I made the mistake of agreeing that Julius could come back to mine when I should have told him not to. He’d bought me dinner and I’d felt under an obligation. In future I should listen to my intuition. It had been a stressful beginning to the week at work and it had only been Tuesday when we met in the afternoon, initially for an afternoon only date as he had told me that he was seeing one of his old girlfriends in the evening, but then suddenly he said he was free in the evening also and would buy dinner, etc.. I had hoped that it would have been relaxing re-visiting the Soane, especially since they had only opened the kitchens to the public. But I hadn’t been able to get away straight after work, and with meetings and whatnot it was a struggle even to meet at the appointed time. In the end I arrived before him and due to the sweltering humidity, decided to descend into the cool of the basement, having sent J a message to say I’d meet him downstairs.
After fifteen minutes I realised he hadn’t received my message and returned outside to find him practically wilting in the heat. Eventually we both went round the house again and when it closed had an ice cream each at the cafe in the fields. It cooled down by half six and we decided to walk up towards the Dolphin pub off Judd Street, stopping off at the Ship’s Tavern en route. Julius had always brought his previous dates to the Dolphin and we enjoyed an authentic Thai meal cooked by a Thai chef.
He didn’t ask me if I was comfortable with him returning to my place with me when the meal ended and I was too tired and frazzled to be able to coherently broach the subject on my own. If he had, as he had done in the past, I might have been able to explain why I preferred to be alone. So, he followed me home and I was cross with myself; try as I did not to appear so, I snapped at him a few times. For example, I thought him discourteous when he tapped the end of his glasses against my knee to make a point, in disagreement. Instead of laughing it off, I withdrew my leg. He immediately apologised which set my teeth on edge! I felt incredibly unreasonable at my displeasure, which made me resent him even more!
And so I am now reluctant to make another date with him. He has written to me on various social media apps suggesting various outings, until finally on email I wrote him a considered reply explaining that I had made a few dates with other men but was not keen to see him until the appointed holiday. I do hope that by not being together, coupled with the anticipation of a break, I might enjoy his company again. Otherwise, horror of horrors, there’d be two more dates, all the way to November to endure!
Today I got over my crush on Julius completely. I realised that I wanted to have the rest of my weekend to myself and dropped him off at a train station after we’d had coffee and walked the dog. Next week is a busy one for me work-wise and I was not in a rush to make a date with him. Perhaps he will start making dates with other women again and we’ll next see each other the following weekend, as previously arranged. This would be quite enough for me at the moment and I felt initially guilty that I might have led him on – when he told me he loved me last night I didn’t return the words. It would be good to take a break from seeing each other as frequently as we had done and hopefully I’ll regain my warmth of feeling for him.
Something brought me low and I shared it straightaway with Julius. But he had a busy evening planned with another lover and all he could do was send me some comforting messages. I wasn’t expecting him to come rushing to me, that would have been absurd but I was disappointed that non-monogamous love has its shortcomings. I shall be careful next time I think I love someone in case their expectation of my love exceeds my capacity to give.
This path has shown me over and over again that I have to shoulder burdens on my own. Reluctant to engage with anyone else, I find solace in my own company and the selection from Mount Unread.
The following day the familiar constants of my life keep me preoccupied – there’s a different kind of nurturing that non-monogamy provides. Jan was genuinely comforting and Max was unaware but his email last night was a timely salve. This afternoon Julius asked after me and we exchanged emails briefly. He has another date with a new woman, a transexual, but he was a little apprehensive that he might’ve upset her by not messaging her in the last 24 hours.
Ewan sends me updates of his day and we look forward to meeting up in the middle of the week. I won’t have much time for Julius after our date on Monday. He had given me a leaflet to look at to address some personal issues and we may or may not try them out. It seems to assume that there may be some pre-consummatory nerves on our part but we have already established an easy intimacy with each other and with complete honesty in our dealings on this front, the exercises seem unnecessarily prescriptive.
Tomas sent me a little hello and we flirt a little – he will be away for a week and I teased him that he would soon forget me. He replied in a fitting manner of course and I have now got used to this leisurely courtship. It suited me that he was not keen to rush things.
I felt a little embarrassed at my own blip last night and ungracious feelings towards Julius but I am also just a little relieved that I may have lost a little of that giddiness that accompanies being in love and regained a small measure of equilibrium.
In the last several days I’ve been enjoying long distance emailing and messaging with Ewan. There is some banter and good-humoured ripostes. Twice he has paid me fine compliments on my language and vocabulary, which on both occasions put me in good cheer for a period of time.
Yet … at the same time, I’m still on the dating app chatting to a few others and made dates to see a couple of them.
One of the new men I met was an academic who had never been married and took the train into London to meet me. On our first date he said that there was a dearth of suitable women in his own geographical vicinity and he had lied on the dating app because there was a larger number of potential dates in the big smoke. You might think me naive but I believed him – he didn’t look like a two timing, smooth talking philanderer who might have been dissimulating a wife or girl friend at home. He looked slightly unkempt and dishevelled – his long sleeved cotton shirt was creased and his shoes well worn and lived in. He had dark, wavy hair which curled a few inches below his ears, framing a pale face whose strongest features were a combination of deep, dark eyes over cheek bones that marched out sharply. He was tall with a lithe lean body and later he told me that he sometimes missed meals in the middle of the day because what he had been reading was so absorbing that he’d lost all track of time.
He was interesting enough for me to suggest a second date and we spent another three hours in fairly amiable company. But the chemistry just wasn’t there. Although he is five years my junior, I was inclined to associate him, possibly unfairly, with a certain elderly cleric from Middlemarch. And he was possibly intimidated by my non-monogamous lifestyle.
The hot weather saw me cancelling dates I’d provisionally made to meet up with Lars. I have not seen him since last year as we have both been busy being in other places. He had newly returned for a short period and would soon be off again, and I had not felt like taking up where we previously left off.
Max and I have resumed e-mailing and he continues to update me on his dating progress. Goran has gone quiet since he is away with the family but before leaving the country had implied that he was likely to continue wooing his new and young Brazilian friend. I don’t blame him for preferring this well-endowed liberal woman. Jan occasionally sends me a message enquiring after my well-being but I rather suspect he has lost interest in me altogether.
I should be unsettled by all this … but if I am honest with myself I rather suspect that I have wanted to be left alone and that is why I have not made more of an effort to nurture these relationships.
24th May 2016
Hot on the heels of an impromptu date with Jan on Sunday evening was one with a lovelorn Goran on Monday evening. I was curious to hear how his love affair with NW was shaping and caught him in a state of desolation – NW was playing cold over the weekend after a hot midweek date. Still he made a valiant effort to cheer up and took me out for dinner at The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell before a pint of science event – the second presentation was the more interesting of the two talks.
Walking back Goran suggested that we might repeat the dinner date at some point in the future. At the end of the evening he kissed me goodbye at the entrance to my tube stop and I was mildly disappointed that he hadn’t asked to come back with me. Still, he was in love with someone else and I was only currently filling a need he had for attention. Living so far apart from each other, I tell myself that I should just let him go.
The previous evening when I had gone up to his, Jan had hinted that we might live together. We are both also fairly similar in our general outlook but I am not sure whether he would be a good or reliable partner for me. Still it has made me begin to think about simplifying my life. He had rather unromantically invited me to have sex with him and so I asked him to kiss me first, which he did. We ended up in bed for a lovely romp – is it our first this year? I am very fond of him but continue to have doubts about living with anyone.
Well, so maybe I won’t go out on the second date with Sergei, and maybe I’ll stop seeing Goran altogether. It still leaves Ewan and Liam, who are both fairly nice men. My reason for seeing Ewan is purely selfish. He lives in a part of Scotland I’m curious about.
Last night Sergei cancelled our date and I put him off postponing it to next week. He tentatively suggested the following week and I was noncommittal in my response. In any event I felt neither disappointed nor relieved, although to be honest, perhaps a bit of the latter because I had considered cancelling it myself.
Ewan responds to my whatsapp messages with pleasing alacrity – but when he called me last night to chat, I was reminded again how long-winded he could be and considered that I was being uncharitable in my reaction.
Jan canvassed my opinion on a work-related drama amongst a few of his colleagues and I felt happy that he did so. What with playing agony aunt to both him and Goran at the present I wonder if I have burnt my romantic chances with them, not quite regretting so much the consequence with the latter as with the former. I invited Jan to mine this evening but he declined regretfully, citing work commitments. ah well. que sera