MARRIAGE: Forced intimacy in 21st Century dating

I’ve been waking up queasy.

 

Two nights ago I was stood up.

The person isn’t important to me, the evening wasn’t special, the point is limited to the fact that someone said they would come see me and then they didn’t show up, no offer of reason, no instigation of remorse, he just evidently didn’t want to be around me so: I waited up to hear from him until I fell asleep.

 

It would have been our second date.

I haven’t known what to make of this person.  I thought, maybe I’ll see him for the second time and I will know a little bit more about how I feel.  That’s what dating is.

Our first date was really fun but when we parted at the end of it, we just hugged and walked away.

I found this very confusing. I found it a bit odd that he, unlike the other men I’ve met, didn’t bother to force a physical ending to the date. Instead of acknowledging that he might be a good person who believes in taking his time while getting to know someone, I judged that he’s probably not attracted me because he didn’t try to instigate an aim at my sexuality and therefore: Goodbye forever.

It’s clear I’ve never met a man who wasn’t in a hurry.

Until this guy.

He lingered.

He spoke to me everyday throughout the holidays. I started to feel close to him. He sent me pictures of his family, I sent him pictures of my dog, we were in touch the whole time and I kept wondering: I could believe that he’s into me but maybe he’s just incredibly bored. Maybe he’s at home with his family and he’s so bored, he keeps texting the one number in his phone that he knows will respond. Because I always respond. Because, I’m always alone.

He seemed into me when he wanted to see me again.  Until he didn’t show up.

I haven’t heard from him since.

I feel like an idiot.

This pattern has occurred and re-occurred for me all year: Meet a guy online, establish a forced intimacy via text message or digital interaction, meet in person, get closer and closer both physically and discursively, developing feelings not of caring, not worrying about their well being or their life (in fact expressions of worry on my end for the men who fail to show up with no explanation and go missing for lengthened intervals are often dismissively referred to as “cute”), the feeling is just an intimacy, a forced intimacy, established easily via the ability for this guy to live in my pocket and be in my home speaking with me at any moment but then countered by the fact that he could just as easily disappear.

They come, they linger, they go and I cannot tell who is forcing this intimacy, I just know: It takes over.

It’s making me sick.

 

I woke up queasy today.

Last night I feasted on atrocious offerings. Usually I avoid foods that are made up. I don’t really subscribe to any particular diet. I’ve stopped “dieting”, fascinated with the creation of restricted consumption from a young age, my first diet, The Suzanne Somers diet (or “Somersizing”, kill me), began when I was eleven, continued until I was fat again, began again when I was thirteen and then a sequence of internet researched diets from then on until roughly…let’s just say until right now: I have come to understand that my body and I are in a partnership and her needs are not part of a discourse. My body cannot be healed by the offerings of a book written by Suzanne Somers or Dr. Phil or some other guy or that lady from The Biggest Loser. I just need to listen to my body. My body has always been a good partner to me and I take her for granted.

All year, any time one of this idiot nobodies has left me for the mere subtlety of not being interested enough in me or maybe they just do not have enough awareness to know how to be interested in anyone other than themselves, each time I am left alone, I destroy my body. I hurt her. And she leaves me.

I don’t even care.

I cannot accept that my body deserves to feel better than I do.

I hate her. I get mad at her. She’s truly like my wife, as if the marriage was arranged and though some arranged marriages are fruitful and beautiful and balanced, in this case, we end up murdering each other.

I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t ashamed of my body.

I fear that everyone is more aware of my size than I am, that I need to lose an intense amount of weight and no one is telling me, that I am merely getting away with a Fatness that I could fix, I have to fix but I can give it one more day.

In general, when I feel normal and fine, I think a lot about how I treat my body, I don’t like to eat things that are Made Up, weird packages of things with ingredients that have been lab-invented, “processed” (I’m not even sure what that means) I don’t like to eat anything that feels like the ingredients of this “thing” have been traumatized because I don’t want to traumatize myself. If I am helping myself, I help my body but it’s very hard for me to think of The Body as something that deserves to feel better than the way I feel when I am abandoned.
I eat a lot of produce when I’m happy with my life.  I eat a lot poison when I’m sad.

I wake up queasy.

 

The relationship between self-harm and intimacy is uncherishable.

I have never ever had sex with a man who cared about me. Not a single one.

I have effectively hurt myself for the sake of contrived attraction. I have sacrificed my body just to be close to someone else. And then they leave.

When they leave, I turn to other intimate offerings: Food, cigarettes and alcohol.

I wake up queasy, stiff and irritable, unable to achieve the things I’ve planned because my mind is so convinced that my body has failed, that the body gives up.  She stops working.

She’s just this sad little victim of my shame.

 

This process of blame reminds of how, when I walk my dog and the cold makes me irritable or maybe I’m irritable for any other reason, I blame my him. Anything that bothers me on the walk, I just yell his name as if it’s his fault that someone just passed by me too closely or he took a shit deep in the snow and I can’t get to it or I slip a bit on the slush, whatever irritates me, I blame him and it doesn’t make me feel better, it’s just that blame makes circumstance more tolerable.

My mind blames my body because it’s too emotional for me to accept my feelings, which are atrocious but which constantly state: Men leave me because I deserve to be left and there’s nothing I can do about it.

 

I hate being fooled by people. I hate it when someone arrives and I believe them: I believe they love me or could love me and I could love them, or some version of that emotional equation.   I hate it when they leave.

I do it to my body all the time: I develop really healthy and normal habits, clean versions of living for 6-8 weeks and then something or someone happens, I lose interest in her welfare and I stop caring. Then she leaves.

 

Last night, these past two days, my destruction is all because I saw hope for 2018 in a man I only knew for a week and when that was over I gave up entirely on my entire physical existence.

 

I’m not sure what it is about patience and focus.  It’s hard to have either one. It seems we all promise things we cannot arrange. It seems we all start things we cannot finish.

If you mention “marriage” to anyone in their early twenties right now, they go off about how nothing is forever and freedom to be who you are and poly and all kinds of negotiable entities of Self.

If you mention “marriage” to a young person right now, they think of it politically first.

We approach dating with no interest in the other person because we cannot focus on them, we do not have patience for them.

Everything is political.

Everything is selfish.

There is no intimacy.

Forcing it is excruciating.

 

As I reflect on this year, one my favourite memories is of a guy who hates me now.

It was February.

My home was being renovated, I was living with my parents, and we decided to meet at my place in the middle of the night just to be together, just to drink and see what would happen.
Of course, an intimate evening persisted.

Remembering him and that evening, I realize, the special nature of the evening had nothing to do with him and the gift of the memory isn’t that I have this nice recollection of that guy in particular but, rather, that I can remember how beautifully and authentically intimate I can be with someone.

One thing I am gifted at is generosity. Most people don’t know what to do with it but, when someone loves my generosity, they love me and I often find they participate. Everyone else takes advantage and then runs away.

The other evenings with men I had this year were wrought with nerves and agenda. They don’t really count and remembering them hurts, it makes me want to cry, acid reflux takes over, I can’t write about those evenings now.

It only matters that I know the difference, finally, between genuine and forced intimacy.

 

Yesterday I spent the day with my best friend.

I woke up, unable to understand the freedom of the day because I couldn’t understand being stood up for the millionth time this year and my thought was to go buy a bunch of fake foods and eat them all, lying in bed, crying.

My best friend took me out.

We walked around, eating really great foods, buying ourselves gifts and listening to each other’s stories.

Now I’m really crying, because that was such a true experience, and her friendship is so meaningful to me, as are a couple of my other relationships but I’m so fortunate to know my little handful of wonderful spirits, it makes finding a partner difficult because I refuse to buy into a falsehood.

I cannot offer a cheap version of my presence.  I cannot accept someone else’s show.

If it’s my intensity that pushes people away, I don’t even know how to fix that.

It doesn’t matter right now.

Right now, I have to stop almost barfing.

It’s possible I might be deserving of my own generosity. Or, at least my body is deserving of it.  It’s possible.  But it takes so much to focus on that.  It takes so much to have the patience for real being.

 

I was recently sent a wallet in the mail. I had left this in Montreal and a friend of mine found it. He sent it to me because I wasn’t sure if there were valuables in it. I don’t even know how to assess whether or not what is in this wallet is valuable.

I almost throw the whole thing away. I did throw the whole thing away and then I dug it back out.

In the wallet were little clippings, little pieces of literature, quotes, that I was keeping for a different friend who currently refuses to speak with me, the same friend from February. We used to send each other passages, sometimes I’d clip some out from my own books for him. These clippings were really dear to me at the time.

I don’t miss him but I display these quotes now as an offer of intimacy to all of you. Fulfillment of intimate connection needn’t come from some guy I’m drawing fantasies about. I wonder if intimacy in this century is just the genuine offer of closeness. With every article I write, I open myself up to being closer to all of you reading this. And that’s really big. So, thank you for reading. You make the nausea go away.

 

“Decrease combined with sincerity

Brings about supreme good fortune

Without blame.”

 

“Going leads to obstructions,

Coming leads to unions.”

 

“In the midst of the greatest obstructions,

Friends come.”

 

(I have no idea where these quotes sare taken from because they were just little scraps I found.)