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I’ve lost track how long I’ve been on OKCupid… a couple of weeks – but that’s about it. So far I’ve sent emails to a couple of women and hung out with two of them. From the outset I knew I needed to learn how to get to know people – to take things slowly. And what I’m getting is slow… If anything, what I’m getting is friends.

“When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” That’s something I read lately. And… something about… the things you want… want you.

I’m trying to slow down. To let those things catch me… I am ok being friends. I’d like more with… with one of the three. But if that never happens, then the best thing that could ever happen is we’re friends. We can listen to each other, we are comfortable together… and we can laugh.

What more could I ask – than to have found a friend?

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This article caught my eye this morning… Since I’ve given it a lot of thought I read it.

I’m glad to see there are conflicting arguments on both sides – that some feel it’s good to get it out of the way, and others feel people exclude a partner from long-term relationships if they hop in the sack too soon.

I definitely feel I’ve had a strong connection to sex, or those with whom I’ve had sex. The trouble is, because lightning struck the first time, I’ve kept expecting it to happen that way again… I’ve expected myself to click with someone in that same way (or at least a similar way), to hop in the sack and live happily ever-after. If the past six years of trying have shown me anything, it really should be that we were an anomaly.  It usually doesn’t happen that way. I’ve come to rest with the fact that our year-long, long-distance relationship had so much to do with it. We talked on the phone just about every day. We wrote letters back and forth and emailed constantly. We got to know each other for a year before I moved to Maryland. And even then, I moved here and we maintained separate residences for… at least six, if not nine months before moving in together.

What didn’t work was my not being ready to have children. What didn’t work was my inability to express my needs.

I think us having sex on the first date was… of the least importance of anything. Yes, we did. Would I do it again? Yeah, probably. It’s what got me out of the closet. It’s what really solidified that I was into women. It’s what said, “yep, I’m gay.” Why would I ever take that back?

But again, I’ve been trying to force something into happening time and time again. It’s like Groundhog Day – when Bill Murry takes Andy McDowell back to the snowman & snowball fight with the kids – and tries to get her to kiss him.

For me, I’m experiencing, “I’ve given you 100% – I’ve given it all to you – now what’s the problem here – you aren’t giving it all to me.” And in those first few weeks when attraction and intimacy are high, it’s all good and warm and lovey – so I am getting what I need… then it falls off, because it’s kinda supposed to because no one can maintain that intensity. Yet, what I am missing is the rest of my needs being met – the needs that weren’t being met in the first place that I brushed off because of either the promise of – or for – sex.

And then it happens, I hit the reality that it isn’t going to work. That’s at about 2 months. And I start to pull out those needs that aren’t getting met. And I start looking at all I’ve given away – and I want it back… and the other person is now a little baffled…

For me, the first domino to fall is – well, the first domino to fall is the first thing I give that I don’t want to. Whether that’s driving to that person one too many times, paying for something that I don’t want to, arranging for pet care when I really don’t have the money… or sex. Sex too soon to be specific. And for me, sex needs to occur when there is a commitment in place – and not just a commitment of exclusivity – because I had that with someonel. The commitment needs to start coming after I know the person a bit. For me, now that I am understanding myself more, I need to be in a place where I’ve learned enough about that person to evaluate whether or not this is something I can see going long-term.

At that point – and only at that point – is it a good idea for me to sleep with someone. I used to think this was old-fashioned. Not anymore. I am now to a place where I understand myself – I get who I am and how I’m wired. I can’t fight that anymore, nor should I. Doing so continues to cause me pain. If another person who is interested in dating me can’t, or won’t understand that… they need to move on.

A friend of mine mentioned the Sticker Chart several weeks ago, and I’ve given it some thought. This idea has merit. If my issue is a freak-out after I sleep with someone, then not sleeping with them until I’m sure it’s a good thing.

A Sticker Chart is an incentive system. For me, it would be 12 weeks of knowing someone… and… well.. then I can decide. 🙂

The other thing is being able to see, in an objective way, whether or not this is a good thing. Are there red flags? Am I having hard conversations or brushing off my needs that later turn into resentments? Am I exhibiting behavior changes? And… am I doing this in those 12 weeks? Why 12 weeks? It’s an arbitrary time period really, but that’s 3 months-ish. Seems like you get a good feel for someone in about 90 days. And by that point, I think I’d know whether or not I’d want to sleep with them – and I’d surely know if it’s something that is exclusive. Hell, the things I’ve been doing lately haven’t even lasted that long – or gone well that long. Holding off on sex for that long will tell me a hell of a lot!

The thing about holding off on sex is huge for me. Again, something just trips in my head. If someone wants something long-term enough with me to hold off… that says something. They either do want to be friends (which is awesome) or they are also interested in seeing if there is more to this (again, awesome).

So what’s up with OK Cupid? Eh. It falls into that “might as well” category. It’s an easy way to meet people. I was careful to place checks in the “Friends” and “Activity Partners” in what I’m looking for. In the descriptions, I didn’t talk about finding lasting love, who I was looking for, etc. And yes, I want to meet friends this time. Just friends. It’s like people have really tried to impress upon me – there is real merit and value in having people to reach out to and just go to dinner with, or to ask to the fair… or to Wicked. Even if these people are nothing more than friends – I need people who like live music. I need people who like upscale restaurants, I need people who like fairs and museums and things like that. And yes, I need runners and cyclists alike. This seems like a great place to start. I have no idea where this is going to lead. My hope is it will go just like where I’m saying above – having people I can reach out to for cool events.

For me, I need practice at getting out. I need practice getting to know people. I need practice at talking and hanging out and doing things without the pressure of “where is this going” and the flirting and the pressure of sex. Yeah – that was nice – but for me it was a mistake. I can’t do that anymore. It’s too hard on my spirit and too hard on my heart.

I knew early on with PA I should have sent that text: “I don’t want to be just a piece of ass.” And I was too afraid. I was too afraid I was going to lose her. Yep. Lose her. I thought if I stood my ground – stood up for who I was and what I wanted, and didn’t sleep with her – I’d lose her. Wow. Yes, I wanted to sleep with her – there was a *ton* of sexual energy… but I saw something that made a huge impression on me:

If she’s easy, she’s not worth it

If she’s worth it, she’s not easy

I am really taking those words to heart now – and planning to live by them. I believe it now – and I should have stood by that when I was feeling it. I acted contrary to what I felt in my heart – and it really came back to me in the end.

I feel a lot more confident now. So much more sure of myself. So much more sure of what I want, who I am and where I am going.

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