My natural inclination is to date only one person at a time. Even if just for one date. But I like to focus on one person, figure out our compatability, and then in theory, keep progressing if things work out.
Prior to meeting Will, I was a serial monogamist. Even if just for one night. I didn’t really ever date multiple people, although there were some times in University where I was sleeping off and on with a couple different men. But that was the exception.
When thrust into the dating scene last year, I found that talking to multiple people seemed the only way to go. Given how often men disappear, or bail, or turn out to want something other than what they profess, it’s the easiest way to ensure you have a full pipeline. It also ensures that when you are rejected, there is someone else to dull the pain. Furthermore, the relative anonymity of being online also makes this possible.
As much as I can navigate these waters, I don’t like them. They are too choppy.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m capable of casual sex and all that. Always have been. While I want a relationship, I have my libido to contend with. So I get stuck between wanting to have great sex and wanting a relationship.
After being online for a while, I got better at wasting less time up front, both because I identified patterns more quickly, and also because I decided I would meet men over a drink or coffee pretty soon after establishing a connection. If you have been texting them for weeks before meeting them, they rarely meet your expectations.
Then I met Johnny.
Despite some hiccups (of which you are all aware), he treated me very very very well. I miss how I felt when I was with him.
We both wrote a lot about open vs closed relationships when we were together. I’ve subsequently realised I have left many of you with the impression that I permanently want to have my cake and eat it too. So your comments and my responses have got me thinking.
In addition, I haven’t been in the online dating scene since the Spring. I didn’t expect to have a 6-week “relationship” with someone (Andrew) after a threesome. As I find myself now truly without any partner whatsover, it’s a really good thing for me to figure out what I want.
Here’s my attempt at a list.
I would like to focus on just a few men at a time. I don’t have the time or energy for the constant stream of texting and online shenanigans. Nor can I find time for that many coffee dates to suss out how interested I am. If I go online, I will only respond to those that seem like a really good match. I will find a couple of men, if there seems to be some compatability, I will offer coffee or an after work drink. If we can’t even make that work, then they are off the table.
I want to be in a relationship. Not casual fuck-buddies with someone (I’m starting to hate the “friends with benefits” term because unless you are friends first, you aren’t really friends). I want to go on actual dates – live music, the art gallery, fun times, dinner. Not just come-over-and-have-sex dates. Here’s the frustrating thing: given my current schedule, I don’t have a lot of time for dates. But I didn’t say this was everything I could have, but it is what I want.
I don’t want to settle down with someone quite yet. What do I mean by this? I would love to be exclusive with someone – I don’t like to share and I want someone who doesn’t want to share me, either. BUT I don’t want to be with someone who is cloying. I need a little bit of space. Someone who comes along and wants to meet all my family and my son right away, and spend every waking moment with me, will totally freak me out. I’m not ready for super-serious.
I want to be with someone who is as sexual as I am. Given all the guys I’ve dated since becoming single, I can tell you this is not easy. I realized today that (not including Johnny), the best ongoing encounters I had were with men I met on the naughty section of a dating site. These guys (Ariel, Jason, NIM) all understood that I could be highly sexual and have a lot of other great things to offer. Obviously Andrew did as well. The “vanilla” dating sites seem to be filled with men who, once they realize my sexual needs, or if I have sex with them right away, treat me as ONLY a sexual conquest and not relationship material. So I’m left feeling like I need to keep the sexual needs under wraps…which is really hard to do.
I am NOT ready to close all my sexual doors., Ideally, I would be with someone who is willing to help me explore my sexual boundaries. Someone who is a little kinkier than I am and is open to play. Which for me means…
I DO NOT want an open relationship, but I might want to play with my partner and others – together – every once in a while. For example, as you may remember, I have a fantasy about having sex with multiple men. I would love to have a partner that would do this with me. I am perhaps open to exploring with women. Same idea.
Now, I may have confused those of you who recall while I wanted to be open with Johnny, I wanted him to be closed. It was contextual. It was about the situation we were in (serious long distance relationship) and his reasons for wanting to be with other women. I’m not going to get into the details here, because it’s absolutely not a dig at him or our relationship. But what I have learned is, I don’t want an Open relationship. Nor am I Polyamorous.
So, that’s my starting point of what I want. I think I should also write a post on how I want to be treated, and what characteristics I want in a partner. Then I should re-read those posts EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Have I missed anything?