Posts Tagged stressful
It had arrived. Although this would be my third year “participating,” I was legitimately scared. I wasn’t sure why it was so scary, but honestly, I was petrified for so many reasons.
My first interaction with Pride Weekend was a mistake. I was making my way to Governor’s Island for a polo match with my family when we found ourselves “stuck” in the parade route. The following year was the first year I was out when the weekend came around. It wasn’t pleasant as I witnessed my relationship crumble before my eyes like an out-of-body experience. I missed the parade that year, but I got a sampling of the other aspects of the festivities.
My fear was grounded mainly in the unknown. While I am a gay man, I do not participate in the typical gay culture. I’ve never been a big fan of gay clubs and what goes on there. I come from a background of a traditional relationship. In the gay world, that is like finding a diamond in the rough. The clubs seem to be the antithesis of this. They are a hot-bed of drugs, promiscuity and raunchy behavior. I know all gay men who go to bars don’t fit into this stereotype, but this stereotype is founded in truth. While I’ve been to a handful of gay clubs, and my comfort level was rising, I still had no idea what to expect. Never before had I been to a circuit party. I was venturing into the abyss, and this caused me incredible anxiety.
While I have learned to let go of the men in my past, I still carry the scars of my relationship with them. They’ve all hurt or used me in some way, shape or form. My biggest fear in life is being alone, and this fear is fed by thoughts of cheating, which is birthed from my baggage. The idea of CK with another man broke my heart. I had clear definitions of cheating, but there were worse things floating through my imagination — Like cheating in a form I feel is unfaithful, but the offender does not.
My relationship with CK was building a great foundation, however, the cement was still wet. We were only dating two months and ten days — Very young for any relationship. In the first month, I had strong suspicions I wasn’t the only man entering his bed. Things didn’t always line up and some of the clear indications were there, however, our relationship was still just forming. I knew there would be a transition period. While he told me he was only interested in me, and I was the only man entering his bed, I was aware how we met. I was also aware of his intentions before we even met through his first major slip-up on Grindr. I couldn’t expect monogamy from the first night — That wasn’t realistic.
While I was fairly understanding and looked the other way early on, I was not going to tolerate infidelity as our relationship progressed and strengthened. For starters, my heart wouldn’t be able to handle the pain, and lastly, it wasn’t safe for my health. I needed to trust him to be faithful. Outside the heartbreak, frankly, we were having unprotected sex. We’d been tested, but there are no guarantees. I trusted him with my life, literally, and if he was sleeping with other men, he was treating my life carelessly.
I sincerely had a feeling his intentions had evolved, but I couldn’t be sure how he would react when faced with temptation. I hoped I was the only man for him. As a result, I was petrified for the life of our relationship. I’d watched my relationship with N publicly combust the previous year, and I didn’t want a repeat.
I’m sure many of you reading think I am overreacting. It’s just a party… It’s just a parade… It’s just a weekend… Well, not to me. To me, it was a litmus test for the strength of my love for CK. I didn’t want that love to be tested, and I didn’t want to have to make a decision that could end my relationship with CK. He was my Superman. He was my world. If I lost him, my world would come crumbling down.
We had plans to go to a huge party at XL Friday night, Matinée circuit party Saturday, and the parade Sunday afternoon. I was venturing into this unknown abyss with faith and hope I could persevere. The thought of CK dropping X and losing control of his inhibitions with some other guy caused me great pain and panic attacks. The idea of another man’s hand groping his package caused me panic attacks. Picturing him dancing shirtless against another shirtless man caused me panic attacks. Every time these scenarios and many others entered my brain, my heart rate would increase drastically, I would start to sweat, and I would get light-headed.
All this added up to me being petrified and frustrated. When I asked CK what clothes I should pack to bring to his apartment for the weekend, and I didn’t get any cooperation or help. It all became overwhelming. To begin with, this wasn’t something I was looking forward to, and his lack of cooperation made me lose my sh*t. “Okay Babe. I’ll talk to you in the morning. Have fun tonight!” I said on the verge of tears as I hung up the phone on him.
I think that was the wake-up call CK needed. I don’t think he fully understood how much anxiety this all created for me. I voiced my frustrations for weeks leading up to Pride Weekend. I told him I was going out of my comfort zone, but I was willing to do it as long as I got some hand-holding. I needed help to get over this. It was just another fun weekend for him, but it was a big deal to me.
After a few minutes, he called me back. We discussed things a little more rationally, and CK’s tone changed. He finally realized I was struggling and tossed out the life-preserver. Now that I knew I had him in my corner, I was a little more relaxed, however, I still wasn’t completely comfortable. It was going to be a long, stressful and exhausting weekend both physically and emotionally. I bit down then and there, and braced for impact as I packed my bag and walked out the door.
It was a bit of a stressful weekend with CK, but we managed to survive. In the meantime, more people were coming into our lives.
CK’s apartment was already occupied by two men. One was a bit crazy and not the easiest person to gauge. He kept his cards close and was a bit of an enigma. The other roommate was an Italian workout fiend. Whenever I saw him, he was coming or going in running gear. I didn’t take too much time to get to know him either because he was only around for another month before moving to a new place. They already had a new roommate lined up to fill the room. I’d get to know him soon enough. I was trying to tread lightly with them. I know it’s a rocky start with new roommates, and I didn’t want them to have the perception I’d be the fourth roommate right off the bat.
However, we didn’t really have to worry about that much because CK still didn’t have a bed. In the meantime, his roommate moved a futon into his room they were getting rid of. While this was sweet of him, it actually became a hindrance in the room. It was just one more thing to navigate while trying to unpack his boxes. It was not in good shape and obviously not something we could sleep on. After much discussion, CK and I took a trip to Macy’s to purchase a bed that weekend. When he tried to schedule delivery, the earliest they could deliver it was the following Sunday.
As a result, CK moved in for a week. Obviously, this could be very detrimental to a fragile not even two-month relationship, but CK and I had faith in each other. We would be spending every waking moment together with the exception of our workdays. That’s a whole of lot me! He packed up a serious overnight bag, and we made our way to Hoboken.
I’m not gonna lie. There were plenty of challenges here. For instance, it took a lot of diligence to make sure our living space didn’t look like a bomb exploded. We made space in one of my drawers for his clothes, tossed his shoes in my closet with my shoes, etc. With spending so much time together, we were both walking on eggshells to not set the other off.
As much as there were downfalls, I walked away from our week together pleasantly surprised how smoothly it went. We had discussions, but we didn’t fight the whole week together. I actually came to enjoy the time we spent together. I felt comfortable and looked forward to coming home to him. It also gave me great faith we could someday live together in bliss. I got so used to sleeping with him every night in my bed that eventually, when he wasn’t there, I had a hard time sleeping. My body knew it was missing something.
As far as test runs go, this went swimmingly well! Not only was I looking forward to the day I no longer needed to share my space with inconsiderate roommates, but also, I was looking forward to sharing a living space with the man I love, CK. Perhaps that living space might also be shared with a new puppy. Regardless, he was home for me. For me, it didn’t matter where we were — When I was with him, I was home.Follow @onegayatatime
We made our way to the PATH to go to work — Late, of course, from fooling around. I’m always horniest in the morning. I simply can’t keep my hands off him.
We texted back and forth all afternoon, talking about how much we missed each other already. We were that sickening couple who are so incredibly happy together you want to hurl, but then you recognize the love, and it makes you all warm inside.
Just as I suspected, I had to work late. I wouldn’t make it to volleyball that night, but I still held out hope I could swing by his place before heading home when I finished work, if even just to give him a kiss.
When I had a break in the evening, I stepped away to call him. I thought I’d be done at a fairly reasonable hour to swing by, but as time progressed, that seemed like less and less of a good idea. I felt bad because I felt like I was letting him down.
I finally finished around midnight. I called him on my way home to say goodnight. He asked me about my day, and while I was explaining it to him, he fell asleep on me. I couldn’t be mad about that. He didn’t do it on purpose. He was tired. I found it cute and funny actually.
I did really need him though. It was a very stressful day at work, and all I wanted was his warm embrace to make it all melt away. I wasn’t going to get that though. It made no sense for him to come out to my place that night because I had to head to the pitch out in Jersey early in the morning. I would have to be patient and wait until Friday evening to see him again.
I finally made it to bed around two am. I had to get up at six am. I am not a morning person, so clearly I wasn’t a happy camper. All I wanted to do was stay in bed with my babe. I hopped in the car service and made my way out to the offices of the company we were pitching.
As I was setting up the room for the meeting, I noticed a text from CK wishing me luck. It was incredibly cute and sweet. My heart melted a little, and I couldn’t wait to see him and thank him for his words of encouragement. They meant the world to me. He was considerate enough to remember what I was doing and wish me luck.
When my meeting ended, I called CK on my ride home. I didn’t need to go back to the office, so I had some time to myself. He told me his two friends, who were dating each other, wanted to go see another movie with us. They wanted to see Battleship. I wasn’t entirely thrilled to go see this, but I had no better plans or idea, so I agreed. I didn’t care what we were seeing. As long as I was sitting next to CK, I was happy.
We decided to grab dinner before the movie. We went to a cute Greek restaurant not far from his apartment, Ethos. We were seated and ordered our appetizers. The food was great, and the company was even better. Our conversation flowed like the wine over our lips. We were so entranced with each other, we didn’t realize what time it was. We had very little time before the movie was about to start. We flagged down our waitress and asked her to pack up our entrées to-go. We would drop them off at his apartment on the way to the theater and have them later. We quickly paid and flagged down a cab.
He stopped in front of CK’s place while he ran upstairs to put the food in the fridge. The movie was starting in two minutes. I sat in the cab waiting and waiting. I knew he wasn’t just putting the food in the fridge. That’s when I realized he was smoking. I texted him and told him to stop smoking and get his a$$ back down to the cab. He came down, and we continued on to the theater. Boy, did I have him pegged already. We picked up our tickets quickly and made our way upstairs to the theater. I told him I needed to use the facilities before heading in, and he gave me an annoyed look. I wasn’t going to feel one ounce of guilt for that considering what was part of the reason we were late.
We got into the theater just as the last preview was playing. Luckily we didn’t miss anything. I enjoyed holding CK’s hand throughout the movie, but the movie itself left a lot to be desired. I jokingly equated everything in the film to Top Gun while he responded with jokes of his own. I was dozing off about half way through. I only had four hours of sleep the night before, and a boring movie was not going to keep my attention. I went out to the snack stand to get a Coke to keep me awake.
Although the movie was bad, I still had fun with him. It was a good time. When the movie ended, we said goodbye to the other couple and made our way back to his apartment. Surprisingly, I wasn’t hungry, so I elected to save my dinner for breakfast the following morning.
I was so tired, I also elected to forgo dessert — Sex. We cuddled in bed for a little while CK watched TV on his iPad. We talked a little, and he mentioned how his friend had mentioned the idea of the two of us living together. He responded to his friend, “Things are going great right now. I’m not about to ruin things right now. We’re not ready to live together. Not yet.” I agreed it was too soon, but I admitted to him I had entertained the idea. I wasn’t the happiest with my living situation, but we weren’t at that place yet. We chatted about living together down the road. He was surprised to learn that was something I’d be interested in. He thought he’d drive me nuts. There was nothing to date to make me think I couldn’t handle living with him. We’d spent a lot of time sleeping over at each other’s places. I looked forward to living with him one day.
He continued watching TV. I was exhausted, so I laid down and fell asleep within minutes.Follow @onegayatatime