Friends are Friends

I wrote this last weekend, but never managed to post it.  After my words hit the page, I had a change of heart.  My female friendships aren’t any more constant.  We float in and out of our lives as time and situations allow.  We know that sometimes work and life and new boyfriends pull us away.  We are always assured, however, that we are friends forever.  I should give him no less trust and allow him no less leeway.

A friendship with a married man is a tricky situation. I put myself in his wife’s place, knowing that I would be wary, at the least, and I try to act accordingly.  I willingly take a secondary (or tertiary) standing in his life.  “If you need to step away from this friendship, I won’t be mad, I’ll understand,” I recite to him repeatedly like a mantra.

…And then he does.

…And I wonder what I have allowed.

I don’t like this.  He says it’s temporary; he’ll return.  He doesn’t tell me when or why.

I feel put away and forgotten on a shelf.  What makes him sure I’ll be here when he comes back?  Doesn’t he realize he’s irreparably changed everything?  Conversely, is it fair for me to adjust the rules now when he merely employed an option I’ve been offering consistently and readily all these years?

He must realize that this stepping back that allows him a new perspective allows me one as well.  I muse on thoughts such as, “is this healthy, is this right, is this what I want?”

What my sister got me to do today…

The email she sent me:

Perhaps you need to go completely out of your comfort zone and try something really radical. I’m a member of this women’s blog and received this email:

“Dear friend,

An award-winning TV producer has again invited our members to help it cast captivating—and love-minded—singles for a new docu-series on a major network.

If you know a 25 to 48-year old single, who is attractive and together, with or without children, and isn’t interested in going on a “reality” show, but is ready to find real love, write to xxxxx@gmail.com

You can also forward this to the special single you have in mind.”

Crazy I know, but then again, why the hell not. You can be shown to be the attractive, high-powered executive with an exciting travel life that you are, and rub a certain someone’s nose into the fact that you’re out there looking for love seriously and that you mean business. :-p

I say look into it.

The email I sent them:

Someone on a dating site recently told me, “You’re the 1%” – and I don’t disagree.  Sometimes, I wish I was one of the 99%, because it would make dating a heck of a lot easier (not that I’m better than anyone else, I’m just different).   I’m emotionally stable, quick-witted and creative.  I can hold down a job (Corporate Event Planner for 10 years) and I own my home.  I practice yoga, have a cat named Kafka, write a blog and have been known to read books on quantum physics for fun.  I attended (and graduated from) culinary school in 2009 – not as a career move, but because I love food.   I’m looking for someone who also falls in that 1% – and it’s a tough job.

I’m 44, live in xxxxx, I’ve never been married and I don’t have children.  I’m the youngest of three sisters – none of which have been married – and it’s about time to break the family curse.

Cheating Hearts

I have a friend who is fond of saying, “every man cheats”.  This is his way of justifying his roving eye (and dick).  However, I don’t know that he’s that far off.  I’d say 70 percent of married men cheat at least once in their marriage.  Statistics says it’s between 40% and 60%, but cheating men lie as well, so I’m sticking with 70 percent.

Does this mean we’re doomed to be cheated on?

I look at it this way:  Walmart is the most popular store in the US and McDonalds the most popular restaurant.  Although common and popular, it doesn’t mean either establishment represents quality. Men who cheat are the Walmart or McDonalds of relationships.  They may be ubiquitous, but that doesn’t mean I have to give them my patronage.

Polygamy and polyamory are receiving a lot of air-play these days.  I was against the practice of polygamy, thinking it contributed to the subjugation of women.  My feelings have changed.  If men and women want to practice polygamy, let them.  It’s more forthright than cheating.

Puttering and Waiting for Mr. Right

As a teenager, I decided that I wasn’t going to settle when it came to the man I was going to marry.  I wanted it all – and  “all” was a long list that grew longer as the years passed: attractive, creative, tall, intelligent, witty, a book reader, an appreciator of art, stylish, romantic, financially stable, liberal, mature, honest, a good lover, loyal, geographically desirable, thoughtful, loving, respectful…on and on and on.

 I always believed I would know Mr. Right when I found him.

Now, it’s many years later.  Without giving my birth date away, I can tell you that I’ve passed the age where it would be more likely for me to be killed in a plane crash than get married (yes, I know this statistic in inaccurate).  I’ve also past what the obstetricians call “advanced maternal age” – no rug rats for me (and frankly, that’s just fine) and still Mr. Right has not appeared. 

Don’t pity me – I’ve begun to think the ideal man of my dreams couldn’t exist.  Could such a fearsome beast be real?  Moreover, if so, would I really want to live with it?  So, I date Mr. Not-Quite-Rights.  The readers of this blog have heard about my exploits and some send comments reminding me of my teenage optimism – “you DO know the right person when you meet them.”  “Don’t settle. Wait for a great man. Wait for a great man to be a part of a great relationship.”

 I will never settle when it comes to the big commitment.  But if I never find him, should I be without companionship?  Isn’t it OK for me to just “putter” with the rest of them?

My Secret

I’ve begun dating someone new – and I’m keeping him a secret.  No, I’m not having an affair and there’s nothing elicit about our liaison. Why, then, is mums the word? I’ve come to the realization that my relationship trouble starts to bubble once “others” are invited in.  Things are fine and dandy until I introduce him to the friends and family.  For example, I have a dear friend who dislikes 50% of the guys I bring ‘round.  She also says, within two minutes of me announcing I’ve met someone, “what’s wrong with him”.  She has a belief that I find fault in every man I date and she wants to know what I don’t like about him.  So, right out of the gate, she has me thinking about his negatives (and, yes, EVERYONE has negatives) and there’s a 50/50 chance she won’t get along with him anyway.  Even though it’s not high on MY agenda, she looks at each of my new paramours as a potential husband and so she is either quick to try to push us towards something serious or dismiss him if it wouldn’t work long-term.  She’s like a Jewish mother in that respect.  My sister, on the other hand, cannot understand why I would date anyone who’s not a wild, artsy, iconoclast at least ten years my junior.  She says, “What does it matter – you’re not going to marry him anyway, right?”  If he has kids or a sensible job, she dismisses him as unworthy of my affections.  If I bring a new boyfriend to meet my brother’s wife and her family, the first question out of their mouths are, “when are you getting married?”  I’m tired of trying to mesh my “dating” world and my “life” world.  This time, I’m going out with him, we’re having a good time and friends and family be damned.

We’ll see if this works any better.