Tag Archives: dumped

The Reluctant Monogamist

This looks nice and all, but is this really the ONLY option?

My last foray into normal, society-approved monogamy ran concurrently with the 2010 baseball playoffs, in which my SF Giants were, at long last, victorious in the World Series.  For those that don’t feel like doing the math, this means that my last traditional, exclusive relationship lasted all of 6 weeks.  It happened in the usual way – girl sees cute boy in bar, goes up to him and tells him he looks like Matt Damon.  Boy tells girl she looks like Christina Ricci and buys her a few drinks.  They end up back at boy’s apartment where, shirtless (because he works out obsessively and wants to show it off), he serenades her with alternative music from the 90’s with his beat-up but gorgeous acoustic guitar while she lounges on a balance ball in just her underwear until the wee hours of the morning.   Sex happens.  Several times.  Boy drops girl off at the front door of her hotel, so she doesn’t have to participate in a pre-dawn walk of shame and promises to call.  Girl is indifferent because while the sex was fairly good, the 9-11 conspiracy theories were not.

A mere 6 months had passed since the end of my decade-long marriage and I had absolutely no intention of getting into a relationship.  Turns out, he was in the same boat.  Just a few months out of a serious relationship in which he had been living with someone.  This thing had rebound written all over it – for both of us.  So why, in the name off all that is holy, did I say yes when he proposed we start seeing each other exclusively?  Looking back I realize the following:

  • He asked the question while were laying in bed, having just completed the pole vaulting portion of that evening’s bedroom Olympics.  I was in a good mood, full of hormones and dopamine and all kinds of nice orgasm-y feelings.
  • We had only been dating a week or two.  I was caught completely off-guard and thought for sure that he wouldn’t bring it up that quickly.  And I had no plans to have the DTR talk.
  • It was so damn nice to have someone in my life again, even if I felt the timing was off and that there were things about him that gave me pause.

So when he asked me if I was seeing anyone else, I lied and said no.  Be honest dear reader – you would have done the same thing!  Who the hell wants to tell the sweet, naked man lying next to them that less than 24 hours ago some other dude had zambonied the ice rink?  You know, the one that is telling you how amazing you are and that he doesn’t have any desire to see anyone else?  We became a couple right then and there.  Yet there was so much reluctance in my acceptance of his offer.

The legitimacy of having a significant other that is conferred upon you by society is a heady thing.  I was wrestling with feelings of guilt, shame and just plain feeling like a failure from my marriage breaking apart and this was an easy way to say “see – I’m not a loser after all!”  This made all those bad feelings go away.  The cute little back-and-forth messages that we posted on each other’s Facebook walls, the good morning email that was always waiting for me when I got to work, the goodnight call if I wasn’t staying at his place, the little shelf that he cleared out for my stuff – all of this felt so familiar and affirming.

Let me out!

Not so nice – the suffocating, frantic feeling that I was trapped.  TRAPPED!  The one weekend during our short relationship that we didn’t spend together (he went out-of-town), I literally had to have a girlfriend cock block me when we went out that night.  She had to confiscate my phone so I didn’t text the French Boy or the Tortured Artist.  If she found me at the bar talking to a man, she would come right up between us and pull me away.  She did all of this at my behest because I just didn’t trust myself not to cheat.  I didn’t even have the balls to tell the others that I was seeing someone, you know, just in case.  I knew there was something terribly wrong.  I knew that he was not a good match for me and I also knew that I didn’t want to be in a relationship.

He dropped the bomb on me right after the World Series ended.  It’s almost as if we were under some kind of spell, and once all the excitement was over, the fog was lifted.  That and his ex-girlfriend had called him to “congratulate” him on the win.  I wasn’t with him that night.  Not that it would have mattered.  The call would have come at some point and it would have made him pause and think about what he was doing.

There were so many reasons that he was wrong for me.  He was an addict that had a few years prior, lost everything due to his addiction.  He had anger issues and would punch and throw things.  He regularly trashed his ex-girlfriend.  He was a lawyer.  All of these things and more were revealed to me in the short time we were together.  But despite all this, I was still devastated when the call came.  I had seen it coming.  Sensed him pulling away.  It didn’t make the blow any easier to take.

Fast-forward a couple of weeks and I was feeling mostly OK about things.  Never gave in to the temptation to send just one little text, or email.  Didn’t check his Facebook page or check if he was on IM.  Just when I started to feel balanced again, he emailed me to invite me out to dinner and a show.  Just as friends.  Stupidly (and I knew it at the time) I agreed.  That’s when the flirty drunk texts started.  Again, stupidly, I played along.  Dinner turned into sex of course.  Only this time, I made it clear that I had the right to date other guys and vice versa.  He agreed.  What he didn’t know is that I already was.

The next month or so I spent chasing the dragon, trying to get back to that high I experienced when we first met.  Trying to get the cute good morning emails started again.  Trying to get my stuff back on that shelf.  All the while I’m banging the French Boy again.  Everything came to a head one night when he, drunk again and alone  (which I think is probably a terrible idea for someone with a past addiction to drugs) he texts me, telling me to come over.  I tried to be discreet, really I did.  But he wouldn’t let up.  I finally had to be blunt with him.  “I am at another man’s apartment right now.  I can’t come over.” He was furious.  I never heard from him again.

I have since come to realize that I had always been in relationships for the wrong reasons, not just this one.  For validation.  For status.  For feeling like I was “worth” something.  I would completely give up myself, ignore what I needed, and accept any and all faults in the other person just to keep that precious thing alive.  No wonder when around the 2 year mark (which seems to be the magic point in time when all of my relationships start to fail) I would start to feel restless, and resentful and unhappy.  You can’t pretend forever. You can’t sit by with your needs un-met and expect a relationship to last.

It’s not easy to navigate in a world that values and supports a lifestyle that hasn’t ever worked for you.  So I have two

You can get with this...or you can get with that

choices – 1) Figure out how to operate within the existing system of monogamy in a way that  doesn’t completely crush my spirit and make me feel trapped or 2) Define my own way of being –  of loving and living that allows me to be myself.  And no, I don’t mean allows me to fuck whoever I want at the expense of someone else’s feelings.  The past 2 years has been my attempt at following the 2nd path, the one where there is no guidebook, no support from society at large, no “rules”.  As you have read, I’ve stumbled along this path.  I’ve gotten hurt.  I’m sure I have hurt others, although it was never my intention.  But I just don’t know if I can see myself taking that time-worn and well-traveled route.  Can’t see myself stepping in line again and giving up all that makes me unique just so that I don’t make people uncomfortable.

For now, as I encounter situations that Emily Post certainly can’t help me with, I stumble along, always trying to behave ethically and always trying to be up-front with the men that share my time and space with me.  And maybe – just maybe, I can find someone who understands me and shares my worldview.  I know it won’t be easy.  But I’ll continue to search.  And have amazing, awesome sexy experiences while I do.


Taking a Dump – The Ethical Way

Today I officially and, leaving absolutely no room for interpretation, gave the old heave-ho to this guy and this guy.  How do I feel?  Relieved?  Empowered?  Smug?  No.  I feel totally shitty and kind of shaken.  I mean, as exasperating as these two were, they were, at the core, truly nice human beings.  I dated each of them for roughly 2 months a piece, although in retrospect I let things go on for about a  month too long.  Why is it that I give so much latitude, benefit of the doubt and graciousness to those that dump me, but I have no such charitable feelings about myself when I do it to others?

Let’s face it – nobody wants to give out bad news to another person.  I HATE confrontation.  But I realized recently that I had stayed far too long in many situations, not just relationships that were doing nothing for me, or were even damaging me in some way simply because I was too afraid to speak up and assert myself.  Because I was so, so afraid of someone being mad at me or not liking me.  How in the world has it taken me almost 35 years to start getting over this mindset?  How have I been so deeply programmed by bullshit traditional gender narratives that I didn’t even realize I was doing this?  Am I not a kick-ass feminist?  It’s time I started acting like one for fuck’s sake!

It would have been pretty easy to pull the fade on these dudes.  I mean, even the most thick-headed and socially clueless person figures out after a few weeks of unanswered texts that the other person is just no longer interested.  Pulling the fade just isn’t my style.  It’s been done to me PLENTY of times and while the prevailing wisdom out there in the murky swamp of internet dating advice is that this is a perfectly acceptable way to end things, I just can’t bring myself to do that.  I may be a slut, but I try to practice my sluttery in ethical ways.  These fine gentleman, while ultimately not the right fit for me, gave to me their time, their hospitality, and occasional use of their lovely cocks.  It’s the least I can do to end things cleanly and without question, right?  It’s what I would want.  (You listening Karma?  I’m doing the right thing over here.  Throw some good shit my way you bitch!  Just kidding.  I love you).

Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to repeat this wretched process 2 or 3 more times before I lose my nerve!


There’ll Be Sad Songs

One of the most annoying things about going through a breakup has to be the come-out-of-nowhere, totally inconvenient crying jags.  As a single mom, I don’t get a lot of time by myself .  Let’s face it, I barely get enough time by myself to use the bathroom, let alone cry.  It’s a luxury I cannot afford.  So I often find myself alone only in the car during my hellish hour-long commute (both ways).  While NPR is usually what I listen to, sometimes I get sick of listening to the debt ceiling, Afghanistan, Wall Street and how the world is generally fucked conversation and just want to listen to music.  Normally, this is a fine and sensible proposition, as listening to too much NPR can turn you into an insufferable, depressed and cynical human being that can only talk about organic yurts or Afro-Cuban music.  But when one’s heart is banged up, bruised or even partially broken and held together by duct tape, pop radio is fraught with landmines.

Oh Billy how I curse thee

There you are, minding your own business, just driving along bumper-to-bumper, trying your best not to be nosy and check out what everyone else is doing in their car when it hits you out of nowhere.  A song comes on the radio, about love, or loss or even about nothing but it reminds you of that person because you heard it once coming out of a restaurant when you walked by it last year.  Then the tears come, slowly at first.  Just a few fat shimmering ones that get caught in the folds on the side of your nose and tickle like hell followed by a couple more at a steady clip. And now you are praying that nobody besides you notices because you have to drive next to these people for the next 20 minutes and damn – there go your Banana Republic slacks fresh from the dry cleaners, (which took you two months to pick up) all wet with tears.  With the proverbial floodgates opened, the tears are now streaming and you are fumbling to change the station and grope around for tissues or old and hopefully only slightly-used McDonald’s napkins all while trying to steer and work the brake so you don’t rear-end the person in front of you.

You tried your hardest to avoid this.  You didn’t put on the oldies station, or the Top-40 station that’s been the soundtrack to your relationship.  God forbid you put in your iPod and put it on shuffle.  No telling what THAT would turn up.  You listen to a station that’s as inoffensive as possible, one that maybe you haven’t listened to in a while and used to enjoy.  You don’t think that you’ll hear anything that will trigger the tears. The truth is you can turn that radio to any station and I guarantee you will hear something that will make you cry.  You will hear some song where just a phrase, or part of a chorus or even the way the artist is singing will turn you into a sad, hot mess.  You will find yourself connecting to the most ridiculous shit, nodding your head to bullshit like this because it SO captures exactly how you’re feeling!

My advice, if you care to take it is this – don’t put on a country station and just give in.  Cry your little eyes out for the entire song. Soak yourself in it and roll around in it and just feel it.  Indulge the inner teenage girl within.  Let yourself think that this song was written just for you.  And when it’s over, wipe the tears away and laugh at how ridiculous you are.  You, capable woman that juggles a million things at all times was reduced to weepiness by a trite and quite stupid love song.  And remind yourself that you are not  Wonder Woman, at least not all the time.  Nor do you have to be.  And if you’re crying that means your heart still works and just like any other muscle, the more you flex it and use it, the stronger it will be the next time.


The Bad Date Chronicles – 15 Second Man Edition

Gentleman...start your...oh..

Yes, the title means exactly what you think it does.  15 Second Man was the catalyst for this post.  Here is the rest of the sad, sad story.

15 Second Man was my 2nd (but sadly, not last) foray into the wilds of Craigslist.  There  was no picture attached but the ad was so charming I was willing to take a chance.  It was a send-up of the old Dr. Seuss One Fish, Two Fish book and consisted of about 20 really funny, thought-provoking questions.  Of course, possessed of a strong wit and a love of answering questions about myself (I have answered absolutely every question on OKCupid) I had to respond.  He seemed to really dig my answers and we exchanged numbers after some really entertaining emails.

Don't tell me you wouldn't hit that

Due to scheduling conflicts, we weren’t able to get that first date on the calendar for almost two weeks.  In the meantime, we had frequent communication, texting every day and talking on the phone almost every other day.  We sent photos of each other back and forth and to my surprise, he was attractive!  Definitely on the larger side but in a very cute, Man vs. Food kind of way.  Things got hot and heavy pretty fast.  The back-and-forth quickly devolved into full-on sexting and even phone sex, all before we had even met!  One day, we clocked in at almost 600 text messages sent back and forth.  Needless to say my productivity level at work plummeted. We were both almost drunk on anticipation of meeting each other, finally, in person.  Would the chemistry be there?

The night of the date finally arrived, and to this day, I can’t recall every being this nervous about a first date.  It felt like so much was riding on it, that I would be beyond embarrassed if this person, whom I’d already been pretty intimate with, would turn out to have no interest in me or vice versa once we actually shared the same space.  I was beyond relieved when I first caught a glimpse of him at the door of the restaurant.  He was adorable. And he seemed to think exactly the same of  me.  The butterflies and nerves quickly departed as we settled in at the table for some drinks and dinner, to be followed by a trip to the bowling alley.  The date couldn’t have been more perfect.  We were clearly digging each other, and having a great time.  When, a few hours later, he pulled me in for a kiss in the elevator of his building, I though I had died and gone to wherever it is that all good sluts go to when they die.

Despite the undeniable sexual chemistry, we actually “negotiated” what was allowed and not allowed once we got down to business.  We both agreed that we didn’t want to rush into sex, that we wanted to give it time for something to really develop before we took that step.  It was perfect!  All too perfect!  And then…I understood why he took the nuclear option off the table.

Cut to his bedroom.  We’re kissing.  Passionately.  Like in the movies.  And I don’t mean the kind you can get from Netflix.  Being the surgeon that he was, he was very, very, VERY good with his hands.  Being the feminist I am, I decided that he deserved some reciprocity.  The equipment was impressive.  Far from the smallest but not too far off from the biggest I’ve encountered and of a perfect girth.  I was literally chomping at the bit to get to work on this thing.

I’m no surgeon, but I’m pretty good with my hands as well.  I didn’t realize I was THAT good.  A mere 30 seconds after first contact, Old Faithful erupted unexpectedly and way ahead of schedule.  I was stunned – this had actually NEVER happened to me before, although I told him otherwise.  My years of high school theater served me exceedingly well that night.  I was kind and reassuring and all of those things you need to be in order to preserve the fragile male ego after is has suffered such a…blow.  Took my time saying goodbye and departed for the night with a very nice goodbye kiss. Continue reading


A Slut’s Call to Arms

A few months back I met someone and actually got to a 3rd date.  On the surface, things looked pretty promising.  And although things didn’t work out (expect another edition of  The Bad Date Chronicles) the real problem existed with my friends.  God love ’em, they always have my best interest at heart, but I couldn’t help but discern a whiff, or in some cases a pungent cloud of judgy slut-shaming swirling around me when I told them about this guy.  My conversations went as such:

“He sounds fantastic.  You better be careful and not sleep with him too soon or this will never turn into anything substantial.”
“Well.  OK.  We haven’t.  I mean…it’s only been 3 dates so…”
“Right, but you should try to hold out as long as you can.  I know that’s hard for you.  But this one sounds like a keeper!”

Preach sistah!

Lest we forget, this is the strategy employed by one Anne Boleyn when she was dating the King.  And we all know how that turned out for her.  While I’m in no danger of losing my (literal) head, I am sort of losing my mind over this.  Why is it that, decades after women’s liberation, our sexuality is still being used as a litmus test for our worth as a person and potential relationship partner?  Wasn’t the whole point of feminism to judge a woman on the basis of her integrity, her intelligence, and her value to the world and not on her gender and sexuality?  And why is it that women are still so quick to judge another woman by the way in which she conducts herself sexually?

Pat Benetar once said that love is a battlefield.  I guess that makes my sexuality my weapon, the cudgel by which I can stun, subdue and capture the enemy.  But what if I don’t want to use it that way?  I don’t see men as an enemy that I need to conquer.  Look, I will freely admit to anyone that will listen that I love sex.  I love it.  I feel like, even though I am well into my 30’s, I just discovered it and just figured out how it works.  If I feel comfortable with someone, comfortable with the situation I’m in and am being safe and healthy about it, I will engage in sexual activity of whatever nature I happen to prefer at the time.  That’s how I roll.  I don’t want to think of how I can parlay this (insert sexual act of choice here) into something else.  I want to have sex for sex’s sake.  Because it’s fun, and enjoyable and life-affirming.  And gosh darnit it just feels awesome and I just realized I was capable of things that I thought only happened in the movies.  Isn’t trading or using sex to get something else just another form of prostitution?
After gently and respectfully making these points, the conversation took this delightful turn:
“So, what can I do? Am I allowed to…”
“Oh no, don’t do that.  He’ll think you do that with everyone.”
“Ok, so what about…”
“No, not that!  Especially not that.  He’ll never want you to be his girlfriend if you do that.”
Which brings me to my next point.  Men – you aren’t getting off the hook here.  I have many bones to pick with you as well.  If a woman puts out “too soon” why does that preclude her from being relationship material?  What the heck is too soon anyway?  If you suspect that she has been around the block a few times, why is that such an issue?  How, exactly, is one supposed to pick up the skills necessary in order to be proficient sexually if they have not gone out into the world and gained experience?  After all, practice does indeed make perfect.  If you’ve been on the receiving end of some particularly stunning sexual act, you should be calling up the lady’s past partners and thanking them for letting her practice and perfect her art.
This dynamic played itself out recently on an episode of Jersey Shore, which is a fascinating study of male-female dynamics and sexuality.  It is also trashy and escapist, but I digress.  In short, the men on this show are total sluts.  They objectify women routinely (females deemed as non-attractive are designated as “grenades”) and bring home random women for sexual trysts on a regular basis.  Yet, when one of the girls (Snooki, the fabulous little one) does the very same thing, she is rejected by her crush Vinny who himself had JUST DONE THE VERY SAME THING.  Now, I realize that using Jersey Shore to make my point may not be the wisest thing to do, but these children are our future.  And these backwards notions of female sexuality are still alive and well.
Does it suck when you sleep with someone and they never call back?  Sure it does.  Even though I’m a slut, I’m still a human being believe it or not. I do have feelings.  But when it does happen, I pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again.  Because I realize that if a man is going to judge me based on my sexuality, he is not the kind of man who I want to be with.  Period.  End of discussion.  Does that mean the number of men that I may be able to have a relationship with is smaller for me than for a non-slut?  Perhaps.  I am OK with this.  There’s just no room in my life to hide, to compromise, to ever feel less-than because of who I am.  I spent the last decade of my life doing that and it’s a place I intend to never return to.
When it comes to relationships, how the other person treats you, how they respect you and makes you feel about yourself are far more important than on which date you were able to slide into home plate.  Read that last sentence again.  Once more.  Ok, now repeat it.  Learn it.  Internalize it.  Now, go forth sluts (male and female alike), and conquer the world!
P.S. – What happened to this guy?  I ended up NOT sleeping with him.  And he never called me back for a 4th date.  Guess I should have just gotten it while the getting was good!