“To my neurotic friends, calm down and take a breath. When you go on a date, treat it like you are having drinks and cheese sticks with your best friends.”
Well my friends, cheese sticks happened. That quote was from a column this summer where I was giving you, the reader, and myself tips on dating. The last column I wrote I talked about my summer of single and how I learned so much about myself. Apparently, life has a way of opening itself up and making magic happen. Yes, I’m about to get super corny.
The weekend before the unofficial end of summer—Labor Day—I had my new house painted. I was planning a huge housewarming party to introduce my friends to Chateau Oprah. I did name my house Chateau Oprah—don’t judge. I called on a friend of mine, whom we shall call Mr. Silver Fox, to paint my house. He’s a friend of mine I’ve known for a couple of years. He’s the friend you see out every weekend and catch up on the week, or the one you call if you are in a jam and need someone with a big truck to help out. He is always there to lend a hand. He came with his business partner to paint my house on a Saturday. What did I do while they were painting? I met up with some friends for a drink, or three, while they were finishing up the paint job.
After a couple of hours of hanging out, my friends and I ubered back to my house where Mr. Silver Fox and his business partner were still painting. Being that he was a friend and we were continuing the Saturday Funday, we asked him who he was dating or if he would date any one of us. Mr. Silver Fox rolled his eyes and kept painting. After a little more time passed, the painting was finished and Chateau Oprah looked amazing. As Mr. Silver Fox was leaving my house and I was waving goodbye, he turned around and said, “Hey, remember how you all asked if I would choose any of you to date? Well I would choose you.”
Mr. Silver Fox flashed a grin and walked to his truck. I stood there in shock. Was he joking? Was he just pulling my leg because we were being obnoxious after some day drinking? I would come to find out in the days following that he indeed wanted to date me and held a crush for a few months.
Here’s where I get a little serious. I would have not been prepared to receive his affection and kindness if I hadn’t gone through my summer of single. Before the summer, I really hadn’t taken the time to understand why my last relationship didn’t work out, besides the obvious: We weren’t a match and we didn’t have a lot of common. Those sorts of issues plagued my last relationship.
But there was one problem I was solely responsible for in the demise of my last relationship—I never felt good enough. I always questioned how and why someone could like or even love me. Those feelings of inadequacy I felt about myself made me constantly question my relationship. When you don’t have confidence in yourself, how can your partner? My summer of single made me really dig down and figure myself out. I truly felt like a new man by the end of the summer of working through these issues.
With this newfound confidence and understanding of myself, I’ve been able to receive affection and achieve a level of intimacy I used to try to fake. There are just some things in life that you can’t fake until you make it happen. You have to go through experiences that bring you to a place of understanding.
As Hurricane Irma stomped her way through Florida, Mr. Silver Fox and I evacuated St. Pete together. On our trip away we realized how precious life is and how small of a time we have on this planet. Why sit around and wait a couple of months before we decide to take the plunge make it exclusive and become FBO (Facebook Official)?
Outside of what I learned about my inner workings this summer, the biggest lesson I’ve learned in my few months with Mr. Silver Fox is that you should not be afraid of going after you want. We’ve joked a few times about what I would have done if he hadn’t confessed his feelings for me. He would have moved on and started dating someone else and I would have looked on wishing I would have confessed my feelings for him as well. So if there’s someone in your life that you’ve been wanting to confess your feelings for, do it. Why would you wait? I’m happy he didn’t.