Posts Tagged benefit

Equilibrium

After our week in the “country” house, as CK liked to call it, it was time to utilize our city abode. It was in no shape, however, to be lived in. Sure, the new bed was delivered, the delivery of which was a bit of contention between us, but the bed was surrounded by towers of boxes.

The day the bed was delivered followed a week straight with CK. There were errands I needed to take care of I never got to do when we were together. Because of this, I dropped CK off for the bus and told him I would meet him in the city later. I was trying to be productive with my time, rather than waiting for the bed to be delivered with him. Looking back, we probably should have just done them together, but at the time, I didn’t want to subject him to my boring burdens.

We were both eating dinner when I cooked at my place, so there’s no reason I should feel guilty dragging him to the grocery store. Going forward, I learned to shed that guilt quite easily. But on the flip side, this meant I would be going to the grocery store with him on the other side of the river. That seemed like a much better arrangement. I was beginning to resent that I had to do the responsible duties while he had all the fun, but that wasn’t fair to him. He never turned me down when I asked him to help me, but in reality, I never asked him in the first place. I couldn’t resent him if I didn’t give him the chance to delight me. There were lots of not exciting things we would both need to do, like cleaning our apartments, that while not fun at all, they could be completed much faster with both our efforts in tandem. Our lives were blending together, and I loved it. It wasn’t smooth, but I loved it.

On the flip side, since we were spending so much time together, I was finding it hard to make the time to work out. My body was paying the price, and as a result, my self-esteem plummeted even lower. I needed to start running again. I needed to get back in the gym and start lifting again.

This posed the challenge of a delicate situation. CK proposed that we work out together. I knew I was a far better runner than CK was. That’s not a dig against him at all, but put simply, I ran cross-country in high school and swam in college. In order for me to get results from my workouts, I needed to push myself, and I needed to push myself hard! I wouldn’t be able to do that if I was holding back to run at CK’s pace. I didn’t want to insult him or his abilities, but I wasn’t sure this was something we’d be able to integrate.

Regardless of this, I decided to make an effort to give it a shot. When I told CK I wanted to go for a run one night, he wanted to join me. We both got ready and walked over to the west bank of the Hudson to run along the trail. As I predicted, we clocked a pace much less effective than I was hoping. I decided I needed to speak up. I was met with the response I had dreaded. He took insult to my comments that I needed to run faster. I didn’t know any way to navigate this without creating a conflict. He took it personally that I was insinuating he was holding me back.

As a result, he played the role of the martyr and told me to take off. The result of running at our own pace was what I was hoping for, but the hurt feelings and passive-aggressive response was exactly what I was hoping to avoid. I tried to talk to him about it to make it a discussion so there would be no hurt feelings, but he wanted none of it. He’d rather I just go, so that’s what I did.

While I ran, I thought about how to deal with the fallout of this. It made sense to me that we work out together, but we needed to do it in a way that benefited us both. I was going to resent it if I wasn’t getting the full potential out of the workout, and that benefits no one. That’s when I came up with a solution:

When we ran together, we would start out together at a warm-up pace. When I was sufficiently warmed up, I would pick up the pace and run ahead of him. When I felt I was half way through the workout, I would turn around and pick him up on the way back. When I overtook him, I would slow down to a cool down pace. I thought it the perfect solution.

It’s also basically what we were doing. When I turned around, I quickly came to find myself right behind him. As we ran, I proposed this new idea, but he still wasn’t having any part of it. I realized I was in a losing battle, and this would have to be addressed later when his ego healed.

Working out in the gym was also a whole other battle. When I go to the gym I like to be by myself. I do not treat it as a social excursion. I am there to work out and go home. I don’t even like spotting someone when they ask me for help. I resent it because I am there for my workout, not theirs. I don’t ask anyone else to spot me. I am not a trainer or an employee. Why should I be “working” at the gym? I know this sounds very antisocial, and that’s exactly what it is. I’m not the biggest fan of lifting. I see it as a necessary evil. I want to get in and out of there as quickly as possible.

When CK asked me to lift with him all the time, I was very hesitant. I loved him, but I was so used to lifting by myself. I knew if we did this together, I would get cranky, and it would start a fight. I was trying to save us from that. I also liked to go to the gym during my lunch break at work, so when he would ask me to hit the gym with him in the morning or the evening, I wouldn’t want to. I would want to use that time for far more fun things.

It was going to be a delicate balance, trying to integrate our lives, but eventually we would find equilibrium. Both sides would have to make sacrifices and concessions, but both sides would benefit from each other as well. Needless to say, CK was the first guy I’d gone to these steps with. It was new territory for me, but it was certainly exciting as well!

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Letting Him Down Easy

Monday, I decided to be a good brother and pick my sister up from the airport. I drove her to Newark Airport early Friday morning before all of my Grindring, and she was arriving around 2:00.

Before I hopped in the car, I made plans with M.E. to meet up later that day. I wasn’t planning to tell him I knew about his Grindring from my bedroom. I was just going to keep that in mind when interacting with him. I wasn’t going to let myself fall for a guy like that. For us, it would be purely fun. He told me he had class that afternoon, but he would come meet me on the pier when he finished.

I was regretting agreeing to pick my sister up since it landed smack in the middle of my day. I wanted to head out to the pier and get some color while I was off from work. The forecast was looking gorgeous for the week, and I planned to take full advantage. I decided not to waste the morning and went for a run around 1:00. I came back to my apartment, showered and packed a bag for the pier. I hopped in the car and headed to the airport. My sister was delayed, so I spent about a half hour circling the grounds. When she finally touched down, I parked in front of her terminal and began reading my first Out magazine. I was becoming a full-on gay man. I finally subscribed to a clearly homosexual publication.

She came out, and I drove her back to Hoboken. We swung by the pier to drop be me off so I could get some sun, and she went home.

Around 3:30, M.E. joined me on the pier. We laid next to each other talking for a bit. I gently stroked his hand with mine. We weren’t being blatant or obvious, but we still found ways to show affection. It was a nice time. Around 4:30, the sun was beginning to set. The temperature was dropping, so I suggested we head back to my apartment. I wasn’t even thinking about this in terms of sex. I was just cold.

He gave me a ride back to my place and decided to come up for a bit. He couldn’t stay too long because he had plans for the evening. We ended up in my bedroom fooling around a bit. It was nice to have him in my bed again. Every time we were together, I enjoyed myself.

The time came for him to leave, and I said goodbye to him at the door with a kiss.

Over the next week, I didn’t really reach out to M.E., and he didn’t really hit me up either. When enough time had gone by, I assumed he met someone else. I was trying to get away from the relationships based on sex, so I wasn’t exactly protesting or questioning why his calls stopped.

One day I got a text from him asking me why we hadn’t been in touch in some time. I told him I assumed he met someone else. He assured me this wasn’t the case. He told me the reason he was so quiet was because he was trying to create distance. He was beginning to fall for me and didn’t want to get hurt. This is when I pointed out to him I knew he was on Grindr when he was at my apartment. I didn’t tell him how I knew this information. At first, he denied it and told me he was chatting with his friends about his spring break trip postponement. I acknowledged that, but also pointed out he was on Grindr while he was in my apartment. I told him how insulting that was to me. I pointed out how, by no means, were we exclusive, but to be on the app while sitting with me was not something I looked kindly upon. He apologized profusely. I told him I noticed he blocked me on Grindr as well. He told me the reason for this was because he saw me on there periodically, and it was killing him. He was imagining me with other guys, and it was getting to him so much he blocked me so he wouldn’t have to see it anymore. I told him I wasn’t holding anything against him, but it was shaping how I looked at whatever was going on between us.

He was completely torn up about it. I had a lot of other things going on in my life at the time, and I didn’t really feel like getting into it with him. I was partially using this as a way to make a clean break from him. I liked him and cared about him more than a one-night-stand. I considered him a friend who I also happened to enjoy in my bed. He was more friend than benefit. I didn’t want to hurt, but I also needed separation. There was too much going on in my life at the time. He begged me to talk on the phone, but I told him that would have to wait. I lied and told him I was with friends and didn’t want to be rude by taking a phone call.

I knew he wasn’t happy, and it wasn’t what he wanted. I needed to think about me for a change. I needed to put more effort into the men I was meeting and looking toward a long-term relationship with, rather than the men I just enjoyed having around for sex and a little companionship. It wasn’t fair to him, and it wasn’t what I needed. The time came to move on. How that would shape my relationship with M.E. was yet to be determined…

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What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

Sunday afternoon, I tried to see if Smiles would want to do something fun the following day since I didn’t have to go to work. Sadly, he had work to do. He was trying to build up a company from scratch, and it is a lot of hard work, so I understood. What I didn’t expect was he would be busy he wouldn’t be able to find the time to pick up the phone and call or text.

Monday passed with me planted on the couch watching TV all day while surfing adam4adam.com and reactivating my Grindr account. I was just seeing what was out there, but as the afternoon progressed, I started to think toward the future while examining the past.

I realized I wasn’t happy. I equated my relationship to the struggle of Sisyphus, a king punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity. I was constantly putting work into the relationship only to find I wasn’t receiving much benefit from it.

I had given Smiles more than his fair share of chances to finally woo me, and he failed. I enjoyed his company, and he was a very nice, successful, good-looking man, but the time had come to move on. It just seemed he wasn’t that into me, and I realized I deserve better. Since I had been on the journey to this conclusion for quite some time, I wasn’t that broken up about it. I’ve had varied reactions to the end of relationships in the past. I moved on with closure after my mutual breakup with Broadway. I had slight some minor cardiac scarring after I ended things with San Francisco. I was a wreck when things went south with N — Losing ten pounds in a week (Not proud of that).

This epiphany wasn’t all that earth-shattering for me. Things had been on the decline for some time. This certainly didn’t come out of the blue, so the blow was lessened.

I actually started to get slightly angry about things. I felt used. I recalled asking Smiles on our first date why he was on Grindr, and he had mentioned he was lonely. I realized I was someone to pass the time for him. I was someone he could go to dinner with so he didn’t have to eat alone. I was someone he could have the occasional romp in the sheets when he was in the mood. I was a seat warmer. He never had any plans to forge a relationship with me, and this made me really feel used.

I wanted more. I deserved more. And I was going to find more. I started searching once again on a4a and Grindr. These are clearly not the best place to find Mr. Right, but it couldn’t hurt to try. Once again, it was just going to be a lot of work.

On top of it all, our sex-life was minimal. As a result, I was horny. I was hungry for some good sex. Over the summer when I was having my wild time, I felt I started to really hone my craft. I had numerous guys constantly hitting me up for seconds, thirds, and more. It was great for my ego, and I craved a really good romp in the sack.

That’s when I turned my efforts toward Grindr. I wanted to find a local guy with a hot body. I knew it wouldn’t be easy from past experience, but maybe some new hotties moved into the area in the three months I’d been away. I started talking to one guy for quite some time. We even started to Skype with each other while I watched TV. He lived very close and had a really nice body. He was Asian, which doesn’t quite get my engine roaring so there he wasn’t a relationship prospect, but we could at least start on a friendship. We face-time chatted most of the evening. I gave him full disclosure on the situation. We even discussed him coming over to hook up, but in the end I decided to be good.

Afterall, I still hadn’t officially ended things with Smiles yet. It wouldn’t be right. I’d already betrayed that relationship once, I didn’t need to do it again, not matter how resolved I was about its end.

I got an offer from a man I’d had a tryst with in the past. He begged me to come to his apartment, but it was cold outside, and it was getting late. I had work the next day, and I needed to go to bed. I told him I’d take a rain check.

My new friend went to bed, and I continued to figure out a way to satiate my libido. I figured I would hit up some old friends in my Skype contact list. One of the sexiest men happened to be online. He lived in South America on an island, and I wanted to do bad things to his body. It was amazing. I loved camming with him. The only issue was he had a big thing for me. He always begged me to be his boyfriend, no matter how many times I told him it couldn’t happen because we are so far away. He begged me to come visit, but I told him I couldn’t afford the flight. I wasn’t about to fly to South America for a booty call. But if he lived anywhere close, I would have been over there in a second!

I convinced him to have a little fun on camera until I finished. As usual, it sapped all the energy from my body, and I jumped into bed and dozed off without a thought left in my head.

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Cleaning Up

My night had gone pretty smoothly. I had a great time, there was minimal drama and I ended the night with a great guy, Smiles.

I did my best to put all the food away before heading to bed the night before. It was a fairly easy cleanup. However, that left all the dishes to be done and a lot of cleaning around the apartment.

I woke at a decent hour and didn’t even have a hint of hangover, which is surprising considering I drank sangria most of the night. My teammate from Maryland woke shortly after me. She needed to go into the city to catch a bus home, but was going to stick around for breakfast before she left. She asked if she could have some of the leftovers, and I prepared a few things for her.

In the meantime, Smiles emerged from my bed, and we made coffee for ourselves with my Keurig Elite Brewer coffee machine. It’s perfect because we can each pick our flavor of tasty Green Mountain Coffee, and we don’t have to wait for a whole pot to brew. It’s absolutely great! (Yes, I’m plugging them because I absolutely love that thing, and I’m hoping they read this and feel gracious enough to reach out to me… Wishful thinking…)

After she ate, my teammate asked for directions to the bus back into the city to Port Authority and was on her way. Smiles had made his way back to my bedroom and got dressed to head home. I was hoping he’d stick around for a little bit (I wasn’t expecting him to help clean), but I was mistaken. I would have liked to spend a lil more time with him, but he had plans.

I said goodbye to him with a kiss and a hug as I thanked him for everything from the night before.

My other roommate who was stuck in Canada arrived home in the meantime. He asked about the party. He was very disappointed he missed it. He’d been to three of the previous four even though we’d only been roommates six months.

Then, I was left with my mess. I did all the dishes and ran the dishwasher. I put all the wine in the wine fridge. I poured all the leftover sangria down the drain trying not to gag. I put all the liquor no one drank away. And then I swept the floors. They hadn’t been swept since we moved in.

I did all this while my roommates sat on the couch watching TV. My happy mood had soured. I didn’t expect them to help. I made it clear to them it was my party. Therefore it was my mess to clean up. However, after asking for permission, the roommate that was away had no problem scarfing down a plate of the food and leaving it in the sink for me to clean up. And, the other roommate, who attended the party and did nothing to help me prepare didn’t lift a finger. I didn’t resent that they weren’t helping me clean up. I more resented that I worked my ass off to get the apartment in shape, and they didn’t offer one iota of gratitude. Sure, it was out of selfish desires that I worked so hard and fast. But, they both greatly benefited from my efforts.

The cleaning was over surprisingly fast. When I finished, I planted myself on the couch for the remainder of the evening.

Later than evening, I witnessed my roommate come out of her room and heat up a plateful of the leftovers from the night before. I really resented this, purely because she didn’t take the two seconds to ask me if she could have it. I can be generous at times, but she didn’t pay one cent for it and did nothing to prepare it. The least she could do is ask.

So, I did what any mature roommate would do. When she went into her room, I left a passive aggressive post-it on the fridge saying, “If you didn’t lift a finger to purchase this food or make it, then don’t lift a finger to eat it.” I’m not sure why I was in such a p*ssy mood, but it really got under my skin. I think I was just feeling very under-appreciated overall, and I was taking it out on her.

Later she emerged once again from her room. As she passed the fridge, she read the note, made a noise of discontent and returned to her room.

I had the immediate satisfaction of getting under her skin as much as she did mine, but I would certainly have to deal with the ramifications of that later. I returned to watching TV and being in a cranky mood for the rest of the night. I wished I’d spent the day with Smiles. I was in such a good mood from spending time with him the night before. Hopefully tomorrow would bring happier times…

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