I have absolutely no rules when it comes to when I sleep with someone I’m dating. I go with my feelings. I have always said to my friends, it doesn’t matter when you sleep with a man, you can wait four hours or four months, if he’s a jerk he’ll be one regardless.
In my case, I barely waited four hours, and he called me back. He called me back a lot. And I wish he never did.
I met R. at my friend’s birthday party in Hollywood.
“It’s just gonna be a chill girls night at my house,” she had said.
My friend is 31 and also single and had made it clear she didn’t want any guys there to make her feel upset about being “old” and single. We all obliged, except one friend, who is gay. She brought R.
In the cab ride to his condo in West Hollywood at the end of the night, while intoxicated, I thought ... maybe I shouldn’t do this.
I woke up in his penthouse the following morning, wondering where I was.
“We’re three blocks away from your place,” he said in his ultra-charming British accent.
At around 1 p.m., I peeled myself out of his bed and did my three-block walk of shame home.
He surprised me, texting and calling that night, and the next day, and the day after that.
In no time at all we were spending five nights out of the week together. We would explore the neighborhood we lived in and both loved so much together. The Coffee Bean on Sunset, the Griddle Cafe on Sundays, and two spots we favored for dinner, Ysabel, and the Nice Guy.
After a couple weeks of this, he asked me to come to dinner with two of his best friends and their wives. R. was 39, an entire decade older than me. All his actions so far made me feel like I’d found a real man. A man who was ready to commit, to introduce me to his friends and bring me into his life.
That night he had a talk with me.
“I think we should set some physical boundaries,” he said. “I’m not with anyone else and I hope you’re not either.”
I laughed. “We see each other nearly every day, I don’t have time to see anyone else.” (And had no desire to.)
He kissed me passionately, and told me I looked beautiful before we headed to dinner.
On the way there I wondered if this was the real deal for me. Had R. just asked me to be his girlfriend?
I was falling for him fast, and he was falling for me too. I could see it when he looked at me. And I could feel it when he kissed me.
I introduced him to my friends too, and they all said he was wonderful.
“I’m so happy you finally found an amazing man, he is great,” my most skeptical friend said to me the night she met him.
She is 37 and very pessimistic about men, and while a successful actress, she has just never found luck with love. With her approval, I felt my fears subside. Maybe he wasn’t like every other guy.
When Valentine’s Day came around, the most overrated of all holidays, he texted: “I know you probably have other offers tonight but I’d love to spend this day with you.”
We cooked dinner together, and he fed me chocolate torte with Champagne. It was the first time I’ve enjoyed this “holiday” in years.
I was feeling pretty confident in the relationship. This all changed one night not long ago when I ran into my friend, the birthday girl, and thanked her for the invitation to the party where I met R.
“Is he your boyfriend?”
“Well…,” we’re together, and seeing where things are going, I replied, maybe a bit defensively.
“I heard he was a huge player, I’d be careful,” she said.
My throat fell to the bottom of my stomach. Something about her words rang true. Why hadn’t I spoken to her before about him?
I ended up at his place doing the one thing I had vowed never to do, pressuring him for answers.
“What are we to each other? I know it’s only been two months but I need to know.”
He looked back at me like a deer in headlights, unable to speak, unable to give me any answers let alone the answer I needed and wanted so badly to hear.
I cried myself to sleep in his bed, too pathetic to leave him at 3 in the morning. I will forever regret that I didn’t leave that night.
The next day he pretended the conversation never happened. He drove me to singing lessons and waited an hour for me to finish. He was on his best behavior.
But a cloud hung over us, a cloud of uncertainty, of sadness. The magic was gone, I no longer trusted him and felt betrayed and conned by a man I was falling in love with.
We went to one more event together, an important movie screening for one of my friends. When one of them called us a beautiful couple, I saw a look of terror flash across his face, and I knew right then and there it was over.
Days went by, and I didn’t hear from him. I finally reached out to him and said that we needed to talk.
I spent four hours at his place, crying and asking why.
“Why would you do this to me? Why couldn’t you have just told me you weren’t looking for something? Why were you so sweet to me? So loving, attentive, caring? … Why did you ask me to not see other people?”
He cried too, telling me he fell in love with me after just a couple days together, and cared for me deeply, but he just couldn’t do this. He was too scared. He didn’t want a relationship. I was shocked with his answer. Women are all-too-familiar with the guy who just wants sex. But this was a new type of con. I’ve since learned it’s called a “softboy” — a guy who gets sex by appealing to your emotions.
I left his place this time. Crying the entire walk home and looking at the neighborhood I loved so much in a completely different light. I will still never forgive him for that, for ruining my favorite coffee shop for me, my favorite dive bar, my favorite restaurant.
I wish so bad that he was just a one-night stand who never called me back.
The author is a Los Angeles talent agent representing models.
L.A. Affairs chronicles the current dating scene in and around Los Angeles. If you have comments or a true story to tell, email us at LAAffairs@latimes.com.
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