“Let’s be super great friends!”
That, coming from my recently ex-boyfriend. Jesse. We’d been dating for five months and were never really serious, but he was sweet and gentle and comfortable to be with. It was nice to have a steady date. Although I have been single far more often than not, whenever I am in a relationship, it seems as if that is my natural state of being. Which is usually a surprise to me.
Jesse was a good fit, physically. He was about my height, but lighter in weight. Sexy lips. Tiny waist. Very cute butt. We fit together perfectly. Saying goodbye was never easy. Once we embraced, neither one of us wanted to let go. Not because we were so desperately in love. That word never arose in conversation. It’s just that we felt so good in each other’s arms. A few seconds of holding him was all I needed to get aroused. A simple hello kiss usually led us to the bedroom before car keys were put away, sunglasses were taken off, or whatever bags either of us was carrying had been put down.
Once there, in the bedroom, things would not go so well. That was unfortunate, since the promise of great sex was powerfully real. Truly, I’ve never wanted to tear off anyone’s clothes and throw them down on the bed as much as I wanted to with him. The problem was that I like to play a bit rough, and Jesse did not. Really not. He would describe himself as a delicate flower, and he meant it. There is no faster turn off than someone telling you that you are hurting them. When you are not.
Fragility is unattractive in a man. Jesse was fragile.
“If I wanted to have sex with a girl, I would have sex with a girl,” I would be tempted to say. The shame was that we had genuine sparks together. Just no way to act on them. No way that was satisfying to us both.
We tried letting him be in charge, which he seemed to think he was. Funny that. A guy pretending to be dominant when he is so clearly not. I went along and enjoyed whatever he was doing to me at any given time, not-so-secretly wishing he would engage more enthusiastically. Conversely, he seemed to want me to just lie there inert, without participating at all. He would actually brush my hands away if I touched him, and turn his face to the side if I tried to kiss him. I’m not kidding. He would.
My response was usually to stiffen like a board and demonstrate an exaggerated plank, which would make him laugh. Then I could tease him a bit.
“Stop touching me, stop touching me,” I would whine, in imitation of him. More laughter. Honestly, the foreplay was great. Too bad it didn’t lead anywhere.
It was no surprise when I began to pick up signals that perhaps he was seeing someone else. Some of those signals were hard to miss, actually. Like the night we were staying in to watch a movie in bed.
“Let’s order from that pizza place.”
“Which pizza place?”
“You know, the one we ordered from before.”
Only there had been no before. At least not with me. Then there were the cancelled dates. The unreturned phone calls. The delayed text messages. Finally, I wrote to him saying that I could not help but notice that my interest in him was not being reciprocated, and so I wished him well.
“I miss you already.” From me, which I thought was rather sweet.
That’s when he made the offer of becoming “super great friends.”
Almost immediately, he began appearing in my facebook news feed. We rarely used facebook to communicate with one another. I’m not the kind of person who posts private material in a public forum. My security settings are at maximum. If I write something to someone, I usually send them a message instead of posting it openly on their wall, for all their friends to read. So, there was never any chance of personal information about either me or Jesse making its way onto our shared news feed.
Well, apparently the new guy he is dating has a different take on social networking. He floods Jesse’s home page with cutesy images of hearts and flowers, constructed from rows of various punctuation marks. Messages of “I wuv you.” Hallmark card quotes about finding soul mates. Drippy lyrics from love songs. Worse yet: romantic photos.
There is my recently ex-boyfriend. In his pajamas. Lying on a pile of pillows. Surrounded by candles. Holding a glass of champagne in one hand, and a fluffy stuffed puppy dog in the other. There they are together. Riding a ferris wheel. Sharing an ice cream cone. Kissing under a flowery pergola.
After five months, Jesse and I were still just dating. After five days, he and the new guy are virtually married.
Years ago, I worked with a nineteen year old boy whose girlfriend used to send him love notes. Two or three a day. Decorated with stickers of teddy bears and sparkly rainbows. Addressed to his work place. Seriously. It was not enough to be dating. To be calling on the phone. At work. No, she had to completely suffocate him with perfume scented, clingy cloying neediness.
He must have liked it. So must Jesse. I’ve never thought of myself as unromantic. The strong, silent, unemotional type. Then again, I’ve never thought of myself as rough in bed. Guess it’s all a question of relativity. To a delicate flower, perhaps I am made of stone.