Dating someone who isn’t available, in whatever capacity that may be, comes with challenges. One is the time between meetings. Texting is one thing, but I am not here for pen pals. For me, it was one of the pluses of casual dating, that you were never sitting around waiting for a text that never came or a meet up that got cancelled. You never had time to project the future onto any one individual you lusted over, because there really was someone else already vying for your attention. When your date flakes, you make up the numbers because it’s the only way to mentally survive it, and casual dating is littered with flakes for obvious reasons.
It’s why I advise that if you are going to date someone who isn’t available, make sure your life is busy with distraction – work, friends, family, other dates. You need all sorts of pulls on your time elsewhere. Be less available otherwise it will drive you nuts whether you lust after them or you just enjoy the company. Missed connections cut deep on so many levels.
I don’t lead an especially busy life, so distraction isn’t easy for me. And whilst I have now very much settled into a routine with Leigh and have stopped overthinking (I never wonder where he is or what he is doing, or why he hasn’t texted me for hours), I do like the attention to get me through what can be dull days in my routine life. Leigh is funny and intelligent, and lord knows there aren’t many men like him in the world, married or otherwise. I have also realised I have settled easily with him. I don’t feel wary of him or that I need to put on a show. Everything has been far too easy and uncomplicated.
But our extended time apart had been a drag at times, and especially in the early days. It would be for anyone, and I am afraid I slipped back to one of my old haunts for entertainment. Not to find someone to meet, but just to have a nosey around at who was online and maybe strike up a conversation or two. Over the course of a week or so someone messaged me that stuck around. 99% go straight into the trash. But this one hasn’t. Yet. And whilst it is only conversation, I am not entirely sure where it will go since this one has expressed an interest in me beyond chatting. His situation is similar to Leigh’s so there is no risk of getting stuck with someone long term. But he seems to be a completely different animal.
This new chap, Daniel, has a different set up. He and his wife have an agreement, or so he tells me. She knows what he gets up to and is happy for him to take his dick elsewhere since that aspect of their marriage has long since been over. He is older than Leigh and shares some curious similarities in other respects. He is no stranger to infidelity, and he doesn’t mince his words. But he also has that gentlemanly charm about him and an intelligent creativity that comes across in his long and interesting messages, all things which pique my interest.
Do I feel guilty? Leigh and I agreed that we didn’t want to be in a multiple partner situation. I still think I want that with him, provided I don’t have to go through long gaps without him, and providing I can sort my own life out. At the moment, I’m no longer sure that only him is a viable demand however, and more so since everything has settled into a very dependable routine. I’ve never had it in this sort of situation before.
I still believe that Leigh is not sleeping with his wife anymore and hasn’t for a very long time. But thank goodness for not falling in love because at least I can look at this from a practical perspective. The gaps aren’t painful, just irritating. I could have been seeing other people. But I also know it’s not his fault and it stresses him out that there are missed meetings, so I know he is transparent about it. Yes, I know. I am giving him far too much credit.
Nothing has happened with Daniel, and I think there is a fair chance nothing will. But equally Leigh could disappear too. A part of me (for whatever reason) does feel a tinge of loyalty to Leigh given his attitude and intention. But I don’t owe him. He is the one committing infidelity. I am the enabler with the get out clause. If something happened or Leigh chose to change the way things were, I would be the sacrifice and I know for a fact that he is capable of doing that, and will, if it protects his existing life. I don’t blame him for that and I have always admired his honesty given how many fakers there are out there.
The ironic nature of all this is that I have never cheated on a monogamous partner and I never would, certainly not now I am learning better communication and have borne witness to how it affects those who do and do not know about it. If I have learned nothing else from all this, it is that talking and negotiating are the only ways to keep a respectful partnership together, whatever its status and however you choose to deal with the issues within that relationship.
Start as you mean to go on, and then keep doing it. Then if you get into a sticky situation you know you can have those conversations without fear. When, IF, I ever get myself back into a 1-2-1 relationship, he’s going to have to be good at his game because Leigh has in many ways set a standard that’s going to be hard to match. I haven’t dated many nice men in my life. In return I hope that he will be getting the best ever version of me. And at least I can say that about myself, if nothing else.