Sunday, January 18, 2015

Crazed > Desire

What first sparked my lust for Jon was an incredibly powerful exchange of extended eye contact the third time we met.  Because he hadn't really been on my radar until that moment, I was stunned - and incredibly turned on - when his eyes reached deep inside me and held me captive.

The incident was so exhilarating, and so deeply erotic, that afterward I wondered if what I felt was fantasy.  But over the course of several more meetings, our eyes kept meeting and lingering, and he said and did things that seemed to imply he was interested in me.

One of the more provocative things he did was tell me about the sexual relationship he had with a male friend in high school.  He explained that their cue to each other when they wanted to fool around was to raise their eyebrow.  That was all it took; no words.

When he told me that story I wondered if he was being clever.  He obviously knew about our numerous incidents of provocative eye contact.  Why not play the same non-verbal game with me that he did with his high school friend?

But then there were other things he did that were dismissive.  For example, a short time after he told me about his high school friend I gave him my contact information, yet he never contacted me.  And the last time I saw him, I asked if he was planning to stay longer at the party we were attending, and he said he was, but instead he left minutes later without saying goodbye.

The last three months have been a long and frustrating roller coaster ride with Jon.  I'm constantly wondering if I'm delusional or if he's genuinely interested in me. Unfortunately, I haven't seen him in more than a month and I have no idea when I'll see him again.

Well, a few days ago I thought of a great excuse to email him (and not seem like a stalker since I got his address from a mutual friend and not directly from him).  Given the uncertainty of the situation I played it safe in my email, except for one double-entente, flirtatious sentence.

His reply was polite, much in the same way a co-worker's would be.  He did not respond to my flirtatious sentence, instead he ignored it.  And he let our email conversation drop after just one exchange.  So now I have my answer; actions really do speak louder than words.  He's not interested.  I get it.

What I don't get are all his flirtatious non-verbal signals.  I did not imagine them.  Jon's a smart guy.  When he stares into my eyes, he knows what he's doing.  I suppose there's a chance that such intense eye contact is not sensual for him, but that seems unlikely.  

What frustrates me is that I try very hard to avoid these kinds of disappointing situations. I always assume no one is interested in me until their actions prove otherwise.  Jon's actions, including telling me about his high school friend, were unquestionably suggestive.  Did he lead me on?  Or am I fool?  Some of both, probably.

Anyway, what matters now is not how this experience turned out, but how I deal with it.  

One of the major reasons I've been celibate for more than two years is that I can't take rejection.  When I reach out to someone and they ignore or dismiss me, it cuts me to the core and spawns a multi-week cyclone of depression and self-hatred. If I was 14, that kind of response would be normal, but since I'm 48, it's pathetic.

Once again and true to form, as soon as I realized that Jon was not interested in me, I plunged into depression.  I cursed every aspect of my life, then hated myself even more for being so immature.  The self-loathing was very intense, probably made all the worse because I had several months to figure this out without making this mistake.

After falling into the pit of negativity and self-hate, I really thought I was going to be stuck there for weeks.  But much to my surprise, by mid-morning of the following day I was already feeling better.  My mood improved even more once I realized that my relatively quick bounce-back implied that, maybe, I could try dating again.

I wish I knew what caused my state of mind to shift from negative to positive so abruptly, but I honestly have no clue.  Exercise might be a factor.

Unfortunately, the good news of feeling more motivated to date again was quickly eclipsed.  Something Gabbie did the next day soured that hard-won taste of happiness.  I'll share what happened in my next post.


  1. What I've found in my limited experience, in trying to date, is that for most guys, the end objective of dating or flirting isn't the same for me.

    While your objective is to find a suitable partner, long term style, Jon's objective may have simple been to have someone acknowledge his advances. He got what he wanted, and can move on to the next round with someone else. Unfortunately I think you guys were competing in different races together. You're in the marathon and he's dong the 100 meter dash. You were just at the same starting line together.

    Some guys (and girls for that matter) just like to flirt. They have no intention of carrying it further.

    1. That's a real good way of putting it! And I think the problem is the same person doesn't always flirt for the same outcome every time. That's why you get guys on apps saying they don't do hookups but then they suddenly hit you up for one and then dismiss you the next day.

    2. I wish I could fucking spell, or at least proof read my comments before I publish. Gee whiz. I meant "simply" and "doing" although "simple dong" has a certain ring to it.

    3. Thanks Jack and Bruce, you might be right. I know he has struggled to accept his attraction to men, but he also said he felt like he recently turned a corner by coming out to his ex-wife, sister and parents.

      I don't know what's actually going on in his head but I prefer to believe he's personally rejected me. It's easier in the long-run that way. I don't want to be pining for someone who SAYS they have their shit together when they really don't. Also, if I think of it as a personal rejection I get to practice my ability to bounce back.

    4. Agree completely with all of the above. He really might not even know that you had such a big crush on him at all.

  2. I think you need closure to this situation as you are still not entirely sure that he is not interested. Everyone reacts differently in these situations and until you ask him if he is interested, you will never know. Many times throughout life we all get wrapped up in our assumptions that we may be missing out on some really good stuff. Think about: what if, what if, what clearly are strong enough to handle the rejection if it goes there...go for the closure either way!

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Anonymous! I get your point about not making assumptions and in many circumstances I would agree. In this case, for my own mental health, I need closure. Jon has been on my mind far too much over the past three months.

      On a more positive note, Jon and I will continue to be friends and we will still see each other. I'm firmly putting him in my friend zone but if he ever says he's interested in a date I probably would (very enthusiastically) say yes.

      Essentially, the ball's in his court from now on.

  3. The ball is in his court and you'll continue to be friends. That's probably the best way to leave it right now. You've put the hook out there and he didn't bite.

    I'm sorry this one didn't work out. Yet.

    Have you ever rejected someone? Of course you have. Did you think those people were total losers? Of course not. You just didn't "feel it" and move forward with them. It seems you feel totally different when the person rejected is you. Rejection is part of this process -- you know don't lose sleep over it.

    Keep him as a friend. Things may change.

    Btw, interesting article on NPR last week about rejection therapy.

  4. Accept that he was probably just feeling validated by your interest. He seemed to be a guy with a lot of issues like saying he's straight but hanging out with gay men at gay bars. You are better off without another confusing relationship.

    Be patient with yourself. Though you experimented when you were younger, these past few years are the first times that you have actually sought out a relationship with another man. Give it time. The things that you are experiencing, the emotional turmoil, the fascination, etc. are normal and human. Remember that you are still developing and in some ways, you resemble a younger person going through the ups and downs of the dating scene because you underdeveloped your gay side for so long. It will get better.