So…it would seem that I apparently am a ‘typical male’ in some regards. According to some friends, my not wanting to date or start my quest for the next ex-Mrs. Skaggs is indicative of the whole guy ‘fear of commitment’ thing that men often get accused of.
And I can see where it might look like that. But that’s actually pretty far from the reality of the situation.
To be fair, this insight came to me in the shower this morning, so it may actually bear some deeper reflection to see what holds water and what doesn’t.
No. I’m not afraid to commit.
I don’t have a fear of commitment.
I have a fear of loss. I have a fear of staring in to the eyes of a lover and only seeing a stranger staring back at me. I have a fear that I will wake up one day feeling trapped and alone with no clue where my best friend went.
Commitment? Walk in the fucking park. It’s the rest of it that fucks with my head.
Jeesh Todd. Over-react much? I’m sure if you found the right woman that none of that would happen and you would live happily ever after.
And that sounds really nice. In theory. And I’d love to believe you. But history has not borne out your hypothesis.
Not once. Not twice. But more than that…four maybe? I have committed my heart and soul. Only two of those ended up in marriage, to be fair. But all of them ended. And the loss was crushing. Crushing to my soul. And…to take the selfish spin away from it…I know it wasn’t easy for the other person either. Not that I’m all that, but in the case of the marriages that ended, there was time and love invested. I mean I have to believe that there was love there on both side otherwise the loss becomes even more unbearable.
So…no. I’m not afraid to commit. I’m afraid to lose once I do. And that’s really where it gets fucked up. Not that this whole thing’s not fucked up to begin with. I mean, even as I type it, I can feel the angry stares of future Todd reading this and thinking, “what the fuck man? I mean sure, the no-strings sex was nice and all…but dude. We needed someone to come over and curl up on the couch with and just be. At least some of the time.”
And Future-Todd. Yeah. I get it. But fuck you. Maybe you don’t remember the nights sitting the apartment after the first marriage ended. Nine Inch Nails in the headphones on repeat, curled in the fetal position, naked in the living room floor. But I do.
Or after the second marriage ended. Sitting at the kitchen table in my new apartment. In tears. Wondering how the fuck I wound up here again. I mean, at least I wasn’t naked this time. And it was Linkin Park on repeat instead of NIN. But dude.
Are you fucking kidding me?
I would ask a favor. Before you casually diagnose or lump someone in to the category of ‘afraid of commitment,’ maybe you realize that there are people who are all-in when they love. And they are the hardest people to love back.
I know that. I know that I’m not an easy person to love. I am all-in. I will kill myself trying to get the moon for you. But I know this about me, too. I internalize the fuck out of everything. I will craft elaborate scenarios of how I completely ruined your life in my head based on whether or not you took a second helping of the Mac-n-Cheese. And that makes me difficult. For as much as I love to write….I don’t communicate as well with real people. And I need space. I know this about myself. And because of those quirks, I won’t put another person through that. There is an expectation with love…lovers…relationships. And I just don’t know how to meet those any more.
I don’t know if I ever did. Or if I was playing the role. Doing the things that Hollywood said were romantic. And it felt nice. It wasn’t insincere. I was sincerely in love. I sincerely wanted to make my partner happy. Having the nature of an empath, it’s in my best interest to foster love and joy in those around me. So…the gestures…words…emotions…those were real. Those are real. But I never learned how to sustain them for very long (current record is just under 10 years…after that…it tends to go to shit).
I don’t know. I know this is just babbling at the moment and may or may not make any sense. It’s like cookie dough. I know at some point it’s going to make a tasty cookie, but right now, it’s not fully baked. I get that.
Perhaps…what it really comes down to is this…I’m discovering myself. These past couple of years have led me back to the Todd I was before I thought I had to be somebody else.
So maybe…just maybe…the thing I’m actually afraid of losing