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Beginnings, and other ways of being.

So today I begin my trek up to Philly. I'm going up to visit a friend in Baltimore and stay the night, then on to Philly tomorrow.

The curious thing of it is the Baltimore friend; rather, that's what's on my mind. He recently started exploring his attraction to men, so it's not surprising that he warned me that he doubts he'd be able to offer anything serious. Yes, I'm probably going to sleep with him, as if that didn't go without saying. But for now it will probably be that and friendship.

I'm pretty okay with this. I've found it's actually not that uncommon in the gay community to have good friends you sometimes sleep with or fool around with, but don't have much expectation of a relationship, at least to begin with. Yeah, it can get messy sometimes; sometimes feelings develop despite themselves. But I can say from personal experience that I've at least made out with a good number of my gay friends and remained friends after. Not that I'm a paragon of stability and good decision making and setting boundaries, but yeah.

What really fascinates me here, though, is an example how my brain works. As I often aim for with posts like this, this post really isn't him at all. It's entirely selfish, in an introspective and inquiring way. I'll do my best to keep this as anonymous as I can. I'm also not bemoaning the situation but, rather, merely musing on the inner workings of my brain, and some interesting things that have come to light. It's prompted me to wonder more than usual about what I'm looking for.

We've been friends a long time and get along great, we share a lot of core beliefs, I've always found him pretty hot, and so on. But while my brain knows and understands his reasons for not guaranteeing regular dateness or relationshipness, some part of it slips back to considering just that. And I'm not sure why.

See, I don't even know how romantically compatible we'd be. We certainly haven't fooled around or anything; for all I know, we'll have terrible chemistry in bed. Our conversations have only skimmed lifestyle matters; for all I know, we'd end up horribly impatient and frustrated with eachother for some reason or another. And it's not like Baltimore is exactly next door; it's close, sure, but still a 30 or 40 minute drive or hour and a half train ride. And yet for some reason my brain still wants to ask, even nag, "Well, why couldn't we be more than friends? why couldn't we try dating-dating?"

My point is, the situation doesn't offer a whole lot of evidence or reasons for my brain to be nagging me like this. Am I really that needy? I hope not. Regardless, what are my needs? What do I want? Am I on the hunt for a husband or will fun friends do for now? What are my intentions? What are my expectations?

These are questions I ask myself now and then anyway, but this occasion offers some different variables than the usual, I suppose. Also, of course, he's a good friend, and I don't want to mess things up with him or drag in a lot of baggage that neither of us really need.

In all honesty, I don't think that will actually be a problem. Like, for really. But I'm a worrier like that. At the same time, I'm confident I can go into this with string-slinging spinnerets disabled. I think, amusingly enough, that's because we are good friends. We can be open about all this--for fuck's sake, he brought this up yesterday not 3 months from now.

And while I don't know all the answers to those pesky questions, I do know or believe I know some or some parts of them. Like, I know I'm not actually looking-looking for a relationship. It's taken some self-discipline and training, but I've learned not to approach dates with those kinds of expectations. Instead I look to let things develop and go from there. Of course, I'd love a relationship, that'd be great stuff, but I don't make it the immediate goal when I date someone; rather I look to get to know them and see how we feel and interact and so on.

Maybe this unsubstantiated nagging--the "Well, why can't we date?"--is just an artifact of the way I used to do things, of what I've tried to unlearn. I used to feel a need for relationship, a need for something or someone to complete me; a codependent thrill when I thought I'd found it and agony when I, inevitably, lost it. I think I've come a long way since then--I no longer textbomb phones like I used to--but it's hard to say with things like this, ingrained behaviors, that they're ever truly gone.

But if that's the case, that this irreverent dissident nagging is just a remnant of how I used to carry myself, then all I need to do today and from here on is remind myself "He's my friend, and that's awesome; whatever happens, happens. Forget about those expectations and enjoy whatever comes of this. Whatever happens, happens."


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