Setting boundaries

chat with Goran

I was in no mood to be dallied with.  I think I made that quite clear.  The apologist in me almost relented when he responded – Hmm it wasn’t meant to tantalise, just wishing you good morning.

But then I thought to myself that it might be quite a good idea to mute his messages and only give him the time of day at my leisure.  That way I may finally detach from this unhealthy emotional attachment I am experiencing.

Dishonest goodbyes

Have you decided if you never ever want to see me again? Or shall we still celebrate the end of year as a leaving dinner?

Several days had passed since their last conversation – the one where in a fit of disappointment and anger she had told him how bitterly she felt at being let down and that she never wanted to see him again. He had not argued with her and she believed that that was truly the end. She was so practised at distracting herself from a broken heart – sending off three SOS’s to her current lovers – Jan, Liam and Ramon – who rallied round and comforted her, that she believed herself capable of breaking off contact from Goran, at least for the next six months. Six months was the length of time it took to get over an infatuation she knew – having practised this with several exes – of whom Ramon and a few others had numbered amongst.

The following day she had left London and was spending the weekend in Copenhagen. Following the footsteps of fictional Nordic detectives she had also been able to keep sufficiently busy not to feel overly miserable.

When she received the message from Goran his question made her realise how childishly she had reacted – never ever. She had pondered half a day on his questions when another message arrived from him:

It’s just that I bought you this gift, and I’d really like to give it to you.

It was churlish not to respond. So she wrote back – That’s very kind of you to still offer. I thought we should have a break from seeing each other. Let’s have radio silence for a few months. He had replied indicating his surprise at the prescribed length of time, but again, did not argue with her.

The following day, after a tiring traipse around Malmö she had repaired to a brasserie for lunch and several glasses of red wine. By the end of the meal of tuna nicoise she had drunk the best part of four glasses – large glasses at that. Her thoughts had naturally turned to Goran – he occupied them every conscious second she realised, and sent him a message –
Hey. I have recovered from being let down – let’s have a goodbye thingy – 21st any good for you? And I’ll try and explain why I need radio silence for a while

And just like that, it was almost as though the previous week had not occurred in that they continued to message each other with the same frequency as before, sharing their daily routine with each other with the same previous banality, but with one subtle difference. She reined in the number of emojis she had been wont to pepper her messages and did not send as many kisses as she did before. She wondered if he might have noticed. He did not seem to although when she asked him what kind of leaving celebration he had had in mind he had said that he had booked the restaurant and the rest was up to her. He assured her that he would not let her down again.

The day she was to return to London he had wished her a safe journey and asked again whether they were going to kiss and say goodbye at the end of their meal together. She told him that she thought perhaps they should have an honest discussion about what they each wanted from the relationship. He could only apologise again for letting her down before and reiterating his appreciation for this second chance. As a parting shot she asked him if he would still go home with her if she wanted him to. He responded immediately and warmly his assent. He continued to say that that had been occupying his thoughts the entire morning. As it was only half past seven she had teased him about it – you mean all of ten minutes. He had protested that he had been awake for quite a while before messaging her.

By the time they met they had already arranged that he would spend the night with her and the long, honest discussion about their expectations were condensed into a promise from him not to disappoint her in future, his desire to continue having her as a friend and she knew that she would not expect anymore from him than the occasional date – perhaps once in ten days or so. They might continue to chat as often as they liked but he belonged in a family of which she was not a part.


It wasn’t possible to end a relationship purely by decree. There were feelings on both sides and the longer a relationship had been going, the more difficult it was to stop it. Even if they were separated by geographical distance, they could still keep in touch and arrange to see each other – perhaps with less frequency as before but the relationship would still continue. She realised that whatever might happen over the next year she still enjoyed Goran’s company and looked forward each day to his messages. And his body of course.

Trying (and failing) to say goodbye

Amy had written that poem in the wee hours of Sunday evening when Goran hadn’t replied to her text seeking confirmation of a midnight Monday tryst they had loosely arranged. Instead she exchanged emails with Max and they agreed to meet up early on Monday evening after work. She had also planned to see Liam for a film and meal date the following evening. As it was a school night she doubted that it would lead to anything bedward. Meanwhile she also continued to exchange ribald messages with JR.

Goran eventually texted her on Monday late in the afternoon with a plea that he had had a crazy evening the night before, culminating in having to deal with a sleepless son and other domestic conundra which weren’t resolved. Amy suggested that he might want to give their midnight tryst a miss but he brushed aside her demurrer and she was almost too easily won over. Quite clearly, she was still susceptible to his charms. He wanted her to pick him up from a wedding reception he was attending out in the boondocks, but they eventually decided that she might meet him at a more convenient halfway point in the metropolis. A flurry of messages followed –

Amy: btw … did you manage to find out how close to me you’ll get before you have to be rescued in the evening 😰
Goran: no, cannot really say now. We’ll have to play it by ear…
Amy: Testing the extent of my ‘love’ 😉 How far (literally) I’d go … When sex is not even guaranteed – as you’ll probably be 1. Exhausted 2. Inebriated 3. Sleepy 😘
Goran: it’ll be interesting then… 😉
Amy: Do you think you might have to crash out in the gutter somewhere in central London?
Goran: Now that would be an interesting experience… 😃
Amy: Sleeping in the gutter – abandoned by your ‘lover’?
Goran: down and out in London town
Amy: Well let me know how close you are and I’ll see what I might do.

So at the end of Amy’s date with Max (they had gone for a spicy Thai dinner followed by a comedy gig in The Good Ship) she made her way home and washed off the smells of stir fry and pub detritus and waited for Goran. He decided at the last minute that he might after all leave the nuptial celebrations sufficiently early so as to catch the tube before it stopped running. It was just a little past midnight when the hirsute paramour in his suited get up arrived at the door. The dog was slipping as he slept through G’s entry. But in the kitchen just as things were getting a little fruity, the neighbourhood was treated to his canine howls of jealousy. The passionate pair decided at that stage that they should continue upstairs. Amy felt that it would be difficult to give Goran up as he was quite an astute and felicitous lover. The sexual chemistry between them had always been on point … and rather made congress with anyone else pale into insignificance. She said as much but added that it may be timely for them to trial a separation so as to prevent heartache on her part. He did not appear overly keen at the prospect of being sidelined.

That in itself would be an interesting experiment – from experience Amy can conclude that her exes tended to lose sexual favour after a self imposed fallow period – Michael, Pierre, and more recently Ramon and Max. Whilst she might occasionally indulge Jan and Liam (separately) in her bed she found herself to have been quite completely cured of her earlier infatuation over them. It was also in Goran’s interest that Amy did not get too fixated with him as she often reminded him that she wanted his marriage to be a success.

Goran suggested that it may be enough time for them to be apart over the New Year when he was going abroad with his family for two weeks, especially as Amy also wanted them to stop all digital contact over that period. Happy to leave things at that, they both fell asleep after two in the morning and their date ended after parting in the underground to go their separate ways.

The dance has begun

A little background – My lover had had some time off work for a minor injury requiring stitches on his shin. We had made a date for the following day, something we were both looking forward to, or so I had believed.

At midday.

Bad news, my leg is inflamed and sore.
I cancelled the Thames foreshore ramble.

oh dear, have you been overdoing it?

Might have to see the gp tomorrow

Should we postpone our date altogether?

Let’s see what the doctor says in the morning

Sure and wish you better xx
btw shall I tell the new guy chatting me up
he might get the chance after all
to meet me tomorrow?

Well of course if you have a choice
between an able-bodied stud and a limping invalid …
who can blame you?

Yeah I don’t do feeble well at all, as you know …

At 3pm

Are you really chatting some bloke up or just pulling my leg?

I’m chatting no one up but there is someone
who seems quite well read and quoting poetry to me…
I think I’m a little in love … er I mean impressed.

Well someone once said “she that with poetry is won,
is but a desk to write upon”*

Ah but wouldn’t you love to write at that desk?
I know you quite like putting your pen to paper there

I do have a fountain pen

And your ink of choice?

White on pink paper


Good news. I took off the bandage and it looks fine now
maybe it was just too tight

Who’s playing Florrie Nightingale tonight?

No one. I’ve been resting my leg
Wound does not look inflamed.

Oh is our date still on then?
Shall I tell the poet he’ll have to wait?

Yes tell him to get in line!

*Samuel Butler