The moment scatters. Motionless, I stay and go: I am a pause ~Octavio Paz

Monday, October 3, 2011

may be...

A few years ago...well, more than a "few" years ago...more like...oh, ten years perhaps...I knew a couple who I will call Kevin and Karla. Kevin and Karla had been in a committed relationship for about five years, and Karla was ready for marriage. She had been ready for awhile, but Kevin was "not ready"...
"I'm not ready." he would tell her before delving into a "to do" list he was committed to completing "before" marriage. Of course, Karla being an emotionally driven young woman in love, cared nothing about a "to do" list. As far as she was concerned...Really, as far as most women in love are concerned, the "to do" list was something they could/should accomplish together. Isn't that what couples do?...Build a life "together"...She tried to convince Kevin, but he wasn't trying to hear her. They went on this way for a better portion of their five years together, until finally Karla gave Kevin an ultimatum...Either marry her by her next birthday, or she would have to move on. Well, her birthday came...but, he didn't relent...and she was kind of "forced" by her own words, to make good on her ultimatum because she felt to stay w/ him at that point was compromising her integrity and his respect for her word, as well as her respect for herself. So, heartbroken...Karla left.
To my confused amazement... less than a year later, Kevin married someone else, who I'll call Kelly...and less than a year after that, they were expecting their first child.
I wasn't really close to either of them...and I really didn't care how it turned out...but I was intrigued; only because I'd seen this happen before and wanted to understand why these men who weren't "ready" to marry the women they'd spent years with, were suddenly able to marry women they seemed to barely know.
Honestly, I'm sure there were many intimate variables that factored into Kevin marrying Kelly (who he was w/ for less than a year) instead of Karla (who he was w/ for five years)...but me being me, tried to consider them all. Sarcastically, I thought to myself that either Kevin had managed to accomplish in less than one year w/ Kelly, what he could not accomplish in the five years he was w/ Karla...(yeah, right)...or he married Kelly, not caring about his "to do" list. The sarcasm quickly passed, so I then considered that may be Kevin loved Karla, but was not "in" love w/ her?...Or it may be that losing Karla that spurred his decision to marry Kelly?...So, was marrying Kelly actually a "rebound" reaction?...Or it may be that Kelly was in his life the entire time, as a "friend" and his feelings for her kept him from fully committing to Karla. I mean honestly, he still could have chosen to marry Karla...I'm sure she would have accepted him back if he'd sought reconciliation. So while I could go on and on, truth be known....the only difference I could see between Kelly and Karla, was simply that Karla was not Kelly.
Therefore, the bottom line conclusion for me at that point, was that more often than not, when someone...especially a've been in relationship w/ for years tells you they are "not ready" to get married, what they may really be saying is they are not ready to marry because they don't want to marry YOU.  
It has been my experience and observation that men do not rush into matters of the heart as easily/emotionally, as we women do. The only "emotion" that men are guilty of easily being led by, is "lust"...and that is because of the constant dick measuring and machismo associated w/ casual sex w/ beautiful women...the more "unattainable" to the average man, the better...and the ego inflating numbers associated w/ both. I do not think men consciously decide what kind of woman they far as marriage, having children, etc...they kind of learn the type of woman this will be through a subconscious process of elimination that involves first, their relationship w/ their mom and the views they form about women from watching the women around them, as they grew up. Then more so a great deal of sex, lies and female reactions to those lies...and a series of female/relationship heartbreak spawned by deception, mixed signals and out of balance emotions. So in a way, men "wait" for the right woman to marry. Not in an obvious way, of course..but, while he may live the life of a man-whore, indulge in various relationships and sexual situations, a man will not commit to/marry a woman who isn't what he wants to commit to/marry. I will acquiesce though, to the reality that being given a free pass by society, to be a times having his masculinity/sexuality questioned if he is the fact that men do not run on a reproductive time men the "tools" they need to make "waiting" for the right woman, a much more enjoyable/manageable and cerebral endeavor.
I have always said though, that women know what we want in a mate. We subconsciously create him in our mind w/out really thinking about it. May be because of all those "Prince Charming" and "happily ever after" fairy tales that litter our childhood...or the many movies where men will risk their life for the woman they love...But most probably because w/out being told this, we instinctively know that women choose men...not the other way around. Yes, about 80% of relationships begin w/ the man's approach, but the relationship regardless of it's casual tone, duration or ending, a relationship only happens if the woman says "yes" to the man who offers himself to her. We are basically "trained" and "groomed" in preparation for the ritual of choosing through the aforementioned books, movies and of course, adolescent libido driven girl talk that continues long after high school. Then there is that dreaded "clock"...that looming awareness that if we do not have children by a certain point in our lives, we will not be able to have them at all. So, long before boys glance our way, we know what type of guy we want...the problem is that we never learn the type of husband we want...the type of father we want for our children...and how to wait for him. We will instead start out choosing guys based on looks...then material attainments of money and position...and as we age, eventually "settle" out of weary heartbreaks, fear of being alone and/or childless...or out of simple convenience... for someone we barely like but convince our selves we can love or someone we think that we will make/change into the man we want. As Beyonce so poetically stated, we want to "upgrade" him...which isn't in itself a bad thing..."Beside every great man is an even greater woman"...So, it is actually cool to support our men...and even guide them towards their greater selves when life gets so deep, they feel lost. But that is about respecting and loving who he is, but not allowing him to forget that life is about growth. We are meant to help one another become/grow into the "best" version of ourselves w/in the definitions of who we centrally are. We are not meant to "recreate" him into an entirely new person, w/ no resemblance to who he truly is. Yet, in all fairness to myself and other women, I must point out that we are by nature the ones who nurture and mold the minds/characters of our young...So, while a man's idea of "upgrading" a woman is about the material provision he brings into her life, we are more prone to go deeper and may easily fall into the role of "mother" w/out intending it or realizing it.
So...w/ all that being said, I am really no closer to understanding the intimate workings of the male mind and heart that caused Kevin and the few others like him, to marry one woman (almost) immediately after breaking up w/ another...but may I am still seeking a complicated answer to a simple equation. May be it was just simply that Kevin was "in love" with Kelly, not Karla. Now, in the mind of every emotionally driven woman, we may then ask.."Well, if he didn't love Karla enough to marry her, why did he stay w/ her for so long?"...May be he did simply because he could. He did "love" Karla and being w/ her was obviously what he wanted at that time. He could choose to give his time to her that way because he had the time to give and he appreciated the way she loved him. As I previously stated, men are not emotionally driven by  a conscious race against time, the way women are. May be that Karla's insistent need for marriage was as much about her awareness of time's limit on her ability to procreate...while Kevin could coast on the fact that men can father children well into their 80s...So, if Karla was willing to stay, he would lose nothing by letting her.
I don't know what happened to Karla after she left Kevin, but I now see she was a stronger woman than my then young mind gave her credit for. A woman who respected herself and the quality of her love enough to take ownership of her pain. She chose to hurt herself by walking away from a man she loved dearly, instead of living the pain he inflicted, by not loving her the way she needed and deserved.
So...May be some of  these men we spend agonizing hours emotionally dissecting w/ girlfriends, and label as "commitment phobic" are actually men more in tune w/ their hearts true desires. May be there are men who actually approach marriage w/ more sobering integrity than we give them credit for. May be these men are just not "in love" w/ the women they have relations/relationships w/ regardless of the length of time invested in them. And may be we as women who know we want more...just need to have the integrity and self love it takes, to trust our intuition and be more honest w/ ourselves about who we are, and the men we choose to love.
May be in the end, it is just that simple. Painful, no doubt...but simple.

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