Had 5th date with new guy last night, who I will call Bond, LOL, because he's a bail bondsman. Other guy I've been dating for the last 3-4 months I will call Kilt because he always wears utili-kilts.
Bond is super attractive, my age, divorced and has 3 young kids. We have great conversations about kids and parenting and world politics, spirituality and social issues and all that jazz. The incompatibilities that I see are that he is a daily pot smoker and that he's Muslim. He's not a very observant Muslim, though, since he's going out for a beer with me, smoking, dating non-Muslim women, etc. Interestingly, we've talked spirituality quite a bit and have lots of beliefs in common, but I'm pagan and loosely observe/practice/study earth-based feminist spirituality. Sometimes I wonder if he's attracted to me because I am so far left of what he's "supposed" to look for in a woman, that I'm some sort of novelty, but on the other hand he's just a guy who was raised in the same city as me and we have a lot in common. The pot smoking turns me off but he seems to function well and it seems to be, for him, the equivalent of someone having a glass or two of wine after dinner on a daily basis. Anyway, those things make me think "I'd never marry you," but we've only gone on 5 dates.
As with Kilt, for a large portion of his adulthood he has drank more than I'm comfortable with, though it has tapered off quite a bit. He's kind of a perma-bachelor and has no spiritual life to speak of whatsoever, nor an interest in one. Those are the things that make me think "I'd never marry you, either." But, he's super intelligent and kind and funny and we have a good time hanging out.
Kilt and I have been sleeping together for awhile, with the understanding that we can date other people but that we would stop sleeping together if/when we become interested in being sexually intimate with someone else. I've backed off for a little while with him because I've been more and more interested in Bond. Bond and I have just hung out, with barely a hug at the end, until last night. Last night he left with just a hug, and then came back a few minutes later and gave me a great, super hot and looong good night kiss! Oh it was so fun.
Buuut, I don't really want to be making out with a bunch of people at once, so I'm going to continue backing off from Kilt. I feel sort of bad about it, but our dating relationship has progressed to the point where it feels like it either needs to cool down or get more serious--it can't really stay where it is. His feelings for me are stronger than mine are for him, he's ready for a relationship but I just don't feel like he's who I want my next serious relationship to be with. I want to hang out and have fun and have little commitment, but someone to make out with is just FUN.
Part of me wonders if this is ok, if I'm being some kind of emotionally unavailable player, if I'm just avoiding being alone. But, on the other hand, I have been totally up front and honest about where I feel I'm at emotionally and what I'm interested in or not into. I have said the whole time to Kilt that I want to date other people, that I'm not interested in a serious relationship, etc. Bond knows that I was dating someone else for awhile.
How many of you date casually with little or no expectation/intention to find a long-term partner or serious relationship? I think my own preconceived ideas of what's "appropriate" for a woman or a mother or whatever bring up some guilt about having relatively casual sexual relationships, but they are mostly based in the Christian values I was raised with about "no premarital sex" and our culture's double standard about men being studs and women being whores if they have multiple partners. This might not work for me for very long, but my kids are not involved in my dating life at all and I am physically protecting myself and engaging with other consenting, enthusiastic and respectful adults, so those facts are competing with the taboos in my head.
I'm interested in your thoughts.