ON BEING AN OPTION
Whenever I have mentioned that I did not plan on getting involved with anyone after I arrived in Omaha, I have received gentle rebukes and encouragement towards the end of my participating in a ‘love ship’ with a woman. Usually, the well-intentioned urging would include words that were aimed at, ostensibly, to boost a sagging ego, and to help buttress my self-esteem. For me, though the spirit of the encouragement was well-met, that I did not expect to concern myself with finding a partner to spend time with had been a well thought out decision that I had came to prior to the action plan that I operated under for most of the last ten or so years.
Much of why I felt that I was not going to be making myself available for a personal relationship was not because I had become embittered by any of my previous engagements. On the contrary, it is precisely because I have not experienced much of the heartache and pain that many talk about when it seeking love, I felt that I would not be seeking another chance at being in a relationship for that ambiguous period of time know as ‘a while’. There were certain goals that I have before me that I would like to meet and I have serious reservations that I can achieve my expectations and be a part in a relationship of pretty much any sort beyond ‘casual’.
I have since removed what I had intended to be a ‘hard cap’ on relationships; along with Nebraska, I have entertained the possibility of getting to know two other women, with mixed results. Under previous ‘operations manuals’, I don’t think that I would have allowed for the lingering on the periphery of my life as I am now. But since the relationships have not came at the expense of anything that impacts greatly on my life or in my spirit, I have continued to entertain the possibility that something of consequence may develop from them.
The consequence of becoming involved in a bad relationship is one that I cannot bear at this time and quite possibly ever again for the rest of my life. This is something that I had determined prior to the diagnosis of my injury and still feel is a very accurate statement. So it is HUGE that I am even amending the current protocols to allow for a relationship. This is a very solemn, perhaps grave, consideration for me to make. The major problems in my life has been either caused or greatly aggravated by the close personal relationship I have had in my life. What is even more disturbing to me is the profile of the relationships and its contrast to the typical relationship where the woman is in remonstration of her choice to involve herself with a man that falls short of being her ideal as a partner.
I have not hidden from the shadow cast by my ‘less than good’ behavior when it comes to relationships. Likewise, I have not overstated any of the positive aspects of my participation in said relationships, whether it was actions I took in my starter marriage or while I was engaged to Mookie Dee. But something that has repeated itself in both my family and my interpersonal relationships has, along with my own observation and interpretation of what I feel forms the constitution of good relationships, caused me to make an executive decision with regard to establishing relations with women.
When I bring up the story of how because of my Mother’s relationship with the boxer who was my biggest rival as an amateur boxer in Detroit, I wonder what has been the takeaway from that particular story. I repeat it not because it is the only one that I know, but it is the only one, along with what occurred when my marriage failed, that I care to use as an example of how betrayed I have been by those closest to me. It is with a thin, grim smile that I contrast how when my behavior was more objective with regards to others around me, that I was able to manage progress towards a goal.
AND THEY REDIRECT OUR VIEW
Given that I am being honest as well as accurate in my representations of my relationships, then I wonder what kind of trending, if there is any, that is noticeable to anyone? I am jus’ wonderin’ because I know what I see and believe, and more importantly, what I have had to actually live.
When I make a study of some of the complaints that women have of men available in the dating pool, I believe that I compare favorably to those desires and possess many of the traits that are said to be in demand. There may be things about me that might not fit a specific criterion, but overall I think I am as good a ‘draft choice’ as Tim Tebow, with all the questions surrounding him was prior to his being drafted into the NFL. Still, I don’t think that there has ever been anything about me that has engendered the lack of support or reliability that I have encountered with those who were the closest to me. There is a saying, “Keep ones friends close and keep enemies closer. But what is one to do when ‘friends and enemies’ are nearly indistinguishable? I don’t think I can be faulted for not wanting anyone close to me when it has been those closest to me that have done me harm and have let me down.
Maybe it is ‘just me’. Or, it could be one of those things that has become a self-fulfilling prophecy, either way, the consequence is the same. I have been the one who takes the first giant step towards commitment in a budding relationship. Unusual or no, I am consistent with my feelings, thoughtful and understanding of others priorities and obligations, as well as being patient with the development of potential relationships.
So, with my vulnerability and prerequisites, I don’t know if the question that I have is about whether or not I fit into anyone’s expectation of a partner for life or not. The relevant question has now become does anyone fit into mine?