The Runner

Introducing our brand new contributor, Mindy Lahiri! She self-identifies as her own worst enemy when it comes to love and is looking to break some old patterns.  If you ask me (Samantha), she’s hilarious, courageous in her pursuit of love and has a massive heart.  Welcome Mindy to DTT6! 

Rewind to two years ago. I am new to the city and excited to be closer to all my friends and be working in a new job- but also am extremely unhappy with who I am as a person and felt as though I had no purpose. One of the friends I had in the city wanted to introduce me to “this guy who had seen my IG page and thinks I’m cute”. So after seeing his page, I was thinking to myself.. theres NO way this guy, thinks I’m cute.. but sure, let’s give it a try. Let’s call this guy The Runner.

After about a month of following each other on Instagram we finally met in person. He was (and still is) one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever laid my eyes on. He’s tall, dark, handsome and seemed to have his s*** together. To me at the age of 23, I couldn’t help but be drawn to this 31 year old man with his own apartment, an education and a steady job. Most importantly, he was kind hearted, intelligent and funny. He crossed off all the boxes for me and from the moment I met him (maybe even before I met him), I knew that I was going to fall so hard for this guy.

I remember the details of us meeting so vividly it might scare some people. We met on a Thursday night with our mutual friend there and I was too nervous to actually speak cause well, he was human perfection. From there, the DM’s started and eventually started texting each other. We hung out that next night and had some of the most mindblowing sex I’ve ever had. You know how sometimes sleeping with a new person can be awkward.. it was not like that with The Runner. He understood me and my body in a way that I don’t think I had experienced until then. We slept and cuddled that whole night, and then hung out the next night. Drank wine, talked about deep life stuff and had some amazing sex. When I wasn’t with him, I was thinking about him and being with him. You know that feeling when someone lights your crotch on fire but also makes you feel things emotionally? Yeah, this was that.

From there, we continued to text regularly and hangout on a pretty consistent basis. We went for dinner a couple times, but for the most part the hanging out was later at night in his apartment and usually involved sex and cuddling. He expressed to me numerous times that he was not looking for a relationship and that he was working on healing himself from his past relationship (**Some context: we started hanging out a month after his live in girlfriend and him ended… BAD IDEA) and that he wanted to figure out his career etc. I heard what he said and where he was at and in the moment because I so desperately wanted him, I agreed with him and told him I was okay with casual. In reality, I did not accept it and I continued to hope for more and that maybe one day we will work out. But nothing ever changed.. it all boiled down to us being at different places in our lives and wanting different things. But there was something about him that I could not let go of. Eventually, after 9 months of being 100% emotionally invested in someone who couldn’t even meet me 10% of the way- he started seeing someone else and we stopped talking. Don’t you love falling for an emotionally unavailable guy??

When he told me that he was seeing someone and that he wanted to see things through with her, it was one of the most painful things to hear. I thought it was going to be me and I was so furious that I had wasted so much of my time. I was mad at myself and mad at him. Turns out that it was ALL in my head. The hardest part of that was that I created a narrative in my head and expected him to live up to that- without the courtesy of a conversation to communicate what I expected. How’s a person supposed to live up to expectations they don’t know even exist?

So anyway, from there we went about a year without seeing or speaking to each other. I had convinced myself that I was over him.. I dated other people and I threw myself into my friendships and work. But The Runner was someone I thought about all the time. It didn’t matter that he had a new girlfriend.. I still thought, “maybe one day”. Just as I thought I was over him for good, I ran into him at an event and I felt like my legs turned to jello and I couldn’t form proper sentences. He gave me a hug and just his physical presence sent me way back in time. After seeing him I was anxious, I was sad, I had all these feelings that had been repressed for almost a year and they all surfaced at once.

After some really intense therapy sessions, talks with friends, A LOT of writing (we’re talking numerous notebooks full) I realized a few things:

  1. I lacked so much self love and respect that I was willing to let just about anybody stay in my life
  2. I was so scared of being alone and not having someone to love the parts of myself that I did not love- that I settled
  3. The behaviours I have with men are a reflection of how I feel about myself
  4. I was depending on someone else to make me happy because I couldn’t make myself happy.. that’s a fuck ton of pressure to put on a person who cant even make themselves happy
  5. If something doesn’t feel right at first, it likely isn’t
  6. That entire situation had NOTHING to do with me and everything to do with HIM
    1. It wasn’t a question of whether I was worthy or good enough for him.. we just didn’t have timing on our side
    2. He said himself “the only thing that was wrong with you was that you expected long deep conversations at 3 AM”

All of this made me think: which unhealed part of me is that desperate for love and affection that I consistently settle for less than I deserve? Why was I not good enough for him? WILL I EVER BE GOOD ENOUGH??

Those are some pretty loaded questions that I am still figuring out how to answer. But in regards to The Runner I know I am finally at peace with the situation. It took a lot of work and a lot of digging deep within myself- because a lot of the reason I was so “sad” about him- really had nothing to do with him and had everything to do with me and who I was. Yes, he treated me poorly at times and he has since apologized and he was not innocent in the whole thing but neither was I. I am so beyond grateful for what I went through with him because it taught me so much. If I had known 2 years ago what I know now, I never would have let it get that far with him.. but I was meant to learn that lesson the hard way and I’m glad I did.

Since then, The Runner and I have become friends. I joke that he is my best friend and it makes my REAL best friends, aka Samantha, upset. He is not my best friend, but he is someone who knows me and knows how hard things were for me and knows all the growing up I had to do to get to the place I am at now. If you even asked me 3 months ago about The Runner, the story would have gone a lot differently- but now that I am at peace with it 100% and I know that him and I are on good terms, I can finally close that chapter of my life and look back knowing that it helped to make me a stronger woman and a stronger person. On to the next..

PS- This whole article was written while sitting across from The Runner at a local coffee shop.

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The 6ix Month Relationship

Miranda – I’m so proud of the title of this blog post. It just hit me like a ton of bricks and I realized it was the perfect depiction of what I’ve been going through the past half year…

I’d like to thank Pam Beesley for her insightful blog post and inspiration for getting me to write this. She reminded me that we had this marvelous platform as an outlet to vent,
write our feelings and just genuinely sort our internal shit out.

My last post, The Fkboi Myth, made me realize how much has changed since I initially wrote it. The boy in question in that post, Mr. Black, ended up being such a whirlwind
of an experience. As of 2 weeks ago, it’s officially over, but not without some highs and low, and bumps and bruises.

The reason why I call this the 6ix month relationship is because this is as long and as close as I’ve had to a real relationship. Yes, I’ve had a “bf” years ago but that ended in
under 2 months due to me going on an International Exchange in school. Mr. Black, on the other hand, lasted just under 6 months and we were in an exclusive but not a committed, serious relationship (so no boyfriend/girlfriend labels). Essentially, just like the Fkboi central city we live in, it was the epitome of a very 6ix style relationship.

For the purposes of this post, I would like to rename him from Mr. Black to Mr. Nigerian Prince. I’ve decided to change his nickname from Mr. Black to Mr. Nigerian Prince because it’s a much more accurate reflection of him. I think Mr. Black at the time was a quick decision by picking on his most obvious physical trait in that it was the first black guy I’ve really dated and well…slept with. Up until now I’ve maybe just kissed 1.5 black guys (3 mixed people – do the math). I know I’m perhaps being racist with my explanation but I’m just saying it as it is. Before this, I’ve never been particularly
interested in dating black guys but let’s just say, after this experience, my
mind (and legs), are much more open to the thought. Maybe an entire separate
blog post is needed on this to explain my new found affinity towards black men.

Anyways, he is now Mr. Nigerian Prince because he is a recent expat from Nigeria. And like all traditional Nigerian Prince situations, it was kind of a scam. But, in this
case, he wasn’t scamming me, I was scamming myself.

Let me explain. One of the best (and worst) aspects of getting to know him was his brutal honesty. Quite early on he was upfront that he does not do committed relationships (like, ever) – but he was happy to be exclusive with me. I was taken aback when I first learned this but I consciously decided to remain with him, as it would be a test and learning experience for myself. Could I deal with gray areas? What does it mean to be exclusive but not committed? Is it just labels or is there actually a difference? In the back of my mind, I knew it would come to an close eventually because of his non-commital ways, but it was still something I was willing to see through. So, I guess in that sense I was scamming myself.

Even so, I have no regrets about deciding to pursue this. From the beginning to the end, it’s been a fascinating experience and I’m honestly just proud of myself for coming out
of it relatively unscathed. The fact that I allowed it to last this long in such a gray space is a miracle for someone as high strung and anxious as me. But in the end I had to call it quits, as I eventually learned, among other things, that this was not a good fit for me anymore. To sum up, these are the biggest learnings and takeaways from my time with Mr. Nigerian Prince:

  1. I should not hold  onto my feelings and build up resentment. I cannot expect someone, especially a guy, to be able to read my mind and my mood swings. It’s only fair to open up and communicate them clearly with my expectations and my feelings. Ask them for what you want, so  everything’s fair game and on the table. How he decides to react and act is then on him and you can gauge appropriately from there.
  2. Believe what a guy tells you if he’s speaking honestly. It’s not your role to “read between the lines” or decide whether he actually knows what he wants or not. You either decide to accept him as he is and perceives himself, or don’t accept him at all and move on. Just don’t ask him or force him to change, because that’s unhealthy for both of you.
  3. How to breakup with someone (first one didn’t go so well, second one went a lot smoother). And the emotional rollercoaster that happens afterwards. I didn’t know I was capable of ugly crying for the better part of a day nonstop, mam, that was exhausting. In fact, I’m still in the recovery stage now and trying to figure out the next steps are to get over it.
  4. What I’m capable of giving in a relationship. Throughout my time with Mr. Nigerian Prince, I had to hold back so much with him. I felt ready to give so much more, whether that be in the form of my time, emotional vulnerability, and the desire of creating new experiences together. So, it was very frustrating for me to constantly quiet my internal wants and ultimately, this was what drove me to ending it.
  5. What I want in a relationship. The qualities of a man that ACTUALLY matters. Not their height, their looks, or what they do. I want to focus on how they make me feel, that our communication styles match, and that they are emotionally available and ready to commit.
  6. Lastly, I have jungle fever. This is an exciting realization because it opens up my dating pool much more.

Again, I feel really thankful for this experience and even though ending it wasn’t easy, it’s what was right for me. The crying was definitely ugly (which left my face so puffy I had slits for eyes), and the companionship (and his fine ass) will definitely be missed. However, since coming to terms with what I want, it no longer made sense to keep it going. I was pouring my energy and time into a vessel with a hole in it and left feeling drained.

6ix months later, it’s 2019 and I feel empowered. It’s time to make room for new experiences and to meet other sexy men.

Mr. Heartbreak Breakup

Carrie – The curse of having a great memory is having to disassociate every moment you’ve ever shared with him. 

The latest memory that sent me into tears was mini donuts. Yes my friends mentioned mini donuts, a great joy in people’s lives and diets, but a bitter sweet reminder of our first date when we lined up in front of the “hot and fresh” carnival donut stand.

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yes, this made me cry recently

The saddest part of having a formal relationship is knowing that the transition never really involves after-the-fact friendship. Maybe ex-sex or the occasional run-in. But rare to have true friendship if you didn’t start off with it. Continue reading “Mr. Heartbreak Breakup”

Mr. Special Ops

Carrie – When my friend offered me her place to stay in Seoul and my credit card supplied me with free flights, I impulsively booked my four Asian-metropolis trip for May: Tokyo, Shanghai, Busan and Seoul.

We met interesting people along the way, that’s for sure. One night in Tokyo, we ended up at as the only two girls at this karaoke bar, where I proceeded to get serenaded and dipped by the big, burly bartender to Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero” (song is forever ruined).

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Cue to my last weekend Seoul, where I develop what I will term “Seoul Goggles” which is essentially a “do it for the blog” mentality.

Continue reading “Mr. Special Ops”

Boston Babe’s Back!

FFS this post is delayed. Though unintended I have taken 2.5 months to get this sucker out…As such, here’s a little #TBT for your Thursday afternoon….

It was an ordinary November afternoon when I received a Snapchat message from good ole’ Boston Boy (upgraded to Boston Babe), my super sweet fling from the summer who took me to baseball games and held my hand at the dinner table. It said: “Hey, do you know any good places to eat in downtown Toronto?” I laughed to myself, realizing that this was exactly how he’d started our very first tinder convo (yes, I have that good a memory). I was in the middle of a drrrry spell…one that actually started when B-Boy left Toronto back in August. Work was out of control busy, I was studying for a grad school entrance exam, and had a general apathy toward dating of any kind, so ya, I didn’t hesitate setting up our date.

We agreed to meet at his hotel and I showed up nervous and excited. After all, I hadn’t seen the guy in almost 3 months and couldn’t even remember if I thought he was cute. He ended up getting stuck at work so I decided to make the best of the situation and grabbed a glass of wine and a seat at the bar. I ended up chatting to the guy at the stool next to me (don’t get the wrong idea, he was well over 50) and had a pretty hilarious time. I felt a little like the star of my own version of “Pretty Woman”, trying to set up a client while waiting for another to arrive. The gentleman asked if I was staying in the hotel, to which I replied: “Nope just visiting a friend” just as Boston Babe showed up, looking way cuter than I remembered I may add. I struggled to find my credit card and pay for the drink only looking up when the bartender yelled “THAT WAS THE SMOOTHEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN”. Always considerate, my Boston Babe had subtly paid the tab and grabbed my stuff. All I could do was muster a quiet “thank you” and grab his hand before heading straight for the elevators.

The rest of the night was honestly amazing. We hooked up, ate pizza in bed, hot-tubbed, hooked up, watched a movie, slept, and again hooked up. It was as if we picked up right where we let off and quickly transitioned from ‘what’ve you been up to’ pleasantries to meaningful conversation. I left the next morning, after enjoying a complimentary hotel breakfast, feeling elated and excited to see him again. Oh! and I mustn’t forget that the gentleman from the bar the night before turned up again, this time sitting across from me as I ate toast and scrambled eggs, while I kept my blushing cheeks pointed to my plate.

Fast forward a few weeks and I am in a full-on ‘fling-lationship’. I dub this term to explain the otherwise uncategorically expressed phenomenon: I was 100% in a relationship for a very defined period of time. We texted, ate meals together, talked about our days, and spent a lot of time together. By the last week of his trip I had definitely grown attached, more than to just having someone in my life but to him as well. We went skating one night and as he held my hands and skated backwards, guiding us around the rink I couldn’t help but think: “Why does he have to leeeeaaaveeee”. I was so happy to continue doing what we were doing that I couldn’t help but feel slighted to have found someone I get along with so well when he happens to live in another country. A country with a president like Trump no less.

We had some very deep life chats over the course of a couple weeks, even getting into our pasts and relationship deal breakers which is something I rarely share with my male companions. I admitted mine is overemotional guys…ya, I’m pretty callous…hence my hesitance to share. It turned out I needn’t worry, as his exes always complained that he didn’t open up and was too emotionally reserved…Well no wonder we friggen got along so well! I don’t like to talk about feelings with the guy I’m dating and he doesn’t like to talk about feelings. period.

Well, while our mutual fear of intimacy made for a perfect fling, it also made it kind of hard to understand if the feelings I was developing were real. By the end of his trip my mind had turned into a broken record  “Should I say how I feel? Could he feel the same way? Am I asking to be rejected by a guy who admittedly doesn’t open up??” I continued this one-woman game of ‘relationship chicken’, torn between taking a risk or letting this great guy just pass me by until it was suddenly our last night together and I still hadn’t said anything. You’d think I’d be capable of uttering a simple “Hey, I like you and I’d actually give this a shot…what do you think?”, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Despite my overwhelming cowardice we had a great night. Well, no…Let me clarify. I had a perfectly good night but he was clearly VERY off…to this day I don’t know what was wrong but he didn’t enjoy the physical part of our relationship in the same way he had throughout all the time we’d spent together prior. Maybe he was also playing relationship chicken and was more wrapped up in his thoughts than in my embrace? Maybe he had a rough day at work? Who knows. I

left the next morning knowing that it’d be the last time I saw him.  Whether or not he felt the way I did one thing was clear: neither of us had the balls to turn this into anything real and without someone stepping up to the plate we’d go down in history as the greatest potential relationship never to reach the major leagues.

We had a great time together and while losing him stung a bit, I was over it after a couple days and quickly dove back into work, studying and not giving a fuck about dating. I won’t be the type of girl always at someone else’s beck and call, so if he ever came back to T.O., single or not, our fling-lationship would remain safely where it belongs: on my blog.

How I Broke up with My Best Friend…Twice

I used to think that girls and guys could be just friends. I really did! I’ve had many guy friends in the past and am 100% comfortable bro-ing out. Hell, sometimes I NEED the testosterone in my life to balance out particularly dramatic periods of time. But I have finally accepted that in any very close male-female relationship, it is not possible to always be “just friends”. In fact, to quote my fave relationship guru and fellow DTT6 author Rachel Green, a guy and girl can only actually be friends if they both successfully pass the “Do I like this person” hurdle at least some point in the relationship. Why I bring this up you might ask? Well, for the second time in my life I have had my best and closest guy friend admit to having feelings for me and for the second time in my life I had to give up on a friendship that has been ruined by sex – or in these cases, a lack thereof.

Quick background on me: I lost my virginity to my best friend in Grade 12, told him I liked him only as a friend, lost that friendship, realized I liked him a year later, dated for a year, broke up in what can only be described as world war 3, and hooked up on and off for almost 2 years until that went down in flames. If our breakup was world war 3 then the finality of our relationship was world war Z, and the carnage was epic on both ends. I decimated that friendship and almost 5 years after our initial breakup the wound has not properly healed. Safe to say I’m pretty sensitive when it comes to the treacherous waters where emotion meets friendship.

Despite this, I got very close to one of my male co-workers when starting at my current job. We don’t have much in common in terms of interests but for some reason we just click. Over the last year and a half we have gotten incredibly close, spending time together outside of work constantly and ingratiating each other in our respective lives. He’s facetimed with my family, I’ve gone for dinner with him and his dad and as time went on the lines between us grew increasingly blurry. Nonetheless, it never seemed like a problem worth addressing..I didn’t think of him him that way and didn’t think about how he felt about me.

Cut to – August 2016 when this great friend of mine turned into a compete a-hole. Seemingly overnight my closest male ally had become my enemy, acting distant and insulting at every turn. He pushed me away and I just didn’t understand why.

Never one to shy away from conflict I confronted him, at work mind you, and asked WTF was up. Honestly, I thought he was going to tell me he had feelings for our DTT6 resident Miranda and was absolutely FLABBERGASTED when he instead admitted to having feelings for me. I was shocked, confused, and a tiny bit flattered. His feelings ran quite a bit deeper than a crush, and his hurtful behaviour stemmed from an inability to balance our friendship with how he felt.After a very uncomfortable convo where I had to straight up tell this great guy that I was not into him we left the office in separate directions, me understanding what I did to piss him off (answer: not love him back) and him needing some space from our friendship.

I am not so naive to think this never would have happened. Tons of my friends had previously asked what was up, either believing he was into me or otherwise gay, so I was really the only one surprised by this news.The only explanation that I can provide is it’s a likely combo of  denial and wishful thinking. I never would’ve wanted to hurt him or our friendship, so I pretended the notion of us as being an “us” didn’t exist for as long as I could.

But now everything was out in the open and I totally respected the need for distance. I  went about my days as typically as possible, patiently hoping things would rectify themselves. And like most things do, our relationship eventually did go back to normal. We talked more, hung out, and I just assumed that his feelings had passed. “Maybe he was confusing closeness with intimacy and never even really liked me like that” I told myself this and honestly, I believed it. After a little while I didn’t even think about that 2 hour conversation that left us both without a best friend. The facetimes returned, the dinners too and I thought we’d made it past the hurdle Rachel so eloquently mentioned at the beginning of this post. In fact, we got even CLOSER if that’s possible and spent every waking minute together, at work and outside as well. He became my “emotional boyfriend” and while I definitely saw the danger in that I ignored it. He made me feel happy, secure and cared for without having the pressure to define anything because we already had a definition: Friends. At this point I actually did think about what it’d be like to be with him in a more romantic way, and it just wasn’t there for me.

Then came the holidays, a hard time for all single people. After a very boozy holiday party we ended up back at my place with two other friends. While they chilled in the main room we went to my bedroom to roll a joint. We were standing by my dresser chopping the weed when he looked over and leaned in #StonerRelationshipGoals. Honestly, this couldn’t have been more perfectly choreographed if it was intended for television but as he leaned in I leaned out, narrowly missing his kiss.

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(I am soooo not proud of my next few moments but they happened so I may as well be honest). Though I rejected him pretty blatantly, I was very flirty the rest of the night, even telling him “You don’t need to regret it” when he said he didn’t feel badly about making a move because the moment felt right. Ya, I was being a huge tease and an even huge-r asshole, but I wasn’t really thinking and maybe enjoying the attention a little too much.

The next day I invited him to brunch with my roommate and acted like nothing happened. 3 days later I went to South Africa for a 2-week trip. We spoke often while I was away so I just assumed we’d had a weird moment but had gotten past it.  But when I went back to work nothing was the same. Fun and comfortable had been replaced by tense and forced and I was so confused. I didn’t even think about the almost-kiss as being the cause, the incident living deep in my long-term memory and clouded by 2 weeks of sun. Things became progressively more tense and I progressively more upset. How were we at this place again? I didn’t think he could possibly like me because he was always talking about other girls, or maybe this is just what I was telling myself.

We reached a boiling point at my roommate’s birthday, where even his best GUY friend admitted that the tension was palpable. I texted him the next morning saying things had felt off for a while and we couldn’t put off a conversation any longer. Apparently my timing was less than impeccable as he was heading to Florida for a week, so we promised to talk when he came back. A week goes by and he comes back to work on what turned out to be a horrible, HORRIBLE day for me. Separate from our issues, I had some pretty serious personal stuff going on, and he ended up passing me dashing out of the office mid-panic attack. Without me even explaining anything more than “I can’t deal right now, this is too much”, we went for a walk and he let me utter panicky nonsense on repeat for 20 minutes. Knowing we still had to talk he said he’d wait till things calmed down and made sure to check in days later to see how I was doing.

We finally had our talk. He told me that he isn’t over me and had been thinking about making a move long before the night he leaned in for the almost-kiss. I guess I hadn’t realized how far back our issues extended because I was away (or ignoring the signs). What really gets me is he admitted to intentionally waiting and acting cool while I was away because he wanted me to enjoy my trip…he was always putting me and my feelings first. Since I’ve been back it’s become too hard to be just friends and he doesn’t know if I can be in his life the way I want to be right now. Again, I totally understand, but this time it’s much harder. Maybe it was a result of all the other things I’m dealing with at the moment, maybe it’s because I wish we’d work out because who doesn’t want to fall in love with their best friend. I honestly don’t know.

What I do know is that all the weirdness fell away when he saw how upset I was at work and was still there for me in spite of how hard it was for him, and this realization broke my heart a little. He truly put me first, even before himself, and when I thanked him for his support I broke down into tears, something I’ve never done in front of him. You know what his response was? “You being real and vulnerable right now only makes me like you more”…needless to say if my heart wasn’t broken before, it was after that.

After this we sat around not saying much. Neither of us wanted to leave because we knew this was the last time we’d be just the two of us for a long while. It’s not fair to him to stay so close to me and it sucks for me to have to let him go, but what can I do? I let this happen by getting into a pseudo-relationship and now I need to deal with that. When he hugged me goodbye I felt him hold me in a way that was tragically final and way too reminiscent of an actual breakup, and it was painful.

So now we’re not friends.

We’re not in a relationship.

We’re taking space and I had to tell this guy not once, but twice, “I’m sorry, I don’t feel the same way” (But I kinda wish I did).