Hard to Love 3/4/20

Fears by Richard Bleil

Sometimes, my analytical mind clashes with my all too emotional heart. Today is one of those days. It’s probably because of my ex-wife. It’s not that she did anything in particular, but last night my dreams were replete with story lines and images of her. This has me asking the question today, am I hard to love?

This is really a trivial question. My history in romance can only allow for a single answer: a resounding “yes”. This year I’ll “celebrate” my fifty-seventh birthday, and in that half century plus of life, my longest relationship was, in fact, with my then-wife. This in and of itself shouldn’t be a surprise; marriage is a promise to love and remain faithful until “death do you part”. In the case of my wife, this vow lasted, if you include the courting period, all of about two and a half years.

So, if I’m hard to love, the next logical question is to ask why? I’m the wrong person to answer this; it should be answered by the women who have tried, most of whom are no longer on speaking terms with me. I posted the question on my social media page, asking my friends not to disagree but simply to give their opinion, but as of the writing of this post, it’s been too soon for replies. In an effort to avoid hurting my feelings, I’m sure many will say that I’m not, which is sweet but not terribly helpful. Some will say “well if my situation were different…” Maybe. But if this were true, history shows that even women whose situations do allow for a relationship with me don’t stay for long. And it’s not as if I haven’t had relationships. Many women have tried, but none have found success with me.

Some women have told me that I’m the kind of guy that women take home and marry, not the kind they date. I’ve been told that once women have gotten all of the fun and excitement out of their system, that’s when I’ll be successful. Thanks for this, I guess? So, I’m not fun or exciting?

Maybe that’s part of the problem. I’ve always been a stable kind of guy. I don’t drink, smoke or take drugs, or get involved in…what? In marriage, what’s exciting? Do they knock over stop-n-robs when they’re out of state? Do they cook meth in the basement? Or are these things they do while dating? I don’t get that. I’m not a sports fan, I’ll give you that, but I love going out and doing just about anything with a woman who is important to me. A friend of mine was shocked when I admitted that I had seen a musical in the theaters recently, but I went because my girlfriend wanted to see it. I love to dance, I love romantic surprises, I love going to plays and concerts, is this not fun? Maybe not.

Is it my education? I’ve been accused of being intelligent, a label that I will fight until the bitter end. I don’t feel particularly intelligent, but I am very educated, and I do like to keep up with current news which allows for informed conversation. I have had women date me because I carry, legitimately, that “Dr.” title, but I would hope that with familiarity, the luster of this title would wear off. I try very hard to be supportive, and to make sure that my partner knows that I respect her intelligence, accomplishments and opinions whether or not they agree with mine, but is it possible that when she’s with me, my partners always feel pressure to live up to standards that they believe I will expect of them?

Could I be too committed to my career? When I’m with a partner, I work very hard to put her at the center of my universe, but my career is always very important. I never want it to usurp the position that she should hold, but could I give off the appearance of doing just this? If so, what can I do differently, so she knows her position in my life? In a relationship, I try very hard to be romantic, spontaneous and surprising. I like giving flowers for no particular reason, hand-writing love letters, cooking romantic dinners and maintaining a healthy and fun sexual relationship all with the desire to let her know that she is the world to me. Is this not enough? Or could it be too much? Is it possible that she feels pressured to return that level to me, even though a periodic hug or kiss is more than enough?

Could it be my standards that I set for myself? Is it possible that I make her feel judged? I hope not. I don’t drink, but neither do I expect her to abstain. I don’t do drugs, and I don’t think I could be involved with a woman who does, and smoking might cause a problem, but is it such a terribly high standard to hold?

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m feeling particularly lonely and introspective. This probably isn’t a good thing, but neither is it a surprise. I’m a thinker with deep emotions.

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