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A Valentine's Special.

Yeah, I'm one of those guys who's never really been with someone around Valentine's. I am sometimes baffled how other people manage these things--and why I can't. To be fair, it's probably as much my not trying enough and trying too hard as it is anything pariticularly wrong with me. Like, I know I don't get myself out there enough to meet guys and when I do it's probably compensatory and usually flawed from the start.

The other question is--why does it matter so much to me? Evidently it seems like something I want but something I'm scared of, too. It may also be something I'm just not very good at. I'm secretly timid and fearful of most confrontation and directness. For all my communication skills, I always seem to chicken out when it comes to talking to guys in a healthy, sustaining way. I'm a dreamer who wants something nice badly enough to stick to something for the concept of having it more than the reality of dealing with it; I want to have someone to be with enough to justify not risking or losing it with honesty about what I want--as much honesty with myself as with him.

I've been on some profile site or another since high school, at least. I remember when myspace was relatively new and novel, when facebook was called The Facebook and was only for college students. I eventually found more specifically queer sites--realjock and dlist (RIP). If I were honest I'd admit I've invested far more time in this area of my life in online possibilities than real-world discoveries. I'm hardly compulsive about it (certainly not as compulsive and desperate as I've known myself to be in the past), but for some reason I'm far more drawn to the safety of checking out guys online than in person.(What am I scared of?)


Recently, Dlist came to the end of its time. (At some point maybe I'll write some kinda obit.) I needed somewhere to socialize (or pretend to) with my fellow queers; to ogle some hot bods and have interesting conversation. So I made a dudesnude profile and, more recently, an okcupid profile.

I've had an interesting time with both. Dudesnude satisfies physical lusts with delicious ease while okcupid has provided me with a lot of really interesting conversations and even a couple good dates. I also feel more proactive and less passive. Maybe I've found some heartening measure of hope? It may help that (at least I think) I've grown more confident in real life and my profiles and interactions on these sites probably reflect that.

But I'm still not sure what I want. Someday, yes, I'd love to have a really fascinating, excitingly gorgeous guy with whom to share a home and snuggle late at night and raise hell around town on weekends. Someone to share moments both deep and trivial. Someone to laugh at our cat with and bicker about who he loves more. But that's probably not gonna happen anytime soon, and part of me I'm realizing may not be entirely ready to find it.


Two friends of mine have accidentally inspired me; one declared the upcoming year to be "the year of the slut", in which he'd reclaim his inner slut, while the other has declared 2012 to be the year for "sexploration". I doubt I'll be quite as adventurous as either of them, but the idea(s) intrigue me somehow. Part of me, besides loving the idea of being some desired socialite around town mingling and mixing with people with ease and fearlessness, would love to actually get out there and have sex with (and date) the kind of guys I want to have sex with (and date), not just sit at home and fantasize about it.

My therapist recently reminded me of something important: Dating is not mating. Dating, in itself, isn't so much the search for sexual gratification or a quest for life-partnership. Rather, a date is a means of getting to know someone, for whatever reason and in whatever way. You may continue to have dates with this person, continuing to get to know them, finding common interests and hobbies and so on. You may fool around and fuck, if it comes to it, and maybe it'll be meaningful maybe it'll just be good fun. You may start seeing them increasingly exclusively (at any point). At some point you may find you share deeper things like values and goals and beliefs; you may become boyfriends. You may find your compatibility leads to something even more serious, like marriage or some such. But it all began with getting to know them, spending some time together, and letting things develop however they ended up developing.

I'm sure a large part of my problem in actual dating has been taking everything too seriously, looking too far ahead and anticipating, even expecting, things before there was reason to. For some reason, I've felt that in going on a date--even in having messaged and flirted online--that I've begun to commit something to that person. I too soon let that ball up and drive my emotions beyond my reason's grasp. I automatically feel that by going on a date or flirting with someone else, I may have betrayed that person somehow and feel guilty. How does this make sense? Without even knowing how he feels I've decided that this may really be something and that in any number of ways I may end up risking it--and losing it.

Sigh.


I'm sure this has to do with communication and boundaries and honesty and stuff. Right now, I'm hoping to focus on just having ordinary dates. Sex? Sure, but not the point (entirely, at least). I want to learn about myself, to be comfortable; I want to be able to just make friends and date and not worry about things the way I always do.

I still feel twinges. I had dinner with one guy last week and have lunch tomorrow with another and got asked (twinge!) to coffee by another. "But what if...??" is the common anxious refrain. But I cannot know these things; I can't know if dinnerdate is gonna message me back or if lunchdate is really the guy for me or if coffeeguy is even that interested or just curious. Likewise if I go on a date and it doesn't work out, it's okay. If it does and we have another date, then I get to know him more.

This is hard for me, in part because it's scary and in part because I'm not sure how to do it. I'm clueless, ok? But I mean well. Hopefully by trying, I'll figure it out more. And maybe I'll find that guy I dream of, but probably not in time for this Valentine's Day.

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