|Chapter 9 : The Confusion of Me|
|November 2, 1998
This is not a discussion of marriage, monogomy, or of supporting societal standards. Understand that first before continuing on.
My friend recently seperated from his girlfriend of 6 years.
He's actually sick about it. They just moved into a condo on the water, and things were going, well, fine.
But now he's moved out to an apartment in the city and she's living in the condo. For a month. They decided they should spend some time apart to decide what they want to do. Actually, it's interesting. She wants to get married. He loves her, but has been down that road before. And he wants to be sure before he goes down it again. He wants to know that she is the One.
Damn. You know, what is the 'one'? There is this pervasive belief that there is one match - one soul mate - one being in the world for each person. That when you meet, suddenly, you click. There are some fireworks. Or a lot of fireworks if you both put out on the first date.
Then you date for a while, fall deeper in love, and then get married. Because that's the way life goes.
So what happens when you meet someone, fireworks happen, you're happy as pigs in shit for six years, but you're still not sure if she is the one?
Well, then, you call it off, and you trash any hope of a future with the person. You go through fits of depression. You second guess yourself saying 'You know what? They were great! We were happy together! Now I'm going to be a bachelor or old maid for the rest of my life!'
All because of this 'One'.
What if there isn't a 'One'?
What if you're throwing your life of happiness away because you are afraid a small bit of imperfection will seep into your life and force you to actually confront issues and grow as a person?
Oh, I definately believe that there are people out there that are 'perfect' matches (or as close to 'perfection' as possible) for everyone. There just happens to be quite a few for each person. But each of those 'One's mave have something another doesn't. Maybe one has a space between their front teeth. Maybe one is too old and one is too young for you. Maybe this, maybe that.
Living with the imperfection of someone you love is the definition of loving. I call it the 'Wow, they can actually live with me' quality. Someone who can forgive your faults is a perfect match, when you are willing to forgive their faults, and live with those faults.
The argument goes, that you 'settle' and then suddenly someone comes along that is actually the 'One'.
If that's the case, every time I started dating someone, someone has come along that suddenly peeked my interest because they were something that the person I was with was not.
There has been this ideal pushed upon us from birth that we should look for particular qualities in a mate. Well, the bitter truth is that there is not one person on the face of the earth that has every quality you are looking for while at the same time lacking every deficiency you despise.
It's not going to happen.
The question you have to answer is this:
Now, I'm not recommending you bed down with the first convienient fuckable toy that comes along. If you're at this point of asking 'are the the One?', you have been through the trial and tribulations of knowing you love them. Of knowing you could spend the rest of your life with them. Of knowing they can deal with you and your idiosynchroties without trying to change who you are - what you are. Of figuring out that your paths moving forward match and that you will change and grow together as you grow old.
You pick your friends. Some don't stick around, some are there for a lifetime. Your friends of a lifetime annoy you, entertain you, compliment you. But you didn't choose them because you knew they were perfect matches for you. You chose them for who they were. You stuck with them all those years and continue to because of who they are. They come for dinner, invite you to bar-b-q's and you go down to Myrtle Beach every now and then. They piss you off, they lift you up.
And so, what makes the difference between your lifetime friends and the 'One'? Isn't the 'One' just a very close friend? What's the question; do you have to spend the rest of your life with this one person? Isn't a better question, >don't you want to?
Why wouldn't you want to spend the rest of your life with them? Is it just the finality of some societal contract and piece of paper that is making the decision for you? Then you're not really examining the issue - your still stuck defining your relationship and potentially the rest of your life within the confines of some artificial construct of society's need for convenience and labelling.
It's not a question of 'completing' you, regardless of what Hollywood and Jerry McGuire try to tell us. Does this person make you feel good? Does being with them beat out not being with them? Don't you want to explore the rest of your life with them? Life with them has been great great up until now, hasn't it?
If you answered 'no' to any of these questions, then you just figured it out, didn't you?
And if your answers to those questions were 'yes,' then you just figured it out, didn't you?