Dandy stuff

Hung out with The Dandy again a couple of times. Both times, he cooked for me even though we were at my place. One of those times he made a grocery run on the way over and bought the food he subsequently cooked. Being fed makes me swoon and it’s an extra bonus not to have to leave my apartment for it.

Also, The Dandy caresses my head a lot and that’s absolute Kryptonite to me.

He’s been married before and during that time his wife was forever getting fed up with little things about their living space and demanding that they move, so he’s lived in a lot of different apartments that he found by looking at ads and stuff, like normal people do. I’ve lived in three places on my own (as in, not with my parents and not with a partner). I found the first two through friends. My current place, I found in the usual way, but it was the second place I looked at and I’ve been here for over ten years. So I feel like I don’t know how these things work at all. I want to move out of this place and The Dandy has been just this calm source of knowledge in the face of my GIGANTIC TIDAL WAVE OF ANGST, telling me which areas of the city are cheapest, what the pros and cons are of different kinds of apartments, what the application process usually entails, etc. etc. etc.

The Dandy feels feelings like a human and picks up on body language well – a refreshing change from The Pedant. But much like The Pedant, The Dandy is somewhat one-note in a way that I find soothing; The Pedant was mostly kind of emotionally “flat” and The Dandy is just…all cheerful and happy-go-lucky, all the time. Very little negativity for my brain to intercept and refract. So that’s good.

And it’s so nice dating a grownup. By which I mean not so much that The Dandy is my age (though he is) but that he generally has his life in order. He has a stable job that I’m pretty sure pays a lot. He has a nice apartment. He has a car. He seems reasonably self-aware, so far. Whether there are any treacherous gaps in his self-knowledge shall remain to be seen…but we had a good talk tonight via text message. We discussed the things that trigger us in a partner and we don’t have any potential red flags with each other so far.

Also he texted me the other day that he’s bought a new bathrobe to replace his old, worn-out one. And added that he’s bought some pajamas, too, so he can layer according to how cold it is in the apartment. This is significant because for a long while he just hung around the apartment naked – in front of his ex who still lives with him, mind you – and I think this contributed to their messed-up sense of boundaries with each other. I never actually told him that out loud, though he may have picked up on it when he casually mentioned his habitual apartment nudity one time and I was like “wait, what?”…Anyway he is almost certainly trying to demonstrate to me that he’s putting boundaries in place now.

On a side note, Dandette has a boyfriend again so that should take the edge off her desperate need for validation from The Dandy, although I still have no intention of going over to their apartment ever again. She’s also finally getting treatment for her mental issues so maybe she’ll find the werewithal to move out. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, is what I’m saying.

So those are the good things about dating The Dandy.

On the con side, I wish I were more attracted to his body. Visually, I mean, and not just as a source of warmth and snuggles. Sex doesn’t always flow with us the way I’d like it to; there’s usually, for me, a moment of “Ehhh, okay, let’s do this now” rather than me just being pulled in by the hotness and losing myself there.

He seems to have no erogenous zones but his dick, is dead silent when I stimulate him, and barely makes any noise when he comes. TBH I’m pretty selfish and have a short attention span, so when I get him off it’s purely out of a sense of duty; he doesn’t really give me the reactions I need to keep me engaged and interested.

I’m not falling in love with him. I’m feeling the initial strains of cat-love already, but I suspect that may be as far as my emotions will go. This only becomes a con if The Dandy falls for me and the imbalance gets weird, mind you.

On a side note, I miss being in love and often tell myself that I would like to have that again. And yet I repeatedly throw my lot in with men I know I won’t ever feel that way about. I think I’ve developed a variation on Madonna/whore complex where I’m convinced that the most solid partnerships are the ones where two people have a down-to-Earth, logical discussion of what they each need and how (or if) they can provide it for each other, and make the conscious decision to forge a relationship where they do their best to fulfill each other – and I’ve somehow come to believe that this can’t coexist with fiery, passionate feelings. Either that or I’m just afraid of falling in love because I’m all about having power and control and falling for someone is a very powerless feeling. I miss the intimacy of meshing with someone’s mind like that but I don’t want to feel like I’ve lost my head. I don’t want to worry unduly about losing the other person. I don’t want to pine for someone all the time when they’re not around, or to feel as though I’ve lost my autonomy.

And so here I am again, doing preliminary relationship negotiations with someone who is very nice and sweet but who will likely always remain at a slight remove from the core of me.

And I’m even having some (totally predictable) trouble dealing with the level of intimacy we have now. My brain is doing that thing where it keeps kind of shunting my feelings around so I don’t get too vulnerable. I can look The Dandy in the eye when we’re sitting around talking about random things, but not if we’re talking about personal things and not usually during sex. During sex I can come so hard that I feel opened to the world like a peeled snail and I’m alternately laughing and sobbing, but only if I kind of pretend The Dandy isn’t there or that he’s some generic person or device getting me off.

…It occurs to me that I may be messed up in some ways I hadn’t previously realized.

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2 responses to “Dandy stuff

  1. [insert longish copost about what various psychologists, couples therapists and psychonanlysts have written about how this falling in love thing works and what it runs on here. I am too tired to type it out, also it would get too long;)]

    Short version: smarter people than me have written books about how the crazy intensity of falling in love is basically dependent on the other person triggering your own unresolved parental issues in just the right way, and how love becomes “different” if you have solved/owned these issues thoroughly, but also less crazy/exciting. How once you’re there you don’t really “fall” that hard for anyone anymore.

    I, uh, have no way of telling whether this is true or not. I always thought it was kinda sad, but the arguments for it [that I have mostly left out] kinda compelling. Who knows. Ping me if you want book recommendations.

    • I’m definitely not over my parental baggage but maybe The Dandy just doesn’t trigger any of it. We both seem to represent a bit of a break in the other one’s destructive partner selection patterns.

      Love as a well-adjusted person is somewhat disappointing in general. When I was young I felt like twu wuv meant really merging your soul with another person and needing them to complete you. When I got divorced I did some therapy sessions and the therapist told me that this attitude is unhealthy. I see that now, and I also see that I was “merging” with partners by completely subsuming my own opinions and preferences in theirs and was often pretty desperately unhappy and not admitting it to myself. But still my therapist’s declaration that healthy love means always remaining two separate people makes me sad. Like, for so long I believed that two people could just blend together completely like two glasses of water poured into a larger glass, and the idea that this is a myth and that there’s ALWAYS a degree of separation between us and other people, no matter how much we love them…it just seems so sad and isolating.

      One time when I was falling asleep next to The Dandy it suddenly washed over me that every human being is their own universe, with unique baggage and associations and memories and experiences that another person can never really understand. I mean I knew this already but for whatever reason it hit me really hard right then. And I became aware that although for all intents and purposes things seemed great – we’d had good sex and were snuggled up falling asleep – I really had no idea what was in The Dandy’s head at that moment. Was he taking the evening at face value and just thinking it was fun and pleasant? Was he daydreaming about a future where he and I were in a long-term relationship? He might very well have not really been “present” at all – maybe he was randomly reminded of an ex and was lying there flashing back to shitty stuff that happened before. Maybe he was trying to remember whether or not he’d taken out the dog before he left the house.

      So although we’d felt intimate and connected during the sex, afterward I had a big-time “who even is this person?” moment. And it made me sad all over again that apparently soul-merging is not really a thing.

      Feel free to recommend some books, yes. Or better yet does this theory that lack of baggage = lack of passion have a name that I can Google and just read the main points?

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