At 25, I’m only now learning about attraction and starting to navigate the emotional landscape of personal, intimate relationships. I’m definitely better at it now than last year, when I was basically a monkey in a china shop. I think I’ve made a breakthrough with figuring an important part of it out – but the problem has become this:
I thought she was cute, so I showered her with time and attention (fueled by genuine curiosity) but now that she likes me back, my feet are freezing up and I’m slowly succumbing to that persistent voice saying “RUN”. The box of reasons why I shouldn’t go any further with her has been knocked over and I’m fumbling around trying to shovel the grains back in.
That being said, not every reason strewn across the floor is irrational. She can’t eat gluten + I fucking love food. I love exploring the new restaurants in Toronto. I can’t do that with someone whose diet is so restrictive; She doesn’t have a stable job; She isn’t politically involved nor does she have an ear to the news. Everything she talks about is about being gay – it can get tiring, and reminiscent of the girl from last summer (…)
Yet I’m still not sure if these are real reasons or if it’s the “RUN” voice making excuses again. I should be head over heals about this girl if I liked her enough, but I’m not. I’m putting in a lot of effort.
There are so many blindingly obvious signs that she wants something with me. She was regretful about telling me she found one of my friends attractive. I didn’t react strongly that night, as far as I remember, but she was remorseful and abashedly told me to brush off anything stupid she had said, if I remembered.
Of course I did.
But I brushed it off, like she said.
I did fuck up though. After many nights out of nothing happening with her, I got frustrated and ended up making out with another girl in front of her. She was furious. She called me a “fuck boy” and stormed off. I walked her home, but trailed behind, sheepishly and drunkenly. But by the end of the night, I managed to diffuse the situation (for the most part) by talking about our deepest insecurities.
The day after I made out with the other girl at the club, we talked about this girl she had been sleeping with casually. She assured me there was no romantic attraction, but all I cared about was the fact that I was right – about her type. I don’t know why I’m obsessed with knowing her type. She’d mentioned this girl before and I’d brushed aside the fact that this queer girl was “her type”. We were supposed to go together, with a few film friends. But then she mentioned she would bring the other girl. Well… this was news to me. And my friends confirmed it was probably (definitely) a move to spite me for making out with that girl.
But it backfired on her because I gave her and the girl very little attention. I tend to lean away from couples – I absolutely abhor third-wheeling (This in itself warrants its own separate blogpost) – regardless of whatever attraction I had felt towards her. Luckily, I found a reason to remove myself from being near them. A friend of mine ended up bringing a queer femme friend and I gravitated towards her instead. She was cute. I like meeting new queers. Whaddya want???
She knows femme is my type and I’m sure she saw me giving this new girl all my attention. I wasn’t doing it just to spite her back – I genuinely thought she was cute and if She was going to get with the other girl, well then, great, all the best to ya, sayonara.
But I suspect it must’ve irked her. A few days later, she messaged me telling me she’d called it quits completely with the other girl.
It’s dumb, the games we’ve been playing. But it’s toned down. We’re more honest with one another… just short of admitting whatever feelings we may or may not have for one another.
It’s my fault.
She sets it up for me; She’ll lead the conversation and leave so many doors ajar for me to flirt, but I’m always too chickenshit. Instead, I remain a respectful guest in her house, mind my manners, dust off the doorknob, and close the door for her, before going back to the living room.
It’d be easier if I knew what I want.
It’d be easier if I wasn’t scared of hurting her.
It’d be easier if I didn’t care.
I don’t know. It’s Pride month. I’m meeting new queers. Let’s see where this month takes me. I’m ready to do it up.
I haven’t realized this til now but I’ve been subconsciously studying what makes people attractive recently. I don’t mean physically, but by way of actions. I’m learning from attractive (in this sense) people in my social circle. Showing care, different ways of caring. Showering someone with attention – remembering what they said in passing weeks ago, checking up on them for when their brow furrowed when they thought no one was looking. Certain highly-sought-after people have this in common and it’s no coincidence.
Another problematically attractive thing I’ve noticed about someone is their empty promises.
Guess I really am making an effort to earn how to love.
Edit (June 12): why am I so bad at writing/articulating my thoughts.
“…And I’m listening to you… tell me this story about this girl, and all of a sudden… you jump from starting to develop a crush… to all of this” she looped her hands wildly around.
“We’ve talked about this. This is a classic case of you overthinking… again.”
She’s right. Overthinking is normal but I over-overthink. The crush has barely started yet I’m already painting out everything that can go wrong, all our incompatibilities, and all these stupid
reasons excuses why it wouldn’t work out between me and her.
One of my new year’s resolutions was to let myself be emotionally vulnerable. So don’t think, just do. Let’s do this, no reservations.
When I fall for someone, it’s usually too late. It takes me months to develop feelings for someone. I need to know them, their story, their passions, their individuality.
A friend suggested perhaps I’m demi-sexual. I was taken aback at first but when she paired it with me going on and on about “emotional beauty”, it didn’t seem as far-fetched.
The problem is, I hesitate when people advance on me before I have any inclination towards them. If anything, I neutralize it and make it as platonic as white bread. And by the time I fall for them, it’s too late and they’ve moved on to someone else.
Perhaps the solution here is to voice this about me. Let them know to… well, not give up on me. The one thing I did learn and appreciate about J is, despite being an often-times awful communicator, she brought up the fact that she needs/likes when people ask her questions that help her elaborate, as she confessed she was bad at that. Not that most people don’t like this, but it certainly helped when she highlighted that about herself, and that she was aware of this about herself.
I guess voicing your flaws is a fairly vulnerable thing. But whether it’s an indication of trust or self-confidence, people like when you do it.
Whelp. I’d better let it be known that I take a while to develop feelings.
Last week, a new video came up on my feed from Stevie Boebi, celesbian Youtuber:
This stuck out to me because I’d initially thought jealousy was a symbol of affection. I would almost wear my possessiveness with pride and freely admit to being the “jealous type”. To me, jealousy “just meant that I cared”.
A part of me guessed this would (eventually) be a problematic characteristic in a relationship, but it never clicked with me that how I felt could’ve been because of how it’s been overly romanticized. In the video, they say that while it’s a human feeling, it’s narcissistic and selfish. Jealousy isn’t an indication of affection towards another – it’s an symptom of insecurity.
The more you know know.
I don’t know of many people who identify as Asian urban planners. Throw “lesbian” in there, and I would’ve claimed that as my predominant identity, on the basis that I’d be a rarity in Toronto.
So I wasn’t surprised at all when a brief urban planning meet-up with an acquaintance from the gaysian community extended beyond the workshop and lasted a full five hours. We mutually prolonged our time together, taking turns fueling our hangout with coffee place and artisinal shop suggestions for our (unplanned) next stop.
A mutual friend had introduced us a month or so prior after talking about us separately to each other. “You’d like her!” – these really are the most promising starts to friendships.
She’s an interesting one. We had a lot to bond over – our mutual interest and knowledge in urban planning unwrapped a whole layer of conversation that I usually reserve for my… well, urban planning friends. She made it clear that her sexuality was low in her hierarchy of identity, and naturally, queerness came up not too often in our conversation – if it did, it was likely on my part. We got raw with our conversations fairly quick and she told me about her own insecurities as I reciprocated with my own. I’ve never had anybody open up so quickly and blankly before.
To my surprise, when I saw her again at a party last weekend, she was a different person from when I first met her. She was in her comfort zone and far louder, she wore a bigger personality, which I had difficulty adjusting to. I preferred her quieter, more honest. I suspected, given when we’d talked about, that she was compensating… but I’m still not quite sure which side of her is real.
Had it been the same time last year, I would’ve been completely fascinated by her. But at this point, at the speed I’m meeting (queer) people, I just don’t know if I have the energy or patience to figure her out.
But it’s wrong of me to assume I need to figure her out. Perhaps what I’d considered the greatest lesson of 2016 was wrong; perhaps closure (in this case, on what she is) is overrated and it’s just a bandaid solution for people who overthink. Closure is not the answer to overthinking, just as dropping a loonie will not cure homelessness. In fact, in seeking closure, you can often make things worse – it’s a falsehood alluding to being in power/having control, when in fact, you are so far from it. It can fix that dreaded, baneful feeling of powerlessness, but it will not take your foot off your mind’s gas pedal. Being able to shift gears, stop, and sometimes reverse, combined with knowing where to steer and in what direction – that’s a better way to not spiral out of control.
Mmm this post took a turn.
I took her to a lesbian ping pong party last Friday night.
I’d been conflicted about signals she’d been giving off… I’m fairly thrown off by people who don’t answer their phones often or quickly – it seems pretty clear: if I mattered to you as much as you did me, you’d be ecstatic when my name appears on the screen.
I really do want to invest myself emotionally. She’s cute, and I like everything that I’m learning about her – every new tidbit about her is interesting. She’s a sportsgay*, a redditor, she knows her TV shows, has good taste in music (soft, indie stuff), and…. I’m learning more as we talk more. Sure we text fairly slow, but I like the dry humour and occasional sarcasm she’ll pepper into her responses.
* Up to this point, I’d never even considered being with a girl who was into sports. It was usually a dealbreaker for me – though, a subconscious one. I’d always assumed I’d be with (and taking care of) a femme girl, but I suppose that’s just my mind
So you can imagine how off-putting it was when I got her tickets to the Hayley Kiyoko concert and she responded with “hahaha thanks bud :)”.
Is any combination of letters more platonic and friend-zoney than calling someone “bud”?
I almost threw up in my mouth.
Learning from 2016, I’ve talked to several people about this and the (logical and obvious) conclusion they all individually give me is: “play it out”; “take it easy”.
Yeah…. let’s not think about it.
I really like the way her eyes fold when she laughs. But I wouldn’t be devastated if we don’t work out.
I’m cautious with my heart.
On one hand, being single feels great.
Sure it’s all I’ve known my whole life, but doing things at my own pace is so freeing and I feel like I get a lot more done.
On the other hand, I do want to be in a relationship with someone. But the internal struggle here is finding someone who I will not tire of and who won’t make me lose my (short) patience, someone who will make me a better person.
A friend winged me real good the other night.
She drunkenly announced at the bar, “I’m gonna wing you tonight” and I told her I thought the girl in the jean vest was cute. This dummy goes up to her and dances with her. Then she keeps signalling me over to dance with her. After much hesitation I did, and we ended up talking a little. I asked my friend what she said to her, and apparently she’d said “my friend thinks you’re cute”, and she was into it. At one point, I volunteered as tribute to a four-person competition which involved popping balloons with our bodies. Unfortunately jean-vest girl didn’t go up for it, but on the bright side, I ended up winning three free drinks and two tickets to an Idina Menzel concert.
She left fairly early, at about 1am, but when she did, she came to say bye. So I said “One of the biggest regrets in life is not getting a cute girl’s number.” And I whipped out my phone.
I’m two for two with that pickup line.
But I’m more cautious than ever with getting emotionally invested. If I’ve learned anything these past few months, it’s that people come and go – whether as friends are as potential partners.
But I’m making moves. We’ll see where it goes.
I went on a godawful tinder date. She kept trying to complete my sentences and she would not stop talking about herself.
She didn’t look anything like her profile pictures either.
It was intensely irritating when she went on and on about qwoc representation in media. A side of me wonders if it’s because I’m Asian, that she can win points by appearing to be an ally and ranting about how Scarlett Johanssen should not have been cast in Ghost in the Shell. Well, it’s one thing to be an ally but quite another to run your mouth about how “this might be a controversial thing to say, but I think we need more black artists like Beyoncé”.
Just shut up. Please.
The day after, she was supposed to stay til 6pm but lord have mercy, I wouldn’t have survived. I resorted to making up an elaborate story about my brother getting into a fight with my mom and needing to go see him. Even after then, she thought I’d let her stay at my apartment unsupervised. …FFS.
Woof. What a nightmare.
I just texted a girl from Tinder from a month ago (whom I’d stopped texting with) to tell her about it. We really hit it off the first time we texted back and forth but stopped after she went to go visit her brother in Welland. I never followed up and neither did she… But we’re picking it right back up. It’s odd but I like how loosely we’re taking it.
I feel so much more free since ending things with Tinder Nightmare (sorry, too tired to be a considerate human). The weightlessness is giving me the energy to meet new queers and I feel I’ve been doing so (even on the Friday before meeting her. I made out with a cute chick at a queer bar). Specifically, it’s the absence of a ‘potential crush’ that’s fueling the enthusiasm.
On a self-reflective note…
I’ve been preoccupied lately with the issue of me perhaps talking about myself too much.
I’ve long prided myself on being a great listener…so I’m terrified of entertaining this idea that perhaps I’m not /or I no longer am. J, C, and a lot of other gays are great at asking questions and I’m starting to compare myself (naturally) and I’m wondering if I don’t.
Being a good listener makes people more likable – this is known. Women are less assertive about their accomplishments and interests, generally speaking, than men. So although I’m naturally quiet and a person of few words, my conscious effort over these past few years to be louder, more articulate, and more purposeful with what I have to say might be drowning out my “introverted” side.
I’m worse at this in social settings than at the office. I’m a great listener towards my coworkers, but less so with my friends. One of my New Years Resolutions is to ask better and more questions of my friends when engaging in conversation – I’ve noticed I’m usually the one talking, and quite often it’s about my ideas or myself. (This is the opposite for me in the office.)
Then again all these are just my opinions of myself and could be totally wrong.