Tale of The Twins

Posted: November 4, 2013 in McTrip posts
Tags: , , ,

(You’ve reached it. The final chapter of “The Plan.” Congratulations! You no doubt have devoured every morsel, hanging by fingernails for the final installment. Well, let me say to you, loyal reader, here it is. The conclusion of The Plan for dealing with the festering weaknesses in my life: Fear, Debt, Savings, Income, Identity, and now, everyone’s favorite subject, Love.)


MjAxMy1iZjA2ODRjMjVlYmJkMzhhHonestly, I hesitate to even broach the subject here. This blog is about middle-age reconstruction, dealing with nagging challenges in new ways. In the process, I’ve changed my approach to almost everything. But when it comes to relationships, I have no confidence in understanding what I’ve done in the past or what I want for the future. Sometimes I wonder if I even know the difference between really close friendship, love, infatuation, obsession, co-dependence, and a box of chocolates.

Almost 20 years separate the very first guy I ever dated and the most-recent guy I dated, and they bear an uncanny resemblance to one another. They could be brothers–twins, even. (Well, Twin 1 of 20 years ago and Twin 2 of today could be “twins,” but that would require time travel and some genetic tinkering, so just play along with the hypothetical, if you will.) Physically and intellectually they’re shockingly similar. And emotionally, they’re identical. Both are unavailable.

(Note to Twin 1: Yes, I know you’ve matured over the years and you may even have a valid argument for why you are now available, but you are, the last I checked, still single. Note to Twin 2: I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t argue with my assessment of your availability. At least when it comes to me.)

The Twins aren’t the only unavailable people I’ve fallen for over the years. They just happen to be the two that consumed the most time in my head (a combination of nearly four years to be exact). So what is it? Why am I either attracted to the unavailable or willing to get entrenched in situations despite knowing early on that “casual” is the extent of their ability to commit? I know myself. If I spend that much time with a person it means I’m very interested. And if I know it’s not a two-way street, then what am I doing? Do I think I can change them? Do I not deserve anything more? Am I drawn in by the challenge? Am I masochistic? Am I addicted to the inevitable pain when they decide to move on?

Sadly, it’s probably a bit of all of that.

Lest you leave here thinking I’m incapable of a healthy relationship with healthy people, allow me a moment to rise in my own defense.

In between The Twins I had relationships with two other people who were completely available and had long-term partners prior to me (a new rule, starting now). My relationships with those men (a combined 12 years) had blemishes but, all things considered, were some of the most cherished times of my life. So I know I can attract available people and be in healthy relationships.

But, for whatever reason, it’s just not a priority for me right now. I’m not in that market (a statement valid only today and subject to change without notice). I know I probably should be, because I’m a better person when I’m in some semblance of a pairing. It keeps me in check and out of trouble.

If my sex drive had vanished when I turned 50, like I feared it might, none of this would matter. I could just live life happily ever after as a hermit. Alas, the drive seems to be chugging right along. But if I don’t want to date and I don’t want to hang out in bars (which I don’t) and I don’t want random hookups (which isn’t appealing, but the lesser of the evils), then there aren’t any other options for meeting someone other than random, dumb luck.

In the short time I’ve been living alone (one month now, after living with other people for the last dozen years), I’ve rediscovered the pleasure of my own company. And right now I’m not in want of anything more.

So the only real game changer I propose in the Love category is this: If I do meet someone, and it seems like there’s chemistry, and we have a few encounters, I need to make sure he’s available. Because I’m not interested in scaling an emotional firewall to have a deeper connection. If that’s the case I need to save myself, and my time, and move on. I may not be looking for a relationship, but I am more than willing to fall into one by complete accident. And if I do, we need to have at least one thing in common: availability.

(To be continued …)

  1. Jennifer says:

    Well put McT. I can totally relate 🙂

  2. […] Jennifer on Tale of The Twins […]

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