Tag: dates

Enough

Why don’t you come over to me one evening next week?  – Jan suggested in the car this morning, just before we kissed our goodbyes as I dropped him off at the station.  We might do something a little more exciting than sleep.

I asked him if he had felt like it during our date or in bed and he said he hadn’t been that interested.  I agreed that it didn’t occur to me that sex was on his mind. We both agreed that sex was not a requirement in a relationship but he said he knew that I was interested in it and he felt obliged to put out as it were, but age etc meant that he was physically limited.  He was only seven years older than me.  In sharp contrast to Goran who is seven years younger than me.

Just before we went to bed I’d had on one of my more risqué nighties, a silky red number that skimmed the tops of my thighs.  I suppose at the back of my mind I’d hoped that it might have tempted him, but alas, it didn’t work.  I wasn’t too disappointed but wondered if it meant that we were destined to be just very good friends.  We get on very well and I don’t feel too jealous when he tells me he might have had a few sexual encounters with other women.  Although I am ever so slightly satisfied to hear that these romps weren’t as earth shattering as either party had hoped.

I realise at the end of this week – a week which had begun with my diary filled with dates every evening of the week, only for most of them to be cancelled and a few replaced with ones with Jan – that perhaps I can be content with only seeing Jan, and Goran, and perhaps occasionally Sebastien and R.  Certainly with the latter duo, my relationship with each is completely platonic.  Lars had sent me an invitation to play but I had politely declined.  There is no one I want to give up my single status for and perhaps it is enough to sleep with one man and see a few others now and again.

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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.

across continents and being at home

How’s the dating?

It’s Jan’s turn to trot across the globe this time and we swap travel tales and tips, he sends me pictures of dishes he enjoyed on his exotic holiday.  He asked me how I was doing with the dating and it’s become a happy pattern now of seeing two or three different men in the week.  Even R has returned and become quite fun to hang out with.  We went to see that very quirky dystopian film The Lobster before going on to a restaurant and then a pub for more drinks.  Finally at about half eleven he walked me to the station and we kissed and hugged each other goodbye.  It was friendly and lovely and we promised to see each other again before he had to go away to dangerous destinations for work.

I told Jan about the Texan who entered my dating life a few weeks back.  But not in any great detail because apart from his sartorial elegance and Harvard background he is still very new and a little unknown.   We take our time between dates and I marvel at my own restraint – perhaps I’ve learnt to savour and enjoy the entire experience, the delicious anticipation, confident that my expectations will not be disappointed.

And of course there’s Goran over whom my heart still skips a beat occasionally.  But the fact that he belongs elsewhere has tempered my enthusiasm and I have sought to distract myself by reading the consolation of philosophy and other works by that  philosopher of the quotidian.  It has given me some comfort to know that my motives in seeing him remain selfless in so far as I don’t wish his marriage to end.  Whilst he remains married to another, we might continue our love affair in a bubble of indulgence each happy to please the other, fully appreciating the short time we have together and making the effort to delight and soothe.

Can you trust your therapist to be right?

Last night Sebastien took me to a posh fish restaurant in Piccadilly where we started with oysters and finished with affogatto for me and apple crumble for him with sea bass and salmon in between.   Defying convention I picked a red Granacha whose lightness despite it’s 2010 vintage complemented our meal.

This would be our last date this summer as he was going to Rome to finish off collaborating on a film script and I was leaving for my own travels.   The next time we’d see each other again would probably be at the end of September.  We’d had a number of dates over the month of July – going to the theatre, cinema or just having a meal together, like last night.  On those occasions we had skirted around the topic of dating and relationships despite it being of interest to the both of us.  Those earlier dates had ended frustratingly with us hurriedly kissing our goodbyes because it was far too late and with no time left to discuss these cogent matters.  And so we had made the date last night with the promise that we would begin the evening without anymore beating about.

So I started the ball rolling by asking him about his relationships.  He has yet to write the email to Natalya with whom he’d had an almost relationship but over whom he is still very much enthralled.   He had rather abruptly ended their very brief liaison, which had apparently not even been consummated because he had sensed her encroaching dominance.  Last night, in the retelling of the events he reached an insightful epiphany and revealed that perhaps by his abnegation of taking the lead, a vacuum had formed and N, taking this as her cue had moved in to fill it – so he couldn’t entirely blame her and perhaps that email to re-establish contact got closer to being written/sent.

His interest in the men in my life and how I started seeing them came next and very interestingly for me, gave me a clarity of my position in my relationship with Goran.  S noted that of all the topics I raised and touched on, none came as close as that of G in revealing how keen I was, how animated I became when talking about him, his background and my growing realisation tempered with self-doubt that he might be a little interested in me.  S tells me that all that G wanted was to get into my pants – which gave me plenty of pause. This morning I wondered that I didn’t tell S if G’s motivation might not have been matched by mine.   By the time we were on our pudding I told S that I was beginning to achieve a glimmer of understanding of what drove G to do the things he does – e.g. continue to see me and his ex-gf.   The key, taking all that he had told me about his open marriage lay in the fact that he was very much tied to his wife – certainly he was willing to dance to her tune whatever it may be – seeing me or anyone else was some small measure of his having a thing of his own, separate from the force of Madame G.

When we had finished our third course and was onto the next stage of the evening S, wearing his therapist hat gave me his opinion on the whole sorry saga – I was mistaken in my belief that Madame G called the shots – he was of the opinion that G, being the alpha male in the equation was looking out for no. 1 – with his Nordic origins and familial experience of an even-tempered society, he was attracted and compelled to remain attracted to the opposites which allowed him to experience those alien emotions of jealousy and anger and the violence to release the pressure, the drama of manipulative game playing along with the violent expressions of such humanity worthy of the longest running soaps known to mankind!

I came away from the evening reeling – from a combination of coming to terms with my own limitations and having to consider what I’m doing dating.  If S was on the money then it wouldn’t be long before G lost interest in me – for I have long past lost interest in the drama and trauma of he said she said.  Additionally, S had cautioned me not to take it as gospel that G might never leave his wife.

just like that

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Why hello, something a little cheeky –
he might be out of reach for the summer
but he’d very much still like to see me
some time in autumn, perhaps October.
But of course, I reply, since the new term
seems quite a long way away and who knew
what or who might happen in the meantime.
And just like that he’s got back in the queue
of suitable suitors of my choosing –
the kind of beau who’d let me name my date
satisfied that they will not be waiting
for too long before I their passions sate
As we consenting adults make merry
with one another without jealousy.

what is it all about?

Last night I saw my friend the therapist, except that now he is doing less counselling and more collaborating with someone on a script writing project.  I guess it could be that he is keen to see me so soon after the last date, which was a week ago, because I might provide him with some novel ideas.  This may be hubris on my part.

So we had dinner at an Italian restaurant in Belsize Park, an area I was fairly familiar with. The cinema is a favourite, part of the Everyman chain with sofa seating and waiter service. I had been there with him before but last night neither of us fancied Magic Mike XXL (!) and he had booked the table at the restaurant. It was still light when we both walked up at the same time towards it. The glass doors had all been flung open and the diners were practically sitting in the pavement area.

During the meal he told me how he had completely given up on dating having realised finally how much more trouble it was and difficult to do. His awkward relationship with his mother is the reason he cites for the way he reacts, not just to women but in any relationship, whether professional or social. He recalls his past relationships and how naively he had embarked on each one of them. I ask him about his thoughts on threesomes and open marriages and the way his eyes grew into saucers was an indication, perhaps an exaggeration, of how alarming the idea of juggling all those emotional triggers must seem to him. I felt a silly misplaced pride for my ability to navigate these waters.

The question of why we do the things we do is constantly raised and for some of them there might be a simple obvious answer, for others less so. The explanation for that period of my having mad crazy sex earlier in the year might have something to do with my craving for attention. The reason I stopped was because I was able to appreciate that I had reached my limit. I compromise by modifying my need for attention. We talk about long term relationships and expectations and I acknowledge that I have an issue with commitment and obligation. It clarifies why I feel emotionally safe dating someone in an open marriage – I already know from the outset that my single status is not threatened; bigamy is still illegal the last time I checked. Talking this through with him I glimpse a little of the wider problem but continue to skirt round it because we both know that we hide things we’re not able to handle even (or especially!) from ourselves.

There are questions I want to ask my lovers which I don’t because the answers can only be gleaned over time. Sometimes we can’t be honest with the people who matter to us because of fear or insecurity … but hang around long enough and the situation becomes clearer. This usually requires a lot of patience and tolerance and sometimes I just blurt out my questions and walk away when I don’t like what I hear.

the entrance to the keep

I usually love the giddy experience of falling in love.  It induces a high and I’m sometimes reckless enough to risk a broken heart.  The other evening I agreed to another dinner and movie date with an ex. Some seven or eight months have passed since our break up and the only form of contact had been when he sent me a birthday text on Facebook messaging.  That had been some six months ago and things had still been a little raw.  With the passage of time I no longer feel embarrassed at the way things fell apart at our last meeting though and was curious about how R was getting on.

We met at the cinema and then went to have a meal at a restaurant next door.  The cuisine was East Asian and the whole experience felt vaguely familiar.   When we were dating last year we’d tended to have a movie and dinner date which involved going to an east Asian restaurant. He was easy company and we surprised ourselves by there not being many  more awkward moments.   In fact he had quite a few entertaining tales and we swapped anecdotes.  We decided to enter a square of green and sat down on a sunny spot.  There were parties of families dotted around the space.  One had even brought their own collapsible chairs and tables and a few were enjoying wine and pizza.  The sun was beginning its descent but the evening was warm and balmy. The sky was still clear and blue without even a hint of a stormcloud even though the forecast had been thunderstorms since the previous day.  On that patch of grass we’d sat cross legged and he made me laugh out loud with a story about the prudish establishment and a feature toilet cubicle at the top of the Shard.

He was very pleasant company and I couldn’t help wondering where this might eventually lead.  I am sufficiently wary not to want my heart broken but it would be so easy to fall in love with him all over again.  I tell myself that it would be extremely foolish to repeat the past but as we teased and flirted with each other over the course of the evening I wondered how the date would end.  We walked back to the cinema and he got us both some red wine.  I’d chosen a cushioned bench and we both semi reclined on it.  The place had been done up so that it was now concrete, glass and steel.  The cushioned seating were shades of grey and stainless steel.  It wasn’t exactly comfy but it was oh so stylish and elegant!  We lounged companionably and I let him take my hand on the pretext of showing him some of the scars the bee stings had left in the recent past.  He stroked the bumpy blemishes and I told myself that he was merely being solicitous and there was nothing suggestive in his manner.  Later in the cinema auditorium itself we settled into our sofa seats.  Throughout I was conscious of his close proximity but the film was riveting.  At one stage he stroked my upper arm deliberately with his fingers but I gave him no encouragement and after a while he stopped.

When we came out of the cinema we found the ground soaked.  It had rained and a thunderstorm was brewing.  He gave me an enormous hug and kissed the side of my cheek goodbye at the entrance to the tube station, he needing to catch a bus home. We made promises to repeat the pleasant experience and I made my way down to the platform.  Later there had been some incredible lightning flashes in the midnight sky as I walked home from the station soaked to the bone.  I wonder if we really would see each other again.  Sometimes those sorts of promises made at parting can easily be forgotten.  The fortress that surrounds my heart still stands but how close had it come to being disturbed?

a quiet life

Is this what you call life after sex?

He arched an eyebrow at me.  I wondered that he might have the temerity to jibe.  We’d had rather a lot of sex last night and earlier this morning.  I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of knowing that he was the only one I was having sex with now that I’d kissed off the others.  I was still self-conscious about my mid-life body, stretched and flabby with quite a bit of wobble in all the wrong places.  But when he removed his glasses and we were in bed together, his appreciation of me very plain and priapically evident I could believe that I was quite hot.

We’d also started text chatting with each other almost all the time now and meeting up practically every Friday evening.  When he suggested another Friday date I asked him if this was a regular thing now and he’d said it could be if I fancied it.  I was hesitant initially – because of course when expectations are raised disappointment inevitably follows.   I discover that the optimistically shameless hussy still lurks as I make an assignation with him midweek after 10pm.   I would not fall in love with him even as I enjoy his body.  He belongs in an open marriage and I belong to myself.

My life as a single woman now revolves around the choices I make about whom I see and date.  The other evening Jan came round and we pored over the map of Iceland, planning routes and booking ferry crossings, guesthouses, etc..  We’d gone to bed tired –  I’d fallen asleep in his arms, which was lovely but not sexy, for some reason.    We’d woken up in the morning together and then fallen into discussing Jung and dreams and being content in ourselves rather than looking for someone on whom to hang our happiness.  He echoed my sentiment that sex was not everything in a relationship.  Which caused me to wonder if he considered that we were in a relationship …  He must suspect that I see other men, although he is smoothly diplomatic and never intrusive about how I spend my time, even when I quiz him about his dates, both virtual and in the real world.   When he bemoaned the fact that we’d spent another sexless night together I rather indignantly replied that he’d not made any overtures or intimated that he might be inclined towards a romp.   We had already showered and got dressed by then and were kissing our goodbyes.  Not quite virginal kisses but very warmly and the dog had got a tad jealous again.  I went back upstairs to strip the bed and wash the bedlinen despite our chaste night together.  At the end of the week Goran was coming round for his regular date.   He had already sent me a morning text and it has become something I look forward to now.

Is your life imitating art?

Goran asked me that one evening when we were chatting on the phone.  He’d texted me earlier, rather cheekily asking if I might be interested in a booty call.  Alas, he lives an hour away from me.  Even so, earlier in the week when Lars had made a similar request I hadn’t been all that keen to accommodate him.  That evening I’d arranged to have dinner with Jan in town when we were also making more plans over our impending road trip around Iceland later in the summer.  He had had to go home after our date and so I could have gone back with him or even over to Lars’ but I decided to go back home alone.

So it wasn’t as though I was short of opportunities for more licentious encounters; I was simply not interested.  I postponed my date with the new Mr Shy in favour of an impromptu date with an old classmate passing through town.  We met for a drink and it was great catching up with her.  I met another new man but whilst he was interesting to chat to I didn’t feel very keen to continue dating him.  Liam and I had gone to see a play together recently and I feel similarly apathetic about him.

I have come to the conclusion that there is very little sex in Amy’s life at the moment and she doesn’t seem too unhappy for that.   When Goran asked me what I was working on now that the dating novella has been written, I quipped that the current project is called Life after Sex.  It is a new phase and whilst I now tend to believe that sexual infidelity has been given too much weight, my own instincts is still playing catch up.  I ask him about his previous sexual partners and want to know whether he is sleeping with anyone else.   He’s the man of the moment because he is not looking for a commitment from me and seems committed to courting only me as his previous dating attempts had not ended too happily.  Is it possible to date one or two men who themselves don’t care to sleep with anyone other than me and yet be sufficiently open-minded about the fact that I might have sex with anyone who might take my fancy … would I feel similarly about their promiscuity should it occur?

on being friends

Last night Max and I met up for our first date after our break up.  It was a very strange thing to do I guess.  We met at a reading group and then went for dinner at an Afghan restaurant.  Over dinner he told me that one of the women he has been dating, who refused to kiss him at their last date occupies his thoughts most evenings before he goes to sleep – he had initially resolved not to call her but gave in out of weakness and sent her a text message at the weekend.  She responded twice but not again.  It seems that he is still obsessing over her, now imagining that she’s the one who got away.

He was telling me that he didn’t seem to be having any luck with dating but then he receives two emails that evening.  I sense that he may be thinking meeting up with me might be a mistake and wanting to go home to answer his emails and so we part in a friendly fashion, not shaking hands but a firm hug and kiss on the cheek. And then I drove home.  I need more time to get over him and seeing him in a platonic way left me thinking that I am very good at deceiving myself and him.  This morning I sent him the following email –

Hi Max

Thank you for a very pleasant evening although I sensed that your thoughts were on other things/women.   I think though that it’s probably in my own best interest to stop seeing you for a while.  I have let myself lose my head/heart a little in the last few months.  But as there is no future in it I should just say goodbye.  It was a tad over-optimistic to think I can see you without letting how I really feel get in the way – maybe 6 months from now 🙂

I hope things work out for you and you manage to find the right person in the end.

Best wishes

Amy x