I had a fifth and final date with Technophile last week. It was a good conversation in some ways, not because it was especially nice or because it had a pleasing outcome, if anything it was a good conversation because difficult things were said in the right way. We parted ways with as much honour and dignity as is possible.
To summarise, he decided that we couldn't have a relationship because he, most emphatically, wanted children and I, most emphatically, do not. Now I don't want to discuss the why I don't want children because I am sick to death of having to justify a personal decision that impacts upon no-one else. But I do want to talk about the way it made me feel. I surprised myself in being more upset than I thought I might be. He's been the first man in a while where I'd thought "there might be something in this" and that something was more than kinky sex. A future, if you will. So to find out that there was no future was disheartening and I felt it keenly. Not because I had suddenly developed a large amount of feelings for him - certainly I still care for Mr Smith much more (and of course those thoughts are also tied up in the lack-of-future).
I felt it because it was another thing that was not to be. We can't help creating little hopes and dreams for ourselves that are leaps and bounds beyond where reality might be. It's one of the glorious, beautiful things about being human, it's also a very key part of being a pervert, the ability to imagine and to try and make those imaginings come true. Each time we leave a partner, or they leave us or however you want to phrase it, we let go of the bundle of aspirations and expectations we had for future times with them. They aren't always big things - it takes a long while for me to build up the emotional courage to consider moving in together or even, dare I say it, a wedding. I'm too aware of how far off those things are in anything other than abstract terms. It's more about the many, many small things that are now not going to happen. They sail away when someone says "no". Full of air and not much else, my small hopes are balloons floating up into the sky, leaving me like the small child who let go of the string, dwindling out of view. I'm left with that peculiar sense of loss you get over the irreplaceable.
I've done a lot of saying "no". I've had a lot of "no" said to me. For all kinds of reasons the nascent relationships I have built up over this year - with Dandy, with Mannequin, with Mr Smith, with Technophile and with the almost never-ending stream of first dates who never get to second dates and rarely get written about - have ended in a "no". Add onto that there are a couple very good kinky friends who I know would make wonderful, loving partners but just aren't right for me. More "no".
That's a lot of "no". And it builds up. I am at risk of becoming the girl who keeps on saying "no", which is ironic because I had originally decided that this was going to be the year in which I say "yes" to things. I wanted to shed my fear of spontaneous decisions and go out to find new experiences in a way I haven't done since my first few months on the scene. But I'm a bit older, much more discriminating, nuanced and clear in what I do and don't want. Saying "yes" to everything is not an option. But I do want to start to move forward.
I've been thinking about the future, about who I am and where I want to be, who I want to be with. How to get there. I've been thinking about what I don't want, I've been thinking about stopping doing things in order to devote more time and energy to fewer things that I can do better. One of the instant upshots of this is to stop going on dates for a while. I recently put out on Twitter that I hated the idea that "you find the one for you" when you stop looking, because that sounds a bit like reverse psychology on the universe and the universe doesn't care enough to react to that kind of behaviour. I'm also reconciling myself to the fact that my life is extremely busy and perhaps I don't really have time for a partner right now - I'm not really sure I have time for myself these days.
All of this has put me in a whimsical frame of mind. Sort of sad, sort of thoughtful, all kinds of needing to go and think things through. I'm writing this from my family home in the rural north (family home makes it sound like a country estate - it's the home where my family live) and, as ever, going home gives you time to think. Even the train journey outside of London, and outside of London's internet and phone connection blocks the space between there and here.
I don't want my love life to be made up of little bits of random dates that never go anywhere. The great romance in which I meet The One sounds like an adventure for a woman who has more time than me. I've never been that interested in casual sex or hook-ups and I don't have the energy or schedule for planning and executing D/s play in anything more than the most adhoc fashion which doesn't sit well with D/s and anyway can only happen on the one evening a month that I'm not already trying to do four things.
I need breathing room. To think. So for the moment, and until further notice, I respectfully decline.