General thoughts on love / Love as it pertains to me

What to say about love? First of all, there are various types of love. Maybe I'll talk a bit about other kinds of love later on, maybe not. For now, I want to talk about romantic love.

I know it doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. I try to tell myself I shouldn't judge others by my own opinions on the matter, though sometimes I can't help it. There are just some things I feel about love, which, if another person didn't feel, I wouldn't believe they were really in love, even if they believed they were. Cheating would be one such thing. Now, if everyone involved agrees and is perfectly happy to have polygamous relationships, fine. It's not for me, but if others are happy with that... fine. But if anyone cheats on their partner and tries to hide it... I don't believe they're in love. Which makes it difficult for me to understand why they'd bother hiding it, unless they were just in the relationship for money or something. I can't conceive of it being a fear of losing their partner, because as I say, I can't believe they really love that person. As I see it, if a person is truly in love, the mere thought of being with anyone else would hold little or no appeal. And even if there was some small appeal, the revulsion at the idea would far outweigh it. So if a person is even capable of or interested in cheating, they simply aren't in love. Which is not to say they can't have positive feelings for their partner. Just not love.

Love at first sight. This is a concept I don't believe in. Infatuation, perhaps, but not love. Love is based on knowing a person very well, having common interests, compatible personalities... There is of course an indefinable element to love. You might call it chemistry, a spark, or some sort of connection of the souls. It is, I believe, entirely possible to know two people with whom you have all the same things in common, find them equally attractive, love them both dearly as friends, and yet be in love with only one of them, and have no idea why. So while I think there are necessary elements to love relating to the mind, the heart, and the body, there is also the soul, and possibly some other... again, indefinable element. Does such an element have anything to do with "love at first sight"? Maybe, but I seriously doubt it. I think all you can feel at first sight is attraction, though I'm willing to allow that by some... indefinable element... you might feel more than attraction at first sight. That doesn't make it love. It may feel just like love, but it isn't love until you get to truly know that person. When you do, the initial feeling may dissipate and disappear, or it may evolve into true love, with no discernible segue between the states of infatuation and love, and I suppose such cases would be what perpetuates the idea of love at first sight. I dunno, most people seem to find the idea romantic, but I just don't see it. How can it be romantic to think you love someone you know absolutely nothing about? If you knew a person for years, were in a relationship with them, even married to them, and you suddenly found they knew nothing about you, would you still find it romantic? Probably not, so how is it romantic to think you love someone you've just met and know nothing about?

Opposites attract. Well, this may hold true for some people, but personally I don't get it. Of course I wouldn't want someone who was exactly like me. There's plenty I don't like about myself... Although some things I might dislike about myself, I suppose I could like about others, and also there is something to the idea that if a person shared some of my problems, we'd be better able to understand and support each other. But anyway... I do feel the need for differences. And I don't suppose that anyone means true opposites, but I'm sure they mean a hell of a lot closer to it than I'd be happy with. I couldn't fall in love with anyone who doesn't share a great many common interests with me, and I with her. And it's not just liking the same things, but also having similar personalities and opinions about various matters in life. I don't want to go into any great depth here, so hopefully you see what I mean.

Changing yourself or your partner. I should also say that I completely disagree with anyone trying to change themselves to please their partner. That shows a very weak character. Besides which, if a person thought they loved you, but really they just loved the person you were pretending to be to please them, then they wouldn't really love you, would they? And that would be doing a terrible disservice to both of you. I wouldn't want to be with someone who didn't have a lot in common with me, but that is just another way of saying I want to have things in common with her. It doesn't matter which way you say it. The point is we'd both feel the same way about things independently of one another, before we even met. This all goes hand in hand with another matter of the utmost importance to me, which is honesty. I don't believe there's anything I'd ever lie about to make someone happy, and nothing anyone could tell me would hurt me more than a lie, even one meant to spare my feelings. And anyone I loved would have to, naturally, feel the same way about such honesty, herself. Which is not to say there isn't the slightest possibility that some little white lies (at least of omission) might strike me as okay, just that at the moment I can't imagine any that would.

In any event, as much as I don't think you should change to please someone, I don't think you should try to change the person you're with. No one's perfect. But even if there are things you would like them to change about themselves, you may still totally love them and want to be with them. Of course, they may want to change the same things about themselves that you'd like them to change. That doesn't mean it'll ever happen, however hard they try. You just have to ask yourself, "If these things never change, will I still love this person? Or somewhere down the line, will I no longer be able to stand being with them because of it?" If you don't think you'll be able to be with them forever, it may be best not to try. You don't want to settle, but at the same time, you don't want to just give up on the relationship. You just have to figure out if you really love them. And loving them means you love them not just because of everything about them, but also in spite of some of the things about them. Either you love them or you don't. If you feel a need to change them, then you don't love them, however much you might like or care about them. And in that case, it would be best for both of you to move on and try to find someone you don't feel the need to try to change.

"Let's just be friends." It is rather cliched that women will say that when they break up and that guys won't want to hear it. (Maybe vice versa as well, I dunno.) For some people, it may be true, but for some it's not. All I can say is I could never be in love with a woman unless I first and foremost considered her my best friend. This would be integral to the romantic relationship, and yet also independent of it. Which means that, as much as breaking up would hurt, I don't believe it would hurt nearly as much as also losing the friendship. So, I damn well think when a person breaks up with someone, they shouldn't say they still want to be friends unless they actually mean it. Like I said before, honesty is of great importance to me. If I broke up I'd probably still want to be friends, and I certainly wouldn't want to labor under any false illusions. If you're going to break up with someone, best to make it a clean break, if that's what you want, otherwise you'll just make things worse for both of you.

Marriage. It's a lovely concept, very romantic, but I just don't think it's for everyone. I've nothing against it, I like it in theory, and often in practice. If people choose to get married, and it works out for them, I think that's one of the greatest things in the world, actually. I just think people are too attached to the concept of "traditional" or "official" marriages. Not getting married doesn't have to mean you're not whole-heartedly in love, nor that you don't want to spend the rest of your life with this person. Just as getting married doesn't necessarily mean you are really in love and will definitely be together forever. So what's the point?

I think people can be "married in spirit," and feel in their hearts pretty much everything that is said in traditional wedding vows. If so, there's really no reason for a ceremony or anything. Some marriages can last forever and be very happy. Others don't. I don't think people are any more likely to stay together just because they're married, nor are they any less likely to stay together just because they aren't married. Of course, no matter how in love any (two) people are, things can change. In which case people will have enough emotional stuff to work through without having to worry about the legal crap that comes with divorce. Even if they're both okay with the separation, whether they remain friends or never see each other again, it's just simpler if they're not married. And I certainly don't think anyone should force them to stay together. Maybe if they're married there'd be a bit more incentive to try to work things out rather than give up when they hit a rough patch, and that's a good thing. But unmarried couples can do that too. And sometimes... things just can't be worked out. No one should feel trapped if that's the case, they should be able to end things. But of course, marriage can complicate this for various reasons...

I don't think marriage is any business of the state's. I can see where it might be, to a certain extent, the business of the church. I mean if you feel a religiously-imposed moral obligation to be married to your life-partner, well and good... but to say a ceremony needs to be performed by a preacher or some such person... is to say God needs a middleman. There is no other explanation that I can see. And let me tell you right now... God doesn't need anything of the sort. The important thing is what's in the hearts of the (two) people, and if you believe in God, then you believe God can see what's in their hearts. Saying it in front of a preacher isn't going to make it any more "real." Nor is saying it in front of a witness, or friends or family. And just as the church doesn't, in my mind, have a right to make unilateral pronouncements as to whether or not people are "really" married, I also don't think it has a right to say they have to stay together if it doesn't ultimately work out.

Marriage is also to an extent the business of friends and family, becuase if they love you, they should love your partner, and share in your joy at having found this person who so enriches your life. Your partner may become (if they're not already) a friend to your friends, and they should also become a member of your family. But in the strictest sense, marriage is really only the business of the (two) people directly involved. Sure friends and family will be part of your life together, but the marriage itself, it seems to me, is a very personal matter. Not that every element of it has to or should be kept private, but some parts are. I don't mind if you want to have a public wedding, either, that's up to the people getting married. But it shouldn't be an obligation. What makes a marriage official is not who witnesses it or what some license says or any of that. It's what's in the (two) people's hearts, which is something they're perfectly capable of saying to each other privately, if that's the way they prefer to do it. And I have little tolerance for anyone who has the audacity to proclaim that people aren't "really" married if the wedding didn't happen in some specific, traditional way. I think people should be able to consider themselves married if they want to, and no one else has a right to say they're not. And again... they don't even have to consider themselves married if they don't want to, it doesn't have to make their love any less valid if they don't.

As Mil Millington put it, "What is it with you Americans and marriage? You seem to have some kind of confusion that makes a ritual inseparable from the thing it announces. I'm sorry to be the one to break this to you, but if you don't have a funeral, you're still dead, OK?"

As for marriages involving more than two people, I can't really say I completely understand why anyone would want it. I can't imagine I'd ever want to be with more than one person. But I don't think it's my or anyone else's business. As long as everyone involved knows about everyone else, there's no cheating or lying or hiding anything, and everyone's happy with the arrangement, then fine.

Pre-marital sex. It's none of my business what others do, and in the bizarre, impossible event that I was ever having sex, it wouldn't be the business of anyone but me and my partner. Not my friends' business, or family's, or church's, or state's, or anyone. I couldn't possibly have sex unless I was in love with someone and expected to spend the rest of my life with them, but... as I've said, I don't think marriage is necessary. What's important is the relationship itself, and the love. I suppose I would want to make private vows so that we might consider ourselves "married in spirit," and consider that as valid as any traditional marriage. If others want to consider that pre-marital or a sin, that's their business, but I think they're wrong and I'll thank them to keep their arrogant opinions to themselves. Personally I do think it's best to at least be in love with your lover, but alot of people don't, and I'm not going to judge them either. What they do is their business, and as long as they and their partner(s) are all happy, then I really don't care.

Obsession. Can be a thin line between love and obsession, sometimes. But obsession is very bad for both obsessor and obsessee. The important thing to bear in mind is that if you are in love, the happiness and well-being of the one you love are more important to you than your own happiness and well-being. If you want to be with that person no matter what, even if they don't want to be with you, then you do not love them, you are obsessed. It's not impossible that in some cases if you say "they love me, they just don't know it yet," you could be right. But don't hold that belief unshakably. I don't really think it's a bad idea not to give up on someone who doesn't currently seem to want to be with you. But just accept that it may never happen, and don't move into the realm of harassing them. They're certainly not going to ever come to love you if you can't take no for an answer. And I don't mean, either, that you should just hang around as a friend and pretend you're no longer interested in more than that, in the hopes they'll someday come around. Seriously, let it go, get over it. Maybe someday things will change, maybe they won't, but counting on it is unhealthy. Of course... I suppose most people who are truly obsessive are unhealthy to begin with. I mean, psychologically, so there's really not much point in even trying to give them advice. They'll probably believe the person loves them no matter what that person says or does. Fucking lunatics. That's the kind of people who spoil insanity for those of us who aren't dangerously deranged....

Sexual orientation. I'm straight, and this is not a choice. I cannot conceive of anyone choosing their sexual orientation. I am not capable of just deciding to start finding men attractive or to stop finding women attractive, so if anyone says gay or bisexual people choose that lifestyle... well, I just won't believe it. I believe it's possible to choose to act contrary to one's orientation, but I can't imagine anyone wanting to. In any event, if for some reason someone does choose to have sex with a member of whichever gender they're not attracted to, that doesn't change their orientation. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with having sex with anyone. I'm a virgin, and probably always will be, but that doesn't mean I'm not straight. So if a person is gay or bi, it doesn't mean they necessarily have sex at all. And if they have sex with the same gender, it doesn't necessarily mean they're gay, but... it means they probably are. Anyway... what else to say on the subject? I can't imagine anyone being one way and at some point having their orientation change, not by choice but by... some other way. I'm pretty sure whichever way you start out, that's how you'll always be. Also I can't imagine anyone not realizing what their own orientation is. It seems pretty straightforward to me. You look at people of both genders, and... no one's going to be attracted to every member of either gender, no matter what your orientation. But people see enough people of both genders both in person and in the media, throughout their lives, to have figured out by the time they start getting interested in sexual matters, which gender or genders they're attracted to. I don't see how anyone could fail to recognize who it is they're attracted to and who they're not, so the idea of people suddenly realizing they're gay later in life is something I'll never be able to get my head around or truly accept, unless it's along the same psychological lines as repressed memories of some traumatic event, or something. Which really, it shouldn't be. I also want to say that I don't care in the slightest what orientation a person is, it has nothing to do with their personality or interests, which are the kind of things upon which I base my feelings about people. I'm perfectly capable of liking, disliking, or being neutral towards people of any orientation. This falls under my general inability to comprehend any manner of discrimination, and my hatred of any discrimination.

Gay marriage. You'll have noted above that marriage is something I think can be a good thing, but shouldn't really be considered necessary. However, I think all people should be allowed to marry if they want to. My feelings about gay people and marriage is no different from my feelings about straight people and marriage. If they want to make private vows and consider themselves married no matter what others think, then I say fine, they're married. If on the other hand they want to get married officially or traditionally or whatever, they should be able to do that too. If you think it's some kind of affront to the whole institution, I think you're cracked. Let me say this plainly: The marriages of other people have no bearing whatsoever on your own marriage. You think if gay people are allowed to marry it will make your own marriage less valid or meaningful? Will you suddenly say "well if they can get married then my vows don't mean anything, I guess I'm not married."? Will you start acting like you're single? How on Earth will it affect you? It won't, unless you go out of your way to make it do so. I don't even care if you have anything against gays or not. I care, but really... it isn't important here. There are far better things to worry about "tainting the institution." Worry about people who aren't really in love getting married. Worry about people who abuse their spouse mentally or physically. Worry about people who get married so they can get a green card. Worry about any marriage that exists for any reason other than the only good reason to get married: being in love and wanting to spend your life with (one) person. Because as far as I'm concerned, if (two) gay people choose to marry each other because they're in love, personally I think that is a credit to the institution, not a detriment.

Arranged marriages. I can't imagine it. I know it's been a part of many cultures pretty much forever. I'm sure sometimes it works out great, and I'm sure sometimes it doesn't work out so well. In that respect, it is like any other kind of marriage. In this day and age, I certainly don't feel anyone, anywhere in the world, should be forced to marry someone they don't want to. If they choose to do it because it's part of their tradtion and they wish to honor it, or because it will help their family in some way, and they're willing to make that sacrifice, fine, that's their business. It's not really my idea of marriage per se, but I think it's noble, and should not be looked down upon. I certainly don't want to offend anyone's culture. And if they don't think of it as a sacrifice... well again, I don't understand, but it's really not my place to understand. I simply hope things work out for them. I'm sure in many marriages that do not begin from love, love may eventually develop. I just don't think anyone, from any culture, should count on it happening. Sometimes it will and sometimes it won't. Go into it knowing that, and... well, if you weren't forced into it, I suppose you won't have a right to complain about it later. As for cultures that do force arranged marriages even if the people involved don't want to... Well, part of me wants to remain open-minded and not say anything that might give offense... but part of me, which believe it or not is not just something that's been instilled in me by the culture in which I happen to live, but is in fact inherent to my own personal way of thinking... wants to say "screw you, you evil, ignorant bastards, and get with the fucking 21st century, dumb-ass." See, people, it's all about the love, yo....

Looking for love. Don't believe in it. May work for some people, but I think if you're actively trying to find it, you're all too likely to find it in places where it doesn't or shouldn't exist. Personally, I think love should take two people completely by surprise. There's never a guarantee that any relationship will work out, but I think it's more likely if you weren't looking for it. Also, it seems more romantic that way, don't you think? But hey, I don't want to knock relationships that start because you were looking for someone, in the personals or a dating service or bars or church or where the hell ever you're looking. There's always a good chance you'll be happy and it'll all work out, and there's a chance it won't. Like with any relationship. It's just not for me, that's all.

Soul mates. Another thing I don't really believe in, as such. I mean, the idea that two people were "meant" for each other, and they could never love anyone else as much as that one person? Ridiculous. While you are truly in love with a person, I don't believe you could ever love anyone else like that. You'd never want to be with anyone else, as I've said. But if the relationship fails, most people will eventually move on and find someone else. And even if they never stop loving that first person, which prevents them from finding love again even when they lose them, that doesn't mean they were the only person for you. Before you fall in love, there are potentially lots of people in the world with whom you could fall truly, completely in love, if you met them and got to know them. It's all a matter of chance, really, who you meet, when you meet them, or whether you ever meet one of the people you could love so truly. I also think that the number of such potential loves differs based upon your own personality. Me, I think there are very few people in the world I could love, far fewer than there are for most people. Cuz I'm not exactly normal. Though I also think the less normal you are, the less likely to love, and the fewer possible people to love, the more intensely you'll love them if you do ever meet one of them. Still, the point of this paragraph is, there's no such thing as one "right," perfect person for anyone. There's no such thing as "meant to be," in the strictest sense of the expression. (Though there are certainly senses in which I'll use the term, myself.... It's hard to explain.)

Public displays of affection. I'm generally against it. I mean, obviously people should be allowed to display their affection in public, like kissing or holding hands or whatever. But it isn't about displaying it to others, it's about each other, the two people who are together. And it shouldn't be overdone. A fairly quick kiss or whatever, fine. Not some long drawn out thing, unless it's some rare special occasion like in the movies, say you've just saved the world or overcome death or met after an extremely long absence, or something. And it should never be anything tasteless. Sometimes people say to strangers "get a room" at the drop of a hat, just to be funny, but some people will do things in public that, really... they should get a room for, seriously. And this is just talking about other people. I don't like seeing other people being excessively demonstrative. Indeed, I'm not really comfortable with even any mild displays of affection, though I'd be even more uncomfortable with a society that made such things taboo or something. But... for me, if I were ever in a relationship, I'd be really, really uncomfortable doing anything, even holding hands or having a quick kiss, around any other people at all, whether, friends, family, or strangers. I'd rather do these things only when we were completely alone. So, I'm a prude. Whatever, I don't care. It's just how I am.

Fighting for love. Would you believe, another thing I don't believe in!? Look, here's the thing. What the hell does it prove? I'm not talking about a duel or something. I'm talking about, you know, the kind of stuff in movies, where two guys love the same girl or whatever, and they each have to try to win her love. Yeah, I wouldn't ever play that, see. Because really, that is just a game. It's not real. At the end of the movie the right guy wins and it's very romantic, and then what? The happy couple goes on with their life together. There's a reason the movie ends prior to that. It's boring! Dude, it's easy to be in love with all the drama going on, and the big romantic gestures. Real love is how you feel about a person on a day-to-day basis. If you're in love with someone because they just saved your life or bought you a thousand roses or found your long lost kitten for you or reconstructed some beautiful childhood memory or what the hell ever, great. But if you can be madly in love with them when you're doing laundry together on a random Thursday night... that, my friend, is real love. I'm not saying put all romantic gestures aside. Do something romantic from time to time, yeah. Birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Anniversaries, or just any random day you feel like it. But you can't and shouldn't have to do stuff like that every damn day, nor should it be the stuff of movies, on some grand scale. Because those things will totally mislead the heart, trick it into feeling something it really doesn't. And as for that fight... it's easy as pie. Be yourself. Both suitors, damn you, be yourselves! Then the person you're trying to win can get to really know you both, and only if she truly knows you can she know if she truly loves you. This goes for established relationships as well as new ones. You either love the person or you don't. If the person you're with now has to do something special to make you think you shouldn't leave them for a new suitor... then you already have your answer. You don't love them, and yes, you should probably leave them. Just make sure you're not going to feel the same way about the new guy, once he stops bringing you flowers every night and slaying your dragons. Or what. The hell. Ever.

"Don't hate the playa, hate the game." I do hate the game. That's why I choose not to play it. But hey, don't mind me... play on, playa...

Love as it pertains to me / General thoughts on love

Me, I think I'll be alone forever. I could be wrong, of course. I could change my mind someday. Nothing in life is impossible. But for now, this is where my head's at. I don't think I deserve to be in a relationship. While I think there are good things about me, there's also alot I can't stand about myself. You'll have to read some of the other pages here for specifics, but suffice to say, I don't feel that anyone who truly knew me could ever be in love with me. It is massively unlikely that anyone would ever think she was in love with me, but if anyone ever did, I'd just take it as proof that she didn't know me well enough. I'd be sure she'd eventually realize her mistake, and it'd just be best in the long run to spare us both any regrets by never letting anything develop beyond friendship, in the first place. Even if in the short run this attitude hurt us both. (See my self-deprecating poem.)

In "Men in Black," when Agent J quotes the line "Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all," Agent K replies sarcastically, "Try it." And personally, I agree with K's feelings on the subject. Of course, as I say, that's personal. May be different for everyone. You have to ask yourself, which would be worse for you- the possible regrets that would come with trying to have a relationship, and failing; or the certain regrets that would come with never even trying, for fear of failure? For me, the possible regrets of failure are worse than the definite regrets of never trying. I can say this with a certainty, because I used to believe I could never be in love or be loved, and the thought hurt me. But then I fell in love with someone who thought she was in love with me. And hard as it was for me to fathom how she could love me, I did my best to accept it for two reasons: one, because I seemed to make her happy, and I wanted nothing more than for her to be happy; and two, because she made me happier than I'd ever been in my life. Even so, she eventually realized she was wrong, and broke up with me. It was the right choice, I'm just sorry she had to make the mistake of believing she loved me in the first place. I did the best I could in that relationship, which is pretty pathetic. I'm sure I did some things right, but ultimately I'm not psychologically cut out to be in a relationship, I'm afraid. And my regrets at having failed in the relationship, compounded by regrets of ever having been in the relationship, far outweigh the old regrets I had when I used to think I'd never be in a relationship at all. So, time has passed. I suppose I'll never completely get over these regrets, nor the regrets at the thought that I'll never be in a relationship again... but I'm basically okay. However, I wouldn't want to add to my present regrets by trying and failing again. Of course it's possible that another relationship might not fail, and I'd be cheating myself out of happiness by not taking the gamble, should a chance at love ever present itself. But they say you should never bet more than you can afford to lose... and a heart is a pretty hefty price, don't you think?

In any event, even if I were in a relationship and happy and it lasted, my old regrets would never entirely go away. Most people seem to be able to have multiple relationships in the course of their lives. Sometimes they'll be in love, sometimes it'll just be casual. Me, I have no interest in casual relationships. While most people see dating as a way to get to know a person, and thereby decide whether a relationship could possibly go anywhere, I have no interest in dating unless I'm already in love. Also, I don't want physical contact unless I'm in love. Kissing, hand-holding, whatever. The idea of me actually having sex... well, it's practically unthinkable. I'd have to be in love for a long time before I felt ready for that. And since I've said I don't intend to give relationships a chance, that means I intend to die a virgin. Which naturally bothers me a little bit at times, but not nearly as much as the idea of never being in love. Of course, none of this is as bad as the idea of being in love or making love, and later having the relationship end. Others can have sex, and/or be in love, and the relationship ends and they're upset for awhile, then they move on and eventually find somebody new. I can't see doing that. If I'm in love, it means I expect to be with one person for the rest of my life. Even if the relationship ends and eventually I get over it, fall out of love and all, the idea of never being with anyone else will linger. And the regrets about whatever physical contact we did have will linger. And not all my regrets will be for myself; to a great extent I will feel regret on behalf of the other person, for having wasted a part of their life and given them memories they'd rather not have. I could never shake the idea of anyone I was in a relationship with being disgusted by the thought of having believed she loved me. So, I really wish I'd never been in a relationship, for both our sakes. And I'm glad I've never been with anyone else, and never intend to be with anyone else. And I'm glad the relationship didn't go further than it did, yet deeply regret its having gone as far as it did.

Btw, all this ties in to what I said earlier about "meant to be." As I said, I don't believe there's such a thing as one spcific person in all the world who you're "meant" to be with, one single soul mate. However, I do rather feel that there's such a thing as specifically not meant to be. That is, if a relationship ends, then it wasn't meant to be. I know this sort of suggests that the opposite has to be true, that if a relation lasts forever, then it was meant to be. Eh. I can loosely go along with that idea, as long as you don't mean by it that there was only one person with whom it could've been meant to be. All I'm really saying here is... I'd rather never be in a relationship at all if it doesn't last forever. I really... I guess I judge things differently for myself than for others. What's right for some isn't necessarily right for all, you know. All I can say is what's right (or wrong) for me. And I just feel like any relationship that doesn't last forever, wasn't meant to be. So obviously... if I, hypothetically, had sex, expecting a relationship to last forever, and then it didn't... then it wasn't meant to be, and I don't know if I could live with that. I suppose I could, it'd just be one more thing to hate about life. But I would really hate it, more than I feel I can adequately express here. But I can tell you I have regrets about the thought of having kissed, or done anything physical like that, even just holding hands. Meaningful things that, now... were all part of something that turned out not to have been meant to be. (So by extrapolation, if you can understand my regret at holding hands and such, maybe that can help you imagine how much I would regret it if we'd actually made love.)

And btw also, I need to mention... there are things... well, I've said I'm not comfortable with public displays of affection. I'll see people at work do things that I'd never do in public, and in fact for them it often seems to be just goofing around. Touching people they're not involved with, or flirting, etc. Doing this even in front of someone they are involved with, and that person doesn't care. Because like I said, it's just goofing around, meaningless. To all parties involved. And yet it may be stuff I wouldn't even do with someone I was in love with, let alone someone I wasn't involved with at all. Bugs the hell out of me. But that's not what I meant to say here. It's not just not doing things in public, but also not talking about things. There's the old expression, "I wouldn't kiss and tell." Um... well, I don't so much mind telling you I kissed the girl I was in love with, or that we held hands, or hugged, or that we didn't have sex. But there are other things we did, which went beyond kissing, and the more intense an activity was, the more I regret it in retrospect. But the point is... I'd never talk of specifics, beyond kissing. I suppose if I ever had sex, I might mention that fact in vague way, without any details at all. Then again, I might not. I'm certainly not going to rush out and post in my blog, "hey, everybody, guess what I just lost?!" if it ever happened (though I suppose I'd have to rewrite these psych pages, wouldn't I?) And I wouldn't discuss it with friends or family or anyone. Because there are just things in a relationship that I feel are private. I'd feel rather awkward even talking about it with the person I did those things with, hypothetically, but she'd be the only person I'd feel it was appropriate to talk about such things with. So... I guess I also wanted to say it bothers me that so many people (both men and women, and probably even more often women than men) feel like it's okay to talk in great detail about their sex lives in public, in easy earshot of not just coworkers but complete strangers. Anyone. Hell, forget public, I don't even feel it would be appropriate for people to talk about these things privately with their friends. I mean maybe they could share some non-specific stuff about what's going on in their lives, for good or for ill, but... like I said, specific details should be kept between the people directly involved. And it bears noting that I don't think I could love a woman who felt differently about this. If I were in love, I certainly hope she'd consider these matters as private as I do, and not talk to her friends about it, either privately or publicly. (I'm pretty sure I can say my ex-girlfriend would never have talked about these things with anyone, I don't want anyone to think I'm talking about her. I'm talking hypothetically, here.)

Anyway, I've just interjected a couple of long, rambling paragraphs here, and probably tacked on some stuff to previously existing paragraphs, so I'm probably ruining the narrative flow of the page, I dunno. Wanted to say that before transitioning into this previously existing paragraph, which began thusly: I suppose I'm getting redundant. That's a problem I have. (In fact I could probably stick that sentiment at any point in anything I write, and have it make sense, even if I have added stuff between it and whatever preceding thing led me to say it. Because the new stuff is likely to be redundant, as well.) In any event, it is imperative that no one gets the idea that my feelings about future possible relationships are in any way influenced by the one relationship I have actually had. The most that could be said of that is that it reaffirmed my old beliefs from before I knew her, so that such feelings are no longer baseless. (Or rather, based now on more than just my knowledge of myself, what I'm like and all.) Oh... and I suppose I would be remiss if I didn't say that... as much as I regret having been in love and in a relationship... I suppose it's a bit inaccurate to say I completely regret it. I suppose there are things I don't regret, it's just hard to pin down. Maybe it's just... for any given aspect, I might simultaneously regret it and not regret it. There is certainly a part of me that feels, at the very least, independent of the relationship itself, I was in the right place at that time in my life. Sort of. Though of course even memories not strictly related to the relationship, things I enjoyed at the time... can cause me pain, too....

Oh yes, also I should say... well, I feel a bit as if... it's not quite right of me to, you know, mention, repeatedly, having been in a relationship. Like, it's not fair to her that I'd say anything about the relationship, even in vague terms, here on the internet where anyone can read it. But I would never mention her name, so it's not like anyone would know who I'm talking about. And besides... I couldn't really say how she feels about the brief time we spent together. I imagine her being disgusted by it, and I wish she'd never think of it at all, but that may be partly my paranoia and self-loathing. Certainly, I doubt it holds the same meaning or importance for her, now, that it does for me. I had hoped we would always remain friends, but that hasn't happened. I haven't heard from her for many years now, so I've no idea what's going on in her life, or anything. Nor do I suppose I would want to, at this point. All I can say is, seeing as I've never had a single date before or since, let alone another relationship, of course I can't help but attach more importance to it than most people would. It's my only romantic experience, okay? And it is... an important part of everything that has shaped my feelings and thoughts on such matters. I said people shouldn't think... well, what I meant was, people shouldn't think that my experience with her... soured me on the idea of ever having a relationship. That wouldn't be true. But that doesn't mean the experience didn't affect me or wasn't meaningful to me, so... as it's a part of my life, I reckon I have a right to talk, in more or less vague terms, about... my feelings regarding it. And stuff. Even if I hope I manage to talk here mostly in more general terms about my feelings regarding love, rather than concentrating on... anything directly or indirectly relating to her, or her affect on my thoughts about it all. In any event... it's important to me to mention that, though she broke my heart, I bear her no ill will. I still think she's about the coolest person I've ever met. I hope she's doing well, and wish her every happiness in life. She deserves it.

Well, I don't know what else to say for now, but no doubt I'll think of more later, whether about love in general, or as it pertains to me, or both....

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