Time for another Catch Up post, but there’s a lot to say, so there will be some follow-up posts later.
First, I broke it off with Roman. While he’s a great man and has many of the qualities that scream Perfect Mate to me, we had some incompatibilities I could no longer overlook. I was really hoping he was mature enough to see and understand my desire to no longer be his girlfriend but still remain friends. Alas, I was disappointed. Again. I don’t know how much y’all are interested in my ramblings, so I’ll write what is most important and let you ask questions in the comments, ‘k?
The first 8 months were amazing! Because of my past with abusive relationships (and his, as well) I was cautious. I started difficult conversations, brought up all the “unspoken agreement” bullshit people take for granted that later ends up being all in their own head and not at all what their potential mate had in mind. I wanted to be sure the man standing before me was actually who he said he was before making any sort of commitment.
We appeared to share the same views on a wide range of important things and I was hopeful. We discussed Open Relationships and what that might look like very early on. We both were in favor. Neither one of us believed one person should be another’s Everything unless both parties agreed. I told him I was sick and fucking tired of becoming a man’s sex slave the moment we agreed to become exclusive. I said it more than once. I told him it was a Deal Breaker to treat me like a whore and expect me to just swallow that shit sandwich and be quiet about it. I was very clear, using words that I spoke out loud from my mouth into his ear holes. He appeared to be listening.
And then one day, he admitted he was seeing and having sex with another woman.
Wait, I better explain my experience on this particular subject:
I was taught from a very young age that girls date only one boy at a time. To do otherwise made you a slut and no man would ever want to marry you. I was indoctrinated with the classic Fairy Tale beliefs – my knight would come, he would be damaged but the sheer force of my love would make him whole again and we would live Happily Ever After once he realized his full potential. I know, right? How many of you were raised to believe the same? Don’t lie, now – it’s everywhere.
Since we were not committed, I didn’t mind. At all. Really. BUT I was not seeing anyone else because Dudes are possessive and most of them have a OPP (One Penis Policy), which means they’re totally fine with the woman in their life dating other women (hey, can I watch? is a popular refrain) but they are not “allowed” to date another person who has a penis. No matter what. It’s like once their penis has been inside a woman, that woman becomes their possession. For life. I don’t understand the entitlement behind that belief, but there ya go – it’s pervasive and every man I’ve ever had a relationship with has felt the same way. Granted, I haven’t had that many relationships, but every single one of the men I’ve known, has made his belief very clear. Of course, many of them cheated on me, proving the double standard, but that’s neither here nor there.
Shit, this is gonna get long…apologies…
I’ll skip a bunch of stuff that doesn’t have much bearing on this post for the sake of your poor eyeballs, reading and reading, and reading.
So I went out with another man. Had sex with him. It was good. Neither of us was looking for anything official, just a good time with a pleasant companion. I did not tell Roman I was going out with someone else until after the fact (and the dozen bullshit texts demanding to know where I was) and he lost his shit. When I pointed out that he didn’t inform me before he went out with another woman, why should I have to tell him where I am every minute? We lived 45 minutes away from each other, FFS! I didn’t demand he account for every minute we were apart and I resented his assumption that I would keep him informed. Nuh-uh. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, dammit!
So, he begged me to tell him what I was doing, so he could think about it and wrap his head around it.
“What’s to think about?” I asked. “You’re trying to hold me to a double standard and I won’t have it.”
He badgered and pleaded and whined until I gave in and told him I would be seeing the Other Guy again. Then Roman had the nerve to impose a bunch of “rules” on my time with OG. He said he needed me to grant him some concessions so he wouldn’t feel like I was leaving him. I sighed. I did my best, but his conditions proved impossible to follow. I’ll admit I should have told him no. I probably should have ended it right there – jealousy is an ugly emotion and he had no right to meddle in my relationship with another person. Remember we hadn’t agreed to be exclusive and he was seeing someone else.
After the second date with OG, Roman begged me to be exclusive, “just for a couple of months” so he could process his emotions and move forward. He was sincere, or so I thought. I agreed we could be exclusive “for a couple of months” because I thought he would open his eyes and understand he was forcing me into a Double Standard that I was not going to accept. Up ’til then, you would have sworn he was a feminist and believed in equality. He said he understood people (him) could have relationships with more than one person, but he really didn’t like me doing it. HE felt threatened, therefore I had to change my behavior. Another classic double standard.
That weekend was good. Roman seemed relieved to not have to think about me out with another man. He was affectionate and we had (more) amazing sex. I drove home feeling content, thinking ahead to the day we would open our relationship again – he just needed some time to catch up to me emotionally, I told myself. I relied on the words he said to me, out loud, to be the truth.
I went down to see him the following weekend and got a nasty surprise. Well, it wasn’t something I’d never experienced before, but I was shocked that Roman would suddenly turn into every man I’ve ever had an extended relationship with – he stopped all foreplay. ALL FOREPLAY. No more kissing on the couch, holding hands, stolen caresses walking around town, nothing. Oh, he got sex, alright – I figured I “owed” him some extra affection after the previous weekend when he’d been so upset. Right? Tell me you’ve never done that. If you’re a woman, you’ve done that – given the man a quickie because you knew it would improve his mood and if you didn’t he’d turn into a whiney-baby and make your life miserable.
“Okay,” I thought, “he’s obviously going thru some stuff so I won’t be demanding. We’ll be fine.”
Nope. It took almost 18 months to sort out what it was about – turns out he uses Great Sex to get what he really wants, which is intimacy. Once I agreed to be exclusive, “love & affection” were supposed to be the most important things in our relationship. Of course, he never told me that, just started treating me like a blow-up sex doll – he still got his orgasms, but I got nothing. Actually, less than nothing because he started waking me up in the wee hours of the morning for a quickie and that’s all that was on offer. Yes, I did initiate, and on 7 occasions over the next 20 months I got a “cookie” and he acted like I should kiss his feet afterwards. Whores get paid, ya know?
I did not bring up my unhappiness in the moment, but I did take note of the sequence of events. A couple of weeks after our agreement, a series of Stressful Things happened in his life and I felt it was my duty to be there for him and not bitch about the lack of partnership in bed – kinda felt like it would be kicking him when he’s down, right? So I did what countless women do – I gritted my teeth and got on with it, hoping when the drama was over we could go back to what we had.
Nope. He said one day, “I finally feel healthy! Like my life is going well.”
Great! It’s my turn now, right? I let it all out – told him of my resentment that I became a sex toy less than a week after we agreed to be exclusive, that I felt like I wasn’t even in the room when he was getting his rocks off, that I could be anybody or nobody at all, that this was not what I signed up for and I wasn’t happy. I gave examples. I offered potential solutions. He swore he didn’t think of me as a sex toy, that I was important to him, that he was sorry and would do better in future.
Wonderful, right? Except he did nothing. I knew I’d upset him, but I’d tried to be diplomatic, apologized for waiting so long to tell him (but also told him he had enough to worry about, which is why it took so long for me to speak up) used language that was not generally considered a Boner Killer* and tried my best to keep my frustration from showing.
He did nothing. By the time I was finished talking, he’d just shut down. Everything went on as before, not even a hint that we’d ever had a conversation, so after 2-3 months, I brought it up again. He told me my conversational style was hurtful and I should work on that. Everything went on as before, so after another 2-3 months, I brought it up yet again. More excuses, more denials, more apologies while telling me I needed to work on myself.
Okie-dokie! I’d been here before, but this time there would be no backing down. I brought it up one more time, after checking the calendar to confirm I’d first broached the subject a fucking year earlier. That’s right, I’d given him a whole year to make it right, and now felt I’d wasted that year. Sure, we had fun, but I felt we were nothing more than friends, except he got to fuck me a couple of times a week. I was still waiting for the light bulb to go on inside his head, and I was obviously waiting in vain.
I brushed aside his argument about how he “doesn’t like change” by pointing out I wasn’t asking for anything that wasn’t freely given for eight solid months, I wasn’t asking for any special treatment, I just wanted to be in the room when he fucked me. He was offended. He was hurt. The more he stammered around in circles, the more angry I got.
I spent one last weekend at his place. I told him sex was off the table. He gave me a condescending look and said, “you know, I thought about not having sex with you for awhile, to see if it would snap you out of this mood…” and I almost punched him in the face. That was it for me.
I went home, too angry to speak. He came over the following Tuesday, as was his usual habit and I told him, “I don’t want to be your girlfriend any more.”
He was stunned! Shocked! Confused! Horrified I’d invited him over just to break up with him! I had blindsided him! He left in a hurry but started texting me later. He just couldn’t get over how this happened! It was out of the blue! You can bet I saw red when I texted back:
“How can you possibly be confused? I’ve been telling you I’m unhappy FOR A FUCKING YEAR!”
More back and forth, him asking how I can just “give up all this” at the snap of my fingers and more bullshit along the same lines. I said we could be friends. He said it was too “painful” to be friends with me if I “wouldn’t have him.” WTF-ever. I’m good enough to fuck, so long as it’s only him who gets that privilege, but access to my body on demand is the price of his friendship? Oh, fuck no!
AND THEN, he started looking at all of my profiles online and found one that listed me as single. He tried to make an issue of it, because, of course, if I didn’t want to be with HIM, it meant (obviously) I had someone else, because, as we all know, a woman’s Default Setting is “Fucking Someone” so he’d be totally off the hook for my “sullen mood,” right?
Oh, hell no! If he’d been in the room with me he would have seen my head explode through the cloud of smoke rising off his burning flesh as my eyes seared all the meat from his bones. Fuck that. I told him our breakup was totally his doing – I had already explained my reasons, and if he was determined to find some fantasy reason to salve his ego he was welcome to it – I was done with him and all men! Finito!
There was the usual exchanging of the things and he behaved badly, cementing my decision for the break-up – if a man can’t treat me like a living, breathing human being ALL THE TIME, including in the sack, well, I’m outta there!
Here’s the deal for me – one of the perks of being in a relationship is good sex on the regular with someone you care for and who cares for you, who knows your body and is concerned that everyone has a good time, right? Men take this for granted – of course he’s gonna get laid, or he’ll go elsewhere. As women, we’re taught that if your man strays it’s because you didn’t satisfy him at home. Women, on the other hand, are just supposed to take what’s given and don’t complain or he’ll leave. Right? Fuck that! I refuse to be in a sexless relationship where I’m expected to meet all of his needs while ignoring or denying my own. I’ve spent 35 fucking years practicing serial monogamy, subjugating MY needs for his. Over and over and over. I finally came to the realization that it doesn’t work for me. In each and every case, the relationship was great, and then I agreed to be monogamous (even though I’d been dating only one man at a time because dudes are squinchy about it) that was the end of satisfying, two-way sex until I finally got fed up and left. Or caught them cheating. Or doing enormous quantities of drugs. Maybe that last part is just my personal experience.
I know he was following my blog (that whole Honesty Thing again – I told him about the blog early on so he wouldn’t freak out about it) and if you’re reading here, Roman, don’t contact me. That little text you sent about the Hulu not working and being almost out of soap? Yeah, I deleted that – I don’t share streaming services or my handmade soap with people who aren’t my friends. Tell “Vickie” to pay for her own fucking Hulu. Lose my number, ‘k? Thx.
So there you have it.
Wait. I am dating, but you can bet I won’t be dating anyone exclusively, no matter what they say about being a feminist and equal rights and “it’s kinda hot to think of you with another man…” It’s all bullshit and I won’t be eating that sandwich again.
More updates to follow, hopefully with a bit less navel gazing, although if you can’t bitch about your own life on your own blog, what are they even for?
*Just an aside – why the fuck are women in charge of men’s erections? It’s our fault when they get them, it’s our fault when they don’t, we’re expected to just fall on it whenever we see it, and squeal with glee at our good luck and on and on. Do read that link up there for the discussion we all should be having.