It Is Better to Have Loved and Lost… #relationships
January 31, 2014
I look back at life with a proud sense of human triumph. I have had many attempts at love. Some lasted many years and were wonderful most of the time. Some have lasted many years and were terrible most of the time. Some lasted a short time, but were great. Other times I’ve taken chances at love, and it simply didn’t work out. Did that stymie my desire to find love? Maybe a little. I found myself a little depressed and sullen at times when I look back at my relationship history. It’s like opening a journal of plays that worked and plays that didn’t. I could either learn from the mistakes, or grieve over the loss.
I still feel that as the heart leads, it is always searching for love—romantic or God or platonic love. The heart is a rudder that will always take us to a divine, loving destiny. We may not always end up in the perfect, life-long partnership, but we will certainly learn a ton of lessons in the searching. Maybe along the way we will have some incredible passion, fun, joy, camaraderie, and intimacy. That is certainly all of our hopes. Fifty-three years is past the halfway mark. I’m now on the home field, heading toward the end-zone. Just how much stamina do I have left to take the tackles from the blind-sided dates, the avoidant blockers, and the anxious linebackers ready to commit off-sides before the play is called? (God, Dad would be proud of me if I he could hear this gay man making a football metaphor after years of trying to teach me the ins and outs of the game, with me only smiling glibly and pretending to care.)
My age makes for about 35 years of real dating. I’ve almost been married twice to women. God bless both of them. To any of the men who may be reading this who have dated me, pretend that you never read it and don’t comment. I know I have been a hardnosed partner when it came to being right. I have asked for you to be perfect and authentic and upstanding. These were mostly things that none of you could be at certain times of the relationship. I know that you are sorry for that. I wish I would have been more forgiving—at least enough to have continued to love and not let go. I just felt like some things—like trust—were impossible to replenish. And maybe they could have been worked on.
We say, “What does love have to do with it?” Sometimes, absolutely nothing. Reason is more likely to keep your head on straight and keep you striving for the goal when you are clearly in the end zone. But some times you just need the right coaches on the sidelines urging you to do the right thing. For me, I had friends telling me all the wrong things. I have grat friends who became my ally against my exes. I couldn’t see that there was an ending to many problems. I couldn’t see the problems as a sickness or a deficiency that would pass. I couldn’t see that my love could cover it all. I hope not to make that mistake again as I journey on, holding my head above the water, weathering out the storms of my upcoming relationship life.
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