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,



Modern Dating: Fancy Guys

Article # 20
Publish date: 10/05/21

I feel like I’ve met my match with Sebastian, he’s one of those fancy guys. We ran into each other at a line for a food truck in the downtown square, his friend knew my friend and we stood there awkwardly staring at each other as they caught up quick. He was cute, well dressed, and seemed to be interested in me.

“I’m Sebastian, whats your name?”

“I’m Jus. How’s It going?” It wasn’t my smoothest pickup line, but my smile helped.

“Good, that’s a really cute dress.”

“Thank you. So, what do you do for work? Do you work with Phil at the gym?”

“Uh no, I’m in politics actually. What do you do?”

“I’m a journalist.”

“Oh cool! I guess I better watch what I say.”

“Maybe a little.” I joked, not really joking.

Him and his friend joked around with us while we ordered food and then we ate together the four of us at the nearby picnic table. The hot dog I ordered seemed like a poor choice as Sebastian sat across from me. My friend Trixie, was loving Phil’s attention, as a newly single women, and Phil an old flame from college, she was excited to see him again. She slyly whispered in my ear when the boys were chatting about a video game, she said, “Sebastian is totally your type but in a more interesting way than normal.”

“I’m not sure a politician is my type.”

“The way he’s staring at you right now tells me different.” I looked after she said that and he was indeed staring at me from across the table, smiling as Phil want on and on about how he achieved a new high score.

“Could I get your number or snapchat? Or Instagram?” Sebastian asked me, I was slightly confused by the question and responded as such.

“Whatever one you want.”

“What’s your Instagram?” Ouch. He didn’t ask for my number.

“It was great meeting you.” I said to him as we all started leaving, Phil was giving Trixie a long hug beside us.

“Yeah, you as well, let’s go on a date soon.” That made me instantly blush and smile. Which I could tell he enjoyed.

“Yea we should, message me.”

Trixie and I walked back to my apartment downtown to watch a movie before she headed home.

“What a fun night, did you have fun? Did you like him?” Trixie asked me glamoured by the moonlight and lustful winds that were blowing her way.

“Sebastian? Yea I did, I think. He was very cute.”

“Did he get your number?”

“No. He got my Insta”

“Oh well that’s good!” She responded excited.

“Is it?” I asked confused.

“Yes! It means he wants to send creep your life, send you photos and videos. You two are going to have fun.” The newly singly Trixie seemed to know more about dating already than me.

After a movie and 2 buckets of popcorn, Sebastian sent me a dm (direct message) on Insta, sending chills down my spine. Trixie had gone home 20 minutes earlier. I decided a solid 15 minute wait was in order, as to not look desperate.

.. I waited about 5 or 6 minutes before clicking on his name, unable not to look. It was a cute photo of him lying in bed with a quick message, ‘Happy we met.’ I smiled instantly at what he wrote than proceeded to stare at the shirtless, tan, sculpted man on my phone.

Sebastian and I chatted on the phone everyday for the next two months, busy schedules keeping us apart as a quickly called Canadian election makes for a busy time for our political and journalistic workloads. He was out campaigning, while I was out covering debates and writing stories.

And then one day, out of nowhere, he asked me what I was doing that Friday, I told him I was free. We made plans for me to visit him in Burlington, a beautiful city along the water, that I had been to only once before. Sebastian insisted I come to him, as he wanted to plan our first date.

He took me for a walk by the water with a busy waterfront, a long trail of pretty lights lighting out towards the water as we chatted with ease about what we had been up to that day at work. A few metres away was a busy festival with a band playing on a small stage. In front of us a man on a saxophone filled the air with a lovely sound. It was all so surprisingly romantic, he was dressed up and so was I. He wore a buttoned up blue shirt, white top with nice pants, a black sports cap and I was wearing one of my favourite dark blue lacey dresses, under it I put black lingerie. He asked if I smoked weed, I said “sometimes” he pulled out a joint and we shared one as we walked around the crowds of people at the waterfront, talking naturally, opposite from several of the dates I had previously been on. He held my hand as he led me through the crowds when it got tight, pulling me out into a different street so we could hear each other better. He took me to a fancy Italian restaurant. I didn’t tell him, but it was one of the fanciest places a guy had taken me to in a very long time. It was adorably located in a village setting with lights and greenery layered over top of us giving us that perfect first date setting. Our date never felt awkward or like a job interview, it became one of those nights you never want to end. Maybe because we were both a little stoned and we had chatted nonstop for the last two months.

“Typical journalist asks a question with the answer implied in it.” He joked to me as I had asked him about his work. (I won’t talk about what he does, as he wouldn’t want me to. ‘Off the record’ as we call it.)

“Typical politician, doesn’t answer my questions.” We both laughed together at that one as the waitress brought us beautiful bowls of pasta.

I happily ate around him as we chatted about family, friends, he was smart, funny. When the check came, he instantly grabbed it not wanting me to even contemplate it. I smiled at him and sipped the fancy drink he recommended for me; he was so cute as he chatted up the waitress. His political charm seeping through into all his conversations.

It was like a scene out of the movie, as we walked around the cute little village-styled shops after dinner. He led me by holding my hand and kept me away from people as the whole pandemic thing was still going on and it was a little crowded. He pulled me in as we slowed down to cross the street. We were waiting for the lights to change, he had stopped talking as we looked for cars, his eyes met mine, we smiled, and he pulled me in close to kiss me. His lips were soft, and he took charge of the kiss quickly wanting to deepen it. A car went by us making us stop and he said smiling at me, “Come on.”

It was a romantic setting everywhere we went, we had glasses of wine on his balcony afterwards, he sat next to me with his arm around the top of my head. I was slightly cuddled into him, letting loose a bit, my walls were starting to go down, something I hadn’t experienced since FML. Sebastian was completely charming, something I knew he was skilled at, so I tried to be careful. Not wanting to get hurt again, I could tell I was starting to fall for him.

He put his wine glass down and leaned in to kiss me. It heated up very quickly. He slid his hands over my body, making me moan instantly. His touch felt amazing against my skin, a touch I had been thinking about since we met. He was comfortable, so was I, so I spent the night.

When I got up the next day, I was wearing his clothes, I was feeling a little hungover, and he didn’t cuddle with me at all during the night, after things happened. I thought I should leave and went to go get into last night’s dress, trying to sneak into the nearby bathroom, not wanting to wake him up. But just as I walked past him his eyes opened, and he rolled over looking at me.

“Hey where you going? Come cuddle.” I wanted to, so I walked back and crawled into bed next to him.

We enjoyed a coffee on his balcony together after that, having another fun debate or two. He was interesting for me to talk to, it was great listening to a guy be passionate about what he does, while also trying to secretly get an inside scoop.

I parted ways with him in the morning as he had to go out campaigning and I needed to go cover a story. We kissed a sweet goodbye, I hoped it wouldn’t be our last.

With Love, Jus

Modern Dating: Natural Selection

Released: 08/31/21

In typical men’s fashion, Logan’s unburdening himself from any guilt from ending our FWB relationship by passing it on to me.

“You deserve to be with someone who will be a good partner for you. I’m just a distraction.”

Even though he might have good intentions, all he’s really doing is making me feel like I did something wrong. I was trying to distract myself. I’m 8 months out of a 5-year relationship, for the past 8 months I have done nothing but try to distract myself from what I’m feeling.

When FML and I broke up I lost my best friend. I lost the person I told everything to, I lost the person who knew me better than anyone, I lost the guy who helped me raise my dog, I lost the guy that helped me get through college, I lost the guy that I planned my future with. I was lost.

I’m not now. I see thing a little differently this month than the month before, so much has happened that as frustrated as I am at Logan for making me feel like I did something wrong, when I didn’t,  I can’t help but feel like I wasn’t 100 per cent invested into that relationship, or the other guys I’ve dated or talked to, I stopped investing myself into relationships, losing that special person changed how I pursued new relationships.

Last weekend I met Jordan, very unexpectantly, we both have mutual friends that invited us for a beach weekend. It was a giant drinking fest mixed with hot sun, bathing suits and a little bit of drama. Jordan is trouble on a stick if I ever saw it. When I first pulled in, Courtney came over to greet me and show me around, she banged on the car window, giving me a quick jolt after a two-hour drive. The first person she introduced me to was Jordan, standing alone next to another girl. I was immediately attracted to him. We held each other’s eye contact as we exchanged hello’s, he looked me up and down and said something about my name being like his. I felt instantly drawn to him, his arm sleeve drew me in, his deep brown eyes, nice physique, the backwards hat – I was doomed.

Throughout the night Jordan and I would approach each other, flirting and chatting, we were both very, very drunk, so when I started dancing, I guess I put a message out there, because soon enough his hands were around my waist, we were slowly swaying, my hips sometimes dropping to the floor as he watched in awe at my flexibility, strongly provided to me by yoga and Smirnoff vodka. There was this other girl staying across the road, who barely spoke English, she was French, and she kept trying to hit on him. Then the first girl he was talking to went absolutely nuts on everybody, and I mean everybody. She yelled at Courtney, during a celebration of her engagement, which prompted Courtney’s other friends to get defensive. Her problem was basically that Jordan had previously hooked up with her, so she thought he owed her something. Upon talking to Jordan, I came to a different conclusion.

“I’ve only ever hung out with that girl twice, and now I never want to again; I don’t know what her deal is. She’s wasted I guess.”

“Your trouble, I can tell, I should stay away from you,” I replied in a joke.

“No, I’m not trouble, come back here,” he said as he pulled me closer towards him. He looked down at me, I looked up at him, we kissed. I felt myself feeling drawn to him for the rest of the night. Whenever I walked away, I felt him watching me, whenever I entered the room he was in, my eyes would immediately go look at him first before even watching where I was going.

The girl ended up being picked up by her baby’s father, a man she wasn’t in a relationship with anymore but also probably felt owed her something.

Women have been trained to some degree to think that if we sleep with a guy, he owes us something. We should never sleep with a guy, we aren’t in a relationship with, advice given to us by other women who have no idea what they are doing. The truth is they don’t owe us anything just because we had sex with them, it doesn’t imply they have to be our boyfriend or keep having sex with just us. If you put it in reverse, most guys would say they don’t have that expectation out of any women, nor would women want them to.

Jordan explained his regret in making decisions like that to me, I have no idea how sincere he was being as the amount of alcohol lying around outweighed the amount of people. At times, I was positive he was trying to impress me, telling me he’ll protect me as the fire reached unmanageable heights, putting his arm around me as another guy tried to flirt with me, pulling me in towards him and pushing the other guy away at the same time.

Jordan and I cuddled and kissed our way though that weekend, even knowing that we were going to leave to separate cities on Sunday. I was very attracted to him, he kept telling me he thought I was gorgeous, and would cuddle with me openly in front of our friends, even after last night’s drama.

Prior to all of this, I had been on 3 dates the week before with 3 different guys, all of whom I had met online, and I was interested in 0 out of 3.

But I was interested in the one from last weekend who I met in person, and who made me feel like a person again for the first time since the pandemic started. It felt so nice to hit on someone and be hit on in such a natural way, it was natural selection at its best.

“Online dating is a dumpster dive,” Courtney politely reminded me over the weekend, as we celebrated her engagement to a guy we’ve known since high school.  Courtney and I’s friendship was going on it’s 25th year, an anniversary not seemingly important but the longest relationship I’ve ever been in.

“I know Courtney, but sometimes you find a guy when you pop out of the dumpster for air and he helps you climb out, dust yourself off and walk back into the sun.”

With Love,
Jus Fraser

Modern Dating: Every Once In A While

I highly recommend not dating where you work, for the same reasons’ others have said countless times, it’s not a good idea, what if it ends bad? Then you’re stuck together every day, they see what you’re doing all the time, dating where you work is not something I’d recommend. But every once in a while…

I didn’t mean to, I don’t even really know how it all started, other than some mindless flirting, but it happened, I dated someone I work with. Dating would also probably be a loose term to use in this scenario.

Logan made me smile, he started off ridiculously cute from giving out lots of compliments to a bunch of “accidental” bumps into each other. We got into a routine of going out for lunch together every day. He had strong shoulders that were always holding large cameras, he typically wore a black hat on backwards, that I found very appealing for whatever reason, and he enjoyed things I didn’t, such as horror movies. He also showed me things, he listened to an array of music that I never knew guys listened to, he talked about journalism in ways I’ve never heard before, he intrigued me. I sit beside the window so I would see him often pull up in his black car, it was hard for us not to smile at each other through the window. We had a few things in common, what we had most in common was our desire to do journalism abroad. The thing I cherished was his honesty with me about his intentions. He told me he never wants to get married or have kids; he just wants to focus on journalism. I didn’t have the heart to tell him, I think you just jinxed yourself.

In my head I knew I wasn’t ready to be a serious girlfriend to anyone, FML still kept creeping into the back of mind.

Logan was great for me, he didn’t make me feel like he was judging me like some other guys I had been online dating with – dating is hard but when it comes naturally like it did with him and I, it’s easy, it’s exciting and it’s also depressing when they move away.

For a whole month, I forgot about FML and all of that, I just was excited to see Logan, work with him and have very hot sex after hours. A few times we were the only ones in the office late into the evening, and of course, like the young people we are, we had sex on the desk, which was a lot of fun to be honest that part I’d recommend.

He has big dreams, he went to work for a faster paced company, telling me a year from now he’ll be in a different country. He’s a truly amazing photographer, I have no doubts his pics will be all over National Geographic or somewhere similar.

But to go back to the not dating where you work thing – this is also why – you look over, there not there anymore, you look out the window, they’re never driving up again, you need help, they can’t, you want to not eat alone at lunch, well you are now. It sucks.

I keep the note beside my desk from him, I childishly wrote on a piece of paper in pink highlighter, ‘I like you’ and had thrown it over the cubicle wall for him, he threw it back a few moments later, with a returned ‘I like you too qt.’

Logan wasn’t the first guy I dated after FML, but he’s the first one to mean something to me. Watching him leave impacted me unfortunately. Starting a new job is hard, starting a new job and having all of that happen, harder.

With love, Jus

Follow me on Instagram:

Modern Dating: Rose-Coloured

Article #17

Clinginess is the cancer to a relationship in our modern society. Any women I talk to will tell you she won’t text a man more than once because if you text him twice your clingy, if you text him three times your crazy.

The pandemic has changed so much about how humans interact and get to know each other. The last year and half has probably changed the dating landscape forever. Millennials have so much text anxiety that they prefer to be ghosted than broken up with.

I heard on the radio the other day that they did a survey, and it was something like 60 per cent of people think one nights stands will be obsolete in the future. My question is who did they ask? Single people or people in relationships? The pandemic might make people rethink how they treated people, and how they view relationships but at the end of the day when you’re at that bar, and the music is going, the drinks are yummy and the guy next to you has the cutest smile, yea a one-night stand sounds kind of nice.

A relationship is a commitment, FML never saw it like that, he saw a relationship like something he was entitled too. He saw our relationship as something he was entitled to. FML had a great personality, he was sexy, charming, he gave me rose coloured glasses that I didn’t take off until it was too late.

Courtney and Dimi always accused me of wearing them. Courtney thought I had short term memory loss a few times, not able to understand why I don’t remember those moments when he hurt me most. I always remembered; I just didn’t like talking about it. I wanted my relationship with FML to be about the good memories instead of overlayered with bad ones. I wanted FML to be the guy he was sometimes, all the time. It wasn’t about changing him, to me he was perfect, to my friends he was pretty much the opposite, but I think that’s also the problem with love. Love has this way of gluing the rose-coloured glasses onto you.

Be very careful entering into a relationship with someone you can fall in love with, all of a sudden it’s 5 years later, there’s a pandemic, your Roomba is broken, and your sitting there trying to to figure out what a bumble is.  

With love, Jus

Modern Dating: Signs of Alien Life

Article #15
Modern Dating: Signs of Alien Life
Released: 06/22/21

People keep talking to me about signs, “Everything happens for a reason,” according to Dimi and everyone else.  

I don’t know if I really believe that. I’m more of a work to get what you want out of life type of person, so I’m not sitting at fate’s bus stop hoping it doesn’t run me over.

I realize that online dating has presented millennials in particular with an array of choices to choose from in terms of a partner. It always seems like there will be another fish in the sea, a blue fish, a pink fish, a fish with a long tail and skinny fins. You know longer, thanks to the pandemic, even have the minimum requirement to buy us a drink or dinner, you can simply invite us over for a movie or go for a walk. The bar is so much lower in terms of dating expectations for guys than it was 5 or 10 years ago.

“It always seems like there will be another fish in the sea, a blue fish, a pink fish, a fish with a long tail and skinny fins.”

Justine Fraser

One guy who shall be known as Ewe, sent 3 or 4 messages before sending, “Hey Justine, do you wanna hookup? Sorry to be brutally honest.” I replied with, “I’m not interested.” And he deleted me off bumble. And there went Ewe, a fish I was happy not to meet.

To me that was a sign. A sign of what shall not be. A sign that my standards are too high for him and a sign that his are too low.

In my opinion the guys I’ve enjoyed talking to and getting to know the most online have some rough pics, one or two where they are smiling or look cute, mostly them out with their friends, having fun. These guys have also repetitively turned out to be better looking than what I was expecting.

I went on a date last Friday with a guy without really knowing what he looked like, his pictures were mostly band pics, one was him playing the drums with his mouth wide open. He started off messaging me with a weird question, something about how many raccoons can I fight. For some reason I answered, “1 maybe.” And from there we just had a fun conversation, before even a day of talking he had found a way to ask for my phone number – he wanted to send me a song from Spotify, and after that he asked me if I wanted to go out on Friday.

It seems sometimes, you find someone who matches up with you so perfectly online it’s hard to ignore them. But what if you don’t match perfectly in real life.

He was very cute and nervous when I first approached the table. He told me he doesn’t go on a lot of dates, but so did the last two guys I had dated so I learned to just hold my tongue at that comment. We chatted, with some awkward pauses for 3 or 4 hours outside on the patio. He made me smile at one point, I don’t remember why, I know he hadn’t told a joke, he asked what I was laughing at and I honestly told him, “I’m just happy.” I was, he made me happy, it was nice.

He had a great smile, with these dark eyes you could just fall into, I guess you could say I liked him. I could tell he liked me because he insisted on walking me to my car a few feet from the restaurant. He than started doing weird crazy hand maneuvers as he talked in front of my car, like an angry Italian mob boss, he even at one point did some drumming on top of my hood while he was talking. I could tell he was nervous because he asked if he could hug me, which felt like one of the most awkward hugs I have ever received.

I had been on about 3 first dates the past couple months so I wasn’t as nervous, I was just hoping he wasn’t a weirdo.

We went our separate ways, back into our separate lives, or so I thought. I’m not someone who wants to analyze the beginning of the relationship too much and hold back, if my gut is saying, “Hey Jus, you need to go have some fun.” Then I’m going to go, so that’s what I did when he invited me over for a night cap.

So I get out of my car and he’s standing in his driveway, the song Kiss me by I think Mandy Moore is playing outside through his Alexa speaker. This might be why women stopped listening to their gut instincts to be honest. He’s all hi, it’s nice to see you, here’s another awkward hug. I really thought oh wow he’s really going for it, he’s gonna kiss me to the cheesy music but no, he did not kiss me. We went inside, he gave me a tour, we talked, cuddled on the couch, he confessed he wanted to kiss me, still didn’t, we cuddled, I eventually looked up at him and he looked down, we kissed. Sex was not needed after what came after that but I learned what his name was real quick.

Listening to my gut instinct has been a great go to for when I’m feeling unsure about a dating situation. No matter what logic is saying, no matter what my emotion is saying, my gut is saying what I really want.

Love, Justine

Follow me on Instagram:

Modern Dating: Pre-Pandemic Life

Modern Dating: Article #14

 Pre-Pandemic Life

Recently I asked an ex on and off again fling if he remembered the night we met. It was purely for writing purposes; I was curious and needed an article. He’s been an interesting character in my life, we’ve always seemed to keep in contact for whatever reason.  Tom and I met about 9 years ago in my hometown when I had just moved into a 1-bedroom apartment downtown with my closest friend, Dimi. He was a couple years older, from Ireland, recently moved, chose my random hometown because of the closeness to Toronto. It was a chance encounter the way we met, I never exactly told him why I was standing on the sidewalk by myself that night.

I was up to no good, 21 in my hood, drinking, partying, making all the wrong decisions but having a great time doing it. Recently I had just dropped out of Fanshawe College for drinking too much, yeah… that’s where I was at in life.  I was working minimum wage and not exactly hanging out with a great crowd. That night I had been drinking and just came back from the bar we lived around the corner of. I was texting a guy I wasn’t very keen on, but l was drunk and bored. He was coming to meet me to hangout for a bit, so I went downstairs outside our building to wait for him, it was a warm summer night, the taxicab company across the street had a line of people waiting. I was on my phone, not paying much attention when I saw two guys walking up to me, one was wearing a bright orange shirt. I can’t remember the other guy at all, I just remember Tom was wearing this awful shirt. I honestly don’t know why we engaged with each other, we were both too drunk to remember but were both out going people so my guess he walked right up and made a joke than hit on me. hat day I had undergone a transformation, I died my brown hair blonde, so I guess I wasn’t super recognizable. While I was talking to Tom that night the guy, I planned on meeting walked right by me without even realizing it was me. I just watched him walk behind Tom’s head and tried not to laugh. Honestly it was great, I realized I would much rather keep talking to Tom than make a drunken mistake. Tom was charming, maybe it was the accent, I ended up giving him my phone number and we dated for the next couple months. He just walked into my life that night and never left.

The long distance has always been a reason we never pursued it, but from time to time we meet up still. The last time was last year before the pandemic started. I was broken up with FML at the time. Tom was living in a gorgeous condo downtown; I went to go visit him. We had a drink on his balcony overlooking Toronto, you could see the CN Tower off in the distance and we just talked for hours, it was so easy. Of course, I was physically attracted to him, the guy is hot and from Ireland. Tom is such a lively person I enjoyed being around him. So, after hours of talking, he asked if I wanted to stay the night, I did.

Moral of the story: don’t insta judge them because of a bright orange shirt, you just never know.

(The answer he gave me was, “Vaguely lol”)

Stay Safe,

Justine Fraser

Modern Dating: How to lose a Girl in 10 Days

Modern Dating: Article #13

 How to lose a Girl in 10 Days

Written by: Justine Fraser, @jusreadingbooks, @justinefrasers

One of the best romcom’s of all time, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is all about a women’s what not to do in the dating world if she wants to keep that man around. It seems one sided that most of these types of movies involve the same theme about women losing men. Not many seem to explore the theme of men losing women.

Recently I had to breakup with a guy after two dates, Taron, the guy from last week’s article.

Day 1: We have been talking on Hinge for a few days hitting it off, he asks for my number which was nice because I’m tired of men asking for my snapchat which feels temporary. I give it to him; we continue to talk for a few more days morning to night.

Day 2: He is a bit of an over sharer on text message, and he has revealed some red flags already. He reveals that most of his friends are in relationships or have kids that he hangs out with, he says he bought a place and wants to have a serious relationship. He says he is lonely. He says he has been trying to lose weight. He says he is at his parent’s place to work out. He says he’s ‘all in’ no matter what, just likes to date one person at a time.

Day 3: We arrange a time and date for our first date. I say let’s go for a walk, he says that’s boring and wants to plan me a picnic.

Day 4: We meet up at a place he designates as a private park. I get there, it’s lovely and cute with ponds. He’s much better looking than I expected and has a cute accent. He says the private park is where his parents are planning on building a house. He sets everything up in front of me while also introducing himself for the first time making me feel awkward. He has a bunch of alcoholic drinks and wine, its 2 in the afternoon and I have to drive home. He creates this huge display of food, showing off how much money he spent. He leans over and kissed me, it was not great, he put my mouth inside of his than sucked my lip and it all felt so gross. He held me, which was nice. Than he says, “I’m okay with being exclusive already if you want. I like it that way better.” I cringed, I’m sure of it. My response, “I need a few more dates before I can say something like that.” I let him down easy I thought. He walked me from our picnic spot to my car which was very gentlemanly, but also a way to look at my butt and kiss me more times than I would have liked. It was a nice date all in all and very romantic to have someone do that for me.

Day 5: The day after Taron messages me saying, “so are you free tonight?” I don’t answer for a while as I have plans that day. He messages me 3 more times. Then asks, “So I guess were not hanging out tonight?” A little uncomfortably I respond, “Sorry not tonight.” He within a minute answers, “Ok. Just wanted to see you.” Which sounded cute but within another minute he’s sending me a slew of text messages telling me about something bad that happened to him at work that day.

Day 6: “Are you free Wednesday, want to hang out?” I decided to be nice and give him another chance, it was nice how much he liked me. I responded, “Not Wednesday but I can do Thursday.” He asked, “What are you doing Wednesday, another date?” I responded, “No, hot date with my girls for dinner and wine.” Which wasn’t true, I just wasn’t sure I wanted to see him and I needed time to bail.

Day 7: He bugs me to come over to his condo for our second date, I agree knowing he just wants to keep bragging about some lights he installed. We have a drink, the talking gets awkward as I can tell I don’t feel into him, I don’t like him in that way, he keeps trying to kiss me and touch me. It’s only our second date and I am alarmed by how comfortable he is and how uncomfortable I am. The kissing grosses me out again, I was turned off by his cologne and I left before the movie was over.

Day 8: He texts me all the next day trying to plan another date. I throw the shirt I wore last night into the wash to get his cologne off as it makes me gag. I told him I have plans that weekend and he says, “Fine, I’ll go plan something with my friends than.”

Day 9: He is morning to night texting me, assuring me that he has no other priorities, and his social life is wide open. While on a date with Cameron, who I had seen a lot more and was starting to really enjoy the company of, I get 8 to 9 texts from Taron. He was just talking to himself and in the last one he breaks up with me saying there is no connection and he was happy to meet me. Ok, cool off the hook, did not answer.

Day 10: Wake up to another text from Taron saying, “I am so sorry, I shouldn’t have said all that I was in my head going crazy about things from work, from friends, from my health, can we start over?” I respond two hours later, “Not interested, wish you the best.” And that’s how to lose a girl in 10 days.

Photo by Athena on

With Love,

Justine Fraser

Modern Dating: Modern man

Modern Dating: Article #11


Is there still romance in 2021?

It’s easy to say you want romance but the reality of it happening for any single women in 2021 during a pandemic is slim.

Taron was a guy I matched with on Hinge about a week ago, I liked how fun he looked, I could not tell at all really if he was good looking, his pictures were exactly what you expect from a straight guy which intrigued me. I’m a little picky about who I’ll match with, I refuse to match with any guy with a gym pic, it’s been well over a year first of all since we’ve all been in the gym so that pic is old, most women will tell you those guys are egotistical, and they also tend to be a little dull.

Taron seemed fun, we chatted and before long he asked for my phone number, which if that is a guy’s way of keeping a women they like off the app than that’s smart because it does work, I haven’t opened it again since then. He quickly asked me out, we setup a date for that weekend. My bar was set low since I thought we would just go for an hour-long walk.  Suddenly he messages me the day before, it read – ‘I’M GOING TO SETUP A PICNIC IN A PRIVATE PARK FOR US’, add my nerves and a pretty long pink dress.

This was already sounding like an intense first date filled with pressure, don’t spill food on yourself, don’t forget sunscreen, don’t wear those shoes, don’t be covered in dog hair etc.

It was of course a little uncomfortable to meet someone I did not really know for the first time in a private area I have never been to. I had an escape plan, and a friend knew the address of where I was. #smartwomen

I pull up on the cutest green space surrounded by trees and ponds, it was very private. I looked pretty but didn’t overdo my makeup or my hair because I didn’t want to look like I was trying too hard. MISTAKE! I got out of the car and saw a tan man in a tight shirt with strong arms, nearly drove all the way home at that minute to curl my hair. Taron was so much better looking than his pictures I saw, he setup a couple blankets, and a spread of yummy food. We immediately started chatting, about what, I have no idea, I was grateful there was grapes I could shove in my mouth when I couldn’t think of something to say.

Taron made me a little nervous which is exactly what you want on a first date. I had been on a few others recently but none of them made me nervous, none of them setup a date like that for me either though. When guys go out of their way like that for you, you feel it, Taron gave me a memory of probably what will go down in my biography as the best first date ever.

To make it more perfect, he told me he thought I was beautiful than he said, “I’m going to kiss you now.” He leaned over the food and gave me a long kiss. We than proceeded to make out for about 2 hours. He held me while we chatted, it was hard to leave but I knew to extend a first date too long is always a mistake, so I pulled myself away. He walked me to my car, which doesn’t sound like much, but I don’t remember the last time or if any time a guy has ever done that for me. I really enjoyed being held by him and his strong arms, it reminded me of what it was like when FML would hold me, warm and safe. Another reason I needed to leave.

Trying to move on from FML and our 5 years of chaos hasn’t always been easy but dates like these, give me hope.

Maybe, just maybe there is some hope for the modern man… Maybe.


Justine Fraser