I Stopped Lying About Wanting To ‘Keep It Casual’

It all comes down to dumb luck.

I haven’t always found myself to be the luckiest girl in the love department. I have plenty of experience with men, but none of which adds up to even one healthy relationship. There always seems to be one reason or another why things fall apart before they even really begin.

In the interest of becoming more self-aware, I decided to analyze what it is that I’ve been doing to continuously end up in some undefined “wtf are we” situation. I decided that, at the core of it all, I wasn’t being honest with myself or with the men I was seeing. I was being the “let’s keep it casual” girl, because I wanted to seem cool and unbothered. There was some unwarranted philosophy floating in my head for the past twenty-something years that if I acted really chill, guys would just adore that and inevitably fall for me.

Spoiler alert: that’s never worked.

It was time for a change.

It was time that I stopped trying to play a role and, instead, be upfront and honest about my intentions when it came to dating. I was looking for a, dare I say it, real relationship and I was ready to own my truth. And what better place to try out new dating tactics than the internet? Cue my Bumble download.

Not long after I started swiping, I had a roster of men that I thought I wanted to meet. The first contender was a man that we’ll call… Justin. We had a mutual friend and he was relatively cute, so that was good enough for me. I took the initiative to invite him to go out with my friends and, lucky for me, he accepted.

I thought I hit the lottery.

It’s hard to truly say whether our chemistry was genuine, or if it was the two vodka drinks I downed to calm my nerves prior to meeting him. All I know is, I was quickly smitten. We had all the important things in common (you know, like music taste and favorite foods), we made each other laugh, and he said all the right things.

The date carried on for several hours, at three different bars, with a multitude of cocktails. It was all going so well and I repeatedly thought to myself, “This is it. This is what it feels like to really be interested in someone.” And then he kissed me.

That moment sealed my fate as having a full blown crush on this rare Bumble find. He liked me and I liked him and that was all I needed to know. But then, I remembered what my new dating endeavor was supposed to entail: honesty.

So, it was time to test my theory.

As the night crept into the very wee hours of the morning, “Justin” said that he wanted to continue spending time together, so I should come back to his house. I really wanted to go, but I needed to be honest. I told him point blank that I had absolutely no interest in starting something casual, much less a one night encounter. I couldn’t believe what I was admitting, as I stated that I was looking for something real.

In keeping on theme for the night, he responded with… all the right things. Normally I might be a bit harder to convince, but something about his sweet smile combined with my vodka soda haze made me believe him when he said he was looking for the same things, and that we were on the same page. And so I went home with him.

Yes, it was a first date faux pas.

Now, I know what you’re all thinking. I made the rookie mistake of going home with a man on the first date and spending… ‘adult time’ with him. But let’s get real… it’s the 21st century and when the sparks are flying, sometimes you just have to give in. And for the first time, perhaps ever, I had been honest with a guy about the fact that I had expectations of where I wanted this to go after we spent the night together, before we actually did it.

The next morning, the playful banter was still alive and well. My affinity for him remained and, in my humble opinion, the feeling seemed mutual. As he drove me home (for an hour), we talked about our families, the types of people we wanted to marry, our exes… all things that you would discuss with someone that you feel a certain level of intimacy with.

When he pulled up to my house, I was sad that our morning together was over. He had been so cute and kind, and I genuinely enjoyed his company. Before I got out of the car, he suggested that we hang out again. My heart smiled because, OF COURSE, I wanted to see him again and I was thrilled that he felt the same. I went into my house and did the whole, lean against the wall, close my eyes, take a deep breath and smile sort of thing that you see in the movies. I had been honest with a guy about what I wanted and it worked. I was flying.

…and I never heard from him again.

That’s right folks. I got absolutely played, lied to, and manipulated all the way until I made it back to my front door. What I thought was an instant connection was all smoke and mirrors. I did end up calling him out on his bullshit a few weeks later, and he basically agreed that he had been an asshole, but offered no real explanation… and I didn’t ask.

The moral of the story here is that you can change your attitude towards men, tell them what you want, be more open minded… but none of it will matter if it’s not with the right man. I thought I had hit a hole-in-one, but it turns out my swing isn’t that good just yet. I could have told him that I wanted a boyfriend or I could have told him that I wanted to keep it casual, and the outcome would have been the same. What I learned is that, just because you declare that you are ready, doesn’t mean that you are. The universe will put the right person in front of you when the time is right, and then you won’t have to consciously decide to be honest with them. You won’t have to go out of your way to try and be yourself. You just will be.

And you won’t have to play a role to make him want you. He just will.

Just a girl with an obsession for turning her thoughts into stories.

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