My Gentleman: Part III

Our last date was a week and a half ago. I wanted to talk about his email, to see if we could shake something loose to take us forward.

We’d had trouble lining up a time for our date, partly him, partly me, and he rescheduled the day before we were to meet. I was soon to find out why that was *cue dramatic music*.

This was the most dates I’ve been on with anyone for a million years (though arguably, having multiple-days-at-a-time of a visiting submissive with the requisite compressed ‘dating’ timeline is comparable, it doesn’t really feel comparable). I’ve forgotten how relationships progress, to be honest, though this kind of cold-start online dating is new and unfamiliar to me.

I wore the flowered jumpsuit which I’d crowdsourced opinions about on Twitter before I bought it (thank you! :)), killer heels, had chosen a Greek restaurant about half way between our houses.

How did it go? We greeted each other with a hug-kiss, sat down, made nice for a bit, and ordered. I thought I’d hit The Serious Talk head-on.

I took a sip of wine, leaned in: Right, Serious Talk time…
Him: Wait… first I have something to tell you…
Me: Ok, sure.
Him: I met someone and it’s getting pretty serious very fast… [explanation]
Me, no doubt with shocked face: Oh… well… congratulations. Good for you.

I had assumed he was dating around, as most people do when ‘online dating’ but it was very unexpected.

We talked about it some. He said it had moved really fast, that they hit it off famously in all the ways you hope for when you’re dating: Late phone calls into the night, great sex (he did not say that, I assumed :P), overnight stays, he had even met her bestie (he rescheduled our date for that, so I’m clear now on why he was having trouble making time for me). Woah.

So that sorted all those thinky-thoughts then, didn’t it? *laugh*

He felt he owed it to me to tell me in person. Seriously, it’s next level ‘good man’. Of course, he didn’t have to: An email or text would have been fine, but I appreciate the intent.

I imagine if I was really invested it might have been super-awkward having to sit there after he said ‘yeah, nah’, but as it was it was actually a lovely little get-together.

We had a chatty relaxing dinner. Perhaps not having to try meant we could have real conversations. Or perhaps, from my side, having geared up for The Serious Talk, I was ready to open up more.

I did not give him my books/blog/podcast links because it didn’t matter any more, but we talked about BDSM and D/s and power dynamics a bit. I told him I’d written about him as ‘My Gentleman’. He seemed fine with it, very curious, but otherwise not bothered. I also told him that my readers would be bummed about it not working out and would be all ‘we were all rooting for you!’ :P.

I feel… a bit of relief, and a bit of sadness.

I feel relief that I can stop ‘trying’, and I was trying. Because I know a good man when I see one, and on paper it should have worked. And I feel sad, less over him, and more over myself in a ‘why is it so hard for me to FEEL things’ kind of way and an ‘if I can’t feel things with someone I genuinely like, what do I even do?!’ kind of way.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I thought that maybe discussing the email he sent would lead to some frank conversation that might open a door, and I was going to try and step through it. To see if I could make something work. I’m not sure that was realistic, but I was willing to give it a go.

So, it’s not to be.

I’m happy for him. He’s lovely, and he deserves someone who’s shown they are mad for him quickly and fully. Would I have got there with more time? I don’t know. I can’t know. And part of my relief is in not having to put that effort into trying to give it a really good go, and discovering it still didn’t fire up. I was dreading the work, having him get invested, and then having to say it wasn’t working for me.

I’m glad I didn’t have to do that. End it, cause hurt, be hurt, I mean.

I gave him quite a few sincere compliments about his emotional maturity, acknowledging his vulnerability and courage in raising issues with me frankly. I meant it. He was equally complimentary, which was nice to hear, of course.

We actually had a good evening, light and fun and interesting, with a sweet, warm hug goodbye: A testament to mature adult dating.

I wished him well with the relationship he was embarking on, he hoped I would find what I was looking for. It was positive for me to spend time with a good man, to be reminded that they are out there.

I feel… lonely now in the aftermath. Sad. Not about him specifically, but about being so fucking difficult, about feeling nothing even when things align.

I feel sad about lost potential, just… about potential in general.

Loves: 32
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27 Comments

  1. I don’t FEEL things, either. Not before a year of knowing someone.

    This thing you describe (or imagine) happening with him and his other date–the violins and such–I can’t do that at all. I don’t think my partner can, either.

    For people like me, dating (meeting someone to explore romantic potential) doesn’t work–not online and not in person. It has to happen some other way.

    Maybe you’re like– the same? (The horror, I know.)

    1. Horrors!!

      I HAVE had things work from online, but it has always come out of initial email/chat interactions which fires me up first. I’m going to write a bit about this.

      Either way, I’m constantly astounded when people meet someone in online dating and are immediately ‘in’ and especially astounded when they seem to feel that with almost every person they meet, easily and often. I know people for whom it seems to work just like that. And I wonder, sometimes (cue ‘elitist love snob’ face), if they’ve never known what connection really feels like, so some intermediate level of ‘I like you’ is enough, and they’re happy. Because that explain a lot and it would be a hell of a lot easier.

      Or maybe they have some kind of ‘universal connectors’, you know? Whereas I have a specialised connector that only fits a very specific kind of port, and then only if it’s the right wattage and voltage and it’s a sunny day in Uzbekistan and the Venice choir are performing La Volce Dita at 6pm or something… That would also explain a lot…

      Ferns

  2. Hrm, you know, it’s interesting. I’ve been following the whole arc of you and MG and it’s struck a chord with me because I, personally, am *extremely* reserved, even with friends. The very idea of emotional vulnerability with a random stranger is vaguely horrifying. To be perfectly honest, I don’t…actually know why that would be a goal? You can find out *things* about a person, but you can’t absorb who they *are* in three dates or three weeks where they’re clearly trying to make a good impression and/or interrogate you and/or whatever happens on dates anymore. I need time to process, dammit, and tbh, it sounds like you might also?

    But I am also very, extremely aromantic. I build love, I don’t fall into it (and I found my boyo a while back), so rather than seek out the spark, I’ve always noted the people who are ‘mine.’ Which, uh, I sort of haphazardly define as a…workaday d/s compatability, more or less? Sort of like your vanilla subs. There’s a potential there that’s not full-out subness and doesn’t need to be, but they appreciate me as a person and they also *get* me being dominant and how that’s a part of just…life for me. And for them.

    Because, ah, my boyo is ‘mine,’ and he’s pretty dang vanilla, but we’ve been together for just shy of two decades because we suit each other on that workaday d/s level and are also compatible on an equals-in-a-relationship level. I couldn’t handle not having both of these things, so I…if you’re in any way similar, a lack on either side of that equation might be part of why you’re struggling?

    And I think I should clarify that part of why a vanilla relationship even works for me is because, well, BDSM is an interest of mine, but not a passion, because me having a dominant nature really is not even BDSM. It’s just that BDSM was basically the only place I could find women like me talking about being like me. It’s really not my fault that people partition off ‘women who are dominant’ and call it a kink.

    1. I’m so glad you found your boyo, and twenty years is amazing :).

      The fact that I’m reserved is a reason why I do better with men who are good at vulnerability, and I think that’s a lot more common with self-actualised submissive men than with vanilla men. I feel that vulnerability like an inviting pool into which I will cautiously and tentatively dip a toe at a time. And I need that.

      The fact that MG picked up on ‘how I am’ and raised his head above the parapet to put his cards on the table and to call it out was the first time I sat up to take notice, the first hint that maybe I could find something in it.

      For me vulnerability is my kink in a way (his, not mine, to be clear). It feels like love. That’s why I want it. And when I’m (finally) dragged kicking and screaming into the pool, he can have my vulnerability, and that feels like love also. But he has to build the pool, fill it, swim in it, and keep inviting me in. Otherwise we’re both just standing on a potential pool site kicking dirt and wishing we had a pool while doing nothing and that doesn’t work.

      Ferns

  3. I’m sorry that things didn’t work out for you Ferns; I do hope that things will work out for the gentleman and his new romantic interest.

  4. I know this feeling and find myself puzzled, wondering if I’m broken because of it. :(

    At least you had a good time. He DOES sound like a good guy.

    1. I can relate: I used to wonder all the time if there was something wrong with me. I still do sometimes. I don’t think I’m ‘normal’ in how I relate to people (or don’t). I went through a stage of researching sociopaths to check myself, not least because I’m socially skilled, people like me, I ‘perform’ connection well, I know how to relate to people, and all of it feels like ‘performance’. I feel nothing.

      The fact that I have found the kinds of connections that I want and therefore know I’m capable of feeling intensely and fully reminds me that there is something there, that I’m reachable to someone with the right set of keys.

      Also the fact that I want real connection makes me feel better about it.

      And yes, meeting good men helps so much. I’m happier just knowing that they are out there.

      Ferns

  5. What exactly is a vanilla sub? Is this a vanilla man who becomes interested in a take-charge woman with greater will power than he?

    1. I coined the term ‘vanilla submissive’ way back when to refer to vanilla men whose behaviours are very submissive-like, but they don’t identify as submissives and have never been involved in D/s or BDSM.

      They’re pleasers and sweethearts and will do anything for the woman they love.

      Ferns

  6. Sorry it didn’t work but… Maybe he just wanted someone less “complicated” and was in a hurry to have a relationship in the short term, and he probably wasn’t a sub despite his gentleman ways, so… Not the right one for you, I think.

  7. Hi Ferns,

    I agree with Ama and I think you are very special and worth the wait for..
    So the other girl must be very special too, Lucky MG to meet two special lady’s at the same time.

    Your Gentleman will come, no doubt in my mind..

    1. Thank you :).

      Right?! He *is* lucky!

      Well my gentleman better hurry up. I’m going to get me some cats soon and then it will be all over…

      Ferns

  8. I’m very involved and have been for over a decade and a half. Occasionally I’ll have run ins with people who are interested (or maybe just oddly friendly) and I practically get anxiety attacks trying to work it out. I don’t want to be wrong because I don’t want to attribute feelings to others that aren’t there but I don’t want to be right because I don’t feel like turning someone down and etc etc. I can’t do the weird “will they/won’t they/let’s be super subtle but not too subtle” no. Tell me what you want, lay out of there, leave me with no choice but to see you, standing there naked and raw and wanting. Show me everything. My partner can do that, with an intensity that takes your breathe away. Without conciet, ego or shame. Which is why I’m with him and not any of the ones who danced around playing hide and seek until I get so bored I left. I think we might be wired somewhat the same from reading your writing and I swear there’s the proper connector somewhere.

    1. “My partner can do that, with an intensity that takes your breathe away. Without conciet, ego or shame.”

      Ahh, that’s so lovely :).

      I think a big issue in all of this dating business is that it’s impossible to tell someone what you want until you know what you want.

      I don’t know if I want someone until I want them, and until then, I am usually a tangle of internal uncertainty (as you’ve read in these posts :)).

      I’m hard work all round tbh.

      Ferns

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