I don’t tend to “date”, as such. Until the past two years or so, I would get deep into a relationship early on, usually before the previous relationship ended, and stay in that relationship long-term, until the next one came along. For all that practice at relationships, one would think that I might have gotten good at it, but that was not the case. But at least I had experience in that. I didn’t have experience at the whole dating thing.
Actually, I don’t think I really do have much experience with the whole dating thing. After the confidence boost and push to control my own sexuality that MP gave me, I hopped around a bit, but I wouldn’t call that “dating” either. There was a “date,” meaning there was a meeting in a public place, usually for a meal, so we could scope each other out, then there was usually sex. Basic sex in a box set-up. Most guys tended to come back, as I was discreet and not clingy after the sex. Guys don’t usually pass up free sex. A few guys either just disappeared or faded away, some of them I’d slept with, some of them we didn’t get the chance. Some of them I developed a modicum of friendship with, and I usually paid them the courtesy of a message here and there, at least let them know when I stopped being interested in fooling around. But for the most part, everyone knew what was what and, while I was sometimes disappointed when someone would just disappear, I accepted that was what it was and just let it be. No calls or emails. While explanations are always appreciated, they don’t owe me one and, really, I don’t owe them one.
But “dating” is different. It’s all bullshit and calculation and façade, even when one attempts to really be real. I’m not the most social of people. I’m ok once I get to know people and can usually come off well with small groups of people. But I don’t really like doing it for very long. It’s too much work. Hell, sometimes even people I know, people I’m close with, are too much work. I remember how relieved I was to get to just BE, be myself, be nothing, with TyRoy after a four-hour car ride with my grandmother. You know, that might be a good simile for dating: Dates with new(-ish) people are like a long car ride with my grandmother, only I know where I shouldn’t step with my grandmother. Dates are wholly new minefields.
But we brave the minefields because sometimes the treasures we find in the fields and on the other side of the fields are ones that complement our own. But I think we can always find treasures there. Also, I guess the sex in the box relationships, the dating relationships, and the LTRelationships all present different minefields. I’m just more comfortable navigating the sex in the box and LTRelationships. But back in December, knowing that I didn’t really want to bed hop as hosting is rather uncomfortable for me right now and the meds somewhat alter my sex drive, and knowing that I wanted a LTRelationship, eventually, though probably not completely monogamous and I wouldn’t want to jump right in, so I started “dating.” I don’t think I’ve been what one would term successful.
I think the most successful I’ve been is more in developing a friendship that may never become physical with the woman I’ve been dating. In my experience, dating or even just fooling around with women, especially, usually, more femme women, there’s a problem getting the physical aspect going. I’m really just not that sexually aggressive. Also, I know what it’s like to have someone who is too sexually aggressive be all over me, making me uncomfortable, but be too stupid to get my hints for them to back off. I don’t want to be that person. And currently we both have issues hosting the other. But I really do enjoy her company. She is one of the few women that I know who really gets and agrees with my non-monogamy. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband is very very much like my own ex-husband. Blah blah blah. You get the picture. We get each other. And I think we are both pretty much ok with not labeling or limiting what we are or aren’t to each other.
Now, I’ve had less luck with the boys. Things just not fitting. Not bad guys, though. Now I’m trying to navigate that part of the minefield I had only really seen in sitcoms and romantic comedies. You know, I’m not really sure if it has a title. It’s not really a “break-up” because you were never together as a couple. Calling it “the brush-off” sounds mean, but it might be the most accurate. In LTRelationships, I’m used to the drama-filled break-up with someone you still love very much and who still loves you and the gradual process of trying to become friends, because you both know each other in very close, intimate ways. And, with the sex in the box, as I wrote above, you accepted that no one owed anyone anything, and just let it be.
But ending a “dating” relationship, especially early on, is different. I’m probably putting way too much thought into this, though. I went on a couple dates around the beginning of the year with a guy I was sorta interested in, but we had a couple weeks where our plans fell through and we didn’t really communicate very much, then he kinda disappeared. I sent a text or two, saying hi and asking if he wanted to hang out. When I got no answer I stopped. No need to stalk, right? Now, I have absolutely no idea why he stopped communicating with me. But I would guess that he didn’t struggle for days with if he should stop seeing me and how he should do it. I’m not saying he wasn’t a good guy who didn’t appreciate my company. But I really doubt it.
I, on the other hand, spent days thinking about how to end things with someone that I had a few dates with recently. [NB: I probably sound like a completely patronizing ass, especially if he happens to read this, but I can only write from my side and to get across the point I am attempting to make. Sorry if I step on any toes. But, then again, everyone I date knows about my blog so….) For the most part, I don’t think two people are ever equally interested in each other at any given time. It might be close but it’s never equal. And when you are in a situation where you just don’t fit, where you just aren’t “feelin’ it,” but the other person did nothing wrong, I don’t see any reason not to at least try to minimize any hurt feelings. This is even more true if you think that the other person is already more invested in the relationship than you are. But, on the other hand, it isn’t fair to anyone to continue when you know it isn’t going anywhere, especially not where they want it to go.
Grrrr….. But I’m still so torn. Do most people have this same dilemma? Is it different for men and women, generally? Do men and women prefer different methods, namely does one gender prefer to be disappeared on vs. getting as nice and civil of an explanation as one can honestly give them? And do most people put more thought into one or the other? Is there a possibility that the guy I was dating around New Year’s really thought about it long and hard before he stopped returning my text messages? This shit is too fucking hard. Not sure I’m up for this stupid shit right now. I have loving friends, and I get sex regularly at this time, so I think I’ll just let a LTR find me, if it’s going to. And keep a first aid kit handy, in case I stumble upon any more minefields I want to walk through.