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When I got to the bar to meet my first date, I spotted a really attractive, broody guy in the corner, scribbling in a notebook.My date turned out to be a total dud, but writer guy and I kept making eyes.His name was Will*, and he was a theater actor with a side hustle as a carpenter, and a slight Texan drawl. We immediately bonded over our love of cheap beer, theater, and Johnny Cash.For the next five hours, the booze flowed; we moved to another bar, split a plate of nachos, and then drunkenly fell into a cab together back to my apartment.
He hung all of the shelves in my apartment, cooked me chicken and dumplings from scratch, and, real talk, was some of the best sex I’ve ever had. One day, Will told me that he’d met someone he was interested in pursuing seriously, but that he’d end things with her if I wanted to take our relationship to the next level.It was my first experience with casual sex like that — and I was surprised by how into it I was.After my usual pattern had failed to land me a rom-com boyfriend, I’d decided to go in the opposite direction by taking a dating hiatus.After trying our hand at a “real” date, Will and I realized our sizzle was at its highest within the four walls of my apartment.
So we laid down some ground rules: we were allowed to date other people, so long as we were honest about it.Luckily, I eventually realized that there's no "right" way to date, and that I need to find happiness within myself, no partner needed. I don’t know if it’s because I watched too many rom-coms growing up or if I’m just wired to DTR the moment a dude double-texts me, but casual dating is not something I’ve ever learned how to do.As much as I liked Will, I knew that there were a lot of ways in which we’d never work as a couple.