On Moving Forward
The past few weeks have been the most interesting — and by interesting I mean alternating between frustrating and exhilarating — time for Mrs. AP and I. When last we spoke, Mrs. AP and I were both feeling rather rejuvenated following a wonderful time out at a live electronic dance music show. This warm uplifting afterglow continued only a few more days before we both started coming down sick. First Mrs. AP, followed by myself a few days later, fell brutal victim to something that resulted in sinuses wanting to erupt like Krakatoa before the whole attacking system move south into the chest. As a former asthmatic, I have not felt pressure like that in my chest, nor coughed that long as hard, since my pre-teen days. This felt like every sports team in New York had decided to permanently squat upon my lungs for days. Whatever it is that assaulted me, I do not recommend it.
In the midst of this descending corruption of our immune systems, Mrs. AP and I managed to get in another Friday night with our friends from the dance floor. SCS has some business plan in mind and wanted Mrs. AP, who has a keen financial acumen, to review her plans. The venue of the meeting wasn’t the most conducive to discussing business plans, and all of us where in some portion of not feeling our best, so the discussion was more generalized than specific. It may end up being a worthwhile endeavor with which Mrs. AP and I may be involved, but right now a great many of the details still have to be flushed out. We’ll have to see how well further discussions along that vein run. Besides, one of the fastest ways to kill a friendship is to mix it with business ventures, and we’d rather keep friends than lose them if we can.
Speaking of keeping and losing friends, things appear to have gone rather sideways with Our Crush. We had a lovely time with him later in the night after our night out at the live show, and thought we’d made progress toward establishing a good on between us all. Mrs. AP and I may have been mistaken in that regard; in the two weeks since our last time together, Our Crush has initiated a conversation with one of us fewer than 5 combined times. As a result, Mrs. AP and I are feeling rather disheartened.
Mrs. AP and I take a rather straightforward approach to pursuing somebody for whom we have an attraction. Once we realize that we have an a strong affinity for somebody we let them know what’s developing. We did this with each other when we began dating, and we’ve both done it with partners in our previous relationships. What neither of us care for after these careful confessions is having to then continuously chase the object of our affections. For some people the constant chase is the thrilling part; having a targeted somebody who may, through a great amount of time and effort and deliberate wearing down come to return one’s affections. For us, however, the chase becomes a daunting and exhausting task. Having to always be the one offering to make plans, extending social invitations, and beginning conversations to check in with somebody begins to feel like chore. Mrs. AP has said more than once “If I”m the one starting everything in the relationship than I feel like the other person isn’t invested in the relationship.” Be it friends or romance, being the Initiator eventually progresses to feeling like the other person/s has other priorities taking precedence. Playing second fiddle constantly builds resentment, disappointment, or even despair.
Such is the case with Our Crush. In multiple discussions with both Mrs. AP and me OC has expressed the opinion that being In A Relationship requires a time commitment that prevents him from being able to spend time with friends or by himself. Whereas Mrs. AP and I both see a quality relationship as being beneficial to one’s spare time — as it is spent with in the company of one who encourages and uplifts — OC does not agree with this opinion. His view is that his time is a commodity best divided between disparate groups, instead of being able to combine his time with multiple groups. This compartmentalized mentality just does not mesh with Mrs. AP and I, who are rather inclusive in all our activities and are happy to mix groups of friends together if we think they’ll get on well. We also are quite proud to show off our romantic partners to our friends; OC instead seems to want to hide us and keep us separate.
This leaves me puzzled and, frankly, a bit hurt. When we first me OC for dinner he seemed deeply into us both and we all felt energized at the potential we collectively held. Then the Holiday Season hit and our social calendars were filled with obligations involving friends and family and various social groups and all without any crossover between Mrs. AP and I with OC. When we finally — months later — arranged for our next date OC had shifted from being excited about our collective potential to being skeptical about the ability of any two (much less three) people to be happily romantically involved. He’d been burned by a short lived romance over the holidays and now he had become cautious and reserved. By doing so, he mentally switched off from the possibility of anything long term with Mrs. AP and me.
In this way Our Crush serves as a fine example of one of the common failings we as humans, regardless of gender, sexual identity, or romantic proclivities, tend to frequently display. After a relationship fails we tend to withdraw inside ourselves and become afraid of love. The justification for this behavior nearly always follow this line of logic: “I fell in love, I got hurt at the end, so if I don’t ever fall in love again I won’t get hurt again.” Of course we know this is a fallacy; interpersonal pain can come from family, friends, an coworkers at any time without involving romance. Any level of relationship brings with it the inherent risk of pain, yet we choose to pursue new friendships because we believe we will be enriched by the differences our new friends will bring into our lives. In this same way that we are open to new friendships we should also remain open to finding and falling in love. Just because one previous friendship fell apart does not mean all friendships will, not does one break-up mean that the next relationship is only temporary.
Even so, even if every relationship in which we find ourselves is a temporary thing, every new relationship brings forth the possibility to discover something new and to learn new things not only about other people but also about ourselves. For example, during our times with Our Crush thus far I have learned that when Mrs. AP and I find somebody with an energy that resonates well with us, all semblances of jealousy fall away within me. I was happy to see her with him, to see him with her, and not once during any our of explorations did I think “Hey, no fair, leave some for me.” Total compersion overtook me; I was happy to watch if that was all that presented itself, while remaining fully comfortable to engage in any way I wanted without worrying about cutting in. It was a true joining of three people, and if it never happens with OC again at least I have discovered that potential within me and know that it exists to happen again.
I don’t know where things will go with OC. We may stay as nothing more than Friends With Benefits for a very long time; we may fall distant from each other as his other activities remain a significantly higher priority. He may yet realize how fantastically amazing Mrs. AP and I am and change his tune accordingly. Regardless of how that plays out, I know that our time together will be a blessing. Best yet, with OC or without him, I have Mrs. AP by my side and in my heart.
Nothing in the world can bring that down.
Stay SINful, friends.