Tuesday, March 30

Day 9980: Two degrees of separation... thoughts on dating, relationships and sex

(ed. note: Dearest reader... I started off this morning writing a blog about two degrees of separation... i.e. what happens when friends are interested in being more than friends, who likes who, who thinks who likes who and whatnot. Instead, I wrote a two page word document of self discovery and realization. It is a tad long, a tad personal, but it is what I believe at the moment. Have a good one. See ya')

Arranged marriages - time honoured traditions, tested methods, more than decent success rates - in a time of unsuccessful relationships, divorce and lonely hearts, what more can a person ask for. But no - instead of going for the "sure thing", we, as citizens of the "new" world, live by the right of risk, choice and freedom in selecting our SO. And in doing so, many of us have failed miserably.

We have seen the good, and we have seen the bad. Many of us have been hurt. Some of us have hurt others. We are disillusioned. We are cynical. We are jaded. We build a wall around ourselves and loathe to let in even a single soul. Yet, despite all that, we still persist in trying to find "the ONE"…hope that eventually, we will be lucky enough to find “the ONE.” That special someone that will help us climb the rocky mountain that we call life. That someone we can trust with our lives to belay us, to support us, and to pick us up and nurture us back to health should we fall.

We try to keep things superficial. Focus on the physical rather than the emotional. But soon, cracks in the wall appear, and the protection that we built ourselves to save us from heartache and anguish falls apart, piece by crumbling piece. We start to care without realizing it. Just a little at first... wonder if that person is having a good day or a bad day. Wonder if they are thinking about you as much as you are thinking about them. Then we care a little more, and then, maybe, a little too much.

We are just friends, you say. Good friends, even. Good enough friends that we would never want to risk a friendship to explore the possibility that there might be something more. Whether for pride, for self-protection, or for the lack of wanting to mess up a good thing, things are left unsaid and neither party knows what the other is thinking, even though, if the gods are good, both feel the same way. And so, we continue searching for "the ONE," not knowing that they may have been there all along. Right in front of us.

Then, there is the other scenario. The one where one person likes the other a whole lot more. Where one person is happy and satisfied with the way things are going, and professes no interest whatsoever in taking the relationship or the friendship to another level. Where one person is left with self-imposed heartache because they have “chosen” to fall in love with someone who does not return their feelings. Crushes, they call them, but really, sometimes, it seems like more. And that is what separates people. The ones brave enough to speak their mind and make their interest known - who would risk pride and possibly friendship in the quest for something better - from those who miserably say nothing, are convinced that they made the right decision, and hope day in, day out for the feelings to go away and for someone better to come along. We’ve all been there. We’ve all been the ones to say nothing. Inevitably, eventually, someone does come along, but the bar has been raised and it is difficult to overcome the image that one has built up inside their mind. Comparisons are made, and the new found lacking, and so still, the search continues.

Experienced or unexperienced, we all have a past. Some people carry baggage from one relationship to another, searching for similar qualities of their love-lost, perhaps as a pseudo replacement, always comparing, not seeing that the person in front of them has unique qualities unto their own that should be treasured. And there are those who know they should let go, and maybe try to let go of the past, but can’t really seem to do it, and they become the wallers…

Wallers… the ones who build impenetrable walls around themselves. Who are so afraid of hurt and rejection that they would rather a lifetime of loneliness than to find someone else that they think is “the ONE” only to have that pushed back in their face. Who say they never want to make the commitment plunge, get married and have children, because they are scared of the emotional investment and scared of the risk that they will take that they will get hurt again. Who flit around from one person to another searching for what, they really have no idea. Because they think they once found it, think they’ve experienced the real thing of it, but never realize that what they did experience was merely a shadow of it. It takes two to actually find “the ONE.”

“The ONE.” Fact or fiction? A destination or a journey? I have questioned the existence of “the ONE” on many occasions. Cynically denied the fact that it exists and claimed that it was drivel propagated by hopeless romantics. But it exists and we do see it. We see the old couples holding hands walking in the shopping mall, leaning on each other, supporting each other, but loving each other. We see the newly weds, happy in love, faces shining with excitement and joy, and we envy them. Envy them because they were brave enough to do something that we couldn’t do ourselves… make the commitment, take the risk. But it takes effort to make it work and all too often these day, people do not put in the effort that they should and take the easy way out…divorce. Human beings really are fickle creatures. We have too much choice afforded to us, and put too much blind faith in our own abilities to control our futures.

What started off as a blog about two degrees of separation, friends dating friends and friends interested in other friends has turned into one of self-discovery and realization. I won’t even go into the discussion of who likes who and who thinks who likes who and whatnot. Because ultimately, that’s not important. It’s not important that someone is incorrectly perceiving my nice-ness to be a misdirected indication that I am interested in them - because I’m not. But I’ve digressed. What is important, is risk and reward. To put it bluntly, if you don’t put everything you have into a relationship, if you chose to hold back a part of yourself, if you should even resort to using an excuse NOT to make an emotional commitment, then you, my friend, are cheating yourself. Cheating yourself of a future with a wonderful person. Cheating yourself of true happiness. Love them and leave them, as it may be, each person/relationship will leave it’s mark, impact your future, give you something to reminisce about in the past. Something to think about when you’re 70 and alone wondering where the hell did you go wrong.

People will tell you to be careful. Tell you that they don’t want to see you hurt. Tell you that you should hold back a piece of yourself just in case it doesn’t work out. Because the two of you are not on the same wavelength. Because the two of you are not on the same page. Because there is a timing issue and you both want different things. Thank them for their concern and then tell them to push off. Yes, there will be the chance that you will get hurt. In all probability you will get hurt. But you are risking it for something better. Something that you can’t do alone. Something that takes two people, both risking and loving, and looking for “the ONE.”

Forget the past and live for the future. I am risking it all.

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