On Relationships

“You can’t just chop up the aspects of a relationship into discrete parts and select the ones you want like a buffet.”

I’ve been binge watching Parks and Recreation for a few weeks now and that’s a quote from an episode from season four called The Treaty.

It reminded me of a long-argued question a friend of mine always had with me; could a couple remain friends after their relationship was over? His stance was no. He was unlucky in love and every one of his relationships ended with the other party saying they wanted to move on. In each instance the other party wanted to remain friends and made great strides to do so. He rejected those overtures. It hurt too much, he would say.

My stance was yes. Why not stay friends? Better to have the person around if you still loved and cared for them, no? It’s civilized. It might hurt at first but then the relationship falls into some sort of natural rhythm. Whether that natural rhythm means you’re no longer friends then so be it.

“Why not,” asked Leslie Knope. Why can’t it be chopped it up?

“Because it’s selfish,” Ben replied. Hmm, interesting.

On Love

I always have this feeling of desperation. I want to tell you everything. I wish I could tell you everything all at once and have it make sense but that’s impossible. I tell you so very little and I’m afraid that I’m shooting myself in the foot when I do.

I love you. You know this. In my heart I want to do everything in my power to be with you. Everything in my mind too. But doing everything in my power must include a contingency plan if being with me is not what you want. It’s all wrapped up in a sack like the kind you take to a camping trip.

This is a very important part of love; the ability to let the love of your life go on without you. I can do this. I know I can. It might kill my insides. It might rot my heart until it is soft and brown like the mud made by an incessant rain.

You

There are those moments in the day when I agree with you. Things wouldn’t work between us even if we tried. But then there other moments when I believe there is something there, something bigger than the both of us and that we are meant to be together. Those moments scare me since I don’t truly know if you feel the same way. I’d hate to be alone in this.

Sometimes I get sad. I’m sad because I was willing to give so much to be with you. But what is it really that I have to give? I’m not far from being a pitiful old man who craves attention. I fell ass-backwards into a profitable career. The people who once had unlimited patience with me are long gone. I can only give myself and my heart and I wouldn’t blame you if you said it was not enough.

So I lie here in the dark with less than five hours left to sleep and I think of you. I hope you’ve eaten today and that people have been kind to you. I hope your anxiety is in check and that you’re thinking of me too.

A Thing About Love

I have always struggle with the definition of love. I was watching an episode of Mad Men last night where Jon Hamm’s character Donald Draper tells someone that the definition of love was invented by someone like him, an advertising agent. I believe that to some extent.

So I have struggled with it and I’ve no doubt it’s because of what Donald Draper said or  because there are many, many definitions and I’ve settled on looking for The One.

But my thinking has changed since meeting you. I know now that love is many, many things. It defines many aspects of our relationship. I know now that it is being with you and without you, touching you and not touching you, being near you even when you are thousands of miles away and being far away even when your lips are inches from mine.

I marvel at how easily your words flow from your mouth. I marvel equally at how my words trip over each other and struggle to move forward. It’s as if they were caught in a hurricane.

Yet here I am, both strengthened and weakened by my love for you. I can’t imagine a better place to be.