Friends and Lovers


Yes, I’m still alive and still chatting. I haven’t blogged for quite some time, primarily as I didn’t think I had much worth saying (not that such fact has stopped me often in the past!). More recently, I took a break as well from chat and then returned to the room where I feel I’ve made some pretty good friends. It’s been fun again, back to relieving rather than creating stress.

A couple of turns of events got me thinking about the issue of friendships and when they cross the line into something more… whether romantic, sexual, or whatever kind of intimate. First, two friends of mine from my current chat home, who have been friends for some time, decided to get together and have a chat relationship. In speaking with one of them, she said she had previously considered taking the next step with him, but feared “messing up the friendship” or “hurting him.” I think there are many times when friends may develop (or have always harbored) feelings for friends, and then be reluctant to confess their feelings or pursue them in order to not lose the friendship they have. It’s a legitimate concern, as the qualities that make a good friendship and what makes a good romantic or sexual relationship, while overlapping, are not synonymous.

The second event was that I am again taking the plunge into a chat relationship. I have had a friend in chat for over a decade now, and we have always flirted and occasionally been close to developing more than a friendship, but never have. Recently we’ve been talking more and more, and we decided to take that step. We have had ups and downs in our friendship over the years, primarily as we have entered into, and exited out of, other relationships, but we have maintained our friendship throughout that time, and we hope to do so even as we pursue something more.

And that’s the risk isn’t it? Certainly we all have friends we would never consider partnering with, but it makes sense that at least some of those friends would be desirable partners. This person and I know each other well; we’ve seen each other at our best and worst. We know each other’s good qualities and foibles. We know we get along and we’ve developed communication in the friendship to the point that we are comfortable communicating as lovers as well. Of course, the danger is that the loss of the romantic relationship could mean the loss of a good and valued friendship as well. But when is such a relationship not a risk? But isn’t it worth it, especially when taken with someone with whom you already have developed chemistry, rapport, and caring?

Fitting In


Two posts in less than a week, I’m on a roll! Largely this post follows from the last one, regarding the changes in my chat life and efforts to forge new friendships and a new home in chat. One of the struggles I’m having is trying to make sure I fit in with this new group and new place. I think I’m doing okay, but it led me to reflect on that impetus, that drive to “fit in.”

If we think back to high school (a time some of us might prefer to forget even if we can remember back that far!), we might remember the struggles to fit in. Maybe some of you reading this fit in naturally; others of us felt a bit adrift and some degree of self-inflicted pressure to find a group with whom we could be comfortable and a sense of belonging. It might be easy as an adult now to look back and dismiss this concern with the “wisdom” of aging and say we inflated the importance of fitting in, but I question whether that would be true.

Alfred Adler placed great emphasis on the importance of developing a “social niche” into which we’d fit and be able to receive validation and recognition for our attributes and accomplishments. He believed that without such validation we would become “discouraged” (his word) and likely to engage in self defeating and self destructive behavior. Perhaps he overstated the consequences, but I do believe we have a drive to connect and to belong. After chatting for over 20 years, I’ve seen people go through efforts to have those needs met.

The one thing I will suggest with the hindsight of aging is that we perhaps put too much emphasis in our adolescence on thinking we had to be JUST LIKE someone to fit in, or we all had to agree on everything. I’ve become a much firmer believer in complementarity, that is, being similar enough to engage successfully, while also having the ability to have enough differences to fulfill the needs or interests of the other. Think of a jigsaw puzzle piece: it fits where it should despite being different from the pieces surrounding it.

As I foray further into a new room and into new friendships, I want to be like that puzzle piece. I’m not necessarily much like those around me, but I want to fit just where I belong.

Roll with the Changes


So I emerge again after a long time apart from my blog, largely because I have had some new people in chat tell me they’ve discovered it and would like to read it. So before they can catch up with all I’ve written before, I’m adding a new post. What’s it about? Changing, and in a way, it’s about starting over.

I still nominally host a room at sensuouschat.com, and I visit there on admittedly rare occasions. The site will be closing early next year, as my dear friend who owns it would like to retire and spend more time with her husband. Such nerve! As if her real life is more important than my chat life! Selfish woman, she.

Anyway, with that imminent occurrence, I took to wandering the chat worlds, somewhat searching for a new home. In a way, I’m glad to give up the responsibilities of managing a room and get back to just chatting, but I know I will miss some of the “status” of being a room hostess. Moreover, it’s been a bit difficult feeling like I am “starting over” in chat by looking for new friends and a new home. I’ve gone to rooms and I’m more than willing to chat and impose myself on others (conversationally, I mean LOL), but at the same time, it can be difficult to overcome being a “newby” when others have known each other for months or years.

One might ask why I’m not with chat friends who also may have migrated… well, that’s a story in and of itself, and one I may or may not share on this blog later. I want to look ahead, not back, and try to focus on the positives. And there have been some positives. I’ve met some really great people, and several I’d love to be closer friends with, but of course such things take time. And in a way that’s the frustrating part. Remember being a kid, you could become someone’s best friend within five minutes of meeting and you discovered you had the same favorite ice cream flavor? Well, as an adult, friendship that gets that tight that fast is a bit… well, creepy, no? But I want to be buddies with some of these people, and I have to fight the urge to push for that level of closeness. I know it’s my own neediness coming out, the need to affiliate, and to be seen as special and important to people. As much as I know that has to take time, that ice cream loving kid in me wants to say “hey let’s be best friends!” But it doesn’t work that way. I have to give it time, and adjust to all these changes in my chat life.

But I hope that adjustment hurries.

Secret Love


One of the interesting (to me anyway) phenomena you sometimes see in chat is the desire for people to keep relationships “secret.” I spoke to someone I know in chat who told me she is with someone but was reluctant to share who it was because they want things to be kept “secret for now.” Now when I mention such relationships, I don’t just mean purely sexual ones, as many trysts and encounters are held privately and not particularly advertised. Even occasions in which the word “love” is used (and one can argue how meaningful that word is or isn’t in a virtual world, but for some, the feelings do transcend the medium) sometimes are kept very hidden from the rest of the chat world.

In some instances, this desire to keep things secret is perfectly understandable. There can be interference from others, or drama, or even just the concern that the relationship become stable enough to last a bit of time before “going public” or “making it official.” As I’ve mentioned earlier in this blog, others can suddenly develop an interest in you once you’re supposedly off the market. And some others may simply decide they want to ruin someone else’s happiness. Of course, in other instances, the secret-keeping has more to do with wanting to have several such relationships available at once, and to keep each from not knowing about the other. This scenario is obviously more hurtful if one of the other partners had some expectation of monogamy, but even if they wanted a more open relationship, maybe they expected to at least be special or a priority, and they’re not.

I think the challenge can be knowing which scenario is present. If someone grows close to you, if you become emotionally invested and think of yourselves as a “couple,” then how do you take it when your partner suggests you keep things “on the down low” for a bit. Even if they present a reasonable and cogent rationale, wouldn’t you at least wonder if there’s an ulterior or sinister motive? I can see both scenarios existing. I’m just not sure how I would tell them apart.

Looking Back Wistfully


Ok, so my chat life has been a roller coaster of moodiness, drama, and stupidity (yes, on my part, not just others). So this post will likely seem whiny. Fair warning to any who proceed with reading it. I won’t be going over recent stressors in detail; this post is more related to my most recent post here, the one several weeks ago on retirement.

I find myself looking back often. Maybe that’s a sign of getting older, where you think back to earlier times with a degree of wistfulness, a plethora of “what ifs” going through your brain. I’m not sure it’s the healthiest process, but I think it’s somewhat common, even normal. I mean, how do we take stock of the now without an occasional glance back at where we’ve been?

I can remember being in a very happy and satisfied state a few years back during one particular chat relationship. And in some ways, I almost feel like I can point to the loss of that relationship as a turning point in the wrong direction. Following that, there was drama and loss and heartache and conflict. Not everything has been bad since then; I’ve made some good friends and had some good experiences, and had some all too brief relationships since then. But I think I’d have to say the last time I went several months with happiness was then. Of course, it’s easy in hindsight to say it was “all good” back then, and I know that’s not true here, but I almost wonder if the best time to retire would have been then.

In some ways I almost feel like my chat life has been like a terminal patient on life support. When do I pull the plug? When some good things happen I get hopeful, but when some bad things happen, like recently, I fight the urge to reach for the plug right now. When does hoping become stupid perseveration? I don’t know the answer. Am I just maintaining hope or being hopelessly stubborn?

The odd thing is as I write this I don’t feel sad. A few days ago my mood was dark, and several people in chat took me to task on my attitude. Today is light years better than then. I think my mood has stabilized, and that’s allowed me to sit back and take stock more rationally than I have all week. And if there’s a prevailing emotion right now, it’s wistfulness.

Retirement


A friend of mine and I were discussing retirement the other day. She’s shopping for a retirement home (not that she’s retiring yet, but she wants a second home that eventually would be the retirement home), and I shared some of my future thoughts on the issue. I’d like to think I’m still (relatively) young to be thinking about retirement, but it’s a nice thought to plan where I want to relax when I give up working and such. But despite the title, this post isn’t about retirement from work. My blog tends to be about chat, so this post is about chat retirement.

I’ve said before I have taken breaks from chat, in one instance lasting over two years. At that time, I hadn’t planned to return, but obviously I did. But I’ve always had in my head the idea that I’d retire from chat someday, mainly because I have this notion that I don’t want to be 80 years old trolling around adult chat rooms. Somehow that image is very disturbing to me. LOL….. As it is, I am at an age where I get a lot of “oh gee I really like older women” comments. It’s not as flattering as the people delivering those lines tend to think. But those comments make me really think… when is it time to say “ok Im too old for this.” I’ve been thinking that I might want to retire by age fifty. I didnt have a problem turning thirty, and I admit I felt old when I hit forty, so I could see myself thinking that fifty would be too old for me to be running around chatrooms.

That said, I know lots of people older than me (and older than age fifty) that chat and enjoy it. So this isn’t an indictment of them or a recommendation that people over age 50 should avoid adult chat. I’m speaking only for me, and as someone who has chatted since my mid-twenties… I can see age 50 being the time to hang it up… if not sooner.

I wonder if I’ll get a gold watch?

The Wanted and The Wanting


My last post on “Fun and Immaturity” somewhat led me into this one, in part because that post addressed fun without taking responsibility, which called to mind for me a related issue in adult chat. It really refers back to a variety of issues and themes mentioned in previous editions of this blog, but I’m not sure I’ve ever addressed it so blatantly. It has to do with wanting and being wanted.

As I’ve mentioned before, many of us in chat have self esteem that is shaky at best. And of course, one way to feel some boost that self esteem is to feel wanted by others, to feel attractive to people. When someone indicates an interest or attraction, it’s only natural to feel some flattery or pride. Now, as I’ve said earlier, for me anyway that pride is compromised when I know that person seems to want everyone. And that’s the person I want to focus on here.

Some of us may feel a need to have everyone like us. But then there are some in chat who seem to want and like everyone else. Now I don’t mean everyone quite literally; typically they draw some line of demarcation between those seen as having higher status or desirability than others. And it’s not based on a subjective attraction so much as the sense that others find that person desirable or not. In other words, if others want them, I want them too, and not only that, I must have them.

I’ve alluded before to never wanting to be someone’s notch on a belt or purse. I don’t want to be a conquest. I am not narcissistic enough to think I’m some highly desirable or high status target. But I’ve had people express interest in me, and then realized they seem to want anyone and everyone. And I’ve spoken with people who seem to develop a crush on anyone seen by others as desirable. Worst of all, I’ve had “friends” suddenly decide they find someone attractive when I confide in them that I like a certain person. Often they not only decide they have an attraction, they pursue it aggressively and sometimes “close the deal,” shall we say.

So what’s behind this “I want everyone” perspective? Well, probably the same thing as the person who wants to be desired by everyone. Every notch is a boost to their self esteem. Now maybe that makes them happy, but I guess I just think it’s an unending quest, and it’s probably like constantly trying to fill an empty space. Once they achieve a conquest, isn’t there just another one to pine for and feel less valued until they achieve that conquest? How and when could it ever end?

And yes, this happens in real time too. And that’s probably sadder. But I bet it happens in chat more.