The Experience Of Love…

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This is a difficult piece to write, but timely, given the fact that it has been the topic of many recent conversations.  Not in specifics, but in the generalities of love.

I have, however, put this blog together in my mind a thousand times.  As I talked with people who tell me they have experienced love, I find it not only fascinating, but I also find it to be baffling.  And I wonder what’s wrong with me that I’ve never been able to experience these feelings with anyone.  It’s like someone is speaking Greek.

Now, when I talk of “love,” I am referring to the love of a boyfriend to a girlfriend or a husband to a wife.  Not love of family, of children or of parents, or even the love of a good friend.  I am talking strictly of love with no prior, or no blood, connection.

This idea amazes me because not only have I never experienced feeling that way about someone but no one has ever felt that way about me.  And that’s the part I had so much trouble understanding.  Love has to be a two-way street.  No way around it.

So as I have talked to others about their concepts and experiences with love, I realize I have literally never experienced this emotion.  Or really anything close to it.

I spoke to someone recently who said when you’re in love, you never want to leave the side of the person you are in love with and when you have to, you cannot wait to return.  You swell up inside when you see them.  You can’t stop thinking about them.  In a way, they become your life.  Or, they become the most important thing in your life.

First, to address “never wanting to leave the side of the person you’re with.”  I can say in all honesty I have never been around a significant other for more than 48 hours at a time and by then I was ready to get away as fast as my feet could carry me.  I believe very much in the old saying, “familiarity breeds contempt” because it is so easy for me to just get literally sick of someone to the point I don’t care if I ever see them again or not.  I can honestly say, in every long-term relationship I have ever been in, all I could think about was getting away, putting distance between us and showering as quickly as possible.

I can’t imagine being around anyone 24/7 and actually wanting to and anyone actually wanting to be around me that much.  The closest I ever came to that would have been in high school, and that was more that she wanted me around to keep an eye on me.

Next, to address “when you’re away, you can’t wait to return.”  I don’t think that far in advance.  If I’m going to be away, I’m away for a reason and that reason will be the point of my focus.  I’m certainly not saying I haven’t looked forward to seeing a woman or two or ten in my time, but I am saying that I’ve never been in a situation where I couldn’t wait to see a woman again.  No woman ever held my interest to that degree.

This idea may have been more of a byproduct of marriage than anything else, and since I have never been (nor ever will be) married, then it doesn’t apply to me anyway.

Next, to address “you swell up inside when you see them.”  I don’t understand that at all.  I do understand feeling panic, nausea, aggravation and stress when seeing someone, as I have experienced every one of those with various women over the years.  I guess you could also say I understand the opposite, because I have felt deflated at seeing some girls.

I have felt a feeling of joy and pride when I see my son, so I am assuming it is some kind of offshoot of that feeling.  I just can’t imagine feeling that way about a woman.  Wow.

Finally, to address “you can’t stop thinking about them.”  I have experienced this, but I am pretty sure its in a totally different context.  I’ve cried, I’ve been sick and I’ve been in a state of almost catatonic depression and been unable to think about nothing else than a few women I have known, but I am pretty sure that doesn’t count.  I think this was meant to say that love means thinking nice thoughts about someone, not “I wish you would go away and never darken my life again,” because that one is consistent for me.

I have had dreams about girls while I was dating them, and that stretches as far back as I can remember, but the dreams themselves were usually based on my getting away from them, so I think even subconsciously I was working from that depressed point of view.  These dreams usually involved me being in a “last man on Earth” type of scenario, which meant the women in question had basically disappeared and I was unable to find them.

Now, understand, I am not saying in any way that love isn’t a real experience and maybe it even lasts a lifetime.  I’m not trying to put the concept of love down, or say it doesn’t exist.  I’m simply saying it has never existed for me.  All of this is completely and totally off base with me.  I have never experienced any type of feelings even close to these.

I’m also not saying its not feasible that I could “fall in love” in the future, but at this point, as jaded and disinterested as I am in this whole thing, as well as the fact that I make myself as inaccessible as possible, I think the odds are greatly in my favor that I will never have to deal with this kind of thing.  But, there’s a chance I could be wrong.

For those who have experienced it, I’m sure love is an amazing thing, because it sounds like it would be.  I just don’t think its for me.  I like to think of myself as the ultimate lone wolf, and I’ve always felt that way.  I’ve been anti-marriage all my life.  That will never change.  I can’t imagine being married, but I guess if you actually were in love with someone who was in love with you, marriage would make sense.  I don’t see it.

So, going forward, I am happy just to feel the love of friends who care about me and family that I still have contact with who care.  It could be worse.  It’s not like I’m an island unto myself or anything.  And as the popular saying goes, you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else, and I’m still kind of working on that part.

And if I never experience what its like to love a woman and have her love me in return, well, I guess that was just God’s will.  And I certainly would not question that.  If a couple of years down the road I meet a woman who fits the bill, then I would be open to it.  I’m not ready to call it a day just yet, though I am for the rest of this year.  And if I miss a chance that comes along in 2018, well, that’s on me.  But I think everything happens for a reason and if I’m supposed to be with someone someday, it will work itself out.

Peace.

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Not For Sale: Taking Myself Off The Market

This blog entry was not planned, I kind of “stumbled across” this concept last night while I was on Facebook. A good friend of mine was contemplating online dating and I proceeded to tell him that sometimes it’s best to just take yourself off the market, like I had done in 2009-10, and live for yourself, and make yourself happy and productive.

Then I realized what a hypocrite I am.

Since I turned 18, I have spent roughly 12 years in miserable, unhappy relationships with various women and 10 years as a happy and contented single man. And there is NO question, on any level, regarding whether my life is happier single, or taken. None.

My stress level when I am in a relationship has pushed my body to break down in numerous ways. Heart problems. My hair falling out. Ulcers. Migraine headaches. Being more susceptible to airborne illnesses and taking longer to recover. Inability to sleep. A consistent bad mood. Overeating. Twitching eyes. I am quick to anger and this makes not only me unhappy, but those around me who have to deal with my very short fuse.

When I am single, it’s a different world. My stress level drops enormously and everything else starts to come together and I get healthier and happier. And it’s not a subtle change; it’s overwhelming. I really feel like life is worth living again.

I’m going to be honest about something I have never admitted to publicly and only a few close friends are aware:  I have had two episodes of suicide contemplation; the first was in the fall of 2009 and was due to me feeling trapped in an unhappy relationship.  The second was in early 2017 and was due to me feeling trapped in an unhappy relationship.

Everything I had suggested to my friend, I realized I was not doing. I wasn’t living for me. I was doing the exact opposite. I was spending hours talking to this girl or that girl rather than unplugging myself completely and doing things that I enjoy doing.  I was ready to wrap myself up in another round of unhappiness and there was no reasoning behind it.

Some people have questioned me over the past several months about why I consistently either turn down or blow off women who are interested in meeting or dating.  I think I had already made up my mind to avoid relationships without admitting it to myself.

Part of this comes from societal pressures. If you’re not in a committed relationship, you should be. Regardless of whether it contributes to your happiness or misery. It’s more about the reaction and approval of others than anything on a personal level. That’s wrong.  It doesn’t matter how you slice it, you have to live for yourself, no one else.

So, in the tradition of “physician, heal thyself,” I realized I needed to take my own advice. Which means effectively taking myself off the relationship market. Leaving myself open to make similar stupid mistakes to ones I have made in the past wouldn’t help me at all.

My decision-making processes where women are concerned have not been good. It’s not just that if I had two to choose from, I would choose the wrong one; when I had close to 30 to choose from, I still chose the wrong one. And when I say wrong, I mean WRONG.

I think anyone who has gotten out of a long-term relationship needs to take an extended break. A year, if possible. And if the relationship was an unhappy one, or as miserable as all of mine have been, maybe longer.  Maybe a permanent vacation could be called for.

And yes, I know that admitting that every relationship I have been in was soul-crushingly unhappy makes it look as though the problem may be on my end. And I admit as much. And that’s even more reason to remove myself from the dating pool. If I know I am gonna be miserable going in, there’s hardly any benefit to going ahead and doing it.

I just want to be happy. And enjoy myself. And from my personal experiences, I have to be single in order to do that. I can do the things I enjoy doing and I don’t have to compromise anything. I can do what I want, when I want, where I want, and I don’t have to answer to anyone. Why jeopardize that just to make someone else miserable and myself miserable at the same time? That has accomplished nothing for anyone involved.

I have been anti-marriage as long as I can remember. That will never change. I can’t even imagine how miserable marriage would be had I ever been stupid enough to try it in any of my past situations. But now I am as close to anti-relationship as I could get. And let’s face it, a relationship is nothing more than a gateway to marriage.  That’s a fact.

So, for at least the rest of 2018, I am “single, not available.” I wish Facebook had an option to make that your relationships status.  It’s not all that far-fetched, as AOL used to have that option available for profiles. And if things work out as well for me as a single man in 2018 as they did in 2010 or even 1996, this may be my permanent status for the rest of my life. As the saying goes, I don’t need anyone to complete me.  I’m a complete person.

I am going to live for me. Do the things I enjoy and live my life the way I see fit, not the way someone else decides I should do it. This is my life, and I will do with it what I feel is in my best interest. And for now, that’s being single. And there’s a chance that may never change. And if that’s the case, so be it. No regrets. It’s my life. I just can’t justify putting my life, happiness and enjoyments in the hands of someone who has no right to them.  Will some people disagree?  Of course.  But you do what’s best for you, and I’ll do what’s best for me, and avoiding relationships in general is the best thing for me right now.

And for those who understand, and support me in this decision, I thank you.  My closest confidants have told me that this was the right move for months.  And I finally have to admit that I agree, and admit its good to have people who care looking out for me.

In conclusion, 2018 is MY year.  And if I wake up on New Year’s Day 2019 and I am unhappy, I may re-evaluate my life’s decisions.  If not, the status quo can remain in place.  But until that day, my #1 goal is to avoid relationships and if anyone thinks they can or need to change my mind, rest assured, it’s not changing.  I am committed to this to the point that I will completely disconnect from anyone who wants to push the envelope.  I’m as close to completely happy right now as I have been in almost eight years.  I’m not willing to give that up for anyone or anything.  My life is not for sale.

Peace. ✌️

Coming Soon: My Memoirs

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After nearly 20 years of debate and encouragement, I am planning to write my memoirs.

I have decided the best place to do that is here in my blog, as I can continue the story as my life continues.  While this will be more of an autobiography than a straight memoir of any one time of my life, I want to structure it to feature the most important parts, in-depth, while at least skimming over the less important part of the past 40+ years.  But I want to try to touch on absolutely everything.

The life I have lived has been incredible and I wouldn’t change it for anything, the good times or the bad.  And the good times outweigh the bad by such a large margin that the bad times barely register anyway.  I have been so happy during the vast majority of life.

So, stay tuned and I will have further details as they become available.

Thank you to all who follow me and enjoy my work.