R was still waiting at the airport after my Facebook message to him as I was still out with a friend. Coincidentally, the rain in Vancouver that night had turned into snow and it served as an equivalent, complex backdrop to my musings as the bumpy bus carted me back home.
I’ve known this guy for a week and now he’s staying over for the night. Aren’t things moving a bit quickly, I thought to myself.
Shit, shit, shit, I swore as I got back into my apartment. Sure, it was presentable, but packaging matters. I raced around my place, giving the floor a once over, fluffing up the pillows, and taking out the trash. Much better. Fifteen minutes later, R arrived. When he stepped into my apartment, I tiptoed and gave him a light kiss, which turned into him dropping his bag, grabbing the small of my back, and pushing my body in against his.
“Nice to see you again.”
R had lost his phone and consequently, the history of our conversation and a stupid video I’d made for him after I did the groceries for our dinner the other day. After he finished his shower, I clipped his fingernails for him. He cringed like a child as they got shorter, but I found this pretty damn cute. The next two hours in my place were uneventful, with microbiology taking up the majority of my thoughts and urban planning taking up his. By the time it hit 1:30AM, I (thought I) was exhausted and proposed that we should go to bed. Well, if I started describing everything that happened after that, this would turn into an erotica blog. I had been pretty sure that I didn’t want anything to happen, but R wasn’t a complete stranger anymore. There was something there between us and at some point, I just thought, fuck it. One kiss before bed turned into a lot of tongue and well, the rest is for my own memories. When we finished, he said, “This is how I know I like you. I still want to be with you after the sex.” As I later wrapped my arm around his torso, found his hand, laced my fingers around his, and rested our linked hands against his chest, I realized that my clock read 8:30AM. It was this kind of intimacy, compounded with his slight moans when I wrapped him tighter in my arms, which I appreciated even more than becoming a human knot in the sheets with him.
Sunday afternoon was equally unproductive. What do I miss? His arms around me while I was making lunch for us? Reading in bed while his head was on my chest? It was like someone jammed the fast-forward button on what a relationship timeline looked like and I knew being so intimate with him would make it harder for me when he left when he left. It is always harder for the one who stays behind. I was pretty greedy, I wanted something, an ‘us,’ yet, I didn’t want anything at the same time. The dichotomy of emotional and rational thinking was definitely wreaking havoc on my mind. That night, I held his hand in the freezing weather as we trudged out for dinner. The same kind of sound, his boots crunching against the powdery snow beneath him, was what I remembered while I watched him walking away from me to the taxi.
It’s been more than a week since he has left. I have no regrets about what happened and R has kept in touch with me. I really do like him and I trust him. In fact, the first thing he asked for when he got a new phone was for that video I mentioned earlier. I know what happened wasn’t something completely meaningless, but at the same time, I think we both know that a relationship between us isn’t really feasible for many different reasons. First, we both have different ideas about where we will eventually end up (geographically). Second, there are elements in our respective personalities that would eventually mean the end of us. When I told my friend this, she said, “Anthony, I worry that there is never going to be that ‘perfect’ guy for you. If he’s trying and willing [to change], that’s already saying a lot.” I understand this, but there are some fundamentals I look for that I’d rather not blog about. In fact, I think that my steadiness throughout this whole thing has been strangely revealing about the depth of my feelings. But then again, who knows. Maybe I’ll come back and reassess this in the future with a different mindset. Would I have spent my reading break any other way though? Definitely not. I’ve also been getting grades from my midterms and so far… 2/2 are As and I’m waiting on one more! Cross your fingers for me.
I’ve been writing pretty exclusively about relationships this past little while. To the 1/3 of my followers who are here for the architecture and the other 1/3 who are here for social issues, hold tight! I promise to diversify a bit more.
Anyway, I just got back home and am feeling extremely frustrated. We were sitting in class and my professor was presenting a case study where a woman had an underdeveloped (short) vagina and lack of a menstrual cycle, with no other blatant physical signs pointing to abnormality. She actually turned out to be a genetic male with complete Androgenic insensitivity syndromme, meaning that she developed normal (undescended) testicles but, for all intents and purposes, went through a biologically female developmental program. This was during the 1960s, and the doctors ended up surgically enlarging this woman’s vagina and couseled her to consider adoption. In the end, they never told the patient that she was actually genetically male.
Now, up to this point, I was listening to the professor attentively and it seemed like my classmates were pretty enthralled with the case study… This was until the boy sitting right beside me leaned over to his partner and whispered, “Oh I feel sorry for her husband.”
What the fuck did you just say? No, you don’t feel sorry for the pain this woman must have gone through trying to make love with her husband all these years. No, you don’t feel sorry for this woman never knowing a part of her identity and not being able to bear her own children. No, you don’t even feel sorry that the moral zeitgeist was to not-disclose genetic-identity to the patient. You feel sorry for the fucking husband? Why? This man obviously fell in love with a woman and married her for who she was, not for her Gattaca-esque genetic record. Oh, I’m sorry that you, a (straight) male decades later feels the need to sympathize with the husband, somehow implying that he was ‘tricked’ by getting together with a woman who happened to be genetically male. Ugh. I wanted to fucking castrate this asshole and I couldn’t stop thinking up devious/ironic scenarios for his life path that would kick some sensitivity into him.
Think UBC is a mecca of open-minded liberalism by virtue of its west-coast location? Think again.
Today marks the time that I survived (and conquered?) three midterms in succession over the first two days after reading break. I had been planning to consistently study over the week of holiday, but that plan was completely derailed after meeting R, the boy from Tinder that I posted about not too long ago. I haven’t had time to think about everything that has happened with him until now, as Industrial Microbiology has kept my mind occupied, but now that I’m sitting in my bed with my laptop, covered with blankets that still smell faintly of him, I am going to start recording down some thoughts before sentimentality distorts my memories. In all honesty, it still feels kind of surreal.
When I got home on Saturday night, R messaged me on Tinder saying, “Ur def boyfriend material just to let u know.” Sweet words, but I was still pretty jaded from Tinder in general and realistically still expected my relationship with him to go nowhere at this point. Even though he went down to visit a friend in Seattle the next two days, R kept in contact with me through Whatsapp the entire time. The flirtation was rather innocent, but it definitely still underpinned many of our text exchanges. I suppose I was also rather shameless in demanding more hugs the next time he saw me. Whatever, I knew what I wanted and I was going to get it, despite his playful denials. He was also very forward with his feelings, which was cute. I still didn’t know whether to let myself trust this boy or not though, so I left a part of me in a safe that I could recede back to. I’d suffered enough damage from Tinder-related things already.
On Wednesday, we ended up meeting again amidst the suited up professionals in Vancouver’s business core. Even though I tried to keep it innocent, a part of my heart still fluttered when he pressed his arm against mine as we walked next to each other. We eventually made our way to Vancouver’s central library to study. Boring, I know, but as excited as I was about spending time with him, I knew where my priorities had to lie. During the first half of the study date, I’ll give myself some credit for how focused I was on the Microbiology notes in front of me, despite his foot resting against mine under the table. My focus went out the window halfway through the session when I decided to walk across the table, bend my torso forward, and give him a back-hug though. This was my first time doing something physical with pointed intentions behind it… I felt strangely vulnerable. I can’t comprehend how horrific it would have been if he’d said something or responded in a way that demeaned me; Joon, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. I know, I know, completely my fault in terms of distraction, but when he ran his fingers lightly against my bare arms wrapped around him, it became strangely arousing in its feeling of intimacy. I tore myself away and resolved to get through a few more chapters before I would do anything like that again.
A few hours later, we both knew that trying to study anymore would prove to be futile, so we started messing around. Oh, the poor people around us in the library who were watching. We weren’t making a lot of noise, but that doesn’t mean watching us wouldn’t be distracting. R knelt down behind me and rested his chin on my shoulder as I started typing non-sensical Chinese on his phone to his friends who he was meeting later. I’ve never had a particular preference for facial hair, but feeling his stubble against my shoulder through my polo also felt… Nice. As I was laughing at the foolishness I was typing out, he pecked me on the cheek out of the blue. I neither acknowledged it nor denied it because really, I didn’t know what to feel. Happy, perhaps? A bit sad, also knowing that he was leaving? This was the first time anyone had purposefully kissed me with the intention of something more than friendship behind it. A few minutes later, as we were packing up to leave, he said, “I’m so happy.” I inquired as to why and he mumbled, “because I got to kiss you today.” Oh, this closet block of cheese. If only he knew about the times I dreamt up scenarios and dialogue like this in my head, before throwing my head into a pillow and screaming in embarrassment at myself.
On Thursday, I made good on my promise to make him dinner. When I picked him up from the bus station by my place, he was holding a bouquet of roses as high school students making their way back home gawked at him, wondering whether he was trying to pick up one of their friends. I suppose I could have fit in, considering how young I look. I guess this should have made me happy… But flowers are such an intimate gift in my mind that I felt more embarrassed than anything. I’m used to giving more than receiving, shall we say. I sheepishly walked him back to my place, the red roses staring at me in the face. On the menu that night? Chicken with morels followed by a raspberry coulis-vanilla ice cream concoction. What I had not been planning on was the profuse amounts of kissing that preceded (and followed) the meal. I couldn’t help but laugh a few times as his tongue ran against mine from the moans he was emitting from far back in his throat; I suppose it was meant to be erotic, but I was also feeling all sorts of amused. What exactly did this boy see in me? He’d wanted to go further and he was forceful in his passion, but was also conversely respectful of the boundaries I had set. That was ironically sexy- what he didn’t do just increased my attraction towards him. But why go so far with someone who will disappear from your life in a few days, I thought. Ladies and gentlemen, we obviously have a case of an idealist on our hands.
A few days later, R was set to leave and coincidentally, we also had our first semblance of an argument. I haven’t made a secret of the fact that I’m an INFJ. We ‘do’, but rarely demand reciprocity outright. The real way to get to our hearts is to do things for us that we wish you would, without us having to ask you. These things are rarely extravagant in terms of expense, but do require some foresight. R, being an INTP, had already missed some cues I’d given him in the past. I didn’t mind, as I never expected NF sensitivity from him (and he also had no idea that I was ‘testing’ him, in my own way), but he got really upset with me when our personality ideals collided. Long story short, I had been administering a little test, he had failed, but he picked up on what I was doing, found out the reason, then proceeded to feel a mixture of guilt towards himself and anger towards me for not being more candid. It’s hard for us to be candid; that would be regarded as selfish, which our personality type pretty much abhors. Wow, I feel like I’m writing some ‘Divergent’ fanfic or something (terrible book by the way), but learning about MBTI has been very useful to me. I didn’t let the incident foul what little time we had left, though. That night, I kissed him on the lips in the middle of Vancouver’s Korea-town, not caring about the judge-y sidelong glances I was getting from the people walking by. That was the last time I thought I’d see him, but later that night as I was chatting away with a friend to fill a void that he’d left, I got a message on Facebook: “Hey Anthony, my plane was too full, can I stay over at ur place?” Without hesitation, I replied, “Yeah, of course you can.” In the back of my mind, though, I knew that his staying with me would mean more than just a comfortable bed for the night…
If you guys have been reading my updates, you will know that Tinder has been a pretty frequent topic on my mind/in my life these past few weeks. I’ve already gotten stood up and have had a fleeting moment with someone who I shared a truly memorable conversation with in this short period of time. Through these two incidents, I have already learned to use the app much less seriously. I began to assume that the people I was talking to were exchanging pretty empty words and I had started using it mindlessly, just as the program was intended to be used. Every time I’m close to uninstalling Tinder, though, something interesting seems to happen.
One night as I was swiping away at the countless faces on the program, I came across a profile that was ridiculously strange. The person, let’s call him R, seemed to be trying his hardest to get people to say NO to him, since the photos he chose to represent himself were either abstract or straight up strange (altered, like the funny effects you get in Photobooth). At this point, I was kind of jaded and amused, so I thought, why the hell not, proceeding to click the little red heart. I was actually on the app when we matched, and R instantly messaged me. My first impressions of him were that he was somewhat eccentric and that his English needed a lot of work. I didn’t really believe him when he told me that he was born in Canada, given his atrocious spelling and questionable syntax, but I was still intrigued by the essence of his thoughts on the various things we discussed behind the muddled language; I even surprised myself, given how much of a turn off poor written communication usually is to me. It turns out that R was actually on his university’s spring break and was visiting Vancouver alone. Given our conversation and his situation, I wasn’t averse to meeting up with him and showing him around the city. I am a bit attracted to eccentrics and pure ideals, so I thought it would be interesting making a new friend.
R ended up being 45 minutes late to our meeting, but unlike the guy who stood me up, he was in contact with me every 15 minutes through the app, so I walked around the neighbourhood while I waited. Up to this point, I still had no clear idea what the heck he was going to look like, due to his odd Tinder pictures. I had pretty much expected the worst, but it didn’t matter anyway, since I was going into this with a perfectly platonic mindset. When he showed up and tapped me on the shoulder, I was quite pleasantly surprised. Oh shit. This guy is pretty cute. Sure, he wasn’t a muscle god à la Taecyeon and his skin/teeth weren’t as good as mine, but his features worked nicely together. He also happened to sound really sexy when he spoke Chinese. He seemed to have some pretty quick opinions about me right off the bat, so I got a mild impression that he didn’t like me. As time went on, I just realized this was his way of forming logical constructions in his head while thinking out loud. I took him on a long walk around a few of Vancouver’s oldest established neighbourhoods, giving him a glimpse of what tourists who stayed primarily in downtown usually did not see. I liked how our conversation quickly extended beyond the superficial and how fact finding did not seem to be the primary driver of our topics. I also figured out that he was bit ditzy (but willing to learn), which was kind of endearing.
While we were having lunch, he showed me his Tinder. He had a surprising number of matches, given how random his pictures were (it just goes to show you how casual some people are with their judging). The thing that I found surprising was that he had only messaged me. When I asked him why, he said it was because he liked my dimples. I looked away and smiled. It was after lunch and coffee, when we visited my university though, that things started moving away from the friendship zone. At this point, our meeting had already lasted five hours, so I guess he’d started feeling more comfortable around me. Vancouver, in its usual way, decided to start pouring the moment we arrived on the grounds of the relatively unsheltered campus. All we had was my small black umbrella between the two of us and that definitely set the stage for some of the physical contact that occurred. I wasn’t really sure how we were going to manage walking around without getting soaked, but as he opened the umbrella, he put his hand on my hip and pulled my body into his. As composed as I was on the outside, my heart skipped a beat. He didn’t try anything or let his hand linger, but we spent the next little while walking in pretty close physical proximity, the tip of my shoulder just in contact with the middle of his chest. He was also in pain from the blisters that had formed on his feet, but I liked how he never whined about it. It just felt… Nice, smelling the faint scent of his cologne from his chest and feeling his body’s warmth against my back as it rained buckets around us. I could have left after that, but when he asked me to stay for dinner, I couldn’t bring myself to say no.
When we got to the restaurant and sat down at the table, I stretched out my arms and flexed my fingers. He proceeded to hook a few of them with his own and let go after two seconds. It happened so quickly that I didn’t quite register it before he sighed, “Can I throw away all my clothes, pack you into my luggage, and bring you home with me? Anthony, why can’t I find someone like you in Toronto?” I just stared at him. How could I respond to that statement?
As we were about to part ways later that night, on the concourse dividing the two platforms of the skytrain, I said, “Would you like to hug me?” His response? Grabbing me really tightly and pulling me into his body, grazing his chin lightly against the back of my head. I don’t think I’ve been hugged with such a mixture of longing and force before, but it felt really different. I can’t even really describe it, but thinking back on it now, it was special. We walked over to our respective platforms that faced each other and he started making faces at me, which I only responded to by smiling incredulously. Was R regressing into a puddle? I don’t think I’ve been good at describing his character so far, but he could be akin to Daria in many of his statements and demeanour (dry and stoic, with the occasional smile/laugh). His train arrived before mine and I only expected to wave goodbye, but he walked right up to the windows, pressed his hands against them, and formed a heart. It was like something out of a shoujo manga, as the people on the crowded platform around me smirked and I blushed. I always thought that I would be the one doing these things. What was happening? All I could do was wave as his train proceeded to roll away, realizing that the day had started as a friendly meeting and ended as a date ten hours later.
Now, what can I say. I like him, I do. I don’t think that a first date could have gone much better and I spent a large chunk of today reminiscing about his smell and his touch. The thing is, R isn’t based out of Vancouver and there is no way I’m going to do long distance. I also don’t know if he’ll be able to discuss some heavier social material with me. In all fairness, I haven’t tried yet. There are also some things that are non-negotiable; I found out pretty early on that R smokes cigarettes when he drinks. Smoking is the biggest possible turnoff to me, so if it came down to it, I would force any potential partner to choose between the little rolls of death and me. The other surprising thing was that A, the subject of my letter earlier this week, was always in the back of my mind. Not only was his conference happening the same day I was meeting R, but I was still not over the idea of him. During the day, I caught myself thinking, I hope the event is going well and that he’s smiling. The conversation I made reference to really left a surprisingly large impact on me… Damn you A (but not). Sigh.
I’m going to be meeting R again on Wednesday. I don’t know where things will go from here, but I fully expect to be getting more hugs.
"There is a fundamental concern that the content of such magazines normalises the treatment of women as sexual objects. We are not killjoys or prudes who think that there should be no sexual information and media for young people. But are teenage boys and young men best prepared for fulfilling love and sex when they normalise views about women that are disturbingly close to those mirrored in the language of sexual offenders?" -Dr. Peter Hegarty
- Lad Mag
- Lad Mag
- Lad Mag
- Lad Mag
- Lad Mag
- Lad Mag
- Lad Mag
- Lad Mag
10. INFJs are typically better in writing than in verbal communication. If you want to know an INFJ’s true feelings, ask them to write out what they think and feel but don’t expect them to do it, especially if they don’t know you very well.
9. INFJs can often mimic other personality types….
Oh Tinder, how you’ve toyed with my innocent little heart this past week. I got you on a dare, but I never knew how emotional you would make me… But let’s get to talking about the guys I’ve met on it so far.
Like many of you out there, I have a few self-esteem issues. I don’t think I’m very physically attractive, so I really went into this app with a ‘lulz-y’ mentality, which came back to bite me in the ass. On the first night, I somehow managed to ‘match’ with this ridiculously beautiful Chinese + 1/6th Italian UBC student. In all honestly, I was a bit intimidated and furiously blushed as I swiped through his pictures. I rationalized that he must have swiped yes to me by accident, considering the pictures I used for the app were almost randomly chosen and not professional-looking or ‘hot’ at all… So I just left it. But the next morning, that little Tinder icon buzzed on my phone and my heart raced when I saw him send me a message. I was dumbfounded. Why the hell is this beautiful boy talking to me? Long story short, we were using the app in two very different ways. After he told me that he would “have too many dirty thoughts sitting across from me,” I realized he was utilizing the app as a more convenient form of grindr. Trust me, Tinder even manages to blow grindr away in terms of getting physical-attraction bullshit out of the way. So… That didn’t work out.
Next guy: someone who I recognized from last semester who kept checking me out when I was studying. I wasn’t surprised at all when he swiped yes to me. As I said, I was still not taking Tinder seriously at this point, so that conversation soon died out.
But, out of the blue, the guy from Friday appeared. Let’s call him D. D was younger than me; he’d only turned 19 two days after I met him, but he seemed pretty composed for his age. It really wasn’t hard to find out info about him, considering how candid he was. I built up this idea of him in my head from all the superficial bits of information that I gathered and put him on a groundless pedestal. Heyo, a cute, charming, Taiwanese boy with a heart of gold (I laugh at this picture I painted of him now). When I showed his picture to my friends, none of them thought he was cute. I don’t know why, but that even made him more endearing to me. Somewhere along the way, I started taking the things D said to me seriously. He was engaging and funny through the app, so we ended up chatting quite often. Wow, I am feeling better, but a pang just went through me as I sit here describing him. He seemed enthusiastic about meeting up, so I asked him out a few days after we first met. I actually think that this was the first time I’ve actually actively asked someone out… All my previous dates had been mutually arranged and just fell into place. Yikes.
Two days before we were supposed to meet, D started becoming silent on the app, so I thought he was just busy and waited for Friday. On the day of, I stupidly made up excuses for him in my mind and thought that it would be rude of me to not show up and wait for him at the UBC fountain on Main Mall. I watched students drifting this way and that, happy expressions on their faces for the incoming long weekend. He’ll show up any minute now, I told myself. As the sun started setting and painting the distant mountains a brilliant orange thirty minutes later and I stood there shivering in the below-freezing temperatures, I finally had to admit to myself that I got played; No text, no message on Tinder, just silence. Just silence.
I looked around me and breathed out puffs of smoky air. The curious eyes of students walking hurriedly by looked me up and down as they sought shelter, wondering what I was doing standing stock still in such a exposed location. I swallowed hard and started walking away, realizing our communication had meant nothing on his side.
I was about an inch away from uninstalling Tinder that day, but someone came along that made me feel decency was still possible. Let the Love Games Begin. May the odds be ever in my favour.
(But not. No way in hell is the shit on this app going to get me hung up again.)