A second post about Geography for the evening! Unsurprising perhaps that this is a popular topic, when you realise we now have Experimental Daters living in America, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, and wherever The Mermaid is currently laying her hat (or should that be tail?!) 😉
So, after Champagne Hero’s honest experiences of long-distance relationships, and dating with the word ‘Army’ hanging in awkwardly in the air, it’s time to hear Southern Belle’s tales – a British Dater currently living in Houston, Texas. And trust me … this one is a corker!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
While I’m working on gathering candidates for my experimental dating, I thought I’d entertain you with stories from my past. My friends know these well. I wish I was making them up.
When I moved to Houston in October 2007, I was 23 years old.
I’d been dating the same wonderful guy for two and a half years but, without a degree, he couldn’t get a Visa to come to the States with me. We talked about it, decided we were too young to get married and parted as good friends.
I have nothing but fond memories of my time dating in the UK.
Settling into my life in Houston was tough. I’d come from a small English town, gone to a Welsh University and lived in Manchester for 11 months prior to my relocation.
Houston is the fourth largest city in the US and it’s overwhelming. I don’t know about you, but at 23 I didn’t have savings to set myself up with. The first time I went to see an apartment, I quickly discovered that furnished apartments were called “corporate” apartments at three times the prices of unfurnished. I had to save for each piece of furniture individually and it really cut into my initial socializing! Luckily I had colleagues who were very supportive and generous with their time (and houses).
My first trip away from the city was to Galveston. (If anyone is even vaguely familiar, Galveston is the Island/Sandbar about 40 minutes south of Houston.) My friends Kylie and Janet took me to this beautiful hotel which had a swim-up pool bar and explained we were going to stay there drinking all day. It was October, it was beautifully warm with palm trees everywhere and a stones’ throw from the ocean. The bartenders were friendly and gorgeous. I mean, really, gorgeous.
One in particular.
6ft something with brown eyes, perfect smile, great sense of humor. He was around my age and a student on the Island.
As Kylie and Janet got progressively drunker, I made friends with other visitors and the bartenders. The ladies wanted to head back to the hotel at 8pm, when the bar closed, as they were done for the evening. I was reluctant and my favourite barman was heading to the Strand, a street with multiple bars and restaurants. I decided the new and brave me would go and meet him, have a few drinks and make some friends. The accent helped, I’m not going to lie. I had a great evening and he said he’d be coming to Houston the following weekend.
He opened doors for me (which was unheard of from my time in the UK) and was a perfect gentleman. Did I mention he was gorgeous?
Fast-forward a couple of weeks and he’s visiting Houston. We’ve had a couple of fantastic, relaxed dates and I’ve explained I’m not looking for anything serious. We take things a little farther.
Afterwards, he leans over and whispers
“People tell you it’s amazing, but I wasn’t expecting that”.
I think I’m not hearing him correctly. I ask him to repeat.
“Sex is amazing. You are amazing. I love you”.
Quietly and calmly, despite my increasing heart rate, I ask if that was his first time.
Jesus is important to him and he had wanted to wait for the right person. He was a 24 year old part-time male model bar-tending Christian virgin.
Totally panicking at this point, I feign sleepiness while grabbing clothes, any clothes, to put on as quickly as possible. The next morning, he talks of me meeting his Mom.
For a week, I struggled with what to do. How best to tell this guy that we weren’t in the same library, let alone on the same page.
I went back down to Galveston to end it, thinking it would go down better in person. He’s invited me to a poetry reading in a café so I head there, thinking I can quickly end it and head back to Houston afterwards. I take my seat in the middle of the back and the Virgin gets up to read a new poem he’s recently written, dedicated it to a very special person. He points to me. I go icy cold.
All eyes in the room are on me.
I spend ten excruciating minutes listening to a poem describe him losing his virginity to me in great detail to a room full of strangers.
There were animal analogies.
To this day, it ranks up there with one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.
I take him outside afterwards and explain very gently that he’s done nothing wrong but we can’t continue to see each other. He was shocked and angry. I did not leave feeling good about myself but …
In what world does a gorgeous guy who’s intelligent, funny and charming stay a virgin at 25?
Southern Belle xx