Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Figuring Out The Balance

A friend of mine said that he can’t seem to find any decent guy. Everyone is just after him for sex, he said, and no one wants to date him. I asked him to tell me about the last time someone wanted him only for sex. Apparently, it started out with a Planet Romeo chat. They agreed to meet for sex. Somewhere in the meetup, they had a bit of small talk, and the guy seemed to be decent enough in that conversation. The problem was, after the guy left, the messages stopped and the invite for a follow-through never came.

I pointed out to him that the initial contract was for sex. He himself only wanted sex to begin with. Sure, an “open for anything” clause was thrown in, but a second meetup, much less a date, was not something they agreed on. It wasn’t even something my friend expressed interest in. Because of this, it wouldn’t be accurate to label the guy as “not decent”.

After I said that, he said that I was probably right, and that he probably did not deserve being taken seriously. He said that it was probably his karma, since there have been many times when he left others hanging. And then he said he was weak for letting it get to him.

I don’t think it’s a weakness to hope for something more. As far-fetched as it sounds, it’s possible for long-term relationships to start from a hookup. There’s nothing wrong with liking someone you had sex with, especially if you had good sex and if, from the small talk, you found that you can also have good conversation. It is okay to hope, but we also have to be steady in how we handle it if it doesn’t develop the way we hoped it would.

In situations like this, I think the tricky part is figuring out where we went wrong and where the other person went wrong. For instance, their mistake could be that they were unable to appreciate you or the potential of the connection you had. On the other hand, our mistake could be that we imposed our ideals on them and thus expected them to want the same things as us. Or even simpler, our mistake could be that we assumed they would like us in return.

It would be so easy to blame it all on them and just say that they were not decent enough for a relationship. Likewise, it would also be easy to just blame ourselves and say that we deserved it. It would take incredible self-awareness to realize that line between what we can attribute to them and what we need to own up to. But I think it’s something that we need to do. This doesn’t just happen in the hookup stage, either. It can still be a hurdle for those who are years down the relationship road.

If we place the entire fault on them, we would be denying ourselves the opportunity to learn and be better men. On the other hand, if we blame it all on ourselves, we will not have the confidence to feel worthy of being loved.

I think this balance is something that we are all trying to achieve. I myself am all too familiar with this dilemma. That is why I’m writing this here in my blog. The next time I come to a situation like this, hopefully, this post can remind me to love myself and believe in myself enough to trust that I did something right, but also to be humble enough to recognize my mistakes.