I choose you

When I am talking to a submissive to see if we are compatible, if we’re feeling each other out, seeing how we get along, testing if we can make sparks fly, doing that whole dating thing, I always assume that he is also talking to, seeing, dating others.

There is no expectation of exclusivity there. I don’t ask them about it. I consider it none of my business. I assume they think the same about me.

These explorations are about finding someone compatible, and to do that, you spend time with as many people as seem promising to see if there’s something there.

As for when I may want or expect exclusivity, oddly, it’s never been an issue, and it’s never come up as something that we discuss.

We just ‘know’.

Which is probably the worst way to navigate what could be a minefield EVAARRR, but it just never occurred to me to do it differently because it was never necessary. When it works, it works, and we both know it. Done.

I was discussing a dating situation with a friend recently. She told me that the two of them were talking about how they were seeing other people. He mentioned that he was dating another woman, and he added that he didn’t want to drag things out, so he was going to choose soon.

The entire conversation was perfectly reasonable on its surface: He was being up-front and honest, he was doing the right thing. And my visceral reaction was to recoil with a knee-jerk “Aw hell no!!!”

My reaction wasn’t to anything he was doing. That’s exactly what dating is: Spending time with people to find THE one (or ones, if you’re poly) you want to move forward with. My reaction was to talking about it in those terms. Rationally, it made perfect sense, and I couldn’t QUITE put my finger on why it made me react like that, but it did.

I thought about it quite a lot after our conversation, and came to a realisation about why it bothered me so much.

If it’s not ‘serious’ yet, I don’t care. Do what you want. I will do what I want. If one of us loses interest, that’s fine because that’s how dating works.

But I do NOT want to be told, “I’ll be making a choice between you and someone else: I’ll let you know.” Just… ugh. No. No no no NO!

I’d much (much MUCH!) prefer some generic, “This isn’t working, sorry.” Or even, “I met someone and want to explore something with them” (e.g. like this). Then we go our separate ways. That’s life.

Is that a barely-there subtle difference? So nuanced it’s only in my head?

I’m not even sure to be honest.

The first leaves a bad taste of ‘I’ll be the judge of which of you is better’ with a hint of ‘and won’t you be lucky if I deign to choose you?’. I get an entire ‘ick’ vibe of ‘deciding which of these products I like more’ from it. Even though intellectually I know that’s exactly what happens all the time in any practical sense, it’s just never expressed that way.

But I realised that my visceral reaction was about even more than that.

If someone I was dating put it to me that way: “Well, I’ll choose one of you soon :)”, I don’t want them. It’s so lacking in heart or passion. It’s not running at something with promise and joy, it’s tossing a coin. It’s all the wrongness.

If the decision to focus all of his attention on me isn’t glaringly obvious, an overwhelming desire, a need, a compulsion, an unstoppable force of nature, a powerhouse of epic proportions, a ten-ton semi-trailer of ‘there ain’t no choice here, baby!’, then I DO NOT WANT IT.

So yeah, that.

. . .

Loves: 14
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18 Comments

  1. I get this, and the lack of joy. If it was put this way and they chose me, I wouldn’t feel like they chose me but I was the least worst option.

    I am sure they’d mean it with a you are both great people, but this is working for me more or there is just something not clicking but… in my heart I’d be left wondering if choosing me wasn’t really choosing me, wanting me and not being able to not be with me. In my heart I’d feel like they made the best of the options available. I’d even probably wonder if they would have their eyes open for ‘better fits’.

    Just how I think it would feel to me.

  2. I get it. I would NEVER, EVER compete or beg for a man’s attention. If he’s not eager to be with me, adios, muchacho!

    And the communication pendulum has swung too far. Honesty? Absolutely! Every stray thought that flits through your mind? Nope. Sometimes the sensible thing is to keep your big fat mouth shut.

  3. I know what you mean. Sometimes I hear talk of the “dating market” which is sort of what it is, but still the word “market” is so unromantic. Also if I told a woman I was dating that I was choosing I feel like that would spoil the dynamic a little bit.

    We should be pitching woo not choosing.

    Charlie

  4. Exactly, I agree. Some things are just not said no matter how reasonable. It isn’t necessary. I believe there is a conventional wisdom status quo of acceptable behaviours at the start and that is just not it.

    1. Yep.

      Saying you’re seeing other people: Cool.

      Involving me in any of the mental or emotional machinations you are going through in order to deem me worthy of dating or not: Nope nopenope.

      Ferns

  5. I think we’ve become more and more graceless (and joyless as you mention) as a society over the last couple decades. It’s just not necessary to deliver something like that as a kick to the crotch, regardless of how one feels about that as a recreational activity.

  6. I liked how you talked about this and about your thinking. There’s a lot to relating to each other, certainly not all ‘rational’ and formulaic. Like another comment said (I paraphrase), dry honesty/all our thoughts is not all it’s cracked up to be. I’m glad it’s not. Perfection is the death knell of life. Loss – when things don’t work out – sucks, but the alternative is more frightening.

    1. There is a lot to relating to each other, to dating, to trying to figure out what we have in common and it’s often complicated, but yeah, I don’t need to hear someone’s every thought while they’re working it out, no matter how much ‘transparency’ is supposed to be desirable.

      Ferns

    2. This was unclear – just couldn’t articulate it at the time. Often “honesty” and “openness” are demanded or provided to soften (the possibility of) hurting the other person bc of some kind of (potential) loss – loss of the relationship or of trust etc – or to side-step responsibility/accountability. Nothing’s perfect.

      1. I think the *intent* of openness or transparency is great and it works for a lot of people. But I really really don’t want to hear someone’s every passing thought about everything.

        I learnt a lot about the value of NOT doing that with this blog, since submissive men I date know about it.

        Articulating (i.e. being transparent) about every feeling, every emotion, is not productive or useful. Often those thoughts are fleeting and saying them out loud gives them a weight they don’t deserve (both for the person saying it and for the person hearing it).

        Honesty may be part of all of that, but ‘just being honest’ is often used as the blunt club of communication and I am not here for it.

        Ferns

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