I receive a few comments about my articles here on DC. Those I have received are supportive and generous. But I received one recently that pinned me down, and made me think. And I love to think, so I must respond. A question was asked: If you don’t really want a partner, then why go through the motions of partnering?
Despite my emotionally charged rant about my steadfast desire to remain single in my last article, “I’m Single; I’m Proud,” I must admit I haven’t totally, completely, unilaterally rejected the idea of finding that colloquial “someone special.” I am still a romantic at heart. It must be that hot Latino blood running like Cupid’s venom in my veins. I love meeting women. I love flirting. I love dating. I love the chase. Sitting at a table across from my date is, for me, the pinnacle of being.
I get a similar feeling at times when I am outside. Very often the nature of my work requires my presence in the field. I’ll be chasing down surveyor stakes for instance, and I’ll simply have to take a moment to come up for air, stop, and look off in the distance at the mesas, the white-capped mountains, the nearby sandstone formations, or the white clay hills obstructing the horizon. I take it all in and remember that I am alive. I exist. I am real. And this is the life I am living in this particular moment in time. What a blessing.
Or maybe it’s late at night. I am lake side. There is no moon, and the black sky is sprayed with an uncountable number of stars. The Milky Way shines in a dull brilliance. A satellite tracks across the sky like a star moving to a new position. An aircraft passes by silently. A shooting star leaves a streak in a flash of finality. Gentle waves lap the shore. And again, I take it all in. A person has only a few nights like these in his life.
These are the kinds of feelings I get when I am on a date. I am not really partnering up so much. I am just celebrating life, living in the moment, taking it all in, counting my blessings.
I was asked another question: Could you explain a little more clearly what you do want from the women you go out with?
Confession: I used to date ladies with the idea that I might get laid by the end of the night. But I have matured. (Yes, ladies, guys can become refined, contrary to popular belief.) Actually, I discovered that dating women with the hope of finishing the night with a romp in the hay usually ended in frustration. Besides, it’s not fair to have that kind of expectation, since I want no expectations made of me. Therefore, to do so robs the date of an otherwise great time.
What I want from my dates is multifaceted, and perhaps convoluted: conversation, exploration, revelation, education … Heck even some rejuvenation would be nice. I want to feel when I am on a date. Don’t get me wrong. I have feelings, and I tap them often enough. I want her to tell me whatever is on her mind. I want her to tell me about her life, where she came from, what she enjoys, what she fears, what she desires. I want to hear about her children, if she has any. I want her ideas about marriage, relationship, expectations, and dreams. I want to know her talents, what she does and what she would like to do in her spare time. I want her to hear my stories and draw conclusions about the kind of person I am. I want to admire her. I want her to admire me. I want to learn about her. I want to laugh and make her laugh. I want to see what kind of humor she has. Is it dry, deep, twisted, obnoxious? Can I say something seemingly stupid, and have her catch the subtlety of it? From all of this and more, I am doing a chemistry check. And that’s usually where it ends because there’s usually no, or sharply limited chemistry.
If there is chemistry, a spark, then I perform a litmus test of sorts to see if we want to take it farther. Being a gentleman is foremost on the agenda. She is the one in charge here. I am just making suggestions. If I want to get physical, I make my intentions clear, but if she does not, then we do not. It’s really pretty simple.
Now getting physical is more about holding her, kissing, maybe getting under the covers and snuggling. But I gotta say, the act of sexual intercourse in and of itself is usually too much. It’s too far too fast, unless I feel like we might actually want a relationship together. And anymore, I am just not interested in going that far. Seriously, I am at the point now that if I were to have sex, she must be a prospect for a serious relationship. Better said, if I think she is a prospect for a serious relationship, I will pull all the stops. I don’t act like an animal, no. And I don’t beg. I just make myself very available, and make my intentions very clear. I’ll ignore the first few blow-offs, but eventually, I’ll get the hint. If she is really worthy, I will respectfully ask that she tell me she does not want me bothering her. I don’t need a reason, just need to know where she stands. Once I know, I back off.
Now, it usually all plays out much more complicated than that. People are not algorithms that play and respond to set of variables. In short, they are not machines. And most everything I mentioned here takes at least three dates to work its way through. Certainly by date number three we know each other well enough to know that we either do or do not want to continue seeing each other.
So what do I want from the women I go out with? Apparently I am determining if they are someone I’d like to have a relationship with. So much for being single and proud, huh?