Mr. Exec

What I’m looking for in a partner

A year ago this week, I met Mr. Agency. A few days later, we grabbed drinks together. A year ago this week, Best Boy spent the night at my place for the first time ever and told me:

You’ve gotten in my head.

As July turned to August, I had two minor surgeries to remove the two cancerous areas in my right breast. That same week, I began sleeping with Best Boy and snuggling with Mr. Agency. A month later, I started having sex with Mr. Agency.

As I look back on the past year, cancer has taken center stage in my life. Treatment came first, and I placed everything and everyone else on the back burner. I've tried to convey that as best as I could on this blog, but at its core, this site is about dating, sex and relationships, not cancer. Ninety percent of the time the boys in my life were welcome diversions and provided a little help when I needed both of those things.

Upon the end of radiation, I started to think about the next stage of my life and what I wanted for myself personally and professionally. I’ll talk more about what’s next for me professionally in a subsequent post, but I’ll focus on the guys in this one.

Raise your hand if you’re tired of reading about Best Boy and Mr. Agency.

You can put your hand down now.

Who's in the lead? Who cares?

See, I got to the point where I was tired of them, too. During surgery and chemotherapy, Best Boy was the one guy that I could count on completely. And, then during radiation, that changed. I'm the first to admit that our story might have had a different ending if I hadn't chosen Mr. Exec, Mr. Agency and Philly Matt over him. What if I had realized what a great, caring guy Best Boy was sooner than I did? I wonder…

At the end of the day, though, Best Boy wants to focus on his career and move overseas. I want to stay in DC and have a family. Neither path is wrong, but those paths are mutually exclusive.

Mr. Agency and I fed off of our sexual chemistry for a while, and then we would get in a fight…until we made up and had sex again…and got in a fight again. Did we reconnect again? Of course. But, our interest in and expectations from each other had changed so our interactions have been calm.

Where does that leave me a year later?

Well, I’m friends with both of them. They’re not bad guys. (In fact, Mr. Agency and I actually talk more now than when we were sleeping together.) They’re just not the right guys for me at this stage.

For the overwhelming majority of my life, I’ve chosen passion over partnership. I was the girl who loved to date self-absorbed workaholics and craved the rush of never knowing what would happen next. But, I’m not the same girl I was a year ago. And, that’s a good thing. A very good thing!

I’ve thankfully had more passion than most people will have in a lifetime. Now, I’ve realized that I’d rather have the right partner or be unattached than be in an ambiguous or predominately sexual relationship.

“How do you define the right partner, City Girl?” you might be wondering.

I’m looking for a man who:

  • Values his health and the health of his loved ones;
  • Enjoys sports, dining out, helping others and relaxing in front of the television;
  • Believes in some higher power;
  • Is emotionally secure enough to lean on me and communicate with me;
  • Inspires me;
  • Prioritizes sexual health. (There still needs to be some level of attraction and chemistry here, people);
  • Is professionally stable and not interested in moving in the near future;
  • Gets certain things without me asking him. (I'm fine with folding his laundry or putting the toilet seat down. I'm not fine with having to ask a guy to take time off of work when I'm in the hospital or to get me ginger ale or walk my dog when I'm sick); and
  • Wants to be a father within the next four years and won’t be the kind of guy who expects extra points or kudos on Facebook for staying home alone with his kid(s) or taking his child to the pediatrician.

I don’t NEED a partner, but I’m truly open for the first time in a long while to having one.

My go-to guy

In 2011, Best Boy and I went from seeing each other twice a week to once a week. (I wasn't exactly sure why that was, but I didn't have a problem with it either.) In February, I saw him shortly before I headed off to the beach with Philly Matt and my friends.

Th events that transpired at the beach marked the end of my friendship with Philly Matt. I texted Best Boy on my ride home from Rehoboth, saying:

Any chance you’re free tonight? Long weekend. Would love one of your hugs.

Best Boy:  Heading downtown for a meeting. Will come over after. Hope you're ok.

When Best Boy arrived at my place, he was comforting. I didn’t want to talk about what had happened over the weekend. I just wanted him to hold me close, and he did that without me asking him.

Best Boy and I had sex that evening, and again in the morning. It wasn’t mind-blowing, but I was content with our sexual routine.

As we were laying in bed talking, I commented:

I just want my old life back. I’m tired of feeling so sick all the time and looking like this. What kind of cruel joke is it to get a type of cancer that causes you to gain weight?

Best Boy: You don't look like you’ve gained weight.

Me [staring at him with wide eyes]: I’ve gained 23 pounds!

Best Boy lifted up the covers and really looked at my body.

Best Boy: Where?!? I don’t see it.

I kissed him and shook my head with a smile on my face.

Me: Thighs, belly, ass. All over. [I laugh.] You flatter me, but I’ll take it!

Later, as we were both working on my couch, Best Boy asked me what had happened at the beach. I gave him a brief summary of events, and we got into an interesting discussion about the Friends’ Code.

Is it acceptable to sleep with your ex's friends or your friends' exes? Does it matter how close you are to the friend or were to the ex?

Best Boy and I fell into a similar camp in that it depended on whether we loved the ex or not. He recalled how I had tried to set him up with my friend, D, back in September.

Me: Yeah, I so tried to make that one happen for you! But, that was then. I would not be cool with that now.

Best Boy: You wouldn’t?

Me: No. I care about you too much now to be okay with that.

We talked about how the situation applied to our relationship. To this day, I don’t know if Mr. Exec is truly okay with how close Best Boy and I have gotten. But, the fact that Mr. Exec and I never loved each other or were that serious mattered – to all three of us.

When Best Boy headed off to work, I gave him a long hug and kiss goodbye.

Me: Thank you. For everything.

Best Boy was important to me, but I still didn’t feel like I knew if our relationship was going anywhere. And, if so, where?

I decided not to spend too much time overanalyzing what Best Boy and I were and where we were going. I knew that time would tell.

As a postscript:

For those of you who are interested in what I looked like bald and heavy from steroids, click here to see my interview on Let’s Talk Live.

A Cancer-versary Thank You

A year ago today, I was sitting in my stylist’s chair at my hair salon, when my cell phone vibrated in my lap. I saw that it was Sibley Hospital and excused myself to answer the call. As I remember how I felt when I heard the news from my doctor that I had cancer, I have tears in my eyes and goose bumps on my arms.

I think of the moments in my life that helped shape me into the person I am today, and being diagnosed with cancer at 37 years of age is definitely high on that list. I wouldn’t wish the past year on my worst enemy, but in the midst of the lows of treatment, I’m grateful for all my blessings.

I’m thankful for:

1. Knowing My Body. I've been vigilant about conducting self exams and contacting my breast surgeon, whenever I found a lump;

2. Early Detection. I had an aggressive strain of cancer that was caught early during my annual mammogram. Health technology isn’t perfect, but getting mammograms every year is the best thing that women can do for their breast health;

3. A Great Medical Team. At Sibley Hospital, I've worked with doctors who are experts in the field because they deal with breasts exclusively;

4. Health Insurance. Every step of this process is expensive, and a recent study discussed how many people with cancer are forced to declare bankruptcy. I appreciate that in the midst of such a difficult year, I didn’t have to worry about medical coverage;

5. My Other Health Problems. Treatment and the side effects were horrid, but I'm glad that I never became clinically depressed or questioned whether I was going to make it. I know far too many women who were not that lucky – either because they were diagnosed after the cancer had spread or they hadn’t ever emotionally processed major health issues before. I was as prepared as I could have been for surgery and treatment, and am fortunate enough not to be among the 30% of women who suffer from anxiety or depression after beating cancer;

6. This Blog. I had a forum through which I could express myself. With every post that I wrote, I was able to process my emotions and let go;

7. The Cause. Early on, I vowed to make this about more than just me. In the past year, I’ve volunteered, advocated and raised money for breast cancer awareness, prevention and research. Through helping others, I found a sense of peace as to why I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And, on the advocacy front, I know I'm just getting started;

8. The Wisdom to Know the Difference. There were loved ones who had a difficult time processing my cancer. They either couldn't help me out at all during treatment or had to make it all about them. There were acquaintances that clearly were uncomfortable with the fact that I didn't wear a wig. There were a few people who thought that I used my diagnosis to get attention. There were those who assumed treatment was easy because it was caught at Stage 1 or they would see me in public with a smile on my face. There were those who told me that I must be feeling fine when they saw that my hair was growing back.

I could go on and on, but everyone else’s thoughts and feelings were just that – everyone else’s! I couldn't take other people's comments or actions personally, and I knew better than to try to own their feelings about my illness;

9. Mr. Exec for letting me go without a fight;

10. Philly Matt for convincing me to continue with my treatment plan, even though the doctor had changed my protocol at the eleventh hour;

11. Mr. Agency for reminding me that I was sexy no matter how I felt or looked;

12. Best Boy for being there. When the going got rough, he stayed and helped;

13. My Cancer Crew. (I can't type this part without sobbing.) AB, AF, LF, TL, NP, LV – I honestly don’t know what I did in a past life to deserve friends as giving and wonderful as you. I can’t imagine those people who have to go through treatment alone, and because of you all, I never had to. Thank you will never, ever seem sufficient. I love you all with all my heart;

14. My Friends. Every note, every virtual comment, every care package and every visit meant so much to me. The compassion, support and love you’ve shown me helped get me through the many days in which treatment got the best of me. There’s a reason why friends are the family we choose for ourselves, and I’m very blessed to have such an amazing support system; and

15. YOU! Yes, YOU! The overwhelming kindness of my readers and online friends was humbling, motivating and so very appreciated. I hope that there will be a day in the future when I can give you a hug in person. Your emails, comments, gifts and tweets always brightened my day and my spirits.

In one year, I’ve grown more than I have in the past decade. Thank you for joining me for this portion of my journey and for being so supportive. I hope you’ll continue to come along for the ride. xoxo

An odd first date – Part II

As my odd first date with Hampton Man continued, I felt like I was watching a fender bender. It wasn't the worst first date that I had ever been on, but it wasn’t good either. In the back of my head, I laughed to myself, thinking:

Well, at least I’ll get an interesting blog post out of this.

I let Hampton Man do most of the talking when it came to his last relationship. But, when he called his ex-girlfriend, Janine, a “whore,” I had to speak up:

I have a problem with guys using that word to describe a woman. I get that she hurt you, but that’s not cool.

Hampton Man: How else should I describe a woman who lied to me and slept with another guy behind my back?

We were already in so deep that I just kept going.

Me: So, she cheated on you and you’re hurt?

Hampton Man: Yes.

Me: Have you tried talking to her at all?

Hampton Man: She said she loved me and kept lying to me. And, we talked some more after I found out, but I don’t think I can trust her anymore. [Pause.] I told her where I was coming from, and she was fine with that. She said that she didn’t want to be with anyone else.

Me [slightly confused]: So, where were you coming from?

Hampton Man: I’m not the monogamous type.

Me [with wide and incredulous eyes]: Wait a minute. You broke up with her because she slept with someone else, and yet, YOU were sleeping with someone else?

Hampton Man: But she knew that from the beginning!

Me: And, you think that makes it right?

Hampton Man: I’m honest. I don’t actively seek out other women, but if I feel a connection with someone, I’ll act on it. All of my guy friends cheat on their girlfriends and wives behind their backs, and no one is ever the wiser. I’m not going to do it like that.

Me: Why even get into a relationship then?

Hampton Man: I like coming home to someone…going on trips…spending the holidays…all that stuff. But, I don’t want to pretend that I’m going to be 100% sexually monogamous if I might not be.

Me: Being honest doesn’t negate the fact that the monogamy piece is often essential to having a solid commitment and strong level of trust. So, why did you get so upset with Janine?

Hampton Man: Well, she said that she would never have sex with anyone else…that I was the only man she would be with…and then she slept with someone else and hid it from me.

Me: I’m not saying she should’ve lied to you, but a relationship that’s only monogamous from one party would be tough to sustain.

Hampton Man kept insisting that it was most important that he was honest. He then proceeded to list all of his relationship faults, hypothesizing about how natural selection and events from his childhood had led him to this place. He mentioned family issues, his need for independence and some analogy with the male lion. I tried not to roll my eyes too much as I commented:

At least you’re self-aware.

Hampton Man: Aren’t you glad I told you?

Me: Well, in one sense, yes. I would have considered sleeping with you down the road, but now, I’ll think a lot harder about that. It might have been nice to just have a typical first date, though.

Hampton Man: Well, it’s not to say that I wouldn’t change for the right woman.

Me [with a skeptical look]: Maybe.

The end of our drinks date involved him showing me pictures of his ex-girlfriend. I did talk for a few minutes about my relationships with Mr. Agency, Mr. Exec and Best Boy and wasn’t surprised when Hampton Man didn’t know any of them by their first names.

We ended the date discussing legal policy and how it relates to one of his practice areas. He again admitted that it was tough for him to stay motivated as a solo practitioner in Virginia, but he suggested that we talk more about this in the future. I was amenable to that. (I do miss practicing so I could discuss my former specialty ad nauseum.)

As we walked outside, he offered me a ride home, but I politely declined. Hampton Man indicated that he wanted to see me again. I said that would be nice, although I didn't know if I cared to ever go out with him again. But, as “friends” or colleagues, he was interesting to talk to so I didn’t want to close the door entirely.

I headed home, feeling exhausted. But, as it would turn out, my night was far from over.

To be continued…


Two girlfriends were in DC for a conference in early February, and we gathered at Proof to eat, drink and talk about work and boys. After listening to the latest about their jobs and beaus, I updated them about my life over the past six months. As I was in the middle of telling them about Mr. Exec, Best Boy, and Mr. Agency, I received a text message from Best Boy with his typical opener:


Given the timing, I chuckled when I saw the message come in.

Me: Best Boy’s wanting to hang tonight.

Ash: Have him come by! We want to meet him. [Lauren nods in agreement.]

Me: Okay.

I continued to finish my story, and shortly thereafter, Best Boy joined us. Lauren was discussing one of the guys she was dating, and Best Boy politely interjected to get caught up to speed.

Lauren was torn between whether she viewed this guy as a friend with benefits or someone with relationship potential. The situation became even more confusing since she occasionally did work for his company.

Me: Do you care about him as more than a friend you have sex with?

Lauren: I think so. [Pause.] Maybe. [Pause.] I just don’t know what he wants.

Best Boy, Ash and I agreed that Lauren needed to talk to the guy about their situation. As Lauren debated how best to broach the subject, Best Boy suggested that she ask him:

So…what’s our deal?

Over the next 15 minutes, Best Boy offered a variety of strategies to Lauren. I had forgotten how good he was at listening and giving advice! Lauren thanked him for his input and peppered him with a few follow-up questions. While they were engrossed in the discussion, Ash mouthed to me:

He’s awesome…and really cute! Go with him!

I shrugged my shoulders and mouthed:

We’ll see.

As Best Boy and I walked to his car, it crossed my mind that I didn’t know what OUR deal was. I still wasn’t sure what I wanted, though, so it still didn’t make sense for me to broach that subject with him.

While he was driving, I turned and kissed him on the cheek. Best Boy looked at me with a mildly confused expression on his face.

Me: Thanks. They really liked you. You’re a good guy, Mr. Best Boy. [We both smile.]

When we arrived home, we went upstairs, got ready for bed, and had sex. It wasn’t mind blowing, but it was comfortable. I had always seen routines as bad when it came to relationships, but with Best Boy, it was nice to know what to expect. I might not have known what our deal was or where this was going, but we cared about each other. That was enough for now.


I felt like a little girl in a grassy field, holding a daisy in her hand.

I love him.

I love him not.

I really like him.

I don’t know what I want.

I felt like a woman of a certain age, sitting on a porch, fanning herself.

I might love him.

Ooh! I need some lemonade. These hot flashes are getting out of control!

I might just like the fact that he’s been around so much.

When will these prescription drugs get out of my system?

I had this idea that a date night with Best Boy would clarify everything for me. (It might have been the steroids or the menopausal hormones clouding my mind.) Could one night in public – our first since we had started sleeping together and I had started chemotherapy – help me figure out what, if anything, I wanted out of our relationship?

We decided to meet at halftime during the Conference Championship Playoff games at Café Milano. (I had lost a bet six months prior and knew I needed to pay up with a nice meal. But, since both of us were sports fans, we didn’t want to miss the game.)

Dinner was nice. The conversation was nice. We both looked nice. That’s a lot of “nice,” huh? But, all that niceness didn’t feel great. In fact, as dates go, it was rather dull. We were both exhausted from our respective weeks so neither of us was our usual extroverted selves. And, the game wasn’t particularly exciting by that point so the televisions didn’t provide much distraction.

I wondered if our dynamic didn’t translate well when we weren’t at my place. For several months, we had a great mode as friends who would socialize together. And, then, we began having sex right after I had my lumpectomy. Casual brunches and lots of time at my place had replaced our light-hearted and flirtatious conversations at bars and events. Did our relationship only work when Best Boy was taking care of me, or we were at my house?

I also wondered what, if any, role my upcoming beach trip with my ex-boyfriend and very close friend, Philly Matt, played. Earlier in January, I had shown Best Boy the house that our group was going to rent for President’s Day Weekend. He and I had sat on my couch, clicking through the photo gallery of the amazing 11-bedroom rental.

I had let Best Boy know that I wasn’t sure if the trip would be “Friends Only” or not, and that I was waiting to hear from Philly Matt about his plans. I had figured that I would invite Best Boy, if Philly Matt invited his girlfriend, Tammy. When Philly Matt said that he wasn’t going to invite Tammy, I decided not to ask Best Boy to join me. I also indicated to Matt that I had hoped to meet Tammy over dinner when I was up in Philadelphia in March for a conference.

I wasn't sure if it was just work and the holidays that had caused Best Boy to be less available to me. Was he tired of coming in second? In May, I had chosen his best friend, Mr. Exec, over him, and then in September, I chose Mr. Agency over him. Now, I was seemingly choosing a guy with whom I wasn’t even having sex! As easy-going as Best Boy is, that pattern might not sit well with him.

When Best Boy and I arrived home after our dinner date, we both had trouble keeping our eyes open, and yet, we still managed to have sex. There was more of the same in the morning before he headed off to work.

I had hoped for fireworks, but instead, there were only a few sparks. Why was that? And, was it coming from me, from him or from us? Maybe it was just too soon to tell. I didn’t feel overwhelmed or sad about the situation so I felt it best to simmer some more.

My mantra with Best Boy had become:

Time will tell.

And, as we all know, it always does.

Bah! Humbug!

As I began to wonder if Best Boy and I could be more than just good friends with benefits, I tried to gauge where he was coming from at this point in our relationship. On Thanksgiving, I sent him a text to say:

When I think of all the people I’m thankful for this year, you are high on that list. Thank you for making a very tough time so much easier on me. It means more to me than you know. xoxo

I started thinking about how frequently our relationship dynamic had changed since May. Best Boy and I were friends for a while, while I was spending time with his best friend, Mr. Exec. After my situation with Mr. Exec had ended, Best Boy and I became friends with benefits. When I started pursuing a relationship with Mr. Agency, I stopped sleeping with Best Boy. That lasted for seven weeks until it was clear that Mr. Agency wasn't able to handle anything serious or monogamous. So then, I started sleeping with Best Boy again. (Are you confused? It's my life, and I sure am!) 

Throughout much of my relationship with Best Boy, I was recouping from biopsies, surgery or chemotherapy. I needed all the help and companionship that I could get, and Best Boy was there for me — a lot. Was he just there for me because we were good friends? Or, was he there for me because he had feelings for me beyond friendship? I didn't know the answers to those questions.

Dating in a traditional sense was incredibly difficult during treatment since there were weeks on end in which I didn’t feel well for a single day. If there were good days, they often occurred right before I was due to receive more chemotherapy. I wondered if it might be nice to go out on a proper date with Best Boy. I was curious how our dynamic would be if we tried to interact more like a couple. Would the comfort and caring that he had shown me so often inside my house translate if we were out in public?

After we returned from Silver Diner to satisfy my craving for Caramel French toast, I kissed Best Boy goodbye and said:

I should be feeling better starting next week. It might be nice if we went out at night for a change. Maybe Ceiba or something?

Best Boy: Okay. [Pause.] It’ll have to be next weekend, though. I have a lot of work projects and meetings this week.

Me: That’s fine with me. I should be feeling even better by then. I love having you over, but I also love going out with you. It's been too long since we've done anything beyond a little brunch. [We kiss goodbye again.]

I walked into the house with a smile on my face. Best Boy and I texted throughout the week, but the following weekend came and went without any mention from him about going out to dinner.

A few days later, Best Boy texted me, asking how chemotherapy had gone and if he could come over. I wasn't feeling well so we just watched a game on television. Best Boy talked about how much he had going on at the office so I didn’t want to disregard that it was a stressful time of year for him. I also wasn't in the mood to bring up the fact that we hadn't gone out to dinner. We feel asleep and had sex in the morning before the worst of the side effects hit.

Over the weekend, Best Boy came over again. He helped me out when I was too sick to do much of anything. I was so grateful for his help, but a part of me wondered if I had missed my opportunity to date him. Did I wait too long to realize what a great guy he was?

I wasn’t sure if I would see Best Boy over the Christmas holiday. We were both staying local, but he had a lot of family obligations that weekend. I had hoped for at least a call or text from him on December 25th, but that day came and went without him contacting me.

I had dinner with friends the night after Christmas. One friend commented how she was rooting for Best Boy.

Me: I had finally decided that I was, too! But, it might be too tough for us to transition to anything more than friends with benefits. He didn’t even wish me a Merry Christmas!

While we were out, the notification of a Facebook email from Best Boy came in on my Blackberry. The message said:

Merry Christmas! Hope you enjoyed yours to the fullest!

An email? A day after Christmas? On Facebook? Was he kidding me? I turned to my friends and told them the latest.

Me: I think there should be a rule that if you’re fucking, you should at least have to call and wish her a Merry Christmas on the day of! [My friends laugh and nod their heads in agreement.]

When I got home from dinner, I found myself more irritated than sad. I just sent Best Boy back a text that said:

A FB email?!? Really? Hope you enjoyed your Christmas. xoxo

He wrote back that he had been having problems with his cell phone. (And, yes, his Android has given him problems since he first got it.) I rolled my eyes at the text.

I had chosen Mr. Exec and Mr. Agency over Best Boy in the past. And, now I wanted to see what would happen if I just focused on my relationship with Best Boy. Had I missed out on the chance to do that?

Getting it

My energy and strength finally started coming back toward the end of the third round of chemotherapy. My iron counts were up after five transfusions, and I was able to get out of the house for short intervals.

My first real outing came after Best Boy had spent the night. I awoke craving Caramel French toast from Silver Diner. (The diner ended up being my first outing four out of six rounds. There’s something about sweet, carbohydrate goodness that gets me every time.) Traveling to a place that wasn’t a doctor’s office felt wonderful, but it was especially nice because Best Boy and I hadn’t been out together in a while.

Our conversation turned to family and how we’ve dealt with our mothers’ deaths. As much as Best Boy and I had previously talked about deep subjects, I felt like we connected more over this meal than we had ever before. I remember heading home and thinking to myself:

What would have happened if I had gone out with Best Boy instead of Mr. Exec back in May?

I knew that everything had transpired as it was supposed to, but there was a part of me that couldn't help but wonder, “What if?” Best Boy is kind and caring, and he had been there for me through a lot of rough days.

On one particular evening, Best Boy came over to watch the late football game with me. I tried to keep my eyes open as I rested my head in his lap.

Best Boy: Did you go out today?

Me: Yes. Went to watch football over at one of my best friend’s places in NoVA. [Northern Virginia, for you non-locals.]

Best Boy: Did you drive yourself?

Me: Yes.

Best Boy: No wonder why you’re exhausted.

Best Boy understood me and how much treatment affected me. The simple act of driving myself to a friend's house 20 minutes away to sit on the couch and watch a football game and then driving 20 minutes home was exhausting! Best Boy took good care of me that night, bringing me water and walking my dog. He knew that if I was to have any ounce of energy under the sheets that I couldn’t exert myself any more than I already had. He just got it.

There are guys with whom I always try to look sexy and act my best, while with a few rare others, I can just be myself. Best Boy was around no matter my mood — which thanks to steroids and early menopause wasn’t always chipper, my health, my ability to have sex, and my appearance. (And, trust me when I say that sporting no makeup, a bald head and baggy sweats while sick wasn't a good look.) Best Boy got me, and I was so grateful for that.

I found myself questioning why I didn’t see him as more than a good friend with benefits. Why was I so late to realizing what everyone else already had about Best Boy?

The next chapter? (Part II)

Best Boy was coming over my place for the first time in seven weeks.  (I wasn't sure of his motivation for doing so, but I thankfully didn't have time to overanalyze the situation.)   When he arrived, I introduced him to my friend, Carly.  They exchanged pleasantries before she headed home.

Once Best Boy and I were alone, it was like no time had passed since our last interaction. His smile was warm, and the conversation was easy.

I had a craving for chicken tenders while I was recouping from chemotherapy, and he had offered to pick some up for me.  Best Boy went into the kitchen to put the tenders on a plate, and I realized how touching this simple act was.  Despite the fact that I had told him that we could no longer sleep together, Best Boy remained giving and kind. (At a time when I was feeling sick and vulnerable, that was just what the doctor ordered!)

When I was finished eating, he reached for my hand, as we watched the game.  At the next commercial break, he moved toward me, kissing me softly and gently.  A part of me wanted to continue, but a larger part of me worried about my relationship with Mr. Agency.  I pulled my lips away and said:

I’m still seeing Mr. Agency, which was why I told you over the phone that we couldn’t mess around.

Best Boy: Okay.

Me [pausing]: But, I've missed you.  [He smiles.]  I just don't know if we could be anything more than we were, given our history.  [Pause.]  And, it's not like you're looking for a relationship.  [He had said that back in August.]

Best Boy: Well, I’m not looking to be in a bad relationship. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t be in a relationship if it was right.  I just know that I’ve lost my focus and gotten caught up in a lot of unnecessary drama in past relationships.  I don't want to be in that situation again.

Me: I can appreciate that.  I guess I’m trying to figure out what I want right now.

Best Boy: I think you change what you want every week!  [We laugh.]

Me: Yeah, I won’t disagree with you.  All bets are off during chemo. [Pause.]  I just don't know if it's even possible for us to be more than friends or friends with benefits.  So much would need to happen for us to work.  I’d need to figure things out with Mr. Agency.  [I use hand gestures to accentuate each point.]  Then, we’d need to figure out if we want the same things.  And then, if we do, you’d need to stop hanging out with Melanie*. (Based on Facebook comments, it appeared as though he and Melanie had been spending time together as more than just friends.  Best Boy's facial expression seems to confirm that what I had gleaned from Facebook was correct.)  And then, if all that happens, you’d have to talk to Mr. Exec.  I really wouldn’t envy you for that conversation.  [He nods.]  That’s a lot of stuff!

Best Boy: It is.

In processing my thoughts out loud with Best Boy, I came to the conclusion that I first needed to decide if I wanted to continue my relationship with Mr. Agency.  I mentioned to Best Boy that I wasn’t sure if Mr. Agency’s work schedule and my needs during treatment were compatible. 

Me: I just need to talk to him and figure things out.

Our eyes became heavy, as the end of the basketball game neared.

Me: You can either stay on the couch or come into the bedroom with me.  But, if you just want to keep me up all night, then you should probably sleep on the couch.  I need some rest!  [We laugh.]

Best Boy: I'm tired, too.  Let me walk Nutter and then we can go to sleep.

After he came to bed, we fell asleep with our arms around each other.   I felt safe…and confused.  I had thought that Best Boy and I were never meant to be more than friends.  And, I had thought that Mr. Agency would continue to be there for me like he had been early on in our relationship.  But now, Mr. Agency was rarely around, and Best Boy was giving me just what I needed.

I needed some clarity about the situation and was thankful that the coming days would give me just that.

To be continued…

* I gave Best Boy's girl the nickname of "Melanie." In retrospect, that might have been confusing since my web designer's real name is Melanie. They are not one in the same.

More Than Friends With Benefits

After my recent conversation with Mr. Agency, I had some concerns.  Would his lack of work/life balance be problematic for us in the long run?  And, how much of a priority did he place on follow through?  Since I was still getting to know him and liked a lot of the qualities he possessed, I decided to wait and see how (or would that be if?) our relationship progressed.

Given how regularly Mr. Agency made comments about my past dating history and his need to have an emotional connection to reach orgasm, I realized that my friend, T, was right.  If I wanted to pursue a relationship with Mr. Agency, I had to stop sleeping with Best Boy.  I hoped that wouldn’t be too difficult since we were just friends with benefits anyway.

Best Boy was in Los Angeles the week after Labor Day, when I received the following text:

I had a dream about us last night.

Me: Really?!?  What were we doing in the dream?

Best Boy: You were sitting on top on my lap on one of your dining room chairs.  I was doing you from behind with a cock ring on.

Me: Sounds hot!

Best Boy: We need to try that when I get back.

Me: Hmm…maybe.

I sext with the best of them so my apathy spoke volumes.

Best Boy: Maybe?

Me: Well, I started seeing someone recently and feel like I should give that a chance since he's more of a relationship guy.  Hope you can appreciate that.

We texted back and forth a few more times.  Best Boy claimed that he stopped seeing Melanie* because of me, and I responded that was his choice.

Me: I never asked you to do that.  We weren’t dating.  We’re just friends who’ve been having sex.

Best Boy picked up the telephone and called me.  When I saw his name come in on my Caller ID, I noted my surprise to Autumn, who was sitting next to me on the couch.

Best Boy: I’m fine if you don’t want to sleep with me anymore, but I don’t sit on the bench for anyone.

Me: What does that mean?

Best Boy: If you stop sleeping with me now, don’t expect to call me up when you’re no longer in a relationship and start sleeping with me again.  If you take me out of the line-up, that’s it.

Me: Seriously?  So, a year from now, if we’re both single and want to have sex with each other, you’re not going to fuck me because of spite?

Best Boy: Correct.  I don’t play second string.

Me: Umm…okay.  [I look at Autumn with a confused expression on my face.]  Does that mean that we can still be friends?

Best Boy: Of course we can still be friends.

Me: Well, that’s good.  I don’t want that to change.  And, I didn’t want to upset you.  I just wasn’t expecting things to go in this direction with the new guy.

Best Boy and I talked for another 10 minutes, and I sensed how hurt he was. 

When I hung up the phone, I turned to Autumn and said:

Did I just have a break-up conversation with Best Boy?  [She nods her head.]  How could we break up if we were never going out?  I guess he liked me liked me.  [She nods her head again.]

I hadn’t had a friends with benefits relationship in a while because those arrangements never seem to work.  One person always ends up having feelings for the other, and in this scenario, it caught me off guard that Best Boy had developed feelings for me. How could we have amounted to anything more, given his relationship with Mr. Exec?

I felt bad that Best Boy had viewed our relationship differently than I did, but it was time to try something new…with Mr. Agency.

* I gave Best Boy's girl the nickname of "Melanie." In retrospect, that might have been confusing since my web designer's real name is Melanie. They are not one in the same.