The world is small, the dating world, smaller.

Two of my friends are freshly separated – less than a year. They are in the midst of negotiating settlements and getting used to their new normal. Both have recently started dating and we have an ongoing three-way text chat to share our highs and lows. And dick pics.

The first friend is looking only for casual sex. She’s on Adult Friend Finder. One guy she met had the same name as someone I went on one date with, perhaps three years ago. It’s not a common name but not rare, either. She shared a picture (as we tend to do) and I didn’t recognize him.

They went on a date a week or so later. She mentioned they went back to his place, where it was located, and that he had some erection trouble. My spidey sense tingled. “Hey, can you share a pic?” I asked, via text. 

Oh good lord.

It was the same guy. The first pic he had sunglasses on but the second was his LinkedIn profile.

The hilarity ensued. I don’t think I wrote about him – if I did it’s buried in a text about dating fails – because as nice as our date was, he was weird when we got back to his place and he wasn’t able to perform. Hence why he’s not on my “men I had sex with” list.

What we both found funny is we are polar opposites in looks – I’m blonde, fair, and curvy, and she is a dark-skinned, lithe athlete. He has good taste, that’s for sure.

They had a rather chill fuck buddy situation for several weeks. She never told him we knew each other lest it freak him out. 

Then yesterday I was hanging out with the other friend. She’d had a good first date with a man named Leo who was from the same country as my Leo. But not the same guy – we checked. I asked her if she had any more dates lined up.

“Not really,” she said, “but there’s another guy from [foreign country] who is there right now but I may see him when he’s back”.

Hmm. Same country as someone I used to date. But that’s common. Still.

“What’s his name?”

“Sevag.”

Ummm. 

“Hey do you have a picture?” 

It was him. He Who Shall Not Be Named. I told her the highlights of our story, which are removed from the blog – the intense first few dates, his third date declaration of love, his stalking my social media which led to his finding my blog, his descent into crazy jealousy, the threats and the police getting involved.

She isn’t going to keep in touch with him. I hated being the bearer of bad news, but she doesn’t like what she now knows he’s capable of.

Oh, and she used to be best friends with Tony’s again-wife, and she’s work friends with Jack’s ex-wife.

I live in a big city and continue to be amazed at how small it seems to be. I suspect this will keep happening. 

A death in the friend family.

He was a friend, admirer, and protector. Never a lover. He was like the older brother I never had. 

A decade-plus older with way more work experience, he was one of the first colleagues to help me understand how good of a leader I actually am. He was crusty and opinionated but looked up to me. As an independent contractor he could work with anyone, and he chose to work for me. I was humbled by his praise.

I was blessed by his presence in my life.

During one of the projects we worked together on he took a pastry course. We all looked forward to Wednesday mornings when the treats would arrive. Never fully satisfied with his work, he rebuffed our compliments, said through stuffed mouths. He always showed up on time to my parties. He was single the whole time I knew him and at first I assumed he was gay. Turned out after his last long-term relationship he’d tired of trying, and spent his time doting on his nieces and nephews. But he always had relationship advice for me.

He was the one who called me the day after my party, where HWSNBN lost his shit, to make sure I was okay. He made me promise to end it and offered to do anything I needed to keep me safe.

At my party, HWSNBN had told him to “fuck off” after he made a nice comment about my legs. Blind with jealousy, HWSNBN couldn’t see the friendship and teasing behind the comment. And his anger at my friend helped cement his demise. No asshole was going to come between me and the people I choose to surround myself with.

The last time I saw him he sat in one of my comfy chairs, joked about my cast, then quietly disclosed his recent absence from my life was due to depression, not a physical illness as I’d feared. He was starting to realize it was okay to share, but knew his pride and stubborn nature got in the way. 

We promised to see each other soon.

That was February. 

And now I mourn the loss. His death was sudden and unexpected, and a reminder to try to live every day as if it was not only my last day, but my friends and family’s as well.

How long before I say its over?

My Dad asked me how long it takes for me to know someone isn’t right for me, how long to assess relationship compatibility? A pretty good question, frankly.

I talked about how I know within minutes how good the intellectual chemistry is with someone. On the positive extreme there was Tony and now Jack. We have that elusive quick-witted and humorous banter. On the other extreme are men with whom the conversation is forced or dull. I can make a conversation happen with anyone, but I don’t want to have to do all the work.

It’s similar with physical chemistry. The very good and very bad are sussed out during the first kiss. I also know whether any first-time sex awkwardness is due to needing to learn each other, versus terrible physical chemistry. Continue reading

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

I rarely get political here, but today I make an exception, since it’s the international day against homophobia and transphobia. That this is still rampant in otherwise “evolved” societies makes me very angry.

It’s easy to fear and hate from behind the comfort of our phone screens, and easy to misunderstand when we have no personal experience with the issues. But that’s no excuse for hatred, ignorance, and bigotry. Ask questions. Educate yourself. Practice empathy.

As a white cisgender woman, I have incredible privilege. I don’t know what it’s like to face discrimination daily. To know my body doesn’t reflect the gender I feel inside. To worry about being killed for who I have sex with or love.

But it doesn’t mean I won’t support my friends and colleagues and all the people out there I don’t know who face this every day.

Ann Continue reading

Leo and I figure things out.

The trip with Leo had my head spinning. I sat on the plane, watching the sunset, listening to music, and turning things over and over. What was it I really wanted, why wasn’t I content, could anything be done about it. What did I say to him, if anything.

Sometimes things are clear for me in dating and I only need to figure out what I want to say.

But with Leo it wasn’t as straightforward. On the plus side, I knew he was trying. He is a solid family man, a good dad, and has close friends. He’s self-confident and kind. He was chill about my blog and seemed to have no issues with my sexual history or even my current ask to be non-exclusive. None of these are qualities to be taken lightly.  Continue reading

I’m in a weird – but good – place. 

I need to keep this quick because it’s WAY past my bedtime. 

I’m away for work again, another short stint. A conversation with a girlfriend last night got me thinking, and after dinner at her place I decided to walk home to clear my head and hopefully my sinuses. Because yeah, I got my kid’s cold. 

While my head stayed stuffed up, some things became clear.

I really like not having to answer to anyone, and am enjoying my personal freedom at the moment. I almost titled this post “I’m a raging slut” but then realized a) that’s not my core message, and b) “slut” is such a judgy word, and I’m cool with my actions. 

It occurred to me yesterday I have three casual lovers, all black, hung, and super hot, and I’m very lucky for it. They are infrequent lovers, especially Todd, but Lewis and Clark are around enough given how busy I am. 

What is so different for me now than three years ago is I am quite content with the pace of their communications. They reach out when they can and I genuinely don’t notice when it’s been a few days between texts. I’m not fussed. We know exactly what the deal is with each other, and are content with the status quo.

I also have a man who is very keen on deepening our relationship, and who so far has proven to be okay with my blog-big-reveal and the knowledge we aren’t exclusive. Leo and I have seen each other a few times in the last few weeks and it’s been nice. It’s lovely to have someone desire me the way he does. It’s good spending time with him, and I’m not expending much effort worrying about whether it will work out.

Que sera, sera.

A guy I met on Adult Friend Finder last summer (or maybe fall?) who I never ended up meeting – he cancelled a coffee date last minute – texted me out of the blue. He said he’d been travelling for the last 6 months and remembered we’d had good conversations and he asked if we could meet for a coffee.

Sure, why not? Perhaps it will happen next week, but if doesn’t, that’s okay too.

I’m not blasé about my interactions – I’ve had times before where I don’t feel much of anything – but I’m chill. I’m enjoying what’s in my direct path, and focusing on friends and family and work. 

I think that’s an okay place to be. 

Apologies if I confused you.

Thanks to the reader who sent me an email about this, or I wouldn’t have known.

Yesterday, I looked at some of my draft posts, including those about the man I refer to as “He Who Shall Not Be Named” (HWSNBN). I took all of the posts off the blog after some nasty shit went down between us that culminated in the police getting involved.

Anyway, I read one such post, called Intimacy with friends and lovers, and noticed it had some passages quite similar to what I’ve been writing about Leo. I decided to put the post back into “published” status, and did so on my phone, not realizing some of you would get that post via email.

So to any of you who read that post thinking it was about Leo, it wasn’t. Apologies!

Oh, and I also seem to have posted my last post (It’s not him, it’s me. Or is it?) with the wrong time, so not sure it showed up in anyone’s feed. Not my day, I guess.

Wondering is worse.

I blocked Tony last night.

Originally I wasn’t going to. He’d  promised to be in touch shortly after our last conversation “next week I will come see you; I will figure it out”. I knew it was unlikely he’d be in touch exactly when he said, but I wanted the opportunity to explain I couldn’t be his friend because despite everything, I’m still in love with him.

But he didn’t call. It’s almost two weeks later. I’ve learned he experiences time differently than I; my days tend to be packed full of life and therefore two weeks seems like forever. He isn’t on any jobs right now and his days just blend one into another. I often have to look at my calendar to remind myself not as much time has passed as I think.

I knew he would get in touch at some point and expected it would be this week. Continue reading

The reason Tony and I can’t be friends.

If you haven’t read about the recent “developments” with Tony, you can start with this post.

I know I’ve said it many times: this blog is extraordinarily helpful for sorting out my crap. I was in a good place with Tony, because I’d blocked him for weeks, successfully. I missed him but it was abstract, and I didn’t feel a pull to reach out or reconnect. When I unblocked him, I experimented with what it was like to be completely reactive – I let him call or text.

It was very minimal contact. It was platonic.

It was a fucking slippery slope.  Continue reading

Welcome to the shit show.

Previous Post

I hated how much the whole thing with Tony consumed my thoughts. Wondering what happened, how she found out, what their decision was (if any), and what was next.

I knew I may never get an answer. I knew the bulk of my interest was intellectual curiosity. Maybe most importantly, I knew that no contact with him was best for me. I wasn’t tortured at the thought of not talking to him regularly.

I was more upset with myself, at the time and emotional effort I’ve spent the last month or two seeing whether I could meet his need for us to remain friends. It wasn’t going to work, I’ve known it for a long time, but I tried anyway.  Continue reading