Tag: Sebastien

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.

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 therapist

I thought I had definitely scared him off for good back in October when I hadn’t heard from him after an enthusiastic first missive detailing my background (read all about that here) but he did contact me again and the pattern with Sebastien is one of a very slow burn, a platonic relationship where we talk about what’s going on in our lives in as much detail as possible within the few hours of a date at a restaurant or cafe every month or so.

Our date the other night was no different except that it had been two months since we last met up for a meal in Hampstead.  Prior to that we’d gone to see that beautifully heartbreaking film Testament of Youth.  We went for a meal after that in Belsize Park when S began telling me his story.  His is a search for identity, reconciling the feminine and masculine sides of himself and seeking to change the old ways of inhabiting a relationship.  Recognising that he had always sought to rescue the vulnerable, he told me that he began his dating by deliberately looking for a strong woman instead.

He thought he had found her in the form of Isabel who was also a therapist, working with teenagers.  He wanted a relationship of equality and sought equality in every aspect of his life – at work, at home and during dates.  He described their courtship as at times stormy with himself being enthralled to her as he could glimpse a vulnerability beneath the strength.  But then there had been an incident – I’m not sure what actually happened but S told me that he sensed Isabel was trying to engage him in a play for power – which he refused to participate because he still wanted a relationship of equality and felt uncomfortable and disappointed that she was putting him under pressure.

When I saw him the previous night he said he was relieved that the relationship had ended and he realised now that he had mistaken her brutality for strength.  I tried to get him to tell me more but he would only say that he felt he was being drawn back into the same power play which had always featured in his previous relationships and that was because he always seemed to be attracted to women who had a needy and dependent side to them.  His immature self would crave the attention and drama they brought and mourned the loss which inevitably followed when they withdrew their favours.  He said that when Isabel pulled away from him as a form of punishment because he refused to engage in her power play he realised how close he had been to dancing the same tune as before.  Knowing how destructive it could have got he felt now that he had achieved a step towards self-recovery by ending the relationship.

I wonder if we are destined to repeat our mistakes because we are always attracted to the same type as we have always.  S had deliberately set out to date strong women but ultimately been enticed by the complete opposite.  Is it ever possible to change how and who we date?

how to scare them off – or a non-starter

Hi. Thanks for the like. Would you like to ‘text chat’?


sorry for the late reply.  for some reason my earlier message to you did not abide by the TnCs!

yes it would be great to text chat for a bit



Makes me feel self concious about what I am writing. Forgot we are being watched, monitored, um. Wonder what you wrote that was so unabiding? Hopefully they know me and what would upset me….

On our % match is at a 0% so I am encouraged that we are even texting! What do they know.

It says ‘Want children preference mismatch. You may not be a good match based on her essential ‘Want children’ preference’.’

I do not have children myself. Though I have had much practice and even trained as a Nursery Nurse years ago. Though I have come to realise there is a very big difference between training and pratice.

Education, we can talk about that…..

I read your profile and am taken by your openness to others and to new experiences. It is good to hear you have had a good response from the site. I admire your attitude around your divorce, your healthy and civil relationship with your ex. I think it is so important for everyone, childern and you and him.

I look forward to texting more.

S 🙂

hi S

i’m sure it was my derisive comments about velociraptors – those urban owners of the velo which caused my message to be forever consigned to the bin.

also, i feel that having had 4 children (just one is apparently considered detrimental enough to the planet) i really will not be having any more. – so is that one of our incompatibilities addressed? 


yes – i teach english to young adults – mainly japanese, korean, chinese, turkish, iranian, polish, spanish, italian, etc.. – i enjoy what i do as it’s relatively stress free – doesn’t pay well but fantastic job satisfaction …

 what i used to do –  a stay at home mum for the next 7, doing all those middle class things such women do – pottery, tennis, pta, gym power spinning, etc.. (cringe).

and about 8 years ago i did a TESOL course and now teach EFL having done a further diploma last year. so that’s my work/career background.

for fun

i love going to the cinema and theatre. i will watch most human drama, crime thrillers and some sci-fi (having teens means i can sit unimpeachably through showings of [insert current pop/teenie feature] and the like without inviting stares or comment)

i read several books and listen to different audiobooks on the go over periods of time – there’s so much to read and listen to and not enough time in the world!

i also spend too much time on line reading and doing useless quizzes.

if none of the above has made you question my desirability as a soulmate* (was there ever a more loaded term!) shall we try and meet up? you can contact me on my mobile. i’ll give you my number if your answer is in the positive 🙂


* the dating site is called soulmates

it ended there.  i heard no more from S.  needless to say – all that information must have frightened the poor man off.  note to self – create an air of mystery and don’t give everything away at once.