Time to be

I had a dream last night that I was in a new relationship with a woman. She was tall and dark-haired with intelligent eyes and raw sensuality. I found her very attractive, but she seemed familiar to me also as if she was an amalgam I’ve known and been drawn to before or those I’ve imagined.

Despite her sensuality, there was something reserved about her, much to my frustration. She was the cerebral type, deeply engaged with the community and passionate about the affairs of state and society that come to dominate our health and wellbeing. In so many ways, we were a good pairing. She had interests in the same things I did. We could talk intelligently across a range of subjects, and, for the most part, our beliefs were aligned.

I was frustrated because, though I was sympathetic, she took these passions and interests too far, leaving too little for the earthly pleasures that mean so much when you’re with someone you like.

It seemed to me that the difference between us is that I could switch off, whereas she never did. There was a time and place for matters of the mind. As for the issues and controversies that dog our times, it’s fine to be passionate, but there’s also a time to take a break from it.

Here was this woman, alluring and attractive, a worthy, warm-hearted character, yet she never allowed herself to relax when I, as her partner, wanted to relax with her, wanted to discover her in the quiet times far away from the noise and clamour of normal life. I wanted to be with her, and only her, and yearned for the intimacy of body and mind that seemed denied to me.

I appeal to her in the dream, urging her to let go and be present. Don’t think – be! I tell her. Open to me, I tell her, let yourself feel, let it flow and happen. I murmur to her, asking if isn’t this something she wants? I tell her how I feel about her, how she warms my heart just thinking of her, how I yearn to be inside with her, to share and be as if one mind. Connect with me, I tell her, forget everything else, and with a glint in my eye, tell her how much she turns me on…

Curious to think what this dream might mean. There are elements familiar to my life and times – thought-addled, with too many causes and issues to be passionate about. Yet, I am someone who can switch off and indulge in the sensual – if only there was something in my life now to indulge in. That’s another element. My desire is no less than it has ever been, but there is no woman in my life, nor even the hint of one.

I’ve come to believe that one of the things that have had a detrimental effect on my wellbeing through the Covid period is the lack of meaningful contact with women. That might sound strange or even trite, but I believe it to be true. I hesitate to use the word virile because it’s not an exact fit, but it’s as close I can get to describe my outlook for most of my life.

Virile suggests that my relationship with women is purely sexual, which it isn’t. I’m no shrinking violet. I’ve enjoyed lots of sex over the years, but really, that’s just a subset of something more substantial. For whatever reason, I’ve always been drawn to women (and yes, some of that will be sexual and sensual). I’ve enjoyed the difference – the different way of thinking and feeling, of seeing. I’m not one of those men intimidated or dismissive of those differences – I embrace them because I learn something so often, because it stimulates my mind and senses, and because curiosity draws me on.

What that means is that I’ve had a lot of female friends, not all of whom I’ve been involved with. My life has been infinitely richer because of this. If I’m honest, I’d suggest I prefer the company of women to men generally. I’m rarely surprised by other men, though sometimes disappointed. Women make me think.

While all of that is true, I miss the incidentals – the fun, harmless little flirtations and banter. The teasing sense of wonder when you meet someone and get to know them. The curious sense of adventure and the gentle musing after the event. What does it mean? Will it? Won’t it?

There’s been zero of any of that in the last 14 months. There’s barely the opportunity for it working from home and with routines so predictable. I miss it.

I don’t know what to do about it. I resist any phone methods of meeting anyone. No internet or apps for me (been there, done it a million times). That leaves very few opportunities. I need it, though, in my soul.

My mate Fozzy reckons I’m looking good, and it’s funny to think how reassuring that is – I don’t just need an alluring woman (perhaps one like in the dream) to agree with him. Like I urge her, time to open up – time to be.

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