Dating & Relationships

This really echoes in my mind now. What WAS I doing? Hope I can stay stable mentally, depression is a bitch.
You can, and you will. The process of taking back the space you created for someone else is never easy. But at some point, you’ll start to remember the freedom that comes with it. No more tiptoeing around preferences, moods, and expectations. You might even enjoy it a little. We’ve all been conditioned to live life through the lens of now. But life is much bigger than that. You are much more than that. Hang in there. It will get better.
he/him/basic cishomo
Gosh, I’m going through something girlies.
I’m mid-20s and have never had a relationship and have had big hang ups about sex along the way.
I’ve started seeing someone and I actually feel romance and lust and affection for an individual, for the first time in my life. I’d started to believe I wasn’t capable of these feelings, and so even if this is just a short term situation, it’s just been such a revelation. Moments with him have felt so special and tender. I finally feel like I’m living that teenage dream I’d always longed for. Maybe only now am I ready for it.

It’s weird how these things just creep up on you when you’re not expecting it.
It really did just emerge for me, that whole lovey dovey swoony feeling. Absolutely fantastic. So very happy for you.
@UncleDeSeanAli & @Rmx 's ex/friend plights really struck me as I'm not not in a similar boat. I am in love with one of my best friends and I can't truly be friends with him if I'm still in love.

But here we are, two full weeks free of Mr. Doorman... and it feels terrible. As much as I know this situationship was taking a toll on me, I just really miss having him in my life. I miss talking to him, hanging out with him, texting him every day. It's honestly really lonely and boring without him in my life, even as just a friend. That said, I can still feel those toxic pangs of envy/jealousy/insecurity when I think about him, so I'm trying my hardest to maintain my self-imposed boundary until I get to a place where he can exist in my mind without those side effects. Because he can't just be a friend if I still have those feelings.

The night after his new guy broke things off with him, he told me he just wanted to be alone... cut to me checking in the next day and finding out he'd spent the night with him and convinced him to take him back. I didn't expect it to cut as deeply as it did, but it made me realize this is a person and a relationship he will go out of his way to fight for... in a way he would never do for me, regardless of how poorly the other person treats him. That was a painful realization for me. I told him this during our next hang, where he revealed he'd also recently hooked up with a member of the the dreaded Silver Lake Gays, one who helped lead the charge of exiling him from the group and spent months treating him horribly. He told me he felt terrible afterward, noting that it made him feel bad for the guy he's seeing. I turned to him and gave him a full Kristen Wiig/Bridesmaids "are you fucking kidding me?" in response, pointing out how much this stuff has been hurting me, and how I'm the only one truly getting caught in the crossfire of his decisions. I let him know that I can't stand by and watch him be treated like trash by people he still devotes his time, energy and body to. I said that knowing he'd rather make these choices than pursue something with me is a pill I'm struggling to swallow and that I may need some real space from him. I truly shouldn't be so affected by these scenarios that do not involve me, but I'm too emotionally attached not to be. So I took the next few days and made the decision that I need to cut him off, full stop, to finally create emotional and physical space to protect myself. He's never going to 'choose me', per se, and I continue to feel some type of way about it, and I need to work on myself to move on from that.

I took him to a lovely dinner and drinks two nights later where I told him all this, reiterating that we are not being the friends we each need from each other right now, that changes need to be made in order to make that happen, and that I'm going to take an unspecified amount of time until I can get to that place. He was as supportive and respectful as I expected, and I dropped him off and gave him a big hug and kiss on the cheek goodbye. Seeing my Valentine’s Day card still displayed on his bedside table was the thing that really sat with me - a nice reminder that there is genuine love between us. He sent me the new Justice/Tame Impala song on my drive home and we agreed it was a perfect sendoff track for the time being. Outside of the accidental next-night run-in, we haven't been in touch in any way, and as mentioned, it's been tough. I'm hopeful I can get to a place where I can just be his friend, but please send strength until I get to that place. This is certainly the hardest break up (is it even fair to call it that?) I've ever had to initiate, and it's one of the most difficult things I've ever put myself through emotionally. It all coming on the one-year anniversary of our meeting hasn't helped (how I even got myself into a year-long situationship, I'll never know), but I remain trucking on.

I’ve tried to keep myself distracted since then, not helped by the fact that the guy I went on the great dates with in March ghosted me; as did the Hinge guy I was meant to go on a first date with. Sex-wise, things remain as fun and chaotic as ever. News of my flammable hookup has made the rounds with the neighborhood gays, but it hasn’t stopped me from getting action. There’s the daddy who happens to live next door to my gym bestie, the public triple kiss, the 20-year-old college student with the fake ID (probably should be better about asking ages before I hook up), and the aforementioned cousins… which I will explain.

I popped by my neighborhood gay bar last week for a nightcap, and ran into a local TV weatherman I recognized & have a crush on (one I know is straight, married, and has children based on previous Insta stalking). We were standing next to each other at the bar, and I’d had a few drinks in me already, so I decided to tell him I knew who he was, that I was a fan, and that I foolishly had a little crush on him. He let me know his cousin was visiting and wanted to come to this bar, so he came along to be a good friend. I told him that was really nice of him and wished him a good night. Cut to me waiting in line for the restroom at the back of the bar, and him coming up to me, pinning me against the wall, making out with me, and letting me know he’s getting divorced, exploring his sexuality, thinks it’s really hot I’m into him, and wanted to go home with me. The whole thing was really shocking and hot, and so I obviously went along with it. He asked if his cousin could join, saying he’d promised him a good time and that the cousin is also married, with children, and on the DL. So on we went and had a night of good fun. Again, I never asked about their dynamic, just assuming they’re cousins by marriage (or longtime friends who call each other cousins), but it really wasn’t my business. The cousin has since returned home, and I have continued hooking up with the divorcing DL TV weatherman. Is this an affair? Am I the other woman? I'm not sure, but it's fun, meaningless, and I don't ask questions.

The latest complication in my love life is 2-pronged. There is a guy I've been messaging with on Scruff since last summer, but we've never met in person. I would like to, but he weirdly avoids any opportunity to do so. Normally I would just ignore this person, but he is one of the most attractive men I've ever spoken with, and I've come to enjoy our regular messaging - about life, about work, about family, about sex. I've wondered if I'm just being catfished, but we have too many Instagram mutuals for that to be the case, so ultimately I'm just being dumb. On an unrelated note, my good friend Mr. New In Town has had this gym crush he's been confiding in me about for months. They go on cute dates, have major flirtation, but never act on anything in fear of damaging their comfortable gym situation. Last weekend, I met up with Mr. New In Town for drinks and he let me know his gym crush was also in attendance. I was excited to finally meet this guy, but he walks up and who should he be? Mr. Messaging himself. I could see we were both startled to encounter each other, but he still hugged me and said it was so good to finally meet me. My friend asked how we knew each other, and Mr. Messaging said in embarrassment that he's basically been leading me on for ages. Most of the night was spent watching their flirtation and touchy/kissy vibe, which wasn't a great feeling, until Mr. Messaging pulled me aside and apologized profusely for never meeting up and once again for 'leading me on.' He said he's just weird about meeting people from the apps and that it has nothing to do with me. Sure. Regardless, I told him it's fine, it's not serious, and we proceeded to make out. Boy was it a great makeout, and it led to a few more later in the night. The messaging has continued, remaining as hot and flirty as ever, and I'm back to pushing to get more time with him in person, while also knowing - and feeling conflicted - about my good friend's feelings for him.

Love. It's never easy, and it's always embarrassing, isn't it?
After two strong weeks, I had a slip. Mr. Doorman and I ran into each other at a gay bar and got caught up for a bit, talking far longer than we probably should have. It was so comfortable and nice, slipping right back into our banter and both expressing how much we miss each other, and ended up being the highlight of my evening… a good and bad thing. The next day, as I was drinking my life away at a Eurovision viewing party, he broke our ‘no contact’ rule and texted me with a passive aggressive annoyance about how I spit in his eye the night before. It frustrated me and led my drunken self to engage in a back-and-forth that was somewhat heated for me, and just funny to him. Cut to me drinking to a rare 'brown out level' (shots are a no-no for me, as is day-drinking without food), and confronting him at his work. Embarrassingly, I don’t remember much about the interaction - or anything that followed, and I had to spend the next day apologizing to him with my tail between my legs. He said he could tell I was drunk, but that I wasn’t messy and he just found it funny and that he didn’t need an apology. I then scrolled back through the texting we apparently did after my inebriated confrontation, and we had a long exchange that read exactly like how we’ve always been, so I really didn’t have anything to worry about (other than my own relationship with alcohol, but this isn’t the thread for that). I ended things saying I would return to leaving him in peace, and we’ve had another 10 days of radio silence. It’s good to know this distance hasn’t affected the friendship, but I’m definitely still not in a place where friendship is enough for me… yet.

That same messy night, Mr. New In Town met up with me at a bar and surprised me by bringing Mr. Messaging with him. I quickly learned that they were celebrating Mr. Messaging’s birthday, something he refrained from telling me while we were messaging that same morning. He said he didn’t know how to slip that in between our sex talk, but I wasn’t thrilled. Regardless, more drinks were had, my memory continued to dissipate, and I apologized to him for being messy on his birthday. He said I was a delight, that my flirting came on real heavy, that I made some very suggestive gestures/moves, and that he enjoyed all of it. We have continued our near-daily messaging since, which I very much enjoy, and I still can't gauge why he won't agree to an intentional meet-up for the two of us.

Amid my continued complicated chaos, I actually found someone I'm genuinely excited about. Easily the first guy who has sparked real butterflies in me since before meeting Mr. Doorman, which is exactly the sort of thing my freedom from him was supposed to open me up to. This guy is a longtime Scruff crush - someone I've long had on my 'Favorites' list, but who I've never pursued because he's always felt far out of my league. Well, last Friday, I was wrapping at the WeHo bars and saw that he was online and nearby, and figured I'd finally shoot my shot. Sure enough, he quickly responded and we had some enjoyable, funny back-and-forth before he invited me over to his place. What followed was, admittedly, one of the best nights I've ever had. Our banter was quick-witted, free-flowing, and brimming with sexy sarcasm; our sexual chemistry was off the charts; and our conversations were wonderfully engaging. A man at a respectable age with a great job, an amazing apartment, an adorable cat, who happens to be the hottest guy I’ve ever hooked up with, and is also incredible at banter, conversation, and sex? One who spent most of the night giving me countless affirmations and numerous... 'servicings' (including one that wrapped in time to the music so that I was able to recite 'that's that me espresso' to him just after it happened), before demanding my number and immediately texting me when I got home to say what a great time he'd had and how he can't wait to see me again? I would say it was all a fever dream, but I was sober when it happened.

Now it's been 5 days and I'm actually nervous to text him - first time that's happened in ages. It's a bummer he hasn't made an effort for Round 2 yet, but I also never have any problem making the first real move. I've just been trying to play it cool and breezy (as any reader here will know I'm no good at), so tomorrow will be the day. He randomly popped up on my Hinge earlier today, which felt like a sign, so wish me luck as I pursue a chance at something that could be far too good to be true.... or maybe just good enough.
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recite 'that's that me espresso' to him just after it happened
Talking to a muscly Ecuadorian guy who is here visiting his aunt for the summer in order to improve his English. After telling me his studying plans, he casually drops, "Necesitaré un amante acá."

Oh will you now...
So conversations have continued, things are getting hot and heavy. Meeting for coffee on Sunday to see how we vibe.

He is so fine hnnnngggg. I could use a summer fling. And a chance to brush up on my Spanish skills? Win win!
The worst part of not reaching out first is finding out how much they truly care when it’s been a couple of days of no contact. Weeeeeeee
So things have majorly progressed with the guy I posted about a few months back showing concerns over not wanting to lose a good friend by forcing a relationship and being confused about how close we were getting. As it goes, we’re now both very much in love, and it’s unabashedly, which is something I’ve never experienced. We’ve been messing around for a year and he told me he loved me a few weeks ago.

We both admitted having feelings for each other a couple months ago but agreed to take things slowly and see how it went, but the gate has swung wide open now and we’re both absolutely besotted with one another.

He asked if I would be his boyfriend today and I agreed, and now I would like to have a discussion about what that actually means for us. We’ve both said numerous times that we would want an open relationship and I’m comfortable in discussing this and my boundaries with him honestly, but I wanted to run it by you lovely folks because I’ve never done this before. I have listed said boundaries below.

1. I feel I would be most comfortable if we both made it abundantly clear on our individual dating apps that we are in a relationship. In addition, any allusions to either of us being single on social media should be removed entirely. Essentially, we’re together and any other activity outside of that is completely casual. It can be continuous and we can meet new people for the purposes of sex but with the mutual understanding that that is all it is and that it doesn’t progress further than that.

2. Removing “DMs open” from his Twitter alt. This one’s a bit fuzzy with my reasoning but it would just make me feel more secure I guess.

3. We inform each other when we’re meeting guys for hookups / fwb beforehand, not after, unless it’s a one night stand type of thing where the capacity to do this is more limited.

4. Said boundaries are subject to change and we regularly check in with each other to see if they either need to be tightened / loosened / changed entirely.

5. The openness of the relationship is also subject to change.

Does this all seem fairly reasonable? Are there obvious ones that I might be missing? I ultimately want us to continue basically monogamous in the sense that our relationship is between us only, but with the door open for consensual casual fun on the side of that makes sense.
So an update, hey to what has to be my most commonly posted in thread.

The relationship is over after what has been a fucking ordeal of year. For context, shortly after we got together, I was hospitalised and required 2 brain surgeries and almost died. He was by my side throughout all of this and nursed me back to health as well as supported me throughout all the trauma I was experiencing after the fact.

This is where I need to pause and provide some further context. Before we got together (we messed around for a year first), he had made me aware of his abusive relationship with his ex husband (they were both physically abusive to each other, it was an incredibly toxic relationship) and the abuse he suffered as part of his upbringing.

I bring this up because it is a huge part of the reason I have decided to end things. In November he hit me unprovoked at a Jessie Ware gig and I forgave him because of the stress of my ill health and treated it as an isolated incident.

Following on from that the relationship was great, he was the love of my life and truly made me feel like the most desirable, loved, and confident person in the world, every single day. No one has ever loved me as deeply or as much as he had.

Then around 3 weeks ago he hit me again during a drunken argument. He pushed me to the ground and screamed at me in the street. The only way I can explain it was as if he had went somewhere and someone else had taken over his body. I didn’t recognise him. So I just ran the fuck home.

I blocked him on everything, told him it was over when he showed up at my door crying. But I missed him, and now I feel so fucking stupid. About a week later I met him where he told me he had given up drinking and had arranged counselling. He looked me in the eye and promised me my safety and that it would never happen again.

So the reset button gets hit yet again, we had a wonderful weekend with each other, being cringe and baking cakes etc, I felt the love and adoration again. Cut to the next morning, I left his to go to work and he left to go to Uni in Stirling. I was so happy, I genuinely felt like everything was going to be ok. He then phoned me 3 hours later to tell me that he had allowed a boy in his class to suck him off in the uni bathrooms after his class. I was in utter disbelief and officially ended everything that day with no further contact. I tried to find ways to move around it but he literally left me no choice. He backed me into a corner.

This was over a week ago. Since then I’ve been managing the situation with our mutual friends who are all shocked, hurt, and angry with him. So there is the obvious vindication that I haven’t done anything wrong, but that’s also what hurts the most. I’m not sad at the relationship ending because, like I say, he literally gave me no choice, but I’m heartbroken that someone who has seen first hand what I’ve been through, who’s supposed to look after me and care for me, could do what he’s done to me.

It hurts because, as crazy as it sounds, I had quietly made contingencies for the possible event where he may become abusive based on what he’d told me. But I genuinely never expected him to be unfaithful, I trusted him. I’m still so shocked. Whilst there was an openness to our relationship we understood that anything outside of our clearly defined boundaries constituted cheating, and those boundaries had been further tightened from the ones previously posted following my stint in hospital.

I’ve been able to bring myself down from the utter despair of last week (and some really fucking dark thoughts) to the point where I’m able to get on with life, but I’m still so hurt, and I feel so lost.
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