Nate Redux

Last Saturday, Nate agreed to meet me for lunch today. Yesterday evening, he contacted me to break off the lunch date. Well, everyone has their limits and I’ve reached mine. I won’t continue to try to talk with someone who apparently has little or no interest in me or even the simplest commitments they make with me. I suspect Nate doesn’t have the courage to confront me simply with what he feels, although he did finally say it wasn’t going to work out. He did it in a way that leaves me feeling like the cat is still playing with the mouse long after it’s expired. And now that I’m no longer responding at all, he’s sending me more messages than ever. May he find the bravery he needs to overcome his demons and acheive fulfillment.

Rough Week, Manifest Love

The connection with Nate has generated quite a rough experience for me. Our second date was kind of like a date from high school where we talked about really interesting stuff like art, then made out kissing for awhile. He decided he didn’t want me to spend the night sleeping with him… he’s only ever slept the night with seven guys in his life. So he gave me a ride home. We made out again in the car in front of my place, then I got out and went to bed. I knew he had a date the next evening with two guys who were boyfriends and said something odd had happened, although he hasn’t told me what it was. I sent him an email asking him if he wanted to chat after the date and I got back an email the next morning saying that he had gone to bed with his greatest love, his cat. I didn’t really hear much from Nate after that, so I started wondering if he was as interested in me as I in him. I had somehow let him reach deep into a vulnerable place in my being with our talk about dating and an earlier three-hour discussion providing emotional support for him around a traumatic break with one of his best friends and how it relates to some of the issues he grew up with. Anyway, I had an expectation that he was as excited as I to keep in ongoing contact. That proved not to be the case. When he didn’t contact me or reply to my messages as soon as he could at first as he had agreed to do in setting up our next meeting, I got really upset. I found myself starting to sob at moments, even while at work. On Tuesday evening, I had a really rough night. I met with a guy named Dex who comforted me after work, but I didn’t want to spend the night with him, so I rode my bike home. I got to sleep ok, but then woke at 3:30am with a really strong pain in my heart and my whole being. Intuitively, I felt that Nate was no longer interested and, since I had become so vulnerable to my connection with him, the idea that he might be just writing me off was very painful for me. I tried contacting Nate by phone and briefly saw him cruising online at around 5am, so left him messages there which he tells me he didn’t get until the next day, commenting that I seemed “frantic.” When my housemate Jack woke up on Wednesday morning, I went to hug him and broke down sobbing for several minutes. I’m glad Jack was there. Crying it out made my feelings easier to handle. My Irish friend John also helped me with advice. I sent Nate an email asking if his feelings for me had changed on Thursday. Thursday evening I went to the Lesekreis as usual, then had dinner with Ciaran (formerly Tony) Dellaferra, Tim, and Nelson, all former MIT students. On our bike ride home after dinner, Nelson really opened up to me about his trials and tribulations and gave me some advice around sex and romantic love addiction. I’m still considering how that advice plays into my situation. Friday Nate got back to me through an online message saying that he received the email but didn’t have time to answer fully before his doctor’s appointment for an HIV test, at which he also planned to ask the doctor about HPV. I wished him well for the doctor’s appointment and for the date I knew he had previously scheduled for Friday evening. I had a date on Friday evening which ended up not being a strong connection, although I felt emotionally stable throughout the date. Afterwards, I went to an event called Manifest Love which was an interesting description of the values of the gay male community which we don’t broadcast much among ourselves or the larger society. It was a kickoff for a more experiential weekend event, but I didn’t choose to go for that. Most of the guys there were older than I am… it didn’t feel quite right for me. I realized how much I am missing a faerie gathering, especially since the Samhain gathering didn’t happen this year at Farmer John’s place in Carmel Valley. I’m really looking forward to the Breitenbush gathering. So, I’m left still wondering what will happen to my connection with Nate.

I’m also left wondering about the pattern I’ve had this past year of rather unrealistically romantic and unsuccessful connections with guys like Paul, Cob, and now possibly Nate. Am I acting from a place of deep loneliness that has grown in the 6-7 years since Rico and I broke up with each other? Am I feeling more inadequate as I get older and less desirable to the mainstream gay community? Am I going through self-esteem issues that make me seem less confident and therefore less attractive to potential partners? Is the societal fabric of relations changing into a more transactional model where longer-term attachments are not part of the mainstream of gay life? (has it perhaps always been that way and I am just now figuring it out?) Or did many potential partners die as a result of the AIDS epidemic? Am I dealing with sex addiction issues that cause me to focus on guys I’m interested in as sexual objects, rather than as vibrant full human beings? Am I dealing with romantic addiction issues that cause me to project potential boyfriendhood onto guys without really getting to know who they are and if we actually have enough in common to pursue dating? Am I so desperate to get into a deep and loving relationship that I fool myself too quickly into trusting what could be there and then it feels like it backfires on me in a really painful way?All these questions and more are reeling around in my head.

Following my friends’ advice, I am trying to think more about what makes me feel comfortable in my life and focusing on how to bring more of those things into my life. Nelson suggested I try an experiment Thursday evening of not going immediately to my email and my phone messages when I got home to see if Nate had called, but instead doing what I wanted for myself… to take a shower and read until I went to sleep. I was able to do that, so perhaps I’m not as addiction-oriented as I thought.

Another thought is that this may not be all just about me. Nate has a lot of stuff going on his life, including possible sex addiction issues as he has set up lots of dates with guys for sex. He told me he would try to reduce the number of dates and that I should be patient with him because if I am then I would have everything I want with him. A friend thought this could be a typical hustler type line with Nate leading me on. I know I’m having difficulty with the experience. I’m not clear on how I’m supposed to be patient, for how long and in what way? I’m feeling like there’s not enough communication coming from him for me to feel secure in the connection. I feel a bit obsessive, yet driven to be more obsessive when the communication isn’t there. He doesn’t communicate with me well even though I told him it would mean a lot to me to know when we would next meet. I’m learning a valuable lesson about what happens when someone isn’t available to communicate with me or doesn’t communicate with me the way I would like — how I react and how I could react differently.

New Friends or More?

On Thursday evening, I met Nate. We were supposed to have dinner together on Friday, but both of us had dates Thursday evening and had agreed we would rather be meeting each other than our dates. Our dates were as expected and so we got together rather late in the evening after our parting with the dates. Nate came to my place and we talked about lots of wonderful things as we had previously on the phone. Only this time, we also made out. Perhaps not so wisely, we went to bed together as well. We made love while tired and it wasn’t as mind-blowing as he had hoped I think. I’m really interested in him still. He decided to go home rather than spending the night at my place… apparently he has only slept the night with about seven people in his whole life! When he got home, his temporary roommate had moved out in a huff leaving junk strewn around his house and the front door wide open. He was angry until he realized she may be really losing it, then started to worry about her.

Nate has a great father and had a great mother who passed away due to cancer. He has two brothers who are harder to get along with. He went to school at University of Chicago in the Grey City. He has a cat and owns his home in the East Bay. He’s starting his own business, but considering contract work as well.

Today, I met with Echo, a guy from Gay Shame who I’d met at the Harvey’s boycott action. We talked for hours. He’s an activist and an intellectual so I felt a good rapport withhim even though he isn’t boyfriend material for me. We talked about lots of topics from Foucault to Starhawk and others, as well as about systems theory, relationships, local politics, and a broad mix of other topics.