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He was actually really nice – Alivia Duran


It was textbook flirting during summer in New York City. We were at a fundraiser at a bar in Chelsea, and you were tall and blonde, a head above the after-work crowd of young professionals. I thought I would be making a risky first move that evening, but quickly learned my attraction wasn’t one-sided.

The best spot to order a drink at the bar just happened to be next to you and your friends. You didn’t miss a beat, and immediately started a conversation and offered me a glass of rosé. After monopolizing each other most of the evening, we decided it was best to continue the conversation and exchanged numbers.

That weekend I dashed off early from a party with some friends to meet you, excitedly telling them about my date.

“He actually seems really nice — and is taller than me — and travels — and has fun friends — and we didn’t even meet on an app!”

Our first date was charming, chatting over wine at a hotel lounge on Ludlow. Our second date almost didn’t happen. A broken phone and a missed text caused us both to think the other ghosted, but when you followed up a couple days later we laughed off the miscommunication and quickly made plans to see each other again.

The dates continued. We went to movies in the park, staying out late along the Hudson River long after everyone left, deep in conversation that faded into comfortable silence. I made you go rock climbing under the Brooklyn Bridge until you got blisters and then we went for boozy brunch. After work I did the Whole Foods run, and you cooked a favorite recipe for me from your grandmother’s cookbook.

Over a bottle of wine on your rooftop we talked about our families, faith, and a shared love of travel. We were different, but shared a common spirit. After a couple months, the differences were enough for us to decide to be friends.

I enjoyed the time we spent together, and appreciated your honesty and openness. I’ve never liked how dating is often described in terms of success or failure. Just because a relationship comes to a natural end, doesn’t mean it was a mistake to ever start it. Thanks for starting and ending that one with me.

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