Recently I have been helping a friend of mine go through a break-up.  Him and his boyfriend had been together for a little over a year and their relationship was one of extremes.  This culminated in a police escort last Saturday for the one that is not my friend to get his things and move out for good.

Naturally, I did what any decent friend would do.  I cancelled my plans and drove over there to be there for my friend.  I left his house some 14 hours later, and since then I have been there throughout the week, albeit from a distance.

So last night at dinner I was running Jose through my day (he works Saturdays) and as we were talking I was trying to explain my thoughts on communication and extremes.  For the longest time I have said that communication is the key to a successful, well, anything.  Recent experiences have caused me to question that though.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing that I would not talk to Jose about and I would certainly never say that communication is not vital.  I have noticed two things about communication though:

People ‘hear’ according to their field of reference, not yours

Generally we listen to respond, not to understand.

What I am taking from this past week is that actually the element that needs to be nurtured is balance.  I mean, what’s the point in communication if it is infinitely circular or inherently vacuous, on the flip side, communication that is loaded with passion is not reasonable.

Before they got together we would often talk, as friends do…  about boys, love, the desire for partners etc.  My friend and I had both had 10 year relationships previously so it’s not like we were commitmentphobes or anything.  As far as we were concerned, our pedigree was strong in the relationship world.

Unfortunately, we were dinosaurs in the relationship world, we had been unleashed into a wold of Grindr, Hornet, Scruff and all manner of things that were alien to us…  First Date Dinner and a Movie had very firmly been replaced with Dick Pic and Netflix.  Terrifying.  I should say, we are only mid 30’s.

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A couple weekends ago José and I were in Amsterdam and being the socially adept people that we are we were chatting to a guy that we met and he asked how long José and I had been together.  When I replied to say “…just under two years…”, he seemed genuinely shocked that we still even liked one another.

Now I need to set the scene here, this is at an after-hours party, in Amsterdam so needless to say the conversation was never going to flow in accordance with my British sensibilities.  His next question was, “So have you guys stopped fucking and started meeting other guys yet?”

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Stuff

I’ve been away for a little while, and despite the fact that I have a good seven or eight draft posts going at the moment, and about a million more in my head I wanted to write something about a conversation that Jose and I have recently had.

It’s the summer holidays and as my day job is related to education, that is when I take a lot of my time off.  We have just come back from a week and a half in Spain and then we just spent the long weekend in Amsterdam –  It was really great for Jose and I to spend that time with each other and really calibrate ourselves, and by that I mean each self and then the third ‘self’ that is us.  I mean, we didn’t sit around contemplating our navels and trying to communicate telepathically or anything quite like that (although we got pretty close in Amsterdam when we tried Mushrooms, that was until Jose came out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around his head with our toothbrushes as horns).  We were our natural, unfiltered and unaffected selves and it was nice to go back to point zero.

It’s so easy to get bogged down with ‘stuff‘ and neglect the things that really underpin our emotional satisfaction.  I know that sounds vacuous and perhaps even vague and I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting a bit older, I’m generally happier or that I just don’t value material stuff as much any more.

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Living in fear…

I’ve noticed something about myself in the last few months that is entirely new and quite disturbing – I’ve become a bystander.

In a recent conversation; I reacted very strongly but also like a caged animal – as in, I wasn’t able to be cogent about my reaction and therefore a little voice inside me said “Leave it, let someone else deal with, eventually it’ll sort itself out”.

Bystanders, by definition, see something and yet do nothing – we become bystanders as a result of living in fear.

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Is Love Winning?

I’ve been on twitter for the last few nights watching all this crap unfold from the Republican Administration in the States (I refuse to refer to the POTUS by name and I refuse to allow him alone to be held responsible for what the fuck is going on) and whilst I’m seeing an outpouring of horror, despair and unity…  I am no longer buying this #LoveWins bollocks.

Change does not come from a Hashtag.

I’m not for one second suggesting that we should all be taking to the streets to start rioting for the sake of it but enough is enough.  We’ve come too fucking far and we’re too far gone to do this lets spread love, not hate crap.

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Mojo lost…. seeking mojo!

This is a heat of the moment post, and one I may question later but here goes.

Jose and I have been together for 18 months, and we have had an amazing time!  Since the very first [unorthodox and somewhat cringeworthy] meeting we hit it off and we've always been so easy around and with one another…

Recently thought, this has changed as our spark is gone, we sit opposite one another in a restaurant instead of side by side and eye contact feels strained.  I'm literally at the end of my tether.

I had been married for 10 years; divorced and single for one.  Jose was in an open relationship with his other half…  I'm not proud of it but we met on Grindr.  I was making my foray into the dating world again, which after 10 years was absolutely terrifying!

Suffice to say, I fell in love quickly.  I am absolutely NOT ashamed to say this but I told him quickly and I have never regretted it.  It took him a little while to return the sentiment, and that was fine with me.  I could feel he loved me because I could see it in his soul and I could feel it in his touch, it was like a pulse of electricity whenever and wherever we touched.

So much so that on February 16th this year, on our one year anniversary, I proposed to Jose.  He accepted, there were tears and all was fine.

Recently, and I mean for the last month or so, it's been painful.  He seem to resent that he lives in my house [it just so happens it's my house, I bought it before I even knew him and when we wanted to make things official his ex called time of death and Jose moved in with me).

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Return To Sender…

So in the last two weeks I have been given feedback that has been so off the wall that it has really disoriented me and as it has turned out, because I am such a reflective person (read sometimes too damn reflective), on both occasions it happened to be that the people giving me this feedback were actually using words to describe that were indicative of their own situation.  Almost as though they were creating an environment or set of circumstances that would make their behaviour acceptable.

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What do Draq Queens teach us about society?

I'm a RuPauls Drag Race Season 1 die hard and I'm not even a tiny bit sorry about it!
Right from that crazy filtered season I was hooked (seriously, it was worse Sunset Beach a la Channel 5 in the 90's) and I know exactly what it is that appeals to me so much – it's the irreverence.  You know, if there's anything that I can guarantee, I've always been the first one to go against the tide.  If someone says, "you can't do that", well I'm definitely going to do it, nobody puts baby in the corner, or a box.

I don't like rules.  That being said, if I'm in a place without rules I freak out and I guess that really gets me thinking… I'm really not happy unless I've got something to moan about; sometimes big things and more often the most banal crap that really shouldn't bother anyone in the least…  If I've got no time to spare I moan that I've got no control but then I go all out and I get control and then I moan that there's no spontaneity in my life – ain't that some shit.

Is this where we are in society right now? Have we become a faceless, noisy, pointless nation of entitled moaners?

It could also be why my mind rebels against fads, trends and the masses, it probably also explains my distaste at the pride flag campaign I wrote about in my identification with the gay community blog.

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Why am I struggling to identify with the gay community?

Last week José and I were in the car, having just had lunch we were going to an amazing Gelato place we were about to discover in the nearby town of Hitchin. I was parking the car and we were talking and, as is common with me, my thoughts started tumbling.  Without thought the sentence "you know I'm struggling more and more every day to identify with the gay community; the appetite for the 'agenda' just seems insatiable" and even as I said it I realised I had hit on something really important and significant to me.

As we parked the car and wandered through this sleepy little down on a Sunday afternoon, I really couldn't shake the thought.

It all stemmed from something I had read on social media about someone, somewhere starting a campaign to change the pride flag to incorporate a brown and black stripe in recognition of members of the community that were 'of colour'.

I'm angry, disappointed and really confused.

The pride flag, that iconic rainbow flag that I have looked for all over the world on my travels. Ranging from when I'm in a new town in the UK,  strolling the streets of Paris with José, staggering and stumbling across Amsterdam with my friend Nic and even last summer on a particularly odd weekend trip to Geneva finding that flag in such an unknown place made us feel really safe. It's a symbol of unity, togetherness and frigging Pride. That symbol should not include any reference to a factions, divisions and categorisations within our Pride.

Continue reading “Why am I struggling to identify with the gay community?”

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