Sunday, 16 April 2017

No man is an island

While the whole world pretends to be an endless ocean, through which humans sail, lacking direction.

First such Easter. I spent over twenty previous ones either at my grandparents’ until my grandma was fit enough to prepare Easter breakfast for around ten guests, or, then, at my aunt and uncle’s. Over the last year bonds within the family have further loosened, fuelled by argument between my father and his brother over the duty of looking after my grandpa. Without going into details, everyone spends this day at home alone; a circumstance which spares all parties stress, insincere smiling, inevitable disputes, mutual taunting and other nasty stuff. Instead I get a modest breakfast with my parents only and plenty of free time to take a precious break from work. Unfortunately, the weather is not conducive to outdoor activities which I long to enjoy; had Easter fallen two weeks ago, over+20C temperature and sunshine would have lifted my spirits in the festive season rather on an usual weekend.

This makes me ponder upon the pain threshold linked to days when families traditionally meet up. Some prefer to spend such days on their own, others strain to endure family gatherings even if they do not belong to pleasant events. The choice depends on the extent to which you feel good in your own company. For some loneliness means sadness, for others freedom. For the former being hurt by fellow men is the price to pay to avoid loneliness. If somebody asked me about my preference, I would answer I opt for loneliness. This is the theory, while actual events prove my answer could be my wish rather than preference.

Remember the story of one toxic relationship I had just given up? Do you realise how many times I was breaking it up “forever” after that post? Not that many, but the upshot is that I have gotten even more involved in it, though I seem to be keeping my distance, aware how emotionally draining it is. I have lost some self-respect for keeping this going, but I realise the dead-end delusion I am stuck in is the price to pay for having somebody who at times shows care and interest.

Oddly enough, while being stuck in the toxic mire, I have not stopped looking for opportunities to get involved in a normal relationship for a single moment. The endeavours have however, led me to the conviction that getting married and having children one day is just an option, not a certainty coming into life in unknown future. Don’t get me wrong, I am now just talking about taking things for granted, just like many happy spouses do not take for granted they will grow old with their partners just because fate brings accidents and illnesses to pull people apart. If finding self-fulfilment in being a husband and father might be out of reach for reasons beyond my control (more about in next paragraphs) then I should strive to seek other stuff (other than work-related, though job should give at least satisfaction, but being too committed to it, or even addicted is a trap) that would bring me happiness achievable on my own only. The bar is raised high, since except for my parents, I practically have no family and because my all long-lasting and newly-made friendships are with people who either have families or are in long-lasting relationships, therefore I cannot reckon on anybody to be a greater part of any plan.

Why the odds to get my life arranged happily have statistically decreased? If you were to answer the questions, most likely you would claim that…

1. With time I have grown more demanding and few women can meet my requirements. I would argue with time I have grown aware of what I definitely do not want and unlike one friend of mine thought, I do not have a picture of what the ideal girl would be like, but I know which traits I would not put up with. I want a normal girl, who would not be selfish, greedy, materialistic, insincere, not straightforward, judge book by the cover, think end justifies the means, etc. Maybe that’s still too much to ask.

2. Statistically, most women of my age are already in relationships and it is not a coincidence usually those deserving the most attention are already taken. This is called a natural selection – males are not stupid and once they have grabbed a sensible female they take the effort not to let her go. There is also the secondary market, yet as I observe the divorced women around if I were their husband, I would hurry to divorce them too ;-)

3. Opportunities to meet somebody are less frequent than before finishing studies. In fact workplace (and events associated therewith such as business travels, conferences, workshops and parties) is the main place where I meet new people and stay in their company long enough to get to know them good enough to lay foundations to build a closer relationship. Sometimes after one or two chats with a woman I realise she is worth getting to know her better, but realise the paths we tread have very little chance to cross again. The only chance to keep up getting to know each other is then simply to ask a woman out (otherwise I lose it), which means showing at least of a bit of interest in her. Many times this has turned out to be a step too far, yet worth taking, since otherwise I would have been kicking myself for wasting an opportunity.

At the certain age, as one develops habits and gets accustomed to independence offered by living on one’s own, making concessions being in a relationships involves looms as stepping out of the comfort one. Also tolerance for other people’s habits declines. Some time ago I though women reach that stage of life after they turn around 35. My observations from recent months fill me with (some degree of) confidence such perception of relationships with men develops with many girls around the age of 25 (horrifying).

The very belief there are many single women and nearly as many single men therefore they should pair up and the problem of sad singles will be gone is a fallacy, since it fails to take into account the structural mismatch between highly demanding and independent single women and single men simply afraid of them. Anyone who advises me to stop bleating and look around since there are plenty of single women in the world may read the below…

1. The stereotypical exorbitant requirements women allegedly set towards men (should be tall, handsome, well-built, well-travelled, have a good job, earn a lot, have his own flat and a car, dress stylishly, read books, be caring and resourceful and so on and so forth) are as I notice, not far cry from reality and oddly enough deter those men who meet majority of requirements, but are simply afraid women would not accept their imperfections and hold back. Frankly speaking I am also wary when I meet a woman who apparently waits for a knight on a white horse.

2. A woman who has been single for a few years is usually too habituated to freedom being single offers to her that she is unwilling to give up on it. Building a relationship is a matter of give and take, a person who wonders whether to benefits of being with somebody outweigh the costs should make a mature decision. I theoretically respect such decisions, although when some two months ago I heard from a girl with who I had broken the ice that the relationship would take away from her the freedom she cherished and actually she was not yet ready for a relationship, my instant reply was that being in a relationship does not deprive one of freedom and with each next day she would be even less ready for a relationship.

3. Coming to that point, readiness to let another person into one’s orderly little world declines with age. After years of being single, starting a relationship means a huge and abrupt exit from the comfort zone. I realise this sounds absurdly, as this is definitely not a description of the utterly pleasant state of falling in love. I would point out the fear of being pushed out of the comfort zone, the fear of losing control (falling in love is about getting carried away by emotions, isn’t it) keeps a tight rein on some single women’s emotions and does not let them reach the point when they have a crush with a man.

The theme of comfort zone brings to my mind two other observations. Firstly, I know women younger than me desperately hold on to their partners, no matter how imperfect they are and now little they care, out of pure fear of loneliness and not finding anyone better. Secondly, I heard many women aged over thirty telling me if their husbands died, they would remain widows until the end of their days, since they have grown so intolerant of men’s drawback that they would be reluctant to learn to live with someone new and all his habits and shortcomings.

If you have reached the very end, so probably think now I am totally downtrodden, grumpy and acrimonious, lacking hope and faith. Maybe, but today I am exercising my right to feel down and by sharing my sorrows with you I help them get them off my chest, I set myself free of them and distance myself from them. Besides, it saves my today’s mood for posterity, so it does what blogging is all about, just like a year ago, when a similar plea was posted in the eve of a breaking point…

Keep on hoping a for a brighter tomorrow! :-)))))

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