About six months ago, I had to move to the other side of the country for a new job. My now ex-boyfriend and I decided to try out the long distance relationship thing, but then he told me that he would never move to be with me. We kind of floundered for a few weeks after that, then had an ugly, terrible fallout, and I stopped talking to him.
We haven’t spoken since then, despite his attempts to contact me.
Losing him has really messed me up. I was crazy about this guy. I know this is probably going to sound silly, but I really do think he was pretty much perfect. He had this incredible super hero jaw line, a wonderful smile, gorgeous eyes, and had the body of a Greek god. He was smart, funny, and unbelievably sweet. He was the nicest, most helpful person I’ve ever met in my life. We liked all the same movies, TV shows, music, books, food…and the sex was insane. I never had an orgasm until I met him. He was so fucking perfect he didn’t even have morning breath when we would wake up together. I swear, our relationship was like something out of a romance novel. I thought we were going to get married and be together forever.
I’m in therapy and on antidepressants now, because breaking up with him left me in such a mess (like “almost getting fired from my new job” sort of mess). But I’ve been trying to do the usual stuff to help get over a breakup: staying busy, deleting Facebook, hitting the gym, etc., etc. Also, being in a new city where I know no one, I’ve been going to social events to try and make new friends, which has been going well, all things considered. And…I guess I should mention that most of these events have been kinky and BDSM related events because…I am kinky and into BDSM.
I’ve been meeting lots of guys at these social events, and a few of them have asked me out, or asked me to play with them. I usually stand there and quietly compare them to my ex before politely turning them down. Which is very clearly and obviously a sign that I should not be involved with anyone right now beyond platonic friendship.
A few weeks ago, though, I was at another one of these events, and started chatting up with this guy who was super cute. He has this big, contagious grin, and his eyes would light up so bright when he would find out we both liked the same obscure TV show or comic book or whatever. He was one of the first people to make me laugh really hard since I moved here.
We friended each other on Fetlife (a kinky social media website) the day after we met, and he sent me a message asking me out shortly thereafter. I wrote him back, explaining I not interested in dating anyone, but if he wanted to hang out as friends, that would be super cool!
He never responded to that message, but we’ve seen each other at a few more events since then and…I just get the butterflies something terrible when he’s around. He’s just so funny and sweet and so full of passion and life. I mean, he sang to me the other night in front of a bunch of people and it was all I could do to not swoon into his arms. We’ve spent some time talking about our kinks and fetishes and they line up so nice. And what I think is most important is that when we’re hanging out, I don’t sit there and compare him to my ex.
But part of me is worried that we’ll start dating, and then a bunch of old feelings about my ex will resurface. Or I’m worried that this guy will just be a rebound for me, and that doesn’t seem fair to him. Ooorrrr…you know, I start dating him, and nothing bad happens, and it helps me get over my ex more quickly, and everything will just be awesome.
I dunno. What do you think, Captain?
Whips and Chains Hurt Less Than Heartbreak
Dear Whips & Chains:
If you don’t feel ready, give it some more time, but I think the script you’re looking for when the time is right is “I think I’d like that date now, is the offer still open?”
And if weird feelings come, let them come. We all compare the new people we date to our exes, unfavorably or favorably. Whatever your ex had going on (and he sounds hot) he had one major thing wrong with him as a partner for you. That thing is huge, that thing is unfixable, and maybe you can reframe your thoughts about him to take that thing into account more and puncture this image of him as perfect: He didn’t want to be with you. He didn’t choose to move with you. And you didn’t choose to stay where he was. When it came down to it, you didn’t choose each other. You’re not actually speaking to him right now (which is healthy, I think, but also kind of what we might call an indicator). That’s not “you are the perfect person for me,” that’s “you were a beautiful partner for as long as it lasted, farewell.” Try out that perspective for a while and see how it fits. Ticking all of the ticky boxes of things in common, chemistry, etc. that you want in a partner is great, but there’s no substitute for enthusiastic presence in your life. If he were so perfect for you, you’d still be together.
Seeing the things to like in this new dude is the healing process at work. Time is doing its work. You getting out there and meeting people is doing its work. Also, a date is not a relationship. A date is not THE ENTIRE FUTURE. A date is not a promise. A date is a few hours in the company of someone where there is some spark of possibility of future romantic or sexy connection there. “Dating” in the early stages means trying out somebody’s company to see if you like it and want more. I think (with the serenades and talking about kinks) you are already kind of sort of doing that, without the label. Great! You don’t know if he’s the “perfect match” or whatever for you, but you do know that he likes you, expresses it clearly, and keeps being nice to you after being turned down for a date. These are good qualities. Take your time and enjoy yourself and the company of this new maybe friend/maybe lover.
So I recently met this guy, and in the span of a week we’ve hung out about 4-5 times. We’ve been out on dates and i’ve met his friends, I can tell he’s interested, just by his body language, and I don’t think he would keep making plans with me if he weren’t, but, he has yet to make a move! The only “move” he’s made is a super awkward hug. Captain, I’m not trying to say that I just want to jump his bones, but, I would like to seriously know if he’s interested, i’m having the most difficult time reading him! The past men I’ve been with recently ended up being complete tools, and they all made it very clear they were into me, especially because the majority of the time we made out on the first date. But, it’s been a week, we talk every day, we’ve hung out about 4 times, yet he still hasn’t made any move. Am I just over-thinking this? Or is this man just not into me? Or is it too early to tell?
Help me captain!
Do you like him enough to want to put your face on his face? If you know that, it’s 2014. Make the move yourself. “I’d really like to kiss you. Would you be up for that?”
If you don’t know that you like him enough to risk putting yourself out there in that way, then probably he doesn’t, either, and another week or so is needed to gather information.