I fell in love after a one-night stand. Here’s how it changed my perspective on love.
About two years ago I had an amazing night with a guy I actually thought was going to be my future husband. To this day I haven’t heard back from him. Even though I cried for weeks, I can now say I’m glad I met him, as he changed my views on love for the better.
I met Raymond (as I decided to call him in this article) during my third year of college. He was visiting from abroad and a close friend of mine invited him to watch a lucha libre match. At the time, she just told me she wanted me to come along because “he was gay and thought we could like each other”. Cringey, I know. But this time I was actually grateful for it.
Usually when a friend introduces me to a gay guy chemistry is nowhere to be found. However, as soon as she opened the door to her apartment and I laid eyes on Raymond, that “awkward mode” you get on when you meet someone you like immediately activated.
Have you ever met someone so cute and interesting that the first thing that comes to mind as soon as you look at them is: there’s no way in hell I’m going to get a chance with them? Have you ever tried to flirt with them anyway and gape when they like you back? Electricity, dynamite, fireworks explode inside you. At that moment, not even cocaine could give you such an ecstatic rush. Well, that’s exactly what happened with Raymond.
Although I’m not usually the type to make the first move, this time I didn’t feel I had to put one bit of effort to do so. The conversation unfolded naturally, and we immediately clicked. After the wrestling match, we went to a club where we ended up dancing together among a crowd of people without any inhibitions. Picture the scene: a self-proclaimed introvert who regularly prefers to stay home watching movies on Saturday nights rubbing their ass against a stranger’s crotch, sweat soaking their shirt and JLo’s sexually provocative song “Get Right” blasting at full volume. Yeah, you could say I’d pulled a complete 180, and loved every minute of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being an introvert. Ever since I was little, I could spend hours alone having the most riveting inner dialogues with myself and imagining fantastic stories which later I began to bring to the physical world through my writing. After high school I lived in New York for a couple of months, and despite going out with friends every now and then, almost every weekend I spent at least a whole day visiting museums, eating at restaurants, and watching musicals by myself. I liked company, but I didn’t need it. I really enjoy when it was just me, myself and I. However, I can’t help but wonder sometimes if my life would be better as an extrovert.
As a true introvert, I tend to admire extroverts from a distance like as if they were some sort of magnificent creatures which I’ll never fully understand. They never have to experience uncomfortable silences when hanging out with strangers, they’re not afraid to try new things, and most importantly, they always seem to have a life filled with joy and adventure. There are times when I think I’m missing out by not being more like them, which naturally makes me wish I could magically leave my introvert tendencies behind to experience life through the lens of an extrovert. And during that night with Raymond, that’s exactly what happened.
For one night I did all the things I never thought I could do: flirt with a stranger, dance like a slut without caring what anyone else thought, and feel like, for once, I was worthy of being the center of attention. I wasn’t gonna let go of my daring new “extrovert persona” so fast. Before Raymond flew back home, I decided to ask him out on a date the very next day.
Sticking with what my newly developed outgoing senses told me, I invited Raymond over for drinks at a hip bar which, get this, was randomly located right underneath his Airbnb (I swear I had no idea!). Because I believe in signs, I immediately interpreted this as the Universe telling me this was indeed a meant-to-be connection which would permanently transform me into the glimmering ray of sunshine I had been feeling like since the night before. Oh, and it was also telling me we just had to pound it out.
The sex was whatever. We did it with the movie Matilda playing in the background, which somehow seems like a plus to me when I think about it. The most erotic and unforgettable moment of the night? Him holding me and telling me I was: “so funny, smart, and handsome”. An external-validation whore’s wet dream indeed. I was capable of picking up hot strangers, of being noticed, perceived as a “catch” even. My physical orgasm may have been a 6 out of a 10, but my psychological orgasm was strong enough to wake up a comatose. It was pure heaven… and then morning came.
As soon as I got into the Uber heading back home I could tell something was off. Why was I suddenly not feeling like a rock star anymore? What was up with me starting to second guess the things I said and did during the night before? I was at peace with the idea of Raymond leaving town the next day, how come now I was making math equations in my head in order to figure out the damage that would imply to my precarious savings account buying a plane ticket to follow him? That’s when I realized it: I was falling for a guy I had literally met 48 hours ago. Fuck me.
First Monday back at the office was a rough wake-up call. My boring desk job hadn’t gone anywhere, I wasn’t been looked at like a celebrity walking into a Starbucks, and I definitely didn’t feel like I had a chance of winning any popularity contests among my co-workers (that honor would surely go to the HR bitches anyway). I had turned back into the same old me, except this time it was worse, because now I knew what life could be like on the other side.
Not knowing what else to do, I pinned my hopes on Raymond, trusting that if we somehow managed to build a relationship despite barely knowing each other and living in different countries, I would go back to being that superstar I knew I could be. Of course, that never happened.
Not only did I got ghosted, I got zombied. This is when a past fling comes back from the great beyond appearing to be alive and well only to devour your heart and return to its grave without even saying goodbye. Raymond would text me first and then never reply, what kind of messed up game was that? Was it something wrong with me? Didn’t he actually like me? Was everything he said a straight up lie? I was suddenly doubting my ability to even be the outgoing and confident version of myself I though I had embodied during my brief affair with him.
After shedding more tears than I prefer to admit, and replaying my date with Raymond over and over again in my head as if I somehow I would suddenly stumble upon the solution to reignite the flame between us, I slowly began to accept what had happened for what it was: a one night stand.
I wish I had a secret formula I could hand over to anyone struggling with a little obsession like mine so they could get over it, but the reality is that this is a process that takes time and, most importantly, a constant effort to understand the deep rooted issues within ourselves which make us act and think the way we do.
After a lot of journaling and therapy, I can say I’m genuinely grateful for my short but meaningful encounter with Raymond. Before him, I hadn’t realized how wrong my notion of love was. For me, this wasn’t a connection based on affection, support, and shared experiences; but rather a drug able to gave me the necessary strength to become a better version of myself. I wasn’t looking for true love, I was looking for someone who made me love how I feel about myself when I was with them. But, as tough as it might seem, making us feel better about ourselves is a job that corresponds only to us and no one else.
Surely I can’t say nowadays I feel completely happy with myself, in fact, sometimes this feels like a very distant goal. However, I do find it liberating to realize I don’t need anybody else to help me get there. Raymond didn’t make me feel like a “glimmering ray of sunshine”, I did, and if it happened once I don’t see why it wouldn’t happen again. So if you happen to run into me at some club rubbing my ass against a stranger’s crotch, know that I’ll be doing my best to keep that volt of confidence long after I get on the Uber back home.