Posts Tagged timeline

One Relationship, Two Locations

Since Monday night was spent at CK’s, as per usual, we decided to spend our Tuesday night in Hoboken. Tuesday night in the summer is a big night in Hoboken.

CK and I had begun hitting up free yoga on the pier every Tuesday after work. It was a great way to hit the reset button and recharge for a new week. I found myself looking forward to the group outdoor session more and more. We’d even begun to make a few friends in the class.

I got out of work on time and made my way home to grab our yoga mats. CK had to work a little later, so he was going to meet me on the pier. I invited many of my other friends who had hit up yoga once or twice, but no one took the bait. I arrived just barely on time and reserved a spot for the two of us. CK finally arrived a few minutes into class as we continued our poses and relaxing breathing.

Earlier that morning, we planned to attempt to go to the movies that evening as part of Optimum’s Triple Play free movie night in Hoboken. I myself don’t have the service, so I have to borrow a friend’s card and hope he has no intention of going. When I learned we wouldn’t be able to get ahold of his pass, we decided to forgo the movies. Instead, we swung by the grocery store on our way home to share a home-cooked dinner for two.

We enjoyed our food on the couch in front of the TV, relaxing for the rest of the evening. It was nice to cuddle up next to him and watch TV. It was beginning to feel like a routine. Even though we still lived in separate apartments, it felt like we were living together. We spent nearly every night in each other’s company. The only difference was we had two residences.

We’d talked about moving in together. Neither of us was thrilled with our current roommate situations. Mine were simply disrespectful and unappreciative, and his… Well, we could be here all day. Every day was a new shady dealing. He needed to get out, and his lease was scheduled to be renewed in November. We didn’t make a concrete decision we would live together at that time, but we both began entertaining the idea.

I know many of you are shocked by the timeline there. Come November, we’ll have been dating for eight months. I know that sounds like a very short time to be together before moving in together, but like I said, it was almost as if we already lived together. Not much would be different. We both agreed this would be a goal for now, not a definitive date.

When bedtime arrived, we made our way to the bedroom to get ready for bed. Things took a bit of a detour when CK began seducing while I brushed my teeth. From there, things only got better. The sex was great. We were back on our game. And, true to our fashion, we flipped. That seemed to be how things went for us. Neither was a top, and neither was a bottom. We both experienced all the parts of sex. Our sex-life was very healthy and diverse. I’d finally found my match both inside and outside the bedroom. He managed to satisfy my physical and emotional needs. I was truly happy.

I thought about all the others before him. They seemed a distant memory. None of them came close to my relationship with my Superman. Many of them treated me poorly and didn’t deserve my love. Some of them attempted to love me, but the connection wasn’t there. I didn’t regret a single one of them, for they all brought me to where I am today. Sure, I was still carrying around some of the scars, but I was a stronger man for them. Those were my battle wounds. Those were my war stories. I didn’t miss any of them, but cherished their presence in my life — Even the a$$holes. I was truly in love, and I didn’t want it to end. The road I’d taken had led me to CK, so looking back, I wouldn’t have changed a single direction.

The next night was spent apart. I was supposed to be getting my review at work, but my boss rescheduled it twice that day, and then he had to schedule it for the following day. I was frustrated and needed to take those frustrations out somewhere.

I hit up the gym to lift and swim to calm my nerves. While there, he calls finally, telling me he’s working late and probably can’t come see me. Once again, I felt disappointed. He asked if I would mind coming into the city, but I wasn’t up for that. After not hearing from him all day, I made alternate plans. I was meeting up with my old roommate for a drink. I suggested maybe we needed to spend the night apart. He agreed.

More and more, I was realizing maybe we had been spending too much time together. Small things were getting on each other’s nerves. I wondered if I was losing my individuality. Now that I was back in the gym again, I was feeling better about myself. I relished my workout time. This was something I put on the back burner after meeting CK. We both needed some “me time” every once in a while.

As time progressed, we would find that balance. We’d only been dating four months. We were still figuring everything out. But, I knew, in the end, we’d figure it out together.

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Flip the Crazy Switch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hoboken Seconds

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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Put Me In Coach

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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Popping the Question

Another night went by, and I was still in the dark about where I stood in Smiles‘ eyes. He had to be somewhat interested, otherwise why would he be sticking around. However, the question remained, was he interested enough for me?

Out of nowhere, Smiles asked me to come with him to see a Christmas play in New Jersey. One of the men he worked with on his movie wrote a spoof on the Nutcracker and thought to ask me to come with him.

I was so frustrated! I was getting mixed signals in every direction. He didn’t invite me to casual Christmas parties, but he invited me to be his guest for a stage-play. I graciously accepted the invitation, but informed him I had a doctor’s appointment I would have to change if we wanted to get a ride from his friends instead of taking the train.

I managed to change my appointment, so I planned to just make my way to his apartment when I finished. I called him as I walked out of my office, but he told me he was still working. I had nowhere to kill time after the doctor really, but I didn’t exactly feel welcome to go down to Smiles’ apartment and hang out while he finished what he needed to do. I figured I would walk around Union Square and try to find something to kill time.

My appointment ended later than expected, and when I called Smiles after, he told me he was wrapping up work, and I could come by. I asked him if he wanted anything from Starbucks and walked towards his apartment.

We didn’t have a lot of time before we were supposed to be picked up, but just enough time to chat a bit and move a few more of his boxes to his storage unit.

When we got picked up, the driver/writer asked me what my connection was. “I know [Smiles],” I responded. I was purposely ambiguous because I myself would like to know the answer to that question. When he asked for clarification, Smiles spoke up and said, “We’re dating.” I was happy to hear him say it publicly for once, but I still didn’t quite know what that meant. At least it was verbalized. He then elaborated as to how long we’ve been dating. He pinpointed it to around the time of the NYC screening of his film. In my mind, I did the math. That was about a month after I met Smiles. Apparently I was one month ahead of him as far as our timelines were concerned. I’d already journeyed out to The Hamptons to see his film once before that night.

The rest of the ride was casual. Smiles even playfully reached his hand down and tickled my crotch. “That’s going to make for an interesting car ride,” I said to him. Smiles sat between myself and one of his friends I’d met twice before. Some in the car were joking about Jersey, and it was interesting to see Smiles defending it now that I’ve given him a more positive opinion about it. I kinda got to know his friend a little better, and I thought he was a good guy. I liked knowing that I could get along well with one of Smiles’ best friends.

When we arrived in the town, we all went out to dinner. It was pleasant, and I met a few new people. Over the course of the meal, somehow it came up that Smiles used to be a dancer. He’d taken classes throughout childhood. This was news to me. Even his good friend didn’t know about it. When I went to make a comment, Smiles jokingly shushed me out of embarrassment. He told me I wasn’t allowed to bring it up again.

We got to the theater and took our seats. Our group was all over the auditorium. Smiles and I were nowhere near anyone else. Before the show started, we cracked a few jokes and made some sexual innuendos about the Nutcracker on the stage curtain. I liked the playfulness I was witnessing in Smiles for once.

The show was far from good, but I had fun with it. I wasn’t expecting a Broadway hit. Smiles was nonplussed.

We got a ride back, and swapped Smiles’ friend for another. When we were getting in the car, Smiles had the friend sit in the middle. I’m significantly taller than anyone in the car, so I wasn’t going to sit in the middle, but the fact that Smiles wasn’t willing to make that sacrifice to sit next to me I found VERY off-putting. I sat next to a stranger, which I’m comfortable with, instead of the man I was dating for an hour-long car ride.

I became the topic of conversation once again. This time it was about my origins. They were surprised to learn I grew up on a farm. “Oh. A farm boy. Better hold onto this one [Smiles],” the driver exclaimed. The rest of the ride home was casual as well. They were kind enough to drop us at my apartment since Smiles was spending the night.

It was late, so we immediately began to get ready for bed. “What’s with you and the purple underwear?” he said. I informed him it was navy. I showed him my one pair of purple underwear and said, “This is purple.” I continued with, “What? Don’t you like it?” He told me he did. He was just surprised I had such colorful underwear. I hardly find navy boxer briefs all that arresting, but I went with it.

We hopped into bed and spooned for a little while we chatted about a few random things. I wasn’t going to see Smiles for some time after that night because of the Christmas break, so there was no way I was making it through the night without getting my answer on where we were. Somehow the topic of chatroulette and manroulette came up. I explained to him how it worked and told him it was how I met the first guy I dated.

As time passed, we turned out the light. We were still snuggling when I finally built up the courage to say, “So where are we?”

“Somewhere between Hoboken and SoHo,” he joked. I responded, “That’s an avoiding answer if I ever heard one.”

After a pause, Smiles said, “I can’t be in a serious relationship right now. When I am, I put a lot of myself into it, and I can’t let myself do that. I need to concentrate on my career right now. But, I really enjoy hanging out with you and spending time with you.”

I took a second to absorb what he just said to me. It wasn’t the answer I was looking for, but it also wasn’t a crushing blow. My response was: “I was pretty much okay with whatever answer you had for that question. I just needed to know where I stood. I would like to continue to move forward, but I’m not in any rush or anything.” He knew I wasn’t thrilled with his answer. I don’t know if it was out of fear I would leave or if he truly was concerned with my feelings on the situation, but he added, “If it becomes a problem, let me know.”

We cuddled some more and went to sleep. I was relieved to finally have the answer. I felt a huge weight lift off my back. I was also horny. I tried to seduce him. “If you keep rubbing me, I’m never going to fall asleep,” he retorted. I quickly quipped, “Maybe that’s what I’m going for.”

I didn’t keep putting up a fight. I knew it was useless. He was stubborn enough that he’d certainly win that battle. I made myself comfortable to sleep and tried not to dwell on the news I’d just received. It was time to sleep. Worrying about what he said would only get in the way of that. Tomorrow was another day…

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