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This is a continuation of Part 1.

I was extremely excited for our 1 year anniversary. As Texas had pointed out when we had agreed to the break a month prior, meeting up on our anniversary post-break would be a new beginning. I loved thinking of it in those terms.

I wrote a heartfelt note and sealed it in an envelope. I can’t remember what I wrote verbatim, but I am pretty sure I included that I even though we had a rocky first year, I had a lot of hope for our second year. Our anniversary really was a day for new beginnings. We could start over and improve on what we already had.

Walking to the restaurant from my car, I experienced significant deja vu. I had not been in that neighborhood since the night we had met and everything looked just as it had been. The weather was even similar, which is very unusual for unpredictable San Francisco.

I arrived at the restaurant a little early, just like the previous year, and laid the envelope on his place setting. I ordered a cocktail while I waited.

He arrived on time, looking amazing, and we had a long embrace right there next to the table. I was all smiles, so happy to see him.

He ordered the Raspberry Kiss cocktail, the same drink I had ordered a year ago. Awww! Then we ordered dinner: he chose the crab and avocado; I chose the jambalaya.

He opened my card and expressed some disappointment for not having anything for me. He did say, though, that he had been thinking about my birthday, which he had obviously missed, and wanted to take me on an out-of-town weekend trip for a belated celebration. He suggested one of my favorite cities in the world as our destination. I was floored.

We shared our entrees, then walked over to Elixir for a beer then Sycamore for another beer. I took the following photo of graffiti scrawled on the wall of the restroom at Sycamore. I thought it was clever.

2015-09-10 21.05.30

At one point, I asked him what he thought about us. He seemed confused and taken off-guard, saying, “What do you mean? We’d agreed to date others…”, his voice trailing off.

Yes, of course. I guess I had just expected this evening to be about new beginnings and all….

I was being silly. Continuing the break was undoubtedly the best thing, I told myself.

We then headed to the BART station parklet at 16th & Mission Streets for the once-monthly impromptu poetry readings, just like last year, and stayed for a few minutes before deciding to head back to my place.

The dinner cocktail mixed with beer had apparently gone straight to my head so I asked Texas to drive my car home. When we were finally driving down the street to my home, Texas realized that he’d left his backpack in Elixir. Just like last year! (Only last year he’d left it at Sycamore.)

He started to turn around, but I asked him to drop me off at home since I was feeling a little off-kilter. He walked with me into the house then we had long, delicious sex. Afterward, he left to pick up his backpack and I got ready for bed. I think I was already in bed and snoozing when he returned. We slept spooned together all night. We woke up once for middle-of-the-night sex, then enjoyed each other again the next morning before Texas had to leave for work and I had to leave town for a family wedding.

While attending wedding festivities, I wished so badly that Texas were there with me. It was the first time I had actually envisioned Texas with me at an extended family function… and it was the first time I knew I was ready to introduce him to my family and that my family would be ready to welcome someone new.

Something had shifted inside me. I went from talking myself out of a future with Texas to suddenly embracing it within a week’s time.

A close family friend who I’d seen at Easter was there. She asked me if I was still seeing Texas, a question I wasn’t sure how to answer. I told her we’d been having difficulties, that we’d broken up but were talking again recently. She said, “Lauren, you have intense chemistry with him. That’s unusual and hard to find. Tell him what you need. If he can’t fulfill your needs, then it’s not meant to be.” Good advice.

Texas and I saw each other again two nights ago. He surprised me with tickets to a erotic storytelling show. We had talked about going a few months ago but I had completely forgotten about it. He bought VIP tickets, which included a big bag of goodies by the awesome sex toy company Lelo. This goodie bag probably contained $400 worth of stuff and included various vibrators, handcuffs and/or silk blindfold, lube, and toy cleanser. Wow.

He stayed the night at my place that night, then we both got ready for work the next morning and walked to the transit terminal together. Little everyday things like this fill me with joy. I love being with him and look forward to seeing him again.

But I am now confused. Things are incredibly awesome between us but I wonder if that’s only because we have taken a step back. He is no longer up my ass about who is texting me; it’s refreshing. Is this a glimpse of what a healthy relationship with him could be like? Would it continue if we became exclusive again?

Why is dating so much easier than a relationship?