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Monday, September 14, 2009

Sayonara Sexless Suitor

In my personal offline life, I am a very private person. I like to keep my feelings to myself and folks outside my inner circle would rarely know that something is wrong, even when it is.

I also like to think, during the good times, that I have everything all figured out, that I'm wise and learn from my mistakes and can carry forward without fear of failure. And honestly, that isn't a bad way to live life.

Except, sometimes I do fail.

The past week has beaten me up. I'm exhausted. There are so many things I need to write about and I don't even know where to begin.

But to begin with, I must throw Sexless Suitor out the window. I must. The thing is that I didn't realize how much I liked him. I was busy living my life and going about my business and I thought that would protect me somehow. I still have a full life but I DO crave relevant connection. I DO crave physical affection. I don't know how to NOT crave these things. But pretending that I wasn't craving them got me into trouble. That is where, I think, I made my mistake.

I haven't been honest with myself. I am not 100% Singlutionary-ized like some of the folks who frequent this site. Or maybe I WAS and then something changed. And that something is that my life slowed down into a routine and I wasn't constantly busy. I had room for a new friend and I was willing to welcome Abstinent Admirer into my life. And Abstinent Admirer was great. He admired me, he liked me for who I was. He made my work days and my walks around the lake less boring. And then he asked me on a date and became my Sexless Suitor.

But Sexless Suitor sucks. He sends me mixed messages, he won't touch me although he is very emotionally intimate with me. It hurts and confuses me like crazy.

I spend a week not knowing what to do, frozen in confusion. And then I talked to one of my best married Singlutionary friends. And she said: "Obviously he isn't good enough for you. If you were giving advice to yourself as the Singlutionary, that is what you would say."

And I knew she was right. 

Feeling hurt and confused after one date is great because it is an early sign that one should turn around and run full force in the opposite direction before getting trapped in the mire.

I was frozen in confusion because I was trying too hard to figure him out, figure out what was wrong with me or him or the situation. And its not worth it. Its not worth exhausting myself over.

Still, I am sad that this has ended. I admired my admirer. He was a new friend, a new presence in my life with a new perspective. I don't often meet people that I admire and appreciate like that. 

But through the past week, I've had my friends and roommates rally around me. They've fed and walked my dog, given me rides (my car also broke down this week), commiserated with me, offered to lend me money (the roommate who disappeared in the middle of the night also stopped payment on her rent check nearly causing my mortgage payment to bounce) and bought me midnight brownies at the place with my favorite skinny waiter. I've had plenty of shoulders to cry on. 

I have plenty to be grateful for. 


Filipina Girl said...

I think it is a good idea that you throw sexless suitor out of the window because with the mixed signals you have been getting and reading, it is not a good sign that there will be a potential relationship between the two of you. I guess, even himself couldn't decide of what he wants or not. I agree with you that there are still more things to be thankful of and in time the right person for you will come.

jo said...

i think it's easier to be singlutionary when you haven't met that person you really connect with and is attracted to. but when you do, then it isn't that easy afterall.

it's a pity that it didn't work out with your sexless suitor. your friend is right in that he wasn't worth it. if he didn't realise that you were awesome enough to rethink his sexless state, then i suppose he just wasn't that into you (cliche as it may be). it's great that you have friends around to help you in an emotionally vulnerable time.

Welsh Girl said...

I'm with Jo on this one. It is definitely easier to live the Singlutionary life if the choice to live otherwise isn't actually there. The second there is an alternative the hideous second guessing game begins. Eeeurgh. I'll be thinking of you and hoping that you find a new roommate to sort out the financial doldrums. In the meantime, the silver lining to this week must be the reminder of how good your circle of friends is.

Kahnee said...

I'm sorry about Sexless Suitor, but just a little bit because you seem totally cool with it.

And I also agree with Jo, it's easy to be a singlutionary when you're single. --I wonder sometimes how I'm going to make sure I keep my single self in tact when ever i find someone to go steady with.

Good luck, my love.

Stevi said...

You deserve someone that can give you all the types of intimacy that you need. Mixed signals are no good.

Hope your doing OK! Keep being positive and wonderful!

Clever Elsie said...

First of all, I'm sorry your roommate skipped town! Bummer! :(

Now, about Sexless Suitor...I guess I'm confused. First off, I don't think it makes you any less singlutionary to feel hurt by someone you like. Being a singlutionary or onely or having singletude or whatever you want to call it is, I would humbly propose, feeling good about yourself on your own and not losing your individuality in a relationship. But that doesn't mean people you care about will no longer have any power to hurt you. That's just part and parcel of opening up and getting close to someone, right?

Second, I may be off base here since I don't know anything about this guy other than what you've written here, but do you think it would be helpful to communicate directly with him before you write him off for good? The reason I ask is because I'm wondering if it's possible that you both have different ideas about what abstinence means. It's possible that, to him, it also means no touching, at least not in the beginning. It's also possible that he mistakenly thought you understood that. Or perhaps he thinks the two of you are still just friends and so was trying to be respectful and not pushy. Although I don't know the reason why he's abstinent, I have to say that your description of his behavior reminds me of someone who either wants to start as friends first or has religious reasons for wanting to "court" instead of dating traditionally. Whatever the case may be, since he made such a point of getting to know you, it seems unlikely that he's not really interested or is intentionally playing games.

Obviously, if you're not up for a relationship devoid of physical contact and that's what he wants, it won't be a good match. But maybe it would be good to just talk to him, explain your confusion, and ask what his intentions are so you know for sure? Even if you're not right for each other romantically, it might at least be satisfying to know that this was just a case of crossed wires and incompatible behavioral standards rather than some intentional slight on his part.

The Singlutionary said...

I LOVE all these comments and all this varied advice!

Filipina Girl: Yes! The problem IS the mixed signals and not so much the touching (or lack thereof).

Jo: I guess this is my first time liking someone since becoming singlutionary and I think I thought I was untouchable and it turns out I'm not. You are right. It is harder to be Singlutionary once my little heart gets involved.

Welsh Girl: The guessing game! I guess I am fed up with it! And my friends and current roommates are my sliver lining for sure. This week my roommates have picked up my slack even more as I've been handling even more trauma (i'll write about it later).

Kahnee: "go stead with" I love that! It sounds old fashioned but it totally makes sense. Dating is SO ambiguous and saying "boyfriend-girlfriend" is cumbersome. Yes, I did think that Sexless wanted to go steady but then he seemed so unsteady in his interest. Good luck finding your own stead who IS good enough for you!

Stevi: "All the types of intimacy that you need". Ah. What bliss. Is such a thing possible? ALL the types? If I can get one person to give me ALL the types of intimacy I will have reached my pinacle of Singlutionary-ness and will have to retire my Singlutionary crown.

Clever Elsie: You are so right. Thank you for everything you wrote. Yes, I will get hurt. I just won't drown in the hurt. Loving people hurts sometimes. Sometimes its cause they reject you and sometimes its because you see them hurting and can't do anything about it. So liking and trusting Sexless Suitor was opening up. And I guess it IS normal to feel hurt and disappointed by the way things seem to be going down. Which brings me to your second point: I would LOVE to talk to him about it. But he seems to be unwilling to give me the opportunity. He seems to be avoiding me and even when he does interact with me, he prefers to do so in the presence of others. I've made a few attempts to get him alone. I tried calling him thinking that maybe we could talk about it on the phone and that would eliminate his discomfort about touching but he didn't answer. This is part of the mixed signals issue.

So, until I can talk to him, I'm giving up. I hope that by talking to him we can develop some mutual respect and establish a baby foundation for a true friendship.

onely said...

Is there anyone here who reads this site who *IS* 100 percent Singlutionary? Not me! Don't beat yourself up. Just because he's on some kind of sexless quest doesn't give him an excuse to send you (what seem to be) mixed signals. Good for you for knowing just how much of that emotional hoopla you can take, and knowing when to back off. Hey it was an interesting experiment not many of us have tried!! Thanks for being our guinea pig. = )


Susan Walsh said...

Singlutionary, I guess I'll have to be the first one to say it. A man choosing to abstain from sex for 18 years is rare. Really, really rare. Lochness Monster rare. I was hopeful you could be the key to unlock whatever it is that has him all closed up, but that's an unfair burden to place on you. It seemed like he could be a really great friend, and it sounds like you'd be happy to have that at this point. But asking you out on a date with family is intimate. Sitting at the other end of the couch is not intimate, and I can see why it hurt your feelings. This is Rain Man behavior! I commend you for being generous and open-minded. You let him in, opened up and he was not able. Just not able. I'm so sorry you experienced those feelings of rejection. He is a complete and total idiot, as far as I'm concerned.

The Singlutionary said...

Christina and Susan: Glad to be the guinea pig to the loch-ness monster! You both crack me up!

I am glad everyone agrees that sitting at the opposite end of the sofa is slightly inappropriate.

He did wave at me today so I guess we still have a shot at friendship (from across the parking lot at least)!

Clever Elsie said...

Oh, I see what you mean now! Gah! Avoiding you? Refusing to pick up the phone? Waving from across the parking lot? That's not cool at all! :(

Something seems to have spooked him, but whatever it is, you don't deserve that kind of treatment. It's confusing, inappropriate, and maybe even immature. Whatever is going on in his head, if he can't bring himself to communicate it, it's going to be hard for him to have a successful friendship, much less a relationship. So sorry to hear that he turned out to be this way!