Sunday, April 16, 2017

Recent dating, and some unexpected news

It's been a long time. I thought I would write an entry, even though I don't know if many read this anymore.

Since the last time I wrote there's been two guys that I've gone on dates with. One I actually dated casually for about three months, which is the longest I've gone out with one guy since I've been single. He was quite a bit younger and also religious, but he was very nice and sweet and a great cuddler. He also wanted to take things slowly in the bedroom, which I definitely prefer. In fact, he even seemed to want to go slower than even I wanted! However, a month or so in I detected that there might not be lasting potential with him. He was not quite as communicative as I would like. I prefer guys that are very good at maintaining conversations without me having to do all the leg work. While shy introverts can be cute, I'm already introverted enough and prefer someone a little more gregarious for dating. However, I admittedly was enjoying what we had (whatever it was) and was in no hurry to end it. I wasn't in a hurry to define it either, though. Eventually, the guy's grad school got busy and he started texting me less and less. When he stopped responding to my texts I knew it was over. Still, ghosting irritates the hell out of me (especially after 3 months), so I sent a worried "I hope everything's okay" text to get him to respond. When he did, I knew it was over by his lame excuse. Freaking use your words people! Ghosting is NOT okay.

Something similar happened with the next guy, who was a lot more talkative and a lot closer to my age. We seemed to have a lot in common and he seemed to really like me. However, a few dates in, HIS grad school got busy and suddenly he had difficulty responding to texts and dropped off the face of the earth.

Both times, it happened after intimacy started to increase, which just reinforces my feelings of sexual inadequacy. It doesn't help that I still haven't gone "all the way." I just can't get myself to do it as a casual hook up. I've even had a friend offer to pop my cherry, but that is just all sorts of weird to me. I know part of it is my fears about STIs. Someone close to me confided that they are now HIV+ which served to drive the danger home. Now, I know they are a lot more promiscuous and weren't using proper protection at the time, but for an anxious guy like me it's hard to get over those fears.

In other news, my ex Ben has been on my mind more lately (probably because I don't currently have any prospects). It happens less these days than it used to (it had better, it's been 4 years and it was only an 8 month relationship), but it still happens. Then today my sister (who is still Facebook friends with him for some reason) gives me some news: he's engaged. To the guy that he started dating 3 months after he dumped me.

I know this feeling is something that happens to a lot of people. The feeling of when your ex gets engaged is especially painful when you were still in love with them when they dumped you, and the fact that he found the love of his life in 3 months when it took me two years to even find another guy that I could feel strongly for (who, like Ben, didn't feel the same) . . . it sucks. I am continually trying to pep talk myself. If he could do it, you can do it. It's a numbers game.

But when guy after guy who seems interested ends up ghosting me . . . it's easy to get disheartened.

I'm thinking of reactivating my paid membership on Match. That site is, after all, the only one I got an actual relationship from. Tinder and OkCupid have led to decent short flings here and there, but no one that I really felt like I clicked with strongly and no one that really seemed ready for a serious relationship like Ben was. And a friend of mine met his husband on Match a few years back. It's worth a try.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

From Dusk Til (Almost) Dawn

I had one of the latest nights in a long time last night.

It all started on Friday night, when I was performing in an improv show and was delighted to see two friends in the audience. They hadn't told me they were coming. One was Ali, the guy I met at Pride that I talked about in the last few entries. The other was his friend Dan, a mutual friend (who I actually went out with in the past as well). Between the two of them, I'm closer to Dan but still don't really know either of them very well at this point. Anyway, I was super happy that they came to my show. Dan and I texted a bit afterward and he invited me to go out with them and their other friend, Kevin on Saturday night.

Come Saturday night I met up with them and we went to dinner with a bunch of their other gay friends. Then to the gay bar, which was actually a lot of fun. I was quite conscious about how much I was drinking after a not-so-great experience a few weekends ago in West Hollywood (I was out with my cousin Roger's friends, drank too much and got sick for the first time ever), but I still had a good time. They are a really friendly group of guys, and Kevin is quite the party-animal. He drinks a bit too much (most of the times I've seen him he's been drunk) and then gets a little . . . overly affectionate. I was a bit conflicted, being a little tipsy myself. On the one hand, Kevin is really cute and seemed to be coming onto me. On the other hand, I didn't really want to be making out with him in front of Ali and Dan (especially since the last time I got drunk with them I made out with Ali . . . I don't really want to be that guy). So, long story short, we ended up at their friend's house and played cards while Kevin passed out on the couch. We didn't leave until 4:30 AM. It was fun to let loose and get to know my new friends, but at the same time I don't want to make that a habit.

I had a back-to-back pair of great first dates a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, after a great second date with the first guy, that one seems to have fizzled out. I had high hopes as he seemed to have good values and seemed to be impressed with my preference for relationships over hooking up, but now he doesn't message me anymore. As for the second guy, it has been several weeks since I met him since he had family in town, but we plan on meeting up again tomorrow. He seems like he has a good head on his shoulders and he's a late-bloomer like me, so we'll see how that goes.

That's about it, just thought I would write a little entry since it had been a while.

Later!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Vicious cycle

Let's see what's new . . .

I went out to dinner with Ali, the guy I had the drunken make out session at the bars with. As I feared, his interest did not carry over sober. We had a fine conversation and have chatted a bit via text since, and he even invited me to go out with his friends on Friday . . . unfortunately I couldn't go. But his interest has definitely waned and he answers texts sporadically. I wasn't quite sure we were a match either, but still, it was disappointing.

I'm definitely falling back into being interested in dating again, even though I started out the year telling myself that I would focus on career. I know relationships are important to me, but still . . . focusing too much on dating gets me frustrated. I start thinking about all the seemingly great matches that didn't like me back the same way (Ben and Thomas being the two prime examples). Or all the ones that flaked on me. Or the ones who live 40 minutes away and feel that is too far to date.

In positive news, my cousin Roger is seeing a guy. The two look like they're on track to be boyfriends, which is very exciting. This will be Roger's first relationship, so I'm pulling for him. Still, the cynic in me is wondering just how long it will be before the guy loses interest and jumps ship. I swear guys, I don't know how to regain my romantic optimism! With my own relationship ending in a blindside dump and every promising guy since then not working out, I feel like I'm in a bit of a vicious cycle. I need to develop a better outlook in order to have a better experience, but only a better experience would allow me to cultivate such an outlook. I guess all I can do is fake it 'til I make it.

I do keep wondering whether I need to move. Either to LA proper or to San Francisco. My friends YouTube Guy and his boyfriend would love it if I moved up to the Bay, and I have a potential lead as as far as a job. But I have such strong roots in So Cal, it would be tough to leave it. We'll see.

Question for discussion: are you driven more by career or by relationships? How much will you sacrifice in one for the other?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A surprise at Pride

Recently I attended Pride with my cousin Roger. Originally, we had intended to only go to see one particular performance, and then we would leave and figure out other things to do. Perhaps see a movie or something. But as seems to happen at Pride, things don't always go according to plan . . .

Midway through the performance, I spotted two familiar faces. One was a guy that I've been Facebook friends with for several years, ever since we met at a mutual friend's birthday party. The other was his friend, who I had met on Grindr last year and went on several dates with (it kind of fizzled out after he got sick and had to cancel on me several times, after which communication died down). I'll call them Tyler and Dan. They were there with a third friend, Ali. All three had been at Pride for most of the day and were already in various stages of intoxication. I'll admit, I had been wanting to hang out with Tyler and his friends for quite some time. Tyler and I live close to one another and I don't have many gay friends that live close by, but all previous attempts to arrange a hang out had fallen through. Now, happenstance had put us in the same place at the same time. The boys were headed to another room of the venue, and Tyler invited Roger and me to come along. Despite the fact that we had come to see the show, we decided to follow them.

Ali seemed to take an immediate liking to me. He complimented me repeatedly throughout the night, telling me I was "so handsome". He was very cute himself. And so, for the second Pride in a row, I ended up finding a boy to tag along with and (once I had ample booze in me) make out with.

Another familiar face popped up during the night. This one belonged to a rather buff guy that I have seen on the dating websites and through mutual friends on Facebook. My only other time seeing him in person was when he was flirting with Roger in a bar about a year ago. Well, turns out the guy is Ali's ex-boyfriend. They seemed to be on good terms though. Although the dynamic between the two of them led to one slightly awkward, slightly awesome moment. Ali's ex had introduced himself to me and was asking me about myself (where do you live, etc.) He then asked, in a rather flirtatious manner, "Where's your boyfriend?" When I responded I didn't have one, he said, "Why not?" Before he could inquire further, Ali appeared and pulled him away. I couldn't hear what he said, but my guess was it was along the lines of "Lay off, he's mine!" It felt good to have two cute guys compete over me, even if they were both drunk, haha.

Roger managed to not drink as much as me (probably because he didn't have someone giving him drinks like Ali was doing for me), so Roger ended up driving us home. Tyler hitched a ride with us, since he lives close by. Dan seemed to be the one looking out for the other members of the group. I always did like him, and was sad that we didn't remain friends after we went out. Well, maybe we will now.

As for Ali, he texted me this morning. The first text was, of course, "Who are you?" He hadn't recorded my name with the number. Unfortunately, he did not remember kissing last night (he had to ask if we had). Fortunately, he did remember liking me, and has definitely followed through with making plans to meet up again. Let's hope I like him when he's sober! I did find out that he's 7 years younger than me, which was a bit of a surprise. I had assumed that he was the same age as Tyler and Dan. I suppose it's not that big a deal. I know I haven't had the best luck with guys in the 22-24 age range, but then again I haven't really had all that much luck with other ages either.

Here's to a fun night out, and a bit of an ego boost!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Colin, backseat shenanigans, and more

Hello blog world, it's been a while.

To be honest, I'm writing this entry because of Brent's comment a few weeks ago that I just read recently. That got the "Oh, people are still reading this!" wheels turning. So, kudos Brent!

So, where is ol' Cal at right now?

Career-wise, I'm in a better mental space then I was a few months ago, particularly in February. I'm still in the same job and everything and still exploring what's next, but I'm not feeling all doom and gloom about it. Basically, I'm being kinder to myself. Right now I'm reading Peter Buffett's Life is What You Make It, which is really resonating with me. The never-ending pull of the various forces in my headspace continues, but at least that book is helping me quiet down some of the "shoulds."

Dating-wise, things have also quieted down. Things didn't "end" with Colin so much as they just kind of fizzled. We casually dated for quite a while, but it was an awkward time. I was on crutches in an attempt to resolve my recurrent foot issues, so I wasn't making it up to his neck of the woods very much. He came down to me a couple times, but life got busy and weeks would pass without us seeing each other. Gradually the frequency of texting diminished. On top of that, I was clearly conflicted, which became very apparent to me when I purposefully didn't invite him to an outing with a bunch of my friends because Thomas was already going (he'd won tickets to the same event so we had made plans to go together before things had gotten a little more serious with Colin). I was uncomfortable with having both Thomas and Colin there so I didn't ask Colin to go. Still not sure what the proper action was there.

The last time I saw Colin was a few weekends ago. We had lunch, and I brought up the subject of "us" so we could be on the same page. He surprised me a bit, as I thought he had totally lost interest. Instead, he said that he did like me a lot, but he was dealing with a lot of "baggage" (he recently broke up with his long-term, live-in boyfriend . . . it happened just a couple months before we met). He said he understood if I wanted to move on and look for someone a bit more emotionally prepared for a relationship. I sympathized with him greatly, remembering how hard my own break-up was (I still think about my ex all the damn time, I just don't beat myself up about it as much anymore). I told him I'd like to still hang out with him, and we left it at that. I'll probably visit him next time I'm in the area, but I feel like dating-wise we're kind of done.

I met up with a young guy off of Grindr lately. I don't know why I do that. I know what most Grindr guys are looking for, and I know it's not what I'm looking for. This was just the latest example of that. We had a nice first date that ended a bit awkwardly. Red Flag # 1 he had a big aversion to kissing after he walked me to my car. I understand not everyone is comfortable with public displays of affection, but modest displays when few people are around? We went out for drinks a few nights later. Red Flag # 2 he really pushed for coming right over to my place. I told him my roommate was up and about and I'd rather meet for drinks. After drinks he said how he wished he could make out with me, but was uncomfortable doing it in the parking lot. I suggested we go in my car. He agreed, but then asked if I could drive around and find a private place (Red Flag # 3). I naively did so, and we ended up in a deserted parking lot, with nary a soul around. He suggested we go to the back seat. Having not done very much backseat macking, I acquiesced, for the experience. We kissed, and he talked about how hot I was. Really sweet words. But as things went on I realized that he, naturally, had a lot more on his mind than just making out. I told him that I, unlike many guys, prefer to take things slow. He said that was totally fine . . . but suggested maybe I could just look at his dick? I said okay. So he whipped it out. Then he wanted to see mine. Okay. Then he's jacking off, and I all can think of is dude, don't you dare fire that thing all over my car's interior. I think he finally got the message that I wasn't going to go all the way with him in the back seat of my car. Come on, I'm in my 30's for Pete's sake! I know I missed out on the whole teenage dating thing, but still. Suffice to say, I haven't heard from him since. Didn't expect to.

I know it makes me feel like an alien, but I know the answer is not to feel guilty about my relative lack of lustiness. I can't change my level of sex drive anymore than I can change the direction of my interests.

Still, nothing gets me going like the ol' transformation fiction, coupled with images of muscly dudes. I sometimes wonder whether a muscular guy would get me feeling more of a sexual lust. Being slender myself I don't really see that happening any time soon, but it's something I wonder about. I've now written a total of three stories for the "Gay Spiral Mind Control Story Collection." There is just something about the combination of muscle growth and mental transformation that pushes my buttons. My roommate suggested that perhaps the way I could unlock my sex drive would be to date a guy who is actively working out to put on muscle. Perhaps his slow "transformation" over time would be erotic for me. Perhaps! I admit, I did find it sexy when my ex-bf Ben started getting more into working out. He had hardly touched a weight before he started dating me. I was the one who got him into it and he even started working as a personal trainer shortly after he kicked me to the curb. Guess I created a monster.

In other news, I had an emotional conversation with my mom on the phone the other day. We were talking about the Orlando attack and the responses to it (which might be material for another entry later this week, we'll see). I told her how blessed I felt to have such supportive parents, as I've seen some of my friends lack the same level of support from their own families when it comes to their status as LGBT. I could barely get the words out, I became so choked up. She told me she felt lucky to have me as a son. She only wishes all her kids could find happiness already because their romantic troubles are driving her crazy!

I love my mom. And my dad too. I talked to them both today, for Father's Day. They'll be visiting in about a month, so I'm looking forward to that.

Alright, enough for tonight, it's bedtime. The journey continues!

Until next time,
Cal

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Difficult decisions ahead

Still chugging along.

I'm attempting to finally resolve the stubborn foot issues I've been dealing with for the last year and a half by going completely non-weight-bearing for a while. That means crutches. I've been on them for about a week now, and MAN is it tiring! My shoulder is killing me today. I think I might look into renting a knee scooter instead.

The guy I went out with last month that I wrote about in the previous entry is still in the picture. In fact, I could potentially see things going somewhere with this guy. He is very sweet and considerate, and has a good sense of humor. While we have limited common interests, he is very open minded and up for new experiences (within certain parameters), which is a big plus. I'll assign this guy a name. Let's call him Colin.

Thomas is still around as well, though. I had a second conversation with him, this one on the phone, about a week ago. Seeing how things are progressing with Colin, I felt it was important to touch base with Thomas to see where we stood. Last time I had a conversation with him, he had expressed interest in revisiting dating, but he had been two months into seeing another guy. Since then we had hung out on several occasions and had a couple of really awesome days together, but I had no idea whether he was still seeing the other guy.

While the phone conversation was pleasant, it pretty much was a replay of the first conversation. I did learn that he is no longer seeing the guy he'd been seeing before. However, now he's seeing a new guy, which doesn't bode well for us. He still didn't flat out reject me, but since he didn't tell me when things ended with the first guy and thereafter started dating someone else, I can pretty much tell where I stand in his priorities. It sucks because we get along so well and have so much in common, and he's so cute. Plus our common interests and similarities in personality mean we never have a shortage of things to do together. But in this case actions speak louder than words. I gave him a very clear chance to revisit things with me, and he has not acted on it. Instead, he seems to want to keep that door open as long as possible without actually doing anything to walk through it.

Which brings me to the question of what to do about him. I really hate to lose his friendship, but my feelings for him would certainly interfere with things developing with Colin or anybody else. Colin has some distinct advantages over him anyway. Unlike Thomas, Colin doesn't mind making drives to hang with me on the weekend. He also texts me often, showing his interest. Thomas texts me too (and seems to be doing so more as of late) but not as often.

I'm going to hold off on making any decisions about it until I see where things go with Colin these next couple weeks. Still, it's not something I'm looking forward to. Thomas is arguably my best friend in LA now. Part of me wants to say to him, "If you're afraid of risking our friendship by dating, don't you see that our friendship is in jeopardy by not dating as well? If I can't date you, I can't be friends with you, because I like you too damn much!" Ugh.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Quick update

This weekend I was able to stay pretty calm. While the big issues still weigh on me, I was able to keep a bit more relaxed, mindful, and present.

Thursday I had the first therapy appointment I've had in a while. My therapist was out sick for one appointment, and then I missed the next one because of my car accident. So I was finally able to have a session. I think it really helped. I've scheduled sessions once a week for the next several weeks to try to help me get through the worst of this acute phase of my anxiety. Thinking about giving a psychiatrist another shot, but we'll see.

I've downloaded a meditation app called Headspace on my iPad. The first 10 days of meditation lessons/practice are free, after that its a monthly fee. I'm just trying the free trial first to see how I like it. I'm two days in. I could see it being something I enjoy as part of my daily routine. And maybe it will help me get up in the morning.

Even though dating is not my focus right now, I did go out with a new guy today. He had messaged me on Grindr back in December and we chatted off and on since then. We finally met, and I had a nice time. We met in my favorite "midway" shopping center between LA and where I live. Same shopping center where I first met Ben four years ago. Obviously the association still exists, but its been diluted over time. The guy is quite introverted and I definitely had to direct the conversation for much of the time, but he had a good time and has already expressed interest in meeting up again. So we're aiming for next weekend.

I'm increasingly realizing that although I do have real problems to deal with, my maladaptive beliefs and thought patterns are really the main problem. So getting a handle on that is definitely a priority.