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.

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the holiday that shouldn’t have been

It was a tad awkward holidaying with Julius when I had to tell him that I didn’t want to be his lover anymore.  Fortunately there was a lot to see and sites to visit to distract us, I reasoned.  I had also packed a book, a pair of headphones, downloaded several audiobooks and kindle editions for those long journeys on a plane or bus.  Whilst I was straining to be as far away from him as possible, he had been under the impression that we could continue being affectionate with each other.  So at the end of the first day I was blindsided by his recriminations at being ignored.

By the end of the third evening, I tried to devise a method of avoiding these pre-bedtime conversations that went by the same tune – poor me, nasty you, poor, poor me – at one point I wondered aloud why he would continue to want the friendship of someone so clearly undeserving of amity.   I knew that I was behaving unreasonably – but the more he harangued me and the more he tried to insist on being kissed and held, the colder I felt.  I tried to go to bed a few hours after him but he would still be awake, wanting to rehash the day and the failing relationship.

On the last full day of our holiday, we had accidentally got separated on the way to visit the National Library.  He had been importuned by a street peddler outside the Caravaggio cathedral whilst I had carried on, thinking he was bound to catch up with me later.  As it was the exhibition was small and I went around the dusty, silent reading room on my own.  There were architectural plans for the rejuvenation of the city on display besides ancient volumes with illustrations, in glass cabinets, beneath signs stating the amount of money required for restoration, for example there was a volume of Torah whose pages were defaced by a wormwood trail, the other four volumes languishing behind it in an unpromising pile.  Having seen all I wanted to see, I descended the stairs and exited the building onto a square where I sat on a bench next to Queen Victoria to wait for J.  He eventually arrived, hot with perspiration and of course I was blamed for abandoning him and for his sweaty and fruitless search.  Luckily, a wedding couple with their attendant photographers arrived behind him and he couldn’t be aggrieved for too long at the sight of the antics of this party.

I gave him a final hug goodbye when we parted at the airport – I to catch my coach and he his train.  There were signs during the holiday of why I realised we were unsuited to each other and if there’s a lesson to be learnt here, it is that one should not be in a hurry to make long term plans, holidays or dates too early in a relationship.

Getting over the crush

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!

a cooling off period

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.

Epiphany

6th September 2016

Bade Julius goodbye today outside the tube station – this was after a date that ended with a sleepover.  He’d invited me to meet his friends on a canal walk last Sunday.  Complications with other things in our life meant that it didn’t end with either of us spending the night together – in my case I had work the next morning and in his he had to untangle himself from a relationship which did not have a promising future.  When we met up the following afternoon he still had not quite completely ended it, treading the fine line between saying no and not wanting to hurt.  I was uncomfortable when he tried to unburden himself as I tend to subscribe to a firmer method of rejection. We went for a ramble around Golders Hill park and supped at Eat Tokyo.  The evening walk with the dog on the golf course saw some al fresco nookie.  It was pitch black in the woods but the golf course itself was lit where a few houses backed onto the links.  We started off kissing there and moved on to a more sheltered area.  In any event the dog stood guard and would have warned us if anyone had happened upon us.  According to Julius it was his second experience of outdoor sex.

9th September 2016

Since the last time we met up in the Scottish Highlands at the beginning of summer, June to be precise, I hadn’t seen Ewan who came down the previous evening.  He was fairly ardent in his approach, claiming a dearth of suitable bedmates and so we had almost a quickie post-prandial, after which we enjoyed a siesta.   Later that evening we tried out the Ab Fab party venue in west London: under a starlit sky we swam in our birthday suits in the pool and made friends.  In a public room, i.e. one where spectators could look through we indulged in a fairly organised orgy with two other couples.  It was my first experience of a woman who squirts during orgasm.  One of Julius’ lovers does that and he claims it is a nuisance.  The woman at the sex party was a lovely friendly warm person as was her partner and post coital, as it were, were both happy to impart some advice for us swinging newbies.  I think Ewan had a lovely time of it and not feeling particularly emotionally attached to him I was able to indulge in the whole experience without any attendant angst.

I fully empathised with Julius’ feelings of insecurity and the following afternoon arranged to meet him at his after work.  I had work the following day and didn’t stay the night.  We discussed further how we felt about each other and confirmed that we were both fairly comfortable with the idea of our dating/sleeping with other people.  He asked me whether I had any opinion about his considering closing his dating profile on the app and I told him that it was his decision to make and I would not presume to ask him to do so.   I added that apart from Tomas, I was not chatting to anyone else.  As someone once said, they were poly-saturated and I felt fairly sated by the choice lovers I am in contact with.

He continued to tell me that I was desirable and earlier this afternoon, after several risqué message exchanges with Tomas, I began to realise that perhaps men really did want to take me to bed.  And perhaps that is all, … and that is really quite enough and almost an epiphany for me.  Perhaps it didn’t matter after all – the aging, the wobbly bits, the less than symmetrical features, the loose skin, the silver strands amongst the ebony.  Some men – Julius, Tomas, Goran (whose own domestic issues continue), Ramon, etc… desired me.  But not Michael anymore it would seem – we had met at a family event with some of our children in tow and our relationship is friendly and warm.

I went to the poly-cafe in Warren Street with Max yesterday evening for a book club meeting, the book being The Ethical Slut.  There was a nice balance of people at different stages of polyamory and we talked about our experiences and relationships.  I recognised one other person I’d met previously when I arranged with Goran to meet there one Saturday afternoon some time in early summer this year.  It felt reassuring to be a part of a group whose chosen relationship lifestyle mirrored mine.  Max was in fragile mood and I gave him a few warm, close embraces when he asked me for a hug.  I am wary of becoming attached to him but am not so unfeeling as to deny him warmth.  He is more than an ex-lover and I feel a strong fondness towards him.  It’s strange how I am no longer giddy over any of my past or even present lovers but continue to feel a bond with some of them.  I still adore Julius but can sense my infatuation passing as he tells me that he is still meeting new women – including one last night and another this evening.  Reluctant to be hurt by someone who has the potential to unsettle me my survival instincts kick in and I take the initiative with Tomas this afternoon, asking him for a preview of his back torso, gambling on the possibility that he would ask for one of mine in return and he did not fail me.

This is the picture Tomas sent me earlier today in a bid to convince me that he was not as curvy as the Felix Vallotton nude who has a coquettish profile.

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Felix Vallotton’s nude

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