Just a couple of weeks after I wrote my lesson no. 1 about online dating: I already managed to break my own rules at least a couple of times. I’ve never been the queen of “practice-what-you-preach-land”. But that’s going to be discussed in lesson 3, which is going to be long and hard, I’m afraid.

The fact is, TS3 has been the catalyst of a very profound couple of days when I got to think and learn a lot about myself. I might say I am not entirely happy with what I learnt, but I guess pointing at the problem is the first necessary step needed to solve it.

I am in a phase where I need to make mistakes in order to learn how to correct the route, so I indulge. Still, I kind of end up hating myself for it.

It all started with some massive BS I pulled, i.e. I realised I gave him access to my public FB profile, where the lifetime event “Wedding” welcomed any passer-by like a flag. And of course I panicked.

I am extremely proud to say that even though panick literally blocked me and my brain for most of the morning hours, I managed to let go and move on on my own. Also because at 11.00 am there’s nobody really you can rely upon. I stepped out of the panic, looked at the facts from the outside and, as dear old Richard used to say, thought of the solution instead of the problem. It’s not as easy as it sounds, when you’re knee-high in shit. Thank Sa for an analytic mind.

Apart from this, what I liked was that I did practice what someone preached indeed, that is, this is a game with rules, but we make up the rules as we see fit in the process. Mine is going to be “just go with your guts”. So what my guts told me to do was to write apologies. Even if unnecessary, even if the wouldn’t be understood or cared for. My dearest analytic mind gave me perspective of all the possible outcomes so I decided to do it. I know 10 other people would have done 10 different things about it, but I chose this road. I decided this is me.

I also realise, that most of my panic didn’t really come from disappointing TS3 but rather from the shame of being caught in my own game and some resentment for not having been smart enough to avoid the mistake. This reminded me of how much I hate lying. Because I think it’s wrong, in principle, and because it takes a heavy toll on me in terms of guilt. What I don’t understand is why I don’t avoid lying in the first place, if I despise it so much.

It feels like high school: I always had a lot of homework but I was rarely bothered enough to finish them. I would indulge in doing something else more interesting instead of sticking to my duty. Then the next day I would panick at the idea of being caught or having a surprise test or something. Still, the dread wouldn’t refrain me from doing the exact same thing the next day.

Self indulgence? Lack of volition? Stupidity?

So I hate lying. Probably because it reminds me that I am not perfect, that compared to the ideal of person I could be I am lacking in some ways. That stain somehow taints all the rest, I think nothing else I have to give has value, if I am ready to deceive someone. It doesn’t matter what the terms of the deceit are. Of course, if put on a scale of seriousness, one could maintain that saying I am separated one week away from my actual separation is not as bad as cheating on someone and denying it afterwards, but I am still not cutting myself any slack.

In this impetus of truth I was convinced to tell TS3 all the truth, nothing but the truth. That was yesterday, as soon as he told me nothing happened and he would meet me anyway, I realised that telling all the truth was suicide. So I made up a mix of reality, lies and points of view, but I still didn’t like it. Then I called Renée and she just illuminated me. I am free to say I don’t want to talk about it. Now, I know it’s still a lie, I know not talking about it doesn’t make it true, but it opened another door in my head.

I want to open up with people and let them see the real me, without holding back. This is great, but I still have to learn the importance of boundaries. Not wanting to lie does not mean I have to strip myself naked in front of a stranger, especially if it feels uncomfortable. I am free to say no, not because I have something to hide, but because I don’t feel ready to discuss something. Being so much open with myself, I have to refrain from overflowing. Because my natural approach would be to just talk about anything, but maybe it shouldn’t be the case.

Beside other motives, this is a perfect excuse if I have something to hide, sure, but it might have a point anyway. I want to get to know people, and maybe bond with them. For this, I need to address deeper issue than what movies I like, but I guess it’s not completely wrong to say that addressing my separation equals hitting a nerve. It is partly true that my refusal to talk about it has to do with the fact that it’s fresh and extremely private. Being excessively open about anything else in this moment, I can hide behind the excuse. Although I realise perfectly that it’s probably all they want to know about me. I guess it’s extremely difficult a concept to grasp if you haven’t been in it. You need to at least have lived with someone to understand what it’s all about. TS3 is way too young to know and I suppose TS2 hasn’t had a chance to do it yet either. In this sense, an older guy could have had the same experience.

There again I’m stuck in the middle. I am attracted to younger guys, who have proven to be interesting enough for me to like them back regardless of their age, but the fact of being separated puts me automatically in another age group in terms of experience. I am pretty sure there are other older separated guys who are stupid enough not to understand my name and younger single guys who could embrace this reality just as well without being judgemental. It depends on the subject, I can’t generalise.

What I would/will answer tonight as to why I didn’t say anything about being separated is not entirely false, just one side of the story. It is true that I have a problem dealing with the idea of being separated. It makes me feel like damaged goods in many ways. First because it’s a constant reminder of a failure. Second because it feels like a cross I have to bear, something every other guy I’ll ever deal with will look upon with suspicion, third because it makes me wonder about my capability of ever loving and committing again. Last but not least because it’s one more reminder of the fact that I am not perfect. I can accept as best as I can that I did it for the right reasons, I still kind of feel like a monster, I still think I should have been able to avoid it. I don’t know whether I’ll ever be able to accept it  fully or if it will always feel like this, I don’t know if it’s just too early to take it any other way.

The timing is one of the things I won’t lie about. De facto separation started at least in my head in November and that’s what I am going to say. This kind of timing I still consider early to start dating again or at least I guess that’s what people might think. In this case, I am more than ready to defend my stand, offering my reasons. This is the ground I won’t cede because this makes me who I am. If they can’t accept it, it just can’t work between us. I won’t lie about a legal separation not being ready yet, just because being a lawyer, TS3 may just check up on my story. I will have to lie, if necessary about living alone. That would be unacceptable from my point of view. There is no chance for either of them to come to my house within the next two weeks anyway.

I am sorry all of this mess happened because I was over the moon to meet this guy. Now I am scared, guilty and embarrassed. Strange thing is, it feels like meeting an old friend rather than a new guy and potential partner. I don’t think it would be good from his point of view, it seems that I have no sexual expectations of sorts, I am just expecting good laughs. I may be wrong, maybe it’s just because he is so young and I can’t think of him that way. Maybe it’s because he knows someone from Campus and it feels like we know each other already.

I’m just sorry I won’t be able to write about it until Monday. Oh what a weekend…