Tag Archives: dating angst

Last night The Dandy checked his text messages and said “Dandette is asking about getting some of her stuff this weekend. She also wants me to come see her new place, which I have no interest in at all, obviously.”

“Why would that be obvious to me?” I asked. “Just the other day you implied that you wanted her in your life in some capacity.”

“I flip-flop,” The Dandy said. “I mean I was thinking of trying to be friends, but now that I know she’s been making up some story in her head that I’m gonna break up with you and I’ll ask her to come back…ugh, that’s just too much crazy.”

TBH I rather suspected that this would happen. The Dandy was with her for around seven years, held prisoner by her anxiety attacks and suicide threats, and probably got a big ol’ case of Stockholm Syndrome. I think he feels guilt at the relationship failing, or at not being able to save or fix Dandette. I think he’s beginning to realize how fucked up and abusive things between them actually were. But I also think he’s resisting seeing her as just a flat-out awful person because that would mean he was stupid enough not only to fall for an awful person, but to invest seven years in her*. So it probably soothes his pride to pretend that she’s great and the two of them just aren’t compatible as lovers but can still be friends. I don’t think this will be the last time he flip-flops about this. I anticipate a rough ride for the next six months to a year where he vacillates wildly between trying to give her the benefit of the doubt and realizing that he dodged a bullet.

And I’m sorry, I know I’m harping on this yet again, but it still BUGS THE SHIT OUT OF ME that the things Dandette has done to me don’t factor into any of this. He fully understands that what she did to me was sexual assault; he calls it what it is and doesn’t try to minimize it. He also knows that the thing where she jokingly threatened me with the sword was inappropriate – in this case he was the one who said it first to me because AnxietyBrain was making me feel like I might be upset over nothing. He said every kind of training with a deadly weapon will always tell you never to point it at someone unless you actually do intend to hurt them, and that threatening me with it was not at all acceptable, especially since I’m a layman with no idea how sharp it was or anything. For all I knew, the thing could have sliced my arm open. And he said it was just a ridiculously childish and inappropriate way to act in front of his mom.  So he knows that these are bad things that happened.

If someone I was close to sexually assaulted my partner and then – on another occasion – knowingly did a thing that drove them into a huge panic attack (let alone all the other, more insidious shit Dandette did to both of us!) I would be angry at them for it. I would yell at them for it and then I wouldn’t want to hang out with them anymore. And yet…here we are.

And I know The Dandy was an abuse victim, too, so his head is probably all screwed up and I have to try to be gentle with him. But I don’t know how to stop being angry about this. I’ve been in abusive relationships with people who terrified me; I’ve had such low self-esteem that I thought I deserved to be treated badly; but even through all of that, if someone threatened someone I loved, my usual terror would evaporate and I’d fill with rage and step in to defend my loved one. My dad (who was abusive and scared me shitless) screamed at the family dog once for no good reason and I got between them and said “DON’T YOU DARE YELL AT HER. SHE DIDN’T EVEN DO ANYTHING. STOP IT.” I was probably eight or nine years old at the time, confronting a grown man who I knew could throw me through a fucking wall if he wanted to. But I did it.

And at this point, Dandette has moved out. I don’t need The Dandy to reprimand her for things she’s done to me (although I wish he had). I don’t need him to intervene when she’s in the middle of doing something terrible to me (though I wish he had). I just want him to not be pals with her. I want him to not talk to her except to work out the practical details of her picking up the rest of her stuff. I want him not to say yes to going for drinks with her. And most of the time he can’t manage to do even that.

 

*I don’t think he’s stupid for not seeing the red flags, or for getting so caught up in his and Dandette’s fucked-up relationship that he didn’t know it was fucked up anymore. Abusers and manipulators are subtle about it; they lure you in under false pretenses; that’s kinda their whole schtick. It’s not The Dandy’s fault for being a normal, trusting person. But I think victims of abuse do tend to blame themselves for it.

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Respite

I talked to The Dandy about things some more later on and I’m feeling a bit better. Too exhausted to give a big play-by-play (and I can’t really remember much about the conversation, anyway; we were up talking til 4am).

I will say that it began with The Dandy telling me that he felt he had to see Dandette, just to be nice or whatever, because if she feels vengeful she might try to sue him for spousal support. She’s successfully gotten onto welfare but when she first applied, apparently the worker advised her to go after The Dandy’s money instead. For whatever reason they have since dropped the idea and enrolled her for support, but yeah. He added that he needed to talk logistics with her, anyway.

I pointed out that The Dandy is infamous for not checking his text messages, so why didn’t he ignore her? Text her the next day all “Oh sorry I didn’t see your request for company until now. So anyway, when do you want to get the rest of your furniture?” He looked caught out and didn’t have an answer.

And I told him that he clearly is all about the path of least resistance, not “being nice to people” so don’t even bother trying to bullshit me otherwise. And I told him that he clearly did know I’d be upset by him hanging out with her, so he avoided answering my question about the nature of their get-together, and that left me to twist in the wind for six hours while AnxietyBrain whispered to me that maybe he still loves her or maybe he wants to be bestest friends with her and see her all the time or maybe he feels so guilty about her having to fend for herself without a job that he’ll invite her to live with us again. Dodging me like that and keeping me out of the loop is fucking unacceptable. I told him not to do that again.

And I had a huge cry because I just so consistently feel like Dandette’s feelings are prioritized over mine simply because she comes across as more fragile and prone to freaking out. The idea that I matter less/am not worth being helped or taken care of because I’m not fucked up enough is a thing that my parents taught me since I was a little kid, so basically this whole thing with Dandette is punching me right in the childhood psychological bruises.

As I free-associated on the topic further I suddenly realized: “Oh holy shit even when you finally talked to Dandette about her behaviour it was because you figured you’d be more tactful about it than I would have been. That’s…amazing. I’d been framing it as you finally standing up for me, but by your own admission you did it to protect her from harsh words.” And I started laughing my ass off, even as I continued crying.

The Dandy said nothing through all of this. He generally needs time to process people’s emotional stuff, and he has a mental block about saying the words “I’m sorry.” But he held me and petted me until I was all cried out and that was good enough for the time being.

Took me two or three days to finish writing this entry and we’ve since had a third talk. I was a lot more calm and so was he and we were able to be a bit more productive with our discussion this time, I think.

I told him (not in an accusatory tone, just neutral and curious) that I’m sure he knew he could have ignored her text the other night that said she was at loose ends and looking for someone to keep her company that evening. The fact that he didn’t ignore it suggests that he got something out of the idea of seeing her. What was it?

“Closure,” The Dandy said. “And an opportunity to discuss the getting of her remaining things, like, nicely, instead of via angry text messages. That was seven or eight years of my life, you know, and there were some good times in there. It wasn’t all bad. I didn’t want to end things on a bad note. And I do think that looking as amicable as possible right now might help keep her from trying to sue me for support money.”

“I get that,” I said. And then I made him promise – several times – that he doesn’t like her or want to be her friend and she’ll never live here again and really he’s just biding his time until she can be out of our lives for good. Then I realized something. “But, okay…what if she still demands your time, even once it’s all over and she’s moved out? Won’t you feel like you have to oblige her because she could still sue for support? Is there a statute of limitations on that?”

The Dandy said she loses the right to sue after five years have passed, but really he suspects that just conducting himself well through the remainder of the move-out will make her lose interest in the idea (and if she does sue him, the way he’s conducted himself is above reproach). I think – I hope – that he’s right. She’s on welfare now; she has a place to live; she doesn’t need The Dandy’s money. Plus she has shitty executive function and has a hard time ever finishing anything. And I kind of get the sense that she won’t want to hang out with him once she’s established in her new place, anyway. That phase of her life is over and she’s constructing a new and very different life for herself. So maybe she really will go the fuck away.

Anyway, I feel better now. But it would probably be worth it to reiterate to The Dandy that if he’d fucking told me the truth about wanting closure/fearing a lawsuit in the first place, I wouldn’t have had that horrible night of knowing he was with Dandette but not knowing why and imagining the worst.

 

 

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Aftermath

The Dandy never did respond to my text asking why he and Dandette were hanging out. I know he saw it, though, because he did text me to say that he’d be picking up my blanket and DVD from Dandette on Saturday. Looks like he knows goddamned well I’m angry he’s hanging out with her and he’s trying to placate me.

He came home at about midnight – so, five or six hours of hanging out with Dandette, I think. Far more time than would have been necessary for talking about when she’d pick up the rest of her stuff.

I’d asked him to bring home chocolate and he did – two large Lindt bars – he was definitely sucking up. I didn’t come out to greet him when he got in and he called out “There’s chocolate…” and I did want that so I finally did get up and go out to the front hall to where he was taking off his boots.

He handed me the chocolate and hugged me. I was (and am) furious with him, but I’m furious with him because I love him and want him but feel his loyalties are divided. I accepted the hug because I wanted the reassurance that he wants me back, but I felt like a sucker for doing so.

The Dandy asked if I’d had a good day off without him or if I’d missed him. Oh wow. Way to open a can of worms, buddy. I told him I’d been enjoying the alone-time but then he texted me that he’d be hanging out with Dandette and by his phrasing it sounded like this was a social/fun thing and that had put my brain into turmoil for the past few hours.

I asked what the evening was, to him.

He said “Doing something nice for someone. Taking an opportunity to work out some logistical stuff.”

I followed him into his bedroom and sat silently for a while, eating a couple of squares of the chocolate. Finally I said “I just don’t get it. I’m trying to picture it. Just two weeks ago she bails out of the apartment. She lies to a bunch of people to get sympathy, saying that you kicked her out and she doesn’t even know why. And today she says she’s bored and needs someone to hang out with and instead of ignoring this or telling her to fuck off you say okay?”

“I believe in being nice to people,” The Dandy said.

(“Do you have any goddamned self-respect at all?” I wanted to say. But didn’t.)

Then The Dandy had the gall to try to make small talk about the evening, like updating me on how Dandette and Boyfriendish are doing and whatnot. It is useful information that she’s found a place to live and will be leaving a few of her furniture items behind if we wanna use them. But The Dandy was clearly trying to distract me and avoid conflict and I wasn’t about to allow that.

“Was she super fun to hang out with?” I asked sarcastically. “I mean, since she’s on meds now and everything.” This was a reference to the time, shortly before Dandette left but after she sexually assaulted me, that The Dandy took her out on a “date night” because “she’s fun to hang out with again, now that she’s getting her issues treated.”

“No,” The Dandy said, ignoring my snark. “She’s depressed and fucked up.”

I asked him if he really “believes in being nice to people” or just believes in taking the path of least resistance, since he had to have known I’d hate him seeing her but he did it anyway. I added that, really, I feel like he’s consistently given me the short end of the stick when it comes to her. He wouldn’t kick her out of the apartment because it would be “too mean.” He wouldn’t talk to her about her inappropriate behaviour because it might upset her. Never mind that all of this was forcing me to live in close quarters with someone who’d done terrible things to me and I was constantly in a state of upset; he needed to be careful of her feelings. And now there’s this.

He did his thing of going silent and shutting down. I asked him how he thought I should feel about his outing tonight and he still said nothing. I said “Okay, let’s try this: what did you expect that I was gonna feel about it?”

“Not much,” The Dandy said. “I was just being nice to someone and firming up the move-out plans.”

I told him that if he really didn’t think I’d be angry over this, then I must not have been clear when I was talking to him about the situation with Minx, or for that matter when I’ve talked to him about Dandette in the past. So I would be clear now: when someone violates someone I love – or even just shows themselves to be capable of terrible things – I do not want them in my life. And I want the people close to me to feel the same way. I do not want someone I love to be pals with a person who’s fucked me over.

The Dandy remained silent.

“So, since you’re a believer in being nice, d’you figure that socializing with my abuser is a nice thing to do to me? In what way?”

The Dandy remained silent.

“Right,” I said, and went into my own room and shut the door.

This talk of being “nice” reminds me of New Year’s Eve, when I came out to dinner to find that The Dandy had bought and laid out some wine. Dandette has an obvious alcohol problem and getting shitfaced on wine was, from what I can tell, what lowered her inhibitions enough to allow her to cross the line from her usual persistent, uncomfortable flirting into outright sexual assault. Yet The Dandy had gotten wine and not even warned me.

Later, I confronted him about this. He said “I thought it would be nice to have wine for New Year’s.”

“Nice for who?” I asked pointedly.

He paused and said “Nice for me.”

Awesome.

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Depressing thought

Near the end of my marriage, I was in kind of a holding pattern. I knew I wanted to leave, but technically, our relationship was hanging in there; we weren’t super in love and we certainly weren’t having sex, but we weren’t fighting, either. We went to work, we came home, we chatted about our respective days, we ate dinner, we watched movies, we went to sleep. Things were…pleasant enough. I would have felt like a drama queen, blowing that pleasant-enough existence to smithereens out of nowhere. I needed some anger, some momentum; I needed something bad to happen in order to finally say “that’s it, I’m leaving!” And eventually my ex gave me that opportunity (he was an alcoholic so it was bound to happen sooner or later).

I suspect that’s where things are with The Dandy and Dandette. The Dandy knows the two of them aren’t working out and he doesn’t want her living with us anymore, but they still have plenty of perfectly pleasant conversations; she still does cook and clean sometimes; I think he may be waiting, as I did, for something horrible to happen so he has the motivation to blow things apart.

What’s killing me is that Dandette manipulating him and I into sex and then sexually assaulting me herself was not that moment, for him.

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Update

Today I told The Dandy two things that have occurred to me:

  1. I think he needs to practice speeches in his head so he doesn’t get caught off-guard. I think it’s pretty inevitable that Dandette will call him out, sooner or later, for being her “boyfriend” but never kissing her, cuddling her, having sex with her, etc. This would be a prime opportunity for The Dandy to essentially say “I haven’t been doing those things because I haven’t been feeling boyfriendy toward you. I think we’re better as friends. Sorry.” He needs to have this spiel prepared and in his proverbial back pocket, otherwise I think if Dandette ambushes him with “WHY DON’T YOU EVER FUCK ME!? DON’T YOU FIND ME ATTRACTIVE ANYMORE?!?” he’ll reflexively launch into “Awww, of course I do!” and lose out on this perfect chance to opt out of the relationship.
  2. It’s not enough for me that The Dandy is tentatively thinking about making changes around here. I want a timeline; I want tangible progress. My first request is that he tells Dandette that he wants her to start getting more work so she can pay for her own cigarettes and entertainment. This switch to buying her own luxuries doesn’t have to happen immediately – he can give her a few months’ grace period before his money transfers to her stop – but I want him to have the initial talk with her by the end of January.

The Dandy nodded his agreement with point #1 and said yes without hesitation to my request in point #2. I feel pleased that this talk went so well.

 

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Drama night

Dandette was out tonight and The Dandy agreed to dedicate some time to hanging out with me. We ordered Greek food and he got me off a couple of times while we waited for it to arrive (with plans for him to put his penis in me after dinner). After orgasming that second time, I told The Dandy that for me, sex is the barometer of how healthy a relationship is – and we haven’t been having a lot lately and it’s worrisome. I said in fairness I’m not saying this to complain that he hasn’t initiated; it’s that I haven’t wanted it, either, and I’m not sure why and it bothers me. And I can’t parse out how much of it is discomfort at Dandette maybe overhearing us vs. how much is maybe me having issues with The Dandy himself that are getting in the way. I asked him if he was having issues with me that were making him not much feel like fucking. He said nah, it’s mostly the thing of not wanting Dandette to overhear us. He’s a little uncomfortable with it and he knows I’m really uncomfortable with it so…

I also asked The Dandy about his “date” with Dandette the previous night; had the outing been a date for him, too, or was that just what she was calling it? The Dandy said he considered it a date. I said “well, but you said pretty recently that you never really wanted to get back together with her at all and things weren’t working out with her, so I feel like there’s kind of a mixed message here…?” and he shrugged and said that she’s saner lately (meds are working) and therefore more fun to hang out with.

Food came, and as I ate a tremendously huge and sad thought suddenly came together for me. I didn’t want to ruin what was meant to be a “date night” for The Dandy and I, but I also couldn’t put the thought aside and act cheerful and normal, so fuck it, I told him what was on my mind: “It occurs to me that Dandette sexually assaulted me on The Night of Drunken Horrors – not to mention coerced us into that weird puppet sex – and left me traumatized and not trusting her or wanting to be around her. She did these things to me and you claim to love me but didn’t give her any kind of talking to to let her know it wasn’t okay, and you continue paying for her rent, her food, her cigarettes; she has all her expenses paid for and a room of her own, a level of privacy I don’t get to have – and she gets to date you. And I’m here just trying to be a good partner to you. As far as I know I’ve never done anything terrible to you. I have my shit mostly together and I pay rent. But I have to live with a person who makes me uncomfortable and watch her totally get a free ride and watch you date her.”

By the look on The Dandy’s face he understood, at least a little bit, why I was upset. “Well,” he said, “it’s not like she and I kiss or have sex or anything.”

“And you think that makes a difference why? And you think she won’t eventually notice this and confront you about it why? And you feel this isn’t leading her on why? …For the record, I wouldn’t want you being platonic pals with someone who’d sexually assaulted me, either. I mean, it’s not like this was a thing that happened years ago and she and I talked it through and worked everything out and it’s okay. It happened like three weeks ago and I am not at all okay with it. But you went on a date with her yesterday because she’s fun to hang out with. God, if someone hurt you it would put me off them completely. But here we are.”

I think it was at this point that The Dandy said “I can’t live in perpetual awkwardness.” Maybe I’d said some more things to him before that, along the lines that I really really want him to oust her from the apartment and we’ll just live here together alone. I’m having a hard time remembering the order of things, now. But at any rate, what The Dandy meant with the awkwardness thing was that he was keeping up some minimal charade that he and Dandette are dating (and possibly avoiding calling her out when she does shitty things) because if he didn’t, she’d have a tearful meltdown and things in the house would be shitty for a while.

“But it already is awkward,” I said. “You’re living with someone who makes you uncomfortable on a regular basis. And she makes me uncomfortable, too, so you’ll be feeling awkwardness from me. And if you really can’t bring yourself to ask her to move out, and I get sick of the situation and leave, she’ll still be here, making you uncomfortable. Just you and her, forever. On the other hand, if you have the scary conversation with Dandette asking her to leave, and you stick by that decision no matter what, things get really awkward temporarily and after that you don’t have to deal with any of that discomfort anymore. At all. It’ll just be us here, peaceful and drama-free.” I feel like The Dandy made an epiphany-face when I said that.

I told The Dandy that I think he’s been living with discomfort for so long (ie walking on eggshells because of Dandette’s mental illness) that he can’t remember what it’s like without it (hence he doesn’t feel as big a drive to get rid of Dandette as I do; he’s lost track of how much he’s had to compress himself to make room for her). The Dandy said that the only time he didn’t live in an uncomfortable situation was when he first moved out of his parents’ place and got his own apartment, but he was alone then and being alone kinda sucked (he means being single sucked, not that he was longing to live with roommates). I reminded him that if he kicks Dandette out he won’t be alone; he’ll have me. But only if he acts fairly quickly because I don’t know how long I can hold out here.

At some points during our big discussion, The Dandy did that thing where he goes silent and closes his eyes with a pained expression. At other points, though, he opened up and talked to me. So he wasn’t locking up on me entirely or feeling angry about anything I was saying, he just didn’t know what to say to some things, or I’d given him some stuff he needed to think about.

Some other scattered important moments from the discussion:

***

“So hey remember how I’ve told you it’s important to me to have my feelings validated?”

“Yes.”

“I know I’m giving you a lot to process, here, but when I talk about feeling traumatized by Dandette’s actions on Drunken Horror night and you’re just totally silent…I mean I guess I’m used to Ex, who would gaslight me by acting like whatever I was upset about was no big deal and I was being stupid…it’s not clear to me that you even recognize that Dandette did anything bad.”

“I do. The puppet sex and physically moving your robe aside like that were definitely unacceptable things to do.”

(We had sex later and I think him validating me like this was the reason I was able to get in the mood).

***

We got off on a tangent about families somehow and I was talking about a thing I read in a relationship/self-help type book. It said that if you try to imagine a romantic relationship between your most influential parent and your partner’s most influential parent, that’s probably about what your relationship with your partner looks like. Which is interesting, but I didn’t know who my most influential parent is, or even really what “most influential parent” is supposed to mean.

Me: …Actually, my biggest influence is probably my mom, I guess. When Ex and I got married, I wasn’t on speaking terms with my parents. Ex observed that although I hated my dad for the things he did to me, I seemed to hate my mom more because she just stood there and let him do them. And he’s right, I did hate her more. My dad just did shitty things to me; my mom didn’t protect me, from him or anyone, and even made excuses for people who did bad things to me. It impacted my personality tremendously. I assumed it was my job to be everyone else’s punching bag; that my feelings didn’t matter, I didn’t deserve to be helped or protected, it was fine to let everyone else just ohhhhh shit that’s what this whole situation is bringing up for me.

Dandy: [facial expression of total comprehension and agreement]

Me: I mean Dandette did these things and you never said anything about it, you never punished her or called her out in any way or even told me that you felt she shouldn’t have acted like that with me, and it’s dredging up this huge, huge baggage I have that it’s apparently okay to treat me badly.

***

We talked about learned helplessness and how it bugs me that Dandette hasn’t taken any steps to get more work. I got her a couple of model gigs, and any time I’m on the phone with someone who’s booking me and Dandette realizes it, she’s piping up like a toddler in the background: “Me too! Tell them I can come pose, too!” but she’s not doing any legwork herself. There’s a local Facebook group where people advertise their life model sessions; Dandette could join that and message people asking to pose for them (she even has experience now! She can give references!), but she hasn’t. Also when I told her I’ve sold my artsy stuff at a particular Christmas craft fair in the past, she was like “Oh! Oh! I wanna do that this year! Can you email them and ask about getting me a table?” Well, 1) this was a public craft fair where anyone willing to pay the table fee could be a vendor, not the invitation-only, passwords-needed-at-the-door sex party from the movie Eyes Wide Shut and 2) I couldn’t actually remember the name of the craft fair. Dandette could Google the thing and write to the chick just as easily as I could. But she didn’t.

The Dandy agreed that it was frustrating, and added that he felt she just thought of him as an endless pool of money she could take from any time she wanted. He said he’s been thinking for a while of transferring money right into her bank account each month for her personal expenses (cigarettes, energy drinks, dinner with friends, etc) and once the money’s gone, it’s gone; this way she’ll learn how to budget. I suggested that he do something to prompt her to start adulting better, anyway. Like she’s really never gonna want to leave here if she’s completely taken care of – she won’t even remember how to take care of herself. Maybe The Dandy could do the money transfer thing at first but give her a couple months’ grace period and be like “as of this deadline, I’m gonna expect you to be making enough money that you can pay for your own cigarettes and entertainment” and push her to start getting more film work (she used to make props for tv and movies) or model work. And then once she’s doing that, she might feel more ready to branch out into more adulting…and there won’t be such a stark contrast in lifestyle between living with The Dandy vs living elsewhere, so if he does nudge her out of the nest maybe she won’t be as reluctant to go.

***

The Dandy told me that he hasn’t tried all that hard to get us a three-bedroom apartment because he kind of figured things with Dandette weren’t working out and if that was the case there was no need to take on a bigger, more expensive place.

I asked “When you say things ‘weren’t working out’ do you mean you thought she would volunteer to leave, or that you would in fact have the big icky talk asking her to?”

He said the latter. So even before I got all up his ass (this time around…) about kicking her out, he was kinda-sorta-maybe gearing up to do it himself.

***

I told The Dandy that I have some stamina left to deal with shit here – Dandette and I seem to have reached an uneasy truce where she doesn’t try to hug or touch or compliment me and I largely avoid her, and moving is a pain in the ass anyway – but that another Drunken Night of Horrors could easily get me pissed off and wanting to leave again. I’ve wanted to leave a few times already. And to be perfectly honest if I get to the point of wanting it badly enough that I actually do take steps to secure another place to go to, my relationship with The Dandy is over. There will be no salvaging us even if he kicked Dandette out forcefully and permanently on the spot; by then it’ll be too late, I’ll hate him for having let things get to that point. I love him and I don’t want to lose him but there’s only so much I can take, so basically he needs to do something about Dandette sooner rather than later.

***

I told The Dandy that I’ve been fantasizing soooo hard about us living in our current place without Dandette, and even come up with a game plan for how we’d function without her around to do most of the cooking and cleaning. Then got to talking about other things for a bit but a few exchanges later The Dandy was like “…So what’s this plan you have?” which I found encouraging.

Also the plan involved me only paying The Dandy $500 for my portion of the rent (for context, the apartment is $1600 – actually more like $1800 if you include the storage space we rent in the basement, which I have a bunch of stuff in so I benefit from it too) and he seemed perfectly fine with this.

***

I happened across an old paint sample of The Dandy’s – he wants to paint his room green, but hasn’t because it’s pretty packed with furniture so it would be a logistical nightmare; also I share the room with him now and I don’t especially like the colour he wants. I playfully mocked the shade of green again but added that hey, once he has his own room it’s his to do whatever with so go nuts. The colour I want in my living space is still a light, blue-toned gray, though, and I can’t wait. I think it’ll look amazing.

He said that if Dandette were to move out of here, maybe it would be easiest if he took her room instead of me – her room is dark red and he likes the red, so no need to do any painting.

Our room is a fair bit larger than Dandette’s and has a full bathroom attached. It’s quite a nice setup. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that The Dandy would be willing to give it to me – and probably for just $500/month, too. *Drools*

I mean it’s easy for him to say that while Dandette is still living here. Who knows if he’ll ever have the balls to oust her, or how he’ll feel about me having the bigger room to myself once it’s actually a possibility. It’s still a fun daydream, though.

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TOO MANY THINGS.

Last night was The Dandy’s work Christmas party. A couple of months ago when he first knew the date of it, he asked if Dandette and I wanted to go. She was pretty delighted about the idea, I’m guessing in large part because she loves showing off our unconventional “family”. Being all “look how I’m here with my boyfriend and his other girlfriend, everyone! WE’RE SO PROGRESSIVE AND INTERESTING” seems like an extension of her exhibitionism. I cautiously said yes but was worried because some days I’m up for dealing with people and some days I’m not and it’s not something I can predict in advance – and this party required The Dandy to RSVP (or…purchase tickets, or something?) well in advance. I didn’t want to have a slot reserved for me and then not want to use it.

But The Dandy ended up not RSVPing or buying a ticket or whatever for anyone but himself. Privately, he told me it’s because Dandette a) often has anxiety attacks during big social outings, and kind of makes a spectacle of herself and b) would almost certainly not be able to abstain from drinking, since there’d be tons of booze circulating at this thing, and when she’s drunk she also makes a spectacle of herself. Taking just me would be way too hurtful and exclusionary (he didn’t say that part but it’s just obvious) so he opted for going alone.

I didn’t especially care about not going. It would have in some ways made my relationship with The Dandy feel more official (I haven’t really met any of his friends. He’s not keeping me a secret, he just tends to see his friends at gigantic group gatherings where I know I’d be miserable, so I stay home), and I haven’t had a chance to dress up in a while, but meh.

Dandette, apparently, was crushed over not going. Like to a point of crying over it. My first, highly uncharitable thought was that she was looking forward to an excuse to drink. The Dandy thinks it’s something else. Maybe it is.

So anyway, he went to the party last night and meanwhile The Pedant asked me if I wanted to come to dinner with him and his live-in gf, whom I’ve never met, so I did that. Once I was out I suddenly wondered if Dandette would take advantage of the empty house to have “just a drink or two” – which would of course spiral until she was shitfaced. I purposely stayed out as late as possible to try to make sure The Dandy was home from his party by then so I wouldn’t be alone with Dandette, just in case.

The Pedant’s gf is great. We got along well and I’m glad I met her – especially because I’d been wondering what the hell made her the one that The Pedant shacked up with and “saw a future with” and not me. The Pedant is…difficult to like, in some ways. Many people have tried and failed. And yet I do like him, and understand him fairly well and actively enjoy some parts of his personality that others have mostly hated and run away from. And yet he’s had two women in the past few years – OtherGirl from a couple years ago and now this one, I guess we’ll call her Raver Chick – whom he immediately acted like they “got” him like nobody else and he “saw a future” with them and wanted to move in with them and blah blah blah. Like wtf am I, chopped liver?

OtherGirl promptly broke up with The Pedant for exactly the same reasons most people have, so apparently she didn’t “get” him that well, after all. But Raver Chick actually moved in with him. Things haven’t fucked up yet. And I couldn’t help wondering just how miraculously amazingly different from the rest of humanity this chick is, to have been willing to do that and for him to still be so into her.

Welp, she’s not actually superhuman. The two of us are a lot alike, actually, and it looks like The Pedant annoys her for all the same reasons he annoys me. We bonded over it a bit. So I’m choosing to believe that my pet theory is correct: that I “get” The Pedant and have as much future potential as anyone else he’s dated – probably the only reason he didn’t offer to move in with me because I have cats and he’s really allergic. (Seriously, as soon as The Pedant became attached to a woman, he’d start planning cohabitation. Happened with OtherGirl, happened with a longtime casual-ish partner who was about to move into her own place and needed a roommate, happened with Raver Chick. Dude just wanted a set of human training wheels to help him escape his parents, I think).

So it was comforting to realize that Raver Chick is really just a normal person, after all.

But also, meeting her made her real to me, not theoretical. The three of us had dinner and that was enough fun that we went for coffee after and then they had to stop into the nearby grocery store so I tagged along for that, and at one point it fully hit me that this is the woman The Pedant has condomless sex now. He rescinded my bareback privileges expressly so he could give them to her. And they live together. So in every sense of the word, she can pretty much fuck him whenever she wants – he’s usually around and she doesn’t have to orchestrate sex around whether the condom stash is replenished and nearby. She gets that freedom and intimacy with him. I don’t.

Also, in the grocery store he was playfully antagonizing her and she started getting possibly genuinely annoyed and I heard him quietly comfort her by murmuring “I love you.”

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH.

How many times am I going to date a guy who doesn’t say “I love you” back and I think to myself “well, I guess he’s just kind of closed off and has a hard time expressing myself. But he feels it! I know he does!” but then a few years later he has a gf he says it to all the time and I realize oh, no, it’s just me. He didn’t love me.

Okay fine that’s not really what it is with The Pedant. He did tell me “the feelings are being reciprocated” when I told him I loved him. And a couple of years later he said the actual words to me as he was breaking up with me. So he had the feelings, I guess. But why is he so free with saying them to her and he never was with me?

The Bunny is the other person I’m thinking of right now. I told him I loved him, he deflected, I internally made excuses for him, but now he has a gf he’s posting pics of all over his Fetlife feed and writing captions about how much he loves her for all to see. Godfuckingdammit.

And there’s The Dandy, who left me hanging when I said “I love you” for the first time; he smirked about how he already knew that and then kind of added “Uh don’t worry it’s mutual” as an afterthought. WHAT IS WITH THIS PATTERN THOUGH.

I should mention however that The Dandy has been better at saying “I love you” lately. Perversely, it’s telling him I don’t need to hear it back (not always, anyway) that seems to have done it. Used to be if I said the words to him he’d say them back but sound like he was choking or something. Now he responds much more easily. And the other night in a fit of insecurity I asked him to tell me a mushy thing (“And if you say the name of an item with a squishy texture I am coming right over this table at you“) and he said “I love you and I want to keep you.”

Anyway. Meeting Raver Chick seemed to be A Thing for The Pedant, and he never asked me to meet anyone else he was dating (not even OtherGirl, the last one he was all in love with n shit, so it’s not a matter of how important the relationship is), so I assumed it was Raver Chick who wanted this. Which put me on edge a bit because was the evening some kind of audition, or…? She’s never been in a nonmonogamous relationship before; would meeting me make me real to her and she’d suddenly have a fit of jealousy, in the way that I suddenly had one when I met her and thought about the no-condoms thing? Would she tell The Pedant to stop seeing me? Because the thing is if she did that, I suspect he would. I don’t have a lot of faith in him asserting himself and fighting to keep me. I never fully acknowledged that to myself until now. It’s depressing as fuck. I love a man who would drop me if his other partner asked him to – or at least it really, really seems that way.

We had a text convo about this earlier today – once the big meet was over I finally felt comfortable asking what the purpose of it had been, I guess. I’ll probably do a transcript post sometime soon but the gist is that Raver Chick believes in honesty and transparency in poly, and for her this includes meeting metamours. It wasn’t an audition and she’s not looking to veto. But I kind of tried to make The Pedant tell me he wouldn’t let me go if she did ask, and…he hasn’t responded. Possibly just because he’s at work right  now and doesn’t have time? We’ll see.

He and I are supposed to rent a guest suite and have all the sex next week and I don’t love that this is hanging over my head in the meantime. Feeling expendable is a bit of a boner killer.

Meanwhile, I got home from dinner etc last night to find that The Dandy was not only home from his party, but asleep in bed already. All week long he’s been coming to bed at 3am or later despite me asking him to please please please join me earlier for snuggles, and now I come home at 1:30am and he’s asleep so I still end up lonely and snuggle-less. Fucccck.

Dandette, however, was still awake, and told me that The Dandy would be taking her on a date the next day (today). Which, I mean…The Dandy told me just recently that he doesn’t want to be dating her anymore, and I observed to him that Dandette is seeming pretty platonic with him as well, like maybe she senses that there’s not really a romantic relationship there anymore. But now this is happening. It feels mixed-message-y and also makes me jealous, especially since I was already feeling pretty wickedly second-place to The Pedant at the moment. Dandette said he was probably trying to make up for the Christmas party thing, which makes sense.

The Dandy woke up, temporarily, as I was lying next to him trying to fall asleep. I told him about my Pedant angst and especially how much it hurt to see him say “I love you” to someone else so freely when he didn’t with me.

The Dandy gathered me to his chest and said “Well, I love you.” Which actually is probably the first time he’s ever said that unprovoked. So that’s something.

And I fell asleep in his arms and it was nice.

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