Posts Tagged sister

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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Sunshine and Smiles

Before you jump into today’s post, I’d like to bring to your attention a story a reader shared with me last night. Being the hopeless romantic I am, I was so touched by their story. Check it out here.

Back to our regularly schedule program:

When CK and I got home after a long night out on the town, we argued about the timing of the following morning. I was insistent we would keep our plans, or I would leave him behind. I wasn’t going to flake on Boston because he wanted to stay out at the bar that night. I realized we weren’t making much progress, and we were only staying up longer by arguing, so I set my alarm and climbed into bed.

The next day, I woke up and started reaching out to Boston. Much to my chagrin, he wasn’t responding. I tried over and over and over again via text and phone, but still no response. I’d already managed to get CK up, and he was being incredibly cooperative considering how early it was and how little sleep we got. I wasn’t happy because I got in an argument with CK over this, and now Boston was flaking on me. I was trying so hard to salvage this so CK wouldn’t flip out on me when I told him Boston wasn’t responding. I hit up Hip to see if he’d be interested in the beach. It’d been some time since we hung out, and I thought it would make CK much happier to have one of his friends there. I asked D and his girlfriend if they wanted to join us at the beach, and surprisingly, they were in. They would just be joining us a little later. I also reached out to my sister, and I learned she was driving out to the beach. We were planning to take the train, but now that Boston was missing in action, I asked her if she would give us a ride. Now, I had to manage the logistics of getting someone from Brooklyn, CK and I in Hell’s Kitchen and my sister coming from Hoboken through midtown coordinated.

CK and I were making great time. We hopped in a cab, and it was looking like we would all get to our meeting point at the same time. I couldn’t have been happier and more stressed. My sister arrived a few minutes before us, and we all piled into her car and were off to the beach. This was the first time my sister met Hip. I had a feeling they would get along since Hip is such a mellow guy and easy to get along with, but in her usual fashion, she took a little warming up. Once she warmed up to him, they were really hitting it off.

As we drove, I texted Boston telling him we were on our way and invited him to join us out there when he and the girl he was staying with got moving for the day, but I had a strong feeling I wasn’t going to see him. About half way out there, he finally called and told me he was way too hungover to come out to the beach. He offered to meet up later that evening, so I told him I would hit him up on my way home.

We arrived at the beach and spread out, taking over a solid chunk of beach. D and his girlfriend were on their way and would be joining us shortly. This day was going so much more smoothly than I ever thought possible. The weather was gorgeous, and we were all having a blast. I was really enjoying being with such a great group. Everyone was relaxed and having fun. We took a picture together, and we all agreed it was the picture of the summer. Now that summer is over, I can testify it was, at least for me.

Later in the day, CK and I decided to go for a jog/walk. It was nice to separate from the group for a little and take a nice stroll. We talked about the night before, and he apologized. He also thanked me for such a great day. The biggest smile grew across my face. I know I was stressed that morning and annoyed how things were playing out, but it was all worth it to have such a fun and carefree day. I was so happy with him. I loved him, and I couldn’t see myself with any other man. He was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

We stopped to take pictures on the rocks of the jetty. This quickly turned into a typical CK photo shoot, which I’m not the most thrilled with. I’m not a fan of having my picture taken because 99% of the time, I hate the results. I don’t like being in the spotlight, but CK does. When I take the pictures of him, I know these pictures will be sorted through as fodder for his Instagram feed. This is yet another account of my attention not being enough. He still needed the attention of his adoring fans. I wasn’t crushed by this. I have thicker skin than that, but it didn’t exactly have a positive effect on my feelings. On top of that, I knew everyone was about ready to go home when we started our walk. I didn’t want to make them wait too long to leave. I tried to be a good sport and shot some pictures of him and even let him snap a few of me, but the time came for me to insist we return to the group.

As we walked back, we passed two hot and I can only assume straight men walking the opposite direction. As we passed, CK not only made a comment regarding their aesthetic, but took the conversation one step further and asked if I would ever entertain the idea of fooling around with another couple (acknowledging a previous unprovoked sentiment I stated expressing my lack of interest in ever bringing another person into our relationship). I immediately started getting very anxious, and my heart sank a little. I was immediately taken back to the previous night with him looking around the bar to see who was looking at him. I was right back to worrying I would not be enough for him. My heart beat started pacing. I immediately and definitively expressed to him my feelings on this, and I think he recognized how worked up this was making me. I told him this was my worry when I finally came out. I didn’t know if I could ever find a man who would settle down with me and give me a “traditional” relationship. I realized that’s not for everyone, but that’s what I wanted. It’s not something I wanted to compromise on, nor do I think it’s something I should budge on. Now, I was worrying if CK was the right man for me.

“This isn’t something I want. I just wanted to know if you would be open to this,” he said. I responded, “If it’s not something you want or you’re interested in, then why did you bring it up? If this is coming up now when everything is fresh and fun, how’s it going to be ten years from now? Will I ever be enough for you?” He started backtracking immediately. He put his hands on my shoulders and said, “Babe, you are who I want. No one else. I was just asking the question, not proposing we do it.” I explained to him how worried I was that it was even brought up.  He managed to calm me down and acknowledged that knowing that was off the table does not make him want to stop dating me. He added, “You have nothing to worry about. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” I was a bit more relaxed, but I was still questioning if I was enough for CK. It had been the theme of many of my past relationships, and I didn’t want to go through that again.

When we got back, we all packed up and headed home. On the ride home, I fell asleep in CK’s lap. Unbeknownst to me, Hip and my sister we’re now like two peas in a pod. They were having so much fun together blasting music and weaving through traffic. D and his girlfriend were following, so when traffic came to a halt, Hip climbed up through the sunroof and started making faces and flailing around at them.

When we got back to the city, my sister dropped the three of us off at CK’s. He needed to pack an overnight bag before we went back to Hoboken for the night. We hung out for a majority of the evening before finally taking the bus to the other side of the Hudson River. Not before getting ice cream, of course. In the end, I didn’t get to hang out with Boston before he left town. It just didn’t work out. Maybe I’d have to wait another year to finally see him.

All in all, it was a great day. I had so much fun hanging with my friend and CK’s friends. It was completely refreshing to see his friends getting along with my friends. It wasn’t all roses and sunshine, however. I was still worried I wasn’t the man CK was looking for. I worried I was looking for him to settle down with me, and he wasn’t quite ready for that. It’s not that I didn’t trust him to not cheat on me so much as worrying we didn’t have the same relationship goals and outlook. Only time would tell if our paths were heading in the same direction.

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No Day at the Beach

Before going to bed Friday night, CK and I made plans to go to the beach the following day. The weather was supposed to be gorgeous, and I hadn’t made it to the beach yet this year. I was very excited to go, but I also knew it would be a bit up an uphill struggle to get CK and his friends coordinated for a train ride to the beach in a timely manner.

We spent the night at his place thinking it would cut down on commute time in the morning. I was already packed and ready to go the night before because I had to bring all my things into the city in anticipation of going. My plan was to wake up, shower and go. That plan would not come to fruition. It was very difficult not only getting CK out of bed, but also getting him to move once I got him up. We ended up leaving his apartment late and came to the realization we would not make the train we originally planned. It also didn’t help that I told his two friends to meet us on the wrong corner, but when we tried to reach both of them, neither picked up their phones.

When we finally all gathered, we realized we’d have to take the next train in 45 min. I felt bad because I knew how much of a stickler for time one of CK’s friends was. I bought our tickets, and we decided to find a nearby spot to grab breakfast. One of his friends offered to pay for mine since I bought the tickets. I found it ironic because he was normally he was also a stickler for numbers when it came to payments, and I didn’t see how he would be buying me $30 worth of breakfast. However, I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to make it a thing.

We finished our breakfast and made our way to the train. The four of us found seats and relaxed for the ride out there. It was then I noticed, only by contrast, how affectionate CK and I were.

When we got to Long Beach, we made a pit stop at Starbucks and a drugstore to buy beach tickets before heading to the sand. We met up with my sister and one of my previous female roommates. I introduced everyone and we laid out in the sun. CK and one of his friends had square-cut suits on, and his other friend and I had on short board shorts. Because of this, I wonder if my sister was slightly uncomfortable. This wasn’t something she was used to. Periodically, I would wear my square-cut bathing suit from my days of college swimming, but I didn’t walk around in it. I only laid out in the sun in it, and this still brought comments from her. I bring this up because she basically didn’t talk to the four of us the entire day. She’s a little antisocial by nature, but never quite to this extent.

We had a nice relaxing day, taking pictures and making videos in the sun. When CK and I got bored, I decided to try to teach him paddle ball. I always liked playing because I get beach ADD. While we were playing, dark clouds started to roll in. We weren’t at the beach three hours when the other two guys were ready to go home. I don’t think they liked the scene because it wasn’t “gay enough” for them. On top of this, my sister wasn’t exactly chatting them up while CK and I played. We were summoned back to the blanket so we could pack up and head home. I felt it was a bit of a waste of a day, but I these were CK’s friends. I didn’t want to make a bad impression by disagreeing with their plans.

We found a bar so some of the group could use the facilities. While we waited, I ordered myself, CK and one of his friends a drink. When we finished, we made our way back to the train station. When we got back to the city, we split ways. I felt there was a bit of tension in the air, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. So, when the time came to split, it felt like a bit of relief. Had I done something wrong? Did his friend simply not like me? Who knew?

On the walk back to CK’s apartment, we stopped in the comic book store. Just then, the sky opened up and started pouring. At least we were indoors, so we poked around the comic book store until the storm lifted. We grabbed a slice of pizza to share to hold us over for dinner, we showered, and we had sex.

After laying in his bed most of the evening, the time came for us to head back to Hoboken to grab dinner. I had a Groupon I planned to use up. This was our new economical way of going out to dinner on a budget. It was around 10:30, so I called the place to make sure they were still serving dinner. We made our way back to the train to Hoboken to spend the rest of the night…

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“I Love You”

No matter how many times it happened, I never grew tired of waking up next to CK. The night before concluded with the most passionate lovemaking we shared to date. Everything felt amazing!

It was late in the morning, but I was still reeling from our late-night romp. I could only dream every time would be like that from there on out. Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. When I woke him with my kisses, he ran his hand down my torso until he noticed my morning excitement. He grabbed hold and squeezed, expressing his delight in his discovery. He pulled the sheets down, followed shortly by my boxer briefs. As his head bobbed up and down between my legs, I let out moans of pleasure. What a way to wake up!

Apparently, neither of us got enough the night before. We were both still excited about how amazing it was. It made me excited and hard just thinking about it. We both wanted a sequel.

He climbed on top of me, and we began passionately kissing. Of course, things escalated from there. It wasn’t long before I had him on his back, and I was deep inside him. The sex was great that morning. It wasn’t quite like the epic romp we had the night before, but it was great. We flipped, and he had his way with me.

When we finished, while we laid in the bed together, he took hold of my head and said, “[O.G.A.A.T.], I love you.” Even though I suspected it was coming, nothing could have prepared me for that moment. No man had ever told me they loved me before. I knew he meant it. I stared deep into his eyes — Deep into the eyes of the man I loved too. “I love you too, Babe,” I added. We hugged strongly and kissed passionately. It was an incredible moment, and I began to cry a little. He reacted by comforting me. I think he was a little panicked. He didn’t know how to deal with that, but that didn’t really matter. We were in love. That was all that mattered.

Because of this and the sex, we were very late for our plans to meet P on the pier. When showered up, ate something and packed our bags for the pier. P was there waiting for us when we arrived. We apologized for being delayed and hinted at the reason. She gave a giddy laugh and scolded us.

P and CK decided to hit up one of the food trucks/ice cream trucks after a while. They came back with all sorts of things and an ice cream sandwich for me. While they were gone, I played with P’s dog, Baby, and I texted the rest of my friends to see who was up for a day on the pier. A few responded explaining they’d be on their way shortly.

I told the other two everyone’s whereabouts and plans. CK asked about my sister, but I told him she hadn’t responded to my text. He was very concerned with her perception of him. They’d only met for a short while at the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival a few weeks earlier. Even when prompted, she still had no opinion. This worried him.

After some time, my friend G joined us. I also got ahold of D and his girlfriend. They were in the city for brunch, but they would join us on their way back home.

CK and I decided we wanted to have some refreshing cocktails to go with our small picnic of snacks. Just as D and his girlfriend were arriving, we made our way to the liquor store to get some prosecco. I had a great idea to mix this with a few flavors from Rita’s Italian Ice.

While we walked, CK and I discussed him meeting my parents. They were coming into the city in early June for a Broadway show and dinner. I wanted him to meet them. I invited him to the dinner a few days earlier. I explained to him my sister’s reaction to his invitation, as well as my parents. My parents had no issue, but my sister thought it was too soon. In telling CK this, I realized I made a big mistake. He immediately expressed to me, “OKAY! Now, I’m definitely not coming!”

“WHAT!?” I protested. I was not happy with that. I was very excited for him to finally meet my parents. I’d met his mother, and it went swimmingly. On top of this, he meant a lot to me. I wanted my parents to know this. They’d never met any of the guys I’d dated in the past. In my protest and explanation, I think I was able to bring him back around.

We grabbed two bottles of prosecco and made our way to Ritas. We got watermelon and mango peach ice to mix with the prosecco. We planned to make refreshing summer drinks for all.

As we walked back to the pier, he still didn’t give up on the fact my sister wasn’t joining us. He was harassing me to invite her, but because of her snarky email telling me I shouldn’t invite my boyfriend to dinner, on top of other things, I was annoyed with her. Then I checked my phone when I went to invite her and realized I’d already done so when I reached out to the others. She didn’t respond. I told CK this, and his guilt was alleviated.

When we got back, we shared our drinks with everyone in improvised vessels since we forgot to get cups. Everyone was talking and having fun. CK was fitting in nicely. I loved seeing him with my friends and how he interacted with them. He passed my friend test swimmingly. I care a lot about them, and if he could’t hang with them, it wouldn’t last. He was able to hold his own and impressed me to no end.

When the sun was going down, everyone was ready to head home, including CK and I. We made our way back to my apartment, telling each other how much we loved each other along the way.

We decided to plant ourselves on the couch and watch Immortals for the evening. We ate dinner and cuddled on the couch until it was time to head back into the city to his place. We didn’t plan for him to stay over. It was very late, but he had nothing for work the next day. Since he was close to my office it only made sense to spend the night there.

We got to his apartment and got ready for bed immediately. I brushed my teeth and climbed in between the sheets. It wasn’t long before I dozed off, but I was thrilled to be in his arms. I never got tired of sleeping with him, and hopefully, there would be infinite nights in the future we spent the same way.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

My birthday finally arrived. Normally, I don’t celebrate my birthday much. But, this year, I had more to celebrate. I had a loving boyfriend who treated me very well. I’d already received a birthday present more than I ever could have expected. Clark Kent was everything I wanted in a man, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to spend the day with him.

I left him that morning as he went to pick up his mother from the airport. I spent the night before in his bed and got quite a birthday surprise — Trapeze School tickets. He needed to fully utilize the time his mother was visiting to find a new apartment. He’d been dragging his feet, and the time came for some serious looking. I fully understood.

I made my way home early that morning. My old roommate started off the social media messages with a text to wish me a happy birthday. He was shocked I was up so early. I made my way home and began to get ready for my plans. I was heading to the pier for the day for a picnic of sorts. I grabbed my beach chair and packed a blanket, bocce ball, speakers, wine and food into my beach bag and asked my sister if she’d give me a ride so I wouldn’t have to lug everything to the pier in Hoboken.

As the day went on, friends came and went. They’d spend some time with me relaxing in the sun and chowing down on snacks.

At one point, we all got into a political discussion about gay marriage. It was interesting. I’d never really thought about marriage before because it wasn’t a priority. I didn’t even have a boyfriend. Marriage was something far, far away. I assumed by the time I was ready, the rest of the country would accept that choice and allow me to do so. Now that I had a boyfriend, things were different. I was a lot more passionate about the topic.

I had a blast. Many friends showed up and clinked Solo cups with me to celebrate another year on Earth. I was very happy so many showed up for my low-key celebration. There was no big destination. There was no cover. There was no commitment. It was simply a relaxing day doing what I wanted. If others felt inclined to join, they knew where to find me.

When we got bored, we broke out the bocce balls and played a few rounds. As the sun was setting, we decided to pack up. My sister contacted K to see if she would be willing to host a BBQ in her back yard. She was thrilled with the idea and began preparing immediately. I brought over some food to cook and everyone else pitched in. Even my old roommate, who I hadn’t seen in about a year, showed up.

We ate our fill of picnic food and played beer pong. I played with one of my old college teammates. Whenever we played together, we usually cleaned up. We started a little rusty, but we were doing pretty well against my sister and one other girl as well. It was great to finally play again. I have such a competitive streak in me, and it’d been some time since we played.

When it was nearly time to go, we gathered everyone around the table for a few rounds of flip cup. It was getting late, and we decided it was time to hit the bar. The whole group packed up and headed out the door.

I was missing my man. We checked in with each other over text throughout the day, but the search wasn’t going well for him. I was having a great time, but I felt bad for him. I wanted him by my side, but priorities were in order.

Some people split off from the group to head home for the night. On the walk to the bar, I heard a crash right in front of me at one of the cars. All I could think about was, “What drunk a$$hole just slammed into a parked… W!?” “Hey guys,” he said as he popped up from between two cars with his bike. I was laughing hysterically. He was just in a BUI incident. He’s lucky he didn’t cause serious damage to the car or himself, but it was still very humorous.

We continued to McSwiggans, my favorite Hoboken bar, and met up with more of my friends who were already there. We had a blast drinking and dancing all night. I was hanging out with my old roommate reminiscing about the good ol’ times. I stepped outside at one point to call CK to say hi and see how things were going. He was happy to hear I was in good sorts, but sad he couldn’t be there with me. I too was sad he wasn’t there, but I understood. We didn’t talk long cause I was neglecting my friends, and he was neglecting his mother.

I went back inside and joined the fun once again. I was getting drunk quickly. People were constantly buying me drinks, and I can’t drink like I used to. I’m getting old. At 28, you’re no spring chicken anymore.

The time came for me to go home. I said goodbye to the remaining people at the bar and walked home. I didn’t want to be hungover the next day, so I kept things in check. It was going to be a big day for me. I texted my boyfriend while I walked home. I wished he was waiting for me in my bed, but I knew it was quite a different scene. He was in his apartment sharing his with his mother.

Overall, I had a great birthday! They aren’t usually this cheerful — Usually, I’m quite glum on my birthday. I think I purposely downplay my birthday so I’ll never be disappointed. This one was pretty great, starting with waking up next to my Superman. I would end the day a happy man, and looked forward to tomorrow, the next time I’d get to see CK, as well as meet his mother…

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Saturday, I felt like there wasn’t a moment to relax. Whenever my parents come into town, it’s stressful. I am navigator, concierge, tour guide, etc. I love them, but I never really get to enjoy it. I’m always “on.”

My sister drove into the city, and we grabbed lunch across the street from Lincoln Center. This was followed by War Horse. It was pretty amazing seeing men puppeteer horses on the stage.

When the show ended, my parents and I made our way home to Hoboken on the bus after stopping at Crabtree and Evelyn so my mother could buy some product.

CK and I texted periodically throughout the day. He went back out to Brooklyn to his friend’s apartment for dinner. They were joined by the couple we’d gone on the Avengers double date with. He seemed to be enjoying a nice relaxing day with the boys.

Finally, they were gone. I could relax and go nuts. The last thing I wanted to worry about was what to make for dinner. My sister texted asking what I was doing, and I had the idea to order sushi. She was game, so she called in the order and came to my apartment to eat and pregame.

I began to text friends to round up a crew to hit up the bar. I realized it’d been some time since I had a wild night out. I wanted to get drunk! Sadly, the crew would be very small. People were either out of town or had other plans. I was only able to get my sister and P to go out.

CK was texting me. He told me about his day. He told me he mentioned our new status as an official couple to the guys. I learned one of his friends said we looked very happy together, and the other pointed out I was about to have my hands full. “That boy has no idea what he’s in for,” he said. He came back from Brooklyn, and I could tell he wanted to hang out. He kept hinting, but I wanted a night with friends. I needed a drunk night, and I didn’t think he’d be up for that. I also didn’t want him to get tired of me. We already had plans for the following day. I pretended not to notice his hints and explained my plans for the evening. I told him I’d hit him up when I came home if he was still up and said goodnight. I also reiterated to him how happy he made me.

After we finished our sushi, P joined us. We did some shots and drank some more before heading to my local haunt, McSwiggans. The manager was standing outside, so we said hi, and he escorted us past the line right in the door.

It was exceptionally crowded, being Cinqo de Mayo. I barely made it to the bar to say hi to one of my favorite bartenders. She asked where’d I’d been, and I told her she needs to start working Thursday nights if she wanted to see me more often.

We tried to stake claim to a spot on the “dance floor” but were constantly shuffled and pushed aside as others maneuvered the bar. It wasn’t long before a teammate of mine from college recognized me. When I saw him, I cut through the crowd to say hi and exchange a manly bear hug. It’d been a long time since I’d seen him. He was in Hoboken visiting friends. He pointed out the few others around the bar I knew from college, and I said hi to all.

Overall, the night was alright. I didn’t stay out too late. I was home by 1:30am. It’d been weeks since I went wild on the weekend. I needed that. I only hoped it would have been a bit bigger and involved more friends. I realized CK and I needed to find some time to get drunk and go dancing together. We were long overdue.

The next day, he’d be coming over for our local festival and staying for dinner. I was most excited he’d be spending the night as well.

When I got home, I texted him to see if he was still awake. I got no response. I decided to call anyway, but I got no answer. I was missing him and wanted to talk to him. That, however, was not possible. With that, I climbed into bed disappointed and realized how empty my bed felt without him…

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Monday morning I woke up. Since I wasn’t wasting so much time messaging guys on Grindr, I felt so much freer. I had no idea how much time I spent searching and complimenting guys on their torsos in hopes they’d see something they’d like and allow me to ask them out on a date.

I was also thrilled since I got to sleep in my own bed the night before. My parents came to visit for Easter weekend, and I gave them my bed. Sunday night, they offered to get themselves a hotel room so I could get a decent night’s sleep for work Monday. After I dropped them at their hotel with my sister, I came home and passed out. I love my parents, but I was happy to have my place back again. I’d spent the weekend playing tour guide. It was exhausting.

Even though I wasn’t sending out messages on Grindr didn’t mean I wasn’t checking them. I fired it up to see if my prince charming would ask me out on a date. I found quite the opposite. I blocked a fair amount of guys before I found an interesting message. I spent the weekend being celibate. One of the guys on Grindr seemed pretty normal and chill. We began to chat a bit before he offered to blow me. Like that, I was back in it. I had done such a good job of staying away from the simple Grindr stranger hookups, but I was horny after a weekend of being good. I made an exception of course and accepted his offer to blow me. What harm was there? I could enjoy myself before work and have a great day. “Sure,” I said in reply.

I gave him my address, and he drove over to my place on his way to work. I quickly hopped in the shower. He buzzed, and I called him up to my apartment. I quickly dried off and got dressed. When he got to the door, I brought him right into my room. I was wearing gym shorts and a tank. We made our way to my bed, and I sat down. Just then, he looked at me and said, “Sorry bud. I’m just gonna go.” With that, he turned around, sped out my door and left without another word.

I felt so rejected. What was it about me that scared him off. He made it all the way to my bedroom before darting. Was I that repulsive? Why the sudden change of heart!? I felt so dejected! My self-esteem shot down to an all-time low. This had never happened to me, and I suppose it was karma for all my Grindr trysts. It was bound to happen at some pont. I thought about all the times I wanted to do what he did and didn’t. I’d always regretted not standing up and walking out, but suddenly I no longer regretted it. I would have put those guys in a tailspin like I was going through. I did have to respect him honesty however. It was a catch 22.

I was horny from the thought of getting off before work, so I quickly finished myself off and got ready for work. I was disgusted with myself for bending my new rule, especially since I didn’t get anything out of it. Served me right!

That night I had a date scheduled with a guy I’d been chatting with for over a year. We met through Grindr and tried to grab drinks before I met N, but when I started dating him, things fizzled out. We chatted periodically on AIM, but nothing ever materialized. I even contemplated making a career shift to event planning, which this guy did, but we were never able to get together to talk about it. We simply kept it to a digital relationship. When things with Smiles ended, I began to look back at the guys I’d been chatting with. I hit him up and asked him out.

We made plans to meet at Ariba Ariba after work for margaritas and a bite. During the day, I stalked him a bit on Facebook. I noticed he was a camera whore. He took so many pictures in so many gay bars. He was totally a part of the scene. He was a fixture. I worried this would be a roadblock, but I was still optimistic. Maybe I could learn to love it.

I arrived ahead of him and waited on the corner. When I saw him arriving, I noticed how attractive his smile was, followed by how short he was and how “fun” he dressed. He was very cute. We awkwardly said hi and made our way inside. He asked if I was hungry, and I told him I hadn’t eaten, so we agreed to grab dinner on top of drinks. We were seated at a tight table and settled in.

We mainly began talking about work. It was very awkward. Considering we’d chatted so often online, you think we’d have been able to jump right in — Not the case. There were so many awkward pauses. I was struggling to find topics to talk about with him. He wasn’t exactly spurring the conversation on.

We started to talk about TV and what we watch. I thought that would be a safe topic and would spur further conversation. That only led to learning we had very different entertainment tastes. He watched a lot of Bravo TV like Housewives of… and other shows of the same ilk. I was more into the mainstream network TV. I wanted to have more in common with him, and I could tell he did too based on comments, but it was a bit of a struggle. I asked so many more mundane questions followed by mundane answers.

We ate our meals while we talked, but it was far from a great dinner. It was pleasant. The food was good, but there was no flow to the date. I was ready for it to be over. I was a bit disappointed since I thought we’d get along swimmingly. We just didn’t have good chemistry.

When we finished, we paid the bill and made our way out. We began walking through Hell’s Kitchen south together. He lived that way, and I was headed to the bus. When we got to a shop along the way, Tagg, he needed to run in and grab something for a friend’s birthday. I went in with him since I had nowhere to be. We had some fun chatting about random things in the shop. He made his purchase, and we continued south. When we got to his intersection, we exchanged a kiss goodbye, and he made a comment about hanging out again sometime. I agreed, but in my mind it would be under a friendly premises.

We texted afterwards, but was pleasantries and formalities. We exchanged that we each had a nice time, but that would pretty much be the end of us.

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House Call with the Good Doctor

In a strike of luck, in terms of my desire to turn my dating/sex life around, the timing of a family trip could not have been better planned. My parents, my sister and I were heading to Virginia to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins. The purpose of the trip was to see the cherry blossoms in Washington DC.

It was a fun trip. I got to see my cousins’ girlfriends and their children, many of which for the first time. Even though the cherry blossoms had already fallen due to an early bloom, it was still nice to get away and relax.

While driving back to New Jersey with my sister, I began attempting to line up dates with all the guys I’d been talking to before I left. As far as going on dates, the trip came at a bad time because it put a roadblock in the momentum. I kept up with the texts from the southern boy I’d gone on one date with so far. We were trying to line up a second date, as well as a few first dates with some other men I’d chatted with.

I got back to town on a Monday afternoon and tried to dive right into the dating. One of the guys I’d been chatting with was a doctor I met on Grindr. We exchanged pictures. He was very good-looking, very well-spoken and very charming. His response to my picture was, “Matthew McConaughey party of one?!” I was incredibly flattered, and suggested he consult with an optometrist friend. Although he had some promise, I wasn’t all that excited to meet him. I was going in with an open mind, but the fact that he was a doctor was somewhat of a turnoff. He would have no time for me, and I have come to realize I need someone who will be around and spend time with me.

We texted back and forth to nail down plans. As the workday was ending, I asked him what he wanted to do. He responded, telling me, “I honestly feel like I need a quiet night in. A bit drained here but would definitely like to have you over for drinks and conversation if you are up for that?” It was a bit unconventional, but I told him I was game. He gave me his address, and we set a time at 9:00pm.

I made my way into the city, bottle of red wine in hand, and walked to his apartment. I called Boston, and he shocked me by picking up. I wanted to hear how his birthday went and catch up. He further shocked me with a story involving an on-duty officer and himself that made me so proud. It was nice to hear Boston letting loose.

As I walked up to his apartment, I hung up with Boston. He lived in a very nice building. He answered the door, and we exchanged hugs. He had a gorgeous place. I came in and made myself comfortable on the couch while he opened the bottle. I felt quite overdressed when I noticed him in sweatpants and a t-shirt. I was jealous. I removed my shoes and sat Indian-style on the couch.

He was far more attractive than his pictures. His tight t-shirt showed off his chiseled body, and his face and smile looked very similar to Taye Diggs. I was slightly mesmerized.

It wasn’t long after we began talking that he let his guard down. The flamboyance came bubbling up, and it was really turning me off. I immediately lost my attraction for him. I could see us being friends, but I could never date someone like that.

We sat on opposite ends the couch talking the whole time. I learned about his job and what he does in his free time (which wasn’t much since he didn’t have much of it). He told me his specialty, and that dominated a majority of the conversation from then on out. Ironically, his specialty was relevant to me, and we got on the topic of safe sex and HIV for over and hour. It was incredibly educational on two levels. I learned a few things about HIV transmission and the disease itself, and I learned how little I know about the stuff I was so cavalier about days prior. I thoroughly enjoyed our talk, but I wasn’t attracted to him as a potential man to date. I would, however, love to keep him around as a friend.

It was late, and I needed to go home. He needed to go to bed. He walked me to the door, and I said goodbye with a kiss. He pulled back and made a comment on how he wished he’d only done that sooner. He really liked it and came back in for more. He was a good kisser too. I walked to the PATH and then walked home, and it took me a while to get there.

The next morning I noticed a text from the doc. “Off to sleep here, but just wanted to say thanks for an awesome date! I really had a great time meeting you.” I apologized for my lack of response and told him I was at the allergist to getting poked with various things to find my allergies. We exchanged small talk on the subject, and the conversation fizzled out. That was the last I’ve heard from the good doctor…

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Letting Him Down Easy

Monday, I decided to be a good brother and pick my sister up from the airport. I drove her to Newark Airport early Friday morning before all of my Grindring, and she was arriving around 2:00.

Before I hopped in the car, I made plans with M.E. to meet up later that day. I wasn’t planning to tell him I knew about his Grindring from my bedroom. I was just going to keep that in mind when interacting with him. I wasn’t going to let myself fall for a guy like that. For us, it would be purely fun. He told me he had class that afternoon, but he would come meet me on the pier when he finished.

I was regretting agreeing to pick my sister up since it landed smack in the middle of my day. I wanted to head out to the pier and get some color while I was off from work. The forecast was looking gorgeous for the week, and I planned to take full advantage. I decided not to waste the morning and went for a run around 1:00. I came back to my apartment, showered and packed a bag for the pier. I hopped in the car and headed to the airport. My sister was delayed, so I spent about a half hour circling the grounds. When she finally touched down, I parked in front of her terminal and began reading my first Out magazine. I was becoming a full-on gay man. I finally subscribed to a clearly homosexual publication.

She came out, and I drove her back to Hoboken. We swung by the pier to drop be me off so I could get some sun, and she went home.

Around 3:30, M.E. joined me on the pier. We laid next to each other talking for a bit. I gently stroked his hand with mine. We weren’t being blatant or obvious, but we still found ways to show affection. It was a nice time. Around 4:30, the sun was beginning to set. The temperature was dropping, so I suggested we head back to my apartment. I wasn’t even thinking about this in terms of sex. I was just cold.

He gave me a ride back to my place and decided to come up for a bit. He couldn’t stay too long because he had plans for the evening. We ended up in my bedroom fooling around a bit. It was nice to have him in my bed again. Every time we were together, I enjoyed myself.

The time came for him to leave, and I said goodbye to him at the door with a kiss.

Over the next week, I didn’t really reach out to M.E., and he didn’t really hit me up either. When enough time had gone by, I assumed he met someone else. I was trying to get away from the relationships based on sex, so I wasn’t exactly protesting or questioning why his calls stopped.

One day I got a text from him asking me why we hadn’t been in touch in some time. I told him I assumed he met someone else. He assured me this wasn’t the case. He told me the reason he was so quiet was because he was trying to create distance. He was beginning to fall for me and didn’t want to get hurt. This is when I pointed out to him I knew he was on Grindr when he was at my apartment. I didn’t tell him how I knew this information. At first, he denied it and told me he was chatting with his friends about his spring break trip postponement. I acknowledged that, but also pointed out he was on Grindr while he was in my apartment. I told him how insulting that was to me. I pointed out how, by no means, were we exclusive, but to be on the app while sitting with me was not something I looked kindly upon. He apologized profusely. I told him I noticed he blocked me on Grindr as well. He told me the reason for this was because he saw me on there periodically, and it was killing him. He was imagining me with other guys, and it was getting to him so much he blocked me so he wouldn’t have to see it anymore. I told him I wasn’t holding anything against him, but it was shaping how I looked at whatever was going on between us.

He was completely torn up about it. I had a lot of other things going on in my life at the time, and I didn’t really feel like getting into it with him. I was partially using this as a way to make a clean break from him. I liked him and cared about him more than a one-night-stand. I considered him a friend who I also happened to enjoy in my bed. He was more friend than benefit. I didn’t want to hurt, but I also needed separation. There was too much going on in my life at the time. He begged me to talk on the phone, but I told him that would have to wait. I lied and told him I was with friends and didn’t want to be rude by taking a phone call.

I knew he wasn’t happy, and it wasn’t what he wanted. I needed to think about me for a change. I needed to put more effort into the men I was meeting and looking toward a long-term relationship with, rather than the men I just enjoyed having around for sex and a little companionship. It wasn’t fair to him, and it wasn’t what I needed. The time came to move on. How that would shape my relationship with M.E. was yet to be determined…

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Testing Boundaries

Once again, today is another double post to make up for lost time. If you are just visiting for the first time today, scroll down to the previous story to keep up with the timeline. Enjoy!

It had been a long work trip. I didn’t have any spare time for anything fun other than work. The one hour I had free, I spent on the treadmill trying to get back in shape for the rapidly approaching warm weather.

After my meeting, I sped to the airport. I wanted to get home so I could start my weekend off right. I began texting everyone back home to see what they were up to so I could be efficient with my time when I landed. I sent out a flurry of texts and received a few responses before taking off. I knew at least a few people were up for drinks at the bar. I also decided to take care of my pre-game at 30,000 feet. I ordered two scotch on the rocks to help get me started.

When I landed, I got more responses to my texts. Some people were too lazy to go out. They received harassing phone calls from me urging them to sack up and join the able-bodied and willing. It was no use. I also texted my Grindr friend who recently moved to Hoboken from the city — Much closer to me. I asked him if he wanted to check out the Hoboken scene. I warned him it would be all straight bars, but he was down.

I picked up some food at the airport I could eat in the car on the way home. When I arrived, I quickly showered and got dressed. My friend took a little longer to get ready, so I had to wait for him a bit. I was getting messages from my sister and friend who were at the bar waiting for my arrival. I told them to keep their pants on… I was en route.

I met my friend on the corner and walked with him to my local watering hole, McSwiggans. I told him about the bar as we walked. He asked how my trip was, and we continued the small talk.

I hadn’t told anyone I was bringing a guy with me. They were a bit surprised. But, I wasn’t bringing him as a love interest. I was bringing him as a new neighbor and friend. He didn’t know Hoboken, so I thought I could show him around a bit. I also knew he was normal enough he would fit in. I introduced him to everyone, and we got beers. I spent a lot of the night chatting with him, but mixed in with my friends/sister as well. As the night progressed, my sister grew more and more intoxicated. She started rubbing her a$s on me like she does with people when she’s drunk. It took a lot to get her to stop.

After some time, I got a text from one of my teammates from college. He was in town at another bar, so I gathered everyone up, and we made our way to Black Bear. He was there with his new girlfriend and her friends. When we arrived, I needed to relieve myself immediately. He came down the stairs and joined me standing in line to hit up the bathroom. After we all finished using the facilities, we made our way upstairs. My group grabbed a table, and my friend dragged me over to meet his group. He introduced me while my Grindr friend followed me. His girlfriend was already three sheets to the wind and shouted into my ear, “Is this your boyfriend?” I explained he was just a friend, and we all continued chatting. When I realized I was neglecting my other friends, we made our way back to the other table.

By then my sister was wasted, and she needed to go home. Luckily, one of the guys in the group who is utterly chivalrous, volunteered to escort her home since they both lived uptown. I said goodbye to both and was left with P and my Grindr friend. When my Grindr friend went to the bathroom, I explained my predicament to her. Until this point, we were just friends, but I wasn’t sure if maybe we could be more. I asked her if I should make a move.

“Why not!? What do you have to lose?” she asked. I told her I liked having him as a friend, and if I crossed that line, I wouldn’t have a friend anymore. I wasn’t sure which I would rather have. A new friend or a new guy to date. She still suggested I go for it. I decided I would make a game time decision later.

I felt like it was mine for the taking. He always seemed interested but who could really tell? I was purposely putting out the friend vibe, but I think if I escalated things, he would be interested.

The night was dragging on, and I was tired. We closed our tab and made our way for the door. P lived in the opposite direction of my new neighbor and I. Furthermore, we decided to stop at Cluck U and get a late night snack before heading home. When he asked if we were eating there or somewhere else, I volunteered to go back to my place.

When we walked into my apartment, we sat at the counter eating and talking. When we finished, he needed to use the bathroom. I moved over to the couch in hopes he would as well when he came back into the room. He didn’t get the hint. He sat back down at the counter until I suggested he join me in the living room. When he did, he sat in the chair next to the couch. This was going to take some work.

We talked some more before I finally moved to the chair and said, “I hope this isn’t out of line, but…” and I laid a big kiss on him. He totally kissed me back. It was great. Taking the risk paid off. When I pulled back, I asked him, “Did I surprise you?” “Well… YEAH! Of course I was surprised. I just thought we were going to be friends,” he replied. “I know. I was putting out that vibe on purpose. I wasn’t sure what would come between us,” I told him. He just smiled, and we kissed again…

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