The NSA Dilemma

A few weeks ago I met a guy. As these “meet up” apps go, if you’re looking for “fun” it’s often known as No Strings Attached – NSA. It’s unfortunate that it’s the same as the National Security Agency, but there you go…

To be into NSA you have to be pretty unemotional. In my brief experiences in the Grindr “community” (hilarious) I have had a handful of so called NSA encounters. While I may also be looking to click with people, and find this aspect frustrating, at least NSA does generally live up to the promise of being “fun”. And it does give one a chance to actually meet a guy in some sort of context. I have to be honest, I am not one for dates in the first place. Especially as it would somewhat expose my cover in this very small world…

The trouble is, from time to time, you find someone who you would like to get to know better. I have only met a handful of guys, and most of them wouldn’t pass my general test as someone I’d want to spend more time with – except only for “fun” – but on this one occasion I have to admit I got a little infatuated.

I couldn’t actually believe that he’d agreed to meet me in the first place. I am 9 years older than him. He was extremely attractive, and I always have such a hang up about my own appearance – not helped by the fact that it usually makes people stop talking to me – so it really was a shock when the details were agreed.

In the flesh he was better still. And what really floored me was the fact that he was so into it. He was positive and involved. The first guy I’ve ever met who wanted to start with kissing, and we did a lot of it. Suffice it to say, I thought we both had a lot of fun.

When he left I stupidly didn’t ask for a phone number. But I felt like I shouldn’t. I felt totally lucky in the first place, and I just didn’t think it would ever happen again and I shouldn’t impose on him. He may have just been exploring.

We’re now 20 days later, and, apart from being online briefly the following day, he hasn’t been online since. He hasn’t blocked me, which is a reasonable sign, but I can only assume he’s deleted the app. It’s not that I thought we could have a relationship, but this area has such a paucity of talent, and so many guys are weird, that when you find one who’s nice you should do your best to keep them on side.

But there is a twist. Four days ago a profile appeared. Same age. Same height. Same distance. Same style. I am convinced it is him. I waited a day to pluck up the courage, and my heart was pounding as I typed in the words to try and tease out the info without looking like a total fool if I was wrong.

If it is him he denied that he has ever met me. He didn’t recognise my picture, allegedly, but he refused to send his back, so he didn’t give anything away. I am convinced it is him, and if it is I just cannot understand why someone would behave in such a horrible way. Why would you blank me for so much time? Why would you pretend to have liked me so much when we first met? What do you get out of lying to someone? I can handle the truth, and if he was just experimenting or genuinely only wanted to meet me once, then I could understand. I just want to know.

I walked away from the encounter sheepishly. The only saving grace I could cling onto was that the writing styles were different…

The following day the twist went worse. I bumped into him in the supermarket where he works. The funny thing is that I haven’t seen him at all in there during the missing period. It made me think he was on holiday, It gave me hope that the absence was genuine.

I plucked up the courage to say hello. He replied. He wasn’t talkative. He clearly remembered who I was.

Cos that’s the thing really. Guys on these apps like to act like they will never bump into anyone ever. So you can treat them as rudely and as ignorantly as you like. But actually, we are real. If you’re unlucky, you will meet them in an environment where you have to behave like a human. Suddenly the block button is no help.

I asked him how he was. He said he was OK, and he asked me back. I said I was OK too. I carried on walking. I could tell he was nervous and maybe wanted to be out of the situation.

I really wanted to ask him if he could just be honest with me and say if he would ever want to meet with me again. If he doesn’t I would have closure and could move on. If he does then I’d be happy, but I’d also be concerned that he was just saying it.

The funny thing is that this new profile, which may or may not be him (though I think it is), has now also not been online for two days. If that grows longer, it fits a pattern of a young guy going through phases. One who doesn’t know what he wants, and is terribly awkward at expressing himself.

That’s all OK. That’s all understandable. But it just makes me even more endeared to someone, because I love understanding people and learning who they are. If I like them. Which is not a good thing. I have to remind myself, it’s supposed to be NSA.

It’s just the unknown I hate. And we are now 23 days into the unknown.

NSAs need closure in my mind. They need to either end with a “don’t want to meet him again” – or they need to be a “would like to meet him again”. This one has an unresolved feel. It has been praying on me for too long. I thought I was starting to get over it until this mystery profile appeared a few days ago.

All this tells me is that I have a fragile personality. I need to be stronger.

Leave a comment


  1. Hey dude. Really like your style of writing. I know from past experience that someone you really like doesn’t always reciprocate. It works boths ways though I guess. The younger guys often don’t know their own minds in the same way. Put it down to that?

  1. Emotionally Damaging | A Grown Up Now. In Theory.

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