Sunday, July 27, 2014

Love, Vision and Walking The Path

(Author's note:  When I started this I had a clear idea of what I wanted to say, but then it turned in more of a stream of consciousness.  Bear with me...)

T is starting to actually meet a few people he has met online in the real world.  So far he has not made a connection with any of them for various reasons.  He continues to look.

I have refreshed my profile on and some people are looking at it.  No one has written yet, but I have not taken any affirmative steps either.  Well, I did write to this one guy I was supposed to meet 2 years ago when T and I briefly broke up.  He did write back and I am supposed to meet him tonight.  He seems nice and we will see how it goes.  I don't really have high hopes.  

This is hard and a pain in the ass on a good day.  But something has been making it much harder for me.

I cannot help but think it's very hard to look at dating others, when you already know who your true love is.

I believe in true love.  I believe there is someone for everyone.  I believe in soul mates.  I think that I know who my true love is.  I know the person I supposed to be with.  So why am I talking to other people?

Yes, this is my heart talking.  While my brain "clicked" last week and said it was ready to move on, my heart has given my brain a big "fuck you!!"

On a separate but related topic:

A guy from my fraternity got married yesterday.  He is not someone I know well, but as many of the fraternity guys, we are all friends on Facebook.  His wedding appeared to be a large affair.  Many of his friends starting posting pictures of it last night.

This guy is a young good looking guy.  His partner (now husband) is a little older but not a lot.  He just finished law school and he is already a very busy attorney.  He goes out a lot.  He has a lot of friends and a man who ardors him.  They go on vacations together and do all kinds of things together.  He kind has the life I want (except he has no kids...yet).

But as I was looking at the pictures on Facebook I kept thinking the same thing over and over.

What good is doing all the stuff I say I want to do, if I cannot share it my the man I love?  I have (or used to have) a man who fulls my heart with love.  Even now, I cannot picture a future for myself where he is not with me.

How are these things related?  If I have a true love, maybe I can (and should) alter my vision of my future.  T is a workaholic, but he will not work forever.  He will eventually retire and have a lot of time on his hands.  He is not one of these guys who will be working as a doctor into his old age.  He has a plan to retire long before then.  Oddly enough, it will be about the time my daughter is off to college.  He will have extra time and so will I.  I won't be able to retire then, but that's okay.

The other thing I thought of, is time.  One thing the Chef showed me is what it would be like to be with someone with a LOT of extra time on his hands.  The Chef has one child who is grown and moved away.  He looks after his mother, but she is largely self sufficient despite her advanced age.  So the Chef, has a lot of time on his hands.  Once he finishes work, there is not much more for him to do.  

The Chef liked seeing me, and was often frustrated by my lack of time for him.  I was always doing something, usually with the kids.  Not that we didn't get to see each other, but it was not enough for his liking.  Today we are friends, nothing more.  I think he might like more, but I really am not interested in anything beyond friendship with him.  

As I re-enter this online dating thing, I worry I will meet someone I like and get attached, only to have him leave because I do not have enough time for him.  That was never an issue with T.

My life with T was not perfect.  There was a lot about it that did not fit into the vision I had for myself.  But maybe I am putting the cart before the horse.  Maybe I need to scrap that vision and look at what is in front of me.  Maybe I need a new vision.  Maybe I need to develop that vision WITH someone else rather then expecting someone to conform to my vision.  A couple in love develops a vision together, but the love comes first.  

Love first, vision (developed together) comes later.  

This is where I went wrong with T.  I tried to shoehorn him into my vision of what I wanted in my life.  Rather than us developing a shared vision of the future together, I tried to convince him my vision was better.  I tried to convince him he would be happy in my vision and I did not consider his vision (or at least not enough).  So rather than cooperating on our SHARED vision, I continued to bang my head against the wall with frustration when he did not conform to mine.  I was a fool.

Maybe if we had walked a shared path together, rather than me trying to pull him down my path, I would not have been so frustrated.  

We both would have been happier.

Maybe we would still be together...

...and we could have found our happiness together.


Anonymous said...

If you could/would have been happy doing this you should have done it a long time ago. It's not fair to T and it's not fair to yourself to keep moving the bar.

T was always honest and was clear about his limitations. It wasn't enough for you. Nothing wrong with that but you can hardly expect him to risk being hurt again and again.

Maybe you can use your experience with T to evaluate what you really need from a relationship; not want, but need. You have your responsibilities to your children and T has them to his parents and siblings. Each is important to you but while T honored your obligations to your children you had difficulty accepting that he had the same sense of obligation to his family. Rather than accept T as he was you wanted him to conform himself into something else to satisfy your needs. Asking someone to be other than who he is will almost always be met with failure. Rather, decide if who the person already is is good enough and if you can live with the parts you're not crazy about. Then you have a chance of making things work

jim said...

I think that is exactly the point I was trying to make here. I was not fair to him. I wanted over and over for him to conform to my vision of things. it would have been better for us to develop a shared vision together and then follow that.

I was selfish. I get that. I know what I have done and what it cost me.

The point of writing this is not to "move the bar" nor is it an attempt to convince anyone or anything. It is Simpy reflective of my thoughts and feeling as they are today. As they evolve. As I self reflect. It is simply to help me sort out my thoughts.

It is definitely not so an armchair quarterback can tell me what I should have done "a long time ago".

Anonymous said...

No armchair quarterback here. But I said the same things I said today long ago when you first started this latest breakup. Others thought T was "selfish" and wasn't according you the place in his life that everyone else, including you, thought he should.

What I've been trying to say is that by middle age, most people are who they are. You can understand that or not. But to except someone to change something as fundamental to their makeup as deeply held beliefs about family and duty was never likely to be met with success.

Instead what was needed was a cost:benefit analysis: Does the potential mate give you MOST of what you need? Can you lower your expectations and will life be better with him than without him? And by that I don't mean being perpetually dissatisfied. The person "settling" needs to be clear about that and accept their partner for who they are, warts and all. If you can't, then move on with acrimony.

I think it's too late for you and T. But you can use this lesson going forward because it will rear its head again. In fact, it sounds like it did with Chef. Only that time he resented the time you spent with YOUR family. Had things got more serious, don't you think that would have been an increasingly nettlesome issue? Few adults can fit their lives together seamlessly. I would hope by middle age, each of us has enough interests, commitments and outside friends that living in each other's back pockets isn't so important as when very young and starting families for the first time.

Good luck, Jim. I sincerely hope you find what you need.

Anonymous said...

WITHOUT acrimony ugh

Anonymous said...

If you can't love someone exactly as they are, no changes needed, you will be unhappy.

This includes yourself.

Constantly trying to get them to do something different, to get them to change their mind about something - is both madness and un-loving in a coercive way.

"Pulling him down your path" is a perfect way to put this. It never, ever works. Yet almost everyone tries it at some point over some issue with their partner/lover.

You've stuck yourself here in this hard place because you still want things to be different.

Unhappiness is the difference in what you want and what is.

catrina said...

It seems that you have two choices: 1) Work things out with T and accept the relationship for what it will be; not what you want it to be. Go in with your eyes wide open. 2) Move on to a life without T in it. If you don't break free of him completely you'll always be comparing every man you meet to what you THOUGHT you could have with T. It's tough to move on when you really haven't.

Biki Honko said...

Shared vision is very important for a relationship to work. However, its not something that should be waiting in the wings to be discussed. Even as soon as the first date some feelers should be launched to see if there is any hope of what you require is going to be available from this person. And if the beginnings look promising then its time to talk about future wants, desires for the now, things needed to feel loved and safe. Oh, and make sure the sex is on the same page as to likes and dislikes, that can really tear a couple apart.

You've learned a hard, terribly cruel lesson with the relationship with T. Even though he was upfront with you from the first date, the reason you couldnt adapt to his vision is it didnt align in any way to what you require from a relationship. I'm not saying you're needy or had outsized demands, not at all. You needed from the relationship what you needed, and what you needed T was unable to provide.

I'm wondering if it's to soon to begin dating with relationship in mind. Hook up for sex, yes, dating for a view to the future, umm, I think 'tis way to soon for your heart. Possibly this might be a good time to go out and just have some fun with several fellas, and put some space between what you and T shared sexually and what you and your future partner will share.

Hetero-Challenged said...

Just to got believe, I guess.