Posts Tagged connection
After my lukewarm date with the doctor, I was ready to get back out there in search for a man.
I’m happy to report, which I’m sure some of you may have suspected otherwise, I was doing a great job of staying off Grindr. Granted, it was a short period of time, but I was thoroughly proud of myself. I felt like I’d joined GA. Every day not having meaningless sex was another day of Grindr sobriety.
Tuesday after work, I arranged another date with Southern Drawl. The last date was a bit crazy. Footsie under the table. Shenanigans in the bathroom. I was curious if he’d be able to behave this time or would he be looking for another quick trip to the bathroom.
We texted during the day to lock things down. I proposed The Breslin. I’d always loved their food, their drinks and their ambiance. He shot the idea down because he said the place was always full of hipsters. I had always been a fan of Sala 19 in the Flatiron District, so I proposed we go there for dinner. It worked out well because it was halfway between our offices. He agreed.
I had to wait at work for him to finish. When he did, I made my way south to meet him. I met him on the street corner, and we walked to the restaurant.
Dinner was very nice. He was well-behaved, and the conversation was good. I told him about my allergist appointment, and he told me about his day. We talked frankly about our last date. We discussed what went on. I learned he’d never done anything like that before. I was also learning about the guys he’d dated since living in New York City. When we originally spoke on the phone, I was under the impression he was new to the gay world. I thought he’d never really dated anyone before. Now, I was learning about all the guys he dated in NYC, as well as the guy he dated through college that he said I so strongly reminded him of and resembled. It was a bit unsettling.
In the middle of dinner, he told me he’d ended things with the guy he was seeing. He explained they’d only been seeing each other for two weeks, and things were never that strong. When I probed him to ask if he left the other guy because he met me or if he did it because he wasn’t satisfied with the previous guy, he told me it was the latter, but part of it was also due to meeting me. A big red flag went off in my head. Would he leave me for a better model?
I still wasn’t sure about him. I liked talking to him. I liked being with him. He was smart. He was nice. He wasn’t flamboyant, however, I wondered if maybe he was too “straight.” He was a bit homophobic. I’m not the most open about my sexuality. I’m not out to everyone at work. I don’t openly advertise my sexuality. However, if he wasn’t comfortable with himself, how could we be comfortable with each other. I couldn’t be sure about him. Was he right for me? I had no idea. Only more time could tell. I was keeping a distance as we moved forward. We had a connection, but was it strong enough to last? Was it what I wanted?
In our conversations, his southern entitlement shined through. It was an incredible turnoff. Where was the southern charm I’d seen so many times in movies. When I think of the ideal man, I think of Matthew McConaughey. He definitely has an ego and self-confidence, but he also exudes charm and sexuality. His confidence is not in your face, and he seems down-to-earth. Southern Drawl fit the other Hollywood archetype — The Southern plantation owner. He had an air or superiority that was hard to swallow. Many times, he laughed off these comments, making them seem like a joke, but I wondered if there was really something deep down that was more genuine. I wasn’t ready to date a snob. That $hit wouldn’t fly with me. I wasn’t going to let him get away with it, and I’d already started calling him on it.
When we finished eating, we split the bill and walked north to the PATH station. I said goodbye to him ont he street with barely a hug. He was uncomfortable exchanging a kiss with me in front of a city of strangers. I wasn’t thrilled by that.
On my ride home, I questioned why I was continuing to see Southern Drawl. He was definitely interested in me, and I was still intrigued by him. I wasn’t ready to write him off just yet, but I didn’t see a lot of promise or potential. I would continue to see other men and continue to see him until I was ready to make a definitive decision.Follow @onegayatatime
Another night went by, and I was still in the dark about where I stood in Smiles‘ eyes. He had to be somewhat interested, otherwise why would he be sticking around. However, the question remained, was he interested enough for me?
Out of nowhere, Smiles asked me to come with him to see a Christmas play in New Jersey. One of the men he worked with on his movie wrote a spoof on the Nutcracker and thought to ask me to come with him.
I was so frustrated! I was getting mixed signals in every direction. He didn’t invite me to casual Christmas parties, but he invited me to be his guest for a stage-play. I graciously accepted the invitation, but informed him I had a doctor’s appointment I would have to change if we wanted to get a ride from his friends instead of taking the train.
I managed to change my appointment, so I planned to just make my way to his apartment when I finished. I called him as I walked out of my office, but he told me he was still working. I had nowhere to kill time after the doctor really, but I didn’t exactly feel welcome to go down to Smiles’ apartment and hang out while he finished what he needed to do. I figured I would walk around Union Square and try to find something to kill time.
My appointment ended later than expected, and when I called Smiles after, he told me he was wrapping up work, and I could come by. I asked him if he wanted anything from Starbucks and walked towards his apartment.
We didn’t have a lot of time before we were supposed to be picked up, but just enough time to chat a bit and move a few more of his boxes to his storage unit.
When we got picked up, the driver/writer asked me what my connection was. “I know [Smiles],” I responded. I was purposely ambiguous because I myself would like to know the answer to that question. When he asked for clarification, Smiles spoke up and said, “We’re dating.” I was happy to hear him say it publicly for once, but I still didn’t quite know what that meant. At least it was verbalized. He then elaborated as to how long we’ve been dating. He pinpointed it to around the time of the NYC screening of his film. In my mind, I did the math. That was about a month after I met Smiles. Apparently I was one month ahead of him as far as our timelines were concerned. I’d already journeyed out to The Hamptons to see his film once before that night.
The rest of the ride was casual. Smiles even playfully reached his hand down and tickled my crotch. “That’s going to make for an interesting car ride,” I said to him. Smiles sat between myself and one of his friends I’d met twice before. Some in the car were joking about Jersey, and it was interesting to see Smiles defending it now that I’ve given him a more positive opinion about it. I kinda got to know his friend a little better, and I thought he was a good guy. I liked knowing that I could get along well with one of Smiles’ best friends.
When we arrived in the town, we all went out to dinner. It was pleasant, and I met a few new people. Over the course of the meal, somehow it came up that Smiles used to be a dancer. He’d taken classes throughout childhood. This was news to me. Even his good friend didn’t know about it. When I went to make a comment, Smiles jokingly shushed me out of embarrassment. He told me I wasn’t allowed to bring it up again.
We got to the theater and took our seats. Our group was all over the auditorium. Smiles and I were nowhere near anyone else. Before the show started, we cracked a few jokes and made some sexual innuendos about the Nutcracker on the stage curtain. I liked the playfulness I was witnessing in Smiles for once.
The show was far from good, but I had fun with it. I wasn’t expecting a Broadway hit. Smiles was nonplussed.
We got a ride back, and swapped Smiles’ friend for another. When we were getting in the car, Smiles had the friend sit in the middle. I’m significantly taller than anyone in the car, so I wasn’t going to sit in the middle, but the fact that Smiles wasn’t willing to make that sacrifice to sit next to me I found VERY off-putting. I sat next to a stranger, which I’m comfortable with, instead of the man I was dating for an hour-long car ride.
I became the topic of conversation once again. This time it was about my origins. They were surprised to learn I grew up on a farm. “Oh. A farm boy. Better hold onto this one [Smiles],” the driver exclaimed. The rest of the ride home was casual as well. They were kind enough to drop us at my apartment since Smiles was spending the night.
It was late, so we immediately began to get ready for bed. “What’s with you and the purple underwear?” he said. I informed him it was navy. I showed him my one pair of purple underwear and said, “This is purple.” I continued with, “What? Don’t you like it?” He told me he did. He was just surprised I had such colorful underwear. I hardly find navy boxer briefs all that arresting, but I went with it.
We hopped into bed and spooned for a little while we chatted about a few random things. I wasn’t going to see Smiles for some time after that night because of the Christmas break, so there was no way I was making it through the night without getting my answer on where we were. Somehow the topic of chatroulette and manroulette came up. I explained to him how it worked and told him it was how I met the first guy I dated.
As time passed, we turned out the light. We were still snuggling when I finally built up the courage to say, “So where are we?”
“Somewhere between Hoboken and SoHo,” he joked. I responded, “That’s an avoiding answer if I ever heard one.”
After a pause, Smiles said, “I can’t be in a serious relationship right now. When I am, I put a lot of myself into it, and I can’t let myself do that. I need to concentrate on my career right now. But, I really enjoy hanging out with you and spending time with you.”
I took a second to absorb what he just said to me. It wasn’t the answer I was looking for, but it also wasn’t a crushing blow. My response was: “I was pretty much okay with whatever answer you had for that question. I just needed to know where I stood. I would like to continue to move forward, but I’m not in any rush or anything.” He knew I wasn’t thrilled with his answer. I don’t know if it was out of fear I would leave or if he truly was concerned with my feelings on the situation, but he added, “If it becomes a problem, let me know.”
We cuddled some more and went to sleep. I was relieved to finally have the answer. I felt a huge weight lift off my back. I was also horny. I tried to seduce him. “If you keep rubbing me, I’m never going to fall asleep,” he retorted. I quickly quipped, “Maybe that’s what I’m going for.”
I didn’t keep putting up a fight. I knew it was useless. He was stubborn enough that he’d certainly win that battle. I made myself comfortable to sleep and tried not to dwell on the news I’d just received. It was time to sleep. Worrying about what he said would only get in the way of that. Tomorrow was another day…Follow @onegayatatime
Friday arrived, and I was starting to nail down plans with Smiles for the night. He had things to do all day, so we planned to grab dinner and then head to his friend’s birthday party.
This meant I had time to kill after work. My good friend A asked me to grab happy hour drinks with her. She recently moved our of Hoboken into the city with her boyfriend, so I was already seeing a lot less of her. We were due for a catch-up.
She picked a place in the Flatiron District that’s known for their happy hour. We cozied up to a spot at the bar and chatted about our new situations. It had been a while since I caught her up on the status between Smiles and I. I took her for a ride on the roller-coaster ride of emotions I’d been through. She gave me advice on how I should proceed and things I should watch out for. After five years, she knows me quite well and can predict a lot about me, so I’ve come to listen intently to what she says.
She also took the time to talk about the new challenges she faced moving in with her boyfriend. I tried to give her my two cents for what it was worth. My biggest advice to her was to pick her battles. On the things she could let go, she should, but on the things she really cared about, she should make a stink. That way, he would realize with more poignancy when he was doing things that got under her skin.
In the middle of our conversation, Smiles called to discuss dinner. He chose a place about two blocks from where we were drinking, and we agreed to meet in a half hour. When the time came, and A and I had our fill of cocktails, we walked to the restaurant Smiles chose. I coerced her into coming along to meet him since none of my friends had the opportunity yet.
I introduced them to each other, and Smiles invited her to join us for dinner. A had plans to meet her boyfriend for dinner, and I could tell she was looking for a quick exit, so she agreed to sit with us for a few minutes. She was already running late. I appreciated her making the extra effort, and gave her the out she needed. I told her to get on her way.
After she left, the conversation with Smiles was slightly forced and awkward. I was having a hard time breaking through and there were periods of silence. I learned he was feeling very sick and his stomach was bothering him. He had issues with his appendix, and it was inflamed and bothering him again.
Now, I was worried. I genuinely cared for him and my paternal instincts kicked in. I was worried for his safety and said, “Don’t be a hero on me here. If you aren’t feeling well, we can go at any time. Don’t soldier on on my account.”
“Thank you for your concern, but I’ll be fine,” he replied.
The rest of the meal was pleasant, but quiet. I reached my hand under the table to rub his knee to try to make a better connection while we chatted. That, and I was still worried about his condition.
When we finished dinner and desert, we had some time to kill. Smiles walked around the neighborhood looking for a massage parlor (legit, not sexual) in which to kill time before the birthday party. We couldn’t find one still open to take advantage of, so we hopped in a cab and made our way to the party.
When we arrived at the party, I was slightly overwhelmed by the crowd. I’d never been to a party so heavily skewed male in my life. I learned the birthday boy was gay, which answered a lot of questions for me.
We found a comfortable spot to plant ourselves and each grabbed a drink and something to nosh on. We made a friend and chatted with him a bit. He was an extremely jacked and cut black man who is an interior decorator. It was interesting hearing him talk about his occupation, all while looking at someone who looked like a personal trainer.
After some time, this man turned to us and said, “Oh. Are you two together?”
Both their eyes focused on me. The pressure was on. I didn’t know what answer Smiles was looking for, but I saw this as an opportunity to gauge his reaction. I tilted my head slightly to the side nodding and said, “Yeah.”
Our new friend called attention to and questioned my head tilt heavily. I pointed out we didn’t know each other all that long. I still look back and wonder if Smiles was actually looking for me to say yes. I still wonder if he was being distant because he thought I wasn’t fully invested in our budding relationship. Of course I wanted to say yes, we were dating, but I didn’t know where his head was at the time. I didn’t want to scare him off by being overzealous.
We were nearing the time to head out for the night, but I needed to use the facilities first. That was particularly a challenge because the bathroom was being used by a few to sign a birthday book photo album. Finally, I gave up and assumed I could go when I got back to Smiles’ apartment.
We went downstairs and hopped in a shared cab with one of the female guests from the party. As we progressed, I learned I would not be going back to Smiles’ apartment. My destination was the PATH to go home. I was slightly shocked and annoyed. It was a Friday night. Why wasn’t I being invited back to his place. I know I’d never been there before, but this was a bit ridiculous. It was around midnight, and I was dreading my trek back to Hoboken.
He hopped out of the cab with me. We said goodbye on the street with a quick kiss, and I was on my way home. I’m not gonna lie. I was hurt. I felt rejected. There was only so much rejection I could take.
As I walked, I pulled out my phone. I called Boston, but of course, he was still ignoring my calls. I left him yet another voicemail. I also called my new friend to see what he’s been up to. No answer either. Finally, I texted the Principal. It’d been a while since we chatted, so I thought I’d given him enough space. We began texting, but I told him I’d have to continue the conversation on the other side of the river.
While waiting for the PATH, I nearly p*ssed my pants. The train going into the city dropped off a tranny who felt the need to flirtatiously wave at me and say hi. When it finally arrived, I leaned my back against the wall and closed me eyes to concentrate on something other than my bladder. Two women were in front of me on the crowded train, and around a turn, one fell into me. They started arguing with each other and engaged me in conversation. Though not stated outright, I learned they were a lesbian couple, and they were hot. We had a long conversation, and when we arrived at the Hoboken stop, they invited me to come hang out with them. They had no idea my preferences fall in the men category, and they were inviting me back to their place. I used my bladder as an excuse and said goodbye. It was early enough, but I was not in the mood to play.
While speed walking home, a very large black girl grabbed my arm, pulled me towards her, and shouted, “TAKE ME HOME WITH YOU!” I ripped my arm free and continued to walk home, all the while texting with the Principal. I was flirting slightly, but not to the point of crossing the line with him. I missed talking to him and our flirtations. I really did like the guy, but the distance was still killer.
When I got home, I relieved myself and hopped into bed. I was disappointed I was there alone, but I opened up a whole new can of worms with the Principal. He still wasn’t over me, and I just scratched open that scab again. I even went as far as to pull up Grindr again for the first time in over a month.
It was just my luck. The one I wanted to be spending my night with just sent me on my way, while everyone I didn’t want anything to do with seemed interested in me.
Furthermore, I wouldn’t be seeing Smiles the following day. Originally I was planning to go to a horse race in New Jersey and invited him to join. When the day was approaching I was no longer interested in going and sold my ticket. I was hoping to spend the day with Smiles, but I learned he was going to Six Flags with friends — without me. I understand he has a life of his own, and I don’t have to spend every waking moment with him. But at this stage in our relationship, I wanted to spend more and more time with him. I certainly would have invited him on a fun trip such as the one he was going on. Apparently, he didn’t feel as strongly for me. A clearer picture was being painted for me. Maybe he just wasn’t that into me.
I realized things weren’t going as smooth as I would have liked, so I set myself on entertaining other ideas…Follow @onegayatatime
Before I met Smiles, I was chatting with a guy on OKCupid. After cruising the site, trying to find anything remotely resembling a prospective man, I managed to find a guy who was both attractive and seemed to have a great personality — at least based on his profile. He looked like he led an active lifestyle and was smiling in all of his pictures, so I sent him a message.
Surprisingly, he messaged me back shortly thereafter asking me to email him some pictures (my profile only has my torso pic). However, he added, “And just to be upfront about intentions, I’m seeing someone currently, but I’m so down to make legit guy friends. I don’t do well with the fem/gay scene so I’m always eager to meet more guys like us :)”
I wasn’t exactly thrilled, but I was also looking for friends. At the least, maybe I could get a wingman out of him. I responded, “Of course you’re seeing someone… All the good ones are!!! I can use friends just as much as I can use lovers ;)”
He seemed like a very genuine, down-to-earth guy. I was pleasantly surprised by his response. “Awww! Well you’re very cute. Why are you single?” he asked. We exchanged numbers and planned a time to meet on Thursday night immediately following work. Ironically enough, it was a night I double booked.
When my day was winding down, I texted him to confirm, but, he had to cancel. He had an impromptu second interview for a job, so I couldn’t exactly hold it against him for the last minute cancellation. Instead, I called up Sexy Eyes to see if he could grab coffee and already had plans later to meet Smiles for the first time.
I tried to reschedule with my new prospective friend, but I got no response after that. I wasn’t sure what happened exactly, but enough time passed that I lost interest. Then, out of the blue, I received a message, “Hey man, I broke up with my boyfriend So I’ve been in a funk. Sorry for flaking on you – I’m not usually like that, but the breakup wasn’t exactly amicable. If you want to give me a second chance, I’ve evened out and am down to chill.”
If you’ve ever read my blog, you know I’m all about second chances. However, now the roles were flipped. I was dating Smiles for a few weeks at this point, so this time I was the one looking for just friendship. For some odd reason, I didn’t make it a point to lay that out for him ahead of time, as he had done before the first time we planned to meet.
Wednesday after work, we met at Shima in the East Village, his neighborhood, for sushi. He was already waiting at the restaurant when I arrived. I sat and we immediately jumped into conversation. It was great because there was no tension or awkwardness. We jumped right in like we were old college buddies. I learned a lot about him over dinner — How he just moved to the city, what he wanted to do, what he did for fun, his family… The conversation flowed constantly. We really hit it off.
When dinner ended, we stood outside chatting a bit before he invited me back to his place to smoke and watch Archer, a show we found we shared a common love for.
The whole reason I went on this date was because my friends all encouraged me to date other people. They explained it was healthy to date a few people at the same time until you find one you really like. Things had become a but of a roller-coaster with Smiles emotionally. It went against every fiber of my being, but I decided to follow their advice. However, when push came to shove, I turned it into a friend date and couldn’t make a move. It was getting late, so after a full episode, I decided it was time for me to head home. I wanted to leave before things got awkward.
He may have thought we were on a date, but I was dating Smiles. And, as much as my friends told me I needed to be dating other people as well, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t lead my new friend on while I had a strong interest in Smiles.
He walked me to the elevator to say goodbye. I could tell he was expecting a kiss. And, I can’t lie. I wanted to kiss him. I had a really good time, but like I said, I couldn’t lead him on like that. I knew where my true interests lay. I gave him a hug and said goodbye. I could see the disappointment in the expression on his face as he walked back into his apartment. I felt awful.
I knew I couldn’t leave things as they ended. I wanted a friendship from him, so I wanted him to know he didn’t just get rejected by me. I decided to text him to explain on my walk home.
I told him how great he is and how much I enjoyed myself with him, but I explained how I’d been dating Smiles since the night he first cancelled on me. He responded by noting, “Guess that was my loss.” We discussed it further. I realized I was wrong in not telling him my intentions going in to the date, but I didn’t know my intentions until the date was closing. I thought I could date more than one guy at a time, but it’s just not how I operate — At least not when I’d been seeing the guy for a few weeks. I could tell he wasn’t thrilled with the situation, but I had a feeling time would fix it, and we could start a great friendship.Follow @onegayatatime