Happiest I’ve Ever Been Single – Calm Introspection

I don’t think I’ve ever been this satisfied being single in my entire life. It’s true, in the last year I felt like I’ve learned so much about myself. I’ve really gotten into my climbing just a lot more, and I’m feeling quite comfortable just going to the climbing gym and climbing alone. I have some new hobbies that I just truly enjoy: streaming and DJing. Generally speaking, I just feel really comfortable on my own.

Last week, I was kind of flustered and frustrated coming back from a weekend trip out of town. I had invited a high school friend to come out with me, and looking back, I felt that I had a worse time. I brought out my DJ equipment and everything to DJ for my friends. The whole time that my high school friend was high that night he had demands every few minutes of me. I thought it was really rude of him to impose on me having a good time, though on the other hand. I felt robbed of a great party experience, and when I try to talk to him about it, he doesn’t think he did anything wrong. He just thinks that he was just being himself and acting out of being inebriated. So I’ve chosen to just take a step back from this high school friend.

There’s a few other things too about this high school friend. He’s most recently getting closer to my ex-boyfriend of four years, and it was not cool that he kept taking photos of me and sending it to a group chat that included my ex-boyfriend. Mature me knows that this isn’t really a situation to address, and it’s more so one to avoid altogether.

But yeah, I do feel like I have a different perspective now. I see being single as a joy. I can credit this to Zen Master also, it was just quite terrible being with him. I don’t think I’ve complained about anyone as much as I’ve complained about Zen Master. I think it’s really given me more perspective about what I want and what’s important to me. The one takeaway is that I really want someone that I can trust to make decisions for me. Someone whose critical thinking skills I trust. They don’t have to be on point all the time, but yeah that is something that is really important. If I cannot trust someone or if they don’t really have their shit together, then it makes things difficult to be in a relationship with this person. Because then their shit becomes your shit and I have enough to deal with as is.

I’ve been thinking way less about The Motivator. I credit this partly to the shrooms trip, and also to just simply not seeing him. Since he has moved out further and purchased his own car, it feels like he has also physically moved on. I did ask him to climb with me but he has said that he’s busy.

I’m unaffected by not seeing him, and in a way I feel like it’s good for me. I have some speculations that basically he probably still has a crush on the other girl in the group, though she’s probably turned him down. She was injured and so climbing with me was convenient because I am flexible and I offered a ride. My speculation is that since she is probably better now, he has decided to go back on that wagon.

I feel like I have so much more clarity on the situation with myself and The Motivator now. I can see why I fell so deeply for him, he showed me so much, at a time where I was so receptive to growth and learning. It’s natural that I associated all of these positive things in my life with him. And yes, I do give him credit for exposing me to these things, but it was me that made something out of it. I discovered how receptive I was during the covid lockdown this year. I picked up streaming and DJing on my own and with the influence of others in my life. Me finding things that I enjoy and truly embrace to make my own cannot be entirely attributed to him.

I also see how he has done me wrong also. He truly has downplayed the closeness of our relationship for his own benefit. His omissions such as when he talked about going to a certain high-end restaurant with a common friend, he’ll conveniently omit that we went together. His sudden declarations that we aren’t together. And even when it’s just the two of us together, he makes sure to let me know that he is not like me. He says certain things to make it seem like he’s absent minded about what has happened between us. In this way, he has wronged me.

I think that while it is acceptable to create distance and boundaries in the relationships that you have, it should be in done in a way that is consistent and respectful. So, in the example of me putting distance between myself and my high school friend, just spending less time with this person. I’m not going to try to be manipulative and manipulate this person into my life in ways that would benefit me more and then exclude or deny or downplay our relationship. This resulted in me feeling excluded and left out when The Motivator did this to me.

My relationship with The Motivator had clear benefits to him, and I was trying way too hard to just be accepted by him. I was aware that the joy that I found in that relationship is that I found joy in giving to The Motivator. I felt like it gave me purpose to make these elaborate meals for him, and then my reward was him enjoying the meals with me. It gave me a sense of accomplishment and I felt like it was a strive in being accepted by him, even if it was just for certain things in his life and not others.

I don’t regret doing these things for him or with him, and it truly did bring me joy in my own life. And I also can’t say that I’m sad about it either. I truly tried to find a way to connect with him both in the romantic sense and also in a platonic way, as a friend. I attributed these things that I have in my life to him, but I think I’m giving him too much credit there too.

I realize that The Motivator is different for sure. I mentioned before that I think he’s a sociopath, and I truly believe that he is still. He is pragmatic in his approach to being friends with me. He doesn’t simply dismiss me, because he sees the selfish benefits to being friends with me.

I thought so much about why he didn’t accept me, and that is probably rooted in my own personal trauma (not being accepted). As I think about my own annoyance with my high school friend, me being annoyed with him comes down to an issue with myself. I’m annoyed by him because I feel that he was being inconsiderate of me. I also voiced my requests with him, and expect that he would respect them, but he’s not willing to compromise in this way. He sees his actions as just him being himself. So when it comes down to it, I’m annoyed by my high school friend as a person. Beyond trying to convey where I am coming from, there’s not much I can do if he either isn’t trying to change or doesn’t want to change his behaviour. So then, I need to make a decision about whether I’d like for this person to be involved in my life in this way.

My long-winded point here is that I have to accept my high school friend for who he is. I’m not going to try to manipulate him to change (because I cannot), and I’m not going to try to manipulate the relationship so that I exploit him for my own benefits, yet exclude him from the parts of my life that he wants to be part of. And this is what I believe The Motivator did to me. He isn’t communicative of what it is that he is annoyed by or doesn’t voice why he feels we are incompatible. I do believe there are annoyances that he cannot look past, for just me being me, and that’s a problem with him. If he cannot even express it or feel that there’s no point in expressing these things, then there’s not much that I can do about that.

And yes, I do feel that it was wrong of him to knowingly receive benefits from the relationship (my generosity, convenience), knowing full well that I wanted to genuinely connect and be a part of his life and that he wasn’t ever going to open up in that way with me.

Often times when I was hanging out with him, it felt like the conversation was one-way, and also very forced. It felt like either I’m oversharing about myself or that I was prying into his life. I accepted this for just being the nature of the relationship that we have, but this is due to him just not being that open with me because he doesn’t want to share his life with me. And he would use the excuse that he doesn’t often share about himself, but whether or not this is true or not is beside the point. I opened up in this way to him, and he knew I wanted to connect with him in this way.

I can admit though that he can do whatever it is he does, and whether I feel like it was manipulative makes no difference. I knew full well that the joy that I received from that relationship was from trying to connect with him, and it truly was joyful. Now that I have had some time to take a step back from the relationship though, I do see how even though I feel joy from the interaction that it was not healthy for me. Subconsciously, I was reliving a trauma, and I just wanted to be accepted. I simply just did not understand why a man who has given me so much would not accept me in this way, especially when I’ve worked so hard to open up to him. This is my own problem and something that I have to work through myself.

He’s told me that he will be renewing his gym membership, and the original plan was that I’d also renew the membership at the same time so that we could climb together also. But I don’t know if I will.

At this point, I just don’t really have any incentive to continue our relationship (me and The Motivator) in the way that it is today. I might always enjoy his company, but there’s just no point in me going out of my way for it. The benefits of having a friend that doesn’t open up, is ashamed of his relationship with me, who downplays our relationship just isn’t worth it. I am okay to give this relationship some space now.

When he first pursued me, I wanted to be with him in a romantic way, and this lasted a long time, even after he stopped pursuing me. Once we established that we were not going to be in a relationship, I just wanted acceptance. I felt that we had a close connection, that we shared many things in common and I had a good time with him and it was difficult for me to understand that he didn’t feel the same way about me, even as just a friend. I’m finally okay with accepting that he will never accept me in his life as a close friend. I will always be just an acquaintance and that is his decision. On my side, I am okay now to just let the relationship of being acquaintances play out.

My shrooms trip and how it helped me reframe my narrative with The Motivator

So, I tried shrooms for the first time in my life last week and it was a good time.  I had my high school friend, aka also known as my emergency fuck come over to babysit me.  There was no fucking, I am so disinterested in him these day although we still have some good dialogue.  Anyway, I took the shrooms because I felt like I was in a good spot in my life, but on top of that I wanted some answers on what to do with my life and I heard it can help with that.  The actual trip itself was similar to being high on cannabis, but the high doesn’t allow your mind to drift to think about fantasies or others.  It’s very introspective and meditative in that it forces you think about yourself.  It did feel like a bit of a spiritual journey.  Did I like the high?  It was pleasant, but it felt like work.  It felt like my brain was working through things.

It was only about 1.5 days after that I started feeling much less anxious.  I didn’t realize how anxious I felt until I was relieved of it.  It could be a placebo effect, but I do think that it helped jolted my brain and in a sense reset the way I thought about things.

I’ve obviously been thinking a lot about The Motivator and his role in my life in the past year or so.  The thing is though, I create this narrative for him that isn’t the full truth.  When think about him, I create this very positive narrative that then allows him to be on this pedestal.  I like to think that the shrooms reset helped me disconnect some of these very strong connections that I had of him.  It gave me a more realistic viewpoint of what actually happened.  It allowed me to disassociate myself from what I told myself has happened between us, this one-side unrequited love story, and allowed me to see what actually happened.  I often forget that there were so many things about him that didn’t sit well with me also.

This became apparent when I saw him again most recently.  All these things that I would notice but just brush-off, I am connecting and associating these negative behaviours to him as a person now.  So a few things stood out from our recent outing to the gym.  I noticed that he would often lie about his memory.  He lies when it is convenient for him.  He clearly knows that my birthday recently passed, and he didn’t say anything about it.  I mentioned to him climbing while being hung over on new years day together, and he said he doesn’t remember.  Previously, he lied about forgetting about going to the put with me to watch a basketball game and then driving me home in his friend’s car.  To me, this was a moment that really defined our intimate relationship and although ingrained in me has seemingly been lost to him.  I think that it’s incredibly convenient for him to have forgotten these events.  There’s an argument in my mind that perhaps I put too much weight on these events, but at the same time, to forget that all of these sentimental moments happened between us seems too convenient.  I think that it’s shitty of him to try to portray himself as being forgetful as a way to avoid acknowledging that these things happened.  It’s really immature of him.

The other thing that happened is that he is very subtle at saying things to put blame on me, but he makes sure that I know.  For example, he tipped me off to him missing his brush (an essential tool that we use), and made sure to remind me that I removed it from his bag last.  The thing is that I didn’t want to remove his brush initially, but he insisted and then he even told me to put it on the bench.  I remember this distinctly, but somehow he had to remind me and put the blame on me.  Then, he pointed out that my chalk bag was leaking.  I closed the bag and he said he had seen some of the leak on his (new) car.  I apologized and said that I could help him clean it out of his car.  He said not to worry about it, but at the same time as I was about to leave his place he made me wait while he painstakingly removed his car liner and cleaned it.

I didn’t expect to be but I had taken too much edibles at my friend’s place prior to going to the gym and started feeling it at the gym, and even when we left I felt that I was inebriated.  I was slightly disappointed that he didn’t offer for me to sober up at his place.

At some point, this guy has developed some sort of disdain for me, and I honestly don’t know why that is, nor do I care.  I know that I’ve always shown that I cared for him.  I realize now that he’s probably a bit OCD and compensating for some social shortcomings.  He’s mentioned to me that he is very specific about not using the scrubby side of a sponge to clean his (not very expensive) cutlery.  That combined with me spilling some chalk in his car and him having to clean that up immediately.  He’s not overly tidy, but perhaps he’s got some specific quirks.  The fact is, he’s most certainly an odd one, and I am not responsible for making him feel turned off by me.  This is his own issue and it’s not one that I need to be particularly concerned about.

I realize that it’s easy for me to walk away from all of this, especially now since he has his own car and has decided that he will be climbing on his own.  Certainly, I will see him again, but now I have a much more realistic view of who he is.

I see clearly now that he’s not someone who believes in me, and that was most certainly the theme and lesson that I took away from my spiritual shrooms experience.  I need to surround myself with people who believe in me, who support me.  Sure, there are those who can provide you with constructive criticism so that you can better yourself, but the way that he critiques me is unfair and the way in which he behaves towards me makes him an ass.

My recent relationship with Zen Master also helped me see this in a different light.  I’m the one that rejected him.  I’m the one that is critical of him, but even then I feel like I tried to give him some very constructive feedback and help him be more self-aware.  Being on the side of things where you  have no answers as to why someone doesn’t want to be with you can be very hard.  This is exactly why with Zen Master, I did try to talk it out with him, and I tried to point out why he makes me feel a certain way.  It was only when the more we talked, the more I realized that we are such different people with different values did I end up deciding that it was not going to work.

When I think of Zen Master, I do think of all the things about him that annoy me.  These things stick out more so than the positives.  It’s because I don’t really value what it is that he brings to my life.  I guess I am annoyed by him because I feel like he’s self-serving in that he wants certain things from me that I’m just not willing to give to him, and the reason why I don’t give these things to him is not because I don’t think he appreciates, it’s that he doesn’t reciprocate in giving me what I want and need.  I try to articulate what I want and need to him, but it’s clear he cannot give me these things.  He only has excuses for why he is the way that he is, and it seems pathetic that what he is saying and what he does, doesn’t actually align.

But the thing is, I am communicative with Zen Master and because I know that we aren’t compatible and that I would just end up being annoyed by him, I also don’t choose to hang out with him.  This is very different between me and The Motivator.  The Motivator has actively chosen to come back into my life, and I think he wants me in his life… the situations aren’t congruent, but my point being is that I can understand why someone might be annoyed by another person, but to keep seeing that person and treating them with disdain, well that’s just not accepting that person for who they really are, and that’s exactly what I am against these days.  People who don’t accept me and who don’t see potential in me to be more, to be better.

Breaking Up with Zen Master

So many things have happened since I had the intent of writing this blog post.  I had some thoughts about Zen Master and just thinking about what I’d like to see from him in order for me to be okay with moving forward.  But as I told friends about him, I realize that I’m basically just bitching about him.  Why did he bother me?  I realize because our values do not align.  Everything about him annoyed me because I don’t understand how he decides to do some of the things that he does.

So every day I was also waking up to very weird, emotionally charged messages from him.  I would wake up to him telling me that he created a song playlist for me, which basically just comprises of songs that were from my own playlists… and how he has been analyzing songs that I’ve added to my playlists and realized that I’ve been feeling lonely.  Or just straight up messages from him saying that he feels bad for the things that he has done and how he has neglected me.  So it got to the point where I realize he’s kind of going down a negative spiral.  I felt bad and told him that we should just talk about it – and I realize that I was just putting off the inevitable, telling him it’s not going to work.

I came over to his place, keeping an open mind that maybe I could be persuaded by him.  I wanted to be, but it was the complete opposite.  I was so turned off by everything when I got to his place that day.  I entered his place, and it had the usual smell to it that seemed to be amplified possibly because I hadn’t been there in awhile.  I noticed that he had again re-arranged his furniture.  I sit on the usual bench that I have dinner on and it’s still heavy and dangerously unbalanced.  We start off with small talk, and it seems to never stop… I ask him if we should address our issues and he agrees to.  He wants me to sit closer to him on the couch, but I don’t.  I’m repulsed by him.

I laid it out for him that I just don’t see eye to eye with him on many things.  He asked me what I like about him and I say that I like that he is able to sit back and just relax and I need more of that in my life.  That said, I said that he engages in a lot of self-soothing activities and relaxation, when he could benefit more from trying to fix the things in his life that he isn’t happy with.  I say that he does do things that make him feel productive like: cleaning, fixing small things around the house or his car, rearranging furniture, but in reality these things just create the illusion of being productive.  As I’m saying this, he says he is productive and gets a lot of things done… but really, I say he does things with no purpose.  He still hates his job, his living conditions, among other things.

I also go on to say that our values don’t align when it comes to money, and also that we’re very different when it comes to being social.  I don’t get too far into these points and all I hear from him is that he believes that we do have the same values, except that he is working on these things.  He wants to be more generous, and he has been working hard on a school course all of last year so this year he wants to do nothing.  He also argued that he’s not tight on money, only that he might be perceived in that way, and he also argued that he’s shy so that’s why he’s not so social.  It was really annoying how he had an excuse for everything and that he was basically saying that the way in which I perceive him is not the way that he ACTUALLY is at all.

There was so much push-back and defensiveness that as I brought up more and more points, he would have more and more excuses for all of his actions.  He argued his point thinking that if he could convince me that our values are the same, I’d stay with him.  The thing is that if he had just accepted that we had different values and talk about how we’d compromise, we’d probably have a more productive conversation.  I felt really validated in my thought process and that even though he’s older than me, his level of maturity isn’t all that high.

Funny thing, as I used the washroom and came out I caught him putting back the water jug into the fridge… to see that he has only filled up his cup of water and not mine.  It’s this kind of behaviour in him that is an indication that he’s not socially adept.

I brought up a few examples that stood out to me.  The one time when I asked him to pick up some groceries for me and he told me that the store had no dragon fruit… only to tell me later in person that the dragon fruit there was exorbitantly overpriced.  There’s a difference between the two and I think that he should have just got it for me, because of the circumstances.  I tried to get him his grocery items and didn’t question them when I offered, and also, if it was exorbitantly overpriced, he could at least ask if I still wanted them at the higher price.  His argument was that he didn’t see any dragon fruit when he told me there wasn’t any, and then he saw the overpriced ones last minute as he checked out.  In my head, if he saw them, he should have got them.  And the other thing I didn’t bring up is when I asked for pork belly (the most expensive item that I asked for), he hesitated and said that it was too fatty.  Even after he took a photo of the cuts I said that’s fine, it’s supposed to look like that, he didn’t get it.  And, when he finally got some the next week, he messaged me to say that it’s over at his place and that I can come over to cook it for him when I’m over next.  EXCUSE ME?! I think of all the times that he has no hesitation asking me for heavy and really expensive items.

He says he has no idea and that we have similar values in money, and he started talking about salary and how we never talk about that… and it was so unnecessary.  Just the stuff that comes out of his mouth when it comes to money.  He talked about how he doesn’t eat out often, when he hangs out with his friends they just go over to each other’s houses and do stuff and they don’t eat… I ask him if he’s referring to when he was a child and he said yes… his lack of social experience is mind-blowing.  He says he’s shy and didn’t think that it was important to socialize with friends of mine that don’t seem so close to me.  He says he’s not good at small talk.  And then he also says that he wants to be more like me, and that our values do align, it’s just that his actions do not align with his values.  I’m sitting there looking at him like he’s the biggest idiot ever.  How does a guy his age and who has an abundance of opportunity live a life like this?  It’s just like how he says he wants to play the piano, purchases a keyboard that has just been collecting dust at his place.  He doesn’t realize that in order to play the piano, he’d have to practice the piano.  He doesn’t practice the piano so therefore, he really doesn’t want to play the piano.  This is a lack of discipline on his part too.

So, I leave Zen Master’s place feeling a sense of relief.  I made the right decision.  He was actually helpful to have in my life and helped me a lot with learning how to sit back and relax, do nothing.  It was a time in my life (covid quarantine), where it made sense to do that.  It did me good, and it was also nice to have a partner willing to drive out to random places to go for nature walks and things like that. Another thing that I took out of this experience is that many of my past relationships that I felt strongly about: Mystery Man, The Motivator… it likely didn’t work out because our values didn’t align.  Thinking back, both Mystery Man and The Motivator were tighter with money than I was.  Mystery Man was completely okay with me paying for his entire trip to California and driving the rental car that I booked and staying in fancy hotels that I booked.  He didn’t feel an immense need to pay that back.  The Motivator, we went to New York, and I was annoyed with how much we had to walk and if I were there alone I would have taken a handful of Uber rides.  Even though I felt a strong connection with these two guys, I think they sensed the value disconnect, and to be honest, I liked them enough to compromise, but it seems like they felt that their lifestyle was just too different from mine.  I guess what I am saying is that I feel more at peace with the fact that it didn’t work out with these guys now after my experience with Zen Master.

The next day, I’m feeling good and all… until I realized that Zen Master has ordered a dozen red roses and had them sent to my place.  I just completely blocked it out of my head and tried to complete the rest of my day.  I felt stressed, I felt anxious.  I ended up just giving the entire bouquet of roses to my mom.  I don’t want to see those flowers at my place, and besides, his discount flowers are still in my only vase.  I eventually texted him to say thank you, but that I felt smothered.

Somehow I forgot my phone with data on it at my house and was offline for a few hours at the climbing gym with The Motivator.  Yes, I am still talking to The Motivator.  I like our dynamic now and I feel so much better now that I’m not as emotionally attached to him.  I still love him, but not like before.  I don’t need him in my life and I really am grateful that I’m able to have that kind of distance.

Today, I feel really good to be unattached to any man.  This is a nice feeling.  To be honest, I wasn’t emotionally attached to Zen Master.  I just enjoyed his company.  I want this to be it, but I know it isn’t with Zen Master though.  He’s going through this like it’s his first break-up and I will undoubtedly get all sorts of crazy messages from him soon.  I’m hoping that my experience with this will allow me to sort it all out.

Summary of Arguments with Zen Master

So here is what is up.

Zen Master and I have been getting into a lot of fights over more or less the same issue.  Our relationship isn’t so zen anymore.  Nothing has changed per se, but I think it’s more so that I’ve come to realize how inflexible of a person he is… and that actually he resembles many of the autistic traits that I saw in Volleyball Coach.

On my birthday, Zen Master plans nothing.  He wakes up at 6am to do nothing.  Coming into 10am when I wake up, I ask him if he would like me to make steak and eggs for breakfast, to which he didn’t seemed enthused about, except he doesn’t make any other suggestions – to order in, or to go out for brunch, nothing.  So I say that’s all I have in my fridge and we agreed to eat that for brunch.  After we eat… he goes to sleep.  What was I supposed to do?  I felt cornered, I’m stuck in a house with this guy that made no plans for my birthday and because he’s sleeping on an alternating schedule with me, I cannot even leave my house.  We do not live together, if he’s going to be like that, he should have just gone home.

Notable to say that he did get me flowers, wine glasses, a bottle of wine and cake for my birthday.  But it’s like he feels like he’s done his duty with these things, when I got mad when he woke up, he literally pointed at these things and asked for credit… it’s not like I didn’t acknowledge the gifts, it’s that it doesn’t make the situation different.

So, I left and drove an hour out of town to see The Divorcee.  I had not seen him for nearly half a year due to covid and because I’m busy with Zen Master.  I come over, he has dinner waiting for me, we get high and drunk, and he picked some 90s songs into a list and mix it with my DJ mixer.  It was a fantastic night, nothing happened, just a fun time.

Zen Master calls me back into town to watch a basketball game, which he knows nothing about.  He tried, he really did try to pick a sports bar to go to… but in the end it was my suggestion to stay in.  I was tired by now and just had a night in with him, we don’t really talk much about how he fucked up on my birthday, but I was fine with that.  I stay over and the next day during lunch, complete disregard for me… he eats food all morning, doesn’t offer me any.  Then, he proceeds to making instant noodles for lunch.  He said he tried to ask if I wanted some and I said no… probably true.  So I’m sitting here, not sure if he is making lunch for me and I’m starving.  He finishes making the food, and gives me a small sample size of his dish… I was so hungry by this point, I’m eating this sample sized noodles, watching him eat the bulk of the food.  I felt so disdained.

So I say that’s an unacceptable lunch to him.  Still, nothing, and he tells me that I can eat whatever is in his fridge.  I go in his fridge, and it’s filled with uneaten leftovers, some of which has been in there for a week or more.  I bail, packed up all of my work stuff and left fuming at him.

So at this point, I’m still thinking that Zen Master is just an idiot that doesn’t have common sense, isn’t attentive, probably lacks generosity.  He just doesn’t have a lot of experience in romantic relationships, but I can train him – but it’s not until after he came over and we have an open conversation do I see him for what he is; someone that is inflexible, lacks social skills, and is stingy… but with good intentions.

Although he says he’s sorry and that he thinks he can change, the bulk of the conversation is of him explaining why he’s not attentive, caring or generous.  So I’m hearing all about how his parents are immigrants, and they just put food out for him to help himself, etc.  He’s justifying why he is the way that he is, and the person that he is today.  He’s justifying why he’s lacking in certain traits… when really I wanted him to really address how he was going to try to be more caring towards me.

I try to gear the conversation towards how he could develop this soft skill of being caring and attentive, not just to me, but everyone around him.  And he goes on to say that his friends don’t really treat him with this level of care.  He really doesn’t have any close friends at this stage of his life, which should have been a red flag for me.  Everyone loses touch with some friends as they grow up, but making new friends and investing in and maintaining meaningful friendships is a healthy trait.  I realize that he has never had this level of care for anyone in his life.  Actually, earlier on in our relationship I was actually more generous to him, but I quickly felt resentful when I realized that it wasn’t being reciprocated.  I realize that I’m capable of more compassion and generosity than I am currently giving, and that I’m holding back because I really don’t think he sees it and is also not able to reciprocate.

The example here is earlier on in our relationship, I used to ask him if he wanted groceries whenever I went for myself.  I was hoping to save him a trip and expected that he would reciprocate in other ways such as buying me dinners or doing the same the next time he was at the grocery store.  Although he did, I felt that he was holding back and I was giving much more.  He would ask me to get him really heavy items at Costco without thinking that this would be difficult for me… not to mention that these bulk items were not cheap.  On the other hand, when I asked him to pick up some fruits and meat for me, he would omit items that he thought were overpriced.  He once omitted pork belly, and then when he finally got it from another location, he didn’t even give it to me – and he said that I could come over to his place to cook it for him!  Excuse me?!  Another example of this that irks me is when he brings items to my place, he takes it back, as if he’s actually possessive of these small things.  I ask him to bring some dill over to my place, and after we finish using it, he brings it back home.  He buys an entire chocolate cake for us and instead of giving me some of the cake, he would freeze the cake and only take out slices for us to enjoy together… as if I’m some sort of dog waiting for him to serve me treats.

In our conversation that night, he asked me if I just wanted him to leave a platter of food out for me all the time as a way of feeding me.  He said it in a way that he felt that this was extreme.  My response is that is a bit on the side of excess, but a bit more on that scale of things would be nice actually.  He asks what if he was poor and could not afford to buy me takeout food all the time.  He’s really harping in on this money thing, and I got very offended.  I’m not asking him for money, I’m asking him to try to develop this skill in being caring for others.

After the topic of money came up though, I realize that the argument that we’re having not only has to do with him not having a lot of experience on how to care for others, but also that we have a huge value misalignment when it comes to money.  I always knew that he was more conservative with money than I was, but for me, I am generous with my money when it comes to close friends and family.  He talks about how he brings “other things” on the table.  Meaning, he isn’t forthcoming when it comes with money, and he tries to put efforts in to give back in other ways… but couple this with his shortcomings on being attentive and not being caring… this leaves him short when it comes to giving.  So, ultimately, when it comes down to it, he really does have good intentions but he doesn’t have a huge capability to give back.

I should have recognized these traits earlier I admit.  We went on a trip out of town with a few of my friends.  He seems perfectly fine that I paid for the hotel, the hotel parking, and I also end up picking up and paying for most of his meals while he’s there since he was working.  No offers to repay me for any of this.  Granted, he did drive us in his car, it’s not really a fair trade-off, but he he says nothing.  We barely see each other because he’s tending to a work emergency and also stuck on his own schedule that has him waking up at 6am to run for 8km.  By the time we get to the main evening event with my friends, he’s says he’s out of it mentally and physically… well no shit.  He doesn’t really contribute much, doesn’t even notice that I am carrying the bulkiest item and that only my friends are helping me carry it.  He’s useless when it came to directions and led us astray.  Then on the last day, he makes a suggestion for a nice lunch spot… and he wants credit for this suggestion.  Who paid for lunch? Me.  So that’s one trip, and it’s this continual deficit not only monetarily but also in the amount of care that just continues to build up and makes me resentful.  I’m not one to keep a tally, but if it’s constant, yeah it weighs on me… and the fact that this doesn’t even occur to him.

So, why do I like Zen Master?  It’s that he makes me feel calm, and he seemingly listens to what I say.  He does a lot of nothing, and honestly, sometimes nothing is what I need.  For someone like me who is typically more overwhelmed by social activities and other things, his offer of nothing is actually quite nice.  Companionship, he’s always available and willing to do things.  Drive up for an adventure 3 hours out of town?  He’s down.  Lazy night in, get high and listen to music and ask him to massage me? He’s in.

Another thing I realize during this conversation?  He doesn’t actually fully comprehend what I say.  He processes things very literally, which I think is helpful to kind of sum things up but he doesn’t extract information out of these anecdotal stories that I tell him.  We some how got to me asking him, what he knows about me?  What kind of person am I?  He starts listing out some really superficial things about me, what kind of job I have, the hobbies that I have, how many pets I have… this is how his mind processes things.  I say, no, not superficial facts about me, how about me as a person?  What are my aspirations?  He doesn’t know the word aspiration, looks it up, and then proceeds to say that he doesn’t know my aspirations and that I should tell him… leading to a conversation about how we should talk more.  God, I talk so much.  Of course these anecdotal stories of mine are a bit embellished, or biased, but it still tells a lot about me.  He says we should just sit down and have a drink and just tell each other about our aspirations… I tell him that I know enough about him to know what he is about, what he stands for, maybe not completely accurately, but it’s a good picture of who he is a person, from my perspective.  He doesn’t have this about me, and that made me disappointed.  I feel like the whole time I am talking, he isn’t able to read between the lines to see me for me.

I think it’s hard for me to let go of this because the past few months while locked down during covid, I needed someone like him in my life.  It was wonderful to have someone to go on adventures with, and spend lots of time with indoors watching movies and kind of just killing time.  I just needed someone to kind of go with the flow with me on things – go on an adventure, stay in and get high, go for a walk.  He’s good for these things, but in a long-term partner, he lacks some essential qualities: emotional intelligence, attentiveness, compassion, generosity and also, communication skills.

He has good intentions and I truly believe that he loves me for being someone who can vibe with him, someone who is generous, caring, cheerful… for qualities that he isn’t even aware that I have.  He likes me for reasons he isn’t able to clearly identify either, he sees a future with me, but functionally, I can’t see it working.

I try to picture my life with someone who is extremely structured in his sleeping regimen, very conservative with money, constantly stressed out by his work, lack of social skills, lack of friends, an unrealistic view of the way the world ought to work, constant frustrations of his living situation… and I wonder how I can vibe with that.

 

Closure with The Motivator and Other Dating Updates

My love life feeling weird these days, that’s for sure.  Things are either really good with Zen Master, or really bad.  When I get mad at him, it’s pretty bad, but when we have good times together, all of that seems like water under the bridge and minor.  It also helps that he’s patient and is trying with me.  I think we’re just resolving some of our differences, and having to deal with them.

So while I’m resolving differences with Zen Master, there is my high school friend who wants to hang out all the time these days!  It’s so odd, he never crosses the line or shows that he wants more with me than just friendship, and knowing him for more than 20 years personally where our friendship has been strong but more so in the background.  I don’t think about him, I don’t even put in effort to spend time with him really.  I just message him if I need something or if I think I can help him in some way and it’s always been a very positive friendship.  I think maybe he could just be surrounding himself with people who feels are wholesome, he is actually someone that likes to bring wholesome people together.

But with my troubles with Zen Master and him wanting to hang around all the time, it does feel a bit like he wants to take our friendship to a place that it has never been, whether that means being closer friends or whether that means more than friendship, I’m confused and I don’t know.  I also think he isn’t the kind of person that would cross that line with me either.

So last night, I’m hanging out with Zen Master, and all of a sudden I get a call from The Motivator!  I pick up and he says he’s in the area and asked if I want to go for a walk.  Nobody in this day and age does that anymore, showing up at someone’s place unannounced, and calling (not even texting).  So, a bit caught off guard, I think about how to navigate this tricky situation.  I tell Zen Master that I’m going to go meet up with a friend for a bit and if it’s okay if he just stays at my place.  Zen Master agrees.

So The Motivator and I go on an hour long walk together.  Well, first, I saw him, and we hugged and it felt emotional for sure.  I said I missed him, which is true, and he said he’s missed me too.  He is his reserved-self, the side of him that came out later in our relationship.  We chatted about stuff, gave some updates on our lives, but thinking back at our hour-long conversation, I felt that he was most interested in the climbing group dynamics, gossiping about who’s possibly sleeping with who, and who could be lying, etc.  He says he’s not involved in the group drama and group dynamics, but he completely  is engrossed in it.

I guess my intent really was just to ensure that The Motivator and I were still in good standings and that there were no hard feelings between us.  He agreed that we were, but that’s the whole issue with our relationship to begin with.  We never talk about our feelings and what the actual issue is, we just are subtle and we place keeping the peace above actually getting into the issue.  And in many of my past relationships, I’ve experienced this, and it comes down to not actually caring enough about the relationship to actually hash out what is wrong.

I’d be lying if I said I had no feelings for him.  I bit of me still loves The Motivator, but the feeling is just not as intense anymore.  His demeanor towards me during the walk, the things that he’s interested in (namely the group dynamic) and I can tell he’s not as interested into the new hobbies and interests and trials and tribulations that I’ve gone through during the time that we’ve been apart.  I can tell he’s no longer looking to impress me.  He’s no longer that person that wanted to get to know me, showed interest in my interests, offered his knowledge on the topic.  It saddens me actually.  And I don’t really care if his initial efforts were not real or only for the sake of getting into my pants either, it was as side of him that felt charismatic and charming and that I fell in love with.

I told a white lie and said that I had my high school friend over and that he’s been interested in my DJing, instead of mentioning that I have someone over that I’m dating.  I mentioned the dynamics of this high school friend and I, said we’re just friends.  I think it would be awkward as hell if I said someone I’m dating is over and that I left him to see The Motivator for an hour long walk.

On the walk, we did establish that we were both going to go to different gyms in the meantime and that we might come up to our usual gym for climbing just for the social aspect.  Honestly, it’s the end of an era for us, and really, I knew it and the way that I’ve been coping is just to look forward.  Looking forward is all that I have.  I know that The Motivator and I have no future together, he knows it too.  I still test the waters and invite him over for dinner and to check out my DJ controller, and his response is less than lukewarm.  I don’t see it as desperate, more so just old habits and my way of establishing that we are the same as we were before… but really we are not.  We’ve both moved on from each other, and basically established that we won’t even really be climbing with each other anymore.  We’re just doing what we have to do.

Today, The Divorcee mentioned to me that we’ve known each other for practically a year now.  That means, it’s been a year ago since I realize for the first time that it is likely not going to work out with The Motivator and I.  I remember it clearly.  He just started becoming more distant, and some big events happened in my life this time last year that he largely dismissed – my grandmother passing away, and my birthday.

Coming back from the walk, I was sad, I was disappointed.  The walk provided me with the closure that I so longed for, especially when I was going through counselling.  But at this point, it was something that I didn’t need.  It just made me rehash things that I had already closed out, but I guess it’s good to verbalize it (although indirectly).

I want to think that maybe we could have had something more with each other, had we had better communication… but I know better.  It’s not just poor communication, but the want to actually put in the effort to have good communication just wasn’t there.  And I think that even if he did come out to say what he wanted to say, it may have just been as simple as, “I just don’t like you very much in this way and I don’t want anything more than just a casual relationship with you”.  And maybe he was right in reserving those harsh words.  Perhaps him actually verbalizing that would have been too much for me, and we wouldn’t even have this flimsy shell of a friendship that we have today if that had been the case.  Perhaps by him not saying these words, he allowed me to continue to love him without taking responsibility for it.  And in some ways, I took pleasure from loving him even though it was unrequited.

We’ve had so many chances, he’s had so many chances to reconsider.  Closure and moving our into our own different paths is most certainly the right choice here.  And me looking ahead and not looking back is a coping mechanism for what happened here, but it is also necessary for me to do so.

I have a slew of complaints about Zen Master, and it’s starting to feel like my relationship with Volleyball Coach where I have countless complaints about him and combined with the fact that I’m not that infatuated with him makes it a tough decision to want to stick it out.  But first, walking through my complaints here…

When we spend time together, it’s great.  I feel very zen and I feel relaxed and I don’t think about work.  There are not many times in life where I can say that I can turn my mind off this much.  Last week, we spent a lot of time together on days off and it was good.  Even on weekends where work spillage was unavoidable, it’s still good.

What is it that is bugging me?  It’s the overarching theme that this guy doesn’t really know how to take care of me.  We go rock climbing outdoors where I hold a large pad (that is the size of a backpack, in addition to my own backpack), and he doesn’t offer to carry it.  We’re in front of my friends, and he should have an incentive to carry it, but he doesn’t feel the need to step up to do it.  Instead, I carry it for most of the journey, and another couple in the group that we are with help me.  I’m sure if I had asked for his help, he would, but generally speaking this is just one example of how this guy just doesn’t really go out of his way for me.

He’s honestly just kind of clueless.  Thinking about the same trip, I ask him to navigate the map, and he is actually horrible with directions.  I didn’t know anyone could be worse than me with navigation, but it turns out that he is.  He drives like an old man, and I can overlook that, but him not knowing how far away from fire hydrants to park was maybe life experience that I just took for granted… hearing him him try to quote a driver’s manual was painful.  And the thing is, he didn’t have to for both these instances… he didn’t have to volunteer to navigate, and he didn’t have to volunteer to point out that he isn’t so sure about how far to park from a hydrant (because I didn’t ask).

He does sometimes have tidbits of knowledge that he bestows on me, that I completely acknowledge to be very insighful.  At the end of this trip, he suggested we drive out of the touristy area to try a vegan burger place, and it was a great idea.  He’s also helped me take a look at my company website and made some really insightful suggestions.  He’s not entirely coming up empty here.  I do think that I could most probably overlook some of his lack of knowledge when it comes to things that I find to be common sense… I think he lacks street knowledge and is way more risk averse than I am.

Actually, as I am writing this blog post, I just don’t really see that this can continue the way that it is unless there are some major changes, and I also know well enough that expecting someone you date to change majorly is not reasonable.

The deal-breakers are as follows:

  •  He and I do not have the same sleep cycles.  He wakes up at 6am and sleeps at 11pm on a normal day (sometimes he sleeps earlier).  Whereas I wake up around 9am-10am and sleep around 12am-1am.  I’ve dated guys who have to wake up early for work on weekdays, but it’s never been an issue because they usually love the opportunity to sleep-in on a weekend.  Not this guy, even on weekends, he is on his usual sleep cycle… and he is selfish about it.  He’ll try to wake me up at 6am for some action, and I’ve now told him that this is absolutely unacceptable.  After having the conversation with him multiple times, he has devised a solution where he brings his bike and goes for a ride so that I can sleep in.  This is an acceptable solution, except more recently, he’s passive aggressively criticizing me by saying that by the time I start my day, he is already halfway through his.  On the other hand, I admit that I call him old for sleeping before 10pm.  This is something that will never change and will always be an obstacle.  Unless there is a flight to catch or I have a family emergency, I am not waking up at 6am.  Last night, I went to a party that ended past 11pm, and the prospect of having to go home with a partner who needs to sleep and having to leave a party early sounds like a ball and chain.  If I wanted to have a bedtime, I would have a child.
  • We do not agree on what or how to eat, and this is a bigger deal-breaker.  I have never had this problem with anyone that I’ve dated before either.  I’m okay with dating guys that don’t cook, hell, I was even okay with dating a guy that didn’t like high-end fancy food and just the basic stuff.  I cannot trust Zen Master to pack a lunch for us… because the last time he did that he packed a small bowl of beans and corn.  He spends all week making and eating little snack items like fruits, smoothies, cookies, side dishes… which means when I come over he offers me leftovers plus little items as a meal… it’s actually rather embarrassing.  It’s not like he won’t eat stuff that I eat, no, I think it’s literally that he’s a combination of cheap (offering leftovers), and wants to eat the endless amount of leftovers in his hoarder’s fridge.  When we were on the trip together and he had to work from the hotel, he was perfectly fine with me bringing him back well-rounded take-out meals and Starbucks all day.
  • He is a hoarder… his entire 500 sq ft condo is packed with stuff.  Sure, he has a lot of cool things, but anyone who lives in a 500 sq ft condo should not have two instruments that they aspire to play but have not touched in months, a chandelier for a dream house that they aspire to own, a collection of vinyl without the actual player.  Oh and the biggest red flag was when he told me his phone charger cable broke, and I found it in a shelf… if it’s broken, why not just throw it out?
  • He is a complainer.  And if he just ranted to me from time to time maybe I’d be okay with it, but throughout the day, when he sends me text messages, it’s all full of complaints from the meetings that he has to endure (which is probably the most acceptable), to his neighbours being too loud, to stuff that he has full control of like what he has to eat.  For some reason, he loves to eat rotten food, or cheese when he’s lactose intolerant, or have 3 meals where he eats bread/bagels when he says he has a gluten intolerance.  I told him that he has no right to complain about feeling like shit when he chose to eat shit.  Oh, and the neighbours keeping him up was a recurring theme also.
  • He loves to prescribe his life to me.  I do feel like he tries to get me to do things on his sleep schedule, whereas while I make fun of him for sleeping early I do say that if he’s tired, he should just sleep.  He likes to prescribe running to me, and I guess it is generally a nice suggestion, it’s just not for me.  I already have bad knees and he clearly doesn’t think about that.  I try though, I show flexibility and went out for a run one time, and even went biking with him another time.  I try to open myself up to suggestions that seem healthy for me.  But the other side of this coin that bothers me is that he does try to prescribe his life to me and how he does things and it’s imposing.  For example, I asked him to do a 10 min core workout with me, and he hated it.  He sent me a 5 min core workout that was very light and easy, and when I said that this doesn’t do anything for me, he rebutted that it’s because I’m not doing it correctly.  Oh, okay so when I reject a suggestion… this is what happens.  I tell him to show me, and it’s clear that we’re doing the exercises the same way, he just doesn’t have a strong core, which is fine but there was no need to call me out for it.  Acutally, it’s not really fine, if he had a better core, he’d probably be better in bed.  I think that explains why he sucks when he’s on top.
  • I generally don’t feel like a winner when I am with him.  The one thing that really made me like Mystery Man was that when I was with him, I felt like a winner.  I felt like a winner because he’s able to hold his own.  He can get things done when he wants to, makes money when he wants to, he calls the shots.  He tells me he’s stressed out about a few things like immense pressure at work, but he eventually resolves it.  He works through this himself, and the amount of stress that gets spilled over to me is limited.  I would trust him to do my finances, I would trust him to get things done, I would trust him to take care of my dogs without having to ask me what to do.  This made it easy for me to love him in that way, and generally speaking with Zen Master, I honestly feel like he’s a passive-aggressive loser.  If something happened to him that was unfair, he would be passive aggressive about it.  I saw this red flag early when he said that when his neighbours were loud he played the radio.

The Beginnings with Zen Master and Dealing with Social Anxiety

It feels like a long time since I’ve blogged, and indeed, it has been just under 3 months.  When there is a lapse in my blogging, it usually means that I’m going through a period of positive change, and so, this time is no different.

Since my last post, I continued to see Zen Master and generally speaking, things are good.  My new beginnings with Zen Master this time feels different than with other relationships in that I don’t feel this sense of lust or elated happiness.  When I compare it to when things sparked up between myself and Mystery Man, or The Motivator, I felt an excitement about the new relationship that was unparalleled.  I would drop anything to do things with them or just simply be with them.  No, my relationship with Zen Master feels more balanced, like the way I felt when I was with Volleyball Coach.

There are differences that I wasn’t sure about such as how we’re on totally different sleep cycles.  He loves to wake up at 6am to bike or whatever and in turn ends up waking me up.  I had to have multiple conversations with him about this, and also about eating properly.  I also found that he loves to complain to me about everything for which he is not willing to do anything about – so I just told him to stop complaining.  He’s been receptive and the results have been really positive.

When we first got together, it was really apparent that he had little to no sexual experience.  It was really rough and actually, I almost gave up on him after the first two times we were intimate.  Luckily, he has really picked up quickly and actually some of our sexual experiences may be some of the best I’ve ever had.  It totally helps that he’s quite well endowed.  The rest can come with time.  I also wonder if it’s just me… my latest sexual experiences have been generally positive.

Particularly, yesterday when I hung out with Zen Master, I really just felt at peace with him, and really started seeing a future with him.  He’s not perfect, but all things considered, I think I should consider myself lucky to have someone like him in my life.

As I look back now on The Motivator, his selfish acts just become more and more apparent.  Not to say that the time that I had with him was wasted, no… but it was one-sided, my generosity towards him.  I certainly got joy out of our relationship, but my efforts were not reciprocated.  The more removed from that situation, the more at peace I feel I am.

I do from time to time have some brief conversations with him, and they are pleasant, but it is clear that he isn’t invested in me.  In fact, he has become quite invested in this new group of climbing friends.  What bothers me is actually not our conversations, but actually, another girl in the group who is constantly giving me updates on what is happening through her lens.  It gives me anxiety.  It’s like getting notifications on something that you don’t want to get notifications on, and it’s really difficult to turn these notifications off.

What I want is for this group of people to just be acquaintances, and if any of them want to step up to become more than that and show me that they deserve to be more than an acquaintance, then okay.  A select few of these people are great, but just thinking back on our last trip together where I felt mostly excluded makes me feel that I deserve better.  I deserve friends that are not constantly prying about my love life, and care about me more than the drama that is in my life.  I don’t know how else to see this group of friends other than them being toxic in my life.

The last few months for me have had so many positive things.  I’ve learned new skills, expanding my business, learning how to DJ, learning how to do some online live stream, etc.  I’m proactive with my own personal development and doing something about the things that I want to do (and can do during the global covid pandemic).  It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this content.  I feel like things are going well with Zen Master, and the picture and life that I have for myself once all of this subsides is one where I’m not going back to my toxic relationships.  That said, this is easy to say, but still quite difficult to execute.  I’m struggling with these constant social media updates and messages from these people who continue to see me as part of the group still.

I’ve realized that a problem that I have that feeds my anxiety is that I just don’t know how to say no to people.  My circle of friends and acquaintances are large, and yet I just don’t see much benefits in many of the relationships that I held.  Being able to easily say no and have an easy excuse has been liberating.

I’ve also re-discovered some friendships.  I’ve been hanging out also with an old high school friend, and reconnected with a few rock climbers that I used to climb with downtown.  And since I’ve got my dogs back, I’m really thinking about how to better integrate them and the responsibility of taking care of them into my life in a more sustainable way.

A Quiet Evening with Zen Master

I just had a quiet evening with Zen Master, and I felt so at peace afterwards.  He came over, we had dinner, our conversations are very zen and calming and we relate to each other.  We relate to each other, but not in a fucked up way.  We share a lot about our upbringings and things like that and we have a lot of commonalities there.  I like that.

Having shared trauma I realize is not a positive thing.  Although he does seem to be going through a lot of stress from work, and working from home.  He’s nice, and I think he’s wholesome for me.  And I like that we’re going slow and creating that friendship bond.

I also don’t feel the need to overshare with him.  I think that’s something that I learned coming out of my relationship with The Motivator.  I shared every last bit of my soul with The Motivator and it was unnecessary and removes the mystery out of getting to know me.  I felt like I shared more because it was almost like he was attracted to the trauma, attracted to the craziness in my life, attracted to the brokenness of it all.

A part of me wonders if Zen Master and I could have physical chemistry, but I’m not sure?  I guess I was that way in the beginning with The Motivator also, I wasn’t sure if I could find him to be physically attractive, but it worked out well for us physically anyway.

I just had to write this blog post, because every morning for the past few days, I’d wake up with anxiety and panic about The Motivator.  I feel like my interactions with Zen Master is helping me heal.  Maybe it’s just the distraction factor of it all.  The physical component of it coming slow might actually be a good thing.

I mean, I didn’t realize how much of a player The Motivator was, and looking back I do actually see that he was really pining for me, in a way that maybe wasn’t so wholesome.  The way in which he connected with me was manipulative, creating a false sense of closeness – connection with being high, fine dining, listening to music, drinking, inviting himself over to my place, staying over, massages, being a good listener.  This time and space away from him allows me to see these tactics that he used to quickly create this false environment where I felt like he really cared about me and wanted to be with me.  It’s kind of this formula that he uses that I was suckered into.  Okay, what kind of person in their right mind doesn’t enjoy these things?! Of course, I was suckered, but it’s a formula, it was all just a formula.  I really need to see that.

I felt like he was showing me a way, giving me these things, and I wanted to reciprocate.  And as time went on, he really didn’t even continue to give me these things anymore.  He didn’t need to, yet I still wanted to “reciprocate”.  I felt like, if I gave to him, he would in turn want to continue giving these things to me… but it was all just a facade that he couldn’t upkeep.  And the rest of the time, I continued to play along thinking that he could give these things to me, but then I saw on our trip that he wasn’t like that.  That he’s just really good at creating these initial connections.  I saw what I thought was potential… but in reality the analogy of this would be a beginner pianist who learned how to play one piece really well, so well, practically flawless… learned how to play this piece by heart… but does not know any other pieces.  I don’t question the fact that The Motivator is a sociopath, I mentioned this in another post and since I’ve drawn the conclusion of what he is, I’ve never doubted it.  Even when we were good together, he is still a sociopath.

I feel removed from that now, at this very moment, and it feels good.  I want to be able to continue to feel removed from him.  I want a wholesome life for myself.

My Mental Game and Zen Master

Been waking up feeling pretty shitty these days.  Mental game, not in check.

Last night, I invited a new guy over to my place for the first time… and I had never met him before.  He’s tall, skinny, looks fit, talkative, very sociable.  I realize that my high school friend, the Emergency Fuck wasn’t really coming through to be my “pandemic boyfriend”, so I was thinking I’d bank on this new guy.

New guy is strange to say the least, I’ll call him the Strange Librarian.  Yes, he’s a librarian, a six feet three, skinny looking librarian.  He’s strange because he does not have a phone… well, he physically has a phone, but he does not have a phone plan, meaning, no number and no data.  I didn’t realize this until the day off, where he told me to meet him outside my place at 6:50 pm.  When I told him to just call me, he told me he didn’t have a phone number…

So Strange Librarian shows up and he pretty much is up to do whatever the hell I want to do.  Great, I get him to bring up my groceries from the car.  We play some dance games, a lot of dance games actually, because I wanted to.  We did some fitness stuff, a 10 minute ab workout and some random stuff.  We got high together, and watched some stand-up.  He was immediately cuddly and touchy, and yeah while it felt good to be touchy when I’m high, I guess I just wasn’t feeling it.

What was it?  Well, I just didn’t feel like we had a connection.  He just seemed down to do whatever I wanted to do, and he just agreed with whatever I said, etc.  It felt too fast, and like that was mainly his objective, getting into my pants.  I also know right away that he’s not someone that I could like long-term, which is fine, because I really just wanted a distraction.  I wanted something to feel excited about, but he also wasn’t that… his thirst for sex was overshadowing everything, and lack of personality turned me off.  There was one part where he was massaging my butt, and it felt nice, but what was fucking off was that I could tell he was stroking his cock underneath the blanket.  He was stroking it for a good while.  That was a huge turn-off, as was his kissing.  He kisses like someone that doesn’t know how to kiss?  Just completely putting his mouth over the entirety of my own mouth.  Fucking, weird.

I decided while I was high that I definitely did not want to have sex with him.  He asked to sleep over, I was thinking definitely not.  I said I was tired and asked him to leave.  He said really?  Nah, this guy wanted to stay… and it was too obvious, he even brought his entire backpack over.  Strange Librarian had to leave, and as I walked him to the door, just as he was about to leave, he decided he was too high and asked to stay another 20 minutes… I was pretty pissed, but I waited 20 mins for him, didn’t invite him to my bedroom and FINALLY, he left.  I closed the door behind him, and that’s it, we’re done.  I felt so relieved when he left and I just went to bed alone.

I woke up feeling shitty, because I feel like fuck, I can’t stop thinking about The Motivator.  How is he just out there, happy and trying to stick his dick in everything?  Why can’t I be content with myself?  Why am I not happy?  Why couldn’t we just be together?  The thought of him being with the other girl in the group weighed so heavily on me throughout most of the day.

I don’t think I talked about a date that I went on with a new guy.  I biked downtown to meet him and we talked with each other from a distance.  He came over to my place the other day and we hung out playing dance and other stuff.  Let’s call him Zen Master.  He just has a really zen aura to him.  Very calm, talks slowly, etc.  Well, I noticed that I missed a message from him where he asked if I liked dumplings.

I guess he was kind of thrown off when I didn’t respond at all until the next morning.  He came around in the evening and asked if I wanted to take a walk.  He suggested his area so I came down, we went for a long walk, and I was so tensed in the beginning and by the end, I felt good.  It snowed outside!  I admit that I was thinking about my stresses with The Motivator during the walk, but by the end, I felt a lot better.  He asked me to come up to his place, I agreed to come up for a bit.  He reheated his dumplings and served it to me, I enjoyed it.

I think Zen Master really likes me.  I actually think he made the dumplings with the intention of sharing them with me.  It’s kind of sweet actually.  I left his place feeling wholesome, and much more removed from my problems, which is mainly The Motivator.

It’s that I stress out about the anticipation of having my feelings hurt by The Motivator.  The various scenarios that he puts me in or could put me in.  And when I get really deep in my thoughts, I start to get paranoid that this group of friends are not really my friends, and that they must be secretly talking about me… oh my god this is borderline schizophrenia!  No, in reality, the group is not as active because we haven’t really had physical connection for awhile.  And it’s midweek, so everyone is quite busy working.

As for The Motivator, when I’m in a good mindset, such as right now, I know that I don’t have to immediately deal with this situation.  That I should just focus on myself, and my own happiness for the moment, which doesn’t have anything to do with having to face him.  I am fully equipped with a very good reason to have little or no interaction with this guy!  It is the perfect time to heal my emotional wounds.

Part of me kind of knows that whatever it is that he has with this new girl is superficial, the objective side of me knows that this is likely not the situation where they will get together and be the couple that I wanted to be with him.  Thinking objectively about The Motivator, I always knew that I couldn’t be happy with him either.  I think about all these moments from our trip together, and if that is what my life looks like with him, then I don’t want it.  It’s my mind that paints this picture of us being together as this wonderful, magical thing, with amazing sex, but it really wasn’t.  We had sex really seldom, and I was always left wanting more, and he couldn’t provide it.  The truth is that I would not be happy with him, the attachment that I have to him was strengthened by our physical bond… and I let that get to me.  I also cannot be with a guy who kind of whores himself out in this way.  I need to separate myself from that, distance myself, I don’t need that.

I’m feeling a little excited about the Zen Master, but another part of me is apprehensive… so now I’m banking on him to be my pandemic boyfriend, huh?  How is this going to work out for me, am I really going to find chemistry with him?  He’s certainly different than the usual kind of guy that I date.  He’s a lone wolf… but one that is grounded, and can help me feel more grounded.  Even as his friend, I already feel more grounded.

A part of me wants to know that I can be excited about someone else.  A part of me wants to be able to like Zen Master, a lot, not just a little.

The Motivator pulls a Mr.International and My Life Comes Around Full Circle

Oh my god, even in isolation The Motivator seems to find ways to emotionally hurt me.  So we haven’t seen each other for weeks on end, and he’s just been checking in on me here and there.  I ask him if he wanted to hang out earlier on, but he said no.  Okay, I accept that we’re not going to be quarantine buddies…

But there was just something going on that I couldn’t pinpoint.  Then, during a group video chat, one of the girls in the group who was recently single mentioned to me that she does fitness challenges with The Motivator on Snapchat.  Yeah I got hurt about that because this guy doesn’t even try to connect with me.  And maybe it’s unfair of me, but I believed him when he said he’s just working and chilling at home during isolation…

He talked about another girl he met on Tinder before and he goes to raves with her, and there was a few times that he said he would be going out with these people, and it was obvious that he was interested in someone else.  Okay, I thought I accepted that.  He lives his life, I live mine, but we’re still good friends and we can focus on climbing.  The let’s just focus on climbing part really is what helped me pull through and justify why this still made sense for me.

Okay so I so happen to have a separate private chat with this girl in the group who says she is sharing workout videos with The Motivator.  It happens to come up while we are chatting that she’s going to go have pizza this weekend, I just had a hunch there was more to her and The Motivator… Kind of seems to me like The Motivator would pull a move to slide into her DMs like that.  I ask her what pizza she’s going to have, and turns out, she’s having The Motivator’s favourite pizza… either he recommended it to her, or they have more going on then I thought.  I ask her who she’s having pizza with, and she says herself, but she’s oddly specific about eating it on Saturday.  I mean, if I wanted pizza, I’d go out and get it on the same day.  It doesn’t make sense.

So what happened is I decided that I wanted to also get pizza, and then a few others in the group decided the same also.  We all show up, and I thought that The Motivator was going to bike since he lives down the street, no, he got the other girl to pick him up.  Not only that but it definitely seemed like there was much more going on than that.  Why?  We talked a bit about exercises, and they mentioned that they did a workout together in the morning.  To which the girl added that it was over the phone… excuse me, over the phone?  And then she added that she had to drive down because The Motivator got her desserts.  Um, excuse me?  Clearly, they are developing some sort of non-platonic relationship and that makes it super weird for me.  I’m just trying to normalize the fact that The Motivator and I are no longer together, no longer friends with benefits, that we just share common climbing friends.  This was enough for me.  Dealing with him acting awkward around me, and navigating that was hard enough.  I just can’t.

This morning, I was just asking The Motivator if he wanted some baked goods, been wanting to bake some for him.  Every time I ask him if he wants something, he just outright ignores me.  Okay, I get the message.  Is this guy, The Motivator even really a friend to me?  He messages me, but his check-ins are shallow.  Other than checking in to see that I’m okay, he doesn’t really care to hear about much else.   I’m also not even sure about this group of friends.  I just can’t see how they can respect me, given the way he acts towards me.

My first initial reaction is that wow, I can’t believe he is hitting on another girl in our group of climbing friends.  This is not the first time this has happened.  This guy is just trying to get a freebie any chance he gets.

——————

— I was reeling pretty hard, so I talked to my girlfriend

She said to me that friendships are voluntary and because of that, in some sense, it is self-serving.  I need to have clarity on what I am getting out of it.

She said that you can be friends with someone who doesn’t like you, as long as you are clear on what you get out of it.  Friendships, they are self-serving, and if there is good to be had in this friendship, I’m really trying to find this for myself.  And the reason is because I feel like I’ve been running my whole life from guys like this.  This is not the first time this has happened to me.  I’ve never actually faced it though.  When I get in a sticky situation like this, I just up and leave.  Every single time, and so I need to ask myself what there is to gain here and if I can actually get through this like a mature adult that doesn’t just up and leave.