Thursday, April 30, 2009

To wish without hoping

So, I was reminded today that abstinence is easy. Until I begin to hope that something will change. It was hard, of course, for the first few weeks and months. Almost unbearably hard at times! To have her right next to me in bed, to breathe her scent, to feel her warmth and yet not to be able to reach out to her, to hold her... 

Yeah. That sure wasn't easy. 

But after a few months it got easier. 

The next hurdle was the special occasions, when I thought she might want to come to me. Christmas. My birthday. Valentine's day. 

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. 

But, since then, I have been clever enough not to hope. I've realised that this is how it's going to work -- or, rather, not work. 

And then the lovely Sungold at Kittywampus asked me what was going to happen at the end of the year. 

It was something that I had considered, but only vaguely. I realised then that I didn't want moving forward to START to happen at the end of my year of abstinence. I really hoped that it would somehow FINISH at the end of that year. That somehow Susan would magically come to me because 365 days of my asexuality was exactly what she needed to get her libido back. And all would be back to normal, or at least moving in that direction apace. 

But of course, six months in, not much had changed, so there was little reason to think that another six months later things would be suddenly different. 

So for that and other reasons, I began to engage her about our relationship. Not about sex, mind you. Just our relationship. 

She hated it. She was willing to talk -- just, but I had to really push her into it. 

Long story short, things have greatly improved between us in all kinds of (non sexual) ways. 

I still have to push her to talk about relationship stuff, but almost every time I do (once every week or two), I feel we make great strides as a couple. 

And this lead me to think tonight that there might be... well, not sex, certainly, but perhaps some spreading of the detante from emotional issues further into sexual ones. 

And there wasn't. She was polite. Friendly. Very good natured. But clearly uninterested in taking any of the opportunities I presented her on a platter to discuss (sexual) things further. 

And there was a bit of that old feeling. A bit of hope that was raised and therefore dashed. 

So, gentle reader, that is my conundrum. How to wish for spring, plan for spring, prepare for spring, but never to hope for it. 

Pulling back is easy, but putting yourself out there without, at the same time, any emotional attachment. Hmm. That's the skill of top salesmen. Buddhist monks. And, perhaps, exceptionally nice young men who are on the dating scene. 

I used to be just such a young man. Perhaps that's a mindset I need to revisit. 

Or perhaps I need to accept that to really put myself out there without hope is perhaps dishonest. And perhaps impossible. 

Perhaps part of my learning for this year is not to learn a buddhist-like skill of wishing without hoping, but rather to learn the resilience of dustimg myself off when hopes have been . . . let's not say "dashed", but rather, "postponed." 


  1. Thanks for calling me "lovely," Mark! That doesn't happen just every day. I'm glad if something I said helped break a logjam.

    It really sounds like there's stuff in her past that she needs to deal with, for her own sake, first and foremost. I'm hoping you can reach a warm enough detente that she feels inspired to try to work through whatever is keeping her from connecting to you.

  2. Hey, thanks for that, Sungold! I have only just seen this comment now. I must check my settings! I agree that what she does she must do for her own sake, and not for mine. As you very astutely pointed out to me, any change that I can validly hope to have come out of this year must a change in me, not her. That is something that is both self evident, and yet that I also need to be constantly reminded of. I can work -- and am working -- on that. This blog is a part of that work.

    I feel a bit hobbled, though, in that I can't see how I can encourage her to look at her own issues without at the same time implicitly pressuring her. We are not in open dialogue about this stuff, and though she is generally emotionally astute, she is not at all emotionally open -- not even to me. Well, not without a fair bit of poking and prodding, anyway!

    I am beginning to suspect that this may turn into a two year project! One year of abstinence from any sort of pressure, and a second year of trying to work harder together to move things forward.

    The second year may well be the more interesting one!