february is the month of love[rs].

so january’s edition of the belgian dating was so popular, i decided to expand into the month of february!

and just like me, we’ll waste no time and get right into it:

guy #7: the douchebag

haha, okay this guy wasn’t really (that big of) a douchebag (yes, he was)– but when i was talking to mallory about upcoming dates i said i had one with a guy who seemed like a bit of a douchebag. she laughed that i was still willing to go.

no surprise, i met him through tinder. i really should’ve seen this ending poorly… i mean, 9/10 tinder dates don’t go in the right direction. but yeah, if you have tinder you know how addicting it is! you just start swiping- left, right, right, left, left, left, left… it’s like the contra code of hook up apps. just enter it in and get 30 free dates.

so. i swiped right on this guy who was extremely good-looking, despite the fact he had a ridiculously high pompadour hairstyle and a blue steel gaze for most of the photos. to my surprise, he immediately started talking to me. (doesn’t he know tinder is a GAME?!) apparently he had seen me walking down the street the previous week and was going to talk to me, but it was late at night and he thought that might be a little bit creepy. …he was right. that is a bit creepy.

creepy, but persistent. he seemed to be waaaay into me. i mean, i’m used to that, i’m a really amazing person with an awesome personality, obvs. but for someone who had not met me or had even talked to me for longer than one hour total, i’m guessing his infatuation mostly had to do with one minor detail: i’m asian.

he had a total asian fetish. doctor diagnosed yellow fever. i mean, he knew i was korean just by 5 photos.

*sigh* …i don’t think he cared about my awesome personality at all.

a few weeks went by and he kept asking me out. i kind of dodged it for awhile. it’s not that he wasn’t nice- he was. it’s not that he wasn’t good-looking- he was. it’s just… and i know this sounds terrible… it was almost too easy. and i don’t like that. he tried calling a few times. i hate talking on the phone. he would text me multiple times throughout the day and end them with “X.” i hate electronic kisses even more than i hate talking on the phone. especially from people i don’t know.

but persistence pays off and eventually i agreed to a date. he said he would meet me in front of the cathedral at 19:00 on a saturday. i got there and he was right on time. and geez, he was tall. (i made sure to tell him, in case he didn’t realize.) he offered me his arm and told me he had a bit of a surprise for me. fine. i do like surprises.

he was taking me to the city of deurne for the “best lasagna he has ever had.” okay, that’s pretty darn cute. we get to his vehicle and some classic rock tunes are playing over his stereo. he really likes elvis and has a elvis figurine hanging from his review mirror. we start chatting and i find that, while we don’t have a lot in common, he is fairly easy to talk to. until he makes some comments about hating muslims. that’s mighty awkward. i tell him that we might have to switch back to “first date” etiquette where don’t discuss religion or politics but just stick to the weather. he laughs. we sing the beatles.

we get to deurne and go inside the restaurant which is a cute, little mom and pops restaurant on a corner. they move a two person table in from the outdoor area so we can sit. i order a glass of wine, he orders a cola. …he doesn’t drink. well, that’s good. at least he doesn’t have that excuse to try to weasel his way into my apartment. 🙂

again, this guy is surprisingly easy to talk to, despite the fact that we have absolutely NOTHING in common. his hair is less ridiculous in person and he is less persistent and less-overly affectionate than his online persona. he is a body guard/bouncer. he’s a bit of a womanizer, admitting that he’s slept with between 100-200 women. (gross.) but he’s also a gentleman- he has opened doors for me all evening and insists on paying for dinner even though i told him i was more than willing to “go dutch” (this term is much more applicable over here, you know, being so close to… the dutch). our meal is done and he asks if i want to play a game where we ask questions and the other has to answer 100% truthfully. sure, why not. the first question he asks is, “am i your type?” i immediately answer, “no. but i’m still having fun.” it doesn’t seem to phase him. and i learn some interesting things.

i have to get up early the next day, so i respectfully decline when he asks me if i want to continue the evening. he drives me back to antwerp- i told him he could just drop me off at my place, but he wants to park in the lot and walk me home. um, okay. but we’re going to have to make a pitstop along the way because i didn’t follow the advice of my parents of just “trying to go to the bathroom, even if you don’t think you have to” before i left the restaurant. one perk of this guy is that he’s in security, so he has keys to certain buildings around town. he lets me use a nicer, semi-private bathroom in a parking garage area that the “peons” can’t use. and then… then one of the strangest things that has even happened on a date happened.

i am washing my hands and this guy knocks on the door and asks if he can come in. um… why?! because he wants to give me a massage, of course. perfectly normal bathroom behavior. you see, earlier in the night he boasted about his massage skills and told me he would give me a neck massage by the end of the night. i didn’t argue, because massages are one of my favorite things in existence. and he apparently thought the women’s bathroom was the perfect place to do this.

okay, i won’t lie. the massage was really good. or at least as good as it could be, standing up near a heat lamp and a sink in a semi-public woman’s restroom. after that was finished, we resumed our walk back to my place. along the way, we saw a few of his friends who were out and about in the south side. one was a bouncer at the door of a club where “fancy” people got let it. i’m not really sure why there was a bouncer at this establishment, but he was nice and offered to let us go inside and have a drink. um, i was wearing chucks and a northface jacket. and you’re only letting fancy people in?

the night ended at my doorstep. earlier, playing the truth game, i let him know i wasn’t going to let him up to my apartment so there were no expectations there. he kept saying through the night “well, next time, this, next time that.” sorry. also probably not going to be a next time.

(fun ender: as i was recapping this date to tina she told me, “dude, don’t you know tinder is a hookup app?” i replied, “no it’s an app to find a personal trainer.” thanks, mindy project!)

guy #8: the asexual the heterosexual i can’t have, which will haunt me for the rest of my days

um, can you guess who got to pick his own descriptive nickname? i’m sure everyone knows who this is because i talk about him often enough, being one of my only actual friends here. but after my last blog post i was flipped some shit, stating that he was only mentioned a few times despite the fact that “i spent about 56% of january at his place.” which isn’t true at all. …it was more like 73%.

i just didn’t write anything about THICHWWHMFTROMD* because, honestly, our relationship is super difficult to explain. he’s my favorite male who i hang out with in belgium. in fact, i use him as a dating scale– if after a date i would rather spend time with jeroen than with the other guy, then chances are slim i will see him again.

and i see THICHWWHMFTROMD* (at least) once a week because i cook dinner at his place in exchange for the usage of his laundry machine. i make him walk arm-in-arm with me down the street. we danced around to vinyl records of ABBA and elvis. he rarely, if ever, responds to a text but claims to text me more than he does anyone else. i have keys to the man’s apartment. we’ve slept in the same bed.

but, let’s be honest. if something was to happen, it would’ve happened by now. i jokingly call him my “asexual friend,” but really, he just doesn’t date. he’s above it all. he’s got standards. (he says this in a tone that implies i do not.) and he’s already told me i’m not submissive enough, which is beyond true. also, here’s a fun fact: apparently the jerk THICHWWHMFTROMD* has convinced his friends that i’m crazy/head over heels for him so now i have to dig myself out of a hole if i ever meet them. add this to the statement that he doesn’t “enjoy” my company but he has learned to “endure” it, and i’d say no… no, nothing is probably going to happen. but despite these “facts,” he continues to let me impose on his life.

but in all seriousness, why would i jeopardize such a good thing? i get to use his fancy kitchen and laundry machine. i get to drink his alcohol and have the hookup to his sweet sound system. he gets a free home cooked meal, a driver when he wants to go out and drink, and access to my netflix account. as my friend krista put it when i was once trying to explain, “oh, it’s like you guys are married without the sexual perks.” to which i replied, “…so, it’s like we’re married?”

*the heterosexual i can’t have, which will haunt me for the rest of my days

guy #9: the surfer

being originally from a no-coast state, i don’t often get the experience of meeting surfers. especially not cute, belgian ones with floppy surfer hair and shy smiles. seriously, just from photos i could tell this guy is adorable. and very different than me- a bit introverted, someone who likes to spend his days at home or out on a secluded beach. but through talking with him i found that he makes miniature guitars in his free time (again, adorbs) and he likes the alabama shakes. and you can’t complain about a man who likes the alabama shakes.

the only problem or apprehension i had with the surfer was that he warned told me ahead of time that, in-person, his english is not the best. i have to admit, that was a little bit worrisome for me. i mean, i like to look at hot dudes as much as the next girl, but spending hours with someone and not having something to talk about/be able to communicate would probably kill me. we decided to get coffee on a saturday afternoon and play it safe. i picked a cafe near my place that also sells alcohol and vinyl records. i figured if the date was a flop then at least i could drowned my sorrows in booze and add to my (almost non-existent) record collection.

day of the date i walk into the coffee and vinyl shop (called… wait for it… “Coffee & Vinyl”) and briefly scanned the room to see if he was there yet. i didn’t see who i was looking for, but i did see a gorgeous guy standing at the counter wearing a form fitting blue button up. …but not a “nice” button up- i mean like a rugged, converse style. the type that i really dig. and, of course, me being the jerk i am, thought “dammit, why couldn’t i be on a date with THAT guy?!”

turns out… IT WAS THAT GUY.

my god, but really, this guy was incredibly good looking. i’m not sure why i didn’t recognized him from his photos, to be honest. i guess his hair was a little darker and a different cut and he had this wide, easy going grin that he didn’t showcase online.  i, however, fortunately must look similar to my photos as he was able to identify me as soon as i walked through the door. he immediately greeted me with the belgian kiss on the cheek and i tried to keep my jaw from hitting the floor.

we ordered two lungos and went to sit down. he was very polite, offering me the “comfortable chair” and we immediately started chatting like old friends. any worries i had about this guy were thrown out the window. not only was he handsome, his english was superb, accent adorable, shit…. i was a smitten kitten. (which, if you really know me, is odd. none of my relationships have started with that instant chemistry, that “spark,” or immediate pull. i’m actually repulsing myself by writing it. i’m going to stop.)

and then… and then all hell broke loose. because this is the point where smuggy’s friends [from last month’s post] walked into the coffee shop. have you guys seen bridget jones’s diary? there’s a scene near the beginning where hugh grant calls her out on some bullshit and there’s just a subtitle that goes across the screen: “fuuuuuuuuuccccckkkkkkkk”. and that’s exactly how i felt at that moment. you see, they had all read the blog. and they were a bit of assholes and maybe not extremely happy about my unraving review of their friend. luckily, no words were exchanged as i think they wanted to avoid me as much as i wanted to avoid them. and the surfer was none the wiser.

no, realistically, after a few minutes i forgot that they were even there because i was enthralled with what this guy was saying. we had long finished our lungos so we changed to some lattes with honey. i offered to pay but he waved it off, saying i could pay the next time we hung out (this time i didn’t mind someone suggesting a “next time”). we talked about guitars and ukeleles. we talked about traveling. he was super easy going. i was his first online date. i laughed and admitted he was not mine. he was nervous speaking english so he had spent the last few days practicing in the shower and in the car in preparation. gah, and that grin! did i mention i was smitten?

since he had driven into town we had to get back to his car by 4:00 so he wouldn’t get a ticket. we quickly searched through the vinyl records (fulfilling the coffee & vinyl title). he got the doors and i got a joni mitchell lp. we then walked to his car (which is actually a van with surfboards and fun travel equipment) and he offered to give me a ride home. when he dropped me off, he looked at me and simply said, “i am going to kiss you now.”

and he did.

guy #10: the gent-le giant.

see, it’s funny because he’s from gent. get it? GET IT?! oh, and he’s also tall as fuck. (if “as fuck” was like 6’3″.)

the giant was the first person on okcupid to ask me what my mutant power would be. (there was a question that asked what do you spend a majority of your free time thinking about and i had replied “being a mutant- i want to be a mutant so badly.”) i thought this was a nice starter and we some good conversations about whether a power defined your destiny as a good or bad person, what powers would be the most useful in every day life, etc.

we had a higher friend percentage than dating match, which was perfectly okay with me since that was pretty much the point of the whole experiment… i mean… experience. appearance-wise, he also wasn’t really my type. for one, he was way too tall for my liking. his hair was blonde. but he did have one thing going for him. he had sad eyes. and if anyone knows me, they know my kryptonite is a man with sad eyes.

so, we planned to meet up a couple of times, but it didn’t happened right away. the first week i decided to go to the netherlands with my coworkers instead because i hadn’t heard from him. (turns out he entered my phone number in his phone wrong.) the second week we never confirmed plans so he didn’t catch a train in time.

but the third time, the third time was a charm. he was taking the train in from gent so i told him i’d meet him at the central station (the most beautiful train station in the world, for real, check it out). he didn’t really know antwerp very well and that was an area i was unfamiliar with, so i thought we could make an adventure of it.

and adventure we did. we met at the train station with the very polite belgian kiss on the cheek and set off in a direction that neither of us knew. we walked around the mier (shopping area) and  then when my little legs got tired of matching his giant’s stride, we eventually settled on a bar by the schelde. i had a kwak, which is a beer that comes in an interesting funnel shaped glass and it’s attached to a wooden handle. in theory it’s really similar to the boot at hessen haus- you have to be careful how you tip it or else you’re going to get an air bubble and have it all splash you in the face. and that’s science, y’all.

the giant was really funny and easy to talk to, but okcupid might have it right again- i was getting more of a friend vibe off of him than a real “love connection.” but he was adventurous. he had worked in montreal for awhile and decided he wants to move to there, which probably sounds as crazy as me wanting to move to antwerp. we exchanged travel tips and things that we miss about north america. bacon. mmmm. also, indian food. okay, that was a surprise. i like indian food too, but hadn’t found a place in antwerp that looked nice and authentic. we both googled places and decided to get some for dinner.

on our way to indian food, however, a topic of conversation came up that changed everything. the giant had read that the kulminator bar was ranked the “best bar in the world” and asked me if i had ever been.

…as a matter of fact, I HAD. and i had 35 tickets and only needed 5 more to get a collector glass from there (thanks, Dan!). we decided to change our plans and walk to the kulminator and get dinner in that area instead.

TURNS OUT the kulminator is closed on sunday nights, which is absolutely ridiculous. and sad. but whatever. we swallowed our disappointment and went to find some food. conversation continued to flow with ease and we started comparing the difference between ‘american’ names and ‘european’ names. he started saying my name with an “american” accent. i hated it. people with accents need to say my name with accents. sounds much better. in fact, everyone, just start saying my name with an accent.

after we were done eating i walked him back to the train station. we made (non-concrete) plans to hang out again and go to the kulminator when it was open. i also need to visit gent again because it is such a beautiful city and not that far away. i’m positive i will see the giant again, but maybe not in a romantic context. but who knows? his sad eyes and easy-going nature was enough to get him the bronze medal in this dating game.

updates from last month:
#1: don’t really see not-evan anymore, although we still text occasionally and make plans to see each other, where i ditch out on last minute because i’m a terrible and lazy person. in my defense, i’ve told him open dates a few times as well and haven’t heard anything back.

#2: hang out with the texan on a pretty consistent basis, although we are definitely just friends. i can’t handle that man’s drama. 😉

#3: i go out with my pho-phriend about every few weeks. he’s pretty cool, adventurous, and funny. although i realized last time we hung out that he looks like reid, and i can only hang out with so many look-a-like ex boyfriends before wondering if i’m just recreating the wheel.

#4: the unexpected is undoubtedly my favorite of january. we try to hang out once a week or once every other, but not at a stage where anything is serious or exclusive. or sexclusive. (did i just make up an awesome word?)

#5: haven’t talked to him since the night he texted me that he “liked the blog, but his friends will now never stop calling him smuggy mcsmuggerston.” shame. he was funny. but i guess if i ever get the hankering to see him or his friends i can just return to that coffee shop. …so there’s that.

#6: male me and… me… have gone on a few dates. i was interested to see where it would lead, but i am pretty much over it now. he’s fun to talk to and intellectual, but there is just no physical chemistry on my side. (hi, mom! you can stop reading… now.) truth be told, he’s actually a bit awkward when it comes to being romantic or sexual in any way… proving that he’s definitely not the male version of me.

(okay, mom, you can start reading again)

just a forewarning, i probably won’t continue this blog (or at least, this series of the blog) after february. there are a few new people who i’ve lined up to see, but i feel by now i have established a good base of people to hang out with. and of the #10 i’ve mentioned, there are a few i’m legitimately interested in romantically seeing. though i’m a fantastic juggler and multi-tasker, the thought of dating a bunch of people at the same time is not super appealing to me, but rather more tiring and… well… shitty. to add more to that pile sounds even more tiresome (and shitisome). but if anything interesting happens with anyone (or any of the new ones really jump out) i will be sure to let you all know. i’m an open book, after all.

2 responses to “february is the month of love[rs].

  1. Your’e just mad you didn’t think of it first, jess. 😉

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