I came face to face with a man who told me I was the great love of his life and that he connected with me on every level imaginable. He made me laugh and touched my heart, I could listen to him talk for hours. I was in awe of his talent and wooed by his masculinity, he liked my humor, my girlish side, the way I made him feel. So, geographical and other obstacles (both major and minor) aside, it sounded like the journey should have continued, but it ended before it began.
Who are we when we stand before a potential partner? I assumed it was just he and I in the room, but I forgot that the deepest parts of ourselves also come along for the ride and eventually ruin the fantasy by raining on our love parade.
When I laid my eyes on him I was overcome with love and desire. It wasn't because I was relieved that he smelled good or because he looked better than I imagined he would. Aside from him being lovable to me, it was because I am a person who is ready to love, a person for whom wanting to give love has always been, to a certain degree, greater than my need to receive it.
If there's a trend in my romantic relationships it's that I fall for men who are in one way or another unavailable. Yes, when I was little my father was rarely around; he was holed up in his office for days at a time, writing one novel after another. I'm sure I wanted to give him love but at least while I was very young, he wasn't there to receive it. Sorry for the armchair psychology, but I'm not finished.
I came face to face with a man who had, up until that point, been free to dream of being with a woman like me, a woman who inspired him creatively and sexually. He could have fantasies of living a mutually fulfilled and artistic life with someone who shared his passion and understood him at his core, but he also has a history, and like me, like everyone, a set of beliefs about himself that, like a machine, are always operating below the surface.
It's possible that it serves a man to be the knight in shining armor to the women in his life, after all, it's safe. When one person is saving another, how can real intimacy happen? If real intimacy can't happen then there is no danger of being hurt, abandoned or destroyed. The dream he had of a life with me was a healthy dream, but all he had to do was take one look into my eyes to know I was not a damsel in distress and that I would not need saving. All he had to do was see how I looked at him to know the only way I could love him would be in the deepest way. Perhaps turning me into a reality, although once at the top of his agenda, would prove to be a threat in ways he'd not imagined.
The question kept at me, did he really want a woman who could touch him so deeply, connect so profoundly, love so intensely? Did he really want a woman to share his life the way he knew I would, or did he have the life he had because it was exactly the life he needed? Regardless of my patterns, I was ready to love this man, but was I ready to love a man who would love me back? There’s no real intimacy in loving a man who can’t love me back, and if there’s no real intimacy then there’s no danger of being hurt, abandoned or destroyed.
I thought the brakes were hit because there were obstacles, then because he wasn't ready, then because I wasn't enough, then I because I was too much. Now I wonder if it was something more.
When the man of my dreams walked into the room he carried with him a bag full of goodies, but what neither of us knew was that he also carried the deepest part of himself; the boy who had beliefs about who and what he was, what he did and did not deserve. When I walked into the room I carried a suitcase, but I also carried the deepest part of myself; the girl who had beliefs about who and what she was, what she did and did not deserve.
We were not alone in the room that day, the deepest parts of ourselves were there standing guard the entire time. And they weighed risks, had their say, and rained on our love parade.