Posts Tagged baggage
This year was the first time I was fully participating in Pride Weekend, and I have to say, it was certainly starting out to be an interesting one to say the least. Going into the weekend, I was petrified my relationship with CK wouldn’t survive. A lot of that due to the baggage I was still carrying around from my previous relationships. The guys from my past didn’t appreciate me, and I didn’t want to go through that again. That wasn’t helped by a few comments CK had made to me in full disclosure. Let me point out, he never gave me a reason not to trust him, however, he never gave me a reason to trust him either. It would take time, but eventually I would learn to trust him.
Overall, I had a good time at Matinee. I may not have been able to realize that at the time because I was so stressed throughout the night, but looking back from a relaxed state, I am able to recognize I was having a good time. When we got home that night, we had an even better time. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with everything that went on that night, but I was thrilled to be in the arms of the man I loved. We had amazing sex that night. It seemed to be a turning into a trend. Our sex life was indescribable. The passion was without parallel. We were both strong men, so tossing each other around came easy and provided fun and excitement. We even pulled out a reverse cowgirl or two. To put it succinctly, it was epic.
We slept in the following morning. We both had a long day. My exhaustion came at my own hand from mental anguish. CK’s exhaustion came more from hip gyrations on the dance floor. I was happy to relax for a bit with some light pillow talk. Before the weekend began, CK mentioned going to Alegria Sunday night. I told him right off the bat, I would not be able to do that. I had to go to work Monday morning, so that was not something I would participate in. Again, I didn’t really want him to go without me, but I wasn’t going to stop him.
We got a really slow start, and it took a long time for us to get out of the apartment. A part of me wanted to see the parade since I’d still never quite seen it before, but once again, I was going to miss it. In the big picture takeaway, I was alright with that as well. We walked from Hell’s Kitchen down to the Village to see what was still going on. Along the way, I spotted Hunter Parrish of Weeds fame coming out of Starbucks and pointed him out to CK. Once we got down to the Village, we came upon some of CK’s friends from Miami and stopped to chat with them for a bit. They were headed to Alegria that night and encouraged us to join them. CK turned to me and asked how I felt about the idea.
I was ready to kill him. The part of that interaction that bothered me the most was the hypocrisy. When I had done something of a similar fashion, CK was sure to point out how unfair that was and how uncomfortable it made him. Now, he was doing the same thing after we had a long conversation about avoiding putting each other in that exact situation. I gave him such a look. I think he picked up on it rather quickly and told them he wasn’t sure what we were doing yet. He told them he’d hit them up and try to go. They commented, “Yea… You’re not going to show up,” through a chuckle.
After that, we reached out to Hip to see how his day was going. The night before, he met a cute Aussie, and they were heading to the unofficial after-party at Work. CK and I were anxious to get the details on how the night went. He wasn’t far from us, so we stayed put while he made his way toward us. He greeted us with big hugs and began detailing his night. We were all feeling quite peckish, so we decided to grab a bite to eat a few blocks away. On the walk there, CK literally almost trampled an incognito Matthew Broderick, looking quite disheveled I might add. We sat outside Cowgirl and ordered food while we talked and took in the sights passing us by. We were right at the end of the parade route, so it was quite the sh*tshow. Apparently, the day was also full of celebrity sightings. While we ate, Hip noticed Colin Farrell walking up the street away from the parade. This of course spurred a whole new conversation about Colin’s sexuality and prowess.
It was a fun day, and I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end Pride Weekend than with my boys. It was the perfect cherry on top to a long weekend. We had a gay ol’ time joking, laughing and judging the sh*t out of the people who passed by. I drank my fill of people watching while I chased it down with fried chicken.
Overall, I had a good time at all the Pride events. Granted, the weekend stressed me out so much I probably should have been put on anti-anxiety medication, but I still had a good time. I opened me up to trying similar experiences down the road I wouldn’t have before the weekend. I was slowly coming out of my shell and finally beginning to bear some of that gay pride, and it was only going to grow from there.
It had arrived. Although this would be my third year “participating,” I was legitimately scared. I wasn’t sure why it was so scary, but honestly, I was petrified for so many reasons.
My first interaction with Pride Weekend was a mistake. I was making my way to Governor’s Island for a polo match with my family when we found ourselves “stuck” in the parade route. The following year was the first year I was out when the weekend came around. It wasn’t pleasant as I witnessed my relationship crumble before my eyes like an out-of-body experience. I missed the parade that year, but I got a sampling of the other aspects of the festivities.
My fear was grounded mainly in the unknown. While I am a gay man, I do not participate in the typical gay culture. I’ve never been a big fan of gay clubs and what goes on there. I come from a background of a traditional relationship. In the gay world, that is like finding a diamond in the rough. The clubs seem to be the antithesis of this. They are a hot-bed of drugs, promiscuity and raunchy behavior. I know all gay men who go to bars don’t fit into this stereotype, but this stereotype is founded in truth. While I’ve been to a handful of gay clubs, and my comfort level was rising, I still had no idea what to expect. Never before had I been to a circuit party. I was venturing into the abyss, and this caused me incredible anxiety.
While I have learned to let go of the men in my past, I still carry the scars of my relationship with them. They’ve all hurt or used me in some way, shape or form. My biggest fear in life is being alone, and this fear is fed by thoughts of cheating, which is birthed from my baggage. The idea of CK with another man broke my heart. I had clear definitions of cheating, but there were worse things floating through my imagination — Like cheating in a form I feel is unfaithful, but the offender does not.
My relationship with CK was building a great foundation, however, the cement was still wet. We were only dating two months and ten days — Very young for any relationship. In the first month, I had strong suspicions I wasn’t the only man entering his bed. Things didn’t always line up and some of the clear indications were there, however, our relationship was still just forming. I knew there would be a transition period. While he told me he was only interested in me, and I was the only man entering his bed, I was aware how we met. I was also aware of his intentions before we even met through his first major slip-up on Grindr. I couldn’t expect monogamy from the first night — That wasn’t realistic.
While I was fairly understanding and looked the other way early on, I was not going to tolerate infidelity as our relationship progressed and strengthened. For starters, my heart wouldn’t be able to handle the pain, and lastly, it wasn’t safe for my health. I needed to trust him to be faithful. Outside the heartbreak, frankly, we were having unprotected sex. We’d been tested, but there are no guarantees. I trusted him with my life, literally, and if he was sleeping with other men, he was treating my life carelessly.
I sincerely had a feeling his intentions had evolved, but I couldn’t be sure how he would react when faced with temptation. I hoped I was the only man for him. As a result, I was petrified for the life of our relationship. I’d watched my relationship with N publicly combust the previous year, and I didn’t want a repeat.
I’m sure many of you reading think I am overreacting. It’s just a party… It’s just a parade… It’s just a weekend… Well, not to me. To me, it was a litmus test for the strength of my love for CK. I didn’t want that love to be tested, and I didn’t want to have to make a decision that could end my relationship with CK. He was my Superman. He was my world. If I lost him, my world would come crumbling down.
We had plans to go to a huge party at XL Friday night, Matinée circuit party Saturday, and the parade Sunday afternoon. I was venturing into this unknown abyss with faith and hope I could persevere. The thought of CK dropping X and losing control of his inhibitions with some other guy caused me great pain and panic attacks. The idea of another man’s hand groping his package caused me panic attacks. Picturing him dancing shirtless against another shirtless man caused me panic attacks. Every time these scenarios and many others entered my brain, my heart rate would increase drastically, I would start to sweat, and I would get light-headed.
All this added up to me being petrified and frustrated. When I asked CK what clothes I should pack to bring to his apartment for the weekend, and I didn’t get any cooperation or help. It all became overwhelming. To begin with, this wasn’t something I was looking forward to, and his lack of cooperation made me lose my sh*t. “Okay Babe. I’ll talk to you in the morning. Have fun tonight!” I said on the verge of tears as I hung up the phone on him.
I think that was the wake-up call CK needed. I don’t think he fully understood how much anxiety this all created for me. I voiced my frustrations for weeks leading up to Pride Weekend. I told him I was going out of my comfort zone, but I was willing to do it as long as I got some hand-holding. I needed help to get over this. It was just another fun weekend for him, but it was a big deal to me.
After a few minutes, he called me back. We discussed things a little more rationally, and CK’s tone changed. He finally realized I was struggling and tossed out the life-preserver. Now that I knew I had him in my corner, I was a little more relaxed, however, I still wasn’t completely comfortable. It was going to be a long, stressful and exhausting weekend both physically and emotionally. I bit down then and there, and braced for impact as I packed my bag and walked out the door.
It was happening. I was falling for this great guy who managed to find me on Grindr. Who would have thought? I was still quite unsure how he felt about me, but I still had no luck finding a single fault in him.
I was prepared to take things slow with Clark Kent. I saw no need to rush things. Dating all these men in NYC helped me relax and enjoy things in real time. I didn’t need to think about what was coming next. I only needed to think about what was happening now. I was enjoying his company immensely.
That being said, I needed to tie up some loose ends. I had no desire to see any other guys while seeing CK. He was great, and he kept my attention. I didn’t want to wander and philander. I wanted him and him alone.
The first loose end to tie up was Southern Drawl. It took me two weeks to realize he wasn’t right for me. He’d gone home to the South to visit family, and it offered me a necessary reprieve from him. He sent me a few pictures from down there and a few texts. I responded in turn, but they were very short. When he asked how my day was going, I responded with what I’d done that day. “Well thanks for the play by play. Enjoy the rest of your week. Let me know if you wanna hang out again when I get back,” he responded. I wasn’t going to take that lying down. “Whoa! Where’s the hostility coming from?”
He apologized and explained he didn’t mean it that way. “How bout enjoy the rest of your week, and I look forward to hanging with you sometime when I get back 🙂 xoxo,” he added. I told him we only knew each other a short period of time and warned him not to get ahead of himself. I was using this turn of events to drive a rift between us.
He texted: “Well, that was a joke, but point taken. Wow! So I’ll go back to your statement from a few months ago. Ball is in your court. Otherwise, you won’t be hearing from me.” I reminded him to recall who picked that ball up again in the end. Then came the clincher: “Well, I guess I dropped it cause I’m being drunk and stupid again. Oh well. That ‘let’s not get ahead of ourselves’ $hit just irked me. So Grindr away, do your thing and hit me up if you want to hang out sometime. No hard feelings if not. I’ve learned my lesson about guys in the city and was a dumba$$ to think you could be different. But that’s my fault, not yours.”
I had my out. I wasn’t going to let him talk to me like that. I wasn’t going to try to foster a relationship with someone who made such accusations. We’d known each other two weeks, and I was already getting drunken rants. This wasn’t a good sign of what was to come.
In my book, he was done. I deserved an apology, and until I got one, I wasn’t going to communicate with him. I was going to give him a day to apologize. Just when I was about to inform him he’d killed any chance with me, he texted, “Had a rough night last night. Whiskey on the river. Bad combo.” This was an excuse, not an apology — Unacceptable. Two days later, I responded, “Still waiting for an apology. You were way out of line, and I did nothing to deserve your assumptions!”
He apologized profusely and cited more reasons why he’d been so harsh. “You’re an incredible guy, but if you never want to hang out again, I get it. But, for the record, I did miss talking to you and stuff this week,” he texted. He still seemed to be making excuses for himself. I didn’t respond. A day later, he said, “So, I guess that’s it then, huh?”
I was done with him. I told him from the start I don’t play these games. It seemed to be his mode of operation. I simply replied, “I think we should try friends for a bit. I get that you were drunk, but drunk minds speak a sober heart…” He asked if we could talk and tried calling me. I texted back telling him I was still at work, which was the truth. He started playing the martyr and going off on me. I told him to stop being so melodramatic. When I left work to grab dinner before returning to the office, I called him.
We talked for about a half hour. I explained to him all the things he did and how they were wrong. He didn’t even realize all the things he was doing. I pointed out how he was unloading all his baggage on me and how unfair that was. I did nothing to deserve that. I proposed we take a big step back and work on a legitimate friendship first. In reality, I was pretty much done with him. I was purely being polite. He was a decent guy, but he was a little broken.
He wasn’t satisfied with this and wanted to redeem himself, but I gave him an ultimatum. I said we could either be friends, or we could be nothing. That was his choice. It all depended on his future actions toward me.
As time progressed, and I was too busy to hang out with him when he asked me to, he began getting very snippy with me. I suggested a happy hour drink, but that went south fast. His sarcasm came out in full force until I said, “On second thought, maybe that was a bad idea.” I pointed out to him how combative he was toward me and said obviously this wasn’t going to work out between us. I gave him my work address so he could mail me back the sunglasses he borrowed from me. I didn’t even want to have to go through seeing him again. He’d gotten on my last nerve.
He told me how hurt he was by the whole thing, but I pointed out to him it was all of his own doing. He never treated me with trust and respect before he even had any reason to doubt me. I wasn’t going to take any more of his crap. I’d already dealt with enough. He couldn’t understand how his going off on a drunken tirade toward me was such a deal breaker. “It just doesn’t add up,” he said.
He was clearly hurting. I know this because he typed it out in black and white. “I’m miserable right now,” the text read.
He told me to delete him from my phone and he planned to delete me from his. In another instance, he said, “And for the record, I’m truly upset. You’re one of the good ones. And I’m a piece of $hit to write off apparently.” He wasn’t going to guilt me into liking him again. It was OVER!
That left two other loose ends to tie up. I had been meaning to text the Jersey City athlete for some time. He seemed like a really nice guy, and we got along great, but he was no CK. I needed to be fair to him and let him know what’s up. I texted him and said, “Hey dude. I def owe you a text and an explanation… I had a great time with you that one night, but at the same time, I’d also just met someone. I want to let you know I think you’re a great guy, but things have progressed. And, I want to give this a shot. I hope you understand and don’t take it personally! And I apologize since this message is long overdue!” He responded quickly, saying, I completely understand. I’m in a similar situation myself actually. When it rains, it pours, right?” I was happy to hear he was cool with things. I added, “LOL. Yes. Glad to hear. Maybe we can hang out again sometime and build a friendship?…” He responded, “I’d like that.”
After that, we chatted a few times on Facebook. I asked him how things were going with his new man, but learned the guy simply stopped responding to him. Turns out it was one of my neighbors. We still haven’t found time to hang out as friends, but I’m sure it will happen sometime. I need to have a gay friend nearby these days…
Middle Eastern and I hadn’t seen each other in quite some time. He’d text periodically to see how I was doing, but we made no plans to see each other. I was still a little put off from the time he told me he’d come over and never did.
At one point, he asked if we could hang out again. I told him that would definitely work. I was not opposed to hanging out, but that would be all that transpired between us. No more sex. No more intimacy. We’d purely be friends. It wouldn’t be easy, because we did have a great deal of fun in bed, but I had faith I could do it.
The time came for me to tell him I’d met someone else. “So anything new?” he texted one day. “Actually, yes. I’ve recently started dating someone. Been trying to figure out a way to bring it up… I hope you understand,” I responded. Immediately, he shot back, “Well, I’m definitely happy for you :). And I’m glad you told me. Kinda stung a little, not gonna lie about that.”
I felt really bad. I did like him a great deal, and I didn’t want to hurt him. There was no easy way to tell him, so honesty would be the only way to go. “Sorry! Hence my hesitation. You’re a great guy, and I hope we can be friends!! You kinda disappeared on me. Seemed like you met someone else. I put myself out there and met someone…” I added. He expressed how he was really happy for me and pointed out it just wasn’t meant to be. I told him he deserved someone young and fun and told him I really meant it about being friends. “Maybe. When I get over you. Of course I wanna be friends with you. We discussed grabbing a drink sometime, but that still had yet to happen. Some day we’ll find the time to hang out and become good friends.
And just like that, all loose ends were tied up. It wasn’t easy, but it was over. Now, I could concentrate all my efforts on the new man in my life — Clark Kent. The man who cut the roster down to one.
We tried to make plans to see each other during the week, but it never seemed to work out. Instead, we’d have to wait until the weekend to see each other again. It wasn’t easy, but it would have to do. I didn’t want to do anything to scare him off. I was too infatuated to lose him already. I would be patient. I would wait for things to happen naturally. I would finally do things right, and hopefully, by putting everything I’d learned from all the men I dated, I would find true love.
P.S. I still don’t have my sunglasses…Follow @onegayatatime
I’ve been on Grindr for quite some time now. I’ve come to remember certain things about certain guys on there. I recognize when new guys come up, and I recognize when guys I’ve spoken to in the past pop up as well.
N and I have always had an awkward relationship when it came to Grindr. It was how we met, but it was also the catalyst for him cheating on me (and me cheating on him).
After I broke up with Smiles, he asked me to keep a lookout for a guy impersonating him on there. I was so thrilled he found an opportunity to capitalize on my failing relationship in some way. It was so typical of him. He’d also mentioned that a friend found me on there shortly after breaking up with Smiles. The story he gave me sounded like such b.s. I could see right through it. I could tell he had a secret profile himself because what he proposed happened would never have happened. He had a serious boyfriend, and I seriously suspected he was still using the app, just on the dl this time.
One day, I thought I discovered his secret profile. The language he used in the description was spot on for things he’s said on his profile in the past. There also was no picture attached, so his boyfriend wouldn’t be able to find him if he tried. I messaged the profile saying: “Is this [Neighbor’s] secret profile?”
It took a long time, maybe a day perhaps, but the profile responded to me. He asked if he knew me, but I played dumb. I proposed my idea of who he was, but he wasn’t answering me straight. Finally, he said he wasn’t who I thought he was.
We started to chat about different things. He asked where I lived. I told him where I live and where I’d recently moved from. He commented about how I’ve lived in the back end of Hoboken for the most part. I told him I care more about what was inside my apartment than where I lived location wise.
He asked what gym I go to, and I told him. I told him my reservations about NYSC based on the stories N told me, as well as many of even my straight friends. He told me how he felt the same way, and because of this, he goes to Club H.
When I was detailing the sketchiness I knew about NYSC, he became more curious. He asked what my ex told me went down there. I told him he told me guys rub and tug in the steam room. I told him my ex told me about participating once before he met me. An older gentleman walked over to him and lifted off his towel, exposing him. He then proceeded to blow him. I was shocked by this because anyone could walk in at any time. He told me he was never able to stretch in there because guys were constantly dropping their towels at him and propositioning him.
He then started asking a lot of questions about my ex. He asked why we broke up. I told him about catching him flirting with other guys on Grindr and sending naked pictures of himself to other guys “he was just messaging to be friends with.” He asked if I had a picture of him, so I looked through my phone and sent it. I felt a little guilty, but then again I didn’t. N certainly didn’t show me the respect I deserved, so why should I give him respect in return. Besides, I wasn’t really doing anything wrong. I was only telling the truth, and the picture I sent was fully clothed. At this point, I still wasn’t sure he wasn’t N pretending to be someone else to pump me for information, but like I said, I wasn’t saying anything untrue. I was being honest and civilized about it.
“No offense, but he’s not very good looking,” he added. I smiled from ear to ear. “Like my apartments, I choose my men based more on what’s on the inside,” I told him. I chuckled in my mind and out-loud because N always thought he was an adonis. He was decently attractive, but not enough to warrant his ego. He went on to insult his looks further. At this point, I had a feeling it wasn’t N or one of his friends.
Then he asked if he was good in bed. I told him I didn’t want to talk about my ex anymore and tried to change the subject. “That means no, haha,” he joked. I said, “Not necessarily. He was new when he met me. I broke him in and showed him the ropes. I put in all the legwork for his current boyfriend.” “How do you feel about that? Does that make you mad?” he asked. I told him I didn’t care anymore. It wasn’t my concern, and we weren’t exactly friends anymore. I told him how I’d put in the effort to continue to be his friend, but I couldn’t be bothered anymore. When he asked why we’re barely friends, I told him about how N never put in any effort toward friendship unless there was something in it for him. “He’s too conceited, that’s why,” I added.
At this point, I was a little suspect this guy was the one who was impersonating N on Grindr. It seemed he knew something or was pumping me for information, because every time I would try to change the subject, he would circle back. Once again, I just answered all the questions I was asked honestly. I asked him to send me pictures, which he did. I’d never seen him before. I started to ask him what brought him to Grindr, and I immediately was blocked by him. It was a very unusual turn of events. I was highly annoyed, but there was nothing I could do about it. I shrugged it off, and went on with my day.
I knew this wasn’t the end of it. I knew there would be some hell to pay, but I was ready for it. That, and I DIDN’T CARE! Screw him. He wasn’t adding any value to my life. He was one of the exs I no longer needed to concern myself with.
Of course, while traveling for business the next day, I received a text from N: “Hey bud… So this is going to be random. But you never spoke to anyone about me on Grindr recently have you?” Yup. I was right. It was someone pumping me for information so they could run back to him with it in some fashion.
I decided this wasn’t worth my time. I didn’t respond. I just laughed out loud to myself and put my phone away. It was my turn to talk to other guys on Grindr.
I told all my friends about what happened, and they loved it. They have not been a fan of his since they learned all the sh*t he was pulling behind my back. He was useless dead weight in my life, and it was time to cut him free. I no longer needed that baggage. He proved he didn’t care enough to keep me a part of his life. I was going to spend more time concentrating on my good friends and new lovers. I was done living in the past.
That night, I texted the southern guy to see when we were actually going to get together. We’d had two great hour long phone conversations. I was looking forward to meeting him in person. I asked what he was up to the following night, and he responded back, “Yeah… I have a date, LOL.” I was p*ssed. He had a lot of nerve. He knew I was interested. I made that clear. It was incredibly rude to respond in that way. What was laugh out loud worthy of that!? I didn’t want to give him the benefit of an angry response, so I just said, “Enjoy. I take it you’ve lost interest then?”
“No, I just met someone last week at work (since I barely have a life outside of it) and we’ve had a few dates. Seeing where it’s going. We haven’t even kissed yet,” he detailed. “Not gonna lie. I’m pretty disappointed. Been trying to meet up with you for weeks. Nothing I can do about it though,” I told him. I was hurt, but I wanted to be honest. He tried consoling me by saying: “I’m sorry. It just happened. It doesn’t mean we can’t grab a drink. I just want to be completely up front. The opposite of the guys up here who are dating and f*cking 7 people at a time.” I wasn’t going to play this game. “Well my friend, the ball is in your court. You know how to reach me if you’re ever up for that drink…” I was done chasing men who showed no interest in dating me. I had better things to do with my time.
I also made a new rule. I was no longer going to try to date flakes who worked at Ralph Lauren. This was the fourth guy who worked there who burned me. I know this sounds petty, but I wasn’t about to let it happen again…Follow @onegayatatime
Sorry for the late post… Had a very busy morning at work…
Since that fateful night on December 31st, 2011, I’ve had my eye on a certain someone. He was also attending the party I went to on New Year’s Eve.
Throughout the night, I talked to him a fair amount. He seemed like a really nice guy. For a solid twenty minutes, he and I were the only ones in the living room until more guests arrived. We got to know each other fairly well. My original thought on him was he was too young, but the more I got to know him, the more I learned how mature he was. Obviously age had nothing to do with maturity. I learned that the hard way with Smiles. I wasn’t going to rule him out just because he was 22. It also helped he was very attractive. He had both the jock look and the intelligent look about him. It was very sexy.
I didn’t want to jump the gun however. I somewhat embarrassed myself that night, and I wasn’t sure if he took notice. I decided to wait until the dust settled, especially since he knew Smiles though a mutual connection, the party’s host. Before my trip to San Francisco, I laid the groundwork. I informed him of my breakup with Smiles on Facebook. He sent his condolences.
Now that I was home, I was ready to dive in and see if I could ask him out on a date. I sent him a Facebook message that Tuesday: “Hey dude. I know this kinda comes out of left field, but I thought you were a pretty down-to-earth guy when I talked to you on NYE. I was wondering if you’d be interested in grabbing a drink sometime…?” I don’t know why, but I felt very vulnerable doing this. It’s crazy. He’s five years younger than me. Why was I so intimidated? All I could do was wait for an answer.
That night, he finally responded: “I am flattered, but I am kinda seeing someone. Happened right after New Years actually. Doesn’t mean we can’t chill as friends.” My hopes were dashed. I’d been plotting and planning this whole thing out over time to find out I missed the boat. I was kicking myself, but there was nothing I could do. It is what it is.
I needed to graciously respond, and secretly hoped I could meet him as friends, and he would realize how much of a catch I am. Maybe he’d let things fizzle out with the other guy. The door wasn’t closed, even though it was beginning to shut. There was still a glimmer of light — A glimmer of hope.
“All the good ones are… haha… but yes.. Chill as friends works for me too. Always lookin’ for friends as well. Shoot me your #, and maybe we can find a time to hang/grab a drink…” I responded.
Sadly, I wouldn’t hear back from him again. Three weeks later, I tried to see if he would be interested in meeting up, but I got no response. If he was truly interested, he would have responded. I was learning to stop pursuing men who didn’t return an interest in me. It never worked out in my favor, and it just caused me greater frustration. If there were interested, they’d be as excited as I was to message/call/text. It wouldn’t matter about waiting two days before calling. If someone is interested, they won’t care about any of that. They’ll just be thrilled you connected at all.
I was beginning to feel very disappointed and lonely. I had no promising prospects on the horizon. As time goes on, this dating thing is getting harder and harder. Everyone thinks gay dating in New York City is a cinch but far from it. It is so incredibly hard to date in this city. The gay men here certainly don’t do anything to make it any easier.
Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. In the meantime, I was back on local Grindr. I found a guy who lived very close to my apartment who wanted to be dominated and wanted to muscle worship me. I hardly think I’m the muscle worship worthy type, but if that was what he wanted, why not give it to him. I went over to his apartment. He was a bit awkward, but I wasn’t there to find love. I was simply there to satisfy a primal need. I thought I would be able to play the part. I thought I could say all the things a dominant top would say, but in the end, I think I sounded ridiculous. It’s not who I am. It wasn’t awful, but I don’t think either of us were getting out of it what we thought we would. It took me a long time to finish with him, as usual, which didn’t exactly make for a smooth evening. When I did, it was worth his wait. However, because of the nature of my climaxes, he had to run to the kitchen and grab a bottle of Resolve and a paper towel to clean up a spot on the carpet when I overshot his chest.
He came back to the bed and we laid next to each other chatting a bit. I learned he knew the other awkward hookup I had in the same building. Apparently they were friends. I specifically asked him not to mention me, which of course spurred a whole new line of questions. I knew this was going to come back to bite me in the a$s. It was only a matter of time before the 40 year-old started messaging me again.
With that, I got dressed and made my way home on my walk of shame. Luckily it was cold out and it helped me clear my head. What was I doing? This isn’t me. This isn’t what I’m looking for. Why am I doing this? Yes, we all have needs, but I should be putting more energy into finding the right guy instead of Mr. Right Now.
I thought about all the other guys floating around out there on my roster. Was it even worth it to revisit with long-time online friend after our failed date? Maybe the southern boy I was chatting with would finally find the time to meet up. The guy who came back on the roster after almost a year was still a possibility. I needed to plan drinks with him. My Asian neighbor friend from Grindr was still asking me to grab dinner sometime, but he doesn’t drink, so I didn’t see us being very compatible. There was the very sexy, very compatible guy I found on Adam, but he wasn’t responding to any of my messages anymore. I needed to cut him from the list.
I needed to get back in shape and concentrate on building a better me. Ironically enough, I was hitting the gym regularly again. For so unknown reason, I was looking for N there every time I went. I don’t know why, but something inside me wanted to see him there, even though I wanted nothing to do with him. I needed not only to close that chapter, but also to toss the book to someone else and forget about it.
I was spinning my wheels. I was constantly Grindring, and it was getting me nowhere. I was still feeling a little angry for letting Smiles take advantage of me. I thought back to all my relationships and realized how each of them let me down. N, San Francisco, Smiles… I didn’t need any of them anymore. They brought nothing positive to my life. It was time to drop that baggage. The only one I wanted to keep around was Broadway. Since we’ve broken up, we’ve managed to remain friends. I turn to him for advice, and he is always there for me. He’s a good friend and I truly appreciate him. I can’t understand why they all couldn’t be that way. I’m thrilled we’re still friends and want that with all my exs, but if they weren’t going to make that possible, so be it.
I needed to get to a better place. I wasn’t in a dark place, but I was certainly stuck in this constant gray area. I was walking around in a cloud. I was wasting my life away searching for a guy in all the wrong places. If I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t going to find anyone. I just needed to figure out how to change things. It wasn’t going to be easy…Follow @onegayatatime
Saturday finally arrived. Smiles so graciously found time in his busy schedule to meet with me to discuss “us.” I wasn’t in a combative mood, but I was resolved in the notion that I wouldn’t be a doormat for him anymore. I had a lot of things I wanted to say to him, but I didn’t rehearse them in my head. I wanted my emotions to speak for me.
I knew how I felt, and I knew how he let me down. I was so disappointed in him for simply trying to back away from our three-month relationship instead of just speaking to me like a man. I was embarrassed for him.
We decided to meet at Doma Coffee Shop. Ironically, it’s pretty much where our relationship started (after a failed date at Employees Only). I had a few places to go in the city that day, so I took the motorcycle in. It was a nice enough day I could get away with it with a few layers.
After I parked my bike and walked toward the shop, I noticed Smiles was just arriving. We shared an awkward hello. I think he may have been going in for a kiss, but I gently turned and just gave him a hug. I had no interest in giving him any more of my affections. I’d already given him enough.
We went inside, and he ordered his coffee and began to pay. I wasn’t expecting him to buy my coffee, but it was interesting he didn’t even offer. He found a table for us to sit at while I ordered my coffee.
I joined him at the table, and we awkwardly chatted about work for a bit. Surprise, surprise — Our conversation revolved around his job once again. I was trying not to enter this meeting bitter or with a superior attitude. After all, it was a week earlier I was kissing another man in front of him. I wasn’t above him in any respect.
He talked about his business partner who was in the news at the time. Because I stay well-informed, I knew a lot of the story about the man’s current situation that Smiles did not. So when he was complaining about the man not getting back to him, I informed him of the news of the day and his new partner’s involvement in it. He was shocked to learn some of the details I knew. We were about to break up, and I was still keeping Smiles up-to-date on the goings on in the world at the time.
When that conversation got stale, Smiles kicked off the “us” conversation. He led with his thinking on the “situation.” He told me he recognized he wasn’t putting as much of himself into the relationship as he could have and how that wasn’t fair to me. He pointed out his priority of focusing on his career currently, and his schedule didn’t allow for a relationship. He acknowledged the possibility of his being partly responsible for my actions on New Year’s Eve. Over more conversation, I realized he thought I might have been acting out or doing it on a subconscious level.
I reiterated for him how little of the end of the night I remembered. I was on the verge of tears as I explained this to him. I told him I never would have done it had I been sober. I told him I didn’t initiate the kissing, but I also didn’t stop it immediately. I told him that I would like to think I stopped it relatively quickly, but I have no idea because I don’t remember a single moment of it. I think Smiles wanted to know the motivation for the make-out session. He half asked a question and then stopped when he again realized I didn’t recall any of the end of that night. I apologized emphatically and acknowledged how horrible what I did was. I choked up as I told him it was one of the worst things I’d ever done in my life. I could see that it did in fact bother him. The morning after, he told me he was okay with it, but now, I knew he wasn’t.
Sadly, it made me feel a little better knowing it upset him. It showed that maybe he, on some level, actually did care about me, even if just a little bit. At least I knew he felt something toward me.
I transitioned into more conversation of how we would move forward. I told him I was pretty much on the same page as him as far as ending our relationship. I told him I wasn’t getting enough of what I was looking for from him, and it was a direct result of his priorities.
I told him how hurt I was that he would just drop me after three months. I really stressed that point. I told him I felt so disrespected that he would just stop texting and calling like a switch, as if I wouldn’t notice or I would be okay with it. It really did hurt, because in my mind it nullified our relationship. It showed he didn’t respect it enough to give it the attention it needed, even if it was coming to a close. He told me it was because he needed time to think about what he really wanted and how he wanted to proceed. I told him he didn’t need to cut me off while he thought about it, and he acknowledged his fault.
In the end, we were fine. The whole conversation lasted roughly a half hour. He was on task and had things to do, so when the conversation was winding down, he stood and said, “Shall we go?”
We walked outside and began to part ways. I turned back and said goodbye. I also told him to call me to grab dinner sometime. Just because we weren’t dating didn’t mean we couldn’t be friends. He responded, “Sure thing sir.” I thought that was an odd response, but I’ll take it.
It was an amicable breakup. I’m not sure if I got the closure I needed. I still felt like he used me and doubted if he ever really cared for me. I never got an answer if my suspicions were true. I wondered if he’d been with other men while dating me. I wondered if he met someone else. All questions I would never get answers to. I think that is the hardest part about a breakup — The blow to the ego. We take fault and feel there is a flaw in ourselves, even if that’s not the case at all.
I would recover from this breakup relatively quickly, but I certainly would walk away with a few new scars and a few pieces of luggage to my baggage pile. I would try not to let it affect me too greatly, but then again, you can only control your emotions so much.
Hopefully, as one door was closing, another would soon be opening…Follow @onegayatatime