Meat on His Bones

So, I’ve been holding out on you: nearly a year ago I blogged about my Valentine’s trip to Paris. I wrote about a man I met in the City of Light and made it seem as though we only had one dinner. The truth, however, is there is more to the story—there usually is. Well, that man later flew me to Paris two more times.

The reason I hadn’t blogged about my Parisian boyfriend was that I promised him he wouldn’t be just another blog or adventure. And please know that, to me, he certainly wasn’t.

However, some time has passed and with the weather heating up and me working on my summer body, I couldn’t help but think about my former love in Paris.

With his salt and pepper hair, my first impression of him was that he somewhat resembled George Clooney, except for the fact that Clooney doesn’t have piercing blue eyes and pouty lips, and of course, Clooney doesn’t have that smooth, sweet French accent I love so much either. When I told my date he looked like the American movie star, he said, “I am much better than George Clooney, no?” Truth be told, I have yet to meet a Frenchman who is lacking in confidence. But, it was true, he was better than George Clooney, at least in my eyes he was.

The French George Clooney and I had met on Valentine’s Day and enjoyed a romantic dinner and a night of dancing before I had to fly home to Los Angeles the next morning. The two of us were in constant communication literally the second after he dropped me off at my hotel that night.

In one of our early conversations, he expressed to me that he had gained a little weight and felt self-conscious and out of shape. Now, I hadn’t seen him without clothes that first night, but he looked pretty good to me. I wouldn’t have changed a single thing about him. I realize that French men tend to be slimmer than their American counterparts. However, this man was not overweight by any means. Yet he told me he wanted to be the perfect man for me, so he started to shun alcohol and meticulously work out and watch his diet. Somehow, I seemed to have found the only man in Paris who didn’t eat carbs.

When he texted me one week later that he had already lost five kilos, I immediately went to Google to see how many pounds that translated to. Five kilos is around eleven pounds! That’s a lot for a man who stands at about six-foot tall. So I told him he didn’t need lose weight for me—he looked great the way he was. One month after our Valentine’s dinner, I returned to Paris. My French host was even more handsome than I had remembered. However, he seemed a little emaciated, at least for my taste. Before he starved himself to death on my behalf, I felt it was a good time to tell him that I actually prefer a man with a little meat on his bones.

Now, don’t get me wrong—I’ve dated all types. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: the most important quality about a man, in my opinion, is the way he treats me. Of course, I’m not going to rule someone out for being too thin. I once dated a guy who was so skinny his hip bones would dig into me. And there was that guy who ate only nuts and berries—you can imagine how thin he was! However, my personal preference is a man who is a little on the luscious side. It feels more sensual to me to be with a man who has something I can grab onto. I suppose, as unfeminist as it sounds, there’s a certain sense of safety I feel in the arms of a man who is a bit more substantial.

Aside from the physical aspect, it’s much more fun to date a man with enjoys life and food over a man whose main focus is maintaining his six-pack abs. And, honestly, aren’t all appetites related? At least, in my experience, I find that statement to be true.

When I explained this to the French George Clooney, he said, “But you don’t want me to be FAT!” I told him that I didn’t mind if he was carrying a few extra pounds. He replied, “You can’t be with a fat man—it must be muscle.” At that moment, he decided to stop cutting weight and start bulking.

After that trip, he asked me to send him a picture of my perfect man. I kindly told him that he was my perfect man. He responded that if we were going to be together long-term like we planned, we couldn’t sugarcoat the truth. We had to tell each other exactly how we felt and exactly what we desired. He asked me to please send him a picture of a male model or actor who, in my opinion, had the perfect physique. I tried to explain to him that I’m not into celebrity culture and that he was more desirable to me than any famous person (well, maybe except for Angelina Jolie—but I didn’t want him to go trans or anything). He said, “Please do this for me. I need to see the kind of man you are attracted to. Just send me one picture.”

I honestly didn’t know whose picture to send him. I didn’t have any celebrity crushes–it’s not like I’m in Junior High anymore. However, my Parisian boyfriend kept pressing me for a picture of a man I’m attracted to. I’ll admit, this was probably a mistake, but shortly after my then boyfriend pressured me to find an image of a man who I felt was in great shape, The Rock showed up in my Instagram feed. Although I’m not a huge fan and not exactly sure when or why I started following him, there’s no denying, The Rock is in impeccable shape. Although I realize his body might not be all that realistic for the average guy to attain, when I came across his picture, I thought to myself, voilà, situation solved!

However, I didn’t dare ask my Parisian boyfriend to send me an image of a woman he wanted me to look like. To be honest, that would probably hurt my feelings. I do try to make the best of what I have, but it’s not as easy for me to change my body as it was for my friend in France. And I realize that no matter how hard I try, I will never look like Gigi Hadid. However, I did feel confident that my French boyfriend liked what he saw because time after time, he told me I was his “ideal.” And on our nightly Sykpe dates, his face would light up the second he saw me. Since his English was limited and my French virtually non-existent, our Skype sessions would consist of us staring into each other’s eyes with him repeatedly telling me, “I love you. You are so beautiful. I want to marry you.” I don’t think it gets any sweeter than that.

But, back to The Rock. After I sent the picture of Dwayne Johnson to the French George Clooney, he said “Oh my God! This is the type of man you want? I am going to have to eat more and lift more weights.” While doubling up on protein and increasing his strength training, he sent me a message saying he was “transforming” his body for me. I’m not going to lie–this was pretty flattering. I’ve never had a man “transform” his body for me. Granted, this transformation was totally unnecessary, but I did appreciate how much this man wanted to please me. Shortly after that conversation, he sent me a picture of himself shirtless with ginormous pecs. He was wearing a pair of jeans and holding his laptop in one hand while flexing his bulging bicep in the arm that was free. In this picture, he honestly looked like The Rock and George Clooney somehow had a blue-eyed French love child.

I showed the picture to my girlfriend who asked if I thought he had taken steroids for me. I don’t think that was the case, but it was remarkable how fast this guy could change his body–I’ve honestly never seen anything like it.

Sadly, that third trip to Paris would be the last time I would ever see the French George Clooney, and it wasn’t because of his intense training regime. Long-distance between Paris and Los Angeles not only isn’t very practical, but it is outrageously expensive. He put things best when he told me, “I focused on my dreams and neglected my responsibilities.” I had no idea, but because he was spending so much money on my plane tickets and wining and dining me, he hadn’t been able to afford to visit his two little boys in the South of France as often as he had been before I entered his life. Hearing this broke my heart, and we both knew we could no longer continue.

French Clooney and I didn’t keep in touch, so I have no idea what he looks like today or if he’s still trying to look like The Rock. While we were together, he would ask me things like was I sure I didn’t want a younger man, a richer man, a man without children. Although he always had a way of making me like the most dazzling girl on the planet, I understood how he felt. I’ve been in relationships where I wondered if my boyfriend would have loved me more if I were thinner or if my hair were darker or if I were Asian (that one would be especially hard to pull off). However, the best relationships were with the men who made me feel like I was the girl of their dreams exactly the way I was.

As for my friend in France, wherever he is, I hope he realizes that I appreciate how loved he made me feel those two months, his generosity, and the lengths he went to in order to be what he thought was the perfect man for me, but also that it wouldn’t hurt him to eat a croissant or two♥