The #3 guy at NBC once told me that before attempting to reach back and help others I had to first get to where I was going. This helped me feel better about my failed attempt at creating a not for profit organization since such an organization was not my primary goal in my professional life. It also made tons of sense in retrospect.
How can I look to help someone else if I also need help?
The same can be said about my most recent failed attempt at holding down a relationship.
There have been two times in my life where I’ve felt that I needed to be in a relationship. Both times I felt it had been too long since the last. The 1st lasted 2 weeks and resulted in my only heartbreak to date. The 2nd and most recent failed attempt lasted 2 months and almost resulted in a mental and emotional breakdown.
Once again I’m reminded that patience is a virtue.
This second go round I forced upon myself for a number of reasons. It had been 6 years since my last real relationship and I’d gotten really weary of everyone asking about when I was going to settle down. It might not seem like a valid reason but consider the fact that I have A LOT of female friends and the 1st thing any female likes to ask when catching up with a friend is…..???? Exactly!
In addition I’d also grown weary of my once favorite personal game of “musical women”. (think musical chairs). I’d start with a group then whittle it down little by little but at the end I ended up having nowhere to sit which goes one step past musical chairs.
I’d also gotten in the habit of questioning my rationale for not settling down. I would always find a flaw in any woman I dated. I even created a game with a couple guy friends where they would name a woman and I would name her flaw. Halle Berry’s flaw was that she is diabetic. That’s how sick I am.
After realizing that I would find a flaw with every woman I felt it necessary to get myself off the bench and prove to myself that I could once again be “a man”. A real man doesn’t run from a relationship right? He doesn’t just date around casually without committing to anyone. That’s what pimps and “playas” do.
I cut a few people off directly and indirectly (changing the Facebook status is indirect) and settled down with the woman that had been consistently in my life and in my bed for most of those 6 years. The sex was great and she did the things a girlfriend would even though she did not have the title. More importantly, I liked her.
Let’s jump ahead 2 months.
The guy who was infatuated with sex almost to the point of perversion was no longer trying to get into her panties. He was no longer interested in laughing at her jokes. He was no longer interested in being around her. He didn’t even realize any of that was taking place. He was just doing his non sexual duties as any other boyfriend would.
(back to 1st person reference) It wasn’t until the day I caught myself lying to her about going out with my friends so I could stay home and not do anything that I realized that something was gravely wrong with the picture. That’s not the mentality of a normal person. I knew things had to change and I brought that change quickly and abruptly within 2 days of that realization; I ended my relationship.
Hindsight is 20/20 but it was only after ending my relationship that I was hit by my moment of clarity. My plate was full and it was overflowing. Here I am in the middle of transitioning my career and my life; getting ready to make the most drastic moves I will have ever made to date and I decide to get into a relationship. I barely have the mental capacity to deal with what’s already in front of me and I decide to take on the responsibility of having to give part of myself over to someone else and by default gaining a part of them and their needs and desires.
I can be as abusive and carefree with myself as I want to be but when you take on a part of someone else you have to treat it like a glass vase or that egg they give you in school as a kid to take care of as your own child. I am not in a place to carry a glass vase or take care of that egg the way I should.
How can I care for someone if I am currently taking care of myself?
I’m not ready to date anyone and it took being in a relationship to realize that. It also took being in that relationship to realize the fragility of one’s mental state and well being. I’ve never thought I’d be someone to come that close to cracking but I was and I’m better for it.
It isn’t something I speak about freely with my friends because from the casual comments from the few that I have told; I don’t think I should have to work to convince anyone that I know what I felt and that it wasn’t because I didn’t like her enough or that I am just not the relationship type. I’ve bitten my tongue and laughed it off but in reality I really wanted to smack a few across the face.
It’s during those times I take a deep breath, sit back and take a swig.
Thank God It’s Five, TGIFive.
P.S. My sex drive came roaring back the day after. That was all the proof I needed to know that I was right on with my self assessment.