I ruefully laugh when women say to me in complimentary fashion, "Gotta hand it to you, at least you go for it!"
They refer to my ability to jump heedlessly into romance, opening myself up to the inevitability of being emotionally devastated, rejected and disappointed, the natural outcome of mostly every romantic relationship especially over the past two years.
I'm pretty certain that behind my back these same women say, "What a jerk! She keeps dating the same types of men! You'd think she learned by now."
First and foremost, these men aren't the same. Each one is fucked up in their own special and unique way. I've encountered every kind of documented mental illness and even those that haven't been... yet.
At least I don't feel alone in this department. My ex-lover, Chad, from my early twenties and then on and off again for successive 14 years, recently expressed his disappointment with women and relationships. Chad happens to be one of the most handsome men I've ever met in my life, even NOW in his 60's.
Actually, I showed Chad's pics from FB to last year's misery of a boyfriend which stopped him in his tracks while explaining, "Chad and I were lovers on and off for fourteen years. It didn't work out. But, we're still close friends."
Narrowing his eyes in jealousy, he muttered "Wow - I'm straight and have to admit he's a very handsome fellow."
Incidentally, the misery of a boyfriend is a fucking mutt who thought he was God's gift. One look at Chad's pic straightened him out. But, I broke up with him three days later. Should've done it earlier in the game.
Getting back to Chad, he also happens to be the consummate man about town, a foodie without being fat, a sophisticate, intellect and all-around great guy. You'd think a man like that would have met someone and settled down, right?
He has women of all ages, I'm talking GORGEOUS, successful, intelligent women running after him. Yet, nothing ever sticks except for our long-term friendship. Our romance burnt out decades ago, but how we relate to each other never did.
We both discuss our regret in killing off our relationship when we were young, in our twenties. Chad acknowledges his immaturity and takes responsibility for ignoring me. I was a foolish airhead which explained why I didn't hold up my side of the bargain. Tis nice to know thirty-odd years later though it doesn't change a thing.
We try to figure out why we're alone. We're both very attractive people with diverse interests and good personalities. Admittedly, mine is quite abrasive whereas Chad's a very personable fellow.
In our recent spate of IMs, Chad described his perspective, "The one thing I know about myself now is that I'm basically a good man with simple needs and I love with all my heart...Took me awhile to get there, but it makes me happy."
I responded, "At this age, I now recognize I need to have certain emotional bells to be rung and can not have a relationship without that. Since very few men have rung those bells, I'm done. The least I can say is that I'm no longer ashamed to have these emotional needs."
He stated, "It's sometimes a curse to really know what you're looking for. Maybe that's why we're single - anyway, we, at least, have each other."
Lately, through my very public and humiliating display of openness about my last utterly fucked up relationship, a lot of men have contacted me. Those recent conversations certainly were revelatory. With candor, they told me their horror stories about women who did them wrong. Down to the bone destroyed, sometimes taking years to bounce back, leaving indelible marks on their current relationships where they can no longer give the love back to the categorically wonderful women in their lives.
Frankly, I'm astounded. Over the past two years while writing my edating comedy series, I lost touch, looking at the seamier side of things. I got involved with several men who represented the worst what I wrote about. During this time, I forgot that men possess feelings, even emotions. These men were grievously wronged and underwent suffering that I know only too well.
Still and all, after listening to these stories by numerous men, I had a transformational thought which has translated to the greatest desire in my life and please do NOT be judgmental:
I want to be the woman who has done a man wrong. Many men.
For I know I've never done a man wrong.
How? you may ask.
Because ALL of them have contacted me over the decades to apologize for doing ME wrong. I've blogged about this quite a bit. These men populate my FB pages, my linkedin and twitter. They read my blog, they even post comments on here! They purchase my books! I've quite an army going on.
So, it's my turn. I want to know how it feels NOT to cater to the whims, desires and needs of a man while receiving the benefits of a relationship. I want to watch his frustration when I don't meet any of his needs. I want to be unaffected about him, his moods, his life. I want him to twist himself inside and outside to please me and improve the quality of my life. I never had this before and this is something I definitely aspire towards. Not to be mean, but it's appealing to never lose my peace of mind, being happy and not vulnerable to any emotional pain. In other words, I want to be the men of my life.
I rather look forward to this chapter and call it, "End Game."
Makes you wish I stuck to my former vow of being a celibate, right?
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