Ayden and I went on our 3rd date last week. As usual, he selected another fantastic restaurant and since the weather was lovely, we dined all fresco again.
He was unusually late but called to let me know. He wasn’t happy I had to buy myself a drink and made very sure the waiter switched our cards at the bar. I don’t mind buying either of us a drink but I could tell from the last date that he didn’t like me doing it.
The dinner, wine and company were perfect. I’m a bit at a loss over what we talked about exactly. I know along the way I told him about some kids stuff that happened this week and mentioned the doctors appts I had been too. I feel like my head is a jumble of nothingness lately. I really can’t seem to get my act together this past week.
Ayden asked what the doctor appts were all about and I mentioned female problems. I also said I didn’t really want to elaborate as it upset me. He backed off and we moved on to other subjects.
Before we left the restaurant we went to use the bathrooms and he stepped in behind me to kiss me hard. I will let you guess what favor I returned to him.
I wasn’t happy when his hair down there caught in my throat. It happened twice more during the evening and I finally told him all blow jobs are off until the hair gets trimmed. I don’t think he cares.
Makes my life easier.
We took a long walk, holding hands and kissing for close to an hour. At one point he pulled me aside and said he really wanted to have a private conversation (the night was nice so the walking paths were busy enough). He explained wanted clarification on my medical issues.
Because I was getting upset, I don’t recall exactly what he said that pushed me over the edge but it did. The words of the last 6 months spilled over and out along with the tears. I didn’t mention the pregnancy but simply told him it all started from the cyst, which is true.
I made a grave mistake at the end when I blurted out “on top of it all I learned my x-boyfriend is a porn addict and I probably need surgery.” By then the tears were sobs and he realized he had allowed it to go to far. He held me for a while and tried to explain himself.
He said he had a major fear of illness, his own illness. Dying of cancer. His wife died 7 or so years ago from cancer and his mother was diagnosed relatively recently. His fear is easily understood. Last week I watched him wait for a call in anxiety from the dermatologist as he had a suspicious mole removed.
As he was talking, I calmed down and we moved on. Again, I don’t really remember the transition.
I didn’t have Bobby on my mind, at least not consciously, but my guess is that my own anxiety which consumed me the day before had taken its toll. My brain was fried. I wasn’t paying attention. On some level I knew this wasn’t good and, on another I didn’t care because I needed the distraction.
We walked to the hotel he had chosen while seated on a bench together. We chatted easily along the way.
I enjoy his easy company, but he is officially the hardest man to read. When I am with him like this, it all seems fine, just normal. I forget that I barely heard from him during the week or even that I don’t really know him well.
We undressed one another and fell to the bed. We had a few instances of mixed signals on his part. I was writhing too much and he didn’t know if it was a sign to stop or go. He finally figured out how to hold me a bit more still to finish his task at hand. His mouth and fingers were magic and infinitely better than the first time. Other than the little mix-up, which I chalk up as getting to know one another, he was delicious.
It does occur to me that some lovers have no learning curve. Ayden does. But he wants to learn. He pays attention and he asks me questions. While I prefer the lovers who just get it and take control, I don’t mind learning the way with Ayden.
Actually, let me rephrase that. I don’t mind right now.
I am aware that I like him well enough to try. There are a lot of good things about him. But he doesn’t make me swoon in any way and we all know I quite like the swoon.
We fooled around and it started a bit rougher than the first time but then moved into that same “love-making” cadence. We didn’t finish. I don’t know why, but by the next morning I could surmise that he had some thing on his mind that was probably too distracting to him during sex.
I feel like we can improve together, but I don’t see him being mind-blowing. I’m really trying not to let this be the deterrent. It sounds selfish of me but it’s really nice to spend time with him and I don’t want to break it off yet because the sex isn’t spectacular.
This time he held me as we fell to sleep and I told him how much I liked that. He said he was happy to hold me but didn’t like touching during the night. I know all people are different about this but it is something I love. The man doesn’t need to be on top of me, but I like to have body parts touching during sleep.
Early morning, I knew he was awake before me because I could feel him fidgeting. I don’t know how long I waited before I asked if something was on his mind. I heard a sigh of relief.
He said “Yes, Madeline, I would like to have a serious talk, can you wake up enough for that yet?” I said yes and went the bathroom first before giving him my full attention. We lie on our sides looking at one another.
Ayden said he was very, very nervous about talking to me and was too afraid he would hurt me, especially after what I had shared the evening before. It was running through my mind that he was about to break it off with me. I couldn’t think of anything else it might be.
But it was something else entirely.
He was completely worried about the fact that my x-boyfriend was a porn addict. He wanted to know how long ago I was with him and then asked, with a very big rush of breath, if I had been tested for Aids.
I could see how stressed he was now. Now that I understood.
I answered calmly and told him, that I have been tested, twice. I also know for a fact that Bobby was tested and we were both clean in December. I have had many, various other tests since then as well. He made a comment about certain diseases not showing up until months later, and I asked him, with all sincerity, if he would like me to get tested.
Ayden said he broke with his last girlfriend 8 months ago and has had no sex until me. The sexual disparity became just a bit more apparent to me.
His response was enormous. He was overjoyed and grabbed me and pulled me towards him. He said he couldn’t believe that I could handle this conversation so calmly and with such grace and ease and he thanked me many times and kissed the top of my head. I didn’t think I had done anything special. I understand this is really important to some people, I don’t mind allaying his fears, it’s no problem.
Then he moved away, looked me in the eyes and said that it meant so much to him that I would have such a difficult conversation so easily (and he seemed amazed by it, even commented that “this really is just you, isn’t it?”) that he wanted to give me a gift.
Of course, I made a joke and asked what kind of gift I could have, hinting that morning sex would be lovely. He told me then he doesn’t like morning sex and he will always have sex with a condom on.
I admit, that deflated me some.
He went on to say that he would like to pay for my son’s summer math tutoring as he knew my x didn’t want to pay for it and he felt it was really important. I think he saw the look of confusion on my face and he quickly added that I could also choose a sexy pair of spiky heels.
Whatever I wanted to do that would make me happy, so he could return the favor.
I laughed it off at this point and explained both of those gifts were too much 3 dates in.
For all the times I have joked about expensive shoes, I hope you all know me well enough to know that this was just too much to accept 3 dates in. Maybe if he was a jerk, I would let him spend the money on me, but he’s not.
By this time it was well past 8am and I assume we had been talking for about 30-40 minutes. When I asked him the time, I remarked that he had an 8am call and wondered if he postponed it. He told me he missed it because he was talking to me, which was much more important to him. I made a mental note of that because I could tell how serious he was.
We dressed and had breakfast together at a cute little place next door.
He insisted I sit down while he secured breakfast at the self-serve bar. I could get used to being spoiled like this.
A perfect coffee and egg sandwich were returned to me.
While at breakfast, he recalled that I had walked quite a distance in heels the night before and he promised me a foot massage. So, under the table, he removed my shoe and began massaging. He promised he wouldn’t forget for next time. The strange thing about this was that he really was upset he forgot to do something he promised. Again, I made light of it, I had forgotten as well, it was no big deal.
After breakfast we walked a bit together and he had to stop at the bank ATM so I went in with him. He withdrew a large amount of cash, which I know for two reasons – I was looking over his shoulder and I watched all the 20s come forth from the machine. He walked away with a huge wad of cash and put it in his pocket. I thought it was funny at the time.
Until it was time for us to part, kiss goodbye and he went to hand the money to me for my “gift.”
In hindsight, the feeling I had wasn’t good, maybe like almost throwing up a little in my mouth. Why was a man I just slept with handing me a wad of cash? I was very clear in the bedroom I couldn’t accept his gifts, but had no impression that he still expected me to take money from him to purchase the gift myself.
He told me again it was important to him and I stood my ground. I could see he was a little crestfallen but there was no way I was taking the money. I offered a compromise, if he would like to purchase a gift for me, he could take me shoe shopping, try shoes on with me and make the choice of the gift himself. He agreed.
We parted and I felt awkward.
I called at least 3 friends to tell the story to make sure I wasn’t crazy, this was just strange.
I did not send him a thank you text on Friday, but I did get a Good Morning from him on Saturday and that is it for the weekend.
Is this what dating looks like? Is this how the cadence is supposed to go? I barely hear from him between dates, then I spend 15 hours with him overnight each week and have a lovely dinner at a fabulous restaurant?
I’m not so sure how I feel about this.
I have told him twice now that I don’t like the lack of communication between dates and he replied he could only give me one night a week. I agreed that was fine, but it was really about having some conversation in between those dates. There was no resolution to the discussion and obviously things haven’t changed.
To be honest, I don’t know how much longer I can do this. I want to like him more. I want to get to know him better. But this once a week is beginning to feel like an escort service (well called Libido Bootcamp!) and perhaps my time is better spent looking for a man to fulfill more of my needs.
Ayden and I are not on the same page. Sexually, I don’t think it will work – can you imagine if this man were ever to find out my history? He would run for the hills. I also don’t think he is interested in experimenting. I think he is going to be very happy with once a week, very standard, very vanilla sex.
On the other hand, I don’t really want to give him up because I enjoy the time with him. I just don’t know how to balance these quirks or the pace he is setting.
And what’s underneath it all with the money? He clearly likes control, knows I like to be served, and that piece works well between us. I dress up like a pretty little doll each week and entertain him.
I’m not sure how I got here, except I can feel in my bones that I am tired….really tired. Tired of the last 6 months. Tired of being sick. Tired of yelling at my kids. Tired of being in charge of anything. I’m tired in my soul and in my heart.
And scared to death of having no income in exactly 11 more weeks.
So maybe I just need to let this roll, but it’s not sitting quite right with me. Part of me feels like this is just Ayden. He’s not very emotive but I did see something, sparks of something, on this date that I hadn’t seen on the others. I do think he likes me and I know he was surprised, and continues to be surprised at my level of empathy and understanding with him and my world at large.
Sometimes I surprise myself, even.
Resilience is a good trait, but it’s awfully exhausting now. Can’t someone else have a turn?