It was my first night officially living in Los Angeles, and I was already locking eyes with a cute guy across the bar. Perhaps, my behavior was a little too forthright for my first night in a new city? But I couldn’t resist. He had this unruly strawberry blonde hair and this mischievous grin that just made me smile. It was one of those instances in life that I, simply, brushed off as an ordinary occurrence. But as time passed, I realized how that one friendly smile changed my life.
A few months after I innocently accepted his card at Cabo Cantina, I sat in the passenger seat of my car staring out to Hollywood Boulevard as tears filled my eyes when I asked him the dreadful question: “So… what are we doing?” And I wasn’t talking about where were we going after brunch. See, we had reached that blurry point in dating, where a couple either moves forward and makes it official, or someone says, “Well, it’s been fun.” After about a minute of silence that just made me even more frustrated he responded, “We’re spending time together.”
We’re spending time together? What does that even mean? I would have preferred to hear one of those usual-guy-answers like: “I’m not ready for commitment,” or “I just thought we were having fun.” Or even, “I have an arranged marriage.” Instead, I get The Power of Now-type answer. Of course, following his response, I assured him we could no longer spend time together. I admit: maybe I said it with a few more words and less grace, but nonetheless, we were over.
And then the next week… we were back watching Family Guy together.
We ended up spending two uncommitted years together, and for the most part, every moment with him was absolutely lovely. And although he never became my boyfriend, he taught me patience, understanding and reintroduced me to the free spirit I always was. Those things are priceless to me, and totally worth the girl-likes-boy torture.
But you’re probably wondering why I settled for a “no-titles” relationship. Well, because I wasn’t settling. At some point, I realized that was exactly where I need to be. The truth was, it wasn’t time for me to embark on a new relationship with someone else. I had just left a six-year relationship, and I was terrified to be alone. It was time for me to have a relationship with myself. And the best way to learn about ourselves is by observing our reactions to other people and situations.
The fact that I was so in a rush to define what we had, was a pattern of mine. I was always in a hurry. I lived in the future and never thought to enjoy my present. “Spending time together” taught me to enjoy the moment. And guess what? As soon as I started enjoying every hike we went on; every movie we watched; and every laugh we shared; I realized I was no longer waiting.
See, when we look to the future so much, really, what we’re doing is waiting. And waiting sucks. Who wants to spend their life waiting for a guy, or a job, or a lucky break? Not me. I rather enjoy the moments and let them bring me to more positive vibrations, which will eventually manifest my true dreams.
And besides, if we’re looking to the future so much, maybe we should stop and ask ourselves what’s so bad about our present?
By Niki Novo, Guest Blogger and advocate for Strong Women, Strong Girls
Nikki Novo is a full-time writer, an Eggs Benedict connoisseur, and an anything-vintage junkie. When she’s not musing about relationships on her blog The Art of You Me (, she’s busy finding the latest and greatest as’s Miami editor. Her work has been seen in Allure, MSN,, and Miami magazine.
Featured Graphic by: Pascale Arty