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Dateline: Where the race car of romance hits the brick wall of different expectations

First the bad news. Carlos and I broke up on November 26th. As it turns out, he literally had other plans for his life. Maybe go to Costa Rica to study international human rights law, maybe stick around CDMX and spend both weekend days for the next few years getting a different law degree. But in any case, I wasn’t part of these plans.

This had become clear over the prior months. When we first got together, he was very excited about me, and actually dropped out of a law class he had been taking to spend time with me. But starting over the summer of ’22, he resumed his law classes and we stopped seeing each other much during the week. There was also always a constant flow of family obligations that took time away from our relationship. Family members from Michoacán would, on short notice, decide they were coming to CDMX. And they’d all sleep in Carlos’s one-bedroom apartment that he already shared with 2 cousins. Being deeply in the closet, there was no question of including me in these family activities.

Then a cousin who lives in Narvarte, a neighborhood south of here, was struck ill with cancer, and Carlos decided that he’d spend his Saturday afternoons with the cousin. I could hardly blame him; the cousin’s prognosis was death within months. This cousin was about my age, early sixties. Still, this cut even more into the time that Carlos and I could spend together.

I grew frustrated with being (at best) the weekends-only boyfriend. I had envisioned that things would get more intimate over time and that we might even live in my house together some day. I also grew increasingly annoyed about Carlos’s complete lack of punctuality, or willingness to tell me that he was running late. “I’ll see you at two,” turned into four o’clock arrivals. Maybe I’d be lucky to get a message at 3:30 saying something vague like “I’ll be there soon.” Seemingly every Saturday I’d message him in the morning. “Do you want to eat together?” I’d get weird, non-responsive replies. “I should be there around 2:00.” Or, “There’s a lot of traffic, I could be late.” But figuring out whether I should just eat or make lunch for two became an exercise in tooth-pulling.

Naturally, I began to get annoyed. It wasn’t like I’d say, “you should be here at two.” Nope. I’d ask him when he was coming and he never met his own deadline. And what about eating? How hard can it be to tell me to just go ahead and eat? Or how easy would it be to say, “Yes, I want to have lunch with you?” I did literally everything else: figure out what to eat; buy it; prepare it; etc. All he had to do was say “yes” or “no.” His refusal to do so became a constant irritant.

On November 26th, he messaged me in the morning to say that he’d have to be back home by three for some family obligation. By two, I still hadn’t seen him, nor had he given me a revised ETA. Finally, he messaged me at around 2:30 that he’d be here at 3:00.

When he arrived, I was already mad and was ready to tell him “goodbye.” Well, it turns out that he felt the same. We talked for an hour, then he picked up his stuff and went home. I haven’t spoken or messaged with him since.  My initial reaction was “good riddance.” I went out to clubs and flirted defiantly. But as time wore on, especially into January I began to miss him. It took some work to get back in contact with my feelings of anger and frustration. He had always told me that he never saw himself as part of a couple. What I didn’t realize was that this was his way of saying he didn’t want it. I felt misled, but that’s life.

The good news is that after kissing a few toads, I may have come upon a prince. In late February I met Thiago online. Unlike the typical Manhunt profile, his pictures weren’t pornographic, and he seemed like a nice guy. He had left me a message when I was offline and I saw it later. So I sent him a message and we began to chat. The profile of a nice, genuine person began to emerge. He’d recently finished a dual degree in international relations and business. He had a steady job. He always replied promptly to my messages, and often sent me messages unprompted. Most importantly he was very interested in meeting me.

Alas, covid struck me for the third friggin’ time on March 7th, when I suddenly felt tired at 10:00 AM after walking over to the house for something. I went back home and went to bed. A week later, I tested negative, but was still very tired. Thiago and I scheduled a date for the 14th, but I had to cancel that morning because I was still wiped out. Thiago is 38, yes kind of young for me, but says he’s into “maduros,” Spanish-speak for older guys. Still, I felt old and haggard and didn’t want to push my luck. It also struck me as bad form to fall asleep on the first date. So we postponed. Finally, we decided to meet on Saturday the 18th, after his half day of work.

Whoa! As I was to find out later, we both had an immediate reaction of “This guy is way cuter in person than in photographs.” We went for lunch, and the conversation just flowed, naturally, and calmly. I immediately felt good in his presence, and it turns out to have been mutual. We took a long walk after lunch, then had a drink. Before we wrapped up, we had spent about six hours together.

Since then we’ve had a handful of other dates, and there’s real chemistry. We’re both excited, and eager to see what’s to come. And at this point, I’m also realizing just how strained my relationship with Carlos was.

I know it’s a cliché, but breaking up with him was really best in the end. Thiago really wants to spend time with me, and has made a lot of effort to do so. I’ve been cooking for him and entertaining him, and we’re having a delightful time together. So I’m feeling a lot happier than I have in a long time. It’s delightful to have met someone who’s as enthusiastic as I am.

Meanwhile, the house drags on. I’ll have an update in a few days. The short version is that not much has happened since “Death on the Tile.

Saludos, and thanks for reading.