To the Other One Who Got Away

gotaway

I’m scared. Have been for a while. Ever since I met you I’ve feared losing you. Even though I never really had you, and never really will.

I recognized early on that we were different. That we had separate life trajectories. That our souls could never really merge like I so wanted. Too bad it couldn’t stop me from wanting you. From trying to make something of us, even though I knew there was no chance at success. From straining against that great foregone conclusion, just to be able to dream for a little while. Just so I could lie myself into having a little hope.

Because really, that’s what made you so damn irresistible to me: hope. You’re young, sweet, innocent, hopeful. Functional. Whole. Everything I could have wanted to start off a future full of possibility. Everything with which I could try to restart a broken life. You were so irresistible that I couldn’t stop myself from staying by your side for a little while, even knowing the whole time that nothing would come of it. I just needed to hide in your shadow for as long as I could manage. No matter the inevitable end. [Read more…]

Adversarial Dating

karate couple

Love is a beautiful thing. Two people getting to know each other, celebrating their similarities, intrigued by their differences. Sharing special moments together. Maximizing their respective strengths while supporting each other through their respective failings. Becoming stronger together than they ever could be alone.

That’s the theory, anyways. All too often, a supposed partner ends up looking a lot more like a rival.

Think about the ways in which we’re conditioned to think adversarially about the opposite sex. Wear certain clothes. Look a certain way. Say all the right things. Seem interested, but not too interested. Call them. Don’t call them right away. The socially-established human mating dance is indeed a complex, trying game.

And it doesn’t get any better when a relationship begins. When she’s saying this she’s really thinking that. Be careful not to do this or he’ll take it that way. This is how to get her to give you what you want. Say that to manipulate him into doing things your way. There are literal volumes written on how to navigate a relationship with the opposite sex. And a lot of it is on how to get what you want from an otherwise unwilling partner, while at the same time avoiding being forced into reciprocation.

Call me a dreamer, but to my mind this is a colossally wrong-headed approach. Our worlds are filled with enemies and, God willing, friends as well. I believe we should devote as little attention to our enemies as we can get away with, and dedicate most of our effort to our friends and loved ones. Special friends are special, and should be treated with all the love, respect, and understanding that we can muster; not with suspicion, obfuscation, and manipulation. We seek true love, to find someone with whom we can share our hearts, our minds, our bodies, even our souls. That requires absolute honesty, sincerity, and devotion.

Romance gives us a chance at a truly remarkable connection with another human being, something we all long for. Instead, tragically, we often end up sleeping with the enemy. That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Forbidden Love

interracial couple

The brutally vigorous hurricane of debate over gay marriage is sweeping across the United States. I have a stance on this matter as well. But first, I believe it’s important that I share my story.

I am multiracial. Or, as some older folks have phrased it, a “half-breed.” My father is Mexican, and my mother is a diverse collection of peoples that amounts to “white.” They met in Arizona, where the two of them were going to school. This detail is important, because in my parents’ lifetime, there was a law in Arizona that made it illegal to marry a Mexican. Had the repeal of this law been delayed a decade, I would never have existed. [Read more…]

The Last Romantic

sorrow

Where have all the good men gone? Chased away, never to return. What happened to all the women? Nothing left but empty shells of the proud and beautiful creatures they once were.

Where can true love be found? Are there none left who still believe in its power?

Legend has long told of a force, a supernatural presence that imbibes the world we live in with a kind of magic. That makes us hope. Makes us dream. Makes us feel that life is more than a wearisome struggle for daily survival.

From the deepest recesses of our hearts we dream of finding our other half. A person who is everything we are, yet also everything we are not. A love to share our path until the end of days, to share every thought, every breath, every desperate aching of our poor, twisted little hearts. A kindred soul to adore with every ounce of force in our spirit, and receive tenfold in return. This paradise, this nirvana, this most perfect spiritual state of existence open to us mere mortals, this was all we ever sought to achieve.

What happened?

Gone are the hopes of yesterday. Faded are the aspirations of finding true romance. Crushed are the tortured longings to be one with another soul. What do they now reach for? Mediocrity. Shallow companionship. A lover without love. A sad contradiction in terms.

Reach for the stars no more. Climb the tallest mountain never again. Conquer the world entire not even in dreams. Abandon any and all hope of reaching the true fulfillment of human purpose, of approaching transcendence. Of nearing God Himself. Of truly being.

For they have all relinquished hope. They have fallen, struck down on love’s battlefield, and have lost the war over the human soul. Those who once bore the proud standard of true romance are scattered to the four corners of the Earth.

Am I the last romantic?

Love Changes, Changes Not

Is it fair to love someone and expect them to change? Is it fair to expect them not to?

Far too few people give adequate thought to the future when choosing a mate. When they do, they tend to plan a future with their partner in mind… that is, their partner as they are. However, this article offers an interesting take on the relationship dynamic. Its main point is that a partner must change into effectively a different people at different stages of the relationship, in order to suit the needs of the other.

Now part of this is to be expected. Everyone changes. We all get older, and we are all at least expected to grow up and mature during this time. I think it’s reasonable, for example, to expect your early-20s girlfriend to dress a little bit differently when she’s your early-60s wife. But the fundamentals of who a person is, what’s unique and special about them, and what’s really important to them in life in the long-term, all that’s there to stay.

Think about the long, grueling quest for a soul mate. You’ve finally found that one person you understand and who understands you, and decide to build a life together. Then one day, it’s “time to change.” You can’t be you anymore. Time for the newer model.

If that were always the case, why would anyone ever fall in love?

The Altar of Love

Don’t you just hate that happy couple? They’re always together. They always send each other lovey little notes and texts. And they’re always kissing. Always. They don’t seem to notice that you’re standing right there. No shame, none at all.

Ever get jealous? Wish they’d stop rubbing in your face just how lucky they got, while you’re stuck with an unsatisfying relationship, or none at all? Let me tell you, luck has so little to do with it.

It’s easy to miss all the hard work and sacrifice that goes into having a so-called perfect relationship. Quite simply put, it’s a challenge, one that most of us just aren’t cut out for. There’s a lot of effort that goes into constantly thinking about each other, reminding each other of that fact throughout the day, and finding ways of helping, supporting, or otherwise finding nice things to do for each other.

But the real hard part is self-denial. Human beings are different, and when they get too close they come into conflict. A successful intimate relationship requires a good deal of selflessness to be able to operate at such a close emotional distance. Literally every decision and action you make has to take the other person into account. That kind of exhausting, comprehensive, never-ending commitment is very difficult. It’s not for everyone.

So don’t feel jealous. You probably don’t want that kind of life. If decide that you do indeed want that for yourself, go for it. And good luck. You’re going to need it, for the path you have chosen is a hard one indeed.