Heeding The Red Flags
Relationships end for different reasons. Sometimes they’ve just played themselves out, sometimes you grow apart – he’s on FM and you’re still on AM – sometimes he commits a no-no and sometimes you do.
But when they just don’t go quietly into the night but crash land, it’s often because you or he didn’t heed the red flags.
I just abruptly ended a long term fuckbuddyship. Or maybe Ted did. Who knows? I had a trio of fuckbuddyships back in New York that lasted years where good sex and some social foreplay were enough for both of us. But when you have sex – great sex at least for you – almost every week for two years with the same guy and you’re beginning to feel things he isn’t, something has to give.
We both clearly expressed we did not want a romantic relationship or as l put it, exchange diamond studded cockrings, though we often shared romantic moments. And l clearly understood at a certain point l was being used – for sex, for the candy and l don’t mean M and M’s which he never paid for, plus the added benefit of my private heated pool – but as long as l got something out of it – meaning being with him – l was content being used. But when l tried to bring whatever we had going out of the bedroom and turn this fuckbuddyship into a “friends with benefits,”(after all, in between screwing we talked about our lives and our problems), like maybe going for dinner or a movie before we screwed, he always made up excuses.
He also was always the one to text me at 10 of 10 at night about coming over. No advance notice even when l would broach the subject earlier that week or even that day – as if l were a rentboy without pay on standby. Once when he contacted me on a Saturday night l was already in the bar but quickly got in my car to come home.
Because l wanted to see him.
And it wasn’t just physicality and personality that drove my minor obession. We were both creative types – l had been in PR, he ran his own small but growing ad agency – we shared a love of dogs, and even collected the same shit – mechanical antiques like old cameras and Edison cylinder phonographs. So, l admit it, when you’re gay hope springs eternal. But l wasn’t asking for the whole wedding cake, just some icing.Nor did l believe the M and M’s made the difference. For us, or at least for me, it was the salt and pepper on the steak, not the steak.
Finally, a few weeks ago l confronted him and asked him why he hadn’t cooled things six months or even a year before if l didn’t, when in his mind l was getting too close for comfort, and separate as two civilized adults, something l would have regretfully accepted. suddenly he got all huffy and totally out of the blue called me an “arrogant asshole” and in the same breath the most unique person he ever met for telling it like it us and not giving a fuck what people thought ( l’m an old New Yorker and for us that’s our modus operandi – otherwise the Big Apple would eat you up). l found that to be a left handed compliment. There’s a line in Shakespeare’s Hamlet where Hamlet’s mother who married his late father’s brother after the brother had murdered him goes on and on and on about some insignificant comment, “Lady thou protests too much.”
Why the insults from Ted after two years of my hospitality instead of a civil “let’s end it then?”
Because he knew that meant the end of the free M and M’s.
But – but – l have nobody to blame but myself because l let things go on and thought with my dick and my heart instead of my head.
I didn’t heed the red flags.
So what were the red flags l should have reacted to along the way?
Heeding The Red Flags: ll
I told you Monday about a long time fuckbuddyship that l wanted to turn into a friend with benefits but instead went up in a burst of flames because l misread the signs. I didn’t heed the red flags, the red flags that clearly said, call it a day, Ray, what you want you aint gona get from this guy.
Red Flag # 1
I always played host but when my other half no longer interested in sex was down from our PA home for the winter here in Florida and l couldn’t host, neither could Ted even though he claimed he lived alone. If he had a partner that was certainly no big deal in this town of philandering partners but more and more l wondered if he was married married to a woman which he denied, or was so closeted and paranoid he didn’t want his neighbors to see him bring a strange man into his house (bullshit). Or maybe wanted to keep the candy use confined to my place and not potentially poison his(maybe) or didn’t want me to know anymore about him than he was willing to tell me (quite possible). At that point if l felt l didn’t get some reasonable answers to reasonable questions from a guy l was bedding down with almost weekly, maybe l should have pulled the plug. But l didn’t. Little advance notice on our liaisons was also something l didn’t fight and should have.
Red Flag #2
Once when l had no candy he said he’d wait. So was it l he enjoyed or the free M and M’s? I often wondered when he changed from a shy guy to a passionate animal whether he wasn’t one of those “str8’s” who needed a few drinks, or in this case a few puffs, to do it with a man. Should l have brought up contributing to the candy fund and if he ignored that call it day? But l didn’t.
Red Flag #3
Late in our fuckbuddyship l expressed my desire to get off the hook up sites merry- go- round and said if l knew we would have regular sex l would take all my profiles down. His response? He said he was flattered. Nothing more. Once l told him l loved him in my own way. Again a weak smile but no reaction. If my intentions were like throwing grass seed on the ocean wasn’t that the time for me to cool it? But l didn’t.Or for him to just spit it out: “Ray, l like you, we have great sex, but like l told you before, that’s as far as l want it to go.”But he didn’t and think you see now why
Red Flag #4
Ignoring my requests to do something beyond the bedroom, like dinner. (In our last confrontation, he said he didn’t want to go out to dinner because he didn’t want to give me the wrong idea about “us.” Huh?) Shouldn’t that have been a clear sign all he wanted was the sex and the candy?
Red Flag #5
But the clearest red flag that l overlooked because l was a jerk came in July of 2015 when a terrible infection in one my sinuses would not clear up with antibiotics, forcing me to undergo an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. The last time l had been in the hospital was when l had my tonsils removed at four and l had great trepidation about the surgery since it was being performed in the cranial area and carried the remote but potential risk of vision loss or brain damage. I casually mentioned to Ted the Friday prior to my surgery l would have to report to the hospital that Monday morning at 5 a.m. and would be taking a cab since l didn’t want to inconvenience any of my friends.
“I’ll take you,” he insisted, “no one should go to the hospital alone.” All through that weekend l left numerous voicemails and texts to confirm he was coming but never got a resonse. So Monday a.m., l took the cab – alone. The surgery went without a hitch and l didn’t bother contacting Ted about any of it when, out of the blue, a week or so later he texted me. “Wanna be bad?”, his lead-in for wanting sex
Now any one else would have waited till he pulled up to the house, then blast him. But being the practical faggot, l figured why wreck a good night of sex. When l nonchalantly asked him about my ride, he said he had come down with the flu. That’s the first time l heard the flu incapitated your abilty to throw out a ten second text, “Sorry, sick , can’t take you.” l overlooked the whole thing and looking back realized l shouldn’t have.
But in the end Ted has done me a favor. I mainly bought the M and M’s to have them around for him. So since our arrivederci, l’ve been on an M and M diet.
Is there a lesson to be learned from all this? Sure, but it’s something l realized long before l met Ted.
If they don’t want you, they don’t want you.
All the pleaing and pestering in the world won’t make a difference.
When l saw early in the game a friend with benefits wasn’t in the cards for Ted and I, and realizing how awkward it was becoming for me to continue to see someone who l cared more about than he did me, l should have ended it right there.
I didn’t need the red flags to tell me that.
Friday: Not Heeding The Red Flags Can Have Serious Consequences
No candu ll wait
Never an offer to compenstate
Not kaying diwn the kaw when lgot too dewey eyed because he knew an end meant an end to everuthinh not responding at all
Pushing offer diner. Last minute notices
So for all geneoirsuty and hospitality i wss told l wasan arogrant asshole. The bvest comp!ment i got all day.