Going to the chapel and I’m…

Gonna get married!

I’ve been really, really, really remiss in blogging this past year. Life got in the way, and priorities shifted.

Honestly, blogging still is a great catharsis for me, but I get lazy. I used to blog on nights I wasn’t out with my man, but then we moved in together…and, well, love!

Anyhow, last Christmas, we decided we’d move in together when my lease was up in May. Telling my roommates went better than I expected (I don’t think they were all that surprised). I was sad to leave them, but it was fun to start looking at places and such. I learned a lot about apartments in the area. Eventually, we found a lovely townhouse that we ended up renting from foreign service peeps (they’re in Russia). It’s beautiful, has a lovely patio, and our neighbors are great! (Which we learned more than ever this weekend when they helped us dig out of our house…)

Moving in together was more seamless than I thought it’d be, too. May itself was a bit rough. We had a lot more “deep” conversations, or our version of arguing, as we figured out how we each communicate and our preferences. That all settled down pretty quickly, though. I started getting super suspicious and curious about whether he’d propose…but it didn’t happen. My best friend got engaged, and we went to 3 weddings last fall… and then, November 7th, he proposed :), the last weekend before wedding #4 of the season. I said yes! And now we’re wedding planning, and our wedding will be in November of 2016.

I was mostly surprised when he proposed. I definitely had considered if he’d do it over that weekend since we were traveling with friends, and it seemed to be the last good chance before the holidays. That said, a lot of things had thrown me off, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I definitely hadn’t figured out how he’d do it – he made me a lovely book, and there really aren’t words for how special it is. I cried, the ring is beautiful, and our friends joined us after the proposal for a day of fun. The only downer is my best friends got terrible news that weekend about their mom/MIL, and that sucked.

Also, FYI – weddings are expensive as fuck and people get crazy and opinionated about some weird-ass shit. Plus, there are WAY too many neat places in the world to pick just one for a honeymoon…

Roller Coaster

So, we’re trying again.

Part of me wonders if I’m being stupid and misplacing faith in him, and then a tinier part worries about much my friends may question my self-respect given how upset I was a few days ago…like, if he hurt me like that, why I am willing to risk it again, or given issues I brought up with them, why would I go back to it. That said, I know it’s the right choice for me because I know I’d always wonder what if should I not give it a chance now. I like him, I’m attracted to him, he made me happy much more frequently than he made me unhappy, so it seems worth seeing what happens, especially under different circumstances or with a different mindset.

I still don’t entirely understand his reasoning for the breakup, or how that changed, but I’m trying to. I don’t know if I’ll be able to trust him or open up as much as I would have otherwise, in terms of letting myself feel, but only time and dating will tell.

Apparently, though, he didn’t consider any of the things I’d brought up prior to our conversation Monday. He said he hadn’t been in a relationship for two years, which I didn’t know. He said he was close to moving back in with parents before meeting me and getting a new job all within two weeks; I didn’t grasp how close to that he had been. He said he didn’t think about how, since we slowed down the beginning, that means when he’d feel love may push back as well. He also said that he was wrong and stubbornly egotistical to think that nothing I said would change his mind, hence no conversation with me prior to dumping me. (Which, by the way, is still sort of insulting – he clearly thought he was more reasonable or intelligent about thinking it through than I am.) He said he expected to feel loss and sadness, but not regret. Altogether, these things entirely changed his mind and his perspective.

He says he wants to love me, and feels differently now, as if it’s possible to get there. He reflected on things he had done poorly (and acknowledged that he wasn’t as invested as he could have been, probably for some time), and that also combined to show him just how differently he could feel under different circumstances. Honestly, on my end, it’s worth acknowledging that we’re both really young, and that means there’s definitely room for improvement in how we handle relationships. No one knows everything, even if they think they do, and at least he is now recognizing that.

I believe that these things are all true in his mind, but I still can’t grasp how it went from not being worth even trying anymore to feeling more certain. I don’t have faith yet that his feelings can indeed grow, and I’m scared they won’t. I’m worried he’s looking at every action I make as a “do I love this or not” type of thing. He says he cares about me and I make him happy, but it’s hard to embrace that entirely when he said that before and it apparently didn’t mean anything in terms of security. He said he wants nothing more than for me to feel safe enough to love him, and I’m glad he acknowledges that I need to feel that way. I just need to really grasp that he does care, and why he cares, and how he cares in a way that’s different than before…and hopefully, in time I will understand that more fully. I get that I’m not going to have answers for a long time, if I ever do, because I’m not in his head and he’s not in mine.

I had a friend tell me last night that really, I can let myself care more about him now (and maybe eventually love him), or I can stay scared and not open up to that emotion. Then, in however long, if he does love me and I did the first, I have a shot, but if I did the second, I lose him. Or, if he doesn’t love me and I did either of those two, I lose him. The only chance I have at it working is letting myself feel and letting feelings build, and if I don’t let that happen, then may as well not even try.

That made sense to me, it’s just difficult right now. It’s hard not to wonder, in the back of my head, if a bad day or fight or discussion or moment is going to make him “see the light” of ending it again. Before, I had really strong faith that he’d talk through issues and was invested in seeing what happens, that he cared enough to try. I was wrong. Now, I don’t know how to know when it’s ok to trust and what’s right or wrong in my mind.

That aside, it was ridiculously easy to be with him yesterday. I still really enjoy his company, and when he’s invested, things are awesome. Our conversations flow, we laugh, and the sex is amazing. I think all the above paragraphs scare me even more because of how easy it is to fall right back to where we were way back when. While I want to love him and him to love me, I’m not ready for that yet (because clearly he isn’t, so I need to moderate myself too).

Not Broken, Just Damaged

So that last post was…well…melodramatic doesn’t begin to cover it. Am I sad? Yes. Am I over it? Not yet. Is everything dire and do I feel like no one cares? Not at all, in fact, I feel like I can rely on people I didn’t expect to be able to.  There’s definitely a lot of emotion in my life right now though, given my family situation (that merits it’s own hellish blog post), and that’s exacerbating all reactions (as is Aunt Flo).

I have some great friends that have been stepping up. It’s hard, because you find out any negative feelings people had after something happens. If I did ever get back with him, that’d take work. Aside from that, one friend questioned the honesty of everything he’s said and done from the beginning, which just raises even more questions and uncertainties. It makes me think about all the things that ever concerned me, which according to some is too much for the time we were together. These seem like a bigger deal in a list, but I never made a list while we were dating, and we did discuss some of these things, we just weren’t together in the same place long enough to see if those conversations worked. Things that bothered me, or concerned me, included:

  • Reluctance to use condoms. Sometimes, he used my interest in teasing and denial to bring me to the edge, and then ask if I was desperate enough to go without a condom. That borders murky manipulation of consent. Then, he’d use a blindfold, and I couldn’t relax/enjoy/trust it, because I was worried he’d just not use a condom when I couldn’t see. Not cool.
  • He was extremely snarky, which sometimes was fun and teasing, but he often he didn’t use positive words to reinforce things he snarked about. Snarking on my interests or intellect without making an effort to use words to counterbalance doesn’t leave one with super positive feelings. I like snark, when balanced.
  • Sometimes he made me feel slutty without the reinforcement I needed to enjoy it, and didn’t seem to understand that or grasp it enough to change after I’d commented on it…timing may have been part of that though.
  • He didn’t initiate plans that much or demonstrate a desire to see me more than once or twice a week (including weekend).
  • He was out of town a lot, and when we were seeing each other extremely infrequently, he wasn’t in touch much or verbose or chatty over phone/email, making it seem like he didn’t care much, despite saying he missed me.
  • He didn’t seem to laugh at my jokes all that much, although he did seem amused by me, it was just sometimes in a sort of condescending way that made me feel like he didn’t think I was all that bright.
  • He didn’t seem to value casual conversation much, as in chatting about everyday things that don’t matter.
  • He rarely came up with ideas about dates or logistics to plan them.
  • He wanted a lot of validation from me on my feelings and enjoyment of things without returning the words. He claimed actions showed his side, but it made me doubt.

And, of course, there’s him talking me away from these concerns when I brought some of them up, including two weeks ago–which is when, according to him a few nights ago, is when he started to feel differently…so why the hell would you reassure me? Why would you be affectionate and meet my family and such when not feeling it fully? It could have been my mom, and not wanting to interrupt that…I don’t know. He did act differently the last week though, so maybe I should have been more aware?

I’m frustrated because I’m someone who typically moves cautiously and slowly, and he pushed to go fast and claimed (and seemingly demonstrated) falling hard. He did all the romantic gestures, in terms of flowers, cooking…hell, he’d spontaneously dance with me in the street…but the effort wasn’t really all there in terms of communication and time together. I’m annoyed that he was the one moving quickly and always bringing up serious things like marriage or moving in together eventually, and then when I start having strong feelings, he freaks out.

It’s hard because I was very attracted to him, and despite issues, when it was just the two of us, I enjoyed our time together immensely and I had fun with him. He made me happy far more than he made me unhappy. He had such faith in me and it seemed as if he genuinely cared immensely about my happiness, which was incredible. When we were communicating, he was easy to talk to. He was affectionate and romantic. I miss his voice, talking to him, his excitement about things. I will be sad not to do all the things we had discussed and planned, like taking more photos together, and exploring DC. I will miss sex with him. Most of the things that concerned me were technically just things that could be modified and centered around communication. If he communicated more, had more initiative, and paid more respect to the emotional impact of his words, I would have been great. All of those things maybe would’ve been there if his feelings were stronger…so I should’ve gone with my gut, basically, in terms of calling him out earlier on.

With him being gone so much (almost every weekend the last 6+ weeks), it was hard to tell how things really would be. I was happy enough to see what happened when we were in the same place. He was great with my family, and with me when all this crap happened, and that cemented my decision, so I convinced myself to trust and believe his words…then he ended it a week later. So many things remind me of him…

Also, to be fair, I could have likely been better. He said I was awesome, but I could have made more of an effort in driving out to his suburb on weeknights and investing more in some of the geekier things he enjoyed to show I cared more about his interests. And honestly, if he really didn’t have any issues at all, the fact that I had so many “conversations” I needed to have because we communicate differently and understand/show care differently (5 love languages – he’s action/touch, I’m words/time), that could get pretty discouraging. Add to that the heavy load of me having my mom’s illness to deal with and leaning on him much more, and the intensity of a wedding, and he had family deaths/illness among grandparents…well, there was a lot going on that could’ve been different or better or easier.

Anyhow, I will say, that one of the hardest things in it all it is my mom. I’ve been really sad, and he took my mind off the sad and made me feel cared for, safe, and better. No one cares for you like a romantic partner. You can talk about things and support one another in unique ways. It’s someone to be by your side, there for you – and I desperately miss that. I want someone to hold me and tell me it’s going to be alright, and he was really awesome at that, and I’ve lost that. And, yet again, my mom would make it better, but she’s unable to communicate or anything, and so that makes it hurt even more. That’s not why I was with him at all, but it was really helpful to have and will be an adjustment to figure out how to cope differently now. I probably should have been coping differently before anyhow, but now I have to. I may find someone to talk to, or just journal a bunch more, I don’t know.

There were bonuses from the whole experience, though, that I’m trying to hold onto:

  • He gave my family the gift of amazing photos of my sister’s wedding
  • When I was surrounded by family and people focused on themselves, my mom, and such, he was someone focused on me. I needed that immensely.
  • I’m closer to my dad and sister, and I know I can talk to them about ups and downs in relationships without necessarily being judged or having them freak out. I didn’t expect that.
  • He showed me that I can have and enjoy sex without pain.
  • I now know I can care about someone that deeply, and that I can be in a relationship and communicate and trust and all that jazz.
  • I’m much closer with my friends that live near him. This sucks because they live near him, but I’m very grateful for our strengthened relationship.
  • I’ve learned how important it is to me to hear feelings vocalized.
  • I’ve learned that teasing and denial is, in fact, my biggest turn on.
  • I know that to be submissive, I need reinforcement that my actions are pleasing my Top, I need encouragement (and if that doesn’t work, forced accountability), and I need consistency.
  • I know that while kinky events and fetish activities turn me on a lot and can be a lot of fun, I can also be happy without any of them should the right power dynamic be present in the bedroom. That power dynamic doesn’t have to be formalized, even. Open-mindedness is still key, though, just I can not get intense pain or not go to parties and such and not miss it a ton under the right circumstances.

So yes, maybe I’m better off, at least if he wasn’t willing to work on things, and it’s definitely better to know sooner rather than later that someone isn’t feeling it. Should he contact me about getting back together (he called tonight, and it’s killing me that I don’t know why he called), I don’t know what I’ll do. If we were to try again, it’d essentially be like starting over in some ways, and I’d definitely need to address some of these issues before agreeing to it.  I need to understand better why he didn’t think it was worth trying, because that’s a hella strong statement. But, there was something special there, and I don’t know if I am ready to abandon it. Who knows, because that may not be why he called.

No risk no reward, all that jazz. Would I have slowed down and put in some effort to make us stronger and see what happened? Yes. Were things perfect? No. Am I broken? No, just not as whole as I was a day or two ago…but I’ll get there again, hopefully sooner rather than later. Assuming I can have an appetite for food again sometime soon, although that’s a whole other issue. I’ll have to reevaluate what matters to me in a relationship at some point, but I’m so not anywhere there yet.

It all falls apart

I know people love me. I do. Conceptually, I get that. My mom and dad, my sister, my aunts and uncles, my grandmother. But really, it doesn’t always feel like it. My family – all of them – I don’t talk to them on a daily basis, I don’t hear words of love all that frequently. I did from my mom, but she’s in the hospital, has been for a month, and there’s no sign of her being able to converse again, if she’s even able to cognitively understand that I’m her daughter and she loves me.

My friends from childhood aren’t much better. I don’t see them much, and talk and communicate even more infrequently, and so I don’t feel their love all that much. To be fair, I’m sure they feel the same about me.

My friends here in DC, well, it varies. I like these people because they live exciting, busy, worthwhile lives…but sometimes, it feels like people don’t have time for me, and only want me on their schedule if I can entertain them. I get that is likely untrue but when real shit goes down, there aren’t many people I feel OK calling. They may be OK getting the call, but because they don’t call me, I feel weird relying on them like that. And those people that I do feel OK with, well, they don’t live super close, and they have their own shit.

I’ve been barely hanging on by a thread lately because of what’s going on with my mom. I hadn’t really figured out how to cope with things yet. I kept thinking how everything was going so well otherwise – I had success at work, an amazing boyfriend. My sister is married, my dad is doing well at work. I was already in a “how come not everything can be happy at once” mood.

I had FINALLY let go of my insecurities and mistrust about my relationship, and let myself believe the thins he said about his feelings. I was excited for us to finally – FINALLY – after nearly 2 months – be in the same place at the same time, and be able to build something more steadily.

And of course, he ends it. And now I feel broken.

He said he wasn’t sure he could see us together in the long-term/marriage way, and that it isn’t fair to waste my time while he figures it out. He said that I’ve set a high bar for future women, that I make him happy, that he’s sexually attracted to me, that there’s no behaviors that bother him that I could change, just he doesn’t feel the same way. Not, “let’s slow down because we’re not on the same page,” but “I think we’re done because of X.” I pointed out how he’s been gone so much, and how much time we’ve really spent together, and that any “rush” or “time wasting” is projecting and not how I approach relationships. I pointed out that I had issues too and it wasn’t like I was dying of love yet either. He seemed a bit regretful, given those things he hadn’t considered, but when I talked to him via text after, he seemed extremely definitive in his decision. I just don’t comprehend someone making you happy but then also thinking there’s no way you could be happier or feel differently for someone. I don’t even feel like that about people I’ve known for years.

And now it’s over. I don’t really know how to handle something like this. I don’t know how to extricate him from my life. He’s become such a part of it. I finally let myself depend on him and trust him…and now he’s gone. I don’t know what to do, other than cry right now.

And of course, I feel more alone than ever. I know logically that isn’t true, but it doesn’t feel like it. One of the only things that’s been keeping my mind off my mom was him lately, and now he’s gone. All I want now that he’s gone is my mom. It’s a terribly vicious circle. My main support people are far away, overwhelmed with their own life things, or asleep. I’ve been g-chatting with one friend (thank god for him), but he’s far away too. There are a few other friends I could maybe call, but they don’t come to me with issues, they don’t include me when initiating plans (or if they do, it’s infrequent), and so I find it hard to go to them with serious sadness. I want someone to hold me, but the person who would do that just left me.

He left sad, saying it would take him a long time to get over me too…but that just makes it worse, because I just don’t understand. I don’t understand how he can so sincerely, genuinely say he’s still completely happy with me, will be upset to not be with me, but yet, isn’t feeling it enough to be with me. It makes no sense. It’s like he’s scared off by the thought of emotion he encouraged and fostered me to have.

And of course, he loves TV, and all these shows I watch, so I don’t even know what to turn on to take my mind off him. I have a painting on my wall I made with him. He lives next to two of my closest friends. He’s met all of my family…ugh.

Relationships Aren’t Simple

I’ve been learning a lot about relationships. I’m anticonfrontational, and I don’t get passive aggressive, but I am not quick to bring up something that’s bothering me, either. I’ve gotten better, but I’m still a work in progress on that end. I’m not used to someone being open to changing behavior without wanting to end things or reacting dramatically. There are few people in my life with whom I’m open about all the things I feel, because most times people don’t want that much information. Hence this blog. People don’t delve deep with one another frequently, and I’ve been burned a lot by assuming the people wanted information when they didn’t. As a result, I’m not great at being forthcoming with that type of emotional information. And, when I am forthcoming, I end up needing a lot more validation for giving it than some others would. Overall, being insecure about things like that has gotten in my way. I’m working on being more confident in who I am so that I care less about the reaction I’ll get and more about getting what I need.

The dude has been good with things, though, and has given me no reason to feel any of those above things. He has a level of admiration for me that I haven’t even grasped for myself at times, and his desire to promote my happiness is evident, which is awesome. He’s also been really open to listening and never makes a big deal of things I think are going to be big deals, which is helpful in encouraging me to open up. He needs to communicate more, at least I feel that way, because he’s a “show I care through actions” person, and I’m a “hear he cares with words” person, so we’re working that part out.

And, sexually, things are great. He’s not kinky, per se, in that he hasn’t gone to events or participated in any lifestyle things. He’s super into being dominant, though, if only in the bedroom, and we’re working on exploring that a bit. He also likes choking, is into bondage, and is stronger than me…which is good. He’s into denial in ways that I am too. We haven’t gone all that far in exploration primarily because I have roommates and he’s been out of town on weekends (making going to his place, far out in burbs, difficult). I’m hoping that in time I can bring him to some events and get him experimenting more with things.

I’ve been struggling a lot with asking for permission to get off when I’ve been alone. I’m supposed to call. I find it impossible to do, no matter how much he says he likes it when I call. I feel like I’m interrupting him, and that it’s degrading, and I don’t know why because I also find it sexy. I think it’s because there’s been a lot of travel in the last month so I haven’t seen him enough, making me feel less secure. He also doesn’t seem to notice if I’m not calling, which makes me feel like I want it more than is normal, which makes me embarrassed of my desires. I don’t know. If anyone has tips on that, do share.

Asking Permission

I’m still with the new dude, and for the most part, things are going well. We had a drama-filled encounter with some friends of mine, and he handled it super awesomely. While I was upset for my friend who was suffering, the issue let me see a side of the new dude that I really appreciated.

I’m struggling for a few reasons, though. One, I think he’s generally a quieter guy, but I’m not used to that, so sometimes I expect more conversation to happen. Two, I swapped my OkC profile to “Seeing someone,” and he said he would too…but 48+ hours later, and he still hasn’t, and he shows as having logged on a few times. This, in turn, is making me insecure and making me wonder if I should be concerned. He was the one pushing for exclusivity at first, so it’d be frustrating if he were seeing multiple people after that agreement was made. If you want to date around, just say so, and we can be open about it. I feel sort of nuts/in my head about it, though, and it makes it harder for me to bring it up. I don’t want to ruffle feathers. It is such an inconsequential thing, but yet, it still really bothers me, which bothers me more because I know it doesn’t really matter. Ugh.

Lastly, and on a totally different note, I’m not sure entirely how to incorporate D/s into things. In the bedroom, there’s an element of it. I don’t want to freak him out, though. He said he’s into toys and things insomuch as it turns me on, but I feel weird and extra freaky for wanting pain and things he isn’t really naturally inclined towards. He said something offhand today and I mentioned that it’d be hot, and he was all “you think everything is hot.” I’m sure he didn’t mean that negatively, but to me, it feels that way because I feel like I’m more screwed up in the head than he is in terms of my fantasies. I’m trying to take it slow and let things build, and just see what happens, but it’s difficult.

In the meantime, we have a rule that I’m to ask for permission before climaxing. This shouldn’t be difficult, but it’s hard as hell for me. I keep thinking it’ll be easier to ask next time. When we’re together, I don’t have an issue with it. When his hands are fucking with me, begging seems more natural. By myself, when he’s living his life and doing whatever, the thought of calling and interrupting his day to ask is humiliating and scary. I convince myself he’ll say no anyways, so why bother asking? It’s so stupid, because having to ask is hot as hell to me, and the thought that I would call and he’d say no is arousing too. I’m not really sure how to make it easier.

Sooo I have no clue how to go about dealing with these things, but that’s what I’ve been up to lately.

*edited* to add that I did at least tell him I was struggling to ask…worried that he’d judge me for the timing or I’d impose/interrupt him. He pointed out that the point is to give up control, which requires actually doing so and surrendering to him. Moreover, he reinforced that my asking turns him on, and is what he desires. Imposing implies that he wouldn’t want the call…I need to get it in my head that he wants my surrender, and that he gets off on that. Perhaps if I can frame it in my head as calling him pleases him, demonstrates my submission/obedience to him, than I will want to do it more.

It’s interesting, because he mentioned that part of the current arrangement we have is freedom. I’m allowed to touch myself however and whenever I want, as long as I ask for permission. It isn’t like he’s telling me to touch myself every day. He mentioned that he has no desire for the latter, because it may mean I was touching myself when I didn’t want to, which isn’t as thrilling for him. I tried, and will have to think of a better way to explain later, that if I’m touching myself in order to follow a rule, that in turn arouses me. Even if I didn’t want to before doing it, I’d enjoy it more because of that, because it meant I was doing it for him and the act of submission turns me on more than the touching. And, if something was really bothering me or I wasn’t able to enjoy it, I would let him know I was struggling, and if that really bothered him, we could waive the rule that time. As long as there’s consistency (like if waiving it, maybe require something different or extra time next time or something so that it isn’t too easy to skip out) it’s all good.

New Romance

I’ve been super MIA, but this time it’s been all for good reasons.  I posted in mid-February about dating standards after I broke it off with someone I’d gone out with several times.  I started talking to someone new a few days after, and it’s like I summoned him with my list. He is all of the things I said mattered to me, and I’ve broken all of my dating “rules” since talking to him. Hell, even the way I reached out to him broke rules.

Anyhow, so far, it’s going very well. Things have moved very quickly…we’re exclusive, and it’s only been 2 weeks. That said, well, we spoke on the phone for more than 10 hours before we’d met for the first time, and so I feel like I know him better than men I’ve dated for months. It’s just really good. He’s into kinky things, he’s smart and snarky, he gets along with my friends, and he makes me feel desired and special. Plus the sex is fabulous…and I’m no longer worried about being unable to have sex, which is also fabulous. And he bought me roses…I’m infatuated as hell, basically.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t fall apart! (But it’s worth it, even if it does.)

Relationship Standards

I started my day today accidentally overdosing on strong cold medicine and super emotional as a result, but it was partly based in truth. I ended things with a guy yesterday, and he took it super well. We’re going to try to be friends. Of course, today, I started second guessing that decision something fierce. I don’t have a lot of long-term relationship history, so I started worrying that maybe I ruined it, that maybe I should have tried to talk to him about things, maybe I ended it because I just don’t know how to gauge what is worth ending things over.

Thank goodness, a friend talked me down, validated my decision, and emphatically told me that the types of things that I ended it over are “worthy” enough to end something over. She suggested I think about what hard relationship limits for me would be, and what softer ones are. This is my attempt to do that.

First, some things to keep in mind:

  1. If you expect these things of someone else, cultivate them in yourself. (I really need to work on the first and last things under “hard” standards, for example.)
  2. Remember: I’d rather be single than be in a relationship where I’ve made significant compromises. Don’t settle, not yet.
  3. It’s not unusual to date a lot or have it not work out. Wanting these things isn’t unreasonable. You’re worth it.
  4. For any of these things, the examples are examples and the principles are what are important. If he can demonstrate the principle in some way, I’m fine with it.
  5. If one or two of the “hard” standards are missing but everything else is there, give him a chance and talk about it with him before cutting it off.
  6. These can, and likely will, change, as will their importance. Be OK with that. Don’t spend too much time comparing guys against these standards – live in the moment. Wait for it to feel wrong before thinking about it in any analytical way – when it feels right, let it be right.

None of the following is in any particular order.

“Hard” Standards

  • Be able to express his physical attraction – i.e. be physically affectionate, hold hands, make move to kiss, etc. (a level of physical assertiveness)
  • Want to spend time with me – and is hesitant for that time to end, i.e. no dates ending super early on weekend evenings unless ill or early-morning commitment, makes an effort to plan seeing me
  • Understands my humor – be able to tease/sarcastically banter
  • Be independent – it’s ok to care about/be close with family, but be OK going it alone; have a place to live, way of getting around, ability to feed and care for yourself, job to pay the bills; OK with me being busy, wants to share that and doesn’t resent it
  • Willingness and ability to make me feel special – can be myriad of things, such as holding open doors, paying bill, planning date, bringing flowers, not complaining about transit to see me (or general willingness to travel to me/convenient to me for first date or two), a particular look in his eyes, calling me on the phone, texting me flirty notes sometimes, physical affection, etc.
  • Willingness and excited to try new things – restaurants, comedy shows, dancing, festivals, traveling, kink or sex things, etc.
  • Wants to settle down at some point – desire to get married, have kids, have a house.
  • Socially adept – can interact with my friends successfully (success meaning doesn’t insult them – directly or indirectly, makes conversation with them), is polite, has friends of his own
  • Willingness and ability to communicate openly – makes light of awkward moments, texts/calls/emails, easy conversation, mentions how he feels, voices what he wants 

Softer standards

  • Hasn’t been married before
  • Doesn’t have kids
  • Kink/alternative lifestyle things (soft standard is being legit into it, turned on by it…this is a hard standard insomuch as someone is open-minded enough to try, re ‘try new things’ above)
  • Civically engaged – volunteers, votes, has passion for at least one issue, involved in community, involved with family (any of these things suffices – apathy is the big off-putter)
  • OK with various gender roles depending on situation
  • OK with living in suburbs, or even potentially moving elsewhere
  • Doesn’t want to rush into kids/marriage
  • Isn’t planning on moving within the imminent (~3 months) future
  • No more than 10 years older than me

Other things that are important to me

Traits that matter to me: social etiquette, humor, adventurous, open-minded, intellect, ambition, passion.

Hobbies/interests I’d love to share: country or bluegrass music, grilling, road trips, dancing, board games, stand-up comedy, television, books, going to movies.

I don’t know.

I’ve been MIA on here, which I regret a bit. Things are going, to say the least. First off, my mom survived her surgery and is recovering well (Thank goodness!).

Work has been interesting, to say the least. My boss is terrible. There was a brief chance I’d be reassigned, but it looks like that won’t be the case. I should get to do some interesting travel – and not to a warzone! My boss’ boss, the one who rates me, is really blunt and has acknowledged how terrible my boss is. Her frankness salvages the situation, at least a little. She’s planning on being extra involved to help save my experience, which I really appreciate. I’ve been struggling to find people to be friendly with at the office, which is frustrating a bit. When people talk to me, we get along OK, but I’m not getting close to anyone. I realized I need to modify my expectations. Work is work – it’s to make money, hopefully provide some motivation in life. It’s isn’t supposed to be my social life – I have friends for that. With that in mind, hopefully I can just do my job and be OK with that.

Otherwise, I’ve been busy. Other than the book club comprised of kinksters that I lead, I haven’t done anything kinky in ages. I was at Rapture in November, and lightly played, but that’s been it. Before that, it had been since June. Needless to say, kink hasn’t been a fixture as of late. I debated going to college night late tonight, but I’ve been absent so long that attending events fills me with a deep dread.

I’ve been dating, and that’s complicated. As always, the vanilla guy is great in many ways, but he is really laid back, isn’t dominant in life, and that’s getting to me. It affects how much I can see him in a sexual way. On the other side, there’s a dominant dude I was talking to, but then I got scared of how intense our conversation got in terms of D/s and was uncertain about all that shit… that’s my life. It’s messy.

I just don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like I want to forget men entirely…but I also want to get laid. I think the stress of work, family, wintertime, and dating confusion is getting to me. I don’t feel as confident, and my insecurity affects my interpretation of things.

I know I’m in a less than happy state, and I hate that. I hate that I’m indecisive. I don’t like not knowing what to do. I don’t feel like I have control over anything right now. More than anything, I hate that my ability to follow the logical part of my brain is seemingly broken right now. I should be happier. I know I have people who care about me and love me. I know I need to not worry about things at work outside my control and try my hardest. I know I need to not date someone that leaves me thinking about all the little ways it’s wrong, I should only stay with guys who make me feel giddy and excited to be with them. The more I try to balance all this shit, though, the more mentally exhausted I get. I feel like I don’t have time for anything.

Unloading Some Stress

I’ve been going through a few pretty rough weeks. On the surface, everything has been good. There’s been a bit of chaos, as is to be expected with the holidays, traveling, winter weather, and a new job, but that’s been manageable. I try to focus on the good, and be grateful for my many blessings. I have some solid friendships, and many people who care about me. The people around me have mostly been doing very well, which promotes an attitude of contentment and growth. I have a job and a good salary, and can afford the live I’m living. I can even save and pay off some debt for the first time in a long while. I have a place to live, and I live with great people in a nice location.

All that aside, though, I’ve still been feeling out of sorts. I know the primary reason, and I’ll get into that, but an aside to it all is dating. I’m sick of fooling around. I’ve had shit luck with men this past year, at least in terms of anything working out into something more serious.

I’ve been debating match.com, but I’m stupefied by trying to come up with a good username. I can use initials and my birthday, but that’s apparently “too generic.” I can’t say anything with a looks-related descriptor or I’m clearly insecure, and I can’t say anything that may indicate I’m poly or pretentious or hugely awkward. WTF, right? My hobbies don’t fit neatly into one or two word names. My friend was consoling me by pointing out that it’s a positive thing that I’m too complex to be simplified into a username. She’s probably right, and yes, I know I’m overthinking it. Blerg. In the meantime, wouldn’t SpicySexpot, VivaciousVixen, and WantonWench be great…I don’t know, pornstar or alt.com names?

The primary thing on my mind lately is stress and fear, though. My mom is having open-heart surgery next week to replace 3 of her 4 valves. They say it’s a straightforward thing, lots of recovery and pain afterwards but it will improve her quality of life, and she should be fine… But, you know, they’re cracking her chest, and the last time she had surgery like that she was dead on the table for longer than she should’ve been allowed to be. Technology advances, yadayada, but she’s high risk given other health factors, so I’m worried. I’m taking off work for a couple of days and teleworking so that I can be home for the surgery. It’s horrid timing at work, being that I just was gone for 2 weeks for the holidays, I’m new still, and I had training to reschedule, but everyone has been very understanding.

I don’t want to bring it up with people and have to talk about it, but I also am scared and want to talk about it. I don’t want people to say it’ll be fine because it pisses me off – there is no guarantee of that and it trivializes my emotions. I know they mean well, but that, or pity, seem to rub me the wrong way. I’m so afraid she’ll die. Even writing it terrifies me. It brings me near tears just thinking about it.

My mom and I have mixed history. She has a violent temper, and several mental and physical health issues that make things difficult. Our past had some…well, trying moments is an understatement. I don’t call home as much as I should, and sometimes I lose patience with her because she doesn’t understand sarcasm or what I do for work and she complains about other family members to me (which puts me in an awful place). That said, I rely on her. If something good happens, I immediately want to tell her. She’s always excited for me, and it’s unbridled, unconditional excitement. She looks out for me, and her love is a constant. Sometimes I feel her love less than her anger, sadness, or insecurity, but I know it’s there and I never forget that. The thought of going home and her not being there, of never seeing or talking to her again, or no more random hallmark cards or stuffed animals…it’s horrifying.

I am also suffering worry and guilt that I don’t live nearby and won’t be able to help with recovery. My parents don’t communicate well (another understatement) and I’m worried that my mom won’t get the care and assistance she needs post-surgery – whether because she doesn’t ask or vocalize her needs, or because my dad doesn’t have the energy or willingness to care for her properly. Who will clean and do laundry? Who will help my mom shower and get ready for the day? Who will keep her company to take her mind off the pain? Who will cook?

My dad avoids talking about it, which doesn’t help. He’s trying his best, I think, but it’s a rough situation because he’s the breadwinner. He has to work, and his work is demanding. My mom’s attitude has been disintegrating more and more each day. Over the holidays, I even told her that I’ve never been around someone who was as much a downer as she currently is. Everything anyone does is wrong or insufficient. She expects the worst out of everyone and is quicker to snap or yell or scream than I’ve ever seen her in my life. She’s terrified, and taking it out on everyone around her. She doesn’t handle pain well – she’s had more health issues and chronic pain than most do in a lifetime, but she still complains and moans and freaks out, there’s no built up stamina or tolerance towards it. She basically needs someone to baby her and talk her down almost constantly, which is fine – everyone has different coping mechanisms – but it’s impossible for people to do that every second of every day.

Anyhow…emotional drama. And beyond it all, I’m still a bit frustrated that there can’t be a year – hell, 6 months these past few years – without someone in my family suffering a huge emotional or physical crisis. Since I was 7. I’m not shitting you.

In the meantime, trying to stay positive and busy.