I’m getting such a strong vibe lately that The Dandy is pulling away from Dandette – and, as usual, my jealousy has started kicking in. If the two of them were functional and happy, I’d be happy for them. But they’re not, so once again I find myself thinking: why am I sharing space with (and partially funding the expenses of!) this person who makes me uncomfortable, again? Why is The Dandy sharing space and financing most of her life, again?
Today while Dandette was out someplace I flat-out asked him if he wanted to be dating her. He hesitated and then said “Not really.” I told him (or told him again; pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before) about my jealousy thing that happens when a partner is with someone else but doesn’t seem that into them. I also said that TBH with my sketchy-ass job and two cats it would be hard for me to secure an apartment elsewhere, and if I did I’d have to deal with roommates anyway, and at least here I already know what kind of bullshit I’m in for (and one of my “roommates” is someone I feel completely comfortable with and can be naked around and stuff, which helps) so I’ll try to make a go of it here no matter what he decides. But I really want my own room so I’m not really down for staying in our current apartment indefinitely while he decides if he should oust Dandette or not. He reminded me that Dandette doesn’t pay rent – and wouldn’t pay any rent in a 3-bedroom place, either – hence he can afford the bigger place whether she lives there or not. Right. Duh.
We discussed that the options here are basically: The Dandy and Dandette work to get their relationship back on track, The Dandy breaks up with Dandette but she keeps living here, The Dandy breaks up with Dandette and she goes…somewhere, or The Dandy just kinda lets things continue on as they have been, where they’re dating in theory but in practice they’re not really cuddling or having sex or doing any sort of relationship things. Maybe Dandette would even get tired of that and dump him first – she was the one who dropped the hammer the first time they broke up, after all. She’s capable of it.
I asked him which thing he thought he might do and he said he didn’t know yet. TBH he really seemed to be longing to have Dandette out of here but just scared of the conversation that this would require, plus not knowing where she could logically go. I was like “Okay, so let me ask you this: if you could magically, without any effort at all, either be in love with Dandette and everything’s great or suddenly she’s not living here anymore, what would you choose?”
“Oh,” said The Dandy, as though having a not-very-nice epiphany. He didn’t say anything else but I’m betting he was realizing that yeah, he did want her out; that he’d been living with someone for years whom he didn’t really want around, and was essentially held hostage by her fragile mental state.
“You don’t have to answer right now,” I said. “You don’t even have to tell me what your answer is. It’s just a question to get your brain moving a bit.”
Then I tried my luck and brought up the much-argued-about topic of why he’ll have sex with her but never gets her off. His previous answer had been that he knows she’s got PTSD from past sexual trauma and he’s afraid that’ll kick in if he tries, but that makes no damn sense. He’ll stick his dick in her. He’ll do needle play with her (though he hasn’t in a long time). Why on Earth would he be fine skewering her genitals with a needle but not with touching them nicely? But the vibe between them is so weird lately that my new thought is he feels resentment toward her that makes him not especially want to be intimate. I voiced this idea to The Dandy and he said yeah, that’s exactly it.
Specifically, he said that he doesn’t feel like she’s particularly attracted to him – she just uses him for validation. She almost never initiates stuff with him unless she’s drunk or feeling insecure about her attractiveness. And The Dandy is just kind of…over it. He has sex with Dandette when she initiates it because if he didn’t, she’d freak out and melt down. But he’s not even into that, really, let alone engaging even further by getting her off. And she’s incapable of asking for orgasms (or for any sexual thing, usually, except when her insecurity drives her to “ask” for sexual contact by playing with his dick) and The Dandy is pretty over that, too – the whole passive-aggressive thing where he has to read her mind but even if he reads it correctly and offers the thing she wants, she’ll deny that she wants it (but then get mad later that he didn’t do it anyway).
This explanation makes 100% sense to me and puts my mind at ease on this issue.
(Then I was like “how do you even manage to have the sex? Oooh do you think about me during it? That would be perverse and oddly satisfying to me.” The Dandy was cagey, for some reason, and said that he thinks about all kinds of people. “But am I at least in the rotation somewhere?” I pressed. He cheekily said “Sometimes – when I’m having sex with you.” I made a big show of mock outrage and we kissed.)
But yeah. He basically said that he cares about Dandette and wants her to be happy and stuff but he’s realized that they don’t work well sexually; he’d rather just be friends. But he’s in this relationship with her now and she lives here and she has noplace else she can really go and she’ll probably freak out if he breaks things off – like to the point of suicidal ideation – so he can’t easily extricate himself.
It sounded like he’d been feeling this way for a long-ass time so I asked him if he only got back together with her to mitigate the awkwardness in the house when she started being jealous over his relationship with me. He immediately said yes. I was like “DUUUUDE” and he pointed out that the relationship had sort of been presented to him as a fait accompli.
I apologized for being as pushy about that as I had been (I, too, had been desperate to end the awkwardness), but reminded him that he’d said he wanted to get back together with her. If he’d said he didn’t love her anymore and didn’t want to date her, I absolutely would not have tried to push them back together again. But he said he loved her and would be okay with dating her again! I mean, except for a couple of reservations that I directly brought up with Dandette, basically presenting it as “maybe you and The Dandy can get back together, conditional on how you handle these topics I’m telling you.” But Dandette glossed right on over those things and started telling everyone that she and The Dandy were back together and he never stopped her and made her confront the things she glossed over.
He said he really did think, at the time, that things with Dandette could work if he had me as a sort of buffer zone. I was like “Yeaaah in retrospect I see that having a relationship that entirely hinges on the presence in your life of another person is probably not great. Like it’s not a good sign to need that.” The Dandy didn’t contest me.
I also said, though, that I get it. I understand his idea of dating her again despite his better judgment. The concept of putting out in order to avoid someone getting upset/angry is unfortunately not new to me. So…yeah.
And we talked a whole bunch more about the state of things. The Dandy is also put off Dandette a bit because she’s genderqueer and going through a dude-phase lately, and The Dandy respects her stated gender enough that he is indeed thinking of her as kind of a guy (despite her dressing and acting the same as ever). Also, it came out that he feels that she’s not into him specifically but just wants a trophy to show her parents – there’s a dynamic where her parents are kinda shitty and dismissive toward her and I think she wants to prove to them that she’s a grownup, so The Dandy with his great clothes and six-figure income is an impressive shiny thing to display for them. Dandette goes for older, established guys in general; it’s very much a thing with her.
And The Dandy observed that Dandette has been making a lot of comments lately about “what would you do without me?” and it’s probably because she can feel him pulling away emotionally and wants reassurance that she’s still important here. He said it’s such an awkward thing when she fishes for those compliments, though, because yes it’s great that she cooks and does housework – it makes life easier – but he and I can both get by on our own. If we said that to her she’d no doubt get upset, but neither of us wants to lie to her and say she’s saving our lives, either. Last night, in fact, she was away during dinnertime so we fended for ourselves, and when Dandette returned she pointedly asked The Dandy what it was like to feed ourselves without her. There was a tiny awkward silence – The Dandy wasn’t saying anything – so I jumped in and purposely derailed things via huge, silly hyperbole: “I caught him sobbing onto the kitchen counter. Tears were trembling in his face-fur. It was the most tragic thing I have ever seen.” The Dandy said he knew exactly what I was doing there and why.
The Dandy often gives the impression of being derpy about emotional shit but dude sees everything. Like, during this talk, he made so many bang-on observations about Dandette and her behaviour, and talked about how it affects him and about what he needs in a relationship and isn’t getting from her, and holy cow this display of communication and emotional prowess had me falling for him.
I ventured to say that I hated seeming so adversarial or whatever but it does seem to me that almost all the drama The Dandy and I have had in our relationship originated with Dandette and I couldn’t help wondering what it would be like if it was just him and I living together, on our own. He agreed that things would likely be much more peaceful and drama-free.
But I’m pretty sure he’ll never be able to ask her to leave, so I guess it’s moot.