You Don’t Know the Ending To Your Story (Part II)

[Apologies for the delay. Heroic circumstances I won’t bore you with–or, more likely, I will bore you with at a date in the not-so-distant future.]

Given Jacqueline’s lack of communication I decided that if I couldn’t live with the one I loved, I would love the one I was with, who, unfortunately, was Mary.

When people break up once, it can be chalked up to momentary insanity. Many relationships mend and even improve after one of these meltdowns.

When people break up twice or more, the situation is usually irreparably fucked. It shows that the first time wasn’t a mere cloud in the sky, but a permanent climatic condition.

Mary and I would break up 5 times before the final one stuck. The reunions looked much the same: I would feel lonely and low, she would suggest we hook up for “sex only,” we would enjoy about 10 minutes of pleasure before finding ourselves entwined in the same dynamic.

Casual sex is like casual murder or casual cancer. The delusion that sex is, or could be, casual, I suspect, is the root of many relationship problems. Many of us not only have sex with people we wouldn’t consider having a child with, but we have sex with people we don’t know or like.

I definitely didn’t know Mary before I slept with her. And though I liked Mary, I “liked” her in the sense of, “that was a really nice customer service representative,” not “I want to spend my life and have children with this person.”

When I have sex with someone, the relationship ceases to be casual. I suspect biology is involved, but I can’t say for sure.

When this happens, there are a few common ways to deal with it:

  1. Detach emotionally. This is typically, though not always, the guy’s plan of attack. His sexual conquest led him to emotional imprisonment. After his psycho-sexual needs are met, he realizes there is another person in the room with her/his own needs, which are often quite different than his. Rather than addressing these needs–ones he never had plans to fulfill in the first place–he detaches and generally flees.
  2. Establish false attachment. This is typically, though not always, the woman’s tact. She idealizes a situation. She equates sex with love and brands her sexual partner as a lover. She makes her happiness and security depend this person she might barely know.
  3. Turn your hookup into a relationship. Don’t call a mistake a mistake. Don’t admit you don’t know or like your sexual partner. Assume you’ll eventually get to know him or her. Let the initial dishonesty blossom to such an extent that your whole life feels like a sham. Wait until your body can no longer handle your fraudulence and explode at some unexpected moment.

I chose option 3. It wasn’t pretty. The last time I saw Mary, she had cornered me at my gym and spat in my face. I’m sure I deserved it.

Single again, I wasn’t sure what was next. I had my fill of crazy, but I was unsure how to attract sane.

I went on a relationship fast. I resolved that until I got to the heart of the problem–i.e. me and my willingness to engage in messed up relationships–me and the female sex were better off being single.

I went to work on myself. I took workshops. I cleared up stuff with my mom. I made a female friend who taught me a great deal about being comfortable with women.

2003 ended up being a really amazing year. I had made major emotional strides and at the end of the year, I decided to write an email to acknowledge all the people who had made it so great. I expressed my gratitude for the past year. Even though hard as hell, it was great.

As I finished putting my send-to list together, I came across Jacqueline’s email address. I was still a bit resentful that she never returned my previous emails, but I figured why not add her. She was hot.

Less than a day later she replied to my email. She loved it. She complemented my openness and gratitude. Game on.

Then she told me she had moved to Chicago. Game off.

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