26 May 2009

A year later

  • May 26, 2009

A year later

I am so sick of dating.

I can't say it hasn't been fun.
Its been really fun.  Many first experiences.

I have been asked out.  I have gathered the courage to ask out. 
Some time later I replaced courage with confidence.

I have learned an awful lot of things (and confirmed a few I suspected all along).
I learned just how different I am compared to so many of my peers in this area.
I learned that finding what I am looking for is really hard.
I learned that all the common stereotypes about gender and dating are totally false.
I learned that people really do have sex on first dates (and not just desperate people, drunks, or players, but ordinary healthy well-adjusted people)
I learned that women are just as superficial as men (just with height instead of weight)
I learned that (at least for those whose standards start at 5'6" or less) I am much more attractive than I had thought I was.
I learned that there is very little correlation between stated views on sex and actual comfort and enthusiasm in practice; and little correlation between visual sexiness and actual quality of performance.
I learned that the single most important variable is that she is truly comfortable with her own sexuality.
I was shocked to learn how many people think that the actions of the female partner have little bearing on the overall quality of sex, or that being "good" can consist solely of how much she is willing to have done to her.  I learned that not everyone can match my stamina.
I learned that people are much more forgiving of me for my infidelity than I am of myself (I decided against ever making that story a blog, but I have nothing to hide, so if you ask me I'll tell you about it)
I learned that I can easily fall in love with someone I am totally incompatible with - in fact, I'm starting to suspect that I have a tendency to do just that.
I have learned a lot about emotional responses and how rare it is to just be told, directly, when something I do is upsetting or annoying or offensive.
I learned just how guarded and polite people are, and how it breeds a sort of inadvertent falseness which I honestly never noticed before.

I have had sex with a number of beautiful intelligent compassionate women of various shapes and sizes and colors. People involved in social justice and environmental protection and education, younger than me, older, people who want to get married someday and others who think monogamy is an artificial social construct. More women in just this past year than I expected to be with in my entire life.
(I've also had my first ever STD test, and got the equivalent of an 'A' on it.) 
I've shared both physical and emotional intimacy with women who I could have conversations with and find myself questioning beliefs I've refined over a lifetime of thought and debate and felt totally confident about. 
I've even fallen in love.  It may have been with someone totally incompatible with me, but it was still nice to know for sure I still can.

It turns out that sex with someone who isn't my best-friend-and-long-term-partner is just as unfulfilling as I always assumed it would be.  They were everyone of them someone I could consider a friend, a whole world of difference from one-night-stand or purely-physical affairs (the thought of which makes me feel a little sick inside).  That just isn't enough. 

I have not had a history of following through on this sort of thing in the past; perhaps a public pronouncement will aid my meager willpower - or at least discourage the women in my life from taking advantage of it:
No more sex on first dates, no matter how good that date is.  Or second.  Or third.  No sex unless I've known you at least a couple months and had some combination of plenty of dates, long conversations, and exchanged emails.  And not unless you are looking, and feel ready, for a serious long term partner.  That isn't to say I want to be celibate until after my next wedding, but I would like that level of intimacy be reserved for when working towards something serious is at least the intention.
My old rule was I didn't want to have sex with anyone I wouldn't want to be friends with.
The new one is not with anyone I wouldn't want to have a child with.

I found my old list which I had written on the suggestion of one of my first dates, one of the people I had been most excited about at one time.  I wrote down a list of exactly what I am hoping to find in someone.
I figured after a year of dating, meeting many new people, romance and relationships and sex and new friends that I might be able to refine the list with new found perspective about what is most important to me.
Turns out I had it the first time.  There is nothing I can remove, and only one small addition.
(Its just that I haven't been actually following it.  I keep giving people chances, even though its a list of "non-negotiables".)

Really, it doesn't seem like so much to ask for.
Just three basic things.

Someone who shares my outlook on life.
Someone who challenges me intellectually.
Someone who wants the same type of life-partnership that I do.

That's it.
Its easy enough to find all of those things.
Just not all three in the same person.

One of my new friends pointed out there is a conflict in what I want:  I want a relationship that builds over at least a year, but I also want to be in that relationship already. 
She made a good point.
So its on me to keep meeting new people, but avoiding all the romantic and intimacy which sucks me in but leaves me discouraged and unfulfilled when I return to reality a few days or weeks or months later.

Perhaps my readers can help me out.
Here is the list:   EXTRA BONUS SUPER FUN PACK

If you know anyone like that, direct her my way.

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