Setting boundaries re Julius

After the disastrous holiday with Julius, I hoped never to have to see him again and so was quite daunted when his email appeared in my inbox a few days ago asking for a face to face if I wanted him to return some DVDs I had lent him.  Of course I’d rather give those DVDs up as lost than have to meet up with him, but conscious that he had also lent me a set of his own, I offered to send these to him if he would only provide me with his postal details.  Fortunately I never heard from him again, which is a tremendous relief.  This may be due to the fact that he has not survived his hospital visit (he had probably hoped to play the sympathy card by telling me he was an hour away from being admitted for an investigation in his most recent email) but I did not rise to the bait.  Hopefully I’ll never find out and I rather suspect he is healthily being a nuisance to some other unsuspecting woman.

Trying to unpick what put me off him completely, I have to return to the first date when he was already pushing for an intimacy which I hadn’t felt ready for.  At the time I was sufficiently strong in myself to say no.  As we exchanged messages and I found myself being attracted to him, there was continued pressure for intimacy from him, even after the second date.  I must admit that I was by that stage feeling apprehensive about it – that should have been sufficient warning bells, but perhaps I was flattered by his situation, his obvious interest in me – he was an intellectual and it appealed to my vanity that someone learnèd should be interested in me.  So the second date ended with him in my bed.  It wasn’t fantastic, but I did not want to be thought of as shallow or callous – he had been honest about his erectile dysfunction and I felt I had been and needed to be considerate towards him on that front.

The next red flag appeared when I told him about some of the fantasy/sci-fi stories I had discovered whilst exploring this genre which is more his domain.  One of them was by a woman writing under a male pseudonym, Love is the plan the plan is death – this is a short story which I had found fascinating and told J about.  Well, he wasn’t interested in looking it up.  And so a missed opportunity to engage in discussion.  It also made me realise that he tended not to have a very balanced view about the sexes and despite another heads up from me of another recent fantasy/dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel, also by a female writer, he had not appeared interested.  I couldn’t help wondering at this point if he was unsympathetic to the feminist viewpoint or at worst a misogynist.  You might excuse his age for some of his unenlightened attitudes – some might mistake these for chivalry, but believe me it is fairly tiresome to have someone insist on walking on one side of the pavement (and just ridiculous that he would rush to the edge when we had to change direction) or holding one’s hand when crossing the road.  I am not a child and whilst yes I might be shorter and physically weaker, I do have road safety awareness!

Added to the suspicions I was having, I began to notice that my preferences were disregarded and when I had expressed a desire to do something different to his own I was the one who had to compromise.  Initially I had been happy to acquiesce to my lover but as there was no quid pro quo, his shine began to dull.  In addition, I found his lack of respect for my personal space insensitive – he thought nothing of tapping my arm/knee/hand with the end of his pen or whatever object he happened to be holding when we were facing each other in conversation, to make a point or in an absent-minded fashion.  I’m sure most people would find that kind of familiarity annoying too.

By the time the holiday came round, I had managed to avoid seeing him for a couple of weeks prior and regained my self-esteem. Initially I tried to be cheerful and neutral but his continued lack of empathy and neediness just grated on me.  When the holiday ended and we agreed to remain friends, I knew that I would only keep future contact minimal.  He had written a final email to apologise for his bad temper during the holiday but in the same breath chastise me for not wanting to continue a platonic relationship with him, bringing up the fact that I remained friendly with most of my exes.  I did not feel the need to respond to this part of his email judging that it would only result in a to and fro of blame-casting.  Moreover, his touchy-feeliness creeped me out: his constant need for touch – I’d felt pawed towards the end of the relationship and right up to the last time I saw him when he had insisted on more than just the handshake I would have been more comfortable with, had felt as though I was begrudging when he hugged me.  Now why would I put myself in that awkward situation again?

And so ends finally I hope the unhappy chapter of my infatuation over Julius and any further encounters I might have with him.  The one advantage of meeting someone from a dating app is that in real life our paths would never have crossed and so lessen the likelihood of stumbling over each other without prior arrangement.

Advertisements

What Is This Thing With Alexander?

Monday evening came and saw Alexander and me enjoying dinner at Barrafina’s on Adelaide St before crossing the Thames and going on to the National Theatre. It was a short play and we came home to mine by half ten. There was time for some tea afterwhich we went upstairs for bed and more.  He had to leave early in the morning but we still had time to indulge in a little more intimacy before he had a shower, returned me my shirt I’d inadvertently left at his last week and finally, most deliciously, he had kissed me goodbye until Thursday, before he closed the door and descended the stairs and went out the front door.

The previous evening we’d talked frankly about his home circumstances – the depression his wife suffers and how that affects her ability to cope with their children; the involvement of the borough they lived in to ensure that the children’s needs are met, the meetings with council staff to weigh up and consider the instruments for satisfying such outcomes. He clearly has a lot to contend with.  I’d suggested to him that he could just go home at the end of our date if it was easier to negotiate travel, etc for such a meeting the following morning.  He had given me so complete a look of anguish that I felt a mixture of guilt and satisfaction for proposing it.

He also told me about his past girlfriends and how he had always been attracted to strong and independent women. I observed that it didn’t seem as though the women he married had those characteristics. He said that when he first met her, his current wife had come across as such and it was only later on that he realised she was particularly needy and emotionally unstable. Like most marriages they had had good times, she was sexually adventurous and he had been attracted to that – they had enjoyed holidays in Europe at naturist sites.  He blamed his own optimism and hope that things would turn a corner for not leaving earlier.  When the atmosphere at home had reached a certain level of toxicity that saw some physical violence, he had realised then that it was time to walk away.  He had been unfoundedly fearful of outcomes which had actually borne an opposing result – he was more at ease, regained his confidence and ability to parent singly, met and tentatively formed friendships with other women, rediscovered his sexuality, and so on – as such none of the fears that had held him back from walking away had come to fruition.

Before he met his current wife he had been seeing someone based in Europe and the few occasions they’d met had been alluring and exciting until it all went wrong somehow.  I guess the more at arm’s length someone is kept, the greater the danger of miscommunication and misunderstanding.

For now we are on the same page –  this is clearly an arrangement that suits us both – we have dependents and commitments that keep us on our toes, maybe even test our stress levels at times, such that the intimacy and dates we have with each other offer release and a break from reality. That I can be content with. For now this is good enough.

unethically non-monogamous

I’m currently a non-monogamous fraud.  Apart from Ewan who lives too far away, Max and his pull/push dating modus, and Jan busy with life and his gf, I have only pretty much been seeing A quite exclusively.  The other new men have fallen off the edge and I spend the evenings eating jelly or drinking some red, and text flirting with A.  I know I have swept him off his feet.  I know he likes the fact that I am independent and shoot from the hip and the complete opposite of needy.  I know because he tells me that is what he likes about me.  I know because now I can just tell.  So I think nothing of initiating chats with him and suggesting stuff to do on our dates.  He knows that I have dated a few people concurrently in the past and I don’t let on the fact that some of these men have faded away into the background recently as I don’t want him to think that I am sort of dating him exclusively – in case it freaks him out.  I do admit that my dating plate is full and that I don’t feel the need to meet anymore new lovers.  He tells me that he too feels the same, although we both know that he has only just started this dating malarkey and I am the only one he is involved in any form of how’s your father – an interesting euphemism which we both found had its origins in Victorian times, humorously related in the urban dictionary

According to Michael Kelly, a writer and historian in New Zealand, “the origin of the expression ‘how’s your father’ can be traced back to Victorian times. In those days any man with a daughter was so protective of her virtue that he would take extraordinary measures to safeguard it. Unmarried girls would be kept within the bosom of their family as much as possible, chaperoned on excursions, and on those occasions when they were let out of bounds for social events, their fathers would often accompany them discreetly by hiding underneath their voluminous skirts ready to pounce on any man who transgressed the bounds of propriety. 

However, a father with more than one daughter couldn’t be everywhere at once. Thus, a suitor having a discreet vis-a-vis with his beloved would cautiously ascertain her father’s whereabouts by asking, ‘And how is your father?’ If her father was currently under her skirts, she would glance downwards and reply, ‘My father is very well, thank you, and as alert and vigorous as ever, and maintains his interest in rusty castrating implements.’ Her beau would then say, ‘I have always had the greatest respect for your father, and of course for you. Let us hold hands and think about the Queen for a while.’ If, on the other hand, her father was elsewhere, she would reply, ‘The mad old bastard is currently stationed between my sister Constance’s thighs. Let us go into the garden and rut like stoats.’ 

Hence, ‘How’s your father’ became a euphemism for you-know-what.”

by BethBracken October 25, 2007

It was inevitable then that any mention of gardens or stoats had us both in hysterics – our merriment might have been aided by some red wine and the newness of this relationship.  It’s too early to tell how long it will last and after the last debacle over J I am suspicious of these warm feelings – they can cool quite rapidly.  I am now also happily recording this blog without feeling the need to share it with A, and resisting the urge to invite him to be a part of my social media network.

call me old-fashioned

He might as well have said that as he and Amy ended their occasional messaging in the morning.  JR was wont to send her the odd salutation of a busy day.  It started early with Good morning Amy xx  How are you today?

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 14.59.07

It led her to muse on the type of men that JR represents, who still hold on firmly to that old fashioned notion that it falls onto the man to be in charge, hold the door, pull out the chair, stand up when a woman enters the room, pay for the meal, drinks, etc…  A notion that harks back to the last century as women have never looked back since attaining suffrage.

Earlier on in their dating experience Amy had rather forced him to admit that he did not wish to deny a woman anything and so rather shamed him into acknowledging that he wasn’t against feminism.  Which is not the same as wholeheartedly embracing the ideology.  Suffice to say JR is not what a feminist looks like.

Amy can definitely do a lot better as she prepared to go out dancing in Peckham with the rest of Swing Out London that evening.