4-5 months ago. He had moved from NYC and had taken a promotion and transferred here to the West Coast.
Ever since that first weekend where he “deaded” his other dates, he still made it clear that we weren’t exclusive but that he wanted us to get to know each other better.
Obviously. That was my plan, too. It was so early – I still had to get to know this guy!
And I told him frequently that this wasn’t my style and that I was used to dating multiple people at once. If you read my blog, you know this is true.
It was different with him, though.
It was easy to ignore the offers from other guys because he and I were attracted to each other like magnets. He had come along and rocked my world and checked off so many things on my proverbial “list.”
But, we agreed we weren’t ready to “shut it all down” yet.
As we spent more and more time together, the conversations didn’t match the casual, take-it-slow vibe we had agreed on.
There was mentions from him about having kids together and how smart (and pretty) they’d be. Mostly in a somewhat jovial manner, but still. A serious topic to bring up so early. (He has no kids but very much wants to be a father some day.)
He invited himself to my upcoming bday trip in July to Maui. I just kinda laughed it off.
“We’re not even exclusively dating!” I said.
During a sweet romantic moment one night, he asked me if I had gotten my passport…he was thinking about taking me on a romantic getaway trip. (His passport is full of stamps…something I very much admired about him.)
He heard me take a call with my son, on Bluetooth in my car. Something VERY sacred for me to share, but he sat quietly listening and smiling as my son and I talked for about 20 minutes.
“Wow,” he said, after I hung up. “He sounds like such an amazing kid…”
Well, he is. 🙂
We also jumped on Zillow and started looking at what properties we could buy here in LA because if we pooled our rents together “we could afford something over $1 million.”
A lot of fun times.
A lot of fantasies.
And a lot of things that eventually made me go, “Hmmm…”
Last weekend we had plans to go to my very good friend’s new restaurant opening with a few of my other very close friends. I had initially invited Mr. Harvard out of excitement and because of the pace of things and the serious conversations we had had over the past few months, I felt it was time for him to meet my friends (something I hardly EVER do so early).
But as that week went on, he avoided my question several times about his plans on that Thursday pm before (he just said he wasn’t available that night) and I realized he had probably had a date.
We’d been brutally (and refreshingly) honest about the other people we were both talking to prior and/or if someone was trying to set something up. But this time he was avoiding me.
That, along with my jarring realization that we were spending relationship-quality time together, saying and doing relationship-quality things (mostly me hearing him live fantasies out loud that left me feeling confused), made me un-invite him to that special dinner and plans to go away for the weekend.
It was too much. And not right!
How could he say and do all those sweet things with me, but still want to meet someone else for a date?
Well, kids, that’s called dating without being exclusive. And it was exactly what he had told me he wanted from the beginning.
Why, you ask? Things were going so well!
I’d agree with you.
But Mr. Harvard had just arrived. He’d just arrived in California and wasn’t expecting to meet “someone like me” so soon after he’d gotten here.
He felt he needed to get more settled first and get into a groove at work still.
And he just wasn’t ready to “shut it all down” yet, which meant although he wasn’t out there in the streets hitting on everything that moved, he did want to have the option to window shop, and I guess, make a purchase if he wanted.
I pissed him off for cancelling our weekend plans last minute.
He pissed me off because he didn’t return my call to hear me at least explain why I was falling back.
Eventually we connected on the phone a few days later. We hashed it out.
He stood firm on how he wasn’t ready to date me exclusively because he’d just arrived, and I stood firm on that I don’t wait for people to just figure it out if they want to be with me, while filling my head with fantasies of everything I’d dreamed of in a partner.
At the end of the day, our timing was off.
He’d arrived, all right. But instead of taking residence in my heart, he chose to keep me at arm’s distance and only arrive in California.
I don’t know what will happen with him.
My friends think he’s an idiot for letting me go. I partially think he’s scared.
Either way, it makes me sad. I feel rejected in a way, but relieved in another.
As my good friend told me afterwards, “Your right partner will show up ready. Just as you are ready for him.”