The Pain of Ghosting

That Too Many of Us Know

The Pain of Ghosting

I’ve had my opinions on why ghosting someone sucks for years. Never for a moment did I think a person who ghosts someone else was an admiral human being. In fact, the contrary. I still believe that a person who just stops responding for no reason is a coward, and spineless. These individuals are not ready to date, because I believe dating adults need to understand how to end a relationship, and handle rejection with grace. But that is an article for another time (or just the one I link to later on), for now, let me share my recent experience with being ghosted.  Just so we are on the same page, let me start with the definition.

What is ghosting?

It is “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”

Why am I writing about this?

Because, I was seeing a guy for almost 9 weeks, and out of the blue, he just stopped responding to any messages where I said I wanted to see him. And then, just stopped messaging me altogether.

The thing about this is, I always assumed that ghoster’s would be douchebags, or FuckBoys, or people with zero confidence. I thought that I was smart enough to spot someone who would do that to another person a mile away. Well, I was just knocked down a peg, and my dating confidence was in fact called into question. It’s difficult to be left with all these unanswered questions. To be just left wondering. And what’s worse, to have it done to you by someone that you genuinely thought was just a kind, amazing soul. This guy and I clicked. We made each other smile, and the in-person chemistry was fantastic, or so I thought. Because ultimately, I will never know for sure. My perception remains invalidated due to his silence.

It’s not that I expected this relationship to be forever. But, he made me happy, and did incredibly sweet things for me and I tried to be spontaneous and thoughtful in return. I felt amazing in his arms, and just thinking about him made me smile.  But here I am, wondering, if it was all in my head?

The lack of closure, is uncomfortable. The uncertainty of what happens if we ever run into each other again is real. These situations are not what I expected to encounter as an adult in the dating world. Ghosting, shouldn’t happen when you’re in your late 30’s (as we both were). There just doesn’t seem to be a rational reason with the simplicity of texting at our fingertips.

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But then the compassionate, bleeding heart in me goes… wait… did something happen to him? Maybe it wasn’t me. Perhaps that last message I sent him was the final kick in the nuts, and I’m the real asshole now. Maybe I pushed him too far, and really, he was planning on seeing me, but wanted it to be a surprise (Ha… OK that is a stretch).  In short though, welcome to my brain, because it would be easier for me to be the one in the wrong.  If that was the case, I can fix my behaviour, own it, or basically have some sort of control. Being ghosted like this, takes all power away from me, and leaves that sickening helpless feeling. Which, I know some of you may be wondering what my final text to him was, because if you know me at all, helpless is not something I tolerate.  So here goes pain and all:

“Kinda bummed you just stopped messaging or making an effort to see me. I thought we got along well, and really enjoyed spending time with you. Le sigh…”

Of course his response… Nothing!

So, to all of us out there dating, please don’t ghost other humans. If you have no idea how to face rejection or reject another human, please give the Handling Rejection section of How to Start Conversations. In short, just be good to each other. Truly, we have all been through enough with 2020!

For those of you who love behind the scenes content, or just want to throw some beer money my way, please check out my Patreon.

Breaking Away from Monogamy:

And Exploring Sex Positivity!

Sex Positivity

Well, as with all things change is inevitable.  For those long time readers (and I know there are a few who have followed me since the beginning) you have been privy to a few changes of branding over the years, so this post will not be a first. For the rest of you though, new and casual readers alike, welcome to the randomness that is my life. More and more I have felt this urge to explore more things within the sex positive community. While my blog started out as my personal exploration of non-monogamy, I always felt that doing sex toy reviews, interviews with other people, or even dabbling into podcasts felt a bit off. And of course, with all the randomness of my last few years, exploring sex positivity seems a more accurate description of where my life is headed. So, the re-brand and timing just feels right.

Exploring non-monogamy and its vast spectrum during a pandemic obviously was not going to happen. But with that forced pause, it got me thinking that there are some many diverse subjects that I want to bring into the fold beyond just relationship diversity. I want to share the tough sex conversations that I have had, and hope will make things easier for others, or at the very least allow just one person not feel alone. That alone feeling is after all, why I started blogging in the first place. After finding myself in my first open relationship, and finding out quickly that none of my friends or family could or would be the support system I needed, I began blogging.

Now that my relationships have evolved and I find myself in a new headspace, the diversity of things that I need to explore and talk about needs to expand and be more indicative of where I have evolved to.  I have written about being relationship fluid, and perhaps sexually fluid, so the idea of just being non-monogamous doesn’t seem true to form. And now that I am dating again, people and conversations are going to be adventures. Take for instance, bringing this blog up and my writing passions up to someone who is for all intents and purposes monogamous. How will that look and feel? How do I have the tough conversations with new people about my past, and the book that is frighteningly close to being finished? Can I rectify all my sexual experiences, and past with the desire to start a new family or be accepted into someone else’s world? These are my current realities.

And there is just one more thing that I want to talk about, and something that is hugely important to me, and my place in the blogging sphere. And that is how I incorporate diversity and a safe space for exploration onto my pages and the words that I write.  I have been lucky enough to have a few guest writers over the years, but it was tough with my previous format. This new brand, I hope will allow for more exploration of diversity and acceptance. Sex positivity is for everyone. It took me years to embrace it in myself, and I could never have arrived at this place of love and acceptance without all of my past experiences. I don’t know what the future of my life, or relationships will lead, but I do know that my blog needs to remain a reflection of who I am in this moment.

Thank you all for the likes, shares, messages, and comments thus far. I hope that we can continue this journey together for many more years to come!!! And of course, a very special thank you to everyone who has supported my work on Patreon.

Being a Disappointment

Serenity Now!

The last text I received from my ex step dad, was his proclamation of how disappointed was in me (And I’m guessing still is). The text came after I sent him my condolences for his mother passing away. I was gutted. Obviously there is a long backstory there, of which I wrote about on my gaslighting pieces, and suffice it to say, our relationship imploded. Enough time has passed, and active healing on my part, to allow me to type this paragraph without crying. And that is a huge deal for me. However, the soul crushing idea that I could disappoint someone I love or who loves me, is one of those things I’m not sure I can ever overcome completely.

So, here is my current struggle. I am immensely proud of this blog, and all the words I have put onto various pages over the years. But, there is a fear, that someone I start to care about, would be disappointed to learn about my past. Or, would be embarrassed to tell their family about the subject matters I have broached over the years. I wake up in the middle of the night more often than not gripping the sheets tightly, having just dreamt that I have been “found out”.

In the calm moments of the day, I can rationalize that I am the compassionate, and loving person that I am today because of all my experiences. And while I desperately want to believe the truth of someone loving me for all my scars and experiences, historically, that has not been the case. I have never been loved by a partner, for the good, bad, and ugly. So, it is hard to trust in the right person being out there, with whom this will happen.

The guy I recently started seeing is amazing. He is good, kind, and we fit together sexually in the most incredible way. But, I worry that I am not good enough for him. That some how I don’t deserve this level of happiness. That I am only worthy of the challenging men, the broken men, and the people who make we work to earn their love.  Ok, now I’m crying.

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To combat this feeling of insecurity and the belief that I am not good enough, I have positive affirmations written on my white board that say things like, “enjoy the happy ride”, “mutual love”, and the like. I am working diligently to break free of this idea that I am not worthy. But, it’s a challenge. I historically have over compensated in relationships to ensure that I am never a disappointment, however, I always am. I end up alone, forging ahead with determination, and a that intense survival mechanism that always allows me to rebuild and move on. And it is insanity to look back and see just how many times I have done that over my lifetime.

I don’t want it to seem like my life has been any more challenging than anyone else’s. Life is not easy, for anyone. And it is with that compassion that I openly accept all the faults of new prospects in my life. I just hope, someday, someone will do the same for me. That somewhere there is a person, who will do the same for me. And perhaps, maybe, I won’t be a disappointment.

Thank you to all who have liked, shared, and supported me over the years. And a special thank you to all who have fuelled my beer fund!

Dating Outside of the Non-Monogamous World

Homage to Elmer Fudd: The Hunt is on…

I recently made a choice, for better or for worse remains to be seen, but it’s this, to start looking for people outside of the non-monogamous community to date. It was/is not an easy decision, and one that I know is going to bring with it challenges far beyond what I can even imagine. The thing is though, it is the only logical thing to do. I am not happy with the people I have met from the non-monogamous dating sites (to be clear dating site are not the same as online communities). I know saying that is going to ruffle some feathers, but my whole premise of being open and honest right from the get go, has bit my ass far too many times. In fact, it has done nothing but, and I am just over it. Not one success story going alone? Just read A Few Almost Dating Stories for example.  Ok, fool me once, but now it’s time to try something new, dating outside of non-monogamy.

When I met my now ex, I was monogamous. He opened my eyes to a relationship norm that I never knew existed and I found my place in the world, eventually… haha! That gives me hope that there is someone out there, or multiple someone’s that the same can be true. I feel guilty at moments, and right now, I am putting myself through sexual hell by not sleeping with this guy until we have a big chat (OK, that was the plan anyways, but again, future post!). Which if I’m being honest may not be something I ever do again.  But, this is attempt one, at getting back into being an amazing flirt, and allowing someone to fall for me, and not my relationship status. Does that make any sense?

Betty’s Toy Box (affiliate link)

My horror stories with being sexualized, fetishized, and all the things from non-monogamous (or pretending to be non-monogamous people) over the past few years tells me one thing… I want more from a relationship! I want to be cared and cherished for more than just the idea that we don’t have to be monogamous. I want to be the booty that someone craves, for at least a little while. You know, just craving each other, again and again. Really getting to know each other without distractions, building a foundation, before opening up. Wait, does this mean I am finally ready to admit that I want to do non-monogamy my way?

If you had asked me 5 years ago if I would ever date a newbie, I would have said hell no. I wasn’t ready to do so, and I wasn’t confident enough to communicate, teach, or guide another human being through what is an often intense range of experiences. Now I can say now that I am no longer that beginner. I teach (often through my mistakes), I guide (after calm reflection on Medium), and I am shocked that the outcome of this is how excited I am to see someone’s eyes open for the first time. Obviously, consent is paramount here. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, but, this is something I am ready to experience. And it feels … right somehow. In the way that, I know I won’t get what I want doing what I have been doing. And from my own experience I know that if you’re introduced to non-monogamy in the right way, a safe and supportive way, it can be incredible.

No post would be complete without a huge shout-out to everyone who bought me beers last week through Patreon. I have been in a writer’s creative bliss, and it is in part due to having some delicious creative juices.  Thank you!

Hope for 2021

Hope for 2021

As 2020 makes its miserable leave of our lives, I am surprised to say, that I am actually hopeful. Not only for the vaccine, and humanity coming together again in the near future, but for completely selfish reasons, me. I have been dealt blow after blow, as I am positive many of you out there can relate to, and while the temptation to be bitter is just under the surface something much more prominent is brewing… hope. In my short lifetime, I have given my heart to many people and have had it stomped on and thrown right back in my face. I have been mentally, emotionally, and physically abused more times than I care to admit, and perhaps it would be easier if I just retreated into my shell, yet, I am inextricably driven by hope. Hope for a future with love, passion, and all the amazing adventures that I absolutely know are out there for me.

I don’t know why I believe this is a part of my future, because the evidence definitely speaks to the contrary. But, here I sit, writing with this calm sense of knowing. Somewhere, there is a match. Someplace right now, there is a person who will love me for all of my flaws, and my randomness. Why? Because I know I can love them in return for all of their imperfections. The pain I have lived has shown me this boundless capacity for love.

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It’s strange. A few years ago, when exploring polyamory for the first time, I was faced with the intriguing concept that humans can love more than one person. I instantly understood that, and I sought to find friendships that went beyond just superficial drinking buddies. I can say with certainty that I have a group in my inner circle that I love. That friendship goes far beyond what I knew was possible as a child. And while I won’t be getting naked in front a room of strangers this year to ring in the New Year, I am hopeful that in year to come, I will get more intimate and equally exhilarating moments sprinkled throughout.

And now, with that same sense of wonder, I approach 2021 with hope. Maybe this year won’t share with me my true love, but I will be damned if I will be harnessed by the bitterness of my past experiences. I just don’t have that in me. If I let those shadows take me, even for a few moments, I know I would struggle to get out. So, instead, I am accepting that I have skeletons in my closet, of which I will deal with, and not allow me to remain frozen in fear of rejection. For 2021, I have an open arms and an open heart and I truly with the same for everyone reading this. Cheers to a 2021 filled with hope and opportunity!

And a huge thank you to every single person who fuelled me with beer money to get through 2020 on Patreon.  You are my hero’s!