"Are you single?" he asked me as I mounted him on my soft-but-squeaky bed.
“Yes,” I said, matter-of-factly, bewildered my f*ck buddy would think otherwise. We spent the next 12 hours having sex.
I wasn't lying. I am single. Hearing the word “single” gets a sure-fire “yes” out of me every time. But I'm also not really single. I guess you could say I have a few boyfriends. They're scattered across the country.
I have hoes in different area codes, y'all.
The first guy, Colin*, is stationed right here in my own humble city of Manhattan. I met him at a bar last Easter, when I was on the prowl looking for a quick bang. Our drunken one-night stand turned into a f*ck-buddy situation, and we've been sleeping together, cooking for one another, and learning from each other for almost a year now.
James* and I met through a work thing a couple of months ago, in a sort of ironic way. He reached out to me because he wanted me to try a dating app he works for, but I declined, so he asked me out for a drink on a trip here from San Francisco. I'm sure you can imagine the way things went: one drink led to five, which led to me inviting him back to my apartment, which led to, uh, bedroom activities. When I tried to have sex with him, he stopped me and said, "I think I want to get to know you better."
We've been texting each other ever since he left New York.
Finally, there's Bryan*, my ex, whom I only very recently kicked out of my pseudo-boyfriend rotation because I happened to find his diary lying in my apartment. Prior to my grand discovery, I was sleeping with him, going to dinner with him, and taking him up on his invites to hang with him and his bros on his vacations to New York from Florida.
None of these guys is my actual boyfriend, but I have an affinity for all of them. In fact, I don't think I'd be happy with just one of them. The unfortunate truth is it takes three different men in three different cities to make my perfect boyfriend.
On his own, each man is great but not spectacular. Each possesses his own special set of skills and talents. Together, though, they're a mega-man: a mish-mash of everything I've ever wanted and needed in a man. I'm a player, and with good reason.
Colin is great with his hands. Sex with him is fantastic. A farmboy at heart, he knows how to do all those "manly-man things" any great boyfriend should know how to do, like build your furniture for you and throw punches at some guy at the bar that won't quit bothering you. The man can even cook, and I'm talking about a proper English breakfast, not just boiling noodles in water.
There are times, though, when I struggle to have a profound conversation with him. I outsmart him and he knows it.
James is a bit older than me (he just turned 30!), so he's got that whole maturity thing on his side. He's wildly ambitious, too: He's a PR guy by day, but an artist/photographer/entrepreneur by night. I've always had a soft spot for the guy too passionate to choose just one passion. And when I talk to him, I feel like I'm learning loads about life. He's got that Morgan Freeman-esque voice of reason.
But he also lives out of his car. The man can't choose what it is he wants to pursue most in life, which is great for him, but not exactly great for the girl he decides to settle down with.
Bryan and I had been on-and-off for years. We were friends, then friends with benefits, then lovers, then back to friends. I guess even while we were dating, he always still felt like a friend to me. We also happened to both be striving writers and had similar insecurities about the quality of our work and the quality of our character.
But he was also an epic douchebag who got off on making me feel bad about myself.
The problem is, I can't keep all of them forever. Life isn't a damn ice cream cone. I can't keep piling one flavor on top of the other, lick my way through and expect to indulge in a vanilla-strawberry-mint-chocolate-chip combo for dessert every day. Eventually, I'm going to have to choose one flavor and stick with it.
One part of me feels proud. Pimpin' ain't easy. Juggling these men all at once is a job on its own.
But another part of me feels lost. I'm beginning to wonder if I've set the bar too impossibly high for anyone at all. I feel like I'm alienating all the decent men by waiting for the perfect one. See, I want it all: I want the mind-blowing sex I have with Colin, and the twisty-turny conversations I have with James, and the friendship-turned-romance I had with Bryan.
What if the perfect one isn't even out there? What if the best I'll ever know is what I already have? And what if one man were Colin, James and Bryan all in one? Would that man be overkill? Do I even want all of those things, or am I just addicted to the thrill of being able to say "later" to one man while catching up with the next?
I don't know if I can choose. I don't know if I want to choose. Until I find the man of my dreams, I'm going to keep my carousel of men going full speed ahead.
*Name has been changed.