The rare and elusive Stage 6 clinger.

In 2013 after my breakup, I had a Year of Poor Life Choices. I dated before I was ready, tried to get over my ex, tried to get over the OTHER guy I’d developed a crush on. It turned into a few “relationships” that crashed and burned fairly spectacularly.

One was a friend of my sister’s, and I’m not proud of this, but I ghosted on him. We went on three dates before I realized we had NOTHING in common*, and I TRIED to be an adult and tell him I wasn’t ready to be dating. He asked if we could be friends and I said “sure,” because that’s what you SAY, but you both know you’re not going to be friends — or at least *I* knew.

Eventually I blocked his number and deleted him from Facebook because I am a coward. That was probably the summer of 2014.

THIS MORNING I got a Facebook message from him: “Hey Smug, tour name popped up on my phone so figured I’d say hi….Helloooo. How’s life treating you?”

It’s probably true he saw my name somehow since we still have mutual Facebook friends. But, like… Is there a Clinger beyond Stage 5?**

* When I say “nothing in common,” I mean I went to his Facebook page and he’s now an “all lives matter,” flag-fapping Trumpublican, and I am…NOT those things.

** I feel bad, he’s a “nice guy,” but…no. You are a reminder of a terrible time in my life. That’s not your fault, but it does mean you can’t exist in my world.

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Maybe I can downgrade to a Stage 4 Clinger…

Therapist: “So, this thing where you’re calling yourself stupid, and clingy, and crazy where’s that coming from?”

Me: “I don’t know, I feel like I was pressuring him. He has anxiety and depression, too, and I know how that feels, to have someone demanding your time, another THING you have to keep up with. Honestly, I’m kinda psyched to have Sundays to myself again, so I get where he’s coming from.”

Therapist: “OK, I get that. But from everything you’ve told me  and obviously I’m your Person, so I’m biased  this sounds like it’s him, not you. Basically the only thing you asked him for was more sex. Maybe you could’ve been more direct about saying it, but that doesn’t make it clingy, or crazy, or stupid. Putting aside the sexual component, if you had a friend and communication with them dropped off like it did here, would you be concerned and check in with them?”

Me: “Yes.”

Therapist: “That’s not crazy. It’s caring about a human being.”

I LOVE paying people to tell me I’m right.

She told me it was fine to send him an email I’ve written offering a friendship, but the longer I don’t hear from him after the last message I sent, the less interest I have in that idea. I’m not that bad at taking a hint.

Clinger Reformation Refresher Course

OH, OK, cool, so… he hasn’t texted since Monday afternoon, so obviously he decided I’m boring and bad in bed and is going to ghost on me.

^^^ Real thought my brain just had.

Despite the fact that he’s not dumb enough to do that, because if I tell our mutual friends he was mean to me, they will call him a shithead coward forever.

Weirdly, I’m actually kind of OK with wanting to hear from him but not. It’s better than the “please stop talking…” tipping point I’ve reached with previous attempts at dating. 

Also… I mean… Not to be conceited, but… I’ve watched his face — I’m not bad in bed.

So worst case, I’m just boring. TREMENDOUS. THAT’S TREMENDOUS.

When’s therapy again?

I need to see your face before I sit on it.

I didn’t respond to a first OkCupid message I got yesterday, because the guy’s only photo was of his calves and feet in the sand. My profile clearly says I won’t talk to anyone who doesn’t have a face photo, because…it’s DATING. Faces are important. And he’d obviously paid attention to my profile, at least enough that his message referenced both my subtle jokes about cunnilingus. (Don’t judge me, that’s one of the only reasons I’m dating.)

He just sent a followup message: “Really, i get no response…i thought i was witty and charming. Oh well, take care.”

Ahem.

1. I don’t owe you anything.
2. Your passive aggression is not cute.
3. It hasn’t even been 24 hours since your first message. Even if I thought you WERE witty and charming (I didn’t), you wouldn’t have a response yet. I have shit to do. (Reformed Clinger Technique #347.)
4. I can’t know if I want your face between my legs if I don’t know what your face looks like.

I don’t understand this. You know I’ll SEE your face eventually, right? Would you rather we get to know each other via email/text, and then I’ll finally see your face and be like, “Um, no, sorry, that face doesn’t work for me.”

It’s online dating, Cyrano. Hooray for your beautiful soul and all, but I’m never gonna sit on your soul, so I need to see your face.

…OK, fine, I’m not going to sit on his face, either, because I have issues and think I’m going to hurt/smother the guy somehow, even though I know that’s absurd. Regardless, faces still matter.

“That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.”

I’ve been talking to other “open relationship” guys on OkCupid, because apparently I’m open-minded now (?), and motherFUCK me — leave it to me to find a Clinger in an open relationship.

How are you texting me every day, morning and night? Go text your main Bunny, Hef. The point of me exploring this option was that I wouldn’t meet clingy people. How have you pushed a potential sidepiece to my “Please stop talking” threshold in less than 4 days? Do you have to have the open relationship because you talk too much for one woman to handle?

I get the sense his lady has had more success with this setup than he has.

He asked if I was OK because my most recent texts haven’t been as enthusiastic or flirtatious, so I mentioned I was at work, and still debating if I can handle the open relationship.

He’s still talking, “joking” that it’s OK if I just want to be friends, but that I’ll change my mind when I meet him.

OK, Karma, you’ve made your point: I behaved like a desperate, slutty Clinger with That Guy. I realized that on my own, and have tried to adjust accordingly, even with friends (minus the “slutty” bit). Are we done here?

And good work, dude — congrats on being the reason I go back to giving people a Google Voice number instead of my real one.

Thankfully there’s still another open-married guy. Hee. We like him — he’s dreamy and wants to go down on me. I’ll have to name him. Probably, like…”Matt Trimony.” Heh. I’m clever.

Slutty McSidepiece and the Stage 5 Clingers

Talking to a friend…

Me: “I’m thinking about hooking up with an ‘open marriage’ guy from OkCupid.”
Friend: “You could try it. I mean…you’re already IN therapy.”

There’s immense appeal in a guy who’ll come with me to a movie, come with me in the bedroom, then get the hell out. When I try to date proper, I attract Clingers, get anxious, and make terrible choices. That shouldn’t be an issue with one who’s already housebroken.

But I also know myself, and I may be too insecure to come second…literally or otherwise. If Dude satisfies my needs too well, I may catch feels, and if I fall for him, I’m SOL. The wife’s gonna stay the wife — I’d just be Slutty McSidepiece. I do not do well as Slutty McSidepiece.

I wonder if I’d rather fend off Clingers and hold out for a person with whom feels are at least an option, even if we never get there.

Then again… I don’t HAVE to date the guy long. Maybe I NEED a naked friend to fuck some clarity into me without all the relationship crap.

Also, if you consider where I am mentally, I might as well be in an open marriage, too. I have one guy I’d drop anything and anyone to help and/or be with, so as far as my heart and brain are concerned, I also have a “primary partner.” Then I still have the second guy in the back of my head, just for bonus emotional fuckery, so I have even worse trust issues than before. I can’t handle a real relationship, are you crazy?

Plus, if the guy turns out to be boring, I can just say I can’t handle playing second fiddle. (And that may actually turn out to be true.)

I can spot a Clinger at 50 paces now, anyway — “Oh, you’re doing THAT? Yeah, I’ve done that. I INVENTED that. Don’t even.” So far I’ve encountered three on OkCupid, and I’ve dodged them all without ever meeting them.

I’m a Recovering Clinger, and I approved this message.

P.S. I actually ran this by the therapist and she says I’m in the clear as long as I’m safe. She told me it was good for me to explore options, to be aware of those emotional attachments I still have, to be conscious of what I need, and possibly work out a way to GET it without pressuring myself about being in a “proper” relationship. I think this is a good intermittent step, and she seems to agree.

P.P.S. Dude is ADORABLE and I want to make all the sex with him.