Posts Tagged ‘new relationship energy

19
Jul
21

re-entering the world – is my “socialize” setting broken?

I really need more poly friends. Friends that I can geek out with and talk to about dating and relationships. Someone who isn’t my husband. My spouse and I are pretty open about the people that we date, and will often even socialize with each other’s metas. (partner’s other partners.) But we tend to keep specific details to ourselves. It’s a sort of amalgamation of “kitchen table poly” where everyone talks and plans together, and “don’t ask don’t tell” poly where partners date separately and don’t share all the intimate details of their other relationships.

Spilling new relationship energy onto an existing relationship can be fun in some ways. Flirting with someone new can make you feel confident, sexy, and amorous. It’s fun to share that joyful, sexy energy with a partner. On the other hand, it can get annoying to hear every schmoopy detail about your love’s new love interest. I understand that.

Part of the reason that I started this blog in the first place is that I felt like I was overwhelming my friends with stories about my dating exploits. I wanted a place where I could tell stories, and recall the fun, exciting, and ridiculous experiences that I had. Not only were my friends having trouble keeping up, so was I! This space became a place that I could chronicle my journey, share my exploits, be vulnerable, be mean, be honest. It’s really interesting to go back and read posts from eight or nine years ago. I have really evolved a lot since then. I’m pretty sure that I’m nowhere near my final form yet!

Life took some unexpected turns in the past years, and I’ve not dated very much recently. COVID factored greatly, as did the fantastic relationship that I have with my spouse/nesting partner. There were professional demands, there was a wedding to plan and host, we moved twice, there were two deaths in our immediate families, and one of us was seriously injured in an accident.

Dating was never completely off the table, but it was certainly not a priority. At least not for me. My man dates a lot more than I do and is often putting himself out there, or at least “chatting with” a few people fairly regularly. He keeps an active dating profile, and is active on several poly groups. He tends to tell me about his interests when they get to the point of meeting in person. If they are just “talking” he may or may not mention them. As of right now, our slightly unusual system works.

I, myself started flirting with an old flame several months ago and it was fun. (Let’s call him Groovy Gardener.) He’s someone that I’ve known since junior high, it’s a long-distance situation, so right now it’s just chat, but it was good for my ego, and a turn-on. I don’t expect anything to come of it, and I have a feeling that it’s not something that he would be open with his partner about, so we didn’t get far into discussing ethics or going beyond fun talks that have been somewhat naughty at times.

Then a few weeks ago, a new contender entered the arena. (We shall dub him Mr. Write because he’s a writer, appreciates a good pun, and also because he’s been somewhat mentoring me with my “legitimate” writing efforts. (Did you kids know that you are illegitimate?)

Well, perhaps he’s not entirely new. A new, old contender, I guess. I will have to look back and see if I mention him at all in past blog entries, but I don’t think so. Today he gets his own designation in my blog anyway! We met about eight or nine years ago through a mutual friend that I no longer associate with. Back then, I felt that we were flirting and vibing nicely, but I wasn’t quite sure. He would respond to a message, and possibly show up to socialize, sing karaoke, or grab a drink, but my former friend liked to stir the pot and had made a few provocative comments in his presence that may have been uncomfortable or misleading. Sometimes he would only stay for a short time, and I wasn’t sure if that was because of her, or if it was simply nothing. I don’t know because whatever flirtation we had basically stalled. I also wasn’t sure if he was poly or knew that I was poly based on conversations with me or with our various mutual acquaintances (including an openly poly friend of his that I dated.)

Anyway, over the years we have socialized a little bit, are friends on social media, have run into each other on occasion, but hadn’t hung out in quite a long time. I married Working Class Whimsy four years ago – a few months before Mr. Write also got married. He and his wife even bought some wedding items from us at our post-wedding garage sale. I would venture to guess that that was the last time we saw each other until about a month ago.

In May, yet another mutual friend (there are several,) passed away. A few weeks later, a private wake/memorial was held in a local bar. I hadn’t been to a bar in 16 months and almost talked myself into not going, but in addition to wanting to honor my friend; it was a private party, safety protocols were in place, and about eight people that I really wanted to see were going to be there. There was karaoke. I hadn’t done karaoke in two years.

When I walked into the bar (fully masked,) the first person I saw was Mr. Write. Hugs and hellos were exchanged, introductions made with his table companions. I realized that about 85% of the people in the bar were not wearing masks, and, being fully vaccinated, I decided to remove mine as well. I admit to having a few moments of moderate panic after I took off the mask, and I said as much. It was truly bizarre to be inside a building without a face covering. Weirder still was getting water from a communal pitcher and drinking from a stack of cups on the bar. It was pretty loud, so conversation was challenging and required leaning in towards the speaker to be effective.

I hopped from table to table in order to socialize with various people. It was simply amazing to be among other humans.  Despite it having been a memorial for a departed friend, I couldn’t stop smiling. The energy was incredibly positive, and I loved talking, singing, and seeing people that I hadn’t seen in a long while. So, when I say that I thought that I was picking up a little vibe with Mr. Write, well…maybe it was my great mood and over-active imagination. Maybe he’s just flirty and outgoing like me…or maybe…has it been so long that I don’t remember what chemistry and flirtation feel like? Do I just flirt with everyone? Probably yes to both.

I spent time with lots of folks – old friends and new, and then made sure to reconnect with Mr. Write on the way out. His tipsy companions (two hot chicks, as I recall,) were friendly and we talked about COVID, our late friend, re-entering society, and crazy hair color. I had experimented with purple, a “mermaid blend,” pinkish-blonde, and hot pink in recent months, and shared a photo or two, which Mr. Write seemed to receive positively. There was some level of comment about how one photo was a bit “boobilicious” and he raised no objection. I made a joke about my body having all the qualities that one enjoys in boobs, just all over. It was funny, and social, and I talked way too much, but it felt good.

Before I even got home I had a couple of messages from him. Funnily, there was nearly an 8-year gap between our Facebook messages. He sent a couple of funny, nerdy, song parodies that he did during COVID. They are very geeky, but I love how secure he is in his nerdiness. There’s a confidence and comfort that is much braver than I. I admire people who don’t particularly mind being ridiculous. It’s delightful. Several messages were exchanged, some of them a little bit deep and personal in nature.

He’s a published author, and I sought his advice about writing. More good exchanges. He was very supportive when I had a little tantrum when I was unable to submit a piece that I wrote due to technical issues. I missed the deadline, then they extended the deadline because the technical issues were on their end. Yay. I got the piece turned in, but really appreciated that he had reached out with his support and advice.

One day, I bought a book that featured one of his short stories and settled into a hammock in my back yard and read. When I got to his story, I snapped a pic of my feet up in the hammock, and his title and name on my kindle.

I captioned the photo: “my current view”

His response was “Huzzah! Reading + legs, what a wonderful summer view 😊 and I like that story.”  

Yes, it does sound flirtatious, but during the month or so that we’ve been chatting, I became aware of the fact that Mr. Write is nearly 19 years younger than I am. This fact alone made me think that I must be crazy to think that we were having a mutual crush. Still, I truly valued our blooming friendship and excellent conversation. Yes, I love flirting, romance, passion, and sex, but I also love people, conversation, and connection. I welcome both.

He invited me to join him and some friends for karaoke a couple of weeks ago. I had plans with my family, so I declined. (Okay, the truth: I went to a dive bar with my family and had a huge burger and a couple of strong drinks and was unable to get up off the couch to go out!)

He’s been out of town for a week or so, and a few days ago, I received a message from Mr. Write asking if I wanted to get together when he’s back in town next week. My response was:

“Yes, Please.”

His response was:

“You are an I-want-to-spend-time-with-you person.”

Well, pardon me if I swooned just a bit. I did. My heart did a little flip-flop in my chest and my tummy felt funny. Because even if that wasn’t intended to be flirting, and even if it was only meant in a platonic, friendly way, it was meaningful to me. I appreciate this person, enjoy his company, and am grateful that he wants to spend time with me. It also at least somewhat validated the feeling I had that we were hitting it off.

So we chatted quite a bit more, and it was a little disjointed because I was high as hell and watching Space Jam: A New Legacy and talking about Porky Pig and Don Cheadle. Somewhere in there, he told me that he was in the bath, and sent a picture of his legs – perhaps a throwback to my hammock legs some weeks ago. I referenced the Cialis bathtub commercials, and he wasn’t familiar, but it led to a discussion of what his tub photo should advertise. I suggested the seven deadly sins, which was well received with more sly flirtation.

Then he said that he was going to need to go soon because he was tired and the phone was heavy in his hand. I made “goodbye” sounds and he said that he was turning on his side so as not to doze off and give himself a black eye. Having been told that he needed to wrap up, I said; “have a good rest of your evening” and he said; “oh wait, one more thing.”

My heart stopped, and those three little dots lingered for what seemed like an eternity.

At last, came the following message:

“Going to ask the question without being too awkward, are we doing a mutual online flirting thing, and is it welcome?’

“Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you for clarifying.”

“Sounds good. I’m also really game for flirting without direction, but thought it easier to ask.”

“I’m someone that never assumes and welcomes connections of all sorts.”

“I’m someone who overwonders about overstepping”

I love that he was brave enough to ask. I love that my consent was important to him. I also know it’s all very 8th grade and pretty tame, but it gave me quite a boost. I admit that I am currently surfing on quite a NRE (new relationship energy) high. Which is silly since we haven’t even had what could be considered a “first date” – though we’re working on scheduling something for when he gets back in town. I’m just happy and enthusiastic about getting out there again, connecting with someone, and also, I’m thrilled to know that my “radar” isn’t off. Yes, we actually were vibing. Yes, it was mutual. Yes, he likes me.

Oh my god I really do sound like my 8th grade diary!

Be safe out there, friends!

–RD




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