Posts Tagged connect

The Next Chapter

Two years ago, I started this blog. I began writing because I felt alone. I knew there had to be other gay men out there who were looking for the same thing I was, and I wanted a way to connect with them.

grindrAt the time, I just ended my first gay relationship, and I found myself in very unchartered waters. I was already out to close friends, but not publicly. Because I had so few gay friends and a strong aversion to gay bars, I had to find a mate digitally. I began serial dating, at one point going on four dates in four days — And thus, One Gay At A Time was born.

Since the beginning, I have gone on MANY dates and put myself in many situations well outside my comfort zone. I have not only grown more comfortable in my own skin, but I’ve also grown up as a gay man. I got all the hookups out of my system and began searching for a meaningful, long-term relationship.

This blog began as an open forum diary of the daily occurrences I encountered navigating the gay world. I told my side of the story honestly in hopes that others out there would be able to relate, comment and most importantly, realize they are not alone.

The time has come for the next chapter of my life and for this blog. For quite some time I’ve been blogging about CK (aka Clark Kent or Superman). You’ve gotten to know him through my eyes in the early stages of our relationship. It’s been some time since I’ve blogged, and I apologize for leaving you, my readers in the lurch. I do not mean to abandon the small community I’ve worked so hard to foster, but I’ve been struggling with the next chapter of the blog.

When I first told CK about the blog, he was very open to and even grew excited about the idea of my writing our relationship. Over time, as you could probably understand, his excitement waned, and we began to argue about the content of the blog.

I had to make a choice between the blog and my man. It’s quite obvious which I chose. As a result, I will no longer be blogging about the specifics of my relationship with CK. However, in lieu of continuing to finish our story in a daily dairy format, let me catch you up on what has happened since July. Here are some of the highlights…

In July, CK joined my family for our annual beach vacation. While I went for the entire week, he only joined us for a few days. It was the first time we’d spent an extended period of time apart, and with my trust/cheating baggage, it was a true test of my sanity. I was thrilled and relieved when he finally arrived. It was also nice that he would finally get to spend some real-time getting to know my parents.

In early August, I traveled to Miami, CK’s birthplace to surprise his family with a visit to celebrate the birthdays of his two beautiful nephews (turning 1 and 2 only a week apart). I felt incredibly special taking this trip with CK. I was meeting his ENTIRE extended family. Before this point, I’d only met his mother. I was welcomed into the family with open arms and came to grow strong bonds with them over just a handful of days. This was unchartered territory for both of us, as I’d never been brought home to meet the family by anyone other than my high school girlfriend, and he’d never brought a man home to meet everyone before. It could not have worked out better!

Around Labor Day, CK and I went on week-long vacation to the Hamptons with 15 of my friends and family. While there, our relationship grew very strained. I felt he was trying too hard to impress my friends. I wanted him to be himself so all of them would come to love the man I knew, not the man I felt he was trying to be for them. By the end of the week, I reached my breaking point. I was so stressed out from organizing the vacation and ensuring everyone was happy that I made myself miserable, and I took it out on the person closest to me. In the penultimate moment of the trip, one night we not only exchanged words but also fists and shoves, as my closest friends and sister witnessed the lowest moment of our relationship.

It took a lot of time for CK and I to figure things out. This wasn’t the first time our relationship reached physicality, but I hoped it was the last. It also took a long time for things to return to normal between CK, me and my circle of friends. My sister wasn’t speaking to me for over a month and my friends had semi-ostracized me from typical gatherings. I burned a lot of bridges on that trip, and I am still working to rebuild them today. You can expect to read about my experiences and feelings dealing with issues such as physical violence in a relationship as one of the topics I will cover in coming posts.

In September, CK and I found an apartment in Hoboken to call our own. We moved in together in the midst of Hurricane Sandy’s wake on November 2. Although the experience of moving immediately following a hurricane is incredibly overwhelming, we are both stronger as a result of the experience. In my experience, moving in with a lover is unlike sharing a space with any other. You’ll certainly be reading about my experiences and the things I’ve learned from this experience as well.

After Sandy exhausted my last modicum of energy, I decided I was too tired to shave my upper lip. CK and I both decided to raise awareness and funds to fight prostate cancer by growing mustaches for Movember. I proudly raised over $500 for charity as a result of my stache, and I was thrilled when we both shaved them off — We both looked like pedophiles.

For the first time in my life, I had someone to take home to meet my family for Thanksgiving. Before venturing home, I sent my extended maternal family an email to get the awkwardness out of the way. You’ll be pleased to know my family welcomed him with open arms. I imagine coming out to extended family creates a lot of anxiety for man, as it did for me, so I hope sharing my experiences will encourage more to share the truth with the ones they love.

When I returned to Hoboken after Thanksgiving, preparations began immediately for what would have been my Sixth Annual Holiday Bash. This year, it became Our First Annual Holiday Bash. I finally had someone to share the hosting duties with, making it extra special.

Although CK and I spent Christmas apart, after all the festivities with my family, I hopped on a flight down to Miami to spend the rest of the holiday season and New Years Eve with my man and his family. CK’s sister and brother-in-law planned a trip with their two boys to Disney World for two days. After a little persuading, I convinced CK we should join them. I preferred Disney to a raucous gay party any day, and it was truly magical to see Disney World through the eyes of a two-year-old.

In February, CK and I took a romantic trip to Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. Although it seems we can’t go anywhere without having some kind of quarrel like an old married couple, the trip was amazing and couldn’t have come at a better time. We went ice skating, snow shoeing, swimming, hiking, and much more. It was a perfect escape for both of us to get out of the city and away from the bustle of it all after the holidays.

In between, there have been countless brunches, parties, trips, nights out, Broadway shows, fights… Oh yea, and plenty of sex — Can’t forget the sex! Overall, things have been going well for us. You have good days and bad days, but you have to realize the bad days are just there so you appreciate the good ones all the more. I am thrilled to announce, this past Saturday, CK and I celebrated our one-year anniversary at the restaurant we went to on our first date, Frankies Spuntino 570. Although we waited nearly an hour, the evening was perfect, and I look forward to many more years together.

Although I won’t be detailing the specifics of my relationship going forward, I hope to share with you what I have learned along the way. It’s not easy being in a relationship, but then again, the things that are worth it never really are.

To my most dedicated readers who haven’t let me lack of posting stop them from commenting words of support on my blog, thank you. You are what has motivated me to get back into this once again. I feel like many of you have integrated my writing into your daily routines, and I have left you with your morning coffee in hand and no reading material. You will not see the frequency of posts you may have grown accustomed in the past, but I still hope you find time in your lives for One Gay At A Time.

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Late Night Quickie

Sunday night in LA, I took quite a blow to my heart. I tried to prepare myself for the inevitable goodbye, but I didn’t get to say goodbye. I’d driven all over LA trying to connect with The Navigator, but he wasn’t responding.

I faced facts and drove to the airport. I had no idea what else to do with my time, so I just drove to the car rental lot and returned my car. I figured I could at least use some time at the airport to blog a bit. I sat int he airport diner and ate my dinner alone.

My flight home was awful. First off, it was a redeye. I was set to land at 6:00am Monday morning. I had to go to work later that day so I tried my best to sleep on the plane. It was also awful because I was crammed in a widow seat towards the back of the plane. My airline status with United got me nowhere. I barely fit in my seat, and I wasn’t able to stretch out and walk around because the two men next to me were sleeping the entire flight.

I managed to sleep for two hours, but woke up after that. I had no feeling in my ring and pinky finger of my left had. Apparently I slept on it funny. When a fair amount of time passed, and I never regained feeling, I became worried. Maybe I had a blood clot or maybe I’d done some nerve damage. I tried to think about other things and distract myself, but I really started to get worried. I took out my laptop and did some more blogging, but even that was a challenge with two numb fingers. I was really starting to worry, but the feeling didn’t return the rest of the flight. (Four weeks and a doctor appointment later, and I finally regained feeling — I had a nerve impingement — Cubital Tunnel Syndrome).

I was exhausted all day at work Monday. I’d only gotten a few hours sleep on the plane and about one hour in my own bed before work. When I got home after work, I was still horny from my rambunctious trip. I was on Grindr, and a cute guy from the city wanted to come over for some fun. I didn’t turn him down since he was hot and said he’d wear his jockstrap.

When he arrived, I realized he was a redhead. He also had a slight Hispanic accent. He was also quite a presence clocking in at 6’4″. He was not born in America, but had been here a majority of his life. He was decent on the eyes, but nothing you’d run to your friends about. When he arrived we went straight to my room. He slowly got undressed and comfortable until we were both laying on the bed, me in my boxer briefs and him in a jockstrap.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. I found the jockstrap very sexy. I’ve always been attracted to the athlete types and find locker rooms to be one of the sexiest places. They just turn me on. Always have.The jockstrap really gave him the leg up in my book. He was looking for a hot top, and I agreed to fill the position, literally. I broke out the condoms and lube, and we have a good time. Sometimes it was a little weird and awkward, but sex is never perfect! He really seemed to be enjoying himself. I did as well, but I could already tell this guy was going to linger. He was a gentle spirit. This would be no wham bam thank you man. I was going to have to sit through some pillow talk.

He started talking about his grandmother and how she is sick. He was flying home the following day to see her before she passed away. It wasn’t looking good. I started to feel bad for him, but then my emotions became distracted when he mentioned things like sleeping with her in her hospital bed. He looked like he was ready to cry, but all I could think about was this strange layout in a hospital room. I understood he was close to her, as she was responsible for raising him, but some of the things he was saying with his accent seemed very strange to me. There was obviously a cultural divide.

After we chatted some more, and he asked if he could use my shower. Now he was really pushing it! I obliged the request, but after that, he was gone.

He showered and toweled off. He began to get ready to go home. He talked about getting together again when he got back. He mentioned how heartless a lot of the other guys he’d hung out with were, and how sweet I was. He said how much he liked me. He wanted this to be an ongoing thing of friends with benefits. He told me his real name and that the name he gave me, Keith, was completely made up. Someone was a little paranoid. I felt like I found a stray puppy who wanted to follow me home. There would never be a next time, but I told him to hit me up when he got back from visiting his grandmother. After about three weeks, he did of course text, and I of course did not respond.

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