By Maura Kelly published
Well, the era of casual sex is over—for me, anyway.
I'd dated Mr. Singer for three months last summer. From the beginning, I thought it would never get too serious; I even wrote in my journal shortly after meeting him: "I don't think this will be more than a fling--but it could be a lot of fun." My main reservation: he didn't seem capable of helping me grow as a writer, thinker and human. The other problem was that he'd just broken up with a serious girlfriend when I met him, and made it explicitly clear from the get-go that he was not in the market for a serious relationship.
But him saying he didn't want anything serious, and me telling myself I could never be serious about him were the factors my head considered. My heart had some other ideas--as did a few other body parts.
When he broke it off in the fall, I told myself it was only because he actually liked me more than I liked him and was afraid of getting hurt; that he was afraid his feelings were more intense than mine.
I was sad about it for a while and checked his Facebook page way too frequently ... but finally put him behind me.
Or so I thought.
Then February rolled around, and he started texting me now and then, out of the blue, to ask how my novel was going, or if I'd written any interesting essays lately ... We ended up getting together one night for dessert at one of my favorite little cafes, where we got into a silly fight, launched by his claim that he was as accomplished a writer as I was.
Now, I don't think I'm any great shakes--but I've published all sorts of things in a bunch of different glossy magazines and other nationally-recognized publications. And he hasn't published ... anything! I was insulted, and we fought, and then he apologized, admitting he was way out-of-line. I forgave him and thought, Oh, Jonas Singer, Jonas Singer, you silly little boy.
And a week or two later, when he asked if I'd like to get together, I felt completely in control. I figured I had nothing to lose--emotionally or otherwise. I was more certain than ever I could never be very serious about him, and that I would never get attached to him. But I was missing the physical comfort of being intimate with another person--and figured I had nothing to lose. I figured, for the first time in my life, I could have "casual" sex--with someone I liked enough, and trusted more or less completely.
So, I saw him the following night. And again a week or so later. And a week or so after that. It was going all right—it seemed fun and light-hearted—till we got into another silly fight a couple weeks ago. He was supposed to come over to my place late one night, after a meeting, and I got pissed, despite the fact that he'd been in frequent contact about how the meeting was dragging on, because it didn't end till much too late for me. I shouted. He was upset that I was so mad when he hadn't technically done anything wrong. And it became clear that, of course, we both had some deeper feelings for each other; that he was capable of hurting me, even if it was "casual." Maybe I was even capable of hurting him.
The whole thing made me anxious, and I started texting and calling him more than usual. And on Monday night, it all came to a head. He started out saying: I think you want this to turn into something serious, but that's not going to happen.
ME: Yes, I want a serious relationship in my life. But not with you.
HIM: Well, I don't believe you. And I don't respect you for letting me have sex with you, with no consequences.
*Knife in the fucking heart!*
ME: (Once I could breathe again:) How could you just say that? After all the times you reassured me that there was nothing wrong with wanting and enjoying sex?
HIM: That didn't come out right. Of course I respect you. You're a great writer. Of course I respect you. It's just ... it's not good for me to know that I can have sex with you whenever I want. You know? ... Are you still there? Are you okay? ... You don't sound okay.
And I wasn't. I was busy trying not to let him hear me crying.
But I should end here for the day; I've gone on way too long, already, I'm sure!
I promise to bore you with more details about this Monday. Have a great weekend, peeps.
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