How My In-Between Partner Led Me To Realize What I Deserve

by Celeena Sayani

I met him a few months ago, fresh out of a long-term relationship. I’ve dated a lot of guys but never someone who made me feel the way he does. To clarify, we’re not actually dating. We talk often and spend time together when we can, but it’s by no means official.

He was a friend of a friend who I met when we were all out at a hockey game. I noticed him from the second I saw him. He radiated confidence, which instantly attracted me. I almost felt like I already knew him; I had to find a way to say hi — and I’m glad I did.

We talked for a lot of the night and hit it off. He made me laugh, and I could tell that even though we were super different, we shared a lot of the same values. I loved the way he talked about his family.

He also made me feel cool. My lifestyle and background are nothing close to normal, but he liked that I was different and I liked that he was different, too.

Since then, we’ve spent some more time together (a few nights) and gotten to know each other better. Being with him has opened my eyes to how things should be and I can’t thank him enough.

When I’m with him, I’m not worried about how messy my hair looks; I’m not concerned about being sexy.

It’s not that I don’t want to impress him (I do), but because I know he likes me for who I am, in my most natural state -- an aspiring writer who wears baggy clothing, is obsessed with weird music and asks way too many questions.

He likes that I am the way I am. The things he likes most about me are the things that are most important to me. Being with him (not in a relationship with him, just with him) is unlike any other man with whom I’ve been.

Being with him is easy.

And, when I’m naked in front of him, I’m not worried about what he thinks about my body. I let him look at me. I can tell that he thinks I’m beautiful by the way he touches me.

The way he knows my body makes me feel like he’s known me for years. He understands me, without me having to say anything.

When I have sex with him, it’s more than just physically gratifying; it’s hard to explain the feeling of sharing something so intense and personal with someone. It’s sensual and reciprocal. He gives and he takes.

He listens to my body react to everything he does to me and he lets me take control, too. He’s helped me realize how I should feel when I am intimate with someone.

When I wake up next to him, it’s simple. I hate cuddling and never knew I could enjoy waking up next to someone. I let him hold me and I hold him back. The way he smells soothes me, and I fit perfectly in his arms.

He allowed me to find a sense of comfort I never thought I could find with someone. I could wake up next to him every day.

I’m not in love with him, nor do I expect us to live happily ever after. I know it doesn’t make sense for either of us right now. He leaves in a few months for a year of traveling, and I need to fall in love with myself before entering another relationship.

But, in the short time I’ve known him, he’s helped me understand myself better. I love how he makes me feel. I love the person I am when I’m around him.

I now know that when I decide to be with someone again, I want to be with someone who makes me feel the way he does. I now know I can feel deeper than I’ve ever felt before.

Perhaps with all that is happening in my life right now, as I focus for the first time on myself and only myself, this is the greatest gift he could have ever given me.