It strikes me as odd the coincidences that have befallen my dating/love life of late. On Monday morning I sat down and wrote about the weekend with Musician Gal. As I was sitting reading what I had written I was filled with a sense of anger and disappointment. Then I realised that the way forward for me was now clear: I could explore where things could lead with Career Girl. Just then a text message arrived from Career Girl.
“Was doing some soul searching while I was away – something you asked last week got me thinking….about if I have time for a relationship right now? I think maybe it’s not the right time. I’m sorry.”
My heavy heart plumbed new depths. I had forgotten having put this question to her and now it had backfired on me. I had asked her this because she seemed to have a busy work and social life. I took some time to digest this latest blow before I answered as follows:
“Having taken the morning to digest your message…I understand…I appreciate your candour. I do like you and I like how I feel when we’re together. I would have liked to see where things could have led with you. I’m in no hurry to be in a relationship, so if at some point down the road… X”
Career Girl responded swiftly with:
“Thank you. I just felt I wasn’t being fair to you at the moment. I will get in touch if things change. Look after yourself x “
Her comment about “she’s not being fair to me” made no sense in it’s context. It bothered me for several days, but I took a long hard look at that and am pretty sure that there was someone else on the scene who she preferred to me. Nevertheless, her having a brain aneurysm will have put the brakes on my ability to truly develop feelings for her. How things turned out was probably for the best.
I felt deflated for several days, but managed to laugh at how quickly the tables had been turned on me. In the space of twelve hours two prospects became none, for the second time in less than six months. At times it has felt like I’m on the verge of finding and being with Her, only for it to be snatched away from in front of my face.
Moments of reflection began in which I tried to understand why such a promising start with Musician Gal turned out like it did. I came to the conclusion that Musician Gal was out to catch a man with money to make her dream lifestyle become a reality. On our weekend together she had started to play her dangerous game of using sex as a weapon, a lever to exact power over a man. It seemed her modus operandi was to create a connection with a man in the early dates then switched to trying to play him. She was trying to use me. I have no time for a woman like that.
I started to wonder just what percentage of women regard men as an adversary. Just how many women see a relationship as an exercise in balance of power? A mechanism to get what they want. When a little girl is told that boys are physically stronger, what percentage then begin to crave power over boys?
I don’t want to be with someone whose motives I’m constantly wondering about. The woman for me has only one motive: love.
I got thinking about love.
Why do we pursue love? Why do almost all of us want it?
I blame your mother.
I blame my mother too.
In fact, I contend that all mothers are to blame.
We grow up feeling loved by our mothers and most of us by our fathers too. That love is part and parcel of everyday life and we take it for granted. As teenagers we start to wean ourselves off it and, without realizing it, we start to to look to others to provide it…and that’s when the custard hits the fan and it all goes wrong from then on.
Our parents’ love is unconditional and nothing like what the fruits of another couple’s drunken quickie at Xmas can provide. (I wonder what percentage of the populace are Virgos? Wait, I checked and it’s the second-most prevalent. Yes, I’m a Virgo too.)
As we evolve into adults we develop our own notions of what love is. Ask any room full of teenagers, hell, adults even, what love is and you’ll struggle to find an universally held idea. Each person has their own outlook on love.
No wonder we can’t find it!
What we have in our heads and hearts is unique to us and finding an exact match is almost impossible.
One of my favourite definitions of love is: “Love is seeing an imperfect person perfectly and then choosing as well allowing yourself to feel affection for them.”
I’ve never been one for compromising. I’ve always thought that compromise is for people who don’t know how to get what they want. However, when it comes to love, pragmatism is called for. The German Shrink’s words of “people don’t know what’s good enough” is still in my head and changing in significance.
As young adults we are far removed from the above definition and invariably stumble from one pointless fumble in the dark to another, all in an effort to find what we think we are missing, unknowingly all the time acquiring the life skills and experiences that, if we are lucky, delivers us eventually at the above outcome.
How unfortunate it is that, once we are in the adult world, we feel that something is missing or lacking. It is that feeling from our parent’s homes that we took for granted. Unthinkingly we are compelled to replace what we feel has been lost; to fill that void. We go in search of it, not entirely sure what it is, but we’ll know it when we find it. Is it not surprising then that it takes so long for most people to find someone that they have a relationship with? Some people are so desperate that they become involved with anybody. Witness people you know who have become embroiled in a patently doomed relationship with someone totally unsuitable.
It doesn’t shock me at all to hear people moan about how hard online dating is. The reality is that it’s not the mechanism to blame, but that society is seeing itself in a clearer light and it doesn’t sit well. In my experience it is especially women who complain about online dating. I think women are handicapped more than men when it comes to love and how it comes about.
In my experience women are brainwashed into the fantasy of being rescued by a knight in shining armour who will sweep down from the hills, pull her onto his steed and together escape her unsatisfying life and head due West to the setting sun where never-ending happiness awaits them. Most women cling to the fantasy over the best years of their lives and when going dating are hoping, expecting even, that elements of this much-cherished fantasy play out in the correct sequence with them being the stars of their own soap opera with a happy ending.
Men don’t have this debilitating baggage that they drag around with them. Nope, we have something entirely different to deal with. I believe that the vast majority of men are looking for a mother figure. They want a feeling that makes them feel secure and it’s that insecurity that drives some men to become control freaks and even worse, wife-beaters and stalkers.
Men and women are insecure and all that differs is the degree. This gets mixed up with love and complicates the relationship between a man and woman. In my experience a woman will deal with insecurity by providing sex, in the belief that giving a man that will lead to him making her feeling more secure. It doesn’t, but the irony is that sex is what makes most men feel secure.
I put forth then that we want love because it makes us feel secure. On the back of that sense of security we find a strength that enables us to deal with everything else that life throws at us. It is not unusual to find a highly-educated, intelligent, capable young man or woman whose life is malfunctioning and they will tell you that it is because nobody loves them.
Yes, there are the old cliches about having someone who understands us, that love makes us happy, yes love comes with physical intimacy, yes there is the thought of children that can stem from love and of course you’ve heard that it’s a basic need. However, those platitudes mask something far more profound.
Love helps make us the best person we can be and deep down we know this.
For me, love is what makes life worthwhile. One of my greatest character flaws is that I am not a selfish person; I’m a very giving person. That doesn’t mean that I’m weak, grovelling and co-dependent. It means I derive pleasure from giving what I can to someone else whom I value; keeping everything for myself is empty and pointless. It’s one of life’s best feelings to give something to somebody who really needs it and especially appreciates it. To be in a relationship in which you both give your all to each other, without hesitation and reservation because that’s how you both are…god, that must be heaven on earth.
For the record, I believe in love. I think it’s the best thing that life has to offer.
‘To love someone is nothing. To have someone love you is something. To love someone who loves you is everything.’
I know that She exists, the woman I am meant to spend my life with. I know that one day I will find Her. I don’t care how many more woman I have to date until I find Her. I don’t care how many more pretenders, manipulators, oddballs, misfits or deranged women I have to meet until I find Her.
She will be worth it.
Kodaline – All I Want (with lyrics)