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Monday, March 09, 2009

Fear of loneliness?

"Do I rush into a relationship because I feel lonely?" This is the question that I asked myself in all seriousness the other day. Maybe I should have been asking myself this sooner.

I've asked people about it -- most specifically a lady who I had the opportunity to date back in college -- about the fact that she seemed so eager to enter into a relationship with me. I guess I had ruled 'love' out of the picture at that time, but I thought that it was a valid question then. Why did I rule out love? Call it a case of low self-esteem and the general why-would-anyone-love-me attitude. She said it wasn't because she was afraid of being lonely. It was because she was genuinely interested in me. Phht. And I was playing the damsel in distress with the whole "Why don't we become good friends first?" spiel. Again, it didn't feel stupid at the time, because I felt compelled to follow some script titled "The Ideal Friendship/Relationship that I'd been handed by a former girlfriend from way in the past. Now however, I realize the sheer folly of my ways, and my thinking. And, true to form, it resulted in another doomed relationship that died almost as soon as it was born.

Coming back to the question at hand, I find myself a little exposed in having to answer it. Honestly, I would never consider myself a person who craves companionship for the sake of not being alone. In fact, I can remember a time not too long ago in my life where I wanted to put off any form of lifetime commitment for as long as possible. Woe is me for having let one heady rush of emotion change all that and land up shit creek without a paddle. But seriously, I've begun to almost not trust myself on this anymore, because I'm the one making foolish advances and endangering any potential friendships from developing with some very cool, smart women. For any readers gasping a mental gasp, picturing me lecherously assaulting women in this regard, relax. At the risk of sounding unmanly, I'm far more demure about that kind of behaviour with women. If you've heard otherwise, you should ask that person about the nature of the relationship. It's just that, I think at some point in my last relationship, I may have crossed that line unknowingly.

But I didn't mean to. I didn't and still don't want to cross that line. I'm perfectly happy being myself and spending my own time the way I want to. So, why would I try and change that? Maybe I imagined that there was a certain freedom in togetherness that I was missing out on. I know I didn't buy that idea once upon a time in my life, but I think I may have just given it a shot. But it's confusing. And, I've let it get to me. It's like I've allowed it to take over every fibre of my being. It's terrible. I can't quite explain it because when I see what I've become because of some supposedly straight-to-marriage relationship that I was last in, I feel sick to my stomach. How can I go so wrong? How could I be such a fool? And, why did I ever let myself get this way? Possessiveness? But I'm not possessive. I know that I respect my space, and that I respect "the other person's" need for space too. I've done it too. No wait, that was just nonsense in this whole Nadine fiasco. Oh man, how I wish I could take that all back and wipe my slate clean about that. I'm sure she wishes that at least it's mutual. All this confusion has led me to have to apologize to a lady who is smart, easy-going, nonplussed by my initial stupidity, and has got a good head on her shoulders. But I do want to thank her for showing the brilliance of vision and composure of mind to let me get through my own mental muddle and realize the truth staring me in the face. Thank you.

Do I rush into a relationship because I feel lonely? No. I don't. I rush into them because I take it to heart and start seeing visions of a beautiful future with the person I happen to so fancy I would willingly spend the rest of my life with them. Well, it hasn't worked for me in the past, but I'm not going to let that get me down. No. I believe that I will be able to be myself, and not get caught up in some fantastic version of what life with another person will be like. There's a whole other reality to it, from getting to know someone and about them, to appreciating them, to appreciating the fact that they want to be with you for the rest of their lives too. Why would anyone want to do such a thing? Think about it. You owe it to each other. I don't know if I'm back in the hunt just yet, but I do know that I want to be able to share another person's life and to have them share mine too.

In the meanwhile, here's to celebrating self-imposed loneliness by understanding myself better. I'm well on that path now, and it feels great.

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