Tag: a relationship

Asking for the moon

I have always led a charmed existence in that going by my instincts,  steer myself down the right path, usually.  So the uneasiness that I feel over my present lifestyle unsettles me.  I struggle to identify it and can only approximate it to guilt.  Feeling guilty for enjoying myself, feeling guilty for doing things differently to others, feeling guilty because I overpaid for something, feeling guilty for not doing more than I can, feeling guilty because I’m dating four or more men at the same time.  Even though this lifestyle is no longer censured, I come across articles and news of the devastation that infidelity wreaks on relationships and realise that I am still the anomaly.  Most people I know are in or want a monogamous relationship.  Being the oddity I question my motives from time to time, and wonder if it’s due to something lacking in me that I am unable to conform.  I don’t feel guilt exactly for the way I conduct my affairs but a certain amount of uncertainty, whether there might be a better way to lead my life – these thoughts creep up on me.

The other day this guilt or whatever the unease I felt, raised its periscope and struck me again,  causing a slight breathlessness.   Over the next few days it sat forward waiting patiently to be addressed.  It had been there all along at the back of my mind, lurking, and then it was in plain sight for a fleeting moment.  One of my friends gave it a name, but we’d had quite a bit of wine that evening and I forgot to write it down and it was lost again.  I have not been able to recall it and so am unable to assess its accuracy.

I’d kept away from this dating blog long enough.   What I’m looking for might actually be within my grasp if I had courage enough to face my own shortcomings.   But then distracted I lose that strain of thought and the old cowardice returns. And whatever had surfaced a week ago returned into the depths, unidentified, unnamed.

Jan asked me from half a world away yesterday – Why do you feel the need to keep dating?  The only too obvious answer is that I’m still looking.  Looking for that answer, that name which eludes me still, that will satisfy this hunger that keeps me seeking out man after man.  And even though I’ve found one who complements me in bed and a few others who meet me on an intellectual level, yet one more with whom I can be silly and banter and watch all manner of films together and talk endlessly about what we’ve read and the world around us; perhaps I would like to meet the one with whom I will not find impossible to live and who will accept the presence of these others.

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ode (or a dirge) to my lover

Don’t fall in love with me therein lies strife
just tarry awhile for some merriment
to take the edge off a creeping midlife
that seeks to undo without sentiment.
Were I to lose my heart o’er you don’t fret
I’ll never ask for yours at any rate
My fickle part will love and then beget
a bark to lie low in ‘til storms abate.

You’ve worked so hard to prove dependable
to the precious few who remain trusting.
Don’t give it all up for a fantasy
you know has not reliability
But stay on course remain unwavering
Your reward is in their love eternal.

on being a mistress

What am I to him but a mere mistress
part-time lover and he, a married man
in an open marriage, though ne’er remiss
from the first few moments when we began
while I was with many, soon few were left
as boldly my heart was heard to confess
its wanton greed upon this knotted weft,
he has always stayed constant nonetheless
sending me sweet messages aplenty
morning noon and night so I should believe
I was cherished and not one of many –
only me, and a wife he’ll never leave.
Missing him between fleeting trysts – each time we thrill
to each other’s touch, as we kiss and feast our fill.

This is as good as it gets

After about a couple of months when we were both busy with other distractions, I contacted Liam again, inviting him to a film and we picked up where we left off – hanging out at a cinema, theatre or restaurant.  We’d had about three platonic dates, although there had been some hand-holding and a deeper kiss at the end of the last but one.  My tendency to imagine a romantic happily-everafter however, was finally laid to rest after last night when we talked about our dating expectations.

We met outside Camden tube station and went shopping for our tea – something simple such as chestnut mushrooms and French beans with rice vermicelli noodles.  Due to his migraine medication we eschewed alcohol in favour of tea and water.  I had green and he black.   We talked about films, books, work, colleagues, friends, my dating adventures, everything else it seems but why I was back at his flat again.   Eventually though I ventured the question and gradually, with a little more probing until finally I established to my satisfaction the basis for our re-connection.   I was good company, open, liberal and sexy.

On the other hand, Liam does not want and cannot foresee our continued dating having the sort of conventional future that dating normally results in.  Perfect, and I don’t mean that ironically – it is exactly what I’ve come to expect now.  What the last year of dating has confirmed for me was precisely this – I am only good enough and no more.   It made seeing him less complicated, as I wouldn’t have to indulge in fruitless searches for hidden motives or feelings since there won’t be any.  We confirmed our next date at a theatre in a fortnight’s time and he walked me back as far as the tube station later that evening.  We kissed our goodbyes and I headed north feeling unexpectedly happier and with a lighter step.  I’ve always liked knowing where things stand at the outset.  It made the whole dating thing less unpredictable and friendships can be forged without misunderstanding.

chewing the fat

One of my lovers is dating “the tempest”.  She seems to have boundless energy – I feel exhausted merely listening to his litany of their dating activities – ice skating, wall climbing, pot-holing, abseiling, kayaking, and those are only the three-syllabled ones.  It goes without saying of course that the sex is wild, frequent and satisfying.  I suddenly feel the age difference between us and wonder why he continues to date me.  Variety I guess.

My own dating is at such an ebb that I fear it has gone out with the tide.  I am suddenly weary of making new connections and prefer to see or even simply message the few constant ones.   Max came round on Sunday afternoon and after a medium-length walk (during which we spotted hemlock growing at the roadside), we retired to bed and watched a film.   His kisses were quite warming and I felt the stirrings of a return to normality.  He left at around half ten and I fell asleep shortly after that.

Lars invited me round to his again and we managed to salvage some more of my libidinal urges.  It was quite re-assuring to discover that I hadn’t quite lost my concupiscence and I drove home feeling happier.

I listened to a radio programme on soul music and it was refreshing to hear a couple being interviewed whilst on their honeymoon in London.  They’d had a long courtship and engagement – almost quite unheard of in this day and age but just to hear the jouissance in their voices held my attention as they recalled how and when they realised that they wanted to spend their whole lives together.  Somehow, it made me miss and long for a similar relationship for myself.   I don’t mean a marriage in the conventional sense, but an understanding and trust that someone else has my back as I would have theirs.

When I was at Jan’s on Friday evening he had brought up something similar for discussion – having someone to return home to after a day at work or a business trip – he’d asked me if I ever felt lonely or in need of company.  It would be comforting to be able to return to a partner who would be as attuned to your mood as you would be to theirs.  Did we necessarily have to live together though or is it enough that we can talk to them, reach them through any one of our modern devices?  Of course it’s always far better to have their physical presence – to be able to hold someone close can be more satisfying, yet at the same time possibly draining of our energies?  We have both been living on our own now for some time and I know that I value my independence and freedom.  A relationship would only work as long as that freedom and independence continued.

Bucolia

Experiencing a lowering in libido I remained chaste in the week.  I blame the election result.  Since that party at Max’s which ended at 2am when we were left without doubt that the left-wing were not going to shine, although not quite anticipating the inglorious defeat, I had been struggling with my mojo.

My dates with Jan though, were notable in their increased frequency – three in the space of four days, the last even included a family outing with animals in a bucolic setting.  The first  occurred on Wednesday evening with a film and dinner, detailed in a previous blogpost.  Then on Friday evening he called suddenly to invite me up to his village for an impromptu drink at his local pub where he regaled me with tales of his dating capers.  The most recent involved a woman on the far side of the continent who would send him saucy pictures of herself posed on a bed, taken with the timer option on her smartphone hanging from a light fitting.  You couldn’t see her face but her body looked pretty amazing, smooth-bellied with sizeable knockers, long legs discreetly crossed and arms cradling her boobs to accentuate her cleavage.  Due to the time difference they would set up dates where she’d enter a cafe bar and set up her webcam to Skype him.  Their next scheduled event was the following morning when she might engage in some titillating banter leading to some mutually satisfying sex talk.

Yet he bemoaned the fact that this was a crazy woman and he couldn’t imagine anything permanent or long-lasting coming from it.  Not that he hadn’t had long distance relationships in the past, some of them lasting a reasonable length of time.  I couldn’t help but agree though that it did seem a little off the wall to consider yourselves being in a relationship when you hadn’t even met, Skype sex being the most intimate thing you might have enjoyed.  He said that she would pout and appear jealous about his other real dates in the real world.  I wondered why he didn’t just fly out to Japan to meet this nymphet but perhaps some self preserving instinct was cautioning him against a potentially destructive move.

We went back to his after our meal and sat on his old sofa in his recently renovated living room.  It already had a lived in look with children’s electronic charging devices and miniature combat figures strewn next to the TV, along with a few chocolate bar and snack wrappers scrunched into the sides of the sofa.  Towards the witching hour I had to decide whether I might be staying the night or driving home.  Jan put his arm round my shoulders and leaned closer and we kissed.  I was reminded of the scene in Back to the Future when Lorraine Baines kisses Marty McFly, her own son from the future and her recoil of disbelieving horror.  I don’t, of course, recoil or repeat her line  – This is all wrong. I don’t know what it is. But when I kiss you, it’s like I’m kissing… my brother.    But it certainly helped me make up my mind.  We said our good byes and I drove home virtue intact.  He’d urged me to text him when I arrived home and I did but didn’t get a reply.

The following morning he texted back – was asleep!  Fat lot of use he’d be if I’d had a puncture or other mishap.  I told him as much and we settled into the all too familiar banter of old friends.  He brought his children round in the afternoon and our two families met for the first time.  It was pleasant and uncomplicated and I invited him to join me on a holiday some time next month.  He said he would think about it and let me know whether he was able to schedule a break round his work and domestic commitments.  And so we parted again in good cheer.

A Poem by Jan

I have had this thought at the back of my mind for a while now – that Jan might be quite keen on me – but am quite disbelieving and generally I do not trust my instincts which have led me to heartache in pastimes.  We now have a fairly platonic relationship anyway, tending to enjoy talking over a meal with several bottles of Malbec usually and catching the occasional film at a cinema.  We have only had sex once this year and I’m not sure how satisfying it was for him.  I’m fairly sure he intuited that it was less than earth-shattering for me.  Yet we continue to see each other, sleeping over at each other’s after an evening out.

Last night we saw that enigmatic film Clouds of Sils Maria – Jan is an ardent fan of Juliet Binoche – and found it unsatisfying even though it held our attention.  Jan didn’t fall asleep (as is his wont at long films/theatre), he later joked that he was enthralled to B’s tits although we only glimpsed them when she stripped to plunge into an ice cold lake in the Swiss mountains.  I tried to sympathise with the character B played – an ageing woman who struggles with mortality – there’s a death in the opening chapter from which the story unfolds.   She leads the typical lifestyle of a pampered, highly acclaimed actress, but the play she rehearses with her assistant where she then takes the role of the older woman hints at a tenser relationship between them.  We catch sight of more vulnerability in B’s character when she repulses a former lover’s advances, but later tries, in vain, to re-engage his interest.  In the end, if there must be a nemesis in the film, it is youth and naked ambition in the form of the young actress played by Moretz who takes on the role of the actress who plays Sigrid, the manipulative seducer.  In a film where the characters are not clearly black or white, good or bad, Jan and I came out of it feeling slightly cheated – questions remain unanswered about what happened and could happen to all of them.  Then again, this is the sort of ambiguity that might be considered the hallmark of a good film.

We got a table at Sofra and whilst waiting for our starters Jan showed me a poem he had written when sitting in the cool shade of a beach bar last week.  I re-read the stanza where he re-counts feelings he thought might have left him never to be re-kindled when he reached half a century, returning to him recently.  I wondered who the woman in his poem to whom he claimed to be beguiled by was.  Casting back I remembered that he had texted me from abroad to arrange our date and I’d felt that I had to be honest and let him know the extent of my recent sexploits.  If I was his love interest – the thought had crossed my mind, and I was more than flattered, I felt blind-sided in fact – I wanted him to be under no illusion as to my pre-disposition and philosophy as regards dating.

I felt slightly blindsided because Jan was the one who insisted that this could only be a lighter liaison when we were seeing each other last summer.   He had been the first one I’d felt rather silly about when I began dating again after the last long term relationship I had had failed.  But this is all conjecture on my part – I am not sufficiently brave to ask him who the woman is.  I am also not courageous enough to consider the possibilities of our relationship long term.  I am only still capable of light liaisons without risking heartbreak.  It may be the same for Jan too despite what he’s written about how he feels.

Jan did not seem disappointed by what I told him although he probably came home with me more out of convenience than because he wanted to spend the night with me.  When he awoke this morning he seemed to be addicted to playing some game on his phone.  So perhaps he has got over his romantic zeal – in any event we make another date for Saturday afternoon and I nurse my hangover.  I asked him to send me his poem and he emails it to me –

The ambient muzak loops eternal –

Order against the random

pounding of the waves below

My romanticism is fired by the 

Sounds, the setting and the sun

Though alone, thoughts of you 

Weave and tear through my heart

– I thought these feelings would stop

Well before my half-century was up. 

Apparently we are given these chances

In perpetuity – if we open our hearts 

And feel. Let the moment 

grasp us and take us up

Beyond the ordinary pain of life and

Into the divine light of love. 

Someone has changed the music

But the feelings stay. My last beer

Slides down and I must go back

Into life and hope some love

Follows me to my shore

Cafe Sal Rosa, Albefeira, Portugal May 2015

Max forgiven, but only just

I woke up the next morning to the following email from Max.

Hello

I have it in my diary for Thursday at 6.30, but I’ve got a meeting at 8 I must dash off to after.

Still on for Thurs?

xx

Ok, so it was my mistake … but a date of such limited length of time?  No, thank you.  He was slightly redeemed but now that I have tasted that small nub of disappointment I was not inclined to be drawn in again and busied myself elsewhere – at the apiary, the allotment, catching up on reading and chatting to the others of course.  Max and I re scheduled our date for Sunday; initially when it was suggested, I hadn’t been free, but then Goran called to postpone our Sunday date.

Can all these relationships survive the long haul?

Dates with the Physicist, and Max falls out of Favour

I’m really not very good at picking up signals and nuances.  For example, there’s this scientist, Liam I was seeing towards the end of last autumn.  He had said he didn’t want to rush into things, but what happened instead was that we began by kissing at the end of the first date and then arranged a second where he took me back to his place after dinner and the next thing I knew he was slipping on a condom and I was lying in an unmistakably compromising position on his bed.

Several dates went by which ended in a similar fashion and then he began cancelling dates on me.  I took the hint and we clarified the situation in an adult, mature and twenty-first century manner – via text messaging.  We established that he felt rushed and was unhappy about all this meaningless copulation.  He also said that he preferred being one of a few rather than the only one – which at the time, he had been as my relationship with R had just ended.   He also said that he’d rather just hang out than have sex.  I took that to be his way of telling me that he didn’t have the time for an exclusive relationship.  No matter, I’d got used to dating all kinds of unavailable men by then and so I returned to the dating site and met a few more.  Occasionally Liam would send me an invitation to see a film or show at the theatre followed by dinner.  We didn’t venture anywhere near a bed or condom and kissing was restricted to dry pecks on cheeks.  And then there was a long hiatus when even this platonic way of hanging out stopped altogether.

In a moment of weakness about three weeks ago, probably when someone else had bailed on me at the last minute, I sent him a text inviting him out.  It was quite a successful date in terms of the choice of film – Wild Tales which kept us both at the edge of our seat along with many moments of sheer absurdity.  When the film ended we went for a light meal and he seemed fairly interested in all my polyamorous adventures.  Over this he offered to cook for me and experiment further in bed – he was sufficiently sheepish about this turnaround to apologise for it and proffer his acceptance without question and in advance what he expected would be my immediate rejection of this audacious proposition.

Now, despite having had a rather large glass of red wine at the cinema and another with my meal I was sufficiently sober to remember the plus factors about Liam – his stamina, proportionate length and girth of essential parts, unimpeachable manners and sensibilities vis a vis the supply and use of prophylactics and sensuous application of lips and digits.  At the same time I also recalled his diffidence.   So I rather nervously said yes and we made a date two weeks ahead.

In the run up I checked that he was still happy about our date and he sent me the following message:

Yes, I’m definitely still on for Monday. I really don’t mind what we do. If you want to go out somewhere or just hang out, that’s fine with me. It will just be nice to have an evening together.

Bearing in mind how the last time we had sex ended I took this to mean that he now had cold feet.   We went to see Force Majeure instead.  Over dinner, perhaps prompted by how less than perfect the meal was (the soup was quite salty and the mozzarella salad did not contain basil) he again reiterated his previous offer.  I intimated my surprise and told him that I thought he had changed his mind from his last email.  He said that he had merely wanted to give me the option of backing out of it.   So I said yes again and this time, at the end of the date he finally kissed me on the lips.  But who knows what’ll happen in two weeks’ time…

Meanwhile, on my way home I noticed that Max had tried to call.  It gave me a warm glow to see that missed call notification on my phone.  He had also sent me a couple of email messages to which I briefly replied.  When he rang back again I was already tucked up in bed.  So it felt warm and cosy and I settled down to have an already familiar chat routine with this man I’m still determined not to be silly over.

We exchanged news about our day as we usually did and I told him about my busy weekend and date with Liam.  As we were saying goodbye I reminded him about our impending date this Friday.  There was a slight awkwardness when Max apologised for having forgotten about it and said he had made an arrangement he couldn’t back out of.  There was no mistaking my disappointment although I put on a brave front.  If there was anything that could cure my propensity to be silly over someone then Max had certainly succeeded.   I went to sleep feeling let down and comforted myself by detailing all the things I found irritating about him.

A funny thing happened on the dating site

It was time to reply to those messages from the boys who have got in touch with Amy over the week.   One of these was Henry, a freelance journalist who had been one of Amy’s favourites towards the end of last year but then dropped out of the picture completely.  At the time, she was still smarting a little over the break up with R and was determined not to appear too keen. Henry had then thought that she was not that in to him and decided not to be a nuisance.  They had stopped seeing each other, believing the other would make the next move.

So, late that Wednesday evening Amy sent a short and light hearted text to Henry asking how he was and if he fancied meeting up to catch up after such a long time, etc…  At 9am the following day, whilst Amy was having breakfast, she heard the ping of a message and sure enough it was Henry being apologetic for not keeping in touch but also enthusiastic about seeing her again.

When they met up he told her that he had taken a break from dating since their last encounter, being inundated at work with deadlines and new projects which saw him travelling as often as twice a month on week-long trips.  He anticipated a lull over the next few months and during that time they began seeing each other again, sometimes as often as twice a week, and occasionally for breakfast when work picked up and he was unable to see her in the evening.  Henry did not seem fazed when Amy told him about the new dating site she’d joined and how she’d created two profiles of women who were opposites of each other – one was a free spirit and into non-monogamy whilst the other wanted a soulmate within a conventionally exclusive relationship.  The former insisted that the men who wanted to meet her should not be jealous types whereas her alter ego practically confessed to being a potentially bunny boiling obsessive.  Of course the free spirit received more messages than the soulmate seeker despite the latter having a more attractive profile photo.

One evening, the monogamous mademoiselle, Ellie, received some messages from Henry which she had initially assumed was just light-hearted banter, believing that he knew Ellie was really Amy:

Henry: How hot is your bunnyboiler pot tonight?

Ellie: Hell hath no fury hot

Henry: Wow! That’s good, I prefer a quick end to a lingering simmer. Any herbs or flavourings for me?

Ellie: You have no bunnies as I recall … will legal owl taste good in my pot?

Henry: I’ve been a vegetarian for 37 years so prefer if that could be respected in my final moments? Glad (if a tad surprised) you are thinking about legalities at this point.  Does your bb warning put men off or excite us for a challenge do you find?

Ellie: Excited a few sufficiently to make enquiries. One chided me for making dating me sound problematic. teehee

Henry: And is it problematic? Have you met many? We are a 97% match and 0% enemy so scarily similar in our replies but what we write is pretty different!!

Ellie: Hmm MsEllie appears to be a contradiction. An enigma I’ve created. Who is the real me … It is problematic for the faint hearted. I met a Spaniard with aquamarine eyes but alas he was large and had smokers’ breath so I kissed him chastely and dropped him off at a tube station

Henry: Poor Spaniard with aquamarine eyes, or lucky to have escaped your pot and find another. You’re appealing to my adventurous side – want a drink this evening?

Ellie: Chez Ellie is child free this evening. Might you find your way there if you dare risk the bb pot?

Henry: Where do you live, madamoiselle?

Ellie: north London

Henry: c’est assez grande nord londres et c’est beaucoup de femmes a chercher pour te trouver

Ellie: ah well

Henry: quelle postcode ou quelle village? Je suis a Dalston.

Ellie: Finchley 

Henry: What’s your real name?

Ellie: Ms Ellie

Henry: Where would you like to meet?

Ellie: Chez Ellie

Henry: Where is that? You seem similar to someone nice I met! Are you!?

Ellie: you knew that, you numpty!

It wasn’t until two weeks later that Henry confessed to Amy that he had really been hoping to meet up with “Ellie”, not realising initially she was the same woman as Amy and felt foolish that he had been caught flirting with her.   Amy in turn felt foolish that she hadn’t guessed that Henry was sincere in his overtures towards Ellie.  Whilst they both dined out on this story, nevertheless Amy had felt a twinge of jealousy that Henry might want to meet (and shag) other women besides her.  You, reader might quite rightly think this was rich coming from someone who had herself been sleeping with upwards of ten different men in the past fortnight but the fact was that during their entire dating relationship Amy had been the only woman Henry had slept with (or so he had told her) and she was wary of how introducing another woman or two into the dynamic might affect his feelings for her.

Moreover, as one of her friends pointed out – perhaps Henry was merely dallying with her whilst being on the lookout for “the One” – the thought had crossed Amy’s mind before but it had been a tad too upsetting for a number of reasons – she doubted she was capable of sustaining a long term relationship in the light of her past failures and getting too attached to just one man could add a lot of unnecessary stress to that relationship leading to an eventual break up.  Her formula of polyamory seems to be working at the moment and she was just a little reluctant to change it.  Now, though, now that it would appear that Henry might want to meet other women besides her, this has caused Amy to pause and reflect on her dating strategy.