Posts Tagged cold

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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Hoboken Seconds

Today is another Fast Forward Friday!!!  

Hope you are enjoying these. It will help bring the blog a little closer to real time. If you’re keeping up with the stories chronologically, please skip down to this morning’s post first, then read this one. I think it’s a good one! Enjoy!

Back to your special edition of One Gay At A Time…

After our date on Monday, I wasn’t sure when I’d see Chelsea again. Things were moving forward at a nice pace, but I still wasn’t diving in like I normally do. What was holding me back? Was I finally going about things the right way? Was I not fully interested in him?

That Tuesday was his last day in his current role at his job. He went out celebrating with coworkers, and when they were nearing the end of their evening of drinks and fun, he texted to ask if he could come by. Two days in a row. I certainly didn’t have a problem with that. He obviously wanted to see me, and I was very happy about that. One of his coworkers lives across the street from me, and they were able to share a car. I told him I’d be thrilled if he came over.

When he arrived, I could tell he was quite tipsy. It was cute how he couldn’t hold his liquor. Alcohol gets him quite lubricated. He was very flirtatious once again, as he was at the end of our first date. Everyone was buying him drinks since he was no longer be working out of that office. His new territory was Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, etc.

We started with some kissing when he walked in the door. I took his hand and led him to my bedroom. He was wearing a full suit, so I found him some more comfortable clothes. In the middle of changing, we began to fool around. It was fun. He was a good kisser, and we were making out all over my bed. I liked having someone of the same size to hold, kiss and roll around with. This time around, he certainly wasn’t shy about being in just his briefs. We had a lot of fun with each other and still no sex. And, I was fine with this. I knew things would progress slowly, and I was quite happy about that. ( I was missing sex a little).

He was a sweet guy, but that night was a little different. I saw a side of him I hadn’t only caught a glimpse of. A lot of his drama started pouring out, and I realized he had just been trying to keep it all down in an attempt to not scare me off. Now, I was getting to see the real Chelsea. I went to bed with a different picture in my head. Was this what was holding me back? Did I think maybe he was a bit too gay for me?

We watched TV and ate some dinner. a lot of the little things I ignored previously were bothering me that night. We went to bed at a reasonable hour. After sleeping together twice and it not ending well, I made a suggestion at the risk of sounding cold. I told him there was no need for us to snuggle while we slept. I tried to be honest and realistic about it. I said, “We can cuddle and snuggle, and when we’re ready to fall asleep, we can curl up on opposite sides of the bed. That way you will get a good night’s rest.” I also took this as the opportunity to tell him I wanted to go for a run the following morning. I was finally getting into a workout groove, and I didn’t want to throw it off. I could sneak out while he was still sleeping, and when I returned we could get ready to head into the city together. With that, we both went to sleep on opposite sides of my California King bed.

I woke in the morning and quietly snuck out to pound the pavement. I had a good run. I needed to clear my head, and the run was just the ticket. When I returned, I hopped in the shower. When I came out of the shower, I gently woke Chelsea. Normally, I would have slipped back into bed with him to cuddle, but I wasn’t feeling it. It was then I realized I wasn’t particularly sexually attracted to him. He was very shy about his body, and while I enjoyed the slower timeline and waiting, a part of me knew it was an important part of the relationship I couldn’t ignore. I’d sacrificed that in the past too many times. I wouldn’t make that mistake again.

I continued to get ready. I was pretty quiet, but then again, I usually am after I work out. I’m also not a morning person to begin with. I either get quiet or I become combative, as my mother learned many a time riding home from swim practice in high school. There was little talk and discussion as we got ready for work/for him to head back home. When we emerged from my room, I found a mess left by my roommate. I detailed to him why I was so annoyed and how this was a common occurrence.

The walk to the PATH wasn’t exactly full of chatter either. I struggled to think about things to talk about. I fixated on his new job and asking the questions about how he was going to handle it. Subconsciously, I was noticing all the things in the back of my head I’d brushed aside once again. Now, my cons list was growing.

When we got to his stop, I gave him a quick peck on the lips. I could tell it made him uncomfortable, but I was trying to force myself to stop being ashamed of being gay. If he were a woman, I’d have had no problem kissing her to say goodbye on the PATH. Why should I censor myself just because he was a man?

Later that day, I received a text from him asking me if everything was okay, or was it my roommate. I blamed my quietness on being annoyed with my roommate, but in reality, I was no longer looking at him as a prospect.

That weekend, I went shopping with my friend, P. While at the Woodbury Common Outlets, I got a text from Chelsea asking, “Will I see you at the end of the week?” I didn’t want to drag this out. I decided in my mind I was no longer interested. It was going to be tough to convince myself otherwise. I replied, “[Chelsea], I don’t want to lead you on or anything, but I’ve been giving it some thought. I just don’t know if we’re a strong match. You’re a really nice guy, I just don’t know you’re the guy for me. I want someone who is going to be around more… That’s important to me. Hope you understand.” Immediately, he responded, “Yup. I feel the same way :). Anyways, all good here. Please do me a favor and put me in touch with your friend about subletting my apartment, and I’ll see you sometimes in the city :).” I don’t know if that was his way of protecting himself emotionally or if it is how he truly felt. Either way, it was a clean break. All was good, and we could still be friends if we ran into each other in the future.

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Chelsea Early

Saturday morning I woke up at a decent hour. It wasn’t easy sleeping with Chelsea. He thrashed constantly.

We quietly chatted for a few minutes lying face-to-face before I told him to go back to sleep while I made breakfast. I whipped up some of my famous homemade pork and apple sausage, scrambled eggs and sliced up an avocado. I brewed him coffee and went back into my room to rouse him. I slowly slid into bed and nuzzled with him to gently wake him. He was really cute, and I enjoyed doting on him a little.

When I finally woke him, we embraced and flirted a bit. I was feeling a bit randy and naughty, and I was trying to get a little frisky with him — Nothing serious… just a little heavy petting. He was quietly protesting, but he was enjoying it. When I finally managed to sneak his briefs down to his knees, he gave in. It was better than I expected. We had a little fun, but again, nothing serious — Just a lot of groping. I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable. After a bit, I made my way to the kitchen, and he joined me. He was very grateful for the breakfast spread and raved about how good it was.

After we finished eating, we moved to the couch to relax in front of the TV. My female roommate woke up and came into the living room. I introduced her to Chelsea, and they hit it off immediately. We had our laptops out, and we were playing on Facebook. My roommate was telling him all about her dating life, and Chelsea was trying to think of guys he could set her up with. I became a non-participant observer at this point while the two of them had girl talk. She apologized for monopolizing our time, but I didn’t really mind. It was nice to see him interacting with her. I always put prospective men through a litmus test. They must meet my friends and get along with them before I will fully accept them.

The time came for him to head back into the city. He needed to do a bunch of things before he started his new position in Connecticut. He was also looking to find a sublet for his apartment while he was traveling for work Monday through Thursday. I told him I’d talk to my friends about renting it out, but I wasn’t thrilled he was about to start a job that would have him traveling far away. This would most likely mean I wouldn’t see very much of him. He would only be around on the weekends. If I went away for the weekend, I wouldn’t see him for a long time. It was a tough obstacle I could see in the near future.

When he got back to the city, he texted me about his conversation with his friend. He was talking about where he was the previous night, and the friend asked him how we met. He was embarrassed we met on Grindr and lied. I texted him back telling him he need not lie in the future. He should simply tell people we met through a mutual friend. He also realized he forgot his toothbrush. We made plans to go out again on Tuesday, and I told him I could either bring it to him, or he could leave it at my apartment until the next time he spent the night. I was being slightly presumptuous, but he decided to leave it at my place.

That night, I went to one of my best friend (and avid blog reader), J’s surprise birthday parties hosted by his fiancée (another avid blog reader). It was still March and still cold outside, but there was no way I was taking the train out to where he lived. Every time I took the train there, I ended up sitting at the train station for roughly and hour or so, and then spent over an hour on the moving train. He lived a 40 minute drive away, so I decided if I bundled up, I could brave the cold and ride the motorcycle out there. Boy was I way off.

I froze my a$$ off. I was incredibly cold the entire ride. I couldn’t wait for it to be over, but my friend, J is well worth it. I also got to hang out with one of my other college teammates who just moved back from California. I hadn’t seen him since I went out there for a trip with friends and met up with him for an afternoon.

J was so surprised to see both myself and our other teammate. He didn’t even know he came back from CA. I was thrilled to see him so happy and glad I made it out there to witness it. When everyone was packing up to head home or off to the bowling alley for some more fun, I decided to split. It was already nearly midnight, and it was only getting colder. I said goodbye and sped off for home trying to avoid hypothermia in the process.

When I got home, my roommate and I chatted about how much she loved Chelsea. She thought he was a good fit for me and thought he was a really great guy. It was nice to hear her glowing review. I had nothing but positive reviews as well, but only time would tell if this was meant for the long haul.

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No Day at the Beach

For one, I was really enjoying the company of my new friend, The Navigator. Secondly, the weather was amazing. I couldn’t have been happier to be away from the cold weather on the East Coast.

Contrary to my plan, the weather wasn’t fully cooperative. The closer we got to the coast, the cloudier and colder it got. I didn’t care how cold it was, I was not putting the top on the convertible back up. I did, however, turn the heat up. That kept us cozy while we acclimated to the new weather pattern.

We drove around for a little before finally finding a parking spot. We walked to the beach, and we spread out the blanket I asked him to bring. He sat down, and he started pulling out the other provisions he brought — A bottle of Sprite, a bottle of Absolut, and some snacks and granola bars. I think I was falling in love. He was spontaneous and courteous. I added the provisions I grabbed at the gas station to the pool.

We sat next to each other commenting on how much the weather deteriorated and chatting about some of the surfers. We were among sparse company. The only other people brave enough to hit the sand that day were the surfers we both scoped out.

We relaxed and the conversation from the car continued. He talked about his family and his background. I learned he was a Jehovah’s Witness. He wasn’t very passive in his faith either. He had the prestigious honor to attend a bible college in Brooklyn. While there, through a slip up, it was discovered he is gay. He was excommunicated from the religion and has very limited contact with his family.

My heart was breaking to hear this sad story. He was an incredible man for surviving all that, and even more impressive for his comfort telling this to virtually a complete stranger. I told him about my religion, and my new outlook on it. I told him about my conversation with my mother on Christmas Eve, even though it was nothing compared to what he went through.

As if his story couldn’t be more complicated, I learned his brother is also gay and struggling with his religion. He was actually finding men online and hooking up with them at rest stops until he was nearly caught by police. His brother chose to take a different route in dealing with this. The Navigator tried to suppress his homosexuality with the aid of his religious elders, but came to accept who he is. His brother was not as fortunate to have the mental confidence to know himself. He was going through conversion classes to help him become heterosexual. They were trying to brainwash him. My skin was crawling at the sound of this.

After leaving his religion, he moved around a lot. One move was for a man, but obviously that didn’t work out. He’d been in LA for roughly a year and was still settling in.

I was really enjoying his company. We took turns making trips to the restroom, and when he stood to walk away, I took the opportunity to check him out. In the back of my head, a voice was screaming, “Be careful! You’re on vacation. You can’t fall for another West Coaster!” My heart was not going to be so easily convinced. I was cautiously proceeding. I really liked this guy. If he lived in New York, we’d definitely be dating. He was just what I was looking for. A masculine man who had his life together and knew what he wanted in life.

When we sufficiently froze our a$ses off, we hopped back in the car and made our way back inland. While we drove back to Glendale, I realized I’d already used up all my condoms and almost all the lube. I would need to stop for provisions along the way, but it wasn’t going to be easy with The Navigator with me. I decided to stop at a CVS. While he looked for the bathroom, I looked for the condoms and lube. I told him I needed to buy sunscreen, which I did, but that was very low on the priority list.

When I finally found what I needed, I realized they were under lock and key. I had to push a button that made the announcement, “Assistance needed in the family planning department.” Family planning couldn’t be further from what I was looking for. The irony was killing me. As Broadway always joked, “Butt babies don’t live.” I wondered what I’d done recently to deserve this karma. It was going to be nearly impossible to pull this off without him seeing what I was purchasing.

Someone came to unlock the case, and he turned his head in an attempt to give me my privacy. That was long gone. I grabbed what I needed and quickly walked to the checkout counter. Of course, when I arrived, there was a long line. I took my place in line behind an old man and hoped The Navigator was still looking for the restrooms.

I was next in line. Maybe I was going to get away with this after all. It wasn’t in the cards for me. The old man in front of me was taking FOREVER! Every second that passed was nerve-wracking. I didn’t want him to see what I was purchasing because it may have been perceived presumptuous.

Just then, he walked up behind me. My cover was blown. I tried to hide the products in the crooks of my crossed arms, but there’s a really good chance he saw what I had. Of course, this was also the moment the next register opened up. I walked up and purchased my items. I paid, and we walked back to the car without mentioning what I bought at all.

We talked the whole ride back to his apartment. When I turned onto his street, he turned to me and said, “Sooo, do you want to hang out some more?” Without hesitation, I shouted, “Yes!” He asked if I want to go back to my hotel room and hang out, and I agreed that was a great idea!

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Welcome Back?

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…

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It’s About Time

Today is a Fast Forward Monday!!!  

My apologies to those who have come to expect Fast Forward Fridays. I have been traveling for work/pleasure, and I got caught up in things. I haven’t had a chance to write the second post, so I’m making up for it today. Hope you are enjoying these. It will help bring the blog a little closer to real-time. If you’re keeping up with the stories chronologically, please skip down to this morning’s post first, then read this one. I think it’s a good one! Enjoy!

Back to your special edition of One Gay At A Time…

After missing the opportunity to finally meet my online friend after almost a years time chasing each other around, the day finally arrived when I was scheduled to finally meet him in the flesh. This was well overdue, and I was quite excited. I wasn’t about to get ahead of myself, but the suspense had been building up for quite some time.

We discussed where we would go for drinks or dinner and finally settled on Charritos, a Mexican restaurant I’ve been to on numerous occasions. In fact, this wasn’t the first date I took there. We planned to meet at 7:30. I knew the place didn’t take reservations, but it was a Monday night on a holiday weekend. I figured everyone was home getting ready for the coming workweek. It also wasn’t the nicest night, as snow was in the forecast, so I thought we’d be alright.

When I arrived, I was immediately proved wrong. I stood in front waiting for him to arrive noticing every table (all 8 of them) filled with diners. Finally, he arrived, and we attempted to go inside out of the cold. Even this proved difficult since there was nowhere to go once we were in there. While we waited for a table to clear, we awkwardly chatted.

This was surprisingly difficult. He seemed so incredibly flirty online and charismatic, and the man standing in front of me was a very shy reserved individual. I couldn’t get over it. Where was the guy I’d been chatting about my body and sexual interests in detail? Where was the flirt?

We talked about work and the weather. It was a struggle to find a topic to discuss. Everything felt forced. It wasn’t awful, but it certainly wasn’t what I expected.

Finally we got a table and sat. After we ordered, we started to chat a bit more. I asked most of the questions. He always responded in detail, but he never asked a question in turn. That may have helped the conversation flow much more freely, but it wasn’t there. I had to volunteer all my information. I feel awkward talking about myself when I wasn’t asked to. It was as if I was interviewing him for a job.

One topic we got on was siblings. I don’t know why, but that topic has been coming up more and more frequently on my dates. I’ve actually noticed it and tried curbing it. I learned about his siblings as well. It was nice to hear he came from such a similar family dynamic.

We talked about his job as well. I was very intrigued by it. He told me all about his schooling, his specialty in the field relevant to the gay community, his boss, the clinical work he does… This was really shaping up to be quite the catch of a man. He was very sweet and thoughtful. However, our chemistry was not mixing AT ALL! It was so disappointing. On paper he looked so good. Online, he seemed a sexual match for my libido. In person, he was a mouse. Night and day from my expectations.

After quite a while, the waiter basically asked us to leave. There were people waiting for a table, so they kicked us out. I was more than a little p*ssed, because I thought it was very unprofessional and rude, however, it was time for the date to conclude.

We’d already talked about him coming over to my apartment before the date. I was still very sexually attracted to him. I wondered if he’d relax when he was out of the public eye. As we walked outside, I asked him where he parked and told him I’d walk him to his car. I was hoping for a signal along the way to show his interest. I thought he’d drive me to my apartment and come up.

When we got to the car, it was the complete opposite. I hope you can understand my explanation without a diagram:

I thought we’d at least say a proper goodbye. I was hoping for a kiss considering all I could think about during the meal was how good his lips would feel. When we got to the car, I stood on the sidewalk, and he walked to the front passengers panel in front of the rearview mirror. That would have been fine. I may have even used the car as a backboard for a strong kiss, BUT there was also a chopped off parking meter between him and myself. Yes. A metal pole about four feet tall was between the two of us. I don’t think he could have strategically showed his lack of interest any more other than to simply get in the car and drive away.

We said goodbye, and I told him it was nice meeting him. He said, “Likewise.” That’s when I grew some balls and took what I wanted. I moved forward, reached my long arm over the pole, hooked it under his arm around his back, and pulled him in for a kiss. It wasn’t a long kiss or a makeout session, but I certainly wasn’t going to be satisfied with a peck.

And with that, I turned and walked home in the flurries falling from the sky. I was still a little blown away by the lack of spark during the date. I wasn’t even ready to go home. I decided to stop by my friends’ place on the way home and say hi.

I came in and we caught up on what’s going on with each other before I told he and his wife about my awkward date. He was a little baffled by it as well. He couldn’t understand what was going on. He really loved the parking meter pole story as well. I was so nonplussed.

I sulked home after saying goodnight to my friends. When I got home, I was curious to see if he was back on a4a. Surprise! I was right. I wasn’t going to get past this immediately. I needed to ask him about what happened.

“Surprise, surprise. Look who’s on here,” I messaged him. We chatted a bit awkwardly about the date. He messaged me back: “I was waiting for you to ask me to come back.” He wanted to come back to my apartment. He even brought his c*ck ring and poppers with him. I was so confused, and I made that clear to him. He wasn’t aware of his mixed signals, nor was he aware of the pole. He just thought I wasn’t interested since I walked him to his car. It was all a big misunderstanding. “I had a good time. I thought the conversation was nice,” he added. That doesn’t make up for the awkward date however. That just cleared up the mixed signals at its close.

Just to satiate my curiosity, I told him we would have to try to fix what went wrong when I got back from my work trip to San Francisco. He agreed, so we kept in touch over the next week.

I decided to see what was going on with the southern guy. He texted me to see how my weekend was, so I picked up the phone and called him. Again, we talked for almost an hour while I packed. This completely made up for my awkward date. I was really looking forward to getting back so I could finally meet him. Hopefully this one wouldn’t be as big a disappointment.

In the morning, I had a message from my new southern gentleman caller. He was asking for a picture of my “morning excitement” we’d discussed previously. I denied his request and told him he’d have to wait to see the real thing. This was my way of getting him on the ball about meeting up with me.

I also got a text message from my friend and recent neighbor. It was very sweet of him to do so. I needed to make it a priority to hang out with him when I got back to New York.

All that would have to wait on the backburner… The following day, I was headed to San Francisco for the week for work. Waiting for me were two men. One I attempted a long distance relationship with whom I would meet for a cocktail. The other, a great confident and online friend whom I was extremely excited to meet in person, especially in the bedroom…

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How to Get Out of My Own Head

Rules are meant to be broken. Apparently, in my mind this is true. I said I wasn’t going to reach out to Smiles after our awkward night and breakfast the following morning, but that didn’t last long.

Wednesday afternoon, I got an email including two free tickets to a screening of a movie in the city. It was Friday afternoon at 12:30. I had absolutely nothing going on at work as we were leading into the holidays. I shot Smiles a text Thursday afternoon asking him if he wanted to come with me after I left him.

He told me he wouldn’t be able to join me because he had to be on site for a project he was working on. I didn’t get my hopes up, so I wasn’t all that disappointed. I knew I wouldn’t be seeing much of him that weekend, so it was an effort to mend that but a failed attempt at that.

In the middle of the day, he called to see how my day was going. I was a pleasant surprise. He’d done this in the past, but it was out of the blue. He told me about his project moving forward and the progress he was making. I told him how useless my day was turning out to be. Maybe he did care about me. Maybe he just wasn’t good and showing emotions or talking about them. I still had some figuring out to do.

I finished my workday early. When I got home, I called my other friends who were attending the birthday party that night. I coordinated with them, and made my way to my D’s apartment.

During the taxi ride with D and his girlfriend, she asked me when she was going to get to meet Smiles. She missed him at the holiday party. I couldn’t think of a scenario in which she was going to meet him. I realized he never really hung out with me and my friends in general. I never really hung out with his. I was repeating my relationship with Broadway all over again. The only difference was, Smiles had a better schedule than Broadway. In the back of my head, I knew things between us weren’t perfect. I told her I had no idea when she’d meet him. I then explained to her why he was absent from my side.

I had fun at the party. I was running into a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a long time — Some even years. I sat and talked with one of my old college teammates, and he asked him the dating life was going for me. I told him all about Smiles, and he was very happy for me. In the back of my mind, all I could think about was, “Am I truly happy with how things are shaping up?”

Out of nowhere, Smiles called. He was between parties in a cab. I guess he had time to kill so he thought he’d call me. I stepped away from the party and walked out onto the promenade overlooking the city. I appreciated the call. It was nice to have him call out of nowhere twice in one day. It showed he really was thinking about me. I was a little bitter though. He was telling me about all these parties in detail, and all I was hearing was stories of parties I wasn’t invited to. I kept the conversation on the shorter side of things. It was cold outside, and I wanted to get back to my friends. If I wasn’t good enough to be by his side, he wasn’t good enough to steal me away from the party. We said goodbye for the night since I knew that’d be the last time hearing from him for the night.

On the way home that night, I discussed brunch with D and his girlfriend. They expressed their desire to do it in the city. I agreed and mentioned maybe inviting Smiles to join us. I knew he had things going on, but maybe he’d be able to meet us for a little while.

I texted him at 3:00am to see if he would be onboard for brunch. I told him I didn’t have all the details, but I would get them to him in the morning. He told me he would try to make it. He was making an effort. I was expecting to be immediately brushed off for other plans, but it was nice to see him entertaining the idea at the very least. Maybe things were improving.

In the morning, D and his girlfriend were too tired to head into the city. I told Smiles brunch was off. He told me he wouldn’t have been able to make it anyway. He had to work. We texted a little bit the rest of the morning. That morning, there was a fire on my block that day that engulfed an entire building. I sent Smiles picture messages, and he expressed concern for my well-being.

That night, we spoke on the phone. We talked about our day, and he told me about the party he attended. Again, I was a little bitter considering I wasn’t invited. I asked him if he was available for dinner Monday night since I wasn’t getting to see him at all over the weekend. He told me he’d have to get back to me. As the conversation was coming to a close, I asked him if we were going to exchange Christmas presents.

I’d actually been thinking about it since Thursday, but hadn’t remembered to ask him. I was a little afraid too. I didn’t know how to pose it. This is so unlike me. I should have just said what I wanted to say. I didn’t have the chance to ask him where we stood yet, so I didn’t feel comfortable asking him about exchanging Christmas presents.

The day before this conversation, I bought him two cashmere hats he’d expressed interest in. I bought them from one of my favorite online stores, Bonobos (They have really amazing stuff by the way. I highly recommend them, especially for proper fitting pants!). It would work out well because they offer free shipping both ways, so if we weren’t doing presents, I could return them.

So, I said to him, “Do you want to do Christmas presents?” He paused a second and responded, “Let’s not over-think things. I don’t think we’re there yet.”

And with that, we said goodbye.

Not there yet? Okay. Then where are we? How do you feel about me. We’d been together three months at this point. I didn’t see why we couldn’t exchange some nice Christmas presents. I wasn’t buying him a Rolex.

This just further motivated my desire to have the relationship conversation…

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