Attraction

II | INTERLUDE | II

-Like the Changing of Seasons-

Sometimes in life you meet people that you just connect with. These connections can be on various levels. Family, friends, romantic interests, etc etc. There is that pull that opens the pathway to something new. It is almost like you just fall into place. You get a sense of belonging somewhere; it is new and exciting.

It is like that new car smell. Okay, maybe more like the first snowfall of Winter; beautiful.

For romance, you think about the person a lot, if not all the time. You wonder how they are doing, when you will see them next. You want to hold them, kiss them, make love to them. You can’t wait for the next time you will hear their voice or receive contact from them.

Feelings of acceptance, understanding, and possibly lust or love overcomes you, and it can be euphoric. Perhaps you want to dance naked in the rain. I have yet to do that.

It is different for everyone. Some try rather hard to ignore and block it out; I do my best to embrace it, I’ve lived the life of intentionally pushing it away. That can lead to abrupt, disoriented endings.

It’s like going out, slipping on the sidewalk, and cursing to the heavens about how you hate Winter and the snow. Already forgotten, the peaceful yet exciting stirrings the snowfall just brought out in you moments ago. Now you are just sick of it. It wasn’t what you thought it was. It was a trap! Those emotions you felt were drawn out through trickery!

When connections abruptly end in that fashion, it can be devastating. It can feel like a vibrant, taut cord, connecting you and another, being cut; the end snapping you. Confusion. What just happened? Were you not just engaged in a beautiful exchange of life, love, and understanding?

Most times, this violent dismantling of a connection is the result from a lack of communication.

I understand people become busy in life. It is true. I also understand that even while busy, in this day of age of instant connection to one another, that a prolonged lack of communication is usually a sign or hint that the other party has “checked out” of the building (If once a romantic interest, they likely found... well... a new "interest"). There are occasions this isn’t the case and it is a misunderstanding. If so, then they should easily be repairable by none other than: Communication.

This generally applies to newer connections. Long-term connections are a different beast altogether. These are also friends, lovers, family (the same mixing); they, however, have the backing of time.

Deeper, long-term connections tend to naturally flux over time, if at all, but never die. They pulse. The soft, slow rhythmic beating of life’s heart. Like the changing of seasons. They are always there, and you know it. Their love is constant as time slinks by and life takes over. You know that if you lose touch you will eventually find your way back again. They, you, and the connection in between simply are.

These connections can be hard to build up to, especially with new people, but I would rather put in that effort over receiving (or dealing) an abrupt snap of disconnect any day.

DEEPER INTO THE GREY

I was delightfully surprised that there weren’t any negative responses (except maybe one over a misunderstanding) to my earlier posting “Into the Grey.” In fact, it was quite the opposite. I had planned to go into more detail at the time, but wanted to better construct that coming section. I can’t say I will succeed, but here is my attempt.

While I may dabble into the shady realms now and again, I feel it is important to point out that I am 100% able, and prefer, to be monogamous. One day I would love nothing more than spending my life, with one individual, building a family. While growing up, it was never anything I was interested in. Marriage? No way! Kids? Screw that! Over time as I... “matured” …I found that those were things I was no longer adamantly against. In fact, I currently feel like I am behind. Very behind. I thought I would already have that family and be living that life with someone special. Alas, here I am.

In the meantime, while single, I find situations conflicting and blurring those morals I retain once entwined with another. Certain factors come into play. I wouldn’t fully call them addictions, but they may be pretty damn close. One of the main being:

Sexual tension.

I love it. I have this fascination with bringing myself to the brink of temptation and trying to maintain myself. It encompasses that whole fluxing of the line. Pressing against it, bending it some, attempting to not completely break it; followed by allowing it to retract to its original form. It is exciting; it can be intoxicating.

Anyone who has truly experienced it would likely agree; intoxicating. The tension that builds up over time between two individuals where there exists an undeniable connection. Chemistry. Sure, there are different levels of attraction and it can change. Sometimes you may not be attracted to someone, but getting to know them somehow makes them so. I’ve experienced this a lot and I am sure I fall under that category for some. It can also work the reverse. Sometimes, though, it’s just there. Once it is discovered, it’s like electricity.

Once it is unlocked, it’s not a simple matter of just tucking it away. That connection has been engaged, all systems go. Alive. It wants to be explored, experienced, and heightened. Not only that, but you fill with the sense of desire to oblige those feelings. In the grand scheme of things, this would be a beautiful thing; it is a beautiful thing. But, sometimes they occur when you are at a place dictating you shouldn’t indulge.

This is life, and that attraction is human nature; not the devil or a test of faith delivered by God. Just human nature. I have heard claims, from both men and women, of people finding their “soulmate” and never being attracted to another person. This I find hard to believe. I think throughout your life you will constantly run into a multitude of individuals who you will be undeniably attracted to; all for varying reasons.  I do, however, believe that people are fully capable of being monogamous regardless of these attractions. Does being attracted to others mean you can’t be completely loyal to a partner in life? Not at all. For some, maybe. We will get to these individuals later.

Being attracted to someone has no bearing on one’s ability to maintain and adhere to the boundaries set by monogamous relationships. Even that deep rooted chemistry, almost spiritual connection, is manageable (albeit more rare and a lot more difficult). Even if that means recognizing that said individual can’t necessarily be in direct approximation with your life. If you feel, or know, you are weak around someone you feel this attraction to, and your morals and beliefs may be compromised, then you avoid placing yourself in specific situations with them.

I dislike that part, but I feel it is true. Everyone has their own moral compass and degree of willpower. It is important to be fully accepting and aware of what/where they are. You can even strengthen them, like a muscle.

For myself, I feel I have a lot of willpower. Something that I am grateful for when these temptations arise while in a serious relationship. I avoid placing myself in situations that may be morally compromising.

Even when single, though, willpower plays a role in the dance of temptation. To extend yourself and test your limits. To blur, but avoid being consumed. This is where the “addiction” factor comes into play for me. I don’t seek it out, but once sexual tension and those connections are revealed, and I am aware of them, I want to dabble. Like I said, I love it. The rush of it all. Just thinking about it now stirs feelings inside. Anticipation. Being close to someone you feel that connection with is amazing. Brushing as you pass by one another, prolonged hugs... danger... danger!

Trouble.

What else stirs these various emotions, in much the same fashion? Causes the mind to race in thought? Yearns to burst forth from you and envelope another? Lust?

Love?

This is definitely a topic I plan to touch on soon, but first...

“What was I to do? How was I to proceed?”

So there is that connection being experienced between you and another. When single, I am very prone to explore and expand on it. But what if they are involved with someone? Then into The Grey I go...

I’ve already explained this in the first entry on this topic, but with the recent experiences I can’t help but contemplate and touch on other aspects.

During my dating excursions, I found myself opening up to the possibility of polyamory. Open marriages, open relationships. Attempting to learn more about it all; what it entails, how it’s managed. I have, in the past, jumped from relationship to relationship and I felt the need to make sure I avoided doing that again. It sometimes works out, but I was (am) determined to take my time and explore options, meet people, and attempt to make sure the next relationship I get involved in is solid.

This lead me to being open-minded to all those other, less than familiar, dating/relationship possibilities. I’ve always been a curious individual and, to be honest, my views on sex, relationships, and love have shifted a lot over the last 5 years.

I never went through with experiencing any of the listed types of relationships. I met with many individuals and couples, but only one ever seemed decently sound. What most lacked was communication. Communication is key to any relationship, but possibly even more so when delving into those types of lifestyles. The one couple, in an open marriage, that seemed to have their communication golden, had yet to fully experience being with anyone other than themselves. That was enough to steer me clear of getting involved.

When you look into these alternative lifestyles, you may come to very negative realization. A lot of times, one of the two individuals is not fully on board. Some are just agreeing to the terms their partner, who they love or are dependent on, set so they don’t lose them. That is a very unstable foundation. Actually, there isn’t even a foundation.

Are these types of relationships possible? Yes, very much so; all depending on the individuals and communication involved.

It may seem to contradict my statement about my ability to be monogamous, but it doesn’t. I believe someone is able to flow between a multitude of lifestyles as their life deems fitting. With these relationships I was never to be a “primary” and much preferred to be the “other” man involved. I feel this is likely due to knowing that, in the end, I want to be with one person. May this change? It is very possible. At this time, I’ve no comparison on how I would handle a polyamorous relationship.

The conundrum I now face is how these individuals engaged in these lifestyles are so unfit for it, yet those currently in monogamous relationships are. Those that desire experiencing people, love and life on a broader, more open, scale. Some even seemingly devoid of jealousy. That hasn’t been a very prominent ability I’ve seen in many. Some fully stray. Some dabble and dance in The Grey; it calls to them, just the same as it calls to me. Some have no desire in marriage. Others are open to polyamory and are unhappy in their current relationship.

What makes them remain in their relationships? What makes some stray rather than breaking it off? I am constantly intrigued and curious about people and their decisions made; what makes them do the things they do. Even myself, sometimes. Regardless, these are some of the circumstances surrounding the individuals that entice me.

In the end, we all make our own choices. I’ve done decent over the years with avoiding casting judgment on choices made; avoiding condemnation. Learned not everything is black and white. There exists an in-between.

I would encourage you all do the same. This in-between exists in a lot more facets of life than just intimacy and relationships. I know many of you have already delved into this realm. While some of you feel confident you will never dabble, you just never know. When you least expect it, it may creep up on you. The electric, magnetic pull drawing you in. You may avoid crossing over completely, but there is a good chance you will find yourself somewhere in the middle.

“Welcome to The Grey,” you may hear whispered from somewhere deep within your soul.

At that moment, you and I will be closer in our understanding of one another. Just know you aren’t alone, and that it doesn’t have to be a scary experience. It is beautiful; it really is. The realization that your perception of “right/wrong” or “black/white” was possibly flawed. Something deeper exists.

As it were, you were invited in and welcomed. Embraced.

It only makes sense to be polite and say, “Thank you.”

INTO THE GREY

Today we take a different path. Some consider it the road less traveled. On this journey, the line walked between “right” and “wrong”  is neither distinct nor constant. There exists a flux. In it, black and white dance in unison; now and again the essence of each bleeding into the other. Small, sporadic blotches litter the path, marking our footsteps, left by each decision made. Sometimes there is a blur; a blending leaving us in a wondrous, obscured envelopment of grey. Intermittently throughout life,  I have delved into this realm. Dabbled and played. So, what better place to start than...

The Curse.

Simply put, The Curse is what I perceive as my attraction of “unavailable” women. In terms of unavailability, I mean those already taken, attached in marriage or long-term, serious relationships. Sure as shit, emotionally unavailable men and women are a dime a dozen. I’ve encountered my fair share, and sometimes have been the culprit. I may even fall into that category now.

Ever since out of high school it seems I attract those who are already hitched and/or dating. This isn’t exclusive to just me, naturally. I am sure many out there experience this. Sometimes as the seeker, sometimes the recipient. I use “seeker” loosely, because not everyone is purposefully trying to meet new people with the goal of sleeping with them in mind. People are just attracted to one another, it is human nature.

When I have been single during these moments, I find that my moral compass becomes begrudgingly confused; barely ever while involved with someone myself - unless the relationship is on the way out, or long been dead. I will admit to having relations with those who were already involved with another. Relations not necessarily meaning sex, but being intimate in other fashions. In the end, still considered a breach of their current relationship. Many of these excursions took place in my mid-twenties while I was exploring the dating scene.

Almost all of my dating has taken place exclusively online, or at the workplace. I never, and still don’t, hit the bars and nightclubs looking to hook up. I believe the “online” aspect is what opened up this scenario and exposed it more fully to me. Many women, unhappy in marriages or relationships, being able to more accessibly reach out and connect with others. I always viewed it as questionable, considering the factors involved; specifically people. While I never want to hurt anyone in these instances, I know that a lot of the issues don’t directly involve me. The issues revolve around the marriage or couple, and their inability to understand, accept, or work on them.

Does this mean you should lock up your lady-folk if The Jak comes around? No, not necessarily. This isn’t exactly a raging epidemic in my life, and I’ve always had a set of rules or boundaries.

The Rules (If we can call them that):
  • I don’t cross this line with those I care about/love. Basically, friends and family. Those I am close to on a personal level, especially when knowing the guys (if these are lady friends).
  • I don’t initiate the process. Hell, I can’t even initiate when dating in general, so maybe this is just a situational rule? Either way, I think it would stick even if I were more “suave” … Yeah.
  • After stating the last rule, I find my inner-self at odds; forcing me to acknowledge it is one I sometimes break.
  • Yeah, let’s just stick with the first rule.

So, there is no cheating with or stealing of women from family and friends. If knowing the guys on the opposite end, or liking them, naturally it makes anything harder to do; at least for me it does, so I simply avoid it. My moral compass doesn’t malfunction in those situations. If not familiar with said men, or they are just pricks and I dislike them? Well, then the blurring and adventures into the grey would take place.

As time went on, and I grew up... or... whatever has slowly been taking place over the last decade... I began to feel even more morally conflicted about those scenarios. Concerned about those on the other end of said “affair,” or act, being hurt; even those I didn’t know or care for. Am I afraid of Karma? Not necessarily, being I truly believe intent plays a large role in it, and never is my intent to specifically harm or hurt someone else. If Karma was based off anything that hurt people, which is often based on perception, we would all be fucked. Though, there is something to be said about having an awareness of it all.

Now I find myself wanting to help the individuals with their situation. Talk things out, and make them think about their place in life and the actions they want to take. This can really annoy women, I have found, when they are attempting to go down this path. Reality is, sometimes people are unaware of the true reasons pushing them along. Some, however, are full fledged aware, willing, and wanting. More power to them.

So I guess the main aspect to have changed is my desire to “talk it out” before proceeding, compared to when younger and I would just jump in. Also, the understanding that doing so is extremely unlikely to ever result in a healthy, long-lasting relationship. So naive when young, thinking these women and I would live happily ever after. There are always exceptions, sure, but they are few and far in between. It all depends on the individuals involved.

So what prompted these musings? Currently, a handful of situations have arisen and presented themselves. Situations that call for decisions to be made. Individuals subconsciously beck and call; natural attractions pulsing. The line begins to blur.

The Grey calls out, with a seductive sway, “Dabble Jak, come out and play.”