Hello from Texas. And I don’t mean the state. Lauren has graciously allowed me to write some updates about recent events and my perspective on the topic of our relationship. She will be back to posting soon.

“He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

It had been obvious to me that Lauren was smitten with me in the early stages of our six months together, but I hadn’t wanted her to get too close. For her sake as well as mine. When we dated, I always presented the best side of myself. Don’t we all? But there were things about myself I had been keeping locked away. Nothing too horrible, mind you, but after 38 years of life as a boring geek, I took a lot of risks in the last five years. Career risks. Social risks. Those mostly worked out. But the biggest risks I took were with relationships. Sometimes very big risks. Those didn’t work out. Those tended to hurt deeply as they dragged on and ended badly.

I couldn’t deny my attraction to Lauren, though. I saw her often at first, but soon realized that was a mistake I had made before, diving too deep too fast. I backed off. When it became obvious how enamored she was, hauntings of a previous unbalanced relationship crept into my mind. I backed off even more. I really didn’t know what to do. I still thought of her, but seeing her again seemed fraught with danger. She made no indication she wanted to see me. Then I saw an ad for a Hedwig and the Angry Inch play and I instantly thought of Lauren. I thought of how much fun it was taking her to offbeat events around town. I thought of watching her smile as she watched the play. I had to ask.

That was the start of a new phase between us for me. I still had in my mind that I wouldn’t see Lauren too often, but I knew at the end of every date that I wanted to see her again. Slowly I opened up to her against my better judgment. Surprisingly, she was quite supportive and non-judgmental about the emotional scars I thought had to remain hidden. I wasn’t sure I could feel safe like that again. Unnervingly, vulnerably, I was falling for her. I wanted to see her more.

When I had the girlfriend talk with Lauren, I was as happy as I had been for years. I didn’t want to commit to a closed relationship like she did, I couldn’t conceive of being that restricted, but I wanted something serious between us. Having a serious, open relationship meant knowing each other’s dating habits, so I quickly told her about the one other woman I was semi-regularly seeing and our one planned upcoming date. I felt bad having to tell her the date was to a kinky play party, but I wanted to be completely honest. She understood. And then she went.

She first mentioned several guys she was seeing on a regular basis and I felt a pang of…what? Jealousy? Surprise? Of course I knew she was dating other people, but I had hoped that, as we were drawing closer together, her interest in others would have dropped some as mine had. I didn’t feel special anymore. Then she mentioned the few more guys she was seeing on a semi-regular basis. Less special. Heart dropping. And then she mentioned the few newbie dates she had lined up. Not special. Heart, meet stomach. Quiet. Withdrawn. She could tell.

As my mind raced (it does that quite well), Lauren tried to explain, to smooth things over. “I meant it when I said you are at the top.” “I have very strong feelings for you.” “I want an exclusive relationship with you.” “As long as I was dating, though, I wanted to date all I could and write about it in my blog.” *record scratch* Uh, say what? So I haven’t just been opening up to Lauren, but to a horde of strangers on the Internet, as well? Now I not only felt foolish, I felt violated.

I tried to keep my cool through this first tsunami of information, but I’ll admit it was difficult. We talked a lot that night, more than we ever had before on serious subjects. She said all the right things. She offered to cut back on the dating. She agreed not to blog about me more. I calmed down. Nothing Lauren had told me was catastrophic, just far different from my expectations. We spent the night together as usual, i.e. unable to keep our hands off of each other. But I still had serious questions about what was going on and I was no longer sure Lauren was a reliable source of information. My trust issues have trust issues. And somewhere on the Internet was a blog with pure, unfiltered answers. The truth was out there. I just had to find it.

Pro tip: If you want to keep your sex and dating blog private, don’t tell your smart high-tech boyfriend about it.

To be continued…