Category Archives: Relationship Stories

How To Be the Most Attractive Guy At a Party and Still Stay In a Monogamous Relationship

I leaned against the refrigerator, my eyes staring at the center of the room.  The lights were off.  In the middle of the living room my friends danced in the dark on top of two wooden coffee tables. I was actually kind of jealous. The music bounced off the walls and everyone who surrounded me were lost in their movements, and I stood deafeningly still, statuesque even.  I would’ve been mistaken as any other guy, shy of his wits, afraid of women, and unable to open up.  I didn’t want to be that guy, the so called wall flower.  But, as I stood wondering inclusively, the truth was that that guy and I, were the exact same person.  Lost.

Ever since I could remember being social, I was always somewhat flirtatious.  My friends hated me for it.  More exact, my socially challenged friends hated me for it.  Just the way I presented myself openly, the updraft of comfort, the easily drawn out sexual undertones; my guy friends hated it, they would stand idly by watching me talk.  It wasn’t always like that.  There was a time where no one could get any two words out of me, much less a conversation.  However, once I was able to open up, laugh, and pry into a deeper meaning with most people I met, I found an inevitable charm.  Since then, I never looked back onto my more proper and less boisterous, silent ways.

I never thought having a girlfriend would change that.

Innocent touches, flirtatious spells, and confident glares across the room starts to become an addiction.  It’s as if everyone just started passing around dishes of your favorite slice of pie  to constantly remind you that you shouldn’t have any, or even be there.  I always thought my ability to talk to women carelessly was something of power.  It is, practically, something that most men want to have but somehow don’t understand.  It’s almost supernatural.  It leaves people thinking, “maybe he’s just born with it?”  It’s as if it’s that unrealistic.  However, it only takes standing in a room full of people to find out who you really are. Having a girlfriend in a crowded area leaves me being socially awkward, and, most tantalizingly, powerless.

By midnight, after taking several senseless laps around the party, I found myself rewiring my mindset, reflecting on who I am, and rebooting my happiness, thinking of ways to find a balance with my thoughts and trying to find a peace that I really needed.  I went over every way I use to meet women at parties. I needed a place where I could continue to be conscious of where I was, yet still continuing to stay morally obligated.  I wasn’t single, but I wasn’t a loser either.  I looked at my friends and felt a genuine honesty with myself. I started letting go of the idea that everything I did was to impress every woman that surrounded me.

Finally, I took my friend’s happy outstretched hand as I was lifted up onto the living room table.

As the party dissipated like a smokey substance released into the sky, I found myself sitting next to a girl who earlier was talking about linear algebraic equations. Nerds, I somehow always find myself next to them. We chatted lightly until she commented on my arms.

“I don’t like big arms, you’re muscly arms just make me want to vomit,” she said flirtatiously.

It lifted my spirits.  I pulled my arm through her hair and across her shoulders to give her a light hug.  She leaned her head in, moving her body closer into mine, her dark maroon colored hairs softly touching the skin on my neck.

“Sorry,” I said pulling my arm away from her, “You can’t do that, I have a girlfriend.”

I could feel her closeness turning into a nervous awkwardness as she lifted away from me.  She smiled politely.

“Oh,” she said, “I figured.”


Are You Over Her?

I’ll come back to Part 2 of “The Popular Kid Was Never That Good at Talking to Women,” but I just really wanted to write this while it was still recent.

“Are you over her?” Lenka asked.

6 months before I met my girlfriend, I met a girl named Paige.  It was last winter break, almost a whole year ago.  The thought of her still haunts me.  She broke me.  She broke me in a way that I thought would never be possible.  Every so often I remember what it was like to be with her.  I remember thinking about her, and losing her.

There’s an underlying property to falling in love with someone.  In some way, you can’t be caught up with someone else, even if they have left forever.  They somehow can’t be renting out a soft spot in your mind.  I don’t think that’s true.  I might be wrong.  The thing is, I try to move forward.  I try to move forward with everything in my life.  Just forward, just a clean b-line straight ahead to the next destination as fast and as eye level as possible.  However, the truth is, a lot of the things in my past still gnaw off little bits of my hopes for a future.  It’s not just with women; it’s sort of like this with a lot of the things in my life.

With every woman I’ve met, I tend to keep a piece of them with me whether I like it or not.  It’s a little encasing that just opens up whenever it feels like it, or it’s somehow triggered by specifically chosen items of nostalgia.  The problem that I had was that I always found something I truly liked in most of the women I dated.  I ended up finding something unique in the women who’ve come through my life, and it’s hard to let those things go.  It’s taken me awhile to forget a lot about the first girl I felt an emotional depth with.  But, on some level, to be honest, I kind of wish I hadn’t fully forgotten.

Lenka asked me, how I could fall in love with someone when my heart is somewhere else.  How can I fall in love with her when I’m not over Paige?  How is it possible?  It seems like there’s something absolutely totally wrong with that.

“Why do you love me?” I asked Lenka.

In a cute, sort of embarrassed, type of way, she told me things like how I make her laugh and how I make her happy.  As I listened over the phone, she ended up scrolling down a long list of bullet points as to why she loved me.  I already knew what I was going to tell her by the time she finished.

“If I loved you for all of those same reasons, would you call that love?”

No You Cannot Have My Phone Number: Boyfriends Don’t Cheat

“I’m sorry I just had to switch chairs because the person behind me had this major coughing issue and it just kind of grossed me out,” I said as I took the seat next to her.  It was getting kind of crowded on the train.  Before it got too crowded I decided to switch seats, in hopes that I wouldn’t be stuck standing or sitting in front of sir sneezes-a-lot.

“It’s okay, that’s really gross,” she said.  I looked down at the book she was reading, the title American Mind.  Between her index and middle finger she held a pencil in her left hand.

“So do you usually read with a pencil?”  I asked her.

“Oh no, this is for school,” she said humbly.

“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, if you read with a pencil it’s totally fine.  I won’t judge you or anything,” I said in polite sarcasm.  She laughed.

She goes to Berkeley.  One of the most prestigious Universities in California, if not the world’s.  She studies anthropology, had two rings on her left finger, and had skinny forearms.  Her glasses were Dolce Gabbana and the color of her hair was dyed a shining rusty autumn red shade.  We talked about how she got into the major, and how she originally was a journalism major.  I asked her if she was in the archaeological category of anthropology.  Then I told her about how my friend went to school for archeology but then decided to drop out one semester away from completion because he didn’t want anything to do with an archeology degree.  I talked fast.  She laughed.  She listened.  I kept my distance.

I asked her if she could watch my things for a quick second so I could check the subway map as to see where I should get off.  “Where you heading to?” she asked me as I came back to take my seat.

I swallowed politely and gently told her, “I’m heading to my girlfriend’s house.”

I could see the thoughtful ease in her eyes dwindle away.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

A few weeks ago I was talking to my girlfriend about how some guy asked her for her number and her friend’s number to hang out.   She told me that he asked for her number simply to hang out and play tennis.  Being a cereal flirt at one point in my life, I understood this process.  The need to build that comfort and cement that bond that seemed so effortless.  Not to be pushing things forward, however, letting them be guided gently towards your favor.  Then just letting things happen.  I knew the rules.  I wasn’t stupid.  Men will take whatever they want from the women they want something from.  Whether it be marriage, or just one night.  When us men, see an opening, we’ll take it.  This is what I told my girlfriend.  I knew this, because I already lived through it.

As I sat down next to my new subway friend.  My stop came closer and it seemed like time had just flew by.  I was wondering if I should ask her for her phone number.  Maybe we could hang out?  Maybe I’d invite her to hang out with my friends?  Maybe she’d read my blog, because getting one new reader is always that exciting.  These were all stupid reasons.  I truth was that I didn’t need her number; I didn’t need it for anything.  Sometimes in life we like to replicate enjoyable moments; that’s why friends hang out together more than once, and the reason why people find themselves in relationships.  I already had enough friends.  I already had a girlfriend.  Finding excuses to get this girl’s number was simply about finding excuses.

A few minutes before the train stopped at my stop, I said my goodbyes and she told me about how much she enjoyed talking to me.  I replied likewise.  As I waited for the train doors to open, I could see her looking vicariously in my direction.  I stared at her deeply with a mugging shifty eye stare.  She smiled. My life wasn’t built around women and the way to flirt with them.  I was built around my natural immaturity and my practical enjoyment of my own insecurities.  Life itself, just came naturally.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

I waited at the nearest bus stop closest from the train station for my girlfriend.  She arrived on bike with her usual cheeky grin.  I hadn’t seen her for almost 2 weeks.  We kissed a dozen times in front of the view of ongoing traffic.  I told her about the girl I sat next to on the train and my amazing feat of my awesome boyfriend’liness.

“But she could’ve been your soul mate?” she said to me sarcastically.
“You’re a dork,” I said before kissing her.
“And you’re beautiful, and perfect,” I said kissing her.

“And, oh so amazing!!!” I said immaturely exuberant, right before she told me to stop.

Read last literary piece here:  Wrapped Around a Park Bench

Wrapped around a park bench

“You remember how you asked me if I had any questions I wanted to ask you?”

We were seated on the park bench staring out into the open view of the park.  “Well,” Lenka continued, “Is there anything you wanted to ask me?”

I repositioned myself on the wooden bench.  “Yeah sure,” I replied.  I wrapped my right arm around Lenka as she perched her head on my shoulder.  I could feel the texture of her hair tickling the inside of my ear.  I hesitated, thinking about what I could ask her.  “What do you. . .” I was trying to find the right words.  I could feel Lenka wondering what it was that could be of interest.

“What do you call the meal between lunch and dinner?” I said finally.  I could feel Lenka’s eyes rolling on my shoulder.

“Jon.” she said naggingly.

Linner? Dunch?”

I could feel Lenka’s cheeks smiling, “Uhh Linner! Duh!” she said lifting her head off my shoulder.

“No, maybe it’s sunch, like supper with lunch.  Or dupper!” I continued, “Even though that would be both supper and dinner which wouldn’t make any sense because they’re both the same thing.”  Lenka laughed and I made fun of the way she laughed, which caused more laughter.  Lenka placed her head back on my shoulder as we continued to stare out at what was in front of us.  We quieted down from random unusual talk about hybrid meals and just sat there enjoying what was left of the day before the sunset.

“I think we spend so much time analyzing things that we forget to see what’s in front of us.”

I could feel her smile from the corner of her cheek.

“You’re right,” Lenka said, content with not asking anymore than we already know.  She just casually wrapped herself around me while we waited for the time to pass.


She laughed.

“I like slunch,” she replied smiling.

The Universe Works in Mysterious Ways.

I had already pealed the skin off the peaches.  “Hey, do you want to switch,” I asked Lenka who was just finishing cutting the peaches into halves.  Lenka and I switched places on the kitchen counter, traded knives, and I started carving my peach.  We needed fourteen peaches pealed, cut, unseeded, and halved.  Lenka had her hair tied back in a bun, several strands passing in front of her face.  We, along with one of her friends, went peach picking today.  Then strawberry picking.  Then bought sushi and beef teriyaki to eat at the tea house which was on the same street as the Japanese restaurant.  Then we came home and after I took a nap, we all sat together in the living room eating gargantuan Indian wraps, a very large Indian style burrito wrapped in naan.

I pulled the peach halves from the seed and placed it in the metallic bowl in front of me. “Do you ever notice that I met you one day and now we’re here making peach pie?” I asked her.

Lenka smiled and looked at me.  “I know,” she said, “fate just works that way sometimes,” she continued then kissed me, our hands wrapped in peach juice.

I met Lenka in front of a library about three months ago.  Earlier at the tea house her friend, Miley, asked us about our relationship, and several questions about men flirting with women.  As it turns out I was finding out a lot of things about my new girlfriend.  Things like how she thought it was weird that I touched her hand in a very inappropriate way; her hand.  How when I first met her she was absolutely belligerent and surprised; not everyday does a random guy come up to you and tell you how beautiful you are.  How we pieced the pieces together until we would be standing in her kitchen making peach pie after several days of meeting together and several weeks of waiting in between.

Lenka was a total stranger to me.  I’ve never seen her face before that day in front of the library.  I didn’t ask my friends what she’s into.  I never got the chance to preemptively ask anything about her.  Actually I’ve never done that ever.  Unlike many people I know, I’ve always preferred to meet the woman I want on my own and not through friends.  I looked down on the guy who was dating one of their friend’s ex’s.  Catching whoever they can in a small sexually discomforting and sexually suffocating community.

When meeting your current girlfriend through friends, you don’t get all the magic, you get a lot of science.  You get geography, proximity, statistical values, the large likelihood that she likes you just because you were there, easily accessible, and available for time, six degrees of seperation.  And let’s face it, it’s not easy falling in love with a stranger.  It’s not easy finding the time to meet a stranger when nothing is happening, or not doing something so that you can meet up together.  I’m not saying love doesn’t happen within friends.  I’m not saying people grow old finding ways to appreciate each other instead of fairytale love, because of their dependance of association and lack of “zing!”  I’m saying it’s well worth it to have a girl that could leave you at any moment, but doesn’t.

Lenka could leave me today and I’d be left with nothing but memories of her.  No seeing each other over friendly activities, most likely never having to deal with one of my friends trying to date her.  Not having to see her on the arm of some other guy.  Not having to see her, period.  Just gone.  She has the right to not call me ever again.  She could delete me off facebook.  Never return my emails.  She could just say that she never wants to see me anymore and that’d be it.  She doesn’t need a reason.  She could just disappear.

But she hasn’t.

. . . . . and I haven’t either.

Last night, Saturday, we had a bonfire.  I was very on edge whether or not I’d be going.  The beach closed at 11pm and the fastest I’d make it there was 10pm.   I couldn’t find a ride because my car’s broken.  I couldn’t take the bus home because by the time we’d finish the buses would stop working.  And more randomly, I just got back home from Lenka’s house.  It literally was just 26 hours of not seeing each other, and it wasn’t easy passing through 4 cities for an hour and fifteen minute commute by train, bus, and walking.  Despite all of this, I really looked forward to a bonfire with her and all her friends, it sounded like fun.  I told Lenka I wasn’t going to meet up with her and her friends, it just logistically was not easy.  I heard the slight hum of sadness in her voice.  She finally said okay and let me off.  Immediately after she hung up my friend called me.

“Hey, so do you still need a ride?” he said.

When I got to the bonfire Lenka had bought me a forty of Blue Moon, my favorite beer.  We huddled together in front of our fire, and then moved on to another bonfire where we met more interesting people.  Being that I brought my guitar, I played a set of mainstream songs on the acoustic: “Closing time” by Semisonic, “The man who can’t be moved,” by The Script, and several others.  When we finally came home that night, she baked potato baloni, my favorite, and honey chicken with sage, my new favorite, as I played more guitar while she cooked.

The next morning, Lenka woke up in my arms.  The heat between our bodies warm under the blankets.  We talked for hours in bed like we’ve done several times before on the days she didn’t have to work.  She told me that she bought the beer for me, and the baloni for me, and really wished that I could make it to the bonfire because she really wanted me to be there, hoping that somehow I could make it just for a few minutes before the beach closed.

She smiled at me, her eyes slightly awakened from sleep.

“I figured if I did enough things the universe would know that I want you here.”

. . .  It was the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me.

Handling Being Fuck Buddies

“I just haven’t told her about you yet,” Lenka said.

“You haven’t told her that we’re fuck buddies,” I replied.

Lenka’s eyes sank down from mine.  She nervously smiled as her shoulders shrugged when she inhaled.  “I don’t like that word,” she said.

Lenka had never been in a relationship.  From what she told me, she was always nervous around boys and now men.  Although she was obviously beautiful, athletically slender, and most importantly, she had incredibly exceptional skills in the kitchen, she had never had the privilege of being asked out.  She believed that since she grew up this way she always had commitment issues.  She was scared of being anyone’s girlfriend.  She had never been part of an item.

I, on the other hand, wanted to be in a relationship.  The long pressured nights of trying to pull girl’s numbers, and find ways, and places, to pull off their clothes and fuck them was becoming stale and bland, not to mention took a heavy toll on who I wanted to be.  I, of course, enjoyed sex.  The chase for it was becoming less and less exciting.  After awhile I just wanted someone to hold in my arms and wake up next to.  I just wanted someone to stay.

I understood where Lenka was in life; just graduated college, lives in an apartment, no parties, dinner with wine, and a nine to five job.  She was an adult.  It was her time to have “me time.”  It was her time to be an independent woman, and I didn’t feel right imposing on that.

To be in a relationship is to hope that someday you’ll have someone plop on one knee and give the whole wedding snow brigade; the white diamond ring, the white dress, the white church, with white flowers, probably even in a few inches of fluffy white snow.  However, why would an early twenty something want to get into a relationship?  Are they saying, “Yeah I call this guy my boyfriend because I want him to marry me in a few months.”

If the twenty something relationship isn’t looking for wedding bells, what are you looking forward to, other than the end?  If this isn’t the ideal guy, what are they holding out for?  Is it because these young twenty something’s can’t see themselves having a fuck buddy, a sexual partner that comes in and out of their lives.  Or is it because they want to take long chastised turns at a time so they won’t be labeled as sluts, whores, or polygamist?

The human body yearns to have human contact.  Yearns for ecstasy, yearns for touch, lips, grabbing, sex, sex, and more sex.   In American society you never hear about a celebrity going from bed to bed to bed with other celebrities.  If it is, it’s at least hidden, and if it is you don’t hear much of it.  However, us American’s, love celebrity break ups, celebrity get togethers, and celebrity get back togethers.  For a long time I’ve wondered, what is it that makes young twenty somethings seat themselves into a relationship.

A few months ago I made future plans to go traveling.  I thought of gorgeous places like backpacking all over Europe; walking the hills of Ireland, taking pictures of Rome, partying in Barcelona, and exploring the taste of authentic Italian pizza.  I thought about vagabonding all over Asia, Australia, South America; attempting to dance horribly to Bollywood, exploring the jungles in Brazil, having a beer in Australia while staring at Koalas.  I wondered what it would all be like, the scents, the taste, the feel.  Then I laid there thinking, “Wouldn’t it be nice to share that with someone.”

By Jonathan Manor