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Flip the Crazy Switch

I woke Monday morning to find myself all alone. After spending nearly forty hours straight with CK, it’s no wonder I felt alone. Two mornings in-a-row I woke in the embrace of an amazing man who made me utterly happy.

Utterly happy until I became utterly confused. I still had no idea where the conversation came from Sunday afternoon. He peppered the weekend with some of the thoughts he had about taking things slow, but this conversation came out of nowhere. I was not putting pressure on him to put a label on things. I never mentioned anything of the sort. I wasn’t even becoming clingy or stalkerish.

Almost always, he was the one to pick up the phone and call. I would send the periodic text message, but I was always sure to do so sporadically. Since Wednesday night, when he mentioned the need to talk to me about something in person, I’d been walking on eggshells. I was also slowly preparing myself for just this type of news.

I had lots of questions. A large part of me wished he never brought up the subject. Who was this other guy? How does he fit in the picture? So far, all I knew about him was they met around the beginning of the new year, they would see each other about once a month and go out to dinner as friends, and they would do things as more than friends. We were not exclusive. I’d known him for two weeks. I never had that expectation. A part of me knew that wasn’t the case the moment he blocked me on Grindr.

The fact that this was a policy made sense on paper, but when you look at the emotional collateral damage that policy has, it seems absurd. If he was so happy with me, why did he need to be on Grindr at all? Was he still getting sex out of his system? Fine. Not happy about it, but I get it. But a time will come when he’s going to have to $hit or get off the pot. I don’t wait around forever. My timeline, if anything, has shrunk after guys like Smiles stringing me along for three months. There would come a time when I would have to be enough for him, or I would be nothing for him.

I have to say, I was a little shocked with how well I was handling this. I was so proud of how much I’d grown. Normally this kind of information would make me a nervous wreck. My mind would be closing gaps between spotty information with whatever it chose to create. Maybe my suspicions would be on point. Maybe they’d be way off base. Maybe I’d make another assumption and cheat on him like I did with N. That was not going to be the case this time. I was stronger. My expectations were far more realistic. I was not following A’s advice of continuing to keep up a roster, but he was. I was okay with that. But there comes a time when you have to settle down and narrow the field to one. Who knew when that would be?

It was so contradictory as well. That afternoon, I received a text from him saying: “Baby, I can’t get you outta my mind. And, I’m totally ok with that. Hope you’re having a good one xoxo.” It’s obvious he was interested in me.

After an awesome workout at the gym, I left feeling confident and happy. It was a good workout. I kept thinking about how I wanted to look good for CK, but also, if things didn’t work out, I’d be a sexy man waiting for the next guy to sweep me off my feet. This is what was different about me. I wasn’t emotionally putting all my eggs in one basket.

I came back to my office and chatted with J on gChat. I told him the situation, and he was just as perplexed as I was. He saw the same picture painted I did. He also came to the same conclusion: “I have no idea how you should proceed,” he said. It was then I decided the best thing for me was to ignore the conversation completely. We weren’t at that place yet to have that talk. I wasn’t going to face what he told me until I needed to, which J pointed out to me would be in about two to three weeks based on my typical timeline. I agreed that around one to one and a half months in, I would get restless and need answers.

That evening, I was writing blog entries. I picked up the phone numerous times to call CK, but better judgment kicked in for once. I put the phone down, after stalking his Twitter account a little and went back to writing. That’s when I received a call from CK. He was at a work event and took the time to call. We made tentative plans Sunday morning for me to spend the night either Monday or Tuesday. I had been curious if he’d call and if our plans would stick. Indeed they did. He asked if he’d see me the following night. He had tickets to a Johnnie Walker scotch tasting. Little did he know how good friends Johnnie and I am. He asked if I’d be his plus one and suggested we grab dinner and go back to his place after. I agreed, and he asked if he could call when he got home later in the evening to give me more details. One thing I have to give him credit for, he was incredibly considerate and when he said he’d call, he always delivered. That is until that night. He never did call. I’m not going to lie when I say my imagination was already getting the better of me. However, I couldn’t make any assumptions.

This time, I would be brave and speak my mind. I wouldn’t wait two more months at the sake of a failing relationship just so I had something to hold onto. No. This time would be different. This time I knew what I wanted, and I was going to get it – If not from him, than from a more deserving man.

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FINALLY!

Today is another Fast Forward Friday!!!  

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

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

Saturday had arrived, and it was St. Patty’s Day. I was out early in the morning to hit up the gym. I wasn’t going to find myself wasting another day lying around my apartment looking for sex. It was the true start to my staycation and to the new me. It was gorgeous outside, and I was motivated.

As I left the gym, I ran into K and one of my other friends. They were heading into the city to drink, but I wasn’t interested. I’d just come from the gym. I’m not a fan of day drinking to begin with. I said goodbye and continued on my way home. D’s girlfriend was up from Philly that weekend, so I texted them to see what they were up to. They were grabbing brunch and had no plans for the rest of the day. I told them I was bored and lonely, and if they thought of anything, I’d be game. I also called my old roommate to see what he was up to. He was studying for yet another test he had to take for work. I knew it was useless to try to convince him to do anything else.

Finally, D and his girlfriend decided to swing by. They came up, and we just lounged around chatting. She’d never been to my apartment before, so I showed her around. After some time, we decided to go for a drive and check some new cars for D to possibly lease. I was game, so we made our way uptown in the great weather to D’s car.

We decided to drive around Jersey City since there were a few nice neighborhoods I’d never explored. I was a bit curious, and the other two were as well. I also wanted to scope out a spot I had in mind for dinner that night with the guy I spoke to on the phone for two hours, Travel Agent. We drove by the cute cafe on the corner in an upscale neighborhood of Jersey City, The Hamilton Inn. I’d seen it a few times before and had been curious how it was. I pulled up the menu on my phone and suggested the idea to T.A.

He was still working, but he said it sounded like a good idea. We planned to work out the rest of the logistics later.

We drove around for quite a bit more before finally returning to Hoboken. They dropped me off at home. I hopped in the shower and began to get ready for the evening with T.A. I’d been texting him a bit and made a reservation at the restaurant for 7:00. When he told me it’d have to be later, I called and changed the reservation for 8:30. When the time came, he picked me up in his nice Audi. He was a good-looking guy. He wasn’t someone you’d stop on the street and say, “Damn!” but he was good-looking. We jumped right into conversation. It was fairly relaxed. I feel he may have been slightly uptight, but I tried to remain candid and relaxed.

The Hamilton was exactly what I was hoping for. It had a decent crowd, the food looked and smelled amazing, and we got a nice table to sit and chat with each other. The obvious and easy thing to decide was to order a bottle of Malbec to share. I still couldn’t help feeling he was uneasy about things. He just didn’t seem to relax. I tried to lighten things up and asked if he wanted to split an appetizer. He agreed, but it wasn’t terribly easy to pick something. He defaulted to me, and after discussing it, I finally decided on the pierogies with goat cheese appetizer.

We began by talking about where we grew up in more detail than we discussed on the phone. The conversation shifted to our jobs. I got to learn in greater detail what he does. I told him about my job, and slowly I began to realize I was monopolizing the conversation. He’d ask me a question, and I’d answer in detail. When I’d ask him questions, his answers would be short. I wanted to get to know him. He seemed like a decent guy.

The waiter returned and we ordered. I was debating between he risotto and chicken. I decided on the chicken, and he decided on the risotto.

We talked some more until our food arrived. Or should I say, I talked some more. I would never say it was a bad date, but I would also not say it was a great one either. We shared some of our meals with the other. It was a nice time. I was enjoying his company, and the food was delicious. I was looking forward to a second date so we could think of something more relaxed to do. Hopefully that would break him out of his shell.

We declined dessert since he had to get home because he had a big work project the following day. He expressed to me how much he enjoyed the date. I was happy to hear it. We split the tab and made our way back to his car. On the way back to my apartment, we passed another restaurant I was interested in trying. I mentioned it to him, and he said, “Maybe next time we should try there.” That was a very hopeful statement. If he was already thinking about next time, maybe he really did enjoy it too.

We stopped in front of my apartment, and he put the car in park. He leaned over and gave me a kiss. I pulled back and went in for a second. It was nice, and I wanted him to know I was interested. I told him, “Call me when you’re back from Mexico. Or, you can text/call whenever you like,” with a smile as I exited the car. He told me we’d be in touch.

After that, I heard nothing from him. He clearly stated his enjoyment and mentioned a second date. How was I not supposed to think he was interested? I sent him a text to tell him of my good time with him, but I got no response. I checked Grindr, and sure enough, he was online. Clearly he was ignoring me. I messaged him on Grindr as well. When a day passed and I heard nothing back, I decided he would either deny this or the “relationship” would be dead before it began. “I hope you’re not ignoring me. I thought you were a classier guy than that.” He had given me two different phone numbers, so I asked if I was texting the wrong number. Finally, he responds explaining he was busy and apologized. He told me he was interested in seeing me again as well.

However, after that, I didn’t hear from him again. I know when I’m not particularly interested in a guy, I don’t outright tell him that. However, I don’t talk to him about future dates to lead him on. It was very disappointing, but I wasn’t going to let one guy get me down. My Grindr diet was slowly working. I was back to concentrating on dates and not sex. Hopefully, with enough time, I’d find a good guy to settle down with — Someone to be the reason I delete Grindr forever…

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PR Independence

I had a lot to think about since PR left. Was he really what I was looking for after all? I learned things the hard way over the past few relationships. I’d stayed with too many men for too long after I saw the writing on the wall. I didn’t want to repeat past mistakes.

Was I jumping the gun? Should I give this a shot? There were so many questions and no answers.

I began to build a pros and cons list in my mind.

I didn’t want to lose a great guy, but I was so tired of wasting my time with guys who just weren’t a fit for me.

CONS

He enthusiastically showed me pictures from his ski trip with his buddies in which everyone dressed in drag. They went all out with wigs, heels and bras among other things. I had a strong feeling I was not going to fit in with his friends. He also was a big fan of gay bars. He went on and on about his desire to go to Griffin in NYC on Sunday nights. It is apparently a huge gay party everyone on the scene knows about — News to me. This is not my thing, but I’m not made of stone. I would be willing to be flexible, but if this is the norm for him, we were going to differ greatly. Sadly, he may be “too gay” for me.

We are both tops. I am willing to play ball with a guy I’m in a relationship with, but I get no pleasure from bottoming. That’s not to say he wouldn’t also be willing to trade positions. But, if we both prefer it, it’s probably going to become a problem down the road for us. This was a very frank conversation we needed to have to establish expectations.

I wasn’t thrilled that he didn’t have a full-time job. I wasn’t writing him off because he was unemployed. He was in a long-term relationship with a man, and when that situation changed, he needed to find something. He fully realized what he was facing, but I just don’t know if I’m cut out to date another guy trying to get back on his feet. I put in a lot of work emotionally supporting Smiles until things ended. I really don’t want to come off as elitist at all, but I also wasn’t thrilled with the jobs he was applying for. I never did ask if he went to college, but I got the feeling he didn’t. I wondered the financial stability we would attain if we forged a long-term relationship. He was applying to jobs that I could have done over summer break from college. They had odd hours, and there was a good chance we’d see even less of each other.

PR was a good-looking man, but he wasn’t something you would double-take. I was attracted to him, but some of his physical attributes left something to be desired. I know he was making an effort to get back into the gym, as evidenced when we went together, but was that just because of me or because he really wanted to be in shape. I worried he may be habitually lazy.

Lastly, he was moving back home. Home was at least a half hour drive away, and I don’t have a car. This was going to make seeing each other even harder. I wanted someone who was going to be around when I wanted/needed him.

PROS

PR is only a year older than me. Finally I found someone in my own dating pool. We could share many pop culture references and understand them fully.

He is one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever met. He always had my best interests at heart and took great care of me. He was chivalrous and loyal. He exhibited many of the qualities I really look for in a man. It seemed I’d finally met my match in the dedication department. I knew I could trust him to be faithful and love me for a long time.

He was passionate in the bedroom. Recently I’ve put more emphasis on my needs in the bedroom. I took a major back seat with Smiles in the sack. I needed someone who could truly exhibit the passion I required between the sheets. He certainly fit the bill.

He is easy-going and always up for a good time. I could spring a fun trip on him, even a day-trip, and I know he would be onboard. I lead a very active lifestyle and need someone who can keep up. I had a feeling he could.

Overall, I was leaning towards the cons pile. It seemed to be the stronger argument. They seemed to outweigh the pros this time, and for once I was going to trust my gut.

I had a hard time deciding what to do. I spoke with Boston on the phone, and he told me I would be ill-advised if I went out with him on Valentine’s Day misrepresenting my true feelings. I thought I would have been breaking his heart if I called the night off. I thought it better to go out with him and tell him some other time I didn’t think things were going to work out. He told me I had a tough decision to make, but I needed to deal with it delicately. My friend D told me I shouldn’t cancel on him the day before Valentine’s Day. He suggested going on the date and explaining things later. He was worried PR made plans already, and I would be ruining them completely.

In the end, I finally decide I just don’t want to go. I am so tired of pretending with guys. I need to be more honest. If I feel a date is going south, I need to speak up and stop being so damn polite. I decided to tell him my feelings, but I also did it as a coward. I sent him a text…

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Deep Pockets

Since deciding to end things with Smiles, I’d already been on one date and had one hookup. I certainly hit the ground running. I felt slightly guilty all this was going on before we even had the chance to formally end things, but then again, things never really formally began between us.

I wasn’t wasting any time either. I had been talking to a really nice guy on adam4adam.com and set up a date to grab drinks with him after work Friday evening. It was a bit awkward because this was truly a blind date.

He had two pictures on a4a, but neither was clear and one didn’t include a face. When I asked him to send me a better face picture, he told me he didn’t like taking pictures of himself. Of course a red flag raised in my mind, but I had nothing to lose either. If I arrived and the guy was unacceptable, I was right next to the Port Authority bus terminal. I would be home in no time with little of my time wasted.

We agreed to grab drinks at Arriba Arriba in Hell’s Kitchen. It was conveniently located between his apartment and my office, and like I said, it wasn’t far from my transportation hub to go home.

As I left my office and began walking north, I was quite nervous. I’d never been on a true blind date before. I’d at least seen pictures of their faces, but this time I had no idea what he looked like. I joked with him, “Not gonna lie. Not sure what you look like… Haha.” It didn’t take him to respond: “Sorry mate. Don’t like taking pictures of myself. We will find each other… haha. You can ask me to leave once you see me and how ugly I am. Lol.” I didn’t care all that much at this point for the picture. I was already going in blind. I replied, “No apologies needed. Just tellin’ ya you’re gonna have to find me…”

I waited for him on the street corner. I put that time in a good location to good use. I surfed Grindr in HK for any new prospects. I know some may say that is classless considering I was waiting for a date, but I’m not in HK all that often anymore, and there is more talent in that neighborhood than where I work. He finally arrived and approached me. I asked how his trek to HK was, and we went inside to find a table.

When we learned we could only stand at  the bar since we weren’t ordering food, we decided to go elsewhere. I was at a bit of a loss because I hadn’t been in the neighborhood for some time. I didn’t know of a good place for us to go for a drink. Luckily, this guy was good on his feet. He suggested Eatery, and we were off.

We grabbed a seat at the bar and ordered a few rounds of drinks. We chatted for a long time about a myriad of things. The whole time, he kept his ball-cap on. Beyond the fact that he should know it’s bad manners, especially since he was an older gentleman, I was also worried there may be no hair under there. I’m not shallow, and looks are not everything to me. But, if he was balding without shaving his head, I wasn’t sure I could deal with that. (Smiles shaved his head and I was obviously okay with that).

We talked about our upbringings. He lived a bicoastal lifestyle, living in California and South Carolina. He also was shipped off to boarding school in Switzerland, where his grandparents lived. I grew up on a farm and went to public school. We had quite the education/socio-economic divide before. This is one thing I‘m not sure I am capable of getting past. I’m sure if it was the right guy, I could handle him coming from wealth, but it’s something that makes me quite uneasy. He came from money, and a lot of it.

I also learned he leads a very lavish lifestyle. He told me about his plans to purchase a house in Barcelona. He’d recently traveled there to scope out some places. He also told me about the $200,000.00 loan he gave a friend and was never paid back because the friend died and left his only possession, his apartment, to someone else. He told me about his lavish trips to the Caribbean islands recently. The list goes on.

Ironically enough, he wasn’t talking about all these because he was trying to impress me (Or at least it didn’t come off that way, which is fine). It simply came up in conversation or I coaxed them out with questions. I just felt uncomfortable with our socio-economic differences. I don’t really aspire to the position of kept man. I want someone who will share the financial burdens with me equally. I know a lot of people would love to find someone rich to marry, but money means very little to me when it comes to love. I think like I would constantly feel like less of a man if I had everything provided for me constantly, and I contributed far less to the relationship. Maybe this is something I will learn to get over in time, but for now, it makes me uneasy.

I learned how he continued to build his wealth and his professional relationship with a family in Canada. He told me about all the businesses he was involved in, and I started to worry he was another Smiles — Too much on his plate to commit to a real relationship. I also learned he wasn’t out to many people in his life, even after he’d been in a nine-year relationship with a man who left his wife for him. It ended when the man cheated on him while he was away on business. I wasn’t sure how I felt about him still being in the closet. He’d experienced too much and was far too old to still be in denial of his true self. I wasn’t sure I wanted a “project” at that age.

Drinks quickly turned into dinner. We stayed at the bar and made friends with the waitress. She was super sweet and very interested in chatting with us. Over our meal, we conversed more, and I learned we share a lot of the same morals and interests. We had similar outlooks in life.

He also became much more physical as the night progressed. He constantly had his hand on my leg rubbing my thighs and caressing the back of my knee. I started to do the same. Periodically, he would stand and give me a big ol’ bear hug. It was sweet. I liked knowing he was a passionate physical man. I needed that after Smiles constant distance.

Six hours later, we were ready to leave the bar. He decided to walk me to the bus. I thought when we exited the restaurant we’d exchange a kiss and go our separate ways. He was a true gentleman and walked me to the Port Authority. Not only that, but he walked me to my gate to wait for my bus and stood there waiting with me. It was midnight, and he was being a total sweetheart. He stood anxiously next to me as if he didn’t know what to do or how to close the date. He wasn’t really out, so I had a feeling a goodnight kiss in front of a large group of strangers was out of the question. When my bus arrived, he said goodbye and we agreed to be in touch.

As I rode home from the date, I wasn’t entirely sure what I thought of him. He became more attractive as the night went on, but I wasn’t sure if that was his personality or the alcohol stepping in for average looks.

I had a lot to think about. It was clear to me he was interested in me. The next day, he texted to see if I was interested in catching a movie that evening. I told him I had plans to hang with friends locally, but if they fell through, I’d let him know. When I decided to keep my plans, I texted him to let him know. He wasn’t all that concerned considering he had hopped on a flight to Boston to hang out with friends and go to a party. Yup, hopped on a flight that day. He obviously didn’t have a planned flight considering he asked me to go to the movies — Unless he was planning to fly me to Boston to do so…

That night, while out with my friends, I called Boston. He told me some of his new exciting war stories, and I told him of my trepidations about Deep Pockets. He told me I was nuts to write him off based on financial differences, so I decided to see where things went over the next week or so.

We texted a few times more, but interest wasn’t strong on either end as the text messages slowly came to an end. I was on to the next prospect…

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