Posts Tagged effort
When last I wrote about my budding relationship with Clark Kent and myself, we had gotten well past the honeymoon stage. We were trying to maintain a relationship across state lines, and it wasn’t easy. That being said, we were still seeing a lot of each other, and I started to wonder if maybe it was too much. I often wondered, maybe there is such a thing as too much of a good thing…
We needed to find balance, and that wasn’t going to be easy. We’d been dating four short months, but, in reality, it felt like we’d been dating for close to a year, even though we were still figuring things out.
That Thursday night, my old roommate was gathering with friends at the new waterfront biergarten in Hoboken for drinks to celebrate his birthday (which I was unaware of until deep into the night). I mentioned it to CK and asked him to join me when he finished work. He agreed, but he had to work later.
When I arrived, I didn’t know too many of my old roommate’s friends in attendance. I began texting and calling other friends to join us. P and S both responded, “On my way.”
As you can imagine, it takes a lot of time to write a blog, so I was utilizing my free time during the day at work to accomplish this. Apparently, my boss took notice to my poor use of free time since he wasn’t seeing any productivity coming from my time between projects. (Perhaps you can understand why I have been neglecting this blog for the past few months).
This is relevant because I was also coming off a really rough day at work. I received my review that morning, and it was not positive. My only saving grace was a preemptive strike made a few weeks earlier.
I noticed an opportunity to take over our social media duties (which were being completely neglected) and asked my boss if I could take them on. During my review, when he pointed out my poor utilization of free time, I countered with the argument, “That’s why I approached you about taking on the social media duties.” I thought maybe I’d saved my a$$. He countered with, “I only wish you’d come to me about it three years earlier.” I was defeated.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, I learned later that day we’d be merging with another company. So, on top of a bad review, I was petrified of being labeled a redundancy. Two weeks earlier, my career looked to be shaping up. I was taking on a new role, and finding early success. My experience with this blog and other social media was really paying off. Now, it looked as if my whole world could be crumbling around me.
A majority of it was out of my hands at that point. All I could do was put my nose to the grindstone for the coming weeks. But, on a Thursday night, I needed to forget. That meant I needed more than a few stiff drinks!
I drank beer after beer while mingling with old friends and some new ones. I was having quite a good time, but I was missing CK. I was texting with him back and forth discussing his arrival.
When he finally arrived, I was thrilled to see him. He could be comfort after a rough day, and I was finally properly lubricated enough to have a good time and forget about work, enjoying a night out with my man and friends.
CK grabbed a beer and immediately dove right into the conversation with all of us. I was chatting with S’s roommate, and the discussion quickly changed to his tattoos and body piercings. CK was a bit fascinated by tattoos at that time. He detailed for me the elaborate tattoos he was dreaming of getting.
S’s roommate was very much Mr. Machismo. I wasn’t sure how comfortable he was with the whole “gay thing.” There was just something about his attitude and the way he carried himself that I didn’t think he’d be too comfortable. I never formally came out to him, as I’d only met him a handful of times, but I assumed S clued him in. I was very pleasantly surprised just how cool he was with the whole “gay thing.” He turned out to be quite a laid back guy. It just goes to show you can’t judge a book by its cover.
The two quickly formed a bond. At some point in the conversation, the roommate started talking about his anxiety over having to fly the next. CK took it upon himself to aid in this situation.
Immediately, I was unhappy. My mood shifted abruptly. I shut down. I’ll never quite understand why I react in this way to these types of situations. I think it stems from striving to suppress my feelings at the moment so I don’t create a scene in public. The deeper question is why do I become so enraged in the first place?
This time, CK wasn’t exactly participating. He wasn’t doing anything wrong, however, aiding and abetting someone else’s wrongdoing was equally as bad in my mind. He was enabling behavior he knew I was opposed to. I wasn’t just feeling anger. I was scared. I was afraid I was going to lose him. We’d had this discussion time and time again. If we continued to have the conversation, eventually, he would be faced with an ultimate decision, and there was a chance I would be a casualty of that decision. All of my emotions tied back to this very thought. I was afraid in the end he wouldn’t choose me, and as a result, I would have to choose me. I’d have to say goodbye for my own sanity, facing my greatest fear in life, being alone, on top of losing a man I loved. Obviously, I never wanted it to come to that.
I managed to suppress this anger and feeling of betrayal. My mind was jumping back to all the other times we discussed this very topic. This was only exacerbated because I’d written the blog post about our night at Matinee that afternoon. One of those very conversations was fresh in my mind.
I managed to suppress all this until we walked in the door of my apartment, and then I unleashed. I told him how unacceptable his behavior was, and he was completely dumbfounded. He had no idea why I could be so enraged.
Of course this only fed my fury. Had he forgotten all these other times we’d discussed this? Was I living a broken record? We argued extensively about this, and CK threatened to leave multiple times, making it to the door a handful of times.
We finally had a breakthrough at some point when he either feigned to understand my stance, or what I was so vehemently explaining finally sunk in.
We argued a lot about a lot of small things —Things I felt were very important. He felt I was trying to change him. I wasn’t. Honestly! I loved him. I just felt he needed to grow up in some aspects of his life. A person needs to adapt and evolve when entering a relationship, and I still wasn’t sure he was putting in the effort. I wasn’t trying to mold him into my ideal mate. I didn’t have a preconceived notion of who he should be. But, I felt there were some sacrifices he’d need to make to make me happy.
Perhaps I was the one who needed to change. In reality, we both needed to. Only time would tell if we could come to consensus on these types of issues.
Regardless, after fighting, we kissed and made up. Well, we more than made up. This was all followed by a lively romp in the sack. It was so incredible, we both finished at the same time for the first time. As we showered, we discussed our epic make-up sex. “And don’t think you can start picking fights with me just so we can have make-up sex buster,” I punctuated. We both had a good laugh.
No matter how much we fought, at the end of the day, I loved him. He made me happy. I loved that no matter how many times we fought, we always found a way to make up. I wanted to grow old with him, but the key word in that phrase for us would be grow…
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Another Fourth of July, and another night of disappointment. I’d gone to bed that night contemplating my relationship. Was I strong enough to continue to deal with this? I looked to the future and ran numerous scenarios in my head. I asked myself, “Is this worth it? Should I get off this train now before it’s a complete train-wreck?”
When we woke in the morning, we discussed what happened the night before. CK apologized. He told me he didn’t know I was so black and white on the issue. That’s when I laid it all out for him. It was not okay nor would it ever be okay. We’d had this discussion before, and I wasn’t going to continue to have it anymore. I made it clear: I wasn’t going to stand by on the issue. He had a choice to make. He took that to heart and told me he would do whatever it takes. “I love you with all my heart, and I will do anything to keep you in my life,” he added.
It appeared we were finally on the same page, and we both went to work. I had a half day at the office, so when I finished, I went home and hit up the gym. I was finally getting back into the swing of things. I’d injured my shoulder lifting in the gym months prior, so it was difficult to motivate myself to continue going when I wasn’t able to lift to my full potential. When I hopped in the pool, I was able to get back into shape with low impact on my shoulder. This was my way to finally get back in shape while my shoulder healed.
When I finished at the gym, I went home and packed a bag to head back into the city. CK, Hip and I were all going to see Scissor Sisters in concert that night. After the argument getting ready for Matinee, I asked CK ahead of time to help me come up with an outfit to wear. I didn’t want this to turn into another fight. It worked out much better this time because I was able to pack my bag with confidence. I wasn’t nearly as self-conscious as I was last time. When I was ready, I hopped on my motorcycle and made my way to Hell’s Kitchen.
When I arrived, CK and Hip were prepping a pitcher with drinks to head to the roof to share a cocktail. They both seemed a little loopy, like they’d been drinking for quite some time. We grabbed the pitcher and made our way upstairs to watch the sunset. Within a half hour, we polished off the entire pitcher. When we ran out, we made our way back downstairs. I was in a drinking mood, so Hip and I ran out to get more libations while CK hopped in the shower. We came back and mixed up another pitcher. I sat on the bed with Hip watching while CK tried on about twenty outfits and permutations of accessories.
As I watched CK while we listened to music, something about him didn’t quite to add up. He wasn’t being himself. I grew suspicious and my attention was hypersensitive. I was noticing everything. Hip put on Cedric Gervais’ Molly. The song continued asking me if I can help her find “Molly,” and I began to wonder if the two of them had already found her. When Hip handed CK something small, and he placed it in a box on his nightstand, I grew even more suspicious. Who knows what it was, but everything wasn’t adding up in my mind. Nothing I saw was concrete. But, I still couldn’t shake the notion something was up. I felt it in my gut. Were promises being broken already?
We continued getting ready for a few hours. This was all new to me. I never went to concerts and got ready with friends. I was just taking it all in. That’s when CK insisted I change my clothes. He wanted me to join in. I told him I was already wearing my outfit, but he wasn’t satisfied. He insisted I try on his jeans instead of my own. He felt they were more suitable, and I was embarrassed. This is exactly what I was trying to avoid. I protested, but he continued to insist I at least try on his jeans. When I couldn’t get them past my thighs I pulled them off and put a stop to the whole conversation. I was already on edge with my suspicions. I insisted I was going to continue to be myself. I had my own individuality, and I didn’t need to compromise that for him. “Are you embarrassed by me? I’m not just some Ken doll you can play dress up with,” I protested. I got dressed again and made my way to the living room. He successfully put me in a bad mood, and I was really tempted to tell him to go without me. I wasn’t looking forward to this concert at all.
I sat in the living room while they continued to get ready in the bedroom. Time was passing quickly, and it was getting later and later. I was continuing to refill my glass while I waited. I figured if I was in a bad mood, at least I could get a little drunk to put me in the proper state of intoxication for a concert. When they finally decided on an outfit and realized it was past time to go, they couldn’t locate the tickets.
I made an effort to look for the tickets with them. CK insisted he left them in a specific spot, but they were no longer there. I remembered seeing them in that spot, so it was obvious someone moved them. After being accused of moving them numerous times by CK, only to respond declaring my innocence, I decided to stop looking. I sat back and watched the frenzy. This was not my problem. I never touched the tickets, let alone having them in my possession. I didn’t even want to go to the concert at this point. First CK was insensitive about my attire, and then he insinuated I lost the tickets he misplaced.
As time passed, CK got more and more agitated to the point he started throwing things around his bedroom. His accusations became more and more pinpointed on Hip and I. He was taking no responsibility for misplacing the tickets that were in his possession. As his frustration level rose, so too did mine. I wasn’t going to stand there and take his verbal abuse when I was 100% sure of my innocence. It was clear he was intoxicated, and I wanted nothing to do with this situation. It was time for me to go home. I began to gather my things to leave when the situation got physical.
When he started to get aggressive, Hip intervened at my request because I wasn’t going to get into a shoving match. I had my fill. I wasn’t going to fight with an irrational man. I was just going to leave.
As I made my way to the door while CK got in my face and shouted hurtful things at me, Hip separated us, pulled me aside and managed to convince me to stay, but after all that, I was done. Against my better judgment, I stayed. I sat on the couch and waited for someone to find the tickets. I was in for a miserable night. Regardless of what was to come, I chalked the night up to a complete failure…
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Even though we had no plans, and it was a lazy Saturday, CK and I finally got motivated to make moves. Hip was on his way back to Brooklyn, and I needed to make my way back to my place at some point. I didn’t have anything with me for a Saturday afternoon or Saturday night. I hadn’t been home in a while, and I needed to get my bearings.
We got our act together and finally made our way to Hoboken. We lounged around my apartment for a little while before we were invited to a barbecue at D and K’s. I asked CK if he wanted to hit it up for dinner. Either way, we needed to eat. This would be a cost/time effective way to grab a bite. Of course we took our sweet old time and found time to cuddle and fool around a little. In the end, we wouldn’t have to cook, and I would gather some food from my fridge to take over. I had a few fillet mignons in the freezer, so I grabbed them and we made our way the few blocks.
There was a small crew already gathering. As we entered, we said hello to everyone. I was noticing how welcoming my friends were to CK as well as how integrated CK was in the group. This brought a smile across my face. He wasn’t shy and quiet and huddled in the corner. I didn’t need to hold his hand through every outing. He would strike up his own conversations. He was part of the crew.
We made our way out to the backyard, and everyone helped out in typical fashion. Some people manned the grill, others poured water, others began bringing supplies downstairs, and others over-manned the grill. D always flipped out on the people who insisted on opening the grill lid and flipping things too many times. I learned long ago, when you are at another man’s abode, he is the king of the grill. You do not touch that thing unless you are requested to. I was thrilled to not be manning the grill considering in previous years, all the barbecues were at my apartment since I was the only one with outdoor space.
When the food was ready, we all gathered around the table to eat. We poured cocktails and enjoyed the food. I looked around at all of my closest friends and my man sitting next to me, and all I could do was smile. CK turned to me and said, “What?” I told him, “I’m just so happy!” He smiled back and stroked my knee as we both leaned in for a kiss.
While we ate, everyone began chatting about their plans for the evening. CK and I had a discussion not long ago about having better lines of communication. We weren’t going to put each other on the spot to make public decisions. I was very conscious of this as they all chatted. I told them we hadn’t decided what we were going to do yet so we could talk. “We haven’t even thought about what we want to do tonight yet. We got up late this morning. We may head back into the city, but we don’t know…” I added. I wanted CK to feel this was a pressure-free decision. We would talk about it when we got back to my place. If he wanted to stay in Hoboken, we would stay. If he wanted to do something else, I was game. Obviously, I was leaning toward sticking around Hoboken for a pub night with my friends, but I’m not so sure CK was thrilled with the idea.
In the end, we to stayed in Hoboken. It made sense too, because K invited us to her parent’s lake-house the following morning. Everyone was headed to one of my favorite bars, Cooper’s Union. I was happy to go there since the bartender takes good care of me and my friends. CK had to borrow a teeshirt since he didn’t pack anything to go out for the night, but he looked great and totally fit the part. When we got there, no one was playing shuffleboard, so I suggested we hit that up. CK seemed to be moping a bit. While I’m sure hanging out in a pub with my friends wasn’t his ideal situation, he didn’t offer up an alternative.
As the night went on, CK began to liven up. We made our way to McSwiggans for a few drinks and to dance in “our spot.” Every time a big group of my friends and I head there, we take over the only spacious part of the bar and form our own dance circle. Nobody is bustin’ a move, but we all move around, make fun of each other and have fun while we drink. I never truly felt comfortable there being publicly affectionate with CK. I wasn’t hiding my affections for him, but I certainly wasn’t making them obvious. We were never making out on the dance-floor, but we did dance together and have our arms around each other periodically. I could feel the eyes on me from time to time, but I learned to look past them. CK taught me that. I no longer cared what others thought. I was with the man that made me happiest, and that was nothing to be ashamed of.
When a few of the girls were tired of dancing there, they suggested we head next door to the Shannon. I was adamantly opposed to this. I hadn’t been there in over two years, and for good reason. That place was never anything I enjoyed. We entered, and it was like a porthole to the Jersey Shore. Shockingly, CK was having a blast. I told him of the similarity to the bar and the Jersey Shore, and he added, “If this is what it’s like, let’s go!” You could have knocked me over with a feather. I’d had a blast at The Shore, but I never expected him to want to go. I was blown away, however I was also thrilled to see him having such a good time.
I know we weren’t out with his friends and it took a little more effort on his part to hang out at the bars I liked going to, but none of that went unnoticed. I witnessed the sacrifice and the effort, and it made me love him even more. When we were finally exhausted, we made our way home to my apartment. We were already invited to hit up the lake the following day, so we needed to get to bed at somewhat of a decent hour so we could wake up in time to go.
Both of us were hoping my roommates were away so we could have our own raucous party — In my bed. Sure, we had a hot night in his bed the night before, but we were on a roll. Great sex was inevitable, and that night, it certainly didn’t disappoint!
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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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Tuesday arrived, and that meant back to work after the holiday weekend. It’s always harder to get back into the groove when you’ve been away from the office for some time. Everything takes just a little bit more effort.
That morning, CK and I woke, and although we didn’t have sex, we certainly fooled around a bit. After showering together to conserve water 😉 we got out the door at a decent hour for once. This is quite an occasion for us. It’s normally tough balancing our responsibilities and our libidos, but at times, we manage to master the scale.
We both needed a bit of help getting through the day, so a Starbucks pit stop on the way to the office was essential. We hopped in the long line waiting to order a caffeinated beverages. I would have taken mine intravenously through a central line at the door if given the option. Alas, we filled the time with chatter amongst the two of us. That is, until one of my coworkers walked by.
This wasn’t just any coworker. This was a coworker I’d been on many pitches with. She is one of the biggest names in my agency, running a global piece of business across multiple agencies. Over time, she’d grown to be a fan of mine, but not without hiccups first. Days earlier, her husband entered the hospital with heart issues. This was the first time seeing her since we heard of the incident, so I wanted to giver her space. Anyway, enough back story.
She passed me with two coffees in hand, and we said hi to each other. She sat right next to where CK and I were standing in line. When her son came and joined her at the counter, she took a second to introduce me to him. We shook hands, and they went back to enjoying their morning. In the five seconds for all this to transpire, I panicked.
I am not “out” at work. A few coworkers know I’m gay, and I assume most/the rest suspect. But, in that moment, I didn’t know how to handle the introduction of CK. He was standing right next to me, and in my panic, I acted like he didn’t exist. I failed to mention him at all.
I didn’t want to say, “Oh hi! And this is my friend, [CK].” If he’d done that to me, I would have been quite offended. We were much more than friends. This was the man I was in love with, not simply a friend.
On the other hand, I didn’t want to say boyfriend. I didn’t think that was the moment I came out to her. When the time came for me to be courageous and stand up as who I am, I was a coward.
I try to be strong and proud of who I am, but sometimes I really disappoint myself. I have tried to keep some separation between my personal and work life, but standing there with CK next to me, I should have stood proud. It didn’t matter what I said. She knew who he was in the end anyway.
CK was very upset. We’d had a discussion about my poor introduction skills over the weekend, and then I pulled that stunt. I knew instantly he was upset, and I knew I failed. I started to talk to him about it, but I could tell he was fuming. We talked about it for the rest of the time we were in Starbucks, with the exception of the moments we stood in silence because of the tension. As we walked to the subway/my office, the conversation continued as I explained what happened and how I panicked. I also explained that I wasn’t making excuses for myself, and this was something I needed to get over. I am going to be gay for the rest of my life.
In the end, he understood and accepted my apology. I asked for his patience. I have only been out for two years. He, on the other hand, has many more years on me being openly gay. I even went as far as to publicly chastise myself in Twitter that day to show him how sorry I was. Earlier in the weekend, we discussed opening our relationship up publicly to Twitter. I’d admired how @AustinWilde and @AnthyRomero send each other messages and love across Twitter. I wanted to share that with CK. We started sending each other messages publicly expressing our love for each other. When he sent out the message, “@Onegayatatime baby, i love you,” I melted a bit. As a joke, I responded, “Who is this?” He didn’t appreciate the humor, and immediately deleted the tweet. From the other room, I discovered this and asked him about it. He was angry, and I began to cry. That message meant the world to me. It was the first time he expressed his love for me in a public forum, and it was gone. Or at least I thought so. I did, however, manage to save it by screen-grabbing my phone before it was gone forever. We both took a step back and realized what happened and how much we loved each other and moved on.
That day, CK met my old coworker who left to go work at his agency. After meeting him, she reached out to me to tell me how cute he is. I was thrilled. She’d heard me talk about him quite a bit when I first met him, and now she finally got to meet him. After messing up the morning, failing to share my joy and the love of my life with a current coworker, at least I could share it with a previous one.
That night, we discussed going to an event together, but in the end we didn’t go — I think possibly out of anger for the morning. We spent the night apart. I filled my free time with a late night run. As I ran along the waterfront in Hoboken, I wondered what he was up to in the city. Any time we were separated, I wondered what he was doing with a twinge of suspicion. It was hard not to. Guys in my past treated me poorly, so my self-esteem was very low. The thought of me not being enough for him was not so far-fetched, however, I just left these at suspicions. I never acted on them or accused him of anything. They were simply figments of my imagination…
@AnthyRomero, @AustinWilde, accuse, agency, angry, apology, assume, back to work, backstory, balance, boyfriend, caffeinated beverage, CK, Clark Kent, coffee, Coming Out, conversation, courageous, coward, coworker, cry, Date, Dating, deleted tweet, disappoint, discussion, effort, excuses, fail, fan, figent of my imagination, fool around, friend, Friendship, fuming, Gay, Gay dating, gay sex, global business, grindr, heart issues, Hoboken, holiday weekend, Homosexual, Hooking Up, horny, humor, introduce, introduction, kiss, libidos, love, man I am in love with, more than friends, New York, New York City, offended, office, onegayatatime, out, panic, patience, personal and work life, pit stop, pitch, poor introduction skills, proud, public forum, public message, publicly chastise, relationship, responsibilities, run, screen grab, self esteem, separate, Sex, shower, shower together, silence, son, Starbucks, strong, subway, suspect, suspicion, tension, tweet, Twitter, understand, upset, waterfront
A Thursday finally arrived where I didn’t have volleyball. I thought I would capitalize on this opportunity and do something with my night.
Southern Drawl was visiting home in the South, and I was in the process of dissolving things between he and I. Slowly but surely, I would draw back communications until it was over. I had a great date night with the Jersey City athlete the night before, and only time would tell where that was headed.
That left Middle Eastern. Things between he and I had become purely physical. I liked him, but I was not interested in a relationship with him. He was still in college and apparently entertaining other offers. We had chatted about us over text. He said, “I was just keeping my distance because I am getting too attached to you. And I don’t know what’s happening between us. It sucks because I miss you. Have you slept with someone else in the past week?” I said no. I lied because in truth I had slept with S.D., however, we didn’t have sex. “So what’s happening between us. I get nervous when I think about it. I have an amazing time every time I see you. I don’t want to get stuck in the just friends phase,” he stated.
I had been waiting for this question for some time. I told him, “To be honest, I don’t know. I’ve taken things too fast in the past, and I’m trying to get away from that.” I was being honest now. I didn’t know what we were. We were both on the same page that we enjoyed each other’s company, and we were having fun together in bed. He would send me scandalous picture messages of himself and tell me how much he wanted to see me. I’d put him on the back-burner for a little bit since he grew quite attached. We also went through the Grindr thing, so I wanted things to cool down. He added, “I honestly still don’t know how you feel about me. I’m not asking you to be in a relationship or anything. I know you’ve told me where you stand.” I reassured him, “Just taking it one day at a time and enjoying it along the way. I like you, and if I didn’t, I’d have moved on a long time ago. He responded, “I’m enjoying this too. I don’t know. Like it’s a little hard because I wanna have fun, but in my mind, I have fun and emotions kind of together. So, it’s hard for me to say I’m not emotionally attached to you in any way. So I just get a little scared because I thought you’re going to move on when you get bored with me.”
I explained further, “I never said I wasn’t emotionally attached to you. I don’t know what this is, but I can assure you it’s more than just sex!” He apologized for being a head-case, and we began to discuss our plans for the evening.
That being said, I did want to be with him. He was great in bed, and it had been some time since I last had sex. I texted him to see what he was up to. “Busy tonight?” I texted. He was still in class, but he had plans to come to Hoboken later that evening. I told him, “So I take it you met someone else…” He adamantly denied meeting someone else and told me he would possibly be able to swing by after class. “Maybe I can sneak out. I really want to see you,”he added. We continued to talk over text trying to make plans to see each other. I didn’t really fit into his plans that evening, but he was making an effort. He got me horny, and I sent him some of my sexier pictures. He responded, “No, no. Don’t do this to me! I’m in class, and I’m wearing tight pants!” I laughed at the thought and continued to send more pictures.
Eventually, he had to bail on coming to see me before going out with his friends in Hoboken. I had been sitting on the couch waiting for him and was quite disappointed. “I hate disappointing you,” he shot back. I simply sent him another sexy picture. He told me he would sneak away from his friends and come see me at some point. When 9:30 rolled around, I sent him a text telling him to have a fun night. Around 11:00, I texted him again. “Wish I didn’t get my hopes up, ” I added for dramatic effect. He apologized, but I was already quite disappointed and ready to move on from him.
He texted the following day to let me know he was using my picture to pleasure himself. I didn’t respond. He told me he would swing by the previous night, and he didn’t deliver. I sat at home alone on the couch in hopes he’d come, and he never did. I was angry with myself for getting so caught up in him. I decided I needed to move on from him. My roster was now cut down to one single possibility.
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Things with Smiles had soured, and I was already getting back into the dating game. I found a guy who I thought I’d have a connection with on Grindr and set up a date. When the date didn’t go swimmingly, I made my way home.
I was horny — Really horny. Smiles and I had a sparse sex-life. This could quite possibly be a result of my inability to climax at the drop of the hat, or it could have been a result of something else. Regardless, I was hungry for some good sex. I’d come close a few nights earlier to succumbing to the temptation of a Grindr booty call, but in the end, I behaved myself. I hopped on the computer and managed to take care of myself.
Tonight I wouldn’t be so well behaved. I knew I could find a guy to selfishly pleasure me without much effort on my part, both in the search and in the bedroom. This may sound disgusting to some, but we are all animals when you get down to it. We have sexual desires and drives that need to be satiated. I held no loyalty to one man at the time, so I felt no guilt. The other guy would be quite aware of what he was getting into — A one-night-stand.
I didn’t always have this mindset. In fact, I can specifically remember a conversation I had with N about sex and relationships. At the time, I didn’t believe I could have sex without having an emotional attachment to. He didn’t have the same mentality. I found it ironic since I was further along the gay timeline than he was. I would have thought our positions would have been the opposite. Obviously, if you read my blog, you know my position has changed. I know I am capable of having sex outside a relationship.
I’m not proud of this, and this is far from and ideal situation for me. However, at times, my animal instincts take over and my libido craves for satisfaction.
On my walk home, I fired up Grindr. I began chatting with a few people, but there wasn’t much talent. One of the guys seemed decently cute, but I wasn’t sold just yet. I was still on the hunt. We talked a little bit, and I realized we’d spoken a bit on adam4adam.com.
I hit up a bunch of other guys. I was tempted to hit up one of the two friends with benefits I’d established over the summer, but better thinking kicked in. I didn’t want to open up that can of worms again.
When the night was drawing on, I decided to settle for the decent guy on Grindr. He was a really nice, genuine guy. I could tell he’d been judged for his smaller stature based on his adam4adam profile. I felt a connection in our current lack of self-esteem.
We talked a bit more about what the night would entail. It was getting quite late, and he wasn’t thrilled with having to trudge around Hoboken late in the night. I did the unthinkable. I told him to come over and said he could spend the night.
When he arrived, he came directly to my room. I was a little disappointed. He looked better in his pictures, and he was quite small, but I looked on the brighter side. I really enjoyed feeling strong in the bedroom, and it meant I could toss him around a little bit. We casually chatted while I sat on the bed, and he removed his coat and shoes. He joined me on the bed, and we began to make out.
We had protected sex and both of us rather enjoyed ourselves. I showered and then invited him to do the same before going to bed.
When I woke in the morning, it was a bit awkward. I had to go to work, but I also had to get rid of him so I could get ready. I woke with enough time to do both. I politely hinted it was time for him to go so I wouldn’t be late. He quickly got the hint, but he wasn’t going to leave immediately.
He decided to give a parting gift. He climbed down under the sheets and started pleasing me orally. He was good. He was very good. Surprisingly, it didn’t take long before I finished — For the second time in less than twelve hours. If this kid was more my type we surely would have started a thing that morning. He surely knew my libido and how to satiate it. Morning is when I am horniest, and the fact that he just went for it really got my engine revving.
I hopped in the shower while he got dressed. After my shower, I escorted him to the door. I was trying to avoid my roommate from seeing him, but I failed. I gave him a gentle kiss at the door and said goodbye. My roommate then said, “I guess the date went really well last night.” I didn’t feel the need to lie, but I didn’t want to get into it. “He wasn’t the one I went on the date with,” I added with a grin. And with that, I simply walked away.
I texted him that afternoon thanking him for coming by and telling him I had a good time. Later, he texted me saying, “Me too :). Do you wanna grab dinner or something sometime? If you aren’t interested or were just looking for a one-time thing, I’d totally respect that. Not trying to sound crazy. Haha. You just seem like a really nice guy, so thought I’d ask.” Apparently, I’d done it again. A guy who knew he was coming over for a hookup wanted more than just sex. I wasn’t interested in him for anything else, so I let him down gently. “Gonna be honest with you. You deserve at least that. Just ended a relationship this week, so I need to figure out me right now… Make sense?” He was quite classy and responded, “Absolutely man. Sorry to hear. Mine ended back in September. Dated over a year. It’s rough. Hit me up sometime :).”
I did need to figure myself out a bit. But, there was no reason I couldn’t do that while simultaneously playing with “Mr. Right Now” and searching for “Mr. Right.”
a4a, adam4adam, adam4adam.com, animal, animal instincts, behave, booty call, Break-up, Coming Out, connection, crave, crazy, Date, Dating, dating game, deserve, disappointed, drinking, drive, effort, emotional attachment, Friendship, Gay, Gay dating, gay sex, gay timeline, grin, grindr, guilt, Hoboken, Homosexual, honest, Hooking Up, horny, hungry, hunt, inability to climax, kiss, libido, loyalty, mentality, morning, Mr. Right, New York, New York City, one-night-stand, orally, Penetration, pleasure, politely hint, protection, proud, relationship, roommate, satiated, satisfaction, self esteem, selfishly, Sex, sexual desire, shower, small, smiles, sparse sex-life, stature, temptation, thanking
I continued my walk of shame north on Seventh Avenue. I was still dressed for a night out from New Year’s Eve the night before. I didn’t care if anyone judged me. I was in my own world. No one else existed that morning. I was utterly alone in a city of millions.
I continued to try to reach Boston through text and by phone, but no dice. Since I was going to be near his apartment, I thought I would reach out to Broadway. At the very least, I could kill time with a visit until Boston finally decided to get back to me. I called him, and he picked up after a few rings. I asked him what he was up to and told him I wanted to swing by for a visit. He was still in bed and said he needed a few minutes, but he told me to come by. I told him I was walking from the 20s, so there was no rush for him to get out of bed.
When I arrived, I walked right up to his apartment. It was like old times — A blast from the past. It’d been months since I’d been there, but it felt like yesterday. I knocked on the door, and he greeted me. I came in and sat while he finished getting ready for the day. We sat on the couch, and he asked how my New Years was. “Tell me stories. You always have good stories to tell me,” he added. I told him what I did the night before. I gave him the cliff notes because I didn’t want to belabor the point. The wound was still fresh and bleeding. He shrugged it off and suggested we go to the diner for breakfast. I kinda loved that about him. He knew how I felt about it, so he did his best to brush it under the rug.
I agreed to go to breakfast, but I told him I’d already eaten. I would keep him company, and we could catch up. It’d been since the summer since I’d seen him.
Breakfast was nice. He told me about the party he went to the night before and all the guys he was pursuing. As usual, he was very passive about it. “I dunno if I really want to see him again…” he’d say. He’d find something completely superficial to judge the guy about so he wouldn’t have to put in the effort.
Since Smiles’ birthday gathering, we gained a mutual friend. We learned this from Facebook. The guy who I palled around for the night had been at the party Broadway went to the night before. They interacted, but it wasn’t a positive interaction. Broadway was remotely interested in this guy, but apparently he gave him the cold shoulder. This really turned him off, but I assured him my birthday buddy was a really great guy. If I’d been single that night, I probably would have asked him for his number. Broadway wasn’t sold.
Ironically enough, Smiles and I were almost at this party. It wasn’t until Smiles learned of the over-priced charge to enter that he decided we were just going to the house party. It was crazy to realize Broadway, Smiles and I were all swimming in the same circles in New York City. Apparently the gay community was pretty tight, even in a big city. It put it all into perspective. It also made me realize the picture of myself I painted when I let a stranger suck on my neck and face in front of the guy I was dating.
I wasn’t feeling very talkative, so I did a lot of question asking and listening. When Broadway finished his breakfast, he asked for the check. He wasn’t feeling well, so he wanted to go back to bed. I checked my phone, and Boston still hadn’t gotten back to me. I guess I wouldn’t see him before he left the city.
I walked Broadway back to his apartment and said goodbye. Something I learned from him was it is okay to kiss an ex on the lips when you see them. When I first came out, I was fascinated by how often gay men kissed each other. This was completely foreign to me and not something I was comfortable with. Even if I travel in a big gay pack, I don’t think I would be kissing my gay male friends. But, I felt comfortable kissing a man who I had kissed over a hundred times. So we exchanged a kiss and a hearty hug before I made my way to Port Authority to snag a bus back to Hoboken.
While I walked to the bus, I texted Smiles: “Since I have the day off tomorrow, can we do something fun?” I was hoping I could do some damage control and get us back on a happy track.
It wasn’t long before I received a simple text in response: “I have to work tomorrow.” I was already picturing a Monday afternoon with me sinking deep into the couch by myself in front of the TV. I was very disappointed, but it’s not like I had anything to say. I was the one who royally messed up here. I was going to have to deal with the consequences.
Later that evening, I talked to Boston on Facebook. I told him what I did and how things played out. We didn’t talk long, but promised to come back to the topic when he had more time.
I had time all day to assess the situation. Why wasn’t Smiles mad? I realized I wasn’t happy about this. It hurt even more. It showed me quite clearly how little I meant to him. I didn’t see any way to recover from this. I was pretty sure our relationship was over. And, since I’m pretty much a high schooler in the gay dating world, I hopped back on adam4adam.com and Grindr that night to see what was out there. I wasn’t throwing my line into the sea, but I could at least swim around and see what kind of fish were out there…
adam4adam.com, alone, apartment, big city, Boston, Break-up, breakfast, Broadway, bus, cheating, cliff notes, cold shoulder, comfortable, Coming Out, consequences, conversation, couch, damage control, Date, Dating, diner, drinking, drunk, effort, Facebook, Friendship, Gay, gay community, Gay dating, gay sex, goodbye, grindr, Hoboken, Homosexual, Hooking Up, house party, hug, infidelity, judge, kiss, love, mutual friend, New year's Day, New Year's Eve, New York, New York City, old times, perspective, Port Authority, recover, relationship, roommate, Seventh Avenue, Sex, situation, smiles, strange, superficial, talkative, texting, tight, visit, Walk of shame
Smiles was halfway across the country and Christmas was rapidly approaching. There’s something about dating someone over the holidays that makes you really appreciate that person. There’s also something to be said about being single over the holidays that makes me utterly depressed. I was happy to be on the dating side of the fence this year, but I would certainly miss Smiles.
While he was home, he sent me periodic texts out of the blue. I got a few picture messages of him and his mother’s dog on the beach and some pictures from around town. They were sweet simple texts that showed me even though he was many states away, he was still thinking about me throughout his day.
This seemed a bit of a stark contrast to the conversation we had just before he left. He told me he couldn’t be in a serious relationship right now. If that was the case, why was he reaching out to me even when I wasn’t around. I started to wonder if maybe he didn’t know what he wanted.
As he was driving around, he called me to chat. It was a really sweet conversation. He was asking how I was doing and what I’d been up to since everyone left town ahead of me. He was telling me all about where he grew up and his old high school. We talked about his mother a fair amount and her business. He sent me a picture of some of the things she worked on.
I was getting access to mother information. You don’t share that with someone you don’t truly care about. I was getting more of him. It was exactly what I wanted. I wanted to know more about where he came from. I wanted him to open up. I wanted it all.
Maybe my conversation sparked something inside him. Maybe he realized he wasn’t appreciating me as much as he should, but there certainly was a stark difference between the time we spent together before the conversation and the time following.
As the rest of the family was arriving into town, Smiles started getting anxious. This is something he did regularly — Got worked-up over small things. He was texting me about solutions to the problem, such as drinking. I encouraged him to do whatever made him comfortable. There was no reason he couldn’t have a few cocktails to take off the edge if it would make him more relaxed. He was anxious about talking about his career. He was still working hard to get it off the ground, and I think he was ashamed about that. I told him he needed to be proud for being so brave for starting something from the ground floor. Not many people can do that. They just go work for someone who has already done all the heavy lifting. He has very low self-esteem when it comes to his job, and he has no reason to. No one finds overnight success, and I have strived to convey this to him constantly while being very supportive of all his ventures.
I think my pep-talk worked because his texts became more light-hearted and relaxed. Either that, or he took my advice with the cocktails to a much higher level.
The morning my sister and I were driving home to Pennsylvania, he texted just to see how my day was going. Again, I love these sweet gestures that show he’s thinking about me. I was much happier over the past few days than I was immediately following our conversation.
When I got home, I had no cell phone service. It makes it a little more difficult to talk without a little more effort. I made sure he had my parents’ landline number, but I knew he wouldn’t call it. He probably didn’t want to have to talk to anyone if he called and they picked up.
I had his number, but now I was settling in with the family. I wasn’t home for long, so I wanted to make sure the time I was there, I was present. I didn’t want to be running off constantly making phone calls.
It was Christmas Eve, and I was off to mass with my family. I texted him on the way to say hi and let him know I was thinking about him.
When I came back out of mass, I had a response. He told me he dodged the church bullet. I told him I wasn’t so lucky. My parents’ priest is one of the most boring people I have ever encountered. Going to church is penance in itself.
I wished him a Merry Christmas Eve just before driving out of cellphone service. We were on our way home to take our annual family Christmas photo before relaxing for the rest of the night in front of the TV…
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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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