How is it possible to have no idea what you want? How is it possible that what I want changes from day to day? I have been on a journey of getting to know myself over the past few months and all I have discovered is that I am an ever fluctuating being with wants and needs that change with the wind.
Things have been good. I haven't been dating much. I had the pleasure of Marlon's company a week or so ago. That was wonderful. He's possibly the only person I have spent time with in the past year that has remained consistent. I have even remained consistent in my feelings for him. I don't think I understand love or realize it as something that is identifiable. Every encounter I've had with love in the present has revealed itself as something else when viewed as the past. After the fact, I realize how what I believed to be love was just another way of me trying to find something that felt missing. I haven't had a very healthy relationship with relationships.
However, hindsight is not quite 20/20, either. Once out of the relationship or believed love, I am still not quite sure what just happened. It's next to impossible for me to distinguish love from pride or from hurt feelings. It seems that all of the times I have been "heartbroken," I was actually just suffering from a bruised pride or a feeling of defeat. I hate to be the loser.
With my ex, there was a feeling of comfort that we had developed. We were so far engrained in each other's lives, separating was like losing a limb. We had to relearn love. I still talk to him every day, because neither of us could fully break the tie. But, I don't look at him in the same way. I don't remember what it felt like to 'love' him. I don't know that I was ever 'in love' with him. We sort of fell into the relationship and then we clawed our way out. We got along. We joked and laughed and when I buried my face in his neck, I got a sense of comfort. But, even that feeling was shattered at some point. And, anything warm I felt for him became tainted and dulled. Now, the person I had once imagined as the father of my children, the man that I had stared at endlessly, dreaming of what our children would look like, holds a distant place in my heart. Our hands that were once grasping so tightly to each other they bled, are now barely grazing fingertips. Is that love? Could that have been love?
Recently, I started seeing a new man. I've called him The Maybe Boyfriend. That "maybe" is now a "not now." I won't say never. But, I don't see us every being more than what we were on those four days in the hotel room. He said the magical words that have danced around in my brain since we last say each other. "I don't know what I want." That's all I needed to hear. Because, I refuse to be in another situation with someone that doesn't know what they want. So, while my pride was hurt, I was not heartbroken. I never thought I loved The Maybe Boyfriend. I couldn't even imagine myself ever loving him, to be honest. We were too different. I wondered if I could ever really appreciate the things about him that were wonderful and if he could do the same for me.
So, last night we put the cards on the table. And while I was sad that he was yet another man that didn't know if he wanted me or not, I had to take solace in the fact that he was also another man that I couldn't tell whether or not I wanted. I can't remember one time that I have met a man, thought "I want him" and known what that meant. At this point, I definitely don't know what I want from anyone. Yesterday, I wanted a boyfriend. I wanted someone to be proud of me for my accomplishments. I wanted someone to laugh with. I wanted inside jokes and intimacy. Today, I don't know.
I know what I want in life. I have a five year plan. In 5 weeks, I will walk across a stage and a thin, gray haired white woman will hand me a diploma from one of the best colleges in the country. I will board a plane and move home to start a job at an organization I want to work for. I will save money, to embark on a goal for a nonprofit. I have no problem seeing what I want out of my life. I have no problem executing my goals and creating the life I want to live. I do, however, have a problem imagining that I could share that place and that life with any one person.
So, I am not in love with anyone and I don't know that I would recognize it if I was. Any feelings I have for men that this point seems to be a mixture of the high that comes from sexual chemistry and the low that comes from loneliness. I imagine that if there is such a think as love, the closest thing I have felt to it is the way I feel about Lewis or Marlon. But, I couldn't imagine a life 'with' either of them. I couldn't imagine letting either into my life more than they already are. It seems that if I do love them and if I want that love to continue, it would make sense to stay here, in the space and time where that love exists. Any wrong move could smother it, or me.
So, I continue on. I am no closer or farther away from my goal, because from what I can see, I don't have one. I am still just going with the flow. I have the reigns of my life, but I don't have the want or know how to take the reigns of my dating life and steer it toward love.
- Poly Amory
- I am the product-child of the Women's Lib movement. I have a grade A education, a promising career and no immediate goal for children or a spouse. I will be 30 this year and I have spent many years in monogamous relationships. In and out of 1 to 2 year relationships, I always dated with the goal of meeting someone special. Most of the time I didn't date. Most of the time I found myself falling into relationship after relationship. These relationships were doomed to fail. They were all built on expectations that were, for me, unattainable. I love meeting new people. I find sex enjoyable and empowering and I am not happy when I am monogamous. So, after my last break-up, after taking some time to grieve, I decided to cut my societal puppet strings and get back in the game. I set out on a mission to spend the Summer of 2010 dating as many men as possible. My only initial criteria was attraction. My only limitation was - no love and no structured relationships. This is my date by date tale of what life can be like outside of the goals of relationships and love.
- ▼ April (9)