“I don’t know what it is that you’ve done to me…but it’s caused me to act in such a crazy way. Whatever it is that you do when you do what you’re doing. It’s a feeling that I want to stay. Cause my heart starts beating triple time with thoughts of loving you on my mind. I can’t figure out just what to do when the cause and cure is you.” Weak by SWV

My own experience dating men has been limited. Primarily because I have limited options socially. I have a 55 hour work week though off on the weekends.  The weekend is mine.  However, I have a regular routine which I call Power Clean Saturday.  It includes laundry and an extensive cleaning including the refrigerator, stove, bathroom, dusting, steaming floors, mattress and pillows, etc. I am super hygienic and these actions are disciplined. I like order and it serves as an extension of who I am and how I feel. If I didn’t feel like I’m in a good place then I wouldn’t care. We were raised C.O.G.I.C and Catholic that, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” So, it was indoctrinated and became a standard. I will admit having tried to meet guys on websites and even using two popular social apps that sound like an action words. There was no success though I made an earnest attempt. I assert my attitude and optimism by focusing in on my work and my workouts. I certainly have control over those two items. I even will admit that I do recognize that I could use more balance in my life. I also will even humble myself further to admit that I am growing comfortable with my routine which is hindering me at the same damn time.

When I think about my past relationships there are four men that make me weak.

The first guy is Mike. Actually, a friend of mine introduced us after he expressed an interest to him about me. Aesthetically, he was handsome…a bodybuilder type, well-educated and made me feel special.  He wanted me to come home with him the first night and promised my friend that “he had me”. I remember nervously going home with him but excited. We went to his bedroom and we ended up talking for hours until I remember waking up with him next to me fully clothed on top covers. We went to lunch and the courting began. I am a difficult guy to get to know. You have to earn my trust. However, he made an investment in really trying to get to know me. I compromised in allowing myself to feel and to be more present in the moment especially with him. We had madd fun.  We went to the movies, pro football games, and to the museum. I got along with his roommate. Everything was nice. I remember going to the mall and the clerk in the store was flirting with him in front of me, offered a discount on his purchase, and passed his number to him. I kept it cool. Mike simply passed his number right to me in front of him and I ripped it and tossed it. Kinda dramatic right?!? It was in those moments that demonstrated the respect which helped me grow. Most gay men are very superficial albeit visual creatures. I was a little intimidated for his body was diesel. Mine wasn’t. He was a few years older than me and was more aware about “the gay life” than I. I was a little naive but not dumb about a lot of the games. He relaxed me and I was learning to trust him. Sex was hot. He was a top but I got them cakes regularly. Three months later is when the problems began. I sensed something was up for the distance and disconnect grew rapidly. The calls became less often and the conversation was basic and lackluster. There was no value in it other than for him to say he we did talk this week. I was hurt for I really liked him. His roommate “warned” me that he had recently begun seeing someone who was paying his bills and rent. I was shocked. I didn’t know if it also was a sexual relationship but was confused on how to address it so we did have THE TALK. The discussion was loud as our love making. He forced me to anger and in anger I stated it was over.  Years later I realized what a gift he has given me. It was not so much a game move but I respect him for allowing me to have the power to say goodbye. He wanted me to stay strong and empowered. If he would have said that to me first with it being my first real relationship it could have broken me and my confidence. It was a rough period for I did pine over him for months. The contact was cut off absolutely. Funny thing is that I ran into him a year later. He still looked good and he invited me for dinner. We never made it to dinner for that Scorpio sex had me feeling the sting. That was our final goodbye.

The second guy is Eugenio. We met online, chatted for a few hours before ever meeting. A short time later, when he came to my apartment, I was pleasantly surprised.  He was an attractive guy, naturally masculine, smart, and also on #Team Marvel. I felt a connection for sure. Also a Scorpio (SMH), the sex was very verbal and passionate. I willingly explored every inch of his body. Our relationship was very much a sexual one but suddenly we realized we really liked each other and had madd shit in common. We had very thought provoking discussions. I was in school finishing my second degree. He seemed interested in me and very supportive throughout. The sex we had was animal. I remember he called me like 2 a.m. and it was a rainy night (gotta love those) just to ask what I was doing. I said, “Nothing.” He said, “I’m on my way over.” About 25 minutes later, he showed up at my door already half naked for he began disrobing in the breezeway. Soon as I opened the door, he stepped in and he went at it…hard. That’s one of the traits that I liked about him. We were comfortable with each other and yet so spontaneous.  Perhaps that was the downfall. I would spend 2 hours catching the transit to see him. Whenever I went shopping, I’d pick him up something just because. This behavior was interpreted as something becoming serious and serious was not what he wanted. He became disenchanted though still wanted to maintain a friendship without benefits. It was a challenge for me for there still was a felt connection. I would have settled on it reverting back just to a sexual thing but we have gone too far beyond that for we did grow to care about each other. That level of respect was there for sure. I was later pushed away for I suddenly got laid off then made a choice to move home. He didn’t respect or agree with my decision and in fact thought it was too easy for me to lean in on Fam. It’s fine.  I thought at the time he didn’t show much empathy or compassion but did surprise me with a financial gesture unsolicited that I certainly could use at the time. Three years later, we reconnected. I dropped by his place after work and ended up crashing for the convo and movies kept us up late. I so wanted something to happen. I was ready for something to happen but chose to check myself for I didn’t want to seem that thirsty. Even now if it was something NSA I would go for it.

The third guy is J’ Shaun. We’ve been friendly for years. When I relocated to Atlanta from NYC less than a year later he ended up taking a new position in NYC. So, he became geographically undesirable though I really did desire him. He is an attractive guy, professionally polished, educated, and a man of taste. When we first met it was on a platonic level though later I entertained things being more. I went home for a visit and reached out to him. I wondered if he was adjusting well to the City. He seemed excited and was open to see me which encouraged me further. He agreed to meet me at my hotel to pick me up for dinner. I pulled a Wade move in answering the door in a towel. Unlike Noah’s reaction, he was very much fettered and not phased. LOL. I quickly got dressed. We had a great time at dinner and no night cap. We discussed that evening a year plus later and was surprised to learn that now he wouldn’t mind things to have gotten physical-not physical but the “boyfriend experience”. I am a romantic at heart and so would have accommodated. It would so be on with him now whenever he’s ready. I do respect and like him so all the stops would be pulled out. Mood, music, and Me.

The fourth guy is Tyrese. I met Ty two years ago when I went to DC for a wedding. He was also an invited guest. First impression is that he is an attractive guy with a very distinctive characteristic that made him more interesting-his voice. I met him the day of the wedding so it was the last night during that weekend. We exchanged pleasantries as I tried to be a gentleman with a female guest who was friends of the bride. My gaydar nor my spidey sense went off on this guy so I was unaware. After the nuptials came the dinner and celebration. I pardoned myself early for True Blood starts at 10 p.m. as I ardently announced at my table. He quickly left his seat and walked with me out of the ballroom. He asked if he could join me and I extended the invite along with the room number. He arrived 30 minutes later and I shared that this episode was a rerun and I’d be back down to the festivities after the episode was over. He was reluctant to leave but slowly did. After True Blood, I rejoined the guests in the main ballroom. I bumped into Ty again as the ballroom was getting cleared out for it was reserved only until midnight. I made my way back to my room. I kicked ery’thing off and was lounging in my robe. Decided to pack to save time for my flight was early the next morning. There was a buzz at the door and it was Ty. He just wanted to leave me his card and let me know that it was a cool meeting. I obliged and reciprocated. He had his overnight bag and was leaving the hotel that night. We shook hands and he left. I then got his text, “Too bad there wasn’t more time.” I was curious. I texted back, “what you mean?” Ding, ding, ding! I got it. I still didn’t have one idea or inclination about him being a “team player” all the while. It was very much a missed opportunity but what would happen if we ever would meet again?

I am not into random hookups and indiscretions. I feel if there is a connection the sex is much, much better. Honestly, it’s because of that, which is why I am willing to wait for the Glow. These four men, as different as each are in their respective way, all have a special place in my heart. It was my “Wizard of Oz” epilogue moment when I discovered how far I came along through my journey in being the ME and the man I’ve become. So, the smarts, my heart, the courage, and optimism (had to be developed) but I had all the time. I had to go through the experience to learn my lessons. I thank them all and will cold smash tha phuk outta all of them tomorrow if I could.

“I get so weak in the knees. I can hardly speak. I lose all control and something takes over me. In a daze and it’s so amazing, it’s not a phase. I want you to stay with me, by my side. I swallow my pride. Your love is so sweet; it knocks me right off of my feet. I can’t explain why your loving makes me……”