One thing that has hindered me my entire romantic life is the belief that I just needed to improve myself. Life will be better once I have money. Life will be better once I lose weight. Life will be better once I go travel.
No matter how obviously fucked up I am, I have always felt that there was some improvement just on the horizon that would make it all better.
As I sit here at age 33, I face the simple truth of it all. I have the money, I've lost weight and I've gotten out in the world. At some point I must improve myself internally.
One of the fun thing about "oh, I'll be better tomorrow" is one of it's best corollaries: "but, while I wait for that to arrive, I might as well have fun".
One thing I realize as I get older is how much of my life I have justified with the basic notion that I'm not ready to settle down, but I shouldn't be a hermit. The notion of "who would settle down before they have the money to do it right" sleeves nicely into a lifestyle of serial non-commitment. I'm not ready to settle down, but hey, why would I deny myself the chance to have fun.
It's funny how much creative effort we humans spend staring down our own faults with bullshit that allows us to function and believe we're not bad people. On balance, I don't think of myself as a bad person. Yes, I frequently struggle to find a way to check up on the women who used to be in my life to make sure I didn't leave a trail of burning wreckage.
Of course, it's decidedly narcissistic to expect a trail of wreckage. You have to be a first class fuck up to leave a visible trail of wreckage. What do expect? A bunch of tattooed chicks sitting with a brood of illegitimate children in a crack house? All because I, that one perfect man, wasn't ready to commit, right?
Not so much. It's fun to think other people's lives hinge on their encounters with you. But, the truth of the matter is most of your relationships are going to just one more for that person.
It's a funny kind of white knight complex, I think. Or maybe I'm just an ass. That's also a fair possibility.
But, from a personal development standpoint, as I stand back and look at myself, I find it interesting how much of my life I hid behind this notion that I was somehow not ready. I needed a job. I needed money. I needed life experience. I needed to get in shape. I need to work on self-improvement.
It's funny, because in business I'm a no bullshit, no excuses person. Everything fits on a spreadsheet. Everything on that spreadsheet works for profit. Anything that doesn't, well, you won't be seeing that bullshit on the spreadsheet come next year.
But, when it comes time for me to do more to pull together a personal life of my own . . . I'm nothing but bullshit and excuses.
The sad part is I feel like I will never overcome it. It feels like I will always be able to manufacture a reason, a scenario, an excuse . . . an out.
Once I got the money and once I started losing serious weight, I copped to the notion that I needed to get better with women.
You know where I did my best with women? During my trip to Europe this year. Why? Because I knew none of it would follow me home. I could be myself because every girl who got into me had a timer hanging over her head, waiting for the relationship to end.
It's upsetting to me as I think about it. I loved Europe because everything was temporary. I could go get drunk, dance with a girl, maybe things worked out better . . . and I could screw and even let myself fall in love a bit and I would never have to pay the price for any of it.
When I was young, I fancied the notion that I was a man of principle. As I got older, that notion evolved into the self-serving idea that I was a principled man with a practical streak. Which eventually became I do what I have to. And that eventually became a mush of moral ambiguity in the cause of an aimless and purposeless life.
As I've gotten older, the truth of my life becomes plain. I bullshitted myself because it protected my ego from confronting the basic question: just how fucked up am I?
I'm at a point in my life where I'd like to find a woman I could settle down with. But, I feel like I'm such an emotional cripple that it isn't worth plumbing the depths of my problems.
All of my relationships pretty much fall into two categories. There are the short, sexual relationships that I think I mainly engage in so I don't start thinking I'm gay. And there are these drawn out not-relationships where some woman who likes me just orbits at the edges of my life and takes forever to face facts and go away.
The odd thing is it's those orbiter relationships I remember most. You can tell just reading the blog. Except for the rare short relationship that put an existential question right to me, I don't think much about those. No offense to the two Scandinavian girls I met on the beach in Spain, but . . . we all three sort of knew that was a one-night arrangement.
Those women who orbited me, in some case for years, those are the ones that weigh on my conscience. That whole set of behaviors makes me sick to my stomach. I hate the notion that somehow I was worth that much angst to anyone. Or moreso, I hate the notion that they went through all that angst for nothing in return.
I think sometimes I'm segregating my emotional life from my sex life. It's easy for me to fuck some random chick I met while drinking, but if a girl shows a need for real emotional involvement with me . . . well, she ain't gettin laid on my watch, that's for sure. And likewise, if I feel something emotional for a girl, I'm almost completely frozen at the idea that I could proceed with her in any way at all that might lead to something sexual.
I think the core nightmare of my emotional life is the looming fear that of what might happen if I had sexual relationship with a woman I cared for. What would happen if I had someone I needed on too many levels? What happens if I ever make love to someone I fell in love with?
It paralyzes me to think about it.