What It Took to Make Me Realize That I Didn’t Want to Be a Sugar Baby Anymore

What It Took to Make Me Realize That I Didn’t Want to Be a Sugar Baby AnymoreGet­ting off of the ship a cou­ple of days later was a long, nerve-racking ordeal, what with pass­ports, lug­gage, and get­ting a flight back to Chicago. I couldn’t wait to be back in my own apartment—I couldn’t wait to spend some time alone and to resume working.

Sur­pris­ingly enough, my older man, Patrick, did not act out­raged or hurt by my flat-out refusal to get mar­ried on the cruise. We really didn’t speak much about what hap­pened that evening. By nature, he was a warm, kind, and fun-loving man who was not prone to mood swings or the silent treat­ment. I learned to really admire that about him.

When we arrived back in Chicago, his dri­ver was already wait­ing near the inter­na­tional bag­gage claim area to pick us up. Patrick wanted me to come to his place, but I told him that I really wanted to sleep in my own bed that night. When I got home, he helped me carry my lug­gage inside and didn’t leave until I came out of my den, where I had ducked into to lis­ten to my voice­mails. One of those voice­mails was dev­as­tat­ing news. A friend and for­mer coworker of mine had com­mit­ted sui­cide. Her boyfriend left the mes­sage for me. She had had a long his­tory of depres­sion with sev­eral unsuc­cess­ful sui­cide attempts. This time she had got­ten her way.

I was glad Patrick was with me, and he con­soled me with great com­pas­sion. He lis­tened to my sto­ries about my friend and how I had tried to help her, but couldn’t do much because she was 200 miles away. He lis­tened while I ques­tioned whether or not there was any­thing I could have done to pre­vent her death.

Patrick stayed with me for sev­eral hours until I told him I’d be ok. He left around 9 o’clock at night and when I went to bed, I could feel his absence. After all, we had been together all day every day for over a week. My need to be alone was shift­ing and I real­ized how much I just liked the com­pany of this man who was so inter­est­ing and so inter­ested in me.

I didn’t go so far as to exam­ine whether this was turn­ing into what I thought was love. Before Patrick, I lost the one man I had loved in the truest, deep­est and most intense way pos­si­ble. And I had truly suf­fered over that breakup. The mem­o­ries were still fresh, as was the pain when­ever I thought about my ex.

Patrick felt about me the way I had felt about that younger man. It was role rever­sal with an older man. It was ironic, but it also made me real­ize that I would never want to hurt any­one the way I had been hurt. And that made my deci­sion clear—right then and there—that I needed to make sure I didn’t use Patrick, break his trust, or abuse his feel­ings. I didn’t want him as a “sugar daddy.” He was so much more, and I was learn­ing many lessons from this May-December relationship.

I fell asleep with a heavy heart for my girl­friend, who was now gone, and I prayed for her. At the same time, my heart was filled with grat­i­tude that some­one had come into my life for a real purpose—to help me heal. Per­haps we could both learn from each other.