The Puppy has gone all monosyllabic on me. It’s a distinct change from the novels he used to text/message me with before we met, and a pretty huge contrast to the sweet and seemingly somewhat relationship-minded boy I actually hung out with.
He’s only 23, so there’s enough of an emotional and intellectual gap for me that I wasn’t totally smitten with him. Or maybe I just have a thicker skin these days and don’t get emotionally invested so soon. I did think he’d make a good FWB, though, and I’m disappointed that things seem to be going sideways. Not devastated, mind you. Just disappointed.
Yesterday was kind of a rough day for me in general. The Pedant had his birthday ‘do: pubbing in the afternoon and clubbing at night. I’d offered him my place as a crash pad afterward – a “birthday gift,” if you will* – but he said he had stuff to do the next day that required him to go home after the club. He seemed to appreciate the offer, though, and turned it down quite nicely (he’s not always an overly blunt jackass…). The way he apologetically told me he’s going to be busy for the first half of this week makes me think that he’ll initiate a visit sometime in the near future, though – like my invitation let him know I’d like to see him and he’s subtly telling me “not now, but probably soon.”
Frankly, every part of his birthday plan twigged my social anxiety pretty hard. I told him so, but said I really wanted to come out to at least part of the festivities. I asked him if I could meet him en route to the pub rather than arriving separately and having to find him, and he said okay. He was late – as usual – but only by about fifteen minutes, and I feel like he was going me a favour by meeting me so I wasn’t angry or anything.
I wanted to kiss him hello, but somehow missed my chance (and am not sure whether he’d’ve received it well, anyway). We ended up being the first ones to arrive at the pub, despite getting there past the formal start-time of this gathering (I’m guessing The Pedant’s friends are all aware of his punctuality issues and planned accordingly!). We made terribly awkward small talk and I wished we were making out instead. Which reinforced, once again, the fact that we really don’t have much in common aside from our sexual chemistry and (to an extent) our taste in movies/tv shows. As I sat there trying to have a conversation, though, an epiphany hit me: I have indeed been setting the bar too high when it comes to potential subs or FWBs. Or at least setting the bar on the wrong axis. I’ve been trying to find people I have chemistry with personality-wise, but The Pedant proves that I don’t really need that. If a dude isn’t rapey or slut-shamey, sounds like he has a compatible sexual “style” to mine, and I feel attracted to him, that’s reason enough to fuck him.
The Pedant’s friends – when they began to trickle in – were entertaining and nice and I actually had a totally pleasant time, except when I suddenly realized that if I’m sleeping with The Pedant but acting aloof with him in public, maybe others at the party were doing the same. A rather unpleasant competitive/paranoid feeling washed over me and I began monitoring his “hello” hugs with all the other women: did the hugs seem unusually intimate? (I didn’t think so.) Did he kiss any of them on the cheek – as he used to do with me, back when we weren’t seeing each other yet and there was all that sexual tension, but doesn’t anymore for whatever reason? (No.) Most of my yucky feelings were happening because I don’t know where I stand with The Pedant half the time, mind you. He seemed to have a point where his affection and sweetness kind of “peaked,” and lately he’s not as affectionate as he used to be and it’s making me wonder if I’m on the way out. If I felt that my position was secure, I wouldn’t have been quite so wound up in analyzing his interactions with others. 😛
The Pedant’s friend Hot Dude was there, and to my (probably misplaced) surprise, he recognized me (but we’ve met three times before, so…). I started thinking this might be grounds enough to friend him on Facebook once I got home, and was daydreaming about hitting on him via Facebook message, when I noticed that he seemed to be really engrossed in conversation with one of the other guests (a woman, although Hot Dude is bi so that’s not actually relevant). Which is fine; I wasn’t jealous and I wasn’t even necessarily put off the idea of hitting on him. It was just a conversation, after all. But the content of that conversation was about books/tv shows/concepts I’m not familiar with, and that – in conjunction with Hot Dude not giving off any vibe toward me but polite gregariousness – makes me think he’s a no-go. I don’t think he sees me in a potentially sexy way and it seems likely we have nothing to talk about, so yeah. Boo-urns.
I left The Pedant’s pub shindig after three hours or so; The Social Worker had just gotten back from a two-week solo jaunt through Europe and wanted to catch up that night, and I needed a few hours to recharge at home first. We ended up at a nightclub, huddled in a comfy booth, talking (and sometimes getting up to dance). The Social Worker told me all about Europe and I told him about the various boys I’m considering. The Social Worker deemed The Puppy a “playa,” and it does seem that he’s acting like one, but isn’t the point of “playing” to get laid? The Puppy is going distant after one date with kissing only. It doesn’t make sense to me.
The Social Worker said I should just text The Puppy outright asking if he’s still interested. The problem with that, though, is that if he’s looking to string me along as his backup plan, he’ll just assure me that yes, yes, he’s interested, whatever – and then I’ll be back to square one. Also, I think I’d look a bit overly clingy if I got all picky about the length and frequency of The Puppy’s text messages when we’ve been on one date.
And so The Social Worker took my phone, typed “What are you doing on Monday?” into the sporadic text conversation I’ve been having with The Puppy, and looked at me for approval. I nodded and he hit send.
While waiting for The Puppy to reply, I began texting The Latent Heterosexual. The single vodka and orange juice I’d consumed seemed to have sharpened my already needy, boy-crazy headspace; I craved male attention and did not feel it would be prudent to bug The Pedant for it while he was on his own, separate nightclub adventure. This is how the ensuing conversation with TLH panned out (most of it taking place while The Social Worker was in the bathroom; I wasn’t typing away on my phone and ignoring him or anything).
Me: Heeeey baby! (…She texts, somewhat drunkenly.)
TLH: Hoy thar.
Me: How YOU doin’? (Leers.) …In all seriousness, I think I understand the phenomenon of the drunk text now. Granted, I’ve only had one drink. But it’s making me gregarious as fuck. Comparatively speaking. 😛
TLH: Haha. Yeah, I know the feeling. That enchanting combination of loquacious and horny. I’m good! Been doing a gamejam this weekend, you?
Me: Worked this morning. Friend’s bday thing in the afternoon. Now I’m out with my friend [The Social Worker]. Been missing you…(even before having that one drink). Got time this week for a Community marathon and hopefully snuggles?
TLH: Aww. ❤ Well I have an instant erection at the thought, so that’s probably my body’s way of consenting to that.
For those of you who are new to this blog, TLH and I used to date briefly but agreed (after a few awkward false starts) that the chemistry isn’t really there and we’re probably better off as friends. When I asked for snuggles, it wasn’t a euphemism; I literally meant just platonic snuggling, which we’ve done before. So it’s a little incongruous that he would tell me he got an erection at the idea, but I don’t really mind. And anyway TLH is kind of an odd duck; mentioning that he’s hard is not necessarily a come-on for him, and being hard during snuggles doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to have sex.
When I asked what day would be best for him, TLH suggested Monday. I was frankly pretty sure The Puppy wouldn’t text me back, so I agreed. Why pass up a sure thing? 😀
Surprisingly, The Puppy did respond to my “what are you doing on Monday?” text, about an hour after I sent it. The response was “nothing.” Hooray, I get two syllables this time! 😛 I ignored him until the next morning, when he texted me literally just as I picked up the phone to text him. He said: “Sorry I was working last night didn’t get home til 3:30” (he’s a bartender). So, okay, that seems like a valid enough reason for the one-word response (and I hold no ill-will for him taking an hour to make it; I don’t expect him to be at my beck and call or anything!). But if I can be a little picky here…even the tone of his apology message seemed curt. He still wasn’t acting effusive and interested like before. I didn’t like it.
I texted back “And I forgot that I already have plans with a friend on Monday. *Facepalm*.” Yeah, a little white lie – I didn’t want to tell The Puppy I’d made plans in the hour it took for him to get back to me. That would seem kinda cold.
His response? “No worries. Catch me later.” No suggestion of an alternate date. Not even a damn smiley. Just him making me responsible for setting our next meeting, whenever it may be. I’m getting a strong feeling he’s made me his backup plan – putting in the minimum amount of maintenance to keep me from bailing, just in case he ever feels like seeing me again. Fuck that – I’m just gonna stop talking to him. If he prompts me, that’s when I’ll point out his personality change and ask him what’s up.
…Or, alternately, I could just shift my own expectations and make him my backup plan, too. Although it seems like there’s a lot of potential for irritation there.
Another thing that added to my stress yesterday, though it actually happened the day before: the 33 year old I met on Tuesday (uh, let’s call him The Prince) messaged me to gush about how awesome I am. This is stressful because I’m not as into him as he’s into me.
Here’s the thing: I’ve realized that, for me anyway, one meeting with someone means nothing. As in: no matter how much I liked that person during that one meeting, if they don’t keep in touch with me and maintain my excitement, it’ll fade in a few days and life will go on. And if for whatever reason they fall out of contact but resurface later, I may not be able to muster my initial enthusiasm again – not because I’m mad and “punishing” them for disappearing but because the whole incident healed over and I’ve moved on.
In The Prince’s case, I got along with him well enough when we met – we have a lot of basic attitudes in common, and kept the conversation going smoothly – but I didn’t leave the coffee place feeling excited about him. Possibly because he did the vast majority of the talking (I’m excited when people “get” me. He spent our conversation blatantly assessing whether I “get” him), possibly because I didn’t feel strongly attracted to him (the possibility of sex sharpens my interest in a person more; I’m not gonna lie), possibly because I found him somewhat exhausting to be around (too much philosophical debate, not enough goofing around, I think).
And then The Prince wrote to me telling me he’s interested (and that he hasn’t met anyone so like-minded in literally eight years or more) and I was just…torn. A day or two had passed; whatever passing enjoyment I’d gotten from meeting him had waned and I would’ve been perfectly content never to see him again. Our kinks do sound pretty compatible, and I do wonder whether an attraction will assert itself if we hang out more, but then again I thought that would happen with The Doll, too, and that fell flat. I’m beginning to think that if I’m not attracted to someone on our first meeting, I’m never gonna be; the most I’ll get is that weird fluctuating in-between thing I feel for The Doll and The Latent Heterosexual. I could be wrong, though. I’m trying to remember whether I’ve ever felt a true, strong attraction to someone that took a while to build up, and I really can’t recall. I have very little basis for comparison, considering I can barely ever get someone to hang out with me more than once and I recently got out of a three-year, mostly-monogamous relationship. My memories of “dating” are mostly too far back for me to remember clearly.
On the other hand, I like the idea of having new friends, and as I said, it’s hard getting anyone to hang out with me more than once (male or female; people are flaky, yo!). The Prince presented himself as someone who – like me – is willing to just have experiences with new people and enjoy them for what they are without pushing any kind of agenda (sex, relationship, whatever), and he actually wrote back hoping to see me again. We come from similar headspaces on a lot of things, and although I’m not emotionally attached to him now, that’s not a sign that we can’t be friends – that’s just my “one meeting means nothing” thing.
In the end I messaged him that I enjoyed hanging out with him but am not sure I feel an attraction per se…but if he’s cool with this possibly remaining platonic, I’d hang with him again. I also made it very clear that if he doesn’t want to just be friends, he’s free to go and I’ll have no hard feelings. I don’t want him stringing me along just because he doesn’t want to look rude/sex-obsessed/whatever by bailing. I haven’t heard back yet, but it’s only been a day or so.
And then there’s Willow. Willow is back from New York and has made pleasant small talk with me when I initiated it, but still hasn’t proposed a second date like he said he would. He’s going to Cambodia for a couple of weeks soon (I forget precisely how soon) and we had previously agreed on getting together sometime before then. And yet, he isn’t offering.
The reason I’m loath to just go “Dude wtf are you still into me or what?” to Willow or The Puppy or anyone else is that I firmly believe in evaluating the people I spend time with on their own merits, without dragging old baggage into it. Yes, it feels as though about a hundred interesting guys in my past have faded away for no reason, but Willow and The Puppy are not those guys**. Going on one date with a guy and not hearing from him for a couple of days (or only getting single-word texts from him for a couple of days, or getting small talk but no offer of a second date for a couple of days) is not inherently a sign of foul play, and I think if I flew off the handle over it I’d look extremely clingy and neurotic. And if I explained that I was only getting worried because a precedent has been set by all those guys who faded on me in the past, I think a dude would just wonder what’s wrong with me that everyone bailed like that.
But it’s still driving me crazy that Willow isn’t making good on his promise to see me before the Cambodia trip, and I wanted to say something. For whatever reason, my first idea was to approach the situation passively – like by asking “when do you want to get together again?”. That tack strikes me as potentially whiny/needy, though. It took me longer than it should have to realize I should just invite him over and see what he says. So, I messaged him asking if he wants to come over on Thursday. If he’s vague in his response, that’s when I’ll give him a talking to. I’ve decided I’ll frame it something like this:
“I’m perfectly comfortable being someone’s secondary or tertiary. I have people (friends, FWB, whatever) that I only see every few weeks or months or even years, and I’m fine with that. But in the beginning I like a little more contact and reassurance, because technically being a few weeks in with someone who plans to see me once every two months looks exactly the same as being a few weeks into knowing someone who’s completely lost interest. So let me just ask you: are you in fact still interested?” – if he’s not, hopefully he’ll say so. If he is, well, that’ll be nice to hear. But I’m still not getting my hopes up too much.
What I hate the most about all this shit is how much it makes me second-guess myself. Did The Puppy bolt because I wasn’t super dominant and sadistic with him right away (he’s experienced, remember; he’s been flogged and stuff. I’m timid and inexperienced by comparison)? Is Willow fading because I didn’t put out right away and he got bored (I can’t help but notice how much time he spends leaving lascivious comments on other women’s pictures – and they’re always naked/sexytimes pictures)? Of course if I’d “put out” sexually or BDSM…ly and the guys faded, I’d be lambasting myself over that. And seriously, every single person I ever talk to has the same problem with flaky, fading people, so I’m pretty sure it’s not anything I’m doing. It’s just that people suck.
It’s hard not to get paranoid, though.
Ugh, I’m painting such a sad bastard portrait of myself right now. Yesterday was actually quite nice in many ways. Work was fucking awesome, The Pedant’s birthday thing was really nice, and I loved hanging out with The Social Worker. Plus, I get to have snuggles with TLH soon. The boy angst was an undercurrent in my day, yes; but plenty of other good things happened.
Also, I bought a beautiful sparkly hula hoop and am looking forward to practicing with it, and I’ve been generally socializing more and working on my art business more lately than I have in a while. Mostly, life is good. I’d just like to be getting laid more often. 😛
*The Pedant lives way the fuck out in the suburbs; my place is much more convenient to the downtown area. Whether he knows it or not, “you can crash at my place – call it a birthday gift” literally meant “I am offering you a convenient place to sleep” not “Why don’tcha come over and unwrap me, birthday boy!”
**For that matter, those guys are not a monolith and their fading away was not a conspiracy.