Monday, September 10, 2007

"I already feel as though I've compromised your blog integrity."

This is what Ms. K said to me as we sat in the back garden of a Cobble Hill restaurant last Tuesday evening. "I already feel as though I've compromised your blog integrity." We had been talking about life, the direction our nascent relationship was taking, and the tough position of being scrutinized by fellow blog readers.

"I understand," I offered sympathetically, "that it must be hard being a passive witness in a story that you're a character in. Why don't you add comments to my blog posts?"

"Besides the fact that I can't comment on your blog with the iPhone, I already feel as though I've compromised your blog integrity. Do you not want me to read? Because I can stop reading," she conceded. "Or you can write like I'm not reading."

He words weren't bitter, but honest. We had spent the last couple of days together -- our longest stretch to date -- and it was nice to sit there in the fading late summer light under a pergola while having an honest conversation. Of course I still wanted her to read my blog; I'd feel like an asshole for telling her to stop. But the truth of the matter is that I haven't written as much as I would have normally because she is reading.

The thing is that I'm starting to develop feelings for Ms. K. I guess it was inevitable -- we have been seeing each other for almost a couple of months -- but I have tried hard to remain aloof and walled. Maybe this makes me sound like a jackass, but I have secretly relished being in the position of power because I have never been in this position before. I've also wanted to protect my heart since I have a bad habit of meeting people who run roughshod all over it.

This is new territory for me, everyone. To date someone for more than a month? To date someone who is seemingly not retarded? To date someone who seems genuinely into me and is emotionally available? Needless to say my brain isn't quite sure what to do. Isn't this the point where she disappears on me or drops some bombshell on me or tells me that she only wants to be friends?

What kind of got my brain thinking of the possibilities of Ms. K and I was our conversation -- or rather her question -- as to how I would feel if she were dating other people. Though she didn't mean it this way, I read her remark at first as something like, I like you, but I also like keeping my options open. Or worse, I like dating multiple people because that's how I roll. Instead she meant it, I think, as a way to gauge my feelings. How would you feel if I was dating someone else?

After the confusion was cleared up, I had a hard time answering the question -- hard because I wasn't ready to own up to my feelings. She was calling me on my aloofness and my mix signals and the Scorpio in me was squirming under the spotlight. But after a few days thinking about her question, I am starting to realize that I would have a problem if she was dating other people.

Damn, there goes my heart.


Ro said...

"Damn, there goes my heart."

you can say that again!

Good to know that after all that excessive over processing the heart wins over the brain (and astrology for that matter).

Seems as though your risk is worth the dividends. Good for you!

Just don't forget to blog...

Anonymous said...

Both of you are evidently carrying emotional baggage, if the only way to ascertain feelings is by measuring relative possessiveness, or if you only react when she 'calls you on aloofness.'

What a question to ask, by way of testing feelings, "How would you feel if I was dating someone else?" There are more important questions to ask:

Is there reciprocal kindness? Do you make each other happy? Is there a track record of trustworthiness? Do you have common values? Are there good reasons as to why you are keeping aloof? Do you doubt the validity of your reasons because you feel guilty? Hoe much does a fear of regret or loneliness factor into your attachment?

My father once advised me that the only way to establish a healthy gay relationship is to find another person with an equal, if not better, support system. The logic is that it takes two healthy people to make one healthy relationship - if not as a start, as a common goal. Trust your instincts and your good friends.

yelena said...

I just wanted to defend the question about dating someone else. Sometimes, when there's no stated commitment, that's the question that makes you lean one way or the other. Isn't that what monogamous commitment is: not wanting your partner/yourself to be with anyone else? I can imagine poly folks saying yes to all the above questions without concluding that they should be exclusive.

On the other hand, those questions are incredibly important when thinking about any kind of relationship, don't get me wrong. But maybe a bit premature, given that things are still casual, right? The primal "it makes me cringe to think of you with anyone else" reaction is its own kind of indicator, and not necessarily an unhealthy one.

Anyway, good for you for being more open and vulnerable! That's a huge step.

Anonymous said...

I don't think primal or impulsive reactions are useful indicators on their own. (Many regrettable decisions are made on impulse reactions.) And asking the wrong questions, or listening to unqualified advice, can lead to unproductive processing.

Reality has a way of asserting itself, however. If there are real reasons as to why you are hesitating, but romantic reasons that compel you to ignore risk - this relationship will be a lesson one way or another.

Confused judgments are often resolved by romantic notions of gut, instinct, feeling, love, insecurity, etc. Keep in mind, too, that there will always be more people who will compel you to do as you feel rather than as you think. It is a tendency common enough to inspire that amusing Colbert concept of 'truthiness.' Or to paraphrase Descartes, 'I feel therefore I am.'

Ro said...

Socrates would be rather appropriate at this moment: the only thing I know is that I know nothing.

Your argument seems real, but my gut tells me it's a little fluffy.

Those impulsive reactions you speak of, they're called learning. But you probably knew that already.

Love is a feeling, period. You balance it with your mind, in order to have some semblance of coherence within reality.

Still, there is nothing like being in love, nothing like having someone be spontaneous, for an instant, and show you how much they 'feel' for you. Grey matter cannot do this. Have you been in love?

The questions you mention are valid, but the bloggers quandary refers to the more basic and initial 'do I like her enough to go to the next stage?'

May I suggest you brush up on the fine art of conversation. After all, Socrates said it best.

Sally said...

I keep reading and enjoying your blog, and I think if you are starting to feel something more than "just another date", then give it a try! There is nothing better than to fall in love! And if it is little by little, even better! Take your time. so what if she reads you? I would take it as a compliment! On the other hand I totally understand you. As a fellow Scorpio, I say go for it! Is just another step.