Dating in the Grey
When I first saw Kevin ride his bike to spin class, I knew I had to snag him. To be honest, most men wouldn't immediately go for boys who ride their bike to a spin class. It screams a desperate attempt to overachieve, but Kevin looked good doing it. Real good.
He looked even better straddling the stationary booty blaster during class. I strategically placed myself in the bike next to his for a few classes and offered the usual I-see-you-here-often smiles and nods. Yes, one of my critics (you know who you are) will probably say, “Why all the game playing, Mikey? Why didn’t you ask him out as soon as you noticed him?”
I would love to tell you that it’s because I believe gym activities aren’t meant for picking up boys. That we should understand most people just want to get their fitness on and not get it on. But the truth is, I’m shy. (Yes, even me once in a while.) However, I eventually did ask him out on date. (OK, it was via Facebook. Sue me.)
What followed was a month and a half of casual dating eventually leading to pretty damn good sex. After a couple dates I knew this one was worth furthering the journey. We never officially discussed, but I decided that my sole dating focus, what little it was, would be on Kevin. In actuality, we were in the grey area. Definitely more than sleeping together, nowhere near meeting parents.
Then I found myself at a small gathering with a friend of his. A friend who, as it turns out, had made out with Kevin the night before. I wouldn’t have known except for overhearing him blabbing in that I-think-I’m-whispering-but-I’m-wasted voice. Was I allowed to be upset? After all, they were friends and who hasn’t made out with a friend or seven? Plus, we weren’t exclusive. We didn’t even see each other enough to warrant thinking we were. Was my mentality resembling 13-year-old girl obsession while he was enjoying the toy store until mom says, “OK, time to choose”?
I realized that the makeout hadn’t bothered me. It was the proximity. It was someone who, through mutual friends, I was bound to hang out with sooner or later, and possibly on multiple occasions. It felt incestuous and tacky. Then again, when you’re gay, the dating world shrinks to a fraction of what it was. You could have sex with two men at two separate times in two different parts of the world, and voila! They are having brunch together at the Abbey and it’s only a matter of time before one starts talking about the writer he had sex with who blabbed about it on Gay.net.
The tackiness exploded when the two attended a show I hosted and sat hand-in-hand. At first I thought I might be overanalyzing their interaction, but then a friend of mine approached me and asked, “Hey, why’s your man all over the guy with the jeggings?”
Clearly, one of two things had happened. The first, I had created a relationship in my mind that had no basis in reality, or we were kind of dating but not enough to warrant exclusivity — even if I was in the room.
Before we had the chance to even discuss, an overprotective friend with a short temper took Kevin to the bar and yelled at him. A lot. Enough to have me doing a couple hours of damage control. When Kevin and I spoke, he admitted that I wasn’t his only bedroom visitor in our six weeks of grey. He also noted that my friend was mistaken on the nature of our relationship. I was too embarrassed to say I might have been mistaken as well. After all, we hadn’t had “the talk.”
Do grey areas ever end well? Half of me kicks myself for getting too excited about something and not letting it grow naturally. The other half says if Kevin were even into me at all, he would have stopped playing with the other toys in the store for fear another little boy would snatch up the last G.I. Joe.
I see so many couples say they knew on date numero uno they were going to be together. No grey area. No need for the “Should we stop seeing other people?” talk. They just knew. Yet, I still see other couples whose grey area lasts months before it dawns on them that they need to keep the keeper.
Do you think if you find the right one, that area becomes a lot less grey, and “The Talk” just remains a bad CBS show?