Low and behold, here is another "chapter" from the ongoing creative non-fiction novel(?), Finding My Forever. I am excited to slowly release these sections as it inspires me to continue. I thank you all so kindly for giving me feedback as it all helps. Like before, names have been changed but about 98% of what you will read is a true account of my dating experiences. Enjoy and leave me your comments, questions, concerns, etc.

There were some nice ones however, or better known as “stage-five clingers.” We’ve all heard the title before. There are just some people in life who don’t know when to give it up. Coming from a relationship that strangled me, I was not about to jump into a relationship with someone else who would tell me how to go about my day. When you look at a clinger as someone who knows you’re a gem and will do anything to keep you around, it seems rather romantic. Sadly, when you don’t reciprocate those feelings, these people can become tiresome and sometimes even become a burden on your love life—a love life you don’t want with them. Breaking someone’s heart and having to tell someone the difficult truth is never something anyone wants to do but sometimes, you don’t have a choice. Cue Nolan’s entrance into my life.
Any guy who walks into my place of work, calls me beautiful and asks for my number, gets an immediate thumbs-up in my book. Nolan caught my eye the minute he walked through the doors of the buzzing bread company. The lunch rush line nearly reached the parking lot and yet I couldn’t help but glance over at him every few minutes; he was looking right back at me. Despite the other two cash registers, I worked the math out in my favor and ended up with him in front of me, ordering, “whatever I thought was good.” I ordered him the pesto chicken sandwich because I was flustered and it was the first thing that came to mind. The sandwich was never a favorite of mine, or even something I enjoyed if it was free and I was starving but he didn’t seem to mind it.
“I have to say it, you’re beautiful.” His cheeks flushed a bit.
“Thank you,” I looked down at the register screen to hide my very flushed cheeks.
“I know it’s random, but can I get your number?” I nodded, took his phone and typed in my number too eagerly. I caught myself looking out to the patio where he and his friends sat that afternoon. Again, he was looking back.
Of course, amidst this wonderful happening, my phone was dead due to the likes of a fuckboy (more on that type later) and a tragic incident with a toilet one drunk and frustrated night earlier that week. I thought that I had just met my knight in shining armor. As my luck would have it, I was stuck with the unfortunate fate of not being able to get in contact with him. Two days after our first encounter, I received a new phone along with an iMessage from a familiar stranger.
Hi, it’s Nolan from Wildflower. Do you have plans tomorrow night?
Ecstatic doesn’t even begin to explain how I felt upon that date proposal. Just a few days before he walked into the restaurant and my life, I told myself that I was no longer going to be seeking someone out. I would let fate take its course and merely roll with the punches. My main goal was to “do me” for a while but it seemed like a higher power, Cupid or something, was throwing an opportunity at me that I had to at least see through to the first date.
I remember exactly what he was wearing, how excited I was by his height, and the awful sound his Jeep made as he wheeled out of my apartment complex. There really was something magical about our second meeting and no matter the way things ended, I will always be grateful for the gentleman that he was.
I remember being so giddy when I got home that night because for the first time in too long, I was hopeful. He was the first guy to act like he wanted me. Reaching for my hand in the parking lot as we left the movie theatre felt nice. I loved the way he looked when he put on his thinly-framed glasses and collared button-up. The dark brown dress shoes he had worn to dinner were traded out for navy blue Sk8-Hi Vans for the Mission Impossible movie. Even though I wasn’t a fan of Tom Cruise on the screen, I liked the way Nolan respectfully put his arm around me. He was comfortable. He was nice. He was good for me.
Fast-forward to the next day, he picked me up and brought me back to his place. As they passed the bong around the living room, his roommates asked me questions, making sure to remember my name and not rolling their eyes as if I was just another booty call. This became a nightly routine that continued for two weeks. He was mind-blowingly better than my usual type: asshole.
For a while, he was all that I wanted. Of course I recognized his flaws and saw him for the person he was, but I liked him the way he was, and I felt good when I was with him. I could look him in the eyes and know that he was being honest with me about everything. We were constantly in contact and it was clear that he really did want to spend time with me despite knowing my flaws too.
Of course, there was a catch. Prior to Nolan, I had been in a short-lived relationship that ended in heartbreak. Because of this recent tragedy, I wasn’t ready to hurdle into another relationship. When Nolan asked me where he saw us going a few weeks into seeing each other, I had to tell him that I liked where we were and that we were just seeing where things went. No future planning. We weren’t seeing other people and that’s all I could commit myself to.  
Like I said in the beginning, I was in a stage of utter freedom. My roommate and I had become quite the partiers at this point. I had learned the rules of the game, knew how to play the field, and honed my confidence. I came home from work one night to my roommate sitting with six attractive guys at our kitchen table. Without complaint, I changed into something that wasn’t my barf-colored polo and joined the party. Within 20 minutes, a stranger had taken a body shot off my bare stomach. This night changed the entirety of the relationship I had begun with Nolan.
A random partygoer whom I had never met before had me too curious, and by the time Nolan showed up to our entirely too large party, my interest had travelled elsewhere. Nolan left my drunken ass alone in my room that night with the question, “Are you going to be mad at me if I don’t stay with you tonight?” I would be majorly downplaying the situation if I said that this mildly upset me. Being extremely independent, this question made me feel like a helpless girl who needed him in order to be okay. I hated it.
I spent the rest of the weekend chasing after the tall guy in the camo jacket I had met that night, and began blowing off Nolan. I didn’t think about it much at the time. I was being selfish. Finally, left with no other choice, I invited him over, only to sit across the room from him all night. When we made it to my bedroom, I made him watch One Direction music videos with me. If that isn’t a guy’s worst nightmare, I don’t know what is. When I stopped gushing over Harry Styles, Nolan brought up the subject of “us” again. This time, I told him the full scope of my last relationship and that I wasn’t ready for what he wanted. After all, it had only been three weeks since we had started seeing each other and my interest was no longer with the blonde boy sitting on my bed, begging me to be gentle with his heart.
Maybe I didn’t make it obvious enough that night that I was already moving on but sometimes there’s only so much you can say in the moment. A day or so later, I did something I hate myself for. I texted him. I ended all relations with him over text message saying something along the lines of, “We’re not looking for the same thing” and he seemed to disagree. Tale as old as time, I know.
Since then, I’ve reflected on the situation and think, maybe I screwed up something really good. I wouldn’t call it a regret but I don’t think I made the right decision at the right time. I threw away something I really enjoyed, someone who knew what he had when he had it.  
I would be lying if I said I didn’t reach out to him while initially writing this because that’s exactly what I did. I owned up to my mistakes, apologized, and even told him that I had some “unresolved feelings.” He followed those texts with plans to meet and possibly try dating again. He then followed that with standing me up twice. Whether this was all part of some sick game to get back at me or something else entirely, it is safe to say that we both walked away from our relationship with our hearts a little broken.