Dating Like a Man and Learning the Hard Way
I’ve recently found myself watching excessive reruns of Sex and the City, maybe because it’s more relatable now at 25 then it was at 16. But while most women compare themselves to Carrie, I have always found myself in Samantha–whether it was because I aspire to be like her or I see similarities in her–it changes episode to episode. I’ve worn my sexuality on my sleeve, used it and abused it. I’ve gone after men, done the threesome thing, integrated crazy sex toys from Adam and Eve and taken charge. I’m not afraid to speak my mind and get what I want, but the one thing I’ve never truly been able to do is date like a man.
I’ve fooled myself many a time thinking I could do it. Acting all confident and aloof, but it was all a charade. I wanted to, badly. I saw power in that ability to disconnect your sexuality from your emotions–envying the way it opened up your possibilities, your time, your head and even your heart. But I couldn’t. I’d juggle men, sleep with a few at a time, but in the end they were all used to fill voids created by the others. And more specifically, created by one.
That one is a man that I’ve known since I was 19. We met in a class in college and it started innocently. I didn’t even notice him past his study partner abilities, but when I ran into him at single and 20 everything changed. We quickly fell into a friends with benefits situation, where we would call each other at the end of a night of drinking and either fall into his bed or mine.
I tried to stay cool, to not learn about him or care, but the questions inevitably crept in. I programmed myself not to text him during the week, only between the hours of 12AM and 4AM Thursday – Saturday and always tried to date and see other people, but it didn’t stop me from wanting to deviate.
However, I knew there was never going to be anything else. We enjoyed using each other and then saying things to sometimes make the other jealous or to prove that we were nothing but sexing friends. This went on for two years. There was more depth than it seems, but not much.
We finally said our goodbye a week after college graduation. We were both hiding something, but wouldn’t say what it was, instead we acted like leaving was always a part of the plan. I only knew increments more about him then I did when it started, but it didn’t lessen the pain of finally giving up on something I had held on to for so long. We both left our college city assuming it was done.
It would only take a few months, but eventually we both admitted that there was more there and that we had always wanted it. We had both just been too foolish and stubborn, building off each other’s fake lack of caring. At that point it was too late. I was in a relationship and he was about to be in one.
It’s now been three and a half years since we said “goodbye” and we still haunt each other like ghosts who appear when our relationships are going south or when our sex lives are dull. We see passes of each other when we find ourselves in mutual cities, we toy with the idea of cheating and ultimately say things to persuade and dissuade each other from holding on. It never ends and I frequently wonder if it ever will.
I went into this five years ago trying to be Samantha and ended up like Carrie with my own Mr. Big. I don’t think our story will end the same though; we’ll just be broken fragments always floating in the back of each other’s mind.
I learned the hard way; I will never try to date like a man again.