My experience with sexuality and dating was limited. I didn’t date at all in high school, and the once or twice I went out with a guy I liked in college, I never actually knew if it was a date. I met one guy through telephone dating.We talked and talked for hours, then we finally decided to meet. I took him to the Christmas party my employer was giving for us. Everything on that first night went well, even though I didn’t know how to handle myself when we said good night.
It became clear pretty quickly that we weren’t exactly on the same page about a physical relationship. He was ready (I’m sure that’s no surprise to most of you.) I was still determined not to let physical intimacy progress past the point I was ready for. It took a few weeks to schedule another date. We went to the Old Spaghetti Factory, had a nice dinner, and he took me home. He gave me a hug and told me he wasn’t going to kiss me good night because he was getting sick.
That was the end of our so-called relationship. Some weeks later two of my friends went with me to the restaurant where he worked as a waiter. He caught my eye early in the night. He finally came over to the table, I introduced my friends to him, and we made small talk for a minute before he had to get back to work.
One of the lies I believed after that was that to make a guy like me, I had to be beautiful with a sexy body. And I had to “put out” before I was ready to keep him. I know now that someone who really cares for you, wants you just the way you are. That person would never expect you to do things that you weren’t ready to do.
A few years later I was talking to my therapist about friendships. So many of my relationships with women were very intense, and I didn’t know why. Some of them were likc being on a rollercoaster with all the ups and downs. None of them were sexual, or even physical beyond hugs, so I was pretty surprised when my therapist asked me if I was in love with someone I was talking about. I hadn’t even thought of that until she mentioned it, and I didn’t know what to do with such a thought. Even if I had those feelings for that person, they were unavailable to me, and I knew it very well.
So I began looking at online “dating” sites. I found lots of people that attracted my attention, but nothing came of those first connections. The next girl and I connected a little more deeply, but she decided to go back to her ex. I still wasn’t sure who I was or what I wanted, but I finally saw a profile that said, “I’m the one your mother would be proud to see you with.”
In a matter of four months, I had picked up what little life I had and moved to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to join her and her daughter, with whom she had weekend visitations.
We’ll pick up there tomorrow.