I want to talk about wider lessons I learnt about trying something casual, but I’ll do that in another post.
One of the things, though, is this: If we aren’t compatible, I really need to not talk to him.
Because it breaks the tenuous hold on ‘whatever this is’ that we have established.
I knew it with holy-fuck-beautiful-eyes, and told him explicitly: ‘no talking’. It worked. But those were short visits of a few hours, not ‘an entire long weekend 24/7’.
Let me say this up-front: The cougarling is a lovely man, we were sweet and kind with each other, but…
And in the ‘but’ is the crux, right?
We insisted on trying to talk to each other. Heh. Of course we did.
Idle chit chat was just fine, but more than that… not so much.
He wasn’t interested in things I wanted to talk about. Would literally say ‘nah, not interested in that’. Since I was doing all the conversational heavy lifting that was not very conducive to conversational flow.
When he talked about some topics, I found some things he said problematic. I said so. And that led to some back-and-forths, and him shutting down.
On his second night here, we talked too much. That’s the bottom line.
There’s more to that of course, a lot of it stemming from my fundamental inability to really DO casual, but the ‘talking too much’ created various disconnects, and that increased the distance between us to a place from which we could not recover.
I think he was hurt: I don’t blame him. The lowlight of our ‘talking too much’ was me telling him “you were kind of being an arsehole” in response to a story he told. Because he was.
I could have just not said anything about anything, but my level of tolerance for certain things is low. We misfired over and over in small and bigger ways.
It didn’t go ‘bad’ in terms of any ugliness. There were no big arguments, no shouty-anger, nothing like that. We are both mature adults. We were sweet and kind with each other still, even after that.
The day after we talked too much, we kept ourselves busy (we went and saw whales, we had French patisserie treats, we went out for lunch), and when we got home I suggested we watch a movie. We were on the couch, my legs draped over him, we had snacks, a drink.
I was still intending to play with him because I thought it could still be fun. But after the first movie finished, he suggested we watch another. He had a beer, then another. When the second movie finished he suggested a third. Another beer. And I realised he was playing out the clock until it was too late for me to suggest that we played. I can’t be sure and to be frank I wasn’t invested enough to ask. But I’m preeetttyyy sure that was a long drawn-out soft ‘no’.
When it was bedtime, I offered for him to come and cuddle if he wanted. He declined.
The next day we rode bikes to breakfast overlooking the beach. It was pleasant enough. When we got back to my place, he packed, and we left soon afterwards. On the long hour+ drive back to the airport, he put a hand on my thigh, petting me. I put my hand over his. Idle chit chat, comfortable silence, it was friendly.
Our goodbye was sweet. Tight hugs and kisses. There were mutual thank yous and generosity in it. But it was clear we were done with our little experiment.
I sent him a thank you email a few days later, acknowledged that it hadn’t turned out how we’d wanted, attached photos he’d asked me to forward.
He never replied.
I’m hoping it’s because he’s just ‘done’ and not because he’s hurt or angry. I worry about that a little.
It was not what I’d hoped for, which was lots of fabulous play and fun, and to have a good solid casual play partner who I might see every few months.
No regrets though: I tried, and I learnt some things. Both of those are positives.
Edited to add: He DID reply some time later. A super sweet, complimentary, and kind email. I appreciated it ending that way very much.