Tuesday, September 29, 2015

An unexpected reunion

It's Saturday, a couple of weeks after me and boyfriend K got back our holiday when we visited Prague and Budapest. We've been out with friends in the sun all day, and arriving back home around 6pm, we're both feeling happy and tired. It had been a good day :-).

"I'm a bit sweaty so I'm going to have a bath," announces boyfriend K casually.

I'm feeling a bit sweaty too and although I love having baths with boyfriends, unfortunately the bath in our house is a bit cramped with two people in it so I'll have to wait. I find other things to do, and when boyfriend K comes down from his bath almost an hour later, he's got a plan.

"Right," he says authoritatively, "go and freshen yourself up because we're going out :-)".

"Are we?" I ask, mildly surprised.

"Yes! Some friends of that couple we met last month are having a garden party. I've just been chatting to them online and we're welcome to go along too :-)."

One of the things I like about boyfriend K is the fact that he's pretty much always up for another party, even on days like today when we've already had a few drinks with some other friends!

A little over half an hour later and we're wandering down a road in an area of London that we're not familiar with, bottle of wine in hand, looking for a house number that seems unfeasibly large compared to the length of the street.

"Can you phone someone and ask if the number is right?" I ask.

It turns out that an extra digit had accidentally been added to the house number in a message that was sent to boyfriend K. However, after a short phone call, it doesn't take us long to find the right house.

Once in the house, we head for the garden and looking round, it seems like the party has been going on for quite a while. There are a few people around that I recognise, and I'm happy to discover that I'd met the hosts on a previous occasion. There seem to be quite a few guys like me, i.e. British guys with foreign and especially Asian boyfriends.

"Hmmm," I say to the British host after we've exchanged a few pleasantries, "who's that guy sitting down over there?" and I indicate with my head to a guy who's right down the other end of the garden, chatting to someone.

"He's originally from Argentina," my host explains, and he tells me a few things about him, including the fact that he's got a long term partner.

As soon as I hear where he was from I realise that I'd met him on gaydar, and that we'd had a bit of fun together. It was just after I'd split up from ex-boyfriend T, but before I started dating boyfriend K. Back in August 2013 I'd even done a blog post titled Activity report which mentions him ("a cute Argentinian"). I also remember that his boyfriend didn't know that he used websites to hook up for fun with other guys.

But what should I do? I can't help thinking that he's bound to recognise me, so it could be quite awkward. Whatever I do, I don't want to be a home-breaker, so I'll need to make sure that no one finds out that I've been naked in bed with him!

A little later, the Argentinian guy gets up from where he's been sitting and walks towards me, presumably on his way to get another drink. I look at him directly, and when he catches my eye, I can tell that he's recognised me. But suddenly he looks uncomfortable. I decide that pretending that I've never meet him before would be the most awkward thing to do, so when he gets close to me I know that I have to say something.

"Hi, how are you?" I say casually as he passes me.

"Oh hi, … er, … yes," he says, but he clearly doesn't know what to do, "just let me get another drink :-)".

Now that I've broken the ice between us, I start feeling a bit more comfortable about the situation, and I even start enjoying it a bit. Just for fun, I quickly send boyfriend K a message on WhatsApp: "There's a guy here who I met on gaydar two years ago". Boyfriend K is sitting down under a gazebo a short distance away from me, and I see him pull out his phone to read my message. He immediately looks over to me, perhaps to see who I'm chatting to. I smile enigmatically back at him as though to say "can you work out who". But one of the guys that he's talking to needs his attention, so all he can do is give me a knowing smile and return to his conversation.

A little later and I'm chatting to someone that I've met a few times before. The cute Argentinan guy walks past again so I decide to have another go.

"Have you met my boyfriend?" I ask, catching his eye as he tries to walk past me, "that's him over there, he's called K".

"Oh really :-)," he replies, looking quizzically at me, "sorry, can you excuse me a minute."

A couple of other occasions arise when again I try to talk to the guy, but each time the guy makes some excuse. At one point I notice that he ends up in a small group with boyfriend K, who introduces himself, so in fact boyfriend K ends up talking to him more than I do. And similarly, I end up talking to the Argentinian guy's boyfriend.

"Have you been away on holiday much this year?" I end up asking the boyfriend.

"Actually we've got a big trip planned to Indochina next month :-)," he replies.

"Have you been there before?" I ask.

"No, this will be our first visit."

"I had a long trip there about ten years ago with an ex-boyfriend," I say, before talking in detail about the different countries that I'd visited.

"Here’s a card with my email address," I say after talking for at least ten minutes, "feel free to send me an email if you think I can help at all :-)".

The party comes to and end without me managing to talk to the Argentinian guy, but the next day I'm in for a surprise. It's not his boyfriend who sends me an email, but the guy himself!

Hi GB,

Hope you are well and not too hungover from last night. I just wanted to apologise for not talking to you yesterday. Seeing you there was a bit of a surprise. I have no ill feelings towards you or meant to be rude to you, although I think I was. I was a little tipsy and seeing you there with your partner K and mine spooked me out a bit.

In fact I have very fond memories of when we met. You were charming and fun, and the kind of person I would have liked to get to know better. I was glad to hear that you had found a partner and having met K, I can say he is a lovely guy. I am genuinely happy for you.

Despite my partner and I having an open relationship of sorts, one of the main rules we share is that we do not openly discuss our extra marital encounters. Another rule is that we never bring anyone here to our own home or make friends with them. I would hate to know what he might get up to, and I simply do not want to know. This is a compromise we have found after twenty years together. It has been many years since we have been intimate with one another. It is sad but what we share is so much more than just sex. I am happy to see that you got on so well with him, he is a wonderful person. I would be so happy to welcome you and K here at our home or simply go out for drinks and food and finally get to know you better if you wanted to.

Anyway, I hope you have a great day!

Thanks, all the best,

The information in his email about his open relationship is a bit different to what he told me two years ago. Previously he'd told me that they hadn't really discussed it at all, and that he'd just assumed it was OK to have fun with other guys! But there's no point asking him about this, so I simply reply to say that I don't have any intention of disclosing anything to his partner. We exchange another couple of emails and it seems likely that we'll meet up at some point, but it hasn't happened yet.

Looking back, the thing that seems amazing to me now is that something like this has never happened to me before. Over the years, I've certainly had my share of activities with quite a few guys, so where are they all now? Presumably a lot of them end up with boyfriends, but it's not such a big world so why haven't I bumped into any of them with their partners? Anyway, I do hope that I'll see the Argentinian guy again :-). And hopefully next time, he'll be happy to talk to me!