The first thing that I have to say today is that I am by no means a relationship expert. I've never studied anything about them, about people, about anything really pertaining to a relationship. I have, however, been in a few and I've learned a few things, so I feel like I'm pretty solid in the things I'm about to say.
Recently, several of my friends have shared relationship struggles with me. One person is "seeing" someone, quotations mean they are not exclusive, and a few of my other friends are trying to get to step one. My first friend is pushing for the non-exclusive relationship to turn into an exclusive one, but the other person is in non committal land. He says things like, "I'm not 100% there right now," "I"m not sure what I want." This, ladies and gentlemen, is bullshit. And you all know it. It's a man's(typically, as I don't exclude women from doing this too) way of trying to let you down gently. He doesn't want to commit to you because he's not certain that you're the right person and up to this point, you've not pushed him into a relationship and he can technically do whatever he wants when you're not around, so why would he let you just rein him in? Answer? He won't. You aren't the person that's going to do it, so why would you keep trying? Because in most cases, we all want to be loved and when we find someone we want, we all find it difficult to see what's really going on. I've done it, hell we all probably have. It doesn't make us weak or mean that something is wrong with us, it's just that we want something, probably so much, that when it seems like it's just within our grasp, we forget to ask ourselves if this is really what we want.
My other friends have similar issues with trying to get the men they're interested in to commit to just having a date. Just a simple, "we will have dinner at this time, on this day, at this restaurant." It becomes a lot of cancellations, last minute "things," or whatevers that happen that prevent them from actually meeting up. And I see my friends so excited, then immediately hurt when it doesn't pan out. And as I was telling one of my dear friends over cocktails last night, "I think you are all worth so much more than what you're getting from these so called men." It doesn't make me feel good to see that my friends are such kind, honest, generous, and loving people, and struggle to find a relationship. If that's what they want. Again, nothing wrong with anyone in the situation. It's just how our game seems to be played at the moment.
With two of these men, who are very dear to me, I want them to know how beautiful they are inside and out. Because let's face it, I don't have unattractive friends. My friends are the types of people who would make the cast of a huge movie, or a gay version of Sex and the City. All beautiful and different and just all around amazing people. Sometimes, it is astonishing to me that these people are also some of the most kind hearted, spirited people you could ever meet, and I'm beyond lucky to call them my pals, my buddies, and confidants. That's why it hurts me to see them upset, or hurting, or yearning for something more that they can't have. One of my friends even went so far as to say, "if I can't make this work..." I couldn't even let him finish. Hearing this beautiful soul cry and not able to see the potential he has within himself to make himself happy was so upsetting. I wish he could see himself the way I see him, and then we can see how high his confidence is. For that matter, I wish all my friends could see themselves the way I do. Because then they would know how wonderful and complete they are on their own. Which is even more upsetting to continue writing this next part.
Over the last few days of hearing from such close friends about these experiences they are going through, I was only able to give them solid advice because of one reason. I am the other guy. I mean, not specifically for them, because we are just friends, but I am the guy who won't commit, and will stand you up, and will not respond for hours to a text and keep you waiting and waiting. And I know that I do it, and while I'm not proud of it, I don't know how to stop. Actually I do, but we'll get there in a moment. I"m the guy who will try to politely let you down because it's not nice to say, "I like you and think you're awesome, but I can already tell that I will shit all over your life and leave you in a giant heap of horse poo and never look back." I mean, it's probably not that dramatic, but something like that. And it's not from intent to be malicious either. It's usually because of fear. Fear of jumping off the merry go round of life where every hot man comes and goes like a piece of chewing gum. And you never know which one is really right for you. It's also fear of the unknown. What if I get hurt; again or for the first time? What happens when I have nothing to show them but the real me, will they still love me?
I'd like to say most of us don't teeter on the edge of a relationship with another person for sport, though I know some men who do. But, when a man tells you that he doesn't want a relationship, regardless of the chemistry you have with him, he probably really means what he tells you. It most cases, I would advise my friends to just cut their losses and run. Then again, most people need to trust their gut instinct about men like me. Sometimes, we're worth the effort, and sometimes, we just aren't. It's all about choices and honesty. And for guys like me, I'd like to think that we are as honest as we can be, but know that it's masked in a deep amount of fear. And for guys on the other side of it, you have to make the choice about how you trust us and how you are honest with us.
Not long ago, I found myself in a conversation with a friend about a man that I like. There isn't much of a future there, or so it seems to me. He looked at me and said, "Steve, don't Miranda this." Most of you probably already laughed, but if you don't know, I'm the Miranda (Sex and the City reference) of my group of friends. I will over think and over analyze every detail to the point that I don't know what to do anymore, so I push everything away. It's what I've always done, it's how I like to roll. And when I find myself in moments like that, I hear my acting coaches voice in my head asking, "how is that working out for you?" And I smile because I know both of these men are right.
Lastly, this idea of love being a candle has been in my head for awhile. For anyone who saw Crimson Peak with me last night, you're going to think that I ripped this from the movie, but I've been trying to figure out a way to work this in somewhere and now I am, so is it coincidence, or just poetic timing? You can decide and probably judge me later for it. I'm still gonna use it. But, a candle is a lot like love. You can't leave it burning on it's own with no one home, it'll destroy everything you own. But if you keep your eye on it, it can burn for a long time. I believe everyone has their own candle. And when you meet someone, you each other the candles together. The flames may flicker from time to time, but if you both keep holding together, they will keep burning. Myself, for example, I like to get close to sharing my candle with someone, but the second I feel the warmth of theirs, I pull away. Mostly, I think because I haven't learned how to just be ok with holding my own. And that's ok. In time I will learn, and then I can share. But for now, I'm content with figuring out myself. Because I have to be ok with what I have to offer before I can truly share it.
So what's the point of all of this? I guess that I'm really good at doling out advice I should take for myself. Never lose sight of how wonderful you are on your own. If you can't see that first and foremost, don't bother bringing someone else to the mix, because then you'll just rely on them for your sense of worth. Be strong in who you are. Be kind to everyone, and above all, we need to be more honest with each other. Myself included. IN giving advice to my friends, I saw the ugly parts of myself, and saw first hand what it does to other people. So, maybe if we all accept that it's scary, the world becomes less scary because we are in it together.