Posts Tagged November

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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One Relationship, Two Locations

Since Monday night was spent at CK’s, as per usual, we decided to spend our Tuesday night in Hoboken. Tuesday night in the summer is a big night in Hoboken.

CK and I had begun hitting up free yoga on the pier every Tuesday after work. It was a great way to hit the reset button and recharge for a new week. I found myself looking forward to the group outdoor session more and more. We’d even begun to make a few friends in the class.

I got out of work on time and made my way home to grab our yoga mats. CK had to work a little later, so he was going to meet me on the pier. I invited many of my other friends who had hit up yoga once or twice, but no one took the bait. I arrived just barely on time and reserved a spot for the two of us. CK finally arrived a few minutes into class as we continued our poses and relaxing breathing.

Earlier that morning, we planned to attempt to go to the movies that evening as part of Optimum’s Triple Play free movie night in Hoboken. I myself don’t have the service, so I have to borrow a friend’s card and hope he has no intention of going. When I learned we wouldn’t be able to get ahold of his pass, we decided to forgo the movies. Instead, we swung by the grocery store on our way home to share a home-cooked dinner for two.

We enjoyed our food on the couch in front of the TV, relaxing for the rest of the evening. It was nice to cuddle up next to him and watch TV. It was beginning to feel like a routine. Even though we still lived in separate apartments, it felt like we were living together. We spent nearly every night in each other’s company. The only difference was we had two residences.

We’d talked about moving in together. Neither of us was thrilled with our current roommate situations. Mine were simply disrespectful and unappreciative, and his… Well, we could be here all day. Every day was a new shady dealing. He needed to get out, and his lease was scheduled to be renewed in November. We didn’t make a concrete decision we would live together at that time, but we both began entertaining the idea.

I know many of you are shocked by the timeline there. Come November, we’ll have been dating for eight months. I know that sounds like a very short time to be together before moving in together, but like I said, it was almost as if we already lived together. Not much would be different. We both agreed this would be a goal for now, not a definitive date.

When bedtime arrived, we made our way to the bedroom to get ready for bed. Things took a bit of a detour when CK began seducing while I brushed my teeth. From there, things only got better. The sex was great. We were back on our game. And, true to our fashion, we flipped. That seemed to be how things went for us. Neither was a top, and neither was a bottom. We both experienced all the parts of sex. Our sex-life was very healthy and diverse. I’d finally found my match both inside and outside the bedroom. He managed to satisfy my physical and emotional needs. I was truly happy.

I thought about all the others before him. They seemed a distant memory. None of them came close to my relationship with my Superman. Many of them treated me poorly and didn’t deserve my love. Some of them attempted to love me, but the connection wasn’t there. I didn’t regret a single one of them, for they all brought me to where I am today. Sure, I was still carrying around some of the scars, but I was a stronger man for them. Those were my battle wounds. Those were my war stories. I didn’t miss any of them, but cherished their presence in my life — Even the a$$holes. I was truly in love, and I didn’t want it to end. The road I’d taken had led me to CK, so looking back, I wouldn’t have changed a single direction.

The next night was spent apart. I was supposed to be getting my review at work, but my boss rescheduled it twice that day, and then he had to schedule it for the following day. I was frustrated and needed to take those frustrations out somewhere.

I hit up the gym to lift and swim to calm my nerves. While there, he calls finally, telling me he’s working late and probably can’t come see me. Once again, I felt disappointed. He asked if I would mind coming into the city, but I wasn’t up for that. After not hearing from him all day, I made alternate plans. I was meeting up with my old roommate for a drink. I suggested maybe we needed to spend the night apart. He agreed.

More and more, I was realizing maybe we had been spending too much time together. Small things were getting on each other’s nerves. I wondered if I was losing my individuality. Now that I was back in the gym again, I was feeling better about myself. I relished my workout time. This was something I put on the back burner after meeting CK. We both needed some “me time” every once in a while.

As time progressed, we would find that balance. We’d only been dating four months. We were still figuring everything out. But, I knew, in the end, we’d figure it out together.

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