Sage stuff

Second date with The Sage today.  

I don’t know about him.  There’s a weird sense of “level-jumping” – we’ve only been talking for a short while, but I felt a rapport with him pretty much the second we met in person and we’ve both acted from the get-go as though this is likely to turn into a relationship (well, he acts that way full out, and I keep reining myself in because it seems absurd to be feeling like this already).  Maybe this is what happens when you get two older, wiser people together: your interactions become this strategic, formal, deliberate thing of Nurturing the Budding Relationship.  You both know that sitting back and “seeing what happens” can cause a good thing to stagnate, so if you feel a connection, you work at it.  Right from the start.

So in some ways I felt comfortable with him right away, and in others he raises red flags for boundary-crossing; but he’s Aspie, so I gave it a chance and told him to please stop texting me things like “*cuddles*” and “*kisses*” when we’re not yet on a cuddling or kissing basis in person, and he thanked me for using my words and has mostly stopped doing the things I said I didn’t like (when he slips up, I do not think it’s a test or a deliberate boundary violation but rather that he simply cannot see where the boundaries lie).

And yeah, it’s great that he responded so well to my corrections.  But at the same time, I feel like dating someone shouldn’t be this freaking hard in the beginning.  It’s like I’ve been dropped into a relationship at the six-month mark or something (aside from the fact that there’s been no physical stuff).  All this negotiation just to make things run smoothly.

Also, he’s constantly giving me advice and seeming like he’s trying to mentor me in various areas.  And while he actually does seem to know a lot about the shit he lectures me on, and it could be valuable to learn the things he wants to teach me, it kinda rubs me the wrong way.  I can’t tell whether he’s being a tad condescending or if I’m just touchy about a dude trying to teach me stuff (which is a sore spot for me…I blame it on my dad).  I sometimes wanna be like “Hey, dude – you do remember that we’re basically the same age, right?”

Or, like, a couple of times during our first date, I was talking animatedly about kink and admittedly got a little too loud (we were in a coffee shop with lots of people around to overhear).  The Sage made a warning face and gestured with his hand for me to lower my volume, which seemed curiously bossy (fatherly, maybe?) to me and made me feel all foolish and chastised.  I think if he’d simply said “You might wanna keep it down; people might hear you” I wouldn’t have felt so…spanked.

Soooo I dunno.  I do really appreciate how “trainable” he is (his word).  And from what I can tell it sounds like we’d be pretty compatible when it comes to BDSM play.  So I’ll keep on giving it a shot.  I just vacillate so wildly between “I immediately feel like I can talk to this person about my deepest emotions and traumas” and “OMG he’s being too pushy about his attraction to me and it’s freaking me out” that it’s kind of exhausting.


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13 responses to “Sage stuff

  1. M

    The shushing you thing might’ve been him trying to help you not potentially embarrass yourself and not quite knowing the polite way to do it. In the past he may have been shushed in a similar manner – maybe for a long time by his parents.

  2. marika grofno

    you’ll see if he’s trainable enough so he can stop it around you, or is too irritating… good luck!

  3. I may be misunderstanding something, but wouldn’t it logically take more negotiation to make things run smoothly at the beginning? Like, as an example, for me, hand gestures for ‘too loud’ are standard – my friends do it to me and each other all the time, etc. Meanwhile, I would find someone saying it out-loud to be condescending. But, neither way is better than the other, we just have different associations.

    So how do you usually resolve things like that, if not by communication?

    • I may be misunderstanding something, but wouldn’t it logically take more negotiation to make things run smoothly at the beginning?

      Well, yeah, with little things maybe sometimes. The hand gesture for me to quiet down, I just overlooked; it’s annoying but not enough to say something. And I was being loud, so it’s easier to just work on that.

      But I’m talking about big things. The Sage did things that would usually be a dealbreaker for me – total “Well, the one date was decent but now it’s gone downhill and I gotta bail” territory. He came off overenthusiastic/clingy/pushy to a point where it set off my red flags, but I also know he’s Aspie and therefore possibly not seeing my boundaries, rather than deliberately trampling them. So I took a chance on telling him outright to cut that shit out, and he apologized and changed. Although he didn’t change enough, because he can’t comprehend the concept of seeming too enthusiastic so he doesn’t know what behaviours might fall under that banner, and so shit keeps coming up where I have to be like “dude, don’t.” And then he makes me explain how the thing makes me feel and why it counts toward the whole “pushy” thing so he can better understand for the future. It’s just exhausting.

      But the thing is he genuinely seems to be trying, and soooo super grateful that I’m telling him what I need instead of just running away. So…I dunno. We’ll see.

    • …What I mean is, in the beginning of a relationship with a reasonably compatible partner, there might be the odd little thing like “Hey could you text me next time you’re gonna be late?”

      Six months in, though, maybe one of you gets transferred to the night shift at work and it causes huge relationship upheaval and you have to sort a bunch of shit out to get things running smoothly (or figure out that it’s not feasible to keep dating). That’s the drama level The Sage and I have landed on, as of pretty much the first date. And I don’t think I like it.

      • eep.
        (Sorry if I came off as condemning. I didn’t mean it that way, I was genuinely curious because this isn’t an area I have experience in. Thanks for explaining.).

        • No, I didn’t take you as condescending at all. If anything I just wondered if my take on relationships is weird. 😛

          • I don’t think it’s weird.
            The way I understood it is, that kind of negotiation is needed to deal with ‘not being on the same page’ about something (so, if you and the Sage agreed on what level of enthusiasm was good, there wouldn’t be a problem, but you don’t, so there is). So, basically evaluating a relationship by three things: 1) how much are we on the same page, 2) can we deal with things if we’re not, 3) is that dealing-with-it worth it.
            So you’ve found out that the answer to 1 is ‘not as much as I would like’, but the answer to 2 is ‘possibly’, so now you’re trying to decide on 3.
            And it totally makes sense that it would work differently in an established relationship, because there’s more investment to make it worth it.

            So yeah, not weird at all. Really helpful to read.

    • What an amazing comic! Thank you for sharing it with me. I honestly think everyone should either model for art classes, or attend an art class with a nude model, because yeah – body positivity. Big time.

  4. Andy

    Oh god, reading this made my skin crawl :S I hope things improve with him, because obviously you’re seeing something positive in the Sage, but…augh, that *cuddles* thing would drive me up the wall (I have male acquaintances who text-*cuddle* me when we don’t cuddle in real life and I HATE IT I HATE IT I HATE IT).

    • I hate it too!

      The Sage claims he’s always done this – texted “virtual actions” to a love interest that he hadn’t yet done with them in person – and that these women all enjoyed this. That…does not sound right to me. One wonders how The Sage could even guess what the women thought of his behaviour since he’s not great with social cues.

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