Love Handles: My One-Week Relationship

10.23.2005

By Bob Merrick

Out.com is proud to present the wacky and wild (and absolutely true'although some names have been changed to protect the guilty) adventures of a 30-year-old guy in Hollywood who just wants to lose a few (dozen) pounds. And find eternal happiness and fulfillment. Is that too much to ask?

Part Twenty-One: My One-Week Relationship

Tick. Tock. I can already hear the clock ticking to New Year's Eve and I haven't even made it through Halloween yet. That impending midnight kiss has been on my mind of late, and I decided I had best get to doing something about it. So I re-uploaded my old online personals and refreshed them with some new photos. It was time to once again go fishing in the old dating pool.

I've had a few decent nibbles that didn't really pan out (and a shockingly high number of responses from people already in relationships'classy!). Then a few weeks ago, I found one that took the bait, hook, line, and sinker. I was skeptical when the subject of his first e-mail was 'You're Hot,' but internally I hoped he was related to the Hilton fortune. His name was Matthew. He described himself as 'full of life, spiritually aware, and an all-around good guy.' He had a great smile, and the only two red flags were that he loves musicals (the one gay gene I forgot to collect in the womb) and rarely watches TV. I wrote him back immediately and he responded a few hours later saying he would be in Vegas for the weekend, but was looking forward to chatting when he got back on Monday.

True to his word, first thing Monday morning, Matthew sent me an IM saying, 'Hey handsome,' and we were off. We spent the entire day chatting as much as our jobs would allow. We covered every topic under the sun and for every flirtation he lobbed my way, I reciprocated instead of my usual recoiling. We both wanted to meet up that night, but our schedules were too rushed for a proper introduction and I was dead set on an actual date and not just a cheap hook-up. My eye was on New Year's Eve.

Tuesday was met with more chatting, and the anticipation was making me nervous. The more we shared, the more ideal he seemed. I have learned to never get my hopes up when meeting someone from the Internet, because they can never live up to your imagination. When it is all said and done, Jesse Metcalfe'the Desperate Housewives hunky gardener'could walk through the door and your brain would still have to readjust. Although if Jesse did walk though the door, I'm sure I would readjust quickly.

Afraid we were going to dig ourselves into a hole with all of the romantic chatting, I suggested we squeeze an hour into our Tuesday evening before we went off on our prior engagements. I stopped by his house on the way to dinner. As I feared, everything was a little different than what I had imagined. Though I still found him attractive, he wasn't the same guy I had been having the 48-hour online love affair with.

As we sat on his couch, the air was thick with 'now what do we do?' The conversation felt a little forced and my insecurities (like the fact that I was up two pounds to 249) immediately decided he was disappointed by me. I could hear the Margaret Cho voice in my head saying, 'Just blow him so we can all get back to our business.' He had dinner reservations with a friend and I needed to get going, so after an hour of talking about nothing, I was convinced the union was a dud. He walked me to the door and pulled me into him with both arms and began kissing me. He was a few inches shorter, so it was perfect when I tilted my head down to meet his. When we pulled away, he said, 'I should have done that when you got here, but I was too nervous.'

I told him, 'Well, now we have something to look forward to next time.'

He responded, 'I'm glad that you want there to be a next time.'

During the day Wednesday, our chats became aggressively flirtatious, and as titillating as it was, I was already feeling like I was backing out. In a nutshell, I just didn't see the fireworks like Bobby Brady did when he kissed Millicent. I could see that I was sabotaging the situation in my mind and tried to shake it off.

That night, we both had early evening plans and decided we would meet up at his house afterward. I told myself I would not spend the night and would only kiss him, since I was serious about trying to make this into something real. One thing led to another (more like he led me to his bedroom as soon as I got there) and the only commitment I stuck to was not spending the night. After a round of really great sex (I may have seen a sparkler or two), he took me into the shower and massaged my back as we cleaned up. As good as it felt, all I could think was that food isn't the only thing I have a hard time saying no to'it seems to be men as well. Or maybe it is just anything I can put in my mouth.

I called my friend Adam on my way home and told him I had made a mistake because I was already feeling like I'd gone too far. He was quick to stop me in my tracks: 'You've barely gotten to know him and you are already getting cold feet. On Monday night you were really excited about this guy. I think you need to give it more of a chance. You should invite him over to Wendy's on Friday night so everyone could meet him.'

It hadn't even dawned on me. I had never brought a romantic interest around any of my friends. When you do that, you have to spend too much time explaining to everyone who he is, and if it doesn't work out, then you have to explain what happened, not to mention the fear of the love interest not meeting your friends' expectations.

At Adam's urging, I invited him to Wendy's, where he met me late Friday night. It is a big house in the Hollywood Hills, complete with a guesthouse and a few loitering celebrities. It was a small affair of about 30 people, and all of my most important friends, like Adam, Katie, Eric Shane, and Erica were in attendance. All of my friends were terrific with him, trying to engage him in conversation and to get him to feel comfortable. He never did.

The best way I can describe it, he came to the party overwhelmed and left frustrated and I don't know what I could have done to make it any different. I introduced him to everyone and brought him into any conversations I was in. I can see how my life would be overwhelming for someone to walk into, but I am also in a new headspace of not wanting to apologize for it. Finally, he decided he had to go and I walked him to his car. I could tell the evening had been awkward for us both, but neither of us wanted to talk about the elephant in the room. At the car, we both leaned in for a kiss and said, 'I'll call you later.' He never did.

We have IM'd a few times since, and one day I finally brought up that night, because I wanted to feel clear about what happened. It felt good to be an adult and be forward and acknowledge that the sex was really great, but our personalities just didn't seem to mesh.

Coincidentally, last weekend I was on the treadmill at 24 Hour Fitness when Jesse Metcalfe hopped on another treadmill two machines down. Turns out my eyes didn't need to readjust. I took it as a reminder that anything is possible since there are still many fish in the sea.

To read part twenty, 'Sick Day(s)' click here.

To read part ninteen, 'Spanking My Inner Child' click here.

To read part eighteen, 'A Cleansing Experience' click here.

To read part seventeen, 'Suggestion Box' click here.

To read part sixteen, 'Turning Up the Heat' click here.

To read part fifteen, 'Surf's Up' click here.

To read part fourteen, 'Grin And Bear It' click here.

To read part thirteen, 'When in Rome' click here.

To read part twelve, 'Moving On Out' click here.

To read part eleven, 'I'm Getting Very Sleepy'' click here.

To read part ten, 'Who's Got the Pain?' click here.

To read part nine, 'Old Habits Die Hard,' click here.

To read part eight, 'Taking A Fresh Dip in the Dating Pool,' click here.

To read part seven, 'A Walk Down (Unpleasant) Memory Lane,' click here.

To read part six, 'Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures,' click here.

To read part five, 'Sex, Lies, and the Internet,' click here.

To read part four, 'Sweatin' with an Oldie' But Goodie,' click here.

To read part three, 'What Happens in Vegas, Doesn't Always Stay in Vegas,' click here.

To read part two, 'Let's Get Physical,' click here.

To read part one, 'Resolutions and Commitment,' click here.

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