Dating Diaries: I Didnt Want Anything Serious But I Found Him – Esther’s story

Esther is a 30-year-old teacher. She says “I work with tiny humans, so my outfits are generally comfortable and disposable. For dates, I wear skinny jeans and cute shoes.” When Esther isn’t working, she is “either journaling, running, Netflixing, concert-going, or fort-building and drinking red wine.” Esther’s friends would describe her as “independent, caring, and a compassionate hard worker. They sit through my activist rants and empower me with their love.” Esther likes men who are “open-minded, independent, feminist, educated, and who like Led Zeppelin.”

I was two months into being an official city girl, when I received the news that the man I loved had been killed in a car accident. Though we were apart at the time, we had been talking about reconciliation. I don’t think there are words to describe this kind of heartbreak. Unexpectedly losing someone you love changes you.

The next two years I spent exploring the city as a serial dater, dancing and doing drinks with men who, if they were lucky, I might get to know on a first-name-only basis. I was teaching myself how to be independent again. Then, I met Hector at a talk at a university. He was this crazy kind of gorgeous that I had never seen before.

When I saw him again at a party, I got a drink and casually introduced myself. The connection was instant. The night quickly progressed into more drinks and some incredibly sad attempts on my part to dance salsa. He was a good kisser, so I reluctantly gave him my phone number at the end of the night. It was so out of character for me.

A week later, he texted that he could be in my neighbourhood in the next 30 minutes if I was up for it. I agreed, and attempted to throw together a casual-but-cute look for our first official date.

We went to a pub in the island.  He looked 10 times better than I did, so it was necessary to start the date off with a couple of drinks. I told him I wasn’t looking for anything serious; he smiled back and said “Me neither.”

We enthusiastically toasted to ourselves and proceeded to have the best first date I have ever been on. After drinks, we walked over to another restaurant,  close by, who had an in house live band. I learned that he cared a lot about other people, was a diehard Beatles fan like me, and was really just an incredibly happy guy.

He made me feel so relaxed. He walked me some  ways about town and we danced to him singing every romantic Beatles lyric ever written. Our night ended in the early hours of the morning with a sleepover at my apartment where we just cuddled — something new for both of us.

The spontaneous dates, drinks and witty conversation over three-day-long sleepovers continued for about eight months until one day I heard him explaining our relationship as “just friends.” I became uncharacteristically furious with him. I surprised myself when it came down to admitting that I actually wanted something more exclusive.

I picked a fight with him, and when the fight exhausted itself, I returned solo to our favourite spot to soak in my embarrassment. I felt like I had cheated myself by breaking my own rules. I turned to my most trusted and long-term relationship with tequila to shake it off whatever it was,  I was feeling, but this only resulted in calling him at 3 a.m. I was unstoppable at this point and decided to get into it with his voicemail, and it just came out: “I love you.”

The next day, I Googled every possible way to hack into someone’s voicemail so I could delete my message, but failed. However, that day he walked into my work carrying coffee and smiling and asked if we could go for a walk.

Outside, he put his hands on my shoulders and said, “I have never been in love before. I don’t know what it feels like. But if love means wanting to wake up next to, and spending every day with the same person, and wanting to share all of your stories and dreams with that same person, then, yeah. I love you, too.”

Not only did he put my heart back together again, he strengthened it.

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