Hello ladies and lurking men!
This will be a slightly long field report, but my Captain and I got back from a 6-day trip to New York a couple days ago, and I thought I would share what went down through the RPW lens.
Context: We met a little over a year ago as friends. Although I figured out early on that he liked me, neither of us could really act on it because we were living in different states, and have been dating since mid-August when I moved. We went to NYC because he was running in the marathon and had been training for a massive PR, and I came along as his cheerleader. I can't tell you what his time or time goals were, as I don't want to dox him, but I can tell you that both his previous PR and the PR he achieved in NYC were very fast times (e.g. within the top 1% of runners in the race).
Here's what I focused on doing throughout the trip not just to stand behind him as he tried to achieve this athletic goal, but also to make the trip a positive, romantic bonding experience for the both of us.
- STFU and let him talk (especially about running/the race): We're both runners, so this has always been easy for me. I've learned early on in our relationship (back when we were just friends even) that when he's feeling nervous about a race or concerned about an injury/possible athletic issue, it doesn't really show in his mannerisms or his tone of voice. He can talk about an injury, a possible stumbling block, etc., completely calmly, and over time I realized that he did it because he trusted me. So I made it my goal to be a safe place to land by getting good at listening to him and validating him/actually following what he says.
- Be physically affectionate....like, more than you think you should: Obviously I didn't do anything he wasn't comfortable with. We've been pretty conservative sexually (i.e. nothing past cuddling or kissing, we haven't even had a hot makeout session yet), so I had to work within some unspoken boundaries. I basically took the affection displayed when we've gone out in the past and cranked it up a notch: more random hugs, more random kisses on the cheek/neck/forehead/hairline/lips, more random caresses, standing/sitting close on the subway, etc. And I of course cranked it up to eleven after he finished his race, both when we met up after and throughout the remainder of that day. To me, he was a freaking superhero Viking man , and I literally could not have kept my hands off of him if my life depended on it. Us ladies have a lot more leeway than guys do when it comes to physical touch, so I took advantage of it.(Note: If we were further along physically, I definitely would have given him an enthusiastic blowjob (or two) after the race when we were back at the Airbnb and going to bed, just letting him lie back and experience some lovely pleasure. And I'd be lying if I said that didn't cross my mind. We definitely need to have a more explicit conversation about our respective sexual boundaries/expectations soon, make no mistake).
- Let him navigate/take the lead on plans: With one exception, I let him lead the entire trip. There were times where he asked me what I wanted to do that day -- instead of giving him a laundry list of places and times, I suggested a few places and asked where we should go when. If we were walking around outside, and he wanted to go into a shop to look at running shoes or buy a coffee or look at vitamins (we're both very health conscious), I followed him in. He even insisted on asking his cousins again if I could stay with him at their apartment on our final night in New York instead of me staying with a friend of mine in the city like we had originally planned, and I didn't try to stop him. The only exception was when we had to get to the airport for our flight back: He wanted to take the subway, which would have gotten us to the airport 40min before our flight was supposed to take off. I pushed back, called an Uber, and got us there 60min before our flight was supposed to take off. Turns out, the TSA lines were so busy that we would have missed our flight if I hadn't taken over. My Captain is much less experienced with flying and didn't realize we needed more time, so he didn't know.
- Expressing yourself: If I saw something beautiful/cool/cute/funny, I said so. Looking back, I was almost childlike in how I explored New York and looked at all that was around me. I already have this mindset because that's just how I am anyway, so it was just cranked up to 11 in New York.
- Anticipate his needs: This was mainly for race day, but I made sure to plan ahead so that all he had to worry about was running the race, not how I was doing. We picked out a couple of locations where he would see me along the course, and I made sure to get there and embarrass myself by cheering extra loud for him when I saw him. I texted some of his family members beginning at 5am that morning when we were headed to Staten Island for the start, letting them know how he was doing. This way, instead of him remembering to call them after the race to say what his time was, he was fielding calls from his mom/dad/brother telling him how great he did. I had wet wipes ready for him at the finish so he could wipe the dried sweat from his face, as well as plenty of water and a bagel with tofutti cream cheese so he could hydrate/eat something. I also did little things that I always do on our dates like refilling his water glass at dinner when it's nearly empty and making sure he doesn't have to wait ages for me to get ready (e.g. by doing my makeup while he's in the shower).
- Giving him space: The day before the race, he wanted to go to our Airbnb and take a nap/relax. I still wanted to explore, so we separated while I did some more exploring. Just because you're traveling together does not mean you can't take a few hours to go your separate ways and take in the new place on your own.
- He also could not keep his hands off me. My Captain has been less forward than me with his physical affection, but he's figured out over time that I'm a touchy lady. This vacation was the first time that he gave me spontaneous kisses, even in public/on our plane. We were also holding hands as we walked everywhere, which has not happened before. He got even bolder and cuter/goofier after a couple of cocktails one night when we were playing shuffleboard, and there was even MORE kissing. I also learned when we shared a pullout couch at his cousins that I love morning breath kisses and sleepy cuddles (we had separate beds at the Airbnb).
- He's definitely turned up the romance. He gave me a napkin from this tea place that says "I love you so matcha!" which I am not taking as an "I love you" declaration but rather a romantic bit of cute. He knows I love the city lights at night, so he took me to a Brooklyn pier, Central Park, and the High Line on multiple nights so we could walk around and enjoy the beauty of the lights. During those walks, he sat us down in a couple private spots and initiated a little spontaneous kissing.
- He (seriously) said we would go to Tokyo together in five years. He's joked a few times about us getting married early on, mainly because when I first met a few of his running/biking friends, they asked if we were engaged or married -- presumably because we're both Christians. Anyway, we went into this Japanese kawaii beauty store just for random fun, and he said it reminded him of what he thought Tokyo would be like and how he'll go there in probably about five years for the Tokyo Marathon. I (jokingly) said I would be his cheerleader there too if he hadn't murdered me in five years -- I've got a dark sense of humor, and we joked before the trip about us hopefully not killing each other while traveling together. He came up behind me, put his arm around my waist, said, "What are you talking about? Of course we'll go together -- nobody's going to be murdering anybody in five years," and then gave me a kiss.
- He's bragged about how supportive I've been and how much it means to have me as his "number one." I've lost count of how many people he's bragged about me too, be it strangers, fellow marathoners we struck up conversations with later on in the city, or even his parents. It really made my heart melt just how much my coming along and taking care of him meant to him. I'm sure his dad wasn't particularly surprised, considering he knows me very well already, but him expressing this really meant the world to me.
- While we were still on the trip, he invited me to his friend's wedding and Thanksgiving/Thanksgiving weekend at his place. Actually, I think it's more his dad's friend than his, since his dad was invited to perform the ceremony. I don't know how big a deal it is for a new boyfriend to invite you to a wedding as his date, particularly if he knows some of the people there already, but these are definitely positive developments! Thanksgiving day is not definitive, as he and his dad may be traveling, but the weekend sure is. (Edited 11/18: Thanksgiving is a go!)
Overall, this trip went well! This man (25M) is mature beyond his years, has an inner drive that inspires me every day, and works his tail off for both his physical health (running/triathlon is his passion) and at a physically demanding, up-at-the-crack-of-dawn job. I am falling more in love with this man every day, and I've known him for long enough to be sure that it's not about some sex-based infatuation (although he is smoking hot and has the sexiest hands I've ever seen) but for his character and his values. We're not married, but by God between the RPW masculine/feminine dynamic that has blossomed and the fantastic friendship we've already built, it sure feels like we are!