Posts Tagged sacrifice
Tensions were high between CK and I. Nearly every night, we’d find something to argue about. Although it didn’t always result in an explosive fight, there always seemed to be some kind of noise in the background. The honeymoon was officially over.
When we woke in the morning, CK apologized for the night before, as did I. As we got ready for work, we both agreed underwear was not something we should be fighting about. After making us breakfast, we ate, showered together, got dressed and made our way to the PATH.
A day prior, CK got tickets to see Hot Chip in Brooklyn from a coworker . He asked if I was interested in going. We had already planned to head to Brooklyn to visit Hip since he was recovering from his second hip replacement surgery, so I said, “Sure. Why not?”
While we were at work, we nailed down plans via text and phone. Since I finished much earlier than he did, I hopped on the subway and made my way to his office. He wasn’t quite ready yet, so I asked for his coffee order and hit up Starbucks. I didn’t sleep very well the night before, so I needed something to keep me up and give me the energy to be a fun date.
While riding the subway out to Brooklyn, I asked CK if he requested the time off to join my family on vacation. He reacted to the question as if this was some big surprise. I’d only been asking him about it for a solid month. When he asked me to take time off and book a flight to Miami for his nephews birthdays, I did it without question. Now that I was asking him to take time off to be with me and my family, he didn’t think he could get the time off. I was p*ssed! I found it quite selfish. If he’d requested the time when I originally asked, we wouldn’t have gotten into the argument that ensued. As I said, we seemed to be fighting about everything.
The rest of the ride wasn’t pleasant. It grew to far higher proportions when we got off the subway. I wanted nothing more than to get right back on the subway and make my way home. I no longer had any interest in going to the concert, and I told him that. It takes two to fight, so I take half the responsibility, but he was being rude and treating me in a way I wasn’t willing to subject myself to. As a result, I skulked behind him as we walked through Prospect Park. As he yelled at me for not helping him navigate our way to the concert, I shouted back, “Fine. Just go without me! I don’t want to go anymore. I’m not going to have any fun.” I wanted nothing to do with him or Hot Chip.
I think he understood I was serious and responded by apologizing. “Can we just get past this tonight?” he asked. “Do we have to sacrifice our entire night over this fight?” I didn’t want to just put on a happy face and grin through it. I was angry, and to be honest, I wanted to go home out of spite. The concert was something he wanted to go to, and just as he didn’t put in the effort to come with me on vacation, I wasn’t going to come to the concert. I realized how unproductive this would be, so I agreed to go (not before numerous attempts to make my way back to Hoboken).
When we finally made it in to the concert, CK bought me a few beers, and we cut through the crowd to watch the concert already in progress. Surprisingly, I started to have a better time. Admittedly, I’d never heard of the band before we arrived, and I didn’t recognize any of their music. The fighting ended, and CK was being affectionate. We even made a few friends while moving from place to place among the crowd and managed to bum a smoke off some nice guys.
When the concert was over, it was far too late to visit Hip. I felt really bad considering he was the original plan and reason for the trip to Brooklyn. I wasn’t thrilled we sacrificed his visit for a concert, but in the end, it was CK’s decision.
On the walk to the subway, we found ourselves in a situation once again that birthed yet another argument. When we were a safe distance away from the situation, I began to calmly explain how p*ssed I was at him. Once again, he didn’t think it was a big deal and almost brushed it off as if I was overreacting. I didn’t care. To me, it was so much more. I told him explicitly how much I didn’t like these types of situations, and he completely disregarded those feelings. I don’t think he consciously acted in spite of my request — Quite the opposite. I don’t think he was thinking at all.
After arguing about the matter the rest of the way to the subway, I decided I wasn’t going to engage him in conversation any longer. Clearly I wasn’t getting through to him. We rode the subway with a large group CK decided to befriend. I wanted nothing to do with them. When he asked me questions or tried to introduce me, I simply ignored him. If he wasn’t going to take my feelings into consideration any longer, I wasn’t going to regard his either. I began to wonder if this was something we’d ever get passed. Maybe we were just inherently different. Maybe he would never be able to see things through my eyes. I began to think about what it would mean to end things. Obviously that would be my last resort, but I began to prepare myself for that possibility.
I was also in a tough spot because I was spending the night at his place. By the time we resurfaced in midtown, CK finally realized I was ignoring him. He started to get irritated by this, and yet another fight broke out between us. This time, I didn’t care. I went nuts. I didn’t care who saw us fighting or what they heard as I laid into him. We argued back and forth about the severity of the incident at hand for some time. He didn’t realize it, but as each of these incidents came up, my tolerance for them dwindled more and more. Toward the end of the argument, I think CK finally got a clear idea of the zero tolerance I had left. I’m not the most bending person (and that’s an understatement), but this was one sticking point I wasn’t going to bend on. I didn’t care how small the infraction. He had a choice, and he needed to pick me.
He finally understood my stance and apologized for everything. He didn’t think this fell under my umbrella of discomfort. He finally understood that nothing in this realm would be acceptable to me. We were able to civilly walk the rest of the way back to his place, but the conversation was certainly nonexistent.
When we got back to his bedroom, I brushed my teeth, stripped down to my boxer briefs and climbed right into bed. CK finished what he needed to do before bed and climbed into the opposite side of the bed. That night, we didn’t go to bed fighting, but there wasn’t a lot of love in the bed either.
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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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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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I spent the majority of my day and a good portion of my night celebrating the marriage of two of my best friends, J and his new bride. It was a beautiful ceremony and the reception was off the hook. After a chat with the mother of the groom, the music ended, and the time came for us all to make our way home.
Originally, I reserved a room because I thought the bridal party would be staying in the same hotel and there would be post-reception festivities. I was worried about my roommate or I driving home drunk, even though it was only a twenty-minute drive. After talking to the groom, I learned that wasn’t the case, but I was also confused what their plans were in general. I thought maybe we could grab breakfast with them before heading home in the morning. On top of this, I already paid for the room, so I figured we’d crash at the hotel. While my roommate drove, I called CK to see how his night was going. The response came as quite a shock.
In our conversation, I learned he would not be going to the circuit party, Allegria. I was not expecting this at all! A small part of me felt really bad because I knew how excited he was to go, but I have to admit, my heart fluttered for joy. I felt a huge weight lift off me. I was petrified of the result of that night, and now all that worry was gone.
When I inquired as to the reason he was forgoing the circuit party, he cited the fact that I wouldn’t be there. He told me if I was going with him, he’d still go, but it would be no fun without me. I wondered then and there what his original intentions were. Did my statement of “behave” make him change his priorities? Was he originally giving himself a free pass for the night since I wouldn’t be there? We had only been dating two months.
I didn’t know this at the time, but I later learned he would have been going with a guy he used to hook up with regularly — Someone who had actually come up in conversation between us in the past. When CK and I were discussing our relationship status a few weeks in, he was the other guy CK was “seeing” since the new year. He was the guy CK detailed in our conversation in the Sonic parking lot, noting they would see each other about once a month, which I could only assume meant hooking up as well. Had I known that, I would not have been okay from the start. Granted we’d moved past the conversation. We were exclusive. But, that message may not ring loud and clear with this other guy. He might try to seduce CK, and the temptation may have been too much to fight.
More importantly than all this, he decided not to go in the end. Regardless of what he was planning to do or what was possible, he chose me. That’s all that matters. He chose me. He put his own desires aside in order to ensure our relationship would survive. This was a huge moment for me. The other guy was irrelevant. My man cared more about my state of mind and the state of our relationship than he did about going to a party he’d been looking forward to for weeks.
We talked a bit at length about his decision. “Baby, you mean so much more to me than this. My priorities have changed since I originally decided to go,” he added. I could tell he was really disappointed, but his act of love made me the happiest man on Earth! I was so touched.
In the middle of this conversation, we pulled up to the hotel. It was a DUMP! I couldn’t believe this was the suggested hotel. Now I know why the room was $97 for the night, but still. We walked into the lobby to find no one there. As I looked to the left, I noticed the reception desk behind the bullet-proof glass. There were a few people milling about the lobby, but no one who actually worked there. I told CK to hold on a second while I processed the scene, turned to my roommate as we made horrified faces at each other, and we walked right back out the door. At this, I returned to my call with CK and told him what just happened. I told him we’d be driving home, especially since my roommate was sober. She didn’t really want to stay at the hotel from the start, so she already cut off her drinking earlier.
As we drove back to Hoboken, I had the great idea to tell CK to come spend the night at my place. If he got ready quickly, we’d arrive in Hoboken at the same time. We’d be able to pick him up at the PATH and give him a ride to my apartment. He told me he needed to gather some things and shower before he came over, so he would just meet me at my apartment.
When the buzzer rang, I jumped for joy. I was so excited to see him. I had a great night at the wedding, and after receiving the relieving news he wasn’t going to the circuit party, I was purely elated. I greeted him at the door with the biggest kiss and strongest hug I could possibly muster. I made him some food and we snuggled up on the couch to watch a few episodes of Game of Thrones until we fell asleep in each other’s arms.
Before this night, I certainly knew I found a keeper, but after his decision, I realized I may have found a for lifer. I had never dated someone who would make a sacrifice like that for me. I truly felt what it was to be loved. I don’t think CK realizes how much that gesture meant to me, and I’m not sure he ever will. But, I will certainly continue to show my appreciation by giving him my undying love every day.
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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…
After our date on Monday, I wasn’t sure when I’d see Chelsea again. Things were moving forward at a nice pace, but I still wasn’t diving in like I normally do. What was holding me back? Was I finally going about things the right way? Was I not fully interested in him?
That Tuesday was his last day in his current role at his job. He went out celebrating with coworkers, and when they were nearing the end of their evening of drinks and fun, he texted to ask if he could come by. Two days in a row. I certainly didn’t have a problem with that. He obviously wanted to see me, and I was very happy about that. One of his coworkers lives across the street from me, and they were able to share a car. I told him I’d be thrilled if he came over.
When he arrived, I could tell he was quite tipsy. It was cute how he couldn’t hold his liquor. Alcohol gets him quite lubricated. He was very flirtatious once again, as he was at the end of our first date. Everyone was buying him drinks since he was no longer be working out of that office. His new territory was Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, etc.
We started with some kissing when he walked in the door. I took his hand and led him to my bedroom. He was wearing a full suit, so I found him some more comfortable clothes. In the middle of changing, we began to fool around. It was fun. He was a good kisser, and we were making out all over my bed. I liked having someone of the same size to hold, kiss and roll around with. This time around, he certainly wasn’t shy about being in just his briefs. We had a lot of fun with each other and still no sex. And, I was fine with this. I knew things would progress slowly, and I was quite happy about that. ( I was missing sex a little).
He was a sweet guy, but that night was a little different. I saw a side of him I hadn’t only caught a glimpse of. A lot of his drama started pouring out, and I realized he had just been trying to keep it all down in an attempt to not scare me off. Now, I was getting to see the real Chelsea. I went to bed with a different picture in my head. Was this what was holding me back? Did I think maybe he was a bit too gay for me?
We watched TV and ate some dinner. a lot of the little things I ignored previously were bothering me that night. We went to bed at a reasonable hour. After sleeping together twice and it not ending well, I made a suggestion at the risk of sounding cold. I told him there was no need for us to snuggle while we slept. I tried to be honest and realistic about it. I said, “We can cuddle and snuggle, and when we’re ready to fall asleep, we can curl up on opposite sides of the bed. That way you will get a good night’s rest.” I also took this as the opportunity to tell him I wanted to go for a run the following morning. I was finally getting into a workout groove, and I didn’t want to throw it off. I could sneak out while he was still sleeping, and when I returned we could get ready to head into the city together. With that, we both went to sleep on opposite sides of my California King bed.
I woke in the morning and quietly snuck out to pound the pavement. I had a good run. I needed to clear my head, and the run was just the ticket. When I returned, I hopped in the shower. When I came out of the shower, I gently woke Chelsea. Normally, I would have slipped back into bed with him to cuddle, but I wasn’t feeling it. It was then I realized I wasn’t particularly sexually attracted to him. He was very shy about his body, and while I enjoyed the slower timeline and waiting, a part of me knew it was an important part of the relationship I couldn’t ignore. I’d sacrificed that in the past too many times. I wouldn’t make that mistake again.
I continued to get ready. I was pretty quiet, but then again, I usually am after I work out. I’m also not a morning person to begin with. I either get quiet or I become combative, as my mother learned many a time riding home from swim practice in high school. There was little talk and discussion as we got ready for work/for him to head back home. When we emerged from my room, I found a mess left by my roommate. I detailed to him why I was so annoyed and how this was a common occurrence.
The walk to the PATH wasn’t exactly full of chatter either. I struggled to think about things to talk about. I fixated on his new job and asking the questions about how he was going to handle it. Subconsciously, I was noticing all the things in the back of my head I’d brushed aside once again. Now, my cons list was growing.
When we got to his stop, I gave him a quick peck on the lips. I could tell it made him uncomfortable, but I was trying to force myself to stop being ashamed of being gay. If he were a woman, I’d have had no problem kissing her to say goodbye on the PATH. Why should I censor myself just because he was a man?
Later that day, I received a text from him asking me if everything was okay, or was it my roommate. I blamed my quietness on being annoyed with my roommate, but in reality, I was no longer looking at him as a prospect.
That weekend, I went shopping with my friend, P. While at the Woodbury Common Outlets, I got a text from Chelsea asking, “Will I see you at the end of the week?” I didn’t want to drag this out. I decided in my mind I was no longer interested. It was going to be tough to convince myself otherwise. I replied, “[Chelsea], I don’t want to lead you on or anything, but I’ve been giving it some thought. I just don’t know if we’re a strong match. You’re a really nice guy, I just don’t know you’re the guy for me. I want someone who is going to be around more… That’s important to me. Hope you understand.” Immediately, he responded, “Yup. I feel the same way :). Anyways, all good here. Please do me a favor and put me in touch with your friend about subletting my apartment, and I’ll see you sometimes in the city :).” I don’t know if that was his way of protecting himself emotionally or if it is how he truly felt. Either way, it was a clean break. All was good, and we could still be friends if we ran into each other in the future.
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After realizing PR wasn’t the one for me, I was ready to move on. I liked him a lot, but I felt we’d be sacrificing ourselves to stay together, and that’s not fair to either of us.
I had been talking to a cutie with glasses on OKCupid for a little while before finally asking him for his number and ultimately to go out for a drink.
Wednesday night after work, we made plans to meet down near his neighborhood for some cocktails. I let him pick the place, and he told me where to meet him. When I arrived to the corner where he was, he immediately came off as shy. We shook hands and introduced ourselves, which always feels forced and awkward for me. I sometimes wonder if a hug may be more appropriate considering we’re about to embark on a date, but I never have the guts to go in for it from the start.
We walked towards the bar he had in mind while we struggled to make small talk. I asked him about his day and how work was. In turn he asked the same questions, and I detailed my boring day at the office.
Finally, we arrived at the establishment, The Dove Parlour and took our seats on two bar stools on the corner of the bar. We ordered our drinks and returned to our awkwardly forced conversation. Again, we returned to the topic of work. Every question I asked him was returned with a quick short response. It was like pulling teeth to keep the conversation going. There were long periods of silence I wasn’t sure how to deal with.
When we finished our second drink, the bartender approached and asked if we’d like another. This is where I failed miserably. This is why I’m too nice. I defaulted to him, expecting him to have felt as awkward as I did, but instead, he asked for another round. I was shocked. Did he think this date was going well? How could he?
I sat there and struggled to find a subject to continue to talk about over the next round of drinks. I was ready to leave, but I felt I’d be rude. I was in for another night of wasting my own time due to my lack of confidence to say, “I’m sorry, but I think I’m going to go.”
I ended up staying for two more rounds — Four in total. Things were slowly improving. As the drinks passed his lips more words finally came out the opposite direction. He was finally starting to hold a real conversation. The topics were nothing exciting, but at least it was bearable.
By the end of our fourth round, he wanted a kiss. He moved in to make a move, and I allowed it. It’d been a while since a man kissed me, but I wasn’t entirely weak in the knees from it. He really did have soft lips and was a good kisser, but that didn’t negate the fact that our date was not going well.
He beckoned me to change stools so we weren’t straddling the corner. He wanted me to be closer. At this point, he wanted a makeout session. I wasn’t having any of that. I don’t make out in bars (not unless I’m hammered and don’t know any better, and the last time I did that was with a woman).
I told him I thought it was bad manners to make out at the bar. I pointed out how it always turns into a spectacle, especially when it’s two men kissing each other. He pointed out the lack of people in the bar and asked if I wasn’t comfortable with my sexuality in public. I pointed out if he was a woman, I’d feel the same way. There’s never a need to make out at the bar. Take it outside. This was going to be a point we differed on, because he did not stop attempting to convince me to lock lips. This is when I basically told him to back off. It wasn’t going to happen.
When we were ready to leave, he decided to walk me to the PATH — The complete opposite direction of his apartment. He was going to take a cab home and mentioned something about his supervisor paying for it.
When we got to the PATH station, he took the opportunity to pin me against the fence so he could have his makeout session. Again, I’m too nice and too accommodating, but at least he was a good kisser. It was an amazing change of pace from the night before, in which my “date” tried to eat my face.
Finally, I pulled back and said goodbye. He mentioned his desire to meet again in the near future, and I left that door open for possibility (seeing the too nice trend beginning here). When I got to the other side of the Hudson, I had a text waiting for me: “In spite of being terrified, I had a really good time! Hope to see you soon!” I simply responded, “Terrified?” “Oh, I have panic attacks before dates,” he added.
I didn’t respond, but in the morning, I had another text waiting for me: “Those French Lavenders (the drinks he was having) pack a punch. Sorry :/” I simply put his mind at ease and said, “No worries.” That would be the last I would hear from him. I was happy to skip all the awkward texts and requests. He simply took the hint I wasn’t interested and moved on…
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It was obvious things were strained between Smiles and I. For quite some time, our relationship was on the decline. He was distant, closed off, and not very engaged, and I wasn’t happy.
I tried to stick it out with him. I tried being patient and understanding. He was a good guy, and I could see there was a great guy under all this. But, I had reached my limit. I knew I deserved better. It was time to move on.
Wednesday passed without communication from Smiles, so I sent him a text in the middle of the afternoon. “It’s apparent you’re trying to put distance between us. Can you possibly find time to discuss things with me in person? Thanks,” I typed.
He responded ten minutes later with: “I can this weekend. I’m up at 5:30 and in bed at 12:30 and not a lot of time in between. This weekend will be a littler better but not much. I will make something work though.”
Wow! It was all I could do to restrain myself from responding, “Thanks for squeezing me in!” How could he!? After three months of dating, he couldn’t sacrifice a gym session to take the time to talk to me like a man. What a coward! It was completely disrespectful and painted a clear picture of Smiles’ true feeling for me. I doubt he ever truly cared for me. He simply enjoyed not being lonely.
I’m no one’s lap dog. I was back in the game. In my mind, we were all but broken up. It was inevitable. There was no coming back from this, especially since the relationship wasn’t the strongest to begin with. I’d been through yet another failed relationship with a man who simply wasn’t that into me. My confidence was pretty much shot. What was it about me they couldn’t seem to embrace? I’m not pathetic enough to say what was I doing wrong, but I also knew I may be something to turn these men off.
Regardless, I was back in the game. I needed to put myself back out there. Some people would argue I needed some time to be single and to figure myself out, but I know myself well enough. I didn’t need time to heal from this one. I did need to have some fun. It’d been a long time since I had passionate active sex, and I was hungry for it.
After my last breakup, I went wild over the summer. I hooked up with a lot of guys and expanded my sexual horizons. It was both a good thing and a bad thing. I didn’t want to go back to my old ways. I already learned how unfulfilling it was. There was no need to repeat old mistakes. But I wasn’t going to completely limit myself. I was “single” for all intents and purposes.
I had been talking to a Latino on Grindr for a bit of time. He seemed like a really nice guy, and we had a lot in common. Latinos aren’t really my type, but I’m an equal opportunity dater. N was of Latino background, and we got along well enough in the beginning.
We set a date for Thursday night to grab a drink at a local Hoboken bar, Trinity. He lived in neighboring Jersey City, and I convinced him to drive over since I didn’t have a car — It was a bit cold for the motorcycle.
He arrived before me, and found a spot in the corner of the bar. It was a good spot since we could talk without a large crowd of spectators. I shook his hand and introduced myself. He did the same, and I immediately recognized an accent of some sort. I asked him where he is from.
He told me of his roots in Venezuela and asked about my upbringing. I told him about my time growing up on the farm and how I came to live in the shadow of New York City.
We’d learned about our shared interest in volleyball and talked about that for some time. He was much more of an amateur than myself, but it was nice to find someone who had an interest in it.
We somehow got on the subject of coming out and families. He told me he’d been out of the closet since he was eighteen. He asked when I came out, and I proudly told him I was fresh and new. I told him I’d only come out about a year and a half ago. The expression of shock and disappointment on his face said it all. I knew the date was a failure. We chatted a bit about it, and I could tell he was not thrilled with the idea of my being a “new gay.” I tried to explain to him I wasn’t new. On the timeline, it may seem short, but I did a lot in that short period of time. I grew in leaps and bounds and had relationships of all sorts with varied men. For the first time in my life, I was trying to vaguely paint myself as a recovering whore.
When I think back about this, it was a dumb idea. If it was something that bothered him, I should have accepted that and moved on. I didn’t need to end the date then and there, but I shouldn’t have tried so hard so early to be what he wanted. I should have just been myself. This may be why I get involved with men that aren’t truly interested in me.
Somehow our discussion morphed into the topic of sex with women. He’d never been with a woman, but I have. I was just adding water to the fire with every sentence. We talked about the local gay dating ring, Grindr and the like. It was an interesting conversation, as we the entire date, but I doubted there would be a second.
When we finished that drink, I paid the bill and offered to walk him to his car. When we got there, I went in for a kiss. It was pretty bad. We pretty much crashed into each other with a forceful peck. I’m not sure why I kissed him if I wasn’t all that interested in him. I think it’s because I’ve been out of the game for some time, and I just felt like it was what I was supposed to do.
As I walked home, I checked my phone to find out one of the guys I’d met from Grindr months ago was moving to Hoboken. We’d been in touch sporadically since we originally met. He was just coming off a really rough breakup, and I was just starting things off with Smiles. I met him in hopes of making a new gay friend. I needed those as much as I needed lovers. He’d invited me to go out a few times, but I was never able to due to other plans. Now we’d be neighbors, and hanging out would be much easier. I was just what I needed to come back into my life at that moment.
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When Smiles and I spoke on the phone Sunday night on his way home from a party in Connecticut, I asked him to come to my apartment for a special dinner Monday night. He told me he had to work, but he was going to leave early and we’d just eat a little later. I told him this was perfect since it would take some time to cook the roast after work.
I’d told Smiles about my standing rib roast before, and he didn’t quite get what it was. I explained to him the similarity of it what one might be served at a carving station at a wedding reception. He got a clearer picture, but it still wasn’t crystal clear.
I had a rib roast in my freezer with our name on it. I finally had a chance to cook it for us, and he was on-board. I was excited. It was a plan.
Monday morning, before work, I took the roast out of the freezer to thaw for that night. I planned out the accoutrements as well. I was very excited for our romantic night. It’d been a while since we spent time together. I wanted a night of beef, wine, couch, and bed. The thought sounded spectacular to me!
What excited me even more was the idea of my sanity back. I planned to ask Smiles that night where we stood. I didn’t need a title. I didn’t need to be his boyfriend. I just wanted to know where his head was at.
I know I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but that’s what my inner dialogue is. I get fixated on something, and it exhausts me until I get some closure on the issue.
Much to my chagrin, at 1:00 that afternoon, Smiles sent me a text with some bad news. “Looks like I have people coming tonight so I’m not going to be able to sneak out. I don’t think dinner at 11:00 would be the bet. Do you want to have an early dinner here in the city before he show?” Very disappointed, I agreed with a “Sure.”
I was p*ssed. It wasn’t his fault, but I was a little crushed since I was taking so much care to plan out the evening, and it all went to sh*t. He suggested we do it another night, but came up with a consolation prize. He suggested I come over to his apartment for dinner instead before the screening. I begrudgingly agreed to the idea since it’d been so long since I’d seen him, and I sent my roommate a text asking him to put the roast back in the freezer.
When I finished work, I made my way downtown to his apartment. When I arrived, I was shocked to be received with a nice big kiss. Maybe he missed me. Maybe I wasn’t just a seat warmer in this relationship. There was actually emotion behind that kiss. I was happy.
I was a little anxious because I was still planning to ask him where we stood that evening.
He told me he had food in the fridge to make and suggested we cook that instead of going out for dinner. He preferred that since he wasn’t feeling well, and he was exhausted. It made no difference to me. Asking him my question in the privacy of his apartment sounded like such a better idea than in a restaurant anyway.
I ended up cooking the pork chops and asparagus for the two of us since Smiles wasn’t quite himself. We sat and ate — Him at his computer chair working while he ate and me on the couch. Not nearly the romantic meal I planned for the evening. When we finished, I helped him clean up and put the leftovers away. He started getting ready for the rest of his night, and we talked about my plans. He asked if I was planning to spend the night. “Well, I guess the first question I should ask is if you were planning to come to the screening tonight,” he added.
This was the first I was hearing this. I was quite open to the idea, but I told him, “I have nothing for work tomorrow. You were supposed to be coming out to Hoboken, remember.” “Right,” he responded. I reminded him I’d seen the movie twice now, but if he wanted company, I would come with him. I asked if he actually watches the movie, or if he does other things during the film. He told me he usually watches most of it. Things remained unsettled as he made his way over to the couch to take a quick nap on me.
That was my opportunity to ask him my burning question. Every moment I tried to open my mouth, I froze. Nothing would come out. I was suddenly transported back to when I sat on the couch trying to tell my parents I was gay. The anxiety was making my heart pound out of my chest. I tried over and over to ask him, but I couldn’t muster the courage. I’m not sure what I was afraid of, but it was driving me insane.
After a half hour of this, it was time for him to get up. I asked him if he wanted me to sleep over, or did he want to get some rest alone. We made a final decision. It was better he get some uninterrupted rest that night since he was so exhausted as much as I wanted to spend the night with him. He told me, “It’s very sweet of you to offer to see the film again to spend the night with me.” I liked hearing that. He recognized the sacrifice I was willing to make to spend time with him.
With that, I said goodbye, and he made his way to the screening while I made my way to the PATH — Without my answer.
I was so p*ssed at myself for getting so worked up about a stupid question. What was wrong with me?! Obviously, I needed someone to talk to. I tried Boston, my therapist. I needed him to talk me off the ledge and help me make sense of the situation. I couldn’t do it on my own. We talked it over for over a half hour and he convinced me I had no choice but to blatantly ask him where we stood. We even helped me nail down the phrasing.
When I got to the other side of the tunnel in Hoboken, I got a text from Smiles telling me he was on his way home. His friends never showed. My blood was boiling. We cancelled our dinner plans for NOTHING. I still had no closure on where I stood with Smiles. It certainly was going to be a toss-n-turn kinda night…
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