This post has been a long time coming. Between starting a new job, finding a new apartment, and a variety of other things, I haven’t really been on OKC much, and I’ve mostly just been on GT on my phone, so it’s been almost a month since my last OKC Diary.

The New Boy

Last time I wrote, Pierce and I had had two and a half dates and one and a half booty calls. (One was really somewhere between the two.) I was cautiously optimistic about things with him.

He’s pretty much wonderful. He’s impossibly sweet and caring. He’s dorky and silly and he makes me laugh every time I see him. He’s probably the most considerate guy I’ve ever been with—he’s been very clear that if anything makes me uncomfortable (in bed or out), he’ll stop right away. The sex is amazing and the cuddling is perfect. We’ve been seeing each other usually 2-3 times a week and texting every evening, usually for quite a while, and at this point it’s been almost six weeks since our first date, which is longer than I’ve seen any other guy from OKC.

Last week I had a bit of a freak out, possibly induced in part by the combination of hormones and seeing several GTers have relationships end out of the blue recently. With only a few exceptions—Sam, Date #9—I’ve been approaching dating with a mindset of “I like talking to you and I like being physical with you, so let’s keep doing those things and see how it goes.” Last week I realized that I’d moved past that point to where I actively wanted to see him again and would be sad if things suddenly didn’t work out.

I texted him (encouraged by two beers at the GT happy hour) saying as much—that I liked him a lot, and that scared me because my past experience has been that as soon as I start really liking a guy he disappears. And he reassured me that he had no intention of disappearing anytime soon, and that all the reasons I might be afraid that he would—that I’m complicated and confusing and, in short, human—are reasons he likes me.

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This weekend, after I moved into my new apartment, he came over and helped assemble my bed before he stayed the night and we had a talk. (Really we had two talks, one at 1am as we were cuddling and the other after brunch when we were actually awake and could think properly.) Neither one of us has been seeing anyone else, and we both knew that, but he wants to be officially exclusive. And that… that’s kind of scary, and it feels fast, but I said yes. I haven’t been seeing anyone else, and I haven’t especially wanted to see anyone else, and I’d probably feel weird if I knew he was seeing someone else, so it makes sense.

I did draw a line, though. He asked what I thought was an interesting question about how you refer to someone you’re with: Where is the line between seeing someone and dating someone? It’s a fuzzy line for me, but I said that we were definitely dating. Apparently to him, “dating” is the same as “boyfriend and girlfriend”—which I don’t necessarily agree with. And I’m not ready to be his girlfriend. It just feels big and I’m not there yet. He’s okay with not having the labels, but it was still a bit of an awkward moment.

I don’t know. It feels fast, and I don’t know if I should throw myself into it and let myself get carried away or if I should go on being slow and careful. I worry that he’s more into me than I am into him, or that I’m not going to fall for him any more than I already have and it’s not going to go anywhere. I’m only the second girl he’s ever slept with, and before he joined OKC he hadn’t been in a relationship for about two years. (I was his fourth OKC date, about a month in. His last relationship lasted about two years.) Which doesn’t necessarily mean anything—I went more than three years between breaking up with my high school sweetheart and joining OKC, after all. And that means I don’t have much relationship experience either, just three months of puppy love before college and six months of casual dating starting back in January. The only guy I’ve even ever dated for more than six weeks was a guy I’d known since I was 11.

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I just… This is normal, right? It’s normal to be confused and nervous and scared at the start of a relationship, right? Because I want this to turn into something great, but I have no idea what I’m doing.

The Brit

Any talk of being exclusive with a new guy means I need to talk about the Brit. Up until this point, my relationship with the Brit has best been described as “long-distance friends with benefits”—we IM pretty regularly, but there’s also an occasional sexual component, or at least as sexual as you can get without physically being in the same place.

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And of course, the Brit is planning on spending a few days in DC when he’s in the US next month, so that last barrier would be briefly down, and our plans for those few days definitely involved sex. If I’m exclusive with Pierce, those plans obviously need to change. I messaged the Brit yesterday after Pierce left my place and he was predictably really understanding about it.

It was harder than I thought it would be. We’ve both known from the very start that we can’t have an actual romantic relationship, but it still felt kind of like letting something go. It’s not like this wasn’t going to happen eventually—given that even the best possible situation wouldn’t put us on the same continent for several years, I would certainly hope that one or both of us would find someone else first. We’ve made an effort to talk openly with each other about dating as if we were just friends—he knows all the details about my dating adventures (and often gets more of the sordid details than you all do) and we’ve already established that I’m not the only woman in his life. Still, it’s weird to have this pass from the realm of possibility into reality.

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(And I won’t lie, I’m a little disappointed that the timing worked out the way it did and I’ve found someone to be exclusive with only a few weeks before the Brit shows up.)

The Future

If Pierce and I are going to be exclusive, that obviously means no more OkCupid… which means no more OKC Diary. I’ll do a final post sort of summing things up and giving you the last of the interesting/terrible messages I’ve received since I last posted, but unless things change between me and Pierce, I’ll be wrapping up the series pretty soon. Though of course, I highly doubt I’ll ever stop oversharing on the internet.