Modern Dating: Candlelighter

Article # 21
Publish date: 12/07/21

I’m never one to miss a good party but sometimes a girl must.

My grandmother passed away, work was getting more stressful, the pandemic adding more into the mix, it can be hard to remember just to do my laundry.

I told Courtney I was feeling ill Saturday night as one of her parties was taking place, but I hadn’t been in a drinking mood and things had been starting to heat up with Ryan. I hadn’t been texting him that day, but at some point in the afternoon his name popped up on my screen, sending a smile to my face I wished would always be there. He used our inside joke, “You up?” to make me giggle, quickly followed by the suggestion I come over. I remembered the last time I was with Ryan; he had these arms that I always wanted around me, strong with some tattoos. The more he poured concrete, the bigger they got which was probably why I was very supportive of his job. I was pretty sure I could use the comfort after trying to deal with some of the grief I was feeling, I knew he would hold me but he wasn’t trying to be my boyfriend and it let me relax.

I went over to Ryan’s house in a cute skirt, black top, hiding some fancy lingerie that I had gotten from Victoria’s secret. I always overdressed when I visited Ryan, he had seen me in more skirts or dresses then anything else. He was fun, the way he would come up from behind me, slowly moving his hands over my body. I knew I liked him, but I didn’t want him to know that.  Ryan opened the door and immediately he hugged me and let me get comfortable as we chatted on the couch. I noticed a lit candle beside me while we spoke, which I thought was cute or he was trying to hide a smell, I couldn’t quite tell. After a few minutes of chatting, he got up, kissed me then walked over to the kitchen. As my eyes followed him around the room, I began to see more candles lit around me. I got a sense of romance that I wasn’t expecting from Ryan. He came back in the room and put his arm around my shoulders. He leaned down towards me after he felt me look up at him from his chest and kissed me passionately, holding my face with both hands. Caution to the wind, I quickly climbed on top of him and sat on his lap. Unexpectedly, he leaned forward so I was hanging on to him and only him so I would not fall backwards onto the hard floor. He kept his arm firmly pressed on my back and the other on my neck, running his hands along my body as we kissed.

“I won’t let you fall trust me.” Ryan whispered in between breaths when he felt me almost fall back but pulled me in. My feet barely on the couch, he slipped his fingers under my skirt, along my thighs, rubbing the thin, black lace that was the only thing between me and him. He spread his legs so mine spread more, hanging more dangerously, having to cling on to him tighter. I kissed him as I realized how safe I felt with him, how close I was to him, and then –

The next day I was still a little light-headed from the previous night as I went to meet Harry for lunch at Meem’s Café, a local spot we were favouring recently downtown. Harry was a high school friend that moved into the city a few months ago for a job. We were enjoying reminiscing over coffee when our mutual friend, Nina, came in the door, excited.

“You guys! You will never believe who I just saw getting out of a cab by Regency Condos.”

“The ones on Abe Ave? That’s probably one of George Harring’s escorts,” said Harry as he sipped his non-fat cappuccino.

“It was Miranda Levot. The actress in those Sunnyteeth dental commercials,” joked Nina.

“And that war movie that came out last year,” added Harry.

“Yeah, but I like those commercials, she has great teeth.”

“I’m pretty sure their photo shopped,” Harry said smiling.

“They are not. Are they?” She turned to me and asked. Being a journalist meant I was the human version of Google in their eyes.

“I don’t think so. Have you ever had someone light candles for you before?” I asked curious and wanting to switch topics.

“No,” said Harry looking at a girl across the room.

“Yeah, me either. Why do you ask?” questioned Nina.

“Ryan lit candles for me last night.”

“Are you sure it was for you?” Joked Harry.

“I just can’t picture him lighting the candles,” I said, focusing the conversation towards the more helpful Nina. “I feel like he paid someone to do it. I don’t see him being the kind a guy to just light candles or that many candles. Also surprised he has candles. Unless their new, which means he went out to buy candles wanting me to have this romantic atmosphere, which would be cute I have to admit.”

“Maybes he’s a candlelighter,” said Nina nonchalantly

“What’s a candlelighter?” I asked.

“Someone who lights candles in exchange for sex?” guessed Harry.

“No, it’s a new term people use for feminine guys or like romantic, Shakespeare types,” said Nina.

“So, it’s a good thing or it’s a way to get me in bed?”

“No, no, look,” said Nina as she took out her phone.

“Harry, stop staring at her you’re going to make her uncomfortable.” I said to him, raising an eyebrow.

He tilted his head down towards me and said quietly, “I can’t, she’s too pretty.”

“She’s also sitting in a café on a Sunday morning alone, my guess is your safe, just go say hi, ask her what she ordered too, that looks good,” I said as he slowly got out of his seat, stood for a second than walked over to her. The pandemic had made approaching strangers more questionable in Canada than it would be considered a few short years ago.

“See,” Nina said shoving her phone in my face. I saw the word candlelighter on the top of the screen beside It read:

‘Urban dictionary defines a candlelighter as a feminine man who doesn’t turn the lights out before sex, he lights candles before sex. A man who doesn’t fuck a woman but makes love to a woman. A man who doesn’t moan during sex but cries during sex. A man who doesn’t bend a woman over during sex but caresses her during sex. A man who doesn’t turn around and go to sleep after sex, he holds her after sex. A guy that does everything a masculine man wouldn’t do when it comes to sex. Which relates candles in that a masculine man wouldn’t light candles and make love. Only candlelighters light candles and make love.’

“Ok well I sure hope he’s a candlelighter.” I laughed with Nina.

“I dated one once, like 3 years ago for two months. His cat knocked a candle over though, and the rug sort of lit on fire, all the sirens went off. Then the cat ran out the window. It was just the worst date.” Nina explained as she sipped on her latte.

“Did you see him again?”

“Yea, like 2 more times. I helped him look for the cat, but it got sad when we couldn’t find it, we just couldn’t come back from it.”

Harry walked out of the café with the new girl, he gave us a thumbs up as he went out the door.

“He left his wallet on the table,” said Nina holding it up.

“His jackets here too.”

With love,




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