The first guy that I really had feelings for, that I would have had a real relationship with, was Barrie.

Again with the nicknames.

This was another guy that I met on Tinder. Judge away, my friends, but when you are an antisocial introvert, it’s much easier to lie on your couch silently judging people than to actually step foot in the real world.  How do you even meet people in the real world? Do you go to a bar and hit on random strangers? Is this a thing that people even do anymore?

So of course I chose the safest and most sane way of meeting someone: I swiped, he swiped, we messaged at 11pm on a Sunday, and then I went to his dad’s house and had sex with him in the basement.

Let me try to make myself feel better about my choices. He is insanely attractive. He is tall, he is kind, he is really funny, and did I mention super fucking hot?

Barrie told me that he had just recently moved back to Barrie and was in town visiting his dad. He convinced me to stay the night, which was definitely not something I anticipated.  I assumed it was just a random hookup…I mean who messages someone at 11:00 on a Sunday night looking for anything other than a hookup?

(Wow, I’m really not making myself feel better here. I should mention that in between The High Five and Barrie I did go on actual dates, with actual people, and actually left my clothes on.  But I had just moved into my new house at this point and my kids were with their dad and it was quiet and empty and lonely.)

I woke up early the next morning because I had to get home. I was working my second day of my new job.  I went home, got ready, took my kids to daycare, and went to work for a few hours.  After work I texted Barrie and asked if he wanted to meet for coffee…and by coffee I definitely meant sex.  He told me that he was downtown and I went to meet him.  We had a drink and then I drove him home, because I had to go get my kids.

That night my kids were at their dad’s again and Barrie came over. We went to a bar near my house and met a fascinating gentleman who told us that pain is not real, but only an illusion.  This is when I really started to like Barrie.  He was so nice to the man, but hilarious at the same time.  And he sat on his chair so that part of him was touching part of me at all times.  He kissed me all throughout the night.  He made me feel special.

The next day he went back to Barrie but told me that he was going to come back that weekend. He asked me not to date any other guys.  He asked me about my ex, and about my kids, and if I had ever introduced a guy I was dating to my kids.  I hadn’t, and I explained to him how my ex and I had said that anyone we were dating would have to meet the other parent before they met our kids.  I joked how I didn’t want to subject any man to my ex.  Barrie joked about how he could handle my ex.  I joked back, does this mean you want to meet my kids? He said eventually.

Bri-shaped hole in the wall.

I was expecting this to be a hookup. Then I expected it to be a fling while he was in town.  And then I thought, maybe we can see where this goes.  And then shit got real.

I panicked. I talked to my friends about it.  I called my sister.  And then I calmed down.  I thought about Barrie, really thought about him.  He was so sweet and so nice to me.  He called me babe.  He gave me random kisses in the bar.  He made me laugh.  And he looked like Joshua Jackson, which is something I really like in a person.

So fuck it. Fuck the walls I’ve worked so hard to build.  Fuck my decision to just fill my void with dicks.  Fuck my cynical, critical, sarcastic attitude.  Fuck it.  This is an amazing guy who actually wants to be with me.  Yes.  I’ll jump.  Let’s see where this thing goes.  And a little bit of distance between us seemed like a plus for me…I could go visit him on the weekends I didn’t have the girls, he could come here once a month or so…it would force me to take things slow which is what I wanted.

So he came back to town for a day and it was great.

A week or two later I was planning to go visit him in Barrie. I noticed that his texts had become less frequent, and he wasn’t calling me anymore.  I asked if he still wanted me to come.  He said that Barrie is too far and he didn’t know if he would ever move back to town.  I told him that I was fine with driving to Barrie, and that long term I’m not glued to Guelph.  He said it was too hard.

And that was that.

It wasn’t until like three weeks later that I actually got really sad about it. I’m not sure why I had such a delayed reaction.  It was a busy few weeks, moving the rest of my stuff and starting my new job full time.  My oldest started school and my youngest started daycare.  I guess I just got too busy to really think about it.

I learned my lesson, though. The walls went back up, stronger than ever.  The cynicism is in full force.  His pizza is still in my freezer and I swear at it every time I have to move it to reach something.  The scarf he asked me to make him is still sitting in my knitting pile in the garage.

I still think about him sometimes…probably more than I would like to admit. But every experience is a good one if you look at it the right way.  Not every guy is looking for a “fuck and chuck.”  Some guys are actually nice, and smart, and funny, and hot as fuck.  And it will be a long time before I let someone in.

I let myself think of a future with Barrie. I didn’t look too far into the future, but I did think about how we could make a relationship work.  I thought about involving our kids.  I thought about introducing him to my kid’s dad.  I learned that I need to just live in the moment.  Forget about what ifs.  Take things as they come.  Maybe it would have hurt less.


Regret Scoring: 0/10

Even though I got hurt in the end, I can’t regret Barrie. At the very least, he taught me that I can still feel.  Even if that feeling is sadness.  And for a little while, he made me feel very happy.  He made me feel wanted, and special.  Things I hadn’t felt for a long time.  And he made me laugh.  A lot.  And again, damnnnnnnn.  I’m not shallow by any means, but…damn.


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