I generally go to my S Factor class or on Wednesday nights and, on occasion, will schedule plans for after class. The first time I met Eric we had arranged just that.
Unfortunately, on my way to class, the subway decided to be very wonky going local (or as I like to call it, SLOWcal) instead of express. Thus, I arrived downtown way too late to make it in time. I was very disappointed to miss class and texted Viktor about what had happened. He was sympathetic and invited me to meet up with him and his colleague for drinks at our favorite Champagne bar. I was able to join them for bubbles and light bites, having a fun time despite the frustration at missing class.
At that point, I still had plans with Eric, but we had not arranged where to meet. I was feeling somewhat annoyed and contemplated canceling when he texted to say that he was running late and would 8:50 work instead of our initial time of 8:30. Still on the fence, I consulted Viktor and his friend and we agreed that I would take a playful approach.
I wrote back, “No, 8:50 doesn’t work, only 8:52, but where?” He played along and let me name the place, so, I told him to meet me at the Champagne bar. The three of us then had a small window of time before Eric arrived, so we filled in our favorite server about our poly status, cleared the table to look like I had just arrived and then waited for Eric to appear.
Admittedly, I was less enthusiastic about the date at that point, but we ended up having a really great time even though Eric is not a sparkling wine fan. We enjoyed getting to know one another and then shared an Uber which first dropped him off at his hotel and then took me home safely.
A few weeks later, we had our second date. Eric took me to dinner and then we went back to his hotel room. He had already asked me out for a third date while we were at the restaurant and I felt good about things continuing. However, I think that I wanted to make it work more than I really felt something for him and ignored the signs that it wasn’t really what I wanted.
In particular, I had been dismayed by his lack of correspondence in between making the initial date and actually meeting in person and although this was better between dates one and two, I still craved more interaction. I mentioned this to him as I kissed him goodbye after we had had sex and he promised he would be in touch more frequently. However, two days passed before he reached out and his text was rather lukewarm: “I made it back to Cayman. I very much enjoyed Tuesday night.” Um, dude, we had sex; you could be a little more enthusiastic and complimentary don’t you think? Apparently not.
His next text asked if I wanted to “try out CheckMate” on our scheduled date. Hell no, I didn’t want to go to a swingers’ club on our third date! I clarified his intent: “Since Checkmates is a swingers club, it seems that you want me to have sex with strangers and/or sex with you in public. Is that true?” He replied: Sex with you certainly. Sex with others is up to you…” This was definitely NOT the fun date I was expecting when he had asked if I was available for that Saturday night. I advised that this proposed plan was of no interest and he noted we could skip it.
In hindsight, I should have ended things there, but I waited to see what he would he suggest next. He offered up a trip to his house in Sag Harbor, which sounded fun, but when I probed for more details, he shared that he wasn’t coming back until Tuesday early afternoon and wrote, “I can put you on the Jitney.” Again, I was not pleased. My interpretation was that he wanted to take me to his house, have a meal and sex and then discard me the next morning by putting me on a long bus back to the city. I declined the invitation and noted that I no longer felt that we were a good fit.
He asked for clarification, which I happily provided: “Yes, I will try to explain why I feel that way. It is mostly a feeling, but essentially, I don’t feel really wanted by you. Among various things, I had asked you to text me more frequently, and yet it was 2 days after we had sex that you texted me and even then, it was a lukewarm text. Then, after only 2 dates, you suggested that we go to Checkmates, which really felt icky. And, while going to Sag Harbor sounds fun, the idea of being put on the jitney when you are done with me makes me feel like I am being discarded.”
He responded rather quickly, but instead of addressing my chief complaint: “I don’t feel really wanted by you,” he proceed to explain to me why he did what he did. I called him out on his response, noting that I want emotional connection and support, not justifications or explanations. And, consequently, ended it.
As I continue in my journey, I am getting clearer and clearer on what I do (and don’t) want. Yes, Eric was very wealthy and the fantasy of going to visit him in the Cayman Islands some day was very appealing. But I deserve so much more – more respect, more passion, more emotional connection and more emotional intelligence. And, equally important, I WANT all of those things.
I was admittedly frustrated with myself for having ignored my intuition and pushing forward anyway. I really did feel used and discards and it coincided with the intense shame spiral I was feeling during my emotional rollercoaster. Yet, I realized with complete clarify that I’d rather walk away from Eric rather than accept his crumbs.
Interestingly, Lawrence resurfaced this week. He texted out of the blue looking to rekindle our relationship after a hiatus of nearly two months. He seemed sincere in his approach, so I was open to hearing what he had to say. I had been very disappointed when things ended so abruptly with him but had really felt good about him and his potential. So, we had a candid conversation and it was evident that while he was very apologetic about the lack of communication and the way things ended, all he was looking for a play partner. I thanked him but let him know that I have moved beyond that.
Life is banquet; I will not starve myself nor settle for crumbs. And, on that, I am crystal clear!