A set of disclaimers. This may hit a few nerves. There are a few people in my world who will read this and say “you fucking asshole i’m right here.” which is true and this isn’t meant to be hurtful but
1) “Here” is not where in theory I live (it is arguable i don’t really live any one place so assume it’s where I pay taxes)
2) As important as you are to me i’m not your everyday or primary partner.
3) These are really my issues and this isn’t meant that i am unappreciative of things we do, inclusion by friends, or even being solo at most things.
So with that in mind in case i’ve not been clear this really is about me and my hang ups. Un Partnered is not at all related to you with one exception. Odds are you are not that exception because most of you are not married to me.
Unpartnered. I go through much of life alone, even when in the company of others. Professionally speaking i’m happy to have 10 minutes to myself during the day. When in transit I use to be completely alone and surrounded by strangers. Increasingly that is not the case. Yet when it does happen I eat alone, spends hours or days in new places by myself, go to concerts, sporting events, and the movies by myself. And in those cases i could care less. In fact some of the best moments are the ones where I have either not yet “officially” arrived or have already left and not a soul is with me. it’s not that i dislike who i spend my time with but in many ways a life that resmebeles the dilemma of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is pretty much a fair comparison.
In many ways my existence is similar to a rock star. I show up, do my thing, people either love or hate me and then I leave. Sometimes (and increasingly) with people in tow clamoring for time, attention and what have you. My ninja skills would include the ability to slip away quickly into the back of a waiting car. Dart down an alley and disappear into the night, the local subway station or any combination of things. You’ll have another drink and before you know it I am gone, swallowed by the darkness and on increasingly rare occasions a waiting friend.
That part is being worked on. The only thing worse than not sleeping (for all the wrong reasons) is not sleeping alone. Yet at any given time now if i find myself in a strange city or country without a soul in sight i am perfectly thrilled.
Being unpartnered though is a different thing. All of the above have nothing to do with my kink. Well other than the waiting friend on occasion. Its at kink events that i find being alone is a truly lonely and at times desperate place. It is an ongoing problem i am yet to fix.
In many ways it is why no one has seen me at well…ANYTHING in forever. I can spend weeks in a foreign country and be fine, take off on a 10 hour trek through a new city or countryside with a few dollars, an ID and a phone (or three) and love it. However spending 90 minutes at a munch, educational, or play party without a companion who is in some way meaningfully mine is too great a void. So i stopped going.
For a short time recently it seemed like that might all be coming to an end. It was a mirage. I was not planning to make an appearance at anything. Friends offered and i willingly went. Don’t get me wrong they were gracious hosts and inclusive. In those moments it all came back like a bad habit.
Like the last snow of the spring it took the hole i had deftly been driving my car around for months (years) in a way pretending it wasn’t an actual problem and made it so big my alignment and tires were doomed. Except it was really the facade. I had accepted that everything was OK, that i didn’t miss it, that my primary relationship really isn’t well…remotely kinky.
A short time later i would find myself at a dinner with (kink) friends both old and new. Again i was unpartnered. I could feel the spiral nearing. My humor became caustic…so i tried to contain it. I said very little. Which actually is not uncommon for me in a group. This though was different.
So often i am required to be the life of the party, the host, the good times devil incarnate and overtly social but in many ways i’d rather watch and listen. This though was a different silence, one of social isolation because it wouldn’t have mattered what city in the world i was in I would have been in the same situation. And it pissed me off.
There really is only one answer, change things significantly or quit going and disengage.
So it has been a series of tough conversations on what the compromise is.
I don’t want to have to live with parts of me unfufilled. so i stepped back, passed on other opportunities, removed my self from places where it would have been too obvious. places where i know i wouldn’t be able to hide behind a smile and a quip. i stopped looking at events and outings, greatly diminished my exposure to social media.
A farvorite line of mine by Marilyn Manson goes “there’s a hole in my soul and it’s filled with dope and i’m feeling fine” well i have the hole and know what had been filling it but it’s only a facade.
Because at rhe end of the day it will be easier to step away from those than appear again Unpartnered.