Monday, April 18, 2005

On Men

things have been calm on the manfront lately. this alternates between pleasing and boring me. it's not that i crave drama, but it'd be nice to get some butterflies swirling inside. as things stand lately, the only thing swirling inside is indigestion. that often happens when i eat too much spinach. but anyhow: the last time the butterflies made an appearance was when i had that great first date in early february. but that turned out to be flash in the pan. the guy and i hung out some after our date and things were moving nicely, but then it just kinda fizzled. it was weird, because the phone calls and meetings became less frequent until they virtually ceased altogether. i want to say it's because work took over, but i don't think that's true. i think we make time for what's important to us. and once the infatuation began its wane, there was no fighting it. he and i both seemed to lose interest. however short-lived, our time together was sweet and relaxed, but there can be no resurrecting it. i've moved on.

well, kind of. i may have moved on from new guy, but not from old guy(s). i've been hanging out with yogaman in recent weeks. maybe that's not exactly accurate. i guess we've been hanging out quite regularly since we "broke up" last december. it's amazing how not living together can improve a relationship and how quickly a man will want to commit to you once he finds out you're seeing someone else. but that's not a commitment i want, yet i'm still so deathly attracted to him, so for the time being we're sustaining what from the outside looks like an open relationship. (i know that ultimately this is unsustainable, but let's focus on the present.) at present, it's working out nicely as we have all the couply benefits of a relationship but without any of the bullshit. it's ideal in many ways. and now that everything's been clearly defined between us, we can spend quality time that doesn't necessarily mean nothing, though it doesn't necessarily mean everything either. i adore him relentlessly, but i don't want to be his girlfriend again. that arrangement is fairly stable, clear and calm.

i've also run into another old guy, once known simply as O. if you recall, he was from the online personals -- the only one from the personals whom i saw somewhat regularly. recently, we discovered our mutual single status and proceeded to have dinner. that turned into yet another dinner.

so now i'm basically dining on my old harem of O and yogaman. but this time i didn't have to go out in search of it; it found me. and being the chic (and impulsive) sheik that i am, i couldn't resist. not sure how frequently or how long O will stay in the picture -- he's always been a wild card -- but i don't mind the deja vu. it was fun before as well, and time and history make it even more comfortable now.

despite how exciting it might sound, this has all been quite mellow. these are men, after all, so they're not angling for marriage and a mortgage. nor am i. and i've found that once you lay out low expectations, they're more than happy to meet them. so my commitment-phobia is working in everyone's favor. monogamy is overrated.

but is it? i wonder if i'm selling myself short. i mean, this whole arrangement is adequate, but it's not extraordinary and, ultimately, i want the extraordinary. maybe i simply haven't met anyone who has wowed and wooed me yet. but maybe i'm not receptive to being wowed. i want the wow, i think, but perhaps i've become too jaded about men. the guys have seen it, said it: how i'm "emotionally unavailable," how i "shut down" and "pull away." i resist meaningful intimacy. i run.

it wasn't always like this. once upon a time, i used to fall in love so easily. i was idealistic and hopeful. i was more open to all sorts of new people and experiences. i gave everything the old college try, and i was a better listener. now, i'm far more cynical. i get annoyed easily. i see men's flaws before their assets, always searching for that instant disqualifier to move them into my "sucks" category. the world is suddenly in black and white. in my book, you're either real or you're not, you're in or you're out. there's no gray, no wonderful nuance to get lost in. i adore you or i ignore you.

how right is this new worldview? is it a function of maturity or of damage? am i now thoughtfully discerning or needlessly judgmental? is this dysfunction? maybe i'm finally being realistic. how many couples do you know that have stayed together happily and forever? sure, it happens for some but definitely not for most. maybe detachment is the best form of self-preservation. maybe there are many different ways to live and avenues for happiness. maybe my fear is allowing opportunities to pass me by.

or maybe i'm overanalyzing this whole fucking thing. i really don't know.

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