Dec 16, 2010

The us in Trust

The us in Trust

When I was a little girl, I believed wholly that one day I’d meet the man of my dreams. He’d be tall and handsome, he’d make me laugh without having to try, could speak more than one language, read all sorts of books, and would recognize instantly that I was the girl for him. As I got older, I realized that my fantasy was probably not going to come true. The most I could hope for would be to meet a nice guy who I got along with, who had a job and an education, and who would be faithful and make me happy. Now, I’m not even sure that’s real. If I were to let myself be led by the relationships I see around me, it’s very hard to hold out any sort of hope. Despite the muggy views some people seem to have about what a real relationship is, I keep waiting for my bona fide love to come, but it just keeps getting harder and harder to be optimistic.

It’s been a tough trip on my road to love so far. I’ve had heart ache, heart break, and heart hibernation, which basically means very extensive periods of time where I don’t feel anything romantic for anyone. At first, when I started thinking I was ready to have love appear in my life, I used to be kind of picky. I wanted a boy who would fit the mold I had dreamt of while I was younger. Obviously this did not come to pass, and I never got my prince charming. Instead I was met with many young fellows who thought the idea of romance meant leaving flirty messages for you online and waiting until you looked the other way before checking out your friend. Needless to say, I’ve become sort of an expert at rolling my eyes, faking interest, and bailing. However, even someone who has become as big a romance skeptic as I am can feel a little overwhelmed when faced with what seems to be a growing trend in relationships. Everybody cheats.

Now, I realize I’m making a huge generalization here, and thus I risk alienating a lot of people, but it’s simply something I’ve seen in at least 80% of the relationships around me. And I don’t just mean physical infidelity here, as I am also referring to emotional cheating. It’s a pretty rare thing for me to talk to someone in a relationship and hear that they’re completely satisfied with their situation and wouldn’t stray for anything in the world; or for anybody. The saddest part of this observation is that usually the people I know suspect what is going on, but they choose to ignore it, or worse, they do it themselves to make things fair. My dreams of love and being faithful have all but shattered because of this sudden trend to be disloyal.

I won’t pretend to be a saint here, or completely blameless, because I have at times been a willing participant in exchanges that could be considered adulterous. I’ve never cheated on a man, but I’ve reciprocated physical or emotional intimacy with one or two men who I knew were involved; either because I found out about too late, or I knew it from the start but simply chose not to see it, due to not actually knowing the girl, assuming they weren’t really happy, or any other sort of excuse I would use to brush the guilt that at times crept up off my shoulders in order to be content. The truth is though that it catches up to you and, in reality, if I’m so willing to be a participant in this sort of illicit affair, why should I be so surprised that people out there cheat? Or that it’s so easy for people to cheat on me? It shouldn’t be, but it always is, and it always hurts just the same.

I’ve tried to be better at realizing when I’m about to cross a line that I’ll regret later; to spot when I’m about to give in to temptation, and pull back from it. I haven’t perfected it yet, but at least I’m trying. It just doesn’t seem like others care to try this though and it makes me sad. The saddest moment though is when someone is being unfaithful, willing lying to their partner, and then has the gall to proclaim their love to the seven winds as if it’s a blessing from above that makes their life brighter every day. Is it really? Is your life that amazing and are you that in love with Miss A? Weren’t you were just kissing Miss B a few hours before? Who are you trying to fool, her or yourself? And ladies aren’t too far behind on this either. I will happily add that through actual concrete knowledge, it’s not just the men; a lot of times women are the ones who cross this moral line and then feign indignation when it’s done to them. Women like these, or rather little girls in women’s bodies, give us real women, strong, intelligent, faithful, a bad name. They’re the reason why a week won’t go by without me being called a bitch. Or why the word whore has become a casual nickname tossed around like honey or baby. And as far as emotional cheating is concerned, is there really anything that could hurt more? Finding out that sure, the person you love is still physically attracted to you, but they’ve actually fallen in love with someone else. That they didn’t do anything, but they thought about it…a lot; probably while they were with you. Stab me in the front this time, so I can actually see it coming, will you?

I may hate Valentine’s day, I may roll my eyes at engagement ring commercials, and I may get a little sad whenever I hear a love song, but I still hope to one day find that man who might not be THE prince charming, but he’ll be mine. I know I can be a good woman for a good man. I know I can find someone who I want to share my life with, who will fulfill me in ways that seem impossible now. I know because I’ve seen it. Despite being surrounded by so much romantically stunted crap, I’ve seen some light in the dark. There are people capable of happiness, so why isn’t everyone working for it? Maybe it’s because they’re afraid? Because they think that if they give their whole heart out, truly and unwaveringly, they might get it broken. If they claim true love, but secretly have ulterior motives, then they can’t be the ones hurt, even though they’ll be the ones doing the hurting. Better to dump than be dumped right? But what kind of a life is that to live when you keep your heart in a gossamer box so no one can ever touch it? It doesn’t seem like a very fulfilling one.

So maybe, just maybe, people should risk actually feeling something and not self-sabotaging. It could lead to real pain and heartbreak, but it could also lead to real love. True, colorful, cold chest, tingling fingertips, loosing your breath and getting it back, dancing in the rain kind of love. Isn’t that a worth it? Isn’t that worth risking your own heart? I sure hope it is…and I hope to get the chance to find out. In the mean time, I’ll keep waiting for other to realize what I’ve always known, but haven’t actually lived up to. That real love is worth fighting for, but in order to get it, you actually have to try. And in the end, there is no Us without Trust. Well, there is…but it’s not really as fun, now is it?

“The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we're afraid. We fear we will not find love, and when we find it we fear we'll lose it. We fear that if we do not have love we will be unhappy.”

Richard Bach