No new post today, just a letter

Today, I have the flu so I can’t write worth balls. However, I’m posting an open letter I wrote for my Facebook wall on Valentine’s Day. It probably says more than I could about me anyways. Also, it reflects some of the unfortunate realities of dating at my age. 

Open Letter to Singles and Couples alike: It being Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d mention my status on the whole romance thing. Now, I know a lot of people out there talk about love and romance like it means you have to care for the person you’re with and never let their negative qualities affect you, but that’s just not true. To a certain point, yes, it makes sense. You can’t just leave someone because you disagree on this or that, and being shallow is a bit weak; obviously, forming deep bonds and then ditching sucks, but it’s a necessary evil. 

Singles, I know a lot of couples make relationships look really, really lame. They sit around and complain about how their partners make them sad, disrespect them, restrain them or make them feel generally despondent. Then, they spout off about how they’re afraid to leave them because it’ll hurt, so they should just stick around. That, or they talk about how they just can’t help themselves. Let me just say, yes, they can. Yes, we have choices. It’s called emotional self-regulation and it’s a skill we start learning when we’re two years old. By this point, we should be good at it, we just have to commit to it and make the decision to learn to live our lives in different ways because, let’s face it, there are always options, we just have to learn how to see them and stop disregarding them because they’re scary. Or, maybe there aren’t. I’ll let you figure that one out. HOWEVER, I’ve seen loving relationships. I’ve been in them. I’ve had my share of epic romances and I’ve seen couples who are supportive, caring and good for each other. So, don’t think that just because some relationships suck that they all do. You’ve just got to have the guts to move on. The saddest thing you can do is take something that was once beautiful and pure, and then taint it by clinging on for dear life. We’re not all dying here. We’re not so close to death we might as well just hold on. There will be other loves and, once some time has passed, you’ll see the world differently. You have to be open to change for change to work out for you. You have to be pro-active. 

On the flip-side, we have to be able to commit. But, again, this isn’t a black and white sort of answer. Things are never that simple and, when we try to live by simplifying things down to false dichotomies, we don’t do ourselves or our future any favors. Some relationships don’t work. Sometimes, you’re just not right for each other. Sometimes, you’re just not in the right place or you grow out of the relationship. That’s FINE. It sucks. Move on and grow up. Fear is our greatest enemy here and that’s the fundamental flaw with holding on because you’re afraid of losing something. If you had someone who wanted you to do something but, if you refused, then they’d beat you, you wouldn’t be very happy with that person, would you? No matter how sweet, or beautiful, or intelligent, rich or good-looking, or etc. they were, that’s just abusive and the worst kind of enslavement. Yes? Well, that’s what staying in a relationship because you’re afraid of losing something that makes you miserable is. It sucks, leave it and deal with one shot of pain. Don’t hold on so it burns longer. Anyone who has had food poisoning will tell you the same thing. HOWEVER, some problems can be worked through and that’s where communication is key. You have to try to work things out and remember that your partner has their own perspective. If the problem persists, then maybe start to think of why. Maybe it’s because you’re not compatible. Maybe it’s a situation thing. The point is, you need to think. Because, no matter how many endorphins are swimming through your head, you have to be able to look at things logically, control your actions ahead of time and bloody-well think. Don’t set yourself up for failure. This link you formed with this person is not unique. It’s not special. It’s typical, human stuff. This is what we do. Maybe that person is unique in your life, but if you’re not happy, then why are you holding on to it? Think about it. That being said, that means that somewhere, out there, there’s someone who shares your interests, is willing to understand your perspective and you can form a similar bond. You just have to be willing to look and be selective. If you hold on too long, then you might miss your chance. Or, you might be so filled with fear and regret that you have trouble trusting. That’s a whole other ball of wax, but you can work through that too by being selective and forcing yourself to take chances. 

Again, flip-side, don’t leave someone just because you think you can do better. Sure, if things aren’t working and you’re not interested anymore, then maybe you can work through it or maybe the bond was shallow to begin with. But, making a decision for no reason is just as ridiculous as making a decision for fear of the unknown. Again, we need to think. We recognize how important thinking is in other aspects, and I’m telling you right now that synergizing thought with emotion is a powerful tool. Well, so is synergizing emotion with thought. 

Because, maybe you’re holding on too long. If we were willing to let go, then maybe we wouldn’t be so jaded. Maybe we’d have better luck finding that person who is good for us if they weren’t all clinging to some edifice of our evolutionary history by clutching desperately to the sinking shipwreck of emotional guilt-tripping and slavery. I’ve seen gorgeous things. I’ve seen people supporting each other. I’ve seen relationships that combine the best parts of love and friendship, of sex and trust. These are not mutually exclusive concepts. They all go together. These relationships aren’t rare, they just belong to the lucky or the ones that were willing to take leaps, be good to themselves and try. Sure, some people think that relationships are best when they just happen and that love means committing forever, but we ruin beautiful things by stomping on them too long. And, if you were shopping for pharmaceuticals, then you wouldn’t just grab the first pill bottle you saw, would you? Relationships have long-term side-effects, too. Keep that in mind, but don’t freeze up and shut everyone out. There’s a middle-ground, that’s the way ideals work: they define the edges so we can look for a better way. Often, the truth is in the whole picture, you, your partner, your future-self, your relationship, who you and your partner are, who you and your partner want to be, how you treat each other (in public and in private) and, if you can’t see that, if you’re so concerned with what you SHOULD be doing instead of what you want to do, or are doing, then take a step back. It’s a relationship, it’s not an obligation. All you owe is your support. You don’t owe anyone years of pain and guilt; if that’s where you are, then maybe you should reconsider. Still, don’t be afraid of pain, either. All relationships have some pain, nothing’s perfect, we’re talking about being good to yourself, not being unreasonable. Again, children are a whole different story. You should know what you’re getting into there. Either way, if things aren’t going to work, then, eventually, they won’t. I’m just trying to save you some heartache. I’m just encouraging you to think and so you should. About this, about what you want, and, most importantly, about what you need. Maybe I’m wrong. 

All I know is that we’re human beings. We’re not pathetic slaves to our emotions and we’re not machines who do nothing but process. We are something in between and we’re more than that. We need emotions to thrive, but we need to look after ourselves. At the end of the day, you’re the only one who can. That, and you’re the only one in it for the long, looooong, until-death-do-us-part haul. All relationships end, eventually, with death or tears or hatred, even when two people are still together. That is out of our hands. What we can control, however, is the glorious lives we build up around us, through us and for us. Those are the kinds of relationships we should cultivate. 

Lastly, what qualifies me to comment? I mean, I’m single and i have been for a while now. That’s because, I’m waiting. I’m searching for that person who makes me smile; I always wait to get to know someone because smiles are cheap, but, over time, they get harder to come by. If you’ve still got one after you’ve got the story, then there’s nothing more to wait for. That’s your cue. I’m looking for that woman who takes a chance and gives me a reason to do the same. Maybe I’ve found her and maybe I haven’t, but I’ll never know unless I’m willing to make the decision to do so. I want something beautiful and I’ve always been willing to wait, and search and try. What are you afraid of? Don’t wreck your chances. Go build something worth remembering.

That’s where I am on it. 



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