Reading time: 10 – 16 minutes
Okay, I HAVE A BOYFRIEND!
I am making this tentative announcement because some part of me is still embarrassed about my last big hoo-hah over Carlos, and now when I look back at all of my inspiration and enthusiasm, I just feel stupid. HOWEVER, these (rather mild) judgments of myself DO NOT keep me from moving forward.
So, his name is CLEM.
What an adorable name: Clemente. A super-smart, geeky, graceful, kind, unassuming, and loving guy with some of the nicest friends I have ever met.
I’ve dated a lot of guys, but this is the first time, a boyfriend’s friends have actually met me with such immediate kindness and comfortable rapport. I have been laughing and hugging and exchanging insights and compliments and, my god, the most shocking thing is that I HAVE THINGS IN COMMON WITH THEM! What??? That never happens! I think it’s because most of his friends are truly artistic, hooked into the fringe-dwelling world; all seeming to be products of their own, self-defined niches, so they seem to really appreciate me. In fact, I think I have friendship crushes on a few of them already.
I mean, here are just a couple of typical conversations:
“Have you heard of Cocteau Twins?”
“OMG, yes, and I have a few of their albums right here!”
Ummm, need I say more.
“Well, one of my favorite shows ever is STARTING OVER!”
“OMG, I watch it religiously! I even tried to save every episode digitally to my computer from my Tivo!!”
Ummm, AGAIN, need I say more…
Beyond the commonalities, it’s just their genuine interest in asking me about me, and being so free in response to my questions to them, too. It’s really comforting and something I have been missing in my life for a long, looooong, time. It’s always been a fantasy of mine to actually LIKE my Boyfriend’s friends, let alone BE Liked! And even MORE important than that, is that it feels like they really like or love Clem in a very peaceful, kind, and genuine way that I find very rare.
Most of Carlos’s friends were really sweet and really kind, but they really had nothing in common with me at all. There was only a superficial socializing available to us, and that was fine with me.
Awwww, I do miss Carlos’s friends, actually. I really grew to care about a few of them, but once Carlos dumped me, so did his friends, so whatever. I don’t mind. I tried to stay in touch with a few of them, but I was promptly rejected. In fact, one of his friends actually wrote me an email to tell me to “get on with your life; go have sex with as many men as you can; isn’t that what you gays do anyway?” Good god; what an idiot! If anything, that’s what PEOPLE do; not just THE GAYS. LOL! In any case, it’s not what *I* do.
And don’t get me started on my initial contact with Nick’s friends. Not a lot of warmth there, thank you very much. I was nick-named by his friends as “Toast” from the very beginning, as they didn’t even expect me to be around much longer; you know, as in getting burned like Toast? Well, I got burned, but almost four years later, thank you again very much! Anyway, that relationship has been the only relationship where the friends did more to harm the relationship than either of us ever did. It took a LOT of work to get through all of that bullshit. Of course, I still got dumped in the end, LOL. But, for what it’s worth, a few of his friends did come through the fire and remain in my life as people about whom I care very much. And Nick, of course, is one my Best Friends EVER, so it all worked out. Right on.
But, back to Clem:
Brave little Clem has taken on the big ole Me and, so far, the relationship has been SO refreshing and patient and embracing. I am timid about celebrating it too much right now, but suffice it to say, I am happy:
Happy because this came out of absolutely nowhere and took me by surprise in a GOOD way;
Happy because I am thrilled that I am not jaded beyond repair;
Happy that, despite how my relationships seem to transform, MOST of them are still in my life in very beautiful and powerful ways;
Happy because Clem is genuinely liking me, despite my being absolutely raw and resistant.
I’m just happy!
I really don’t know how Clem won me over, but he did. And that’s not the best part: the best part is that he continues to do so. Every day. In some way.
Oh, and a major fun part of our relationship is a HUGE crossover of common ground between us! I had made a psychic commitment to finally date someone who had a LOT in common with me, instead of someone who was in such opposition to me, and Clem fits perfectly into that. He shares an uncanny amount of history and preferences with me, but there is a LOT of newness that we both bring to each other, too! That part is so fun because I am not used to meeting someone who brings such immediately-compatible, new things to my life! It’s so fun!
Another odd part of our relationship is the path of synchronicities that had to be in place for us to meet, AND the near-misses we discovered about our past where we COULD HAVE met… these synchronicities extend even into the present where we just discovered that one of his friends JUST MOVED INTO MY BUILDING… ACROSS THE HALL from me! We were bound to meet, it seems.
Oh, so today I was reading a pal’s blog about his disappointment in the process of dating, and that prompted me to write this entry below. I thought I would share it, here, so that others might find some insight into their own dating and relationships. You never know! I wrote it in response to gay dating, but it’s all really universally applicable.
1. Most people do not realize that initial attraction is almost always Body Type attraction, which is not a bad thing, but most people get stuck there. Keep in mind that Body Type attraction is valid, but we do have to get past that, if we are serious about a relationship. When you base attraction on Body Type, or “chemical attraction, ” it is almost always either Narcissistic or Opposition. Both of those forms of ATTRACTION are fine, but you cannot base a RELATIONSHIP on those things. Especially when you understand these primitive forms of Attraction:
Narcissistic Attraction is based on how much the other person LOOKS LIKE YOU or how much better that person makes YOU LOOK; being attracted to the other person based on either how much he looks, acts, and is like you, or how well he will make you look by being with you. After the initial attraction, the relationship has to move on to deeper things, or a LOT of energy is needed to keep the relationship sustained at a highly superficial level. Most Narcissistic Attractions end very suddenly and with very little explanation because people who are Narcissistic will always be looking for a “better version of themselves” in other guys, instead of being concerned about BEING a better person.
Opposition Attraction is just what it sounds like, with your being attracted to someone because he is so DIFFERENT from you, in SOME way… physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, etc. This type of attraction is often connected to people who share a “savior/victim” dynamic. One person usually wants to save the other person, teach the other person, heal the other person, change the other person, while that other person then brings challenges, defiance, defense, resistance, etc. Opposition Attraction can be beautiful if both parties recognize the reality of the situation and move the relationship into a mutual arena of sharing and receiving, but too often the relationship turns smothering and tedious because, ironically, if both parties were to give in, then the roles of savior and victim are lost! Some people who are attracted to opposites do not know what to do in a relationship based on mutuality and equality, so any movement toward common ground can end the relationship.
So when you find you are initially attracted to another person, try to be honest about why, and you might find better footing with how to progress into a relationship, OR just enjoy the dynamic for what it is.
2. It’s a lot healthier to think of dating as NOT (just) an opportunity to get to know the other person, but as an opportunity to practice being YOURSELF. There is no better arena to practice being comfortable with who you ARE, than in the arena of dating. Relax, be honest; don’t worry about gauging the other person as a way to define how you present yourself. Just BE yourself. Believe me, it will save you so much grief, because if he doesn’t like you, then that’s that! SO FUCKING WHAT! Would you rather someone like you for who you are NOT?
3. One should always go on THREE dates before determining the validity of a connection or the rejection of potential partner. People cannot be summed up (no matter how keenly we believe we can be) within one date. Sure, you can conclude that you are not physically attracted, if that’s the level that is most important to establish, but you cannot conclude a person’s character from only one date, no matter how wonderful or awful he or she may be on that date.
4. The development of any relationship moves through 7 Stages of growth (in fact, any endeavor you make will go through these stages, and understanding where you are in the processes of your life can be amazingly liberating and empowering): *
This is the obvious beginning; the start; the initial attraction
Once initial attraction has subsided, then the process of elimination begins; this is where you start to your differences; what doesn’t work; what needs to be addressed as a means to truly move forward; Most relationships end here, but that’s because this stage is so misunderstood. It’s not a bad thing to see your differences highlighted; it’s an opportunity to create solid ground!
For those who make it through stage 2 above, then the relationship moves into building on the common ground that has been created. This stage can last a long time.
At some point during the relationship, there will come an outside force to challenge it. This can come in the form of an infidelity, a serious illness, an accident, a third party interference, a job promotion that causes a major choice to be made, but whatever it is, it makes both parties in the relationship re-evaluate the strength of the relationship and to make a major choice about where to go with it next.
If the relationship survives Stage 4 above, then healing begins. This healing is defined by both parties in the relationship and requires both parties to heal.
After the healing stage, then there is a time of recovery, regaining of footing, a realization that what has been experienced so far has enriched the life of both parties. Lessons learned, and a new transformation of the relationship comes into effect. A new cycle begins.
This stage can be inserted anywhere between the other stages and this stage creates space for assimilation for both parties during the process of the relationship. This can come in the form of a literal vacation, or time apart, or just a mutual, psychological break from the process. Time out.
So there you go! Maybe these tips and maps can help in the future!
(*Although these 7 Stages have been channeled through several Michael Channels, I would like to credit JOSE STEVENS for first publishing this concept in his book, TAO TO EARTH)
Troy aka CocteauBoy
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