There's no rule book for this lifestyle. I wish there were. I've written a whole bunch of tips and I still believe they are valid, good guidelines, but there are still parts that I haven't been able to master.
Intimacy is one of them. It's not that I haven't had intimacy with anyone other than my husband. To the contrary, I've been blessed with a number of intimate relationships, and I am grateful for every one.
The problem is that I tend to give away too much of myself in pursuit of intimacy. I charge right in and give my heart away freely and am more than willing to do my part to maintain and grow the relationship, but when it becomes clear that the other person isn't, I just keep giving and giving and giving, hoping that he'll figure it out and come around. You know what? They never do.
Don't get me wrong. Not every prowling relationship needs to be an emotionally intimate one. I've had some fantastic fuck buddy relationships that were absolutely wonderful...for what they were. You can read about a bunch of them in the archives. J, P, and C were/are all great examples of this type of relationship. It's fun. It's exciting. But it's not intimate.
When I say I need a rule book, that's not to say that I haven't learned anything, because I definitely have. For example, if your lover says he wants an emotionally intimate relationship with you but he rarely, if ever, has time for any substantive conversations or email, he's showing you what he really wants - and it's not intimacy. If the only time he has time for you is when it's time for fucking, he's made it very clear what he wants, regardless of what he says. So why do you keep trying to push him toward intimacy? He wants a fuck buddy. Accept it. Be a fuck buddy or move on.
Here's another example. If a man tells you that he doesn't love you and he's not going to, what should you get from that? That he doesn't love you and he's not going to. I can't imagine why someone would say that in that way to someone they claim to care about, but that's beside the point. Here's what I tend to hear - that he doesn't love me, yet. However, when he continues by saying that he's not going to, that pretty much negates the possibility of "yet." This man either wants to be a fuck buddy or a friend. The conundrum I have is that my close friends, the very few I have, love me. Do I even know how to have a close friendship with someone who says upfront that he's not going to love me? I don't know. Yeah, it confuses me, too.
Want another example? What does it mean when a very close intimate friend quits communicating with you? No, this isn't a trick question, but it seems to be for me sometimes. The answer is: The relationship is over. If the communication is only one way, it's not communication. If the intimacy is only flowing one way, it's not intimacy.
Now that I've said all that, here's a very important thing to remember - None of those guys are wrong. Maybe they could have expressed themselves better or more directly, but they each made their intentions clear either through what they said or through their actions. They didn't lie. They didn't intentionally try to be hurtful, even if they were. They did their best. That's all we can really ask, isn't it?
They just suck at intimacy. Just like me, only they suck at it by not giving enough of themselves and I suck at it by giving too much.
This is just general relationship stuff. It has nothing to do with prowling. When you add the infidelity dynamic it just stirs it up so what was a little messy becomes mud.
The bottom line question is: How much of yourself are you willing to give away in pursuit of intimacy? If the other person has made it clear they don't want that with you (like my examples above), the answer should be NOTHING. If it's the right person and he/she is capable and willing of giving as much a you do, my answer is EVERYTHING because it is, without question, worth it.