Being Attracted to Another Man Made Me Appreciate My Partner Even More
It’s rare to find someone who checks all of your boxes.
There will probably be missing pieces to your dream relationship puzzle. Some pieces are bigger and more important than others. You decide what matters most to you.
One night, I found just one small missing piece in another guy and briefly forgot about the importance of the rest of the puzzle.
It was past eleven o’clock on a Friday night. I was in the heart of North Hollywood gathering my things from the dressing room after the final performance of a show I was in.
“Hey, you doing anything tonight?” My extroverted friend, who always knows where the party is, smiled at me. She always knew that there was a 50/50 chance of me agreeing to go out when she invited me to social gatherings. Honestly, I was really tired and 11pm was usually my bedtime. I just wanted to go to sleep.
Despite my introverted tendencies, I decided to stay out that night only because the birthday party she invited me to was within walking distance from my apartment. Anytime you can get to a party in LA without driving, trust me, it’s a luxury. So I called my boyfriend to tell him the show went well and that I’d be going out with some of the cast for a birthday party. We said goodnight and he went to sleep.
Now I have to say that my boyfriend and I get along so well because we are both introverts. We need alone time to recharge. Neither of us like to go out and party very often. We both like to go to bed before midnight and we prefer low key get-togethers. We talk every day but don’t feel the need to see each other every day. We spend just enough time away from each other so that when we are together, we appreciate each other’s time and date nights.
This is the easiest, most compatible relationship I’ve been in. There’s no drama, no insecurities and I truly love him. I wasn’t drawn to another man because of issues with my current relationship. Imagine a Venn Diagram made up of you and your partner. There’s the middle part that you share (your relationship) and the rest is your own lives, separate from each other. This story takes place in my world outside of him.
Living in LA, of course, there are plenty of attractive men everywhere. I’m talking about men who make a living from their sculpted physiques and beautiful faces. That being said, I can appreciate a good-looking man, but just seeing one does nothing for me. I need a connection to truly feel attracted to someone and in the year and a half of being with my current partner, I haven’t felt that with anyone else, until that night.
When I found out whose birthday it was, I immediately knew it was going to be fun. The birthday boy was a popular choreographer and professional dancer in LA. I knew the party would be filled with fellow dancers, his students, and other creatives. The party was held at a dance studio and we had it all to ourselves. I LOVE to dance. More than that, I love to watch other professional dancers do what they do best.
I wish I could follow choreography and move like them, but it’s not in my DNA. I’ve tried. I can’t flow effortlessly to the beat as they do. They were mesmerizing to watch and I could have just stood there and watched them dance all night. But I like to participate in the fun and I’m not so insecure with my own moves that I would sit on the sidelines the whole time. I jumped in the crowd, moved to the music, laughed with my friends, and lost myself in the moment. The fastest way to get me to a party is to tell me that people will be dancing.
After about half an hour of dancing with my friends, I found out there were food and drinks on the back patio. Of course, after a long night and no dinner after the show, I had worked up an appetite. I helped myself to a plate of food and grabbed a glass of wine.
As I was talking to a guy I’d met a couple of times before, another man walked up to us with all the confidence in the world. He excused himself for interrupting our conversation and he reached his hand out towards the guy I was talking to. He’d overheard a New York reference and asked if they shared a hometown. They both bonded over being from New York City even though they were from different neighborhoods. He had east coast swag written all over him and I could hear a slight accent.
As they were getting into a whole new convo, I backed away to excuse myself since I had nothing else to contribute. When I took a step back, the new guy turned to me and smiled.
“I’m sorry for not introducing myself. I’m Nick. I just moved here from New York.” He extended his hand toward me. I had to awkwardly set my plate of food down and switch my wine glass from my right hand to my left before taking his hand. He never broke eye contact and his smile was very charming.
Ok, I thought. He’s kind of cute. He wore a fitted button-down with the sleeves rolled up. I could tell he was in great shape. He had black fitted jeans on and Converse shoes. What stood out the most was this bright red fanny pack he had on, not around his waist, but slung across his chest. It was just cool enough to not question him wearing a man bag.
I shook his hand firmly, and his smile grew wider. “You have a great handshake. It’s strong.” I’m usually annoyed when men are surprised by a firm handshake from women, but I didn’t let this time bother me. I took a sip of my wine and the three of us kept talking for a little bit longer.
Nick kept looking at me a little too long. I noticed his eyes move back and forth from my eyes to my mouth back to my eyes again. I found myself doing the same whenever he spoke before a friend of mine called me away. She and I went back to the dance floor and I didn’t think anything else about Nick from New York.
At this point in the party, some dancers who were either current or previous students of the birthday boy took over the dance floor performing popular routines he’d choreographed. It was quite the show. Anyone who wasn’t part of the show was standing along the walls watching.
Towards the end, before I realized it wasn’t quite over, Fantasy by Mariah Carey came over the speakers. I’m obsessed with that song and I felt the need to step out and dance a little bit without noticing yet that nobody else was moving towards the dance floor. As I stepped out, I felt a gentle pull on my arm holding me back. I stopped and looked back. It was Nick. Apparently, he’d been behind me this whole time.
“Are you part of the show?” He laughed in a teasing way.
“No…” I was slightly embarrassed looking over my shoulder as three professional dancers made their way onto the dance floor for their routine.
“I mean, if you want to steal the spotlight, be my guest.”
“No, I’m good.” I took my place back with the non-performers and finished watching the rest of the show with Nick right next to me. The whole time I was very much aware of our arms touching ever so slightly.
After the show, I was happy to break free and be with my girlfriends, but I found myself looking for that red fanny pack every now and then. He was an amazing dancer. His body moved with ease to the rhythm of hip hop, reggaeton, and pop music. It was like his blood flowed with musical notes and the loud bass from the speakers was his heartbeat. Dancing brought him to life and it was hard to keep my eyes off him.
I took salsa lessons when I was younger and I had picked up basic skills in merengue and bachata along the way. When a bachata remix started playing I knew I could show off some of my moves. That was one style of dance I felt comfortable doing in a room full of professional dancers. Bachata is supposed to be a couple’s dance. It’s very intimate in that you dance very close to your partner in a tight embrace, but I had no problem dancing by myself.
About a minute into the song, I was taken out of my own world when I felt someone grab my hand. I knew before looking that it was Nick. When my eyes met his, he held my hand up in a way that was asking me to dance without having to say anything. I stepped into him with my hand on his shoulder and his hand settled on my lower back and he whisked me around the dance floor.
He. Could. Move. He led with confidence and I followed with pleasure. When he turned me, he never took his eyes off me as he watched me turn away from him and then swiftly pulled me back into our close embrace. It was a very sensual experience and I enjoyed every second of it.
He seemed to want to keep dancing when another song came on, but I claimed I needed some air to cool off. I gave him a hug, assuring him that he did nothing wrong and I walked away, out of the studio and into the cool, crisp 1:30 am air.
I felt guilty. It was just dancing. Nothing inappropriate, I told myself. I love to dance and that’s all we were doing.
Clearly, I felt a strong attraction to him, but I was thinking about my boyfriend the whole time. I found myself wishing that my boyfriend could dance like that. He can’t. He doesn’t really enjoy dancing like I do. He knows I love salsa dancing and he once mentioned wanting to take lessons with me, but we never followed through. There are plenty of things that he enjoys doing that I don’t, so I can’t hold that against him.
Nick was just very different from my boyfriend. At first, I thought that was why I was attracted to him as if I felt like I was missing out on everything I didn’t have by being in my committed relationship. But different isn’t always better. It’s just different. And in this case, while I stood outside thinking about my boyfriend being sound asleep, I wish I could’ve been right there with him.
Nick had this confidence that gave him the ability to approach anybody in a room. My partner would rather just stick to his circle of friends. Nick had this full head of hair pulled back into a man bun. My boyfriend was completely bald, but I love it. I could keep comparing them, but that wouldn’t be fair. I loved my boyfriend. I didn’t know Nick. I had made up this fantasy about him in the one hour of just meeting him.
I realized how much I loved being with my partner after feeling an attraction to someone else. Instead of focusing on what he lacked in my eyes, I decided to focus on what kept me attracted to him. I loved his sense of humor, his independence, his ambition, his compassion, and much more. I would never throw that away or hurt him because I enjoyed dancing with some hot guy. Nick was just a small, unnecessary piece of the puzzle.
I realized that yes, you can be attracted to someone outside of your relationship, and it’s OK. That’s not a betrayal. We are human. Just because you’re in a monogamous relationship, that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to acknowledge other people who aren’t your partner. Nick made me feel a certain excitement from dancing that I don’t get with my boyfriend, but that’s not enough to want anything more from him.
I had a great time, but that’s all it was. A moment late in the night. A fun memory to think about. And I did think about it for about three days after, not in a sense of longing for Nick, but just an appreciation for the love of dance we had in common for that brief moment.
I have a lot more in common with my boyfriend and when we went out the next day, I told him about the cute guy I danced with and he wasn’t jealous or insecure. He laughed it off and jokingly twirled me around the parking lot of the restaurant we’d just left.
“So does this mean I have to take dance lessons?” He asked.
“No.” I pulled him into me. “If that were a requirement, we never would have made it this far.” He laughed out loud. Then he kissed me, slowly, intentionally. That was the only move I needed.