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I’m finally dating someone. Or more accurately, I am dating someone again and not shying away from talking about it for fear of jinxing it. It is so weird to me you have to almost have a philosophical internal dialogue to know what is okay or not okay to say to someone you are dating now. I have always been the type of person who is awkwardly honest about my feelings, and necessary discussion has never terrified me. That makes me a freak now.
The one I am dating is traveling for work on an almost unhealthy level, which is perfect for me because I am a life induced introvert most of the time. Texting daily randomness, a phone call here and there, and the “I missed you” reunion date is about all I can do right now with the overload of work, kids, and taking care of my dad that is my reality. I am not lying to myself or anyone else, so pseudo long distance is where it is and I am okay with it. Other than the occasional temper tantrum when the prospect of seeing them is disclosed to be a month away, it is going well. Or was.
The other day I was watching a movie about HIV and the sexual revolution. Of course, my irrational brain went straight to the fact that our current arrangement allows for a lot of temptation on both our parts. I know I am willing to wait it out, mostly because I am not interested in anyone else, but also a little from not being able to stop and think, much less date multiple people. My commitment to deal with one is as much as I can handle.
I sent the “If you have to be with someone else, please use protection” text, and immediately wished I could have un-sent it. I couldn’t, so now I had set a timer for a reaction I may not be ready to read. He’s busy, I am busy, so these types of texts I understand may require a discussion, and are understood to not require an immediate response. It doesn’t mean overthinking won’t kick in, and have you assuming they are in a brothel or an orgy with every porn star in whatever city they are in at the time. Not that he was asleep or maybe in a meeting, or a plane. That little voice will tell you the worst.
To be honest, the little voice has been making appearances more than it used to, in this age of no labels. I felt weird, or as if I had said the wrong thing to ask him to be respectful of my health if he is with other people. How awful is it that we now even have to do that? When did it become passé to become exclusive if you find your one? When did we get so scared to set boundaries?
I’ve been doing this with him for years off and on and yet, even now I feel like I am out of place to tell him I want to trust him. We have been here before when we first started seeing each other, and I was just as scared then to even mention it. I don’t want anyone else, but I feel terrified to say it. I know that if I am vulnerable enough to give him this information, he can return it with using it against me. He can hurt me and I don’t want to hurt. Who does, really?
He called me a day later to talk about it, and I stumbled through my words. The delay had gotten to me. I pushed through and rambled for a few minutes even making sure I reiterated it wasn’t an invite or challenge. It was completely uncomfortable to me which is ridiculous, in hindsight. I should be able to tell him anything, and I should feel comfortable with him discussing these things, but I don’t.
He responded as nervous in his tone as I had been. We were on the same page, and society has convinced us both to feel awkward saying what we both needed to. I hope we make it because I don’t think I am up for starting this new age learning process, with all its unnatural restrictions, and rules with another person. If we end up breaking up again, I want no part of doing this with another person.