On Dating and Relationships, and How I’m Bad At This

Time for Life Stories with Rion. I don’t go full-tilt into what’s happening in my life often, but this is something that authors need to be aware of in their writing as well, so I figure that I’ll go into it here, and we can all work it out together.

So here’s what I’ve been thinking about for the past two months or so. (If you don’t want details about my intimate interactions with men I know, I do not recommend reading further. You have been warned.)

There are two main guys I’m going to talk about here. I’m going to change their names for security purposes, I think reasonably. We’ll call them Jared and Reid.  If you know the two, you’ll probably be able to work it out, but… I’ll do my best.

Jared and I met at a local haunt my housemate and I found our way to, and after a few months probably of talking around each other, we started hanging out, and went on a few dates. We proved very intrigued in each other, and became relatively physical rather quickly. I’d been very open with him about my personal insecurities, and paranoias about physicality in relationships (which I’ll talk about later), and he was always entirely understanding about it. By this point, now two months after our first date as it were, I’ve been more intimate with him than anyone else in my life. We haven’t had sex, and that’s a hard line for me right now, but it’s not too shy from it.

It’s easy to latch onto Jared. I’ve never really had a guy I found attractive like me back before. I’m a very tactile person, and we have a lot in common. Everything was fitting into the world I’d only ever seen in my fantasies, and I was dreaming. I let my mind run away from me, and I haven’t been too bothered to catch up with it.

Enter Reid. Reid I met at the same place, and again, he didn’t initially catch my attention. He was attractive and intelligent, but we really didn’t have any interaction with him away from the location. My housemate and I agreed that he was dangerously attractive, and that was about that. We all started talking more, and as we became more comfortable with each other, the flirt in me came out. I am an insatiable flirt. I admit this easily and readily, and without much guilt. I wasn’t taken, right? It was harmless.

Reid and I have been talking more regularly in the past week or so, and it’s clear that we’re both interested in each other too. This now puts me in an interesting place – and it’s where I’ve started to form my decision.

As I said, I have intimacy issues. There’s a lot of places this can stem from, but the largest of which is this: women are taught, in our society, that men want sex and that’s about it. Also, if you sleep with too many men, you’re a slut. If you don’t sleep with any men, you’re a tease or frigid. But if you don’t sleep with a guy for too long, you’re just being cruel. However, don’t give it up too easily, because then you’re just easy and you have no respect for yourself.

…You see the trouble? We’re made manic about sex – and then not allowed to talk about it. We’re not taught how to actually start healthy relationships, sexual or otherwise. So I stayed in the paranoid side – just not dealing with anyone about anything. Given my status as “fat weirdo” in high school and moving into college, this wasn’t a problem. Guys didn’t want me anyway.

Many of my friends were the same way, and I’d always told people to be careful. Don’t let yourself get swept away just because you finally found someone that likes you back. Don’t fall just because you can.

…And the more I’ve been looking at myself…that’s what I’ve done.

I think I’ve been smarter about it than I could have, and I think that realizing this now is a good thing. But I still stand in the awkward moment of: These are two guys that at least in passing, know each other. I’m interested in both of them. How am I supposed to make this work without making it uncomfortable and painful? We’re told to date people – more than one person – and “play the field” before settling down, but honestly, it’s something that I’ve never really understood. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t want to hurt Jared or Reid. I just want to be able to find myself.

This is where the writers need to remember exists. That there is this line, and people fall for more than one person at a time, and you need to deal with that. It’s something I struggle with in one of my novels – my main character is romantically attracted to three people for most of the book, and that’s the major conflict. This is something to remember – and not something to gloss over in favor of the happy ending for your head-canon OTP. (Pardon my fandom language.)

In the end, what I see is this. I tone back the physicality with Jared, because that’s something I need to do for myself, not just because of Reid. I need to make sure that I’m not falling for him just because he’s someone that likes me back and actually is interesting in being physical. I need to remember to be open with both of them, and not try and be covert – because that’s how feelings get hurt. And I need to remember in all of this that I need to take care of myself. None of this is worth anything if I lose myself over it.

For the first time in my life, I’m actually in a situation where I’m comfortable (or getting there) with myself, and have an opportunity to be that person with other people that want to know me.

It’s a really cool feeling.

I just wish it didn’t scare the shit out of me.

If anyone has opinions on the matter, feel free to let me know. This is mainly just a way to voice my thoughts somewhere that I can set them down, but I’m open to help. As you can see, I’m very new to all of this. 😉


3 thoughts on “On Dating and Relationships, and How I’m Bad At This

  1. You’re entering uncharted territory for you. It’s ok to be freaked out!! I’d say definitely be open and honest because if either of them assumes you’re exclusive, there will be trouble when he finds out you’re not. You have to go at the pace you’re comfortable with. Please, goodness, do not ever do anything just you feel like you “should” or that the guy will ditch you otherwise. A guy who will ditch unless you get to a certain level of physicality is not a guy you want anyway. Lots of people still wait until marriage to have sex. It’s not as uncommon as people would have you believe. You have to go with what you feel is right. If you rush, you’ll regret it.

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