I’ve already written about what happened that weekend, so I won’t bore you with the details again. I only wrote about how Rose and I stopped seeing each other, but not why. We were together on Friday night, joking and asking each other questions. She asked me what the craziest thing I’d ever done sexually was.
“I got a blowjob from a guy once,” I told her. I explained what happened in the days before she and I started talking. After our cruise on Sunday morning, Rose told me that what I’d told her made her feel uncomfortable, and that it was a red flag she couldn’t ignore. It really was a blow that came from nowhere. I really liked Rose and it felt like everything was going great until it suddenly wasn’t. I made choices for myself before I was seeing Rose, and now she was making choices for herself based on the decisions I made. It sucked, but I don’t regret anything I’ve done or that I was honest when I answered the question.
I do want to address one of the questions she asked me. Her major concern was, if we built a more serious relationship, I might realize that what I wanted was to be with a man, and leave her at some undetermined date in the future after we’d been together for a long time. She wanted to know if I was actually bisexual. I answered her: “I don’t care enough to have even thought about that.” And that is the truth.
Am I straight or gay or bisexual? I don’t fucking care. For me, who or what makes me orgasm has zero impact on how I think about myself, my identity or any other aspect of my life. Defining sexuality for myself or others is really uninteresting to me. I don’t care who you fuck. I don’t really care who I fuck in any existential or identity-based way- whatever. I know what I want in any given moment, and I don’t see the point in situating that into some sort of narrative or definition. Again, whatever
That’s what made ending things with Rose so difficult, because I knew what I wanted. I want a family again. I want to get married again. I want to have another child. I want to build a home based in love, communication, commitment and sex. I was beginning to see Rose as the woman I could have those things with someday. Maybe that was premature, but I don’t think so, because I know she felt the same way. Her fear wasn’t that I was going to leave her tomorrow, but in five years. She wanted to be there for that time.
I wrote some bad poetry about the end (and so did she, except that hers was actually good), and did my best to start moving on. As usually happens, we vacillated between talking and not talking for a couple of weeks. My ex-girlfriend Amber was crucial in this moment, and she’s been one of my best friends and sources of advice in my dating travails. She gave me a great piece of advice regarding Rose- don’t be a fake friend, a guy that’s just hanging around, hoping to weasel my way back into her pants. I took that advice seriously, and when Rose asked me if I wanted to still be friends, I told her, “Sure, but I’m going to be the friend who’s trying to fuck you.”
“I want to fuck you too,” she said. “Won’t that make things complicated?”
“Let’s find out,” I said. So we fucked.
That was probably the best “angry sex” I’ve had. We kicked each other’s asses. It was the longing for someone you truly like and hadn’t seen in weeks, combined with the frustration we were both feeling about the end of an otherwise budding relationship, with a hefty amount of “You fuck good, so fuck me good now” thrown in.
But I digress. Yes, fucking as friends made things complicated. All the same feelings were there. All the “good morning” texts. All the cuddling. All the phone calls. We were still dating, even though we said we weren’t. That was too much for Rose, and she was afraid that being friends with benefits would eventually lead to love, and potentially to the future that she wanted to avoid. She wanted to stop being physical and strictly be platonic friends.
This time I said no. I’m more than willing to be friends with my exes and women that I’ve slept with. But I still had very strong feelings for Rose. I didn’t want to bury those feelings under the veneer of friendship, because I still wanted to kiss her forehead every time I saw her. I was still trying to learn to let go of relationships which were at their end, but I was also trying to learn to value myself, ask for what I wanted and walk away when that ask wasn’t being met. I wasn’t looking for a new friend. I was looking for a wife. It turned out that wasn’t Rose, so I had to move on.
Don’t get me wrong. Moving on is very hard for me. I move fast and already I was imagining what our apartment would look like when we stopped talking. I even reached out to her again to say Happy Thanksgiving with one of those “plausible deniability” texts- of course I wasn’t fishing, I was just wishing you a happy holiday! Other than that, we haven’t spoken. I was sad for all of November and most of December, and I felt pretty silly about that. Why was I so broken up over a woman I’d only dated for two months? But I had to stop judging myself for the way I was feeling. Who cares why it hurt so much. The fact is that it did, and it’s okay to acknowledge that and feel it.
I’ve been feeling that hurt a lot less lately, which is bittersweet. That means that I’m finally over Rose, which is good, but it also means that it’s over for real, which is a little sad. This essay is the end, and while it’s not the one I envisioned back in August, it’s the one I’ve arrived at.
Besides, this is exactly what I’d done to Adaku. We haven’t spoken since that phone call either. It’s quite something, the way you can give yourself to a person in such a short amount of time, and then never speak to them again. Love is a cruel process, and unless you’re one of the lucky ones who marries their first love, you’re in for more failure than success. Dump and be dumped. The circle of life continues.
2018 has been an amazing year in many ways. I learned so much about myself and others, in both the professional and the romantic sense. I took my first real dive into the dating pool, and after some wonderful and painful experiences, I’m still treading water. As 2019 dawns in just a few short hours, I hope that I can take these lessons forward and find exactly what I’m looking for. I hope that I was as good to the women I’ve met as they have been to me. I hope for more good experiences to feel the pleasure, and more bad experiences to have something to write about.
And I hope that you’re still going to plays, Rose.