Posts Tagged time apart

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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When It Rains, It Pours

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…

Life was good. I finally met a man who seemed to be too good to be true. We’d already been on three unforgettable dates, and things were only getting better.

Saturday morning, I said goodbye to Clark Kent when I dropped him off in the city. I wanted to spend every waking minute with him, but things were still fresh and young for us. It’d only been a week. I needed to stop my habit of diving in head first, or I could be in for a world of hurt. Saturday night, I made plans with friends to go out. One of the guys I swam with in college asked me to come by to pregame and then go to the bar with him and some other friends. It’d been months since a request like that came in, so I was ready and raring to go. By the time I got ready to go out after running all my errands, they moved things to the bar. I met the group at Black Bear in Hoboken. These friends are serious triathletes, so they never go out, and when they do, they go to bed early. I also encouraged my other friend P to join us.

When I got to the bar, I sent CK a text to see what he was up to. He responded by telling me to come into the city and spend the night with him. Had he texted me a half hour earlier, I probably would have never entered the bar and would have gone straight into the city. I stepped outside to call him and explain. I really wanted to go see him since I couldn’t get enough of him, but P had just arrived. I didn’t want to ditch her. He fully understood. A small part of me wanted to ensure he wouldn’t get tired of me, so I thought some time apart would do us good.

I went back to the bar and had a good time with my friends. In true fashion, a half hour later, all but P made their way home to go to bed. It wasn’t even midnight yet. I told her all about CK and how amazing he was. I also told her about how I’d ended things with all the other guys. She kept asking things like, “Well, what about [X]? I thought you had a good date?” I explained to her that none of these guys were like my Superman. They didn’t measure up at all. She was impressed with my conviction and wished me luck, but she warned me not to get too far ahead of myself. P and I decided to go to another bar we enjoyed far more, Cooper’s Union, where we sit and chat while our favorite Hoboken bartender serves us.

Just as we were about to leave the bar, it started pouring. We agreed to call it a night instead. She hopped in a cab, and I made my way down the street home. I didn’t get far before I decided to run. I ripped off my soaking wet shirt and ran on my Cole Haans the dozen blocks home. When I got home, I texted CK to tell him about my “TV commercial-like sprint in the rain home.” (The Nike technology in Cole Haans really is amazing btw!). He responded back telling me how much he wished he’d seen me. He told me he was turned on by the mental picture. I achieved my goal. I knew exactly what I was doing when I sent that text to him. I wanted him to want me.

Sunday, I talked to CK, and we made plans for me to spend the night in the city. It made sense since he was so close to my office. I could bring clothes for work the next day and head straight there in the morning.

As the day progressed, the weather deteriorated. It was pouring. I made my way to his place around dinnertime soaked to the bone. I had my giant umbrella with me, but water-soaked my pants from the ground up. He stripped me of most of my clothes when I arrived, and we began fooling around immediately. This, of course, led to sex and some hot, sweaty fun.

I was happy to be spending a rainy night in with him. We had no plans and no obligations. We were simply going to cuddle in his apartment and watch something on his iPad. He offered to make me dinner, and I accepted. He told me his cooking abilities were limited, but he would whip up his specialty for me. I heard a lot going on in the kitchen while I sat in his living room. He wouldn’t let me help. He wanted to surprise me. When I came into the kitchen to give him a hug and kiss, I got my kiss but was ordered back to the couch.

Moments later, he brought me a plate full of salad with chunks of chicken and a tasty dressing. It was very good, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. That night, I would also learn of CK’s sweet tooth. We weren’t even done our salads before he was talking about dessert. He didn’t have anything in the apartment, but there was a bodega on the block. We would venture out into the rain to satisfy a craving for sweets. He offered for me to stay in the apartment and stay dry, but I insisted on coming with him.

We picked up Oreos, ice cream and some cheddar bread sticks and made our way back out into the rain. I was tempted the whole walk back to ask him to hold the umbrella while I ripped my shirt off and ran back to his apartment in the rain. The only thing that stopped me was that I’d have to stand in front of his doorman with no shirt on until he caught up, and I thought it might embarrass him. I chickened out! I was so disappointed in myself. I wanted to show him I didn’t take myself too seriously.

When we got back to his apartment, we dove into the ice cream and Oreos. He made each of us a bowl, and we cracked open the bread sticks. We sat in bed, and when we finished, we cuddled in front of his iPad watching Smash. Shortly thereafter, I dozed off in his arms. It was a perfect rainy night, and I truly looked forward to many others with him while I dreamed the night away.

The next morning, we fooled around before getting ready. While I showered, he made me a bowl of yogurt, fresh berries, honey and granola. It was delicious. He was really taking care of me.

Every moment made me fall for him more and more. We walked to my office together before he hopped on the subway, and I made my way inside. I was head over heels, and things were just starting. The possibilities were endless, and I planned to explore them all…

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