This doesn't have to be a post about men -- it could as easily be one about women.
But since I haven't dated women, or gotten to know their dating stories, I'm gonna go with what I got.
As I look back over my history of not-so-close encounters of the Venus-Mars kind, I've been struck by how many lovely, sincere, and genuinely nice guys have made some really eccentric choices in the luuv game.
A while back, a man I truly respect in other ways got involved with a woman who turned out to also be a drug addict and needed extra money for her habit -- and it didn't end well, as you can imagine.
Another guy continually yearned to be with the "real" love of his life, a bipolar lady who at one point deserted him for six weeks when he went to visit her in Texas. He's still with her, as far as I know.
He and his many children lived (still do, as far as I know) in this general area.
Spectacular, dramatic, and kinda sad.
Men who have fallen in love at first sight and quickly moved in with the object of their affection, only to see it all go up in flames.
Guys who drag their children in and out of multiple relationships.
Fellows who date women considerably less intelligent, or without an ounce of emotional intelligence. What do they talk about in the evenings, I'd wonder.
Or does just one partner do all the talking?
I want you to read this as narrative, not criticism.
None of these guys were mean, or evil, or even overtly screwed up.
All of them had previous relationships, sometimes many. These were, apparently at least, the pick of the crop!
If you met them for a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, you'd probably like them too.
But somehow their love lives have been rather disastrous -- or they've had to make incomprehensible compromises, crushing various dimensions of their lives, to stay engaged.
Of course, any one of them could say the same about mine.
Generally, I've avoided getting involved, for a number of reasons.
Primary among them was the fear that if I got drawn into something similar, I wouldn't have the emotional wherewithal to be the kind of parent my children need.
Nay, the kind of parent they sometimes demand (yeah, I've spoiled them).
Many of the men I've chatted with didn't have primary parenting responsibilities -- perhaps they had more energy to devote to domestic drama.
With a sixteen-year-old girl at home, I've got a surfeit of this, thank you.
I can't say celibacy is more fun. It ain't.
But I do prize my sense of balance. And I do a lot better putting bandaids on various scrapes than being the scrapee.
Perhaps it is my lot in life -- an empathetic Florence Nightingale, with keyboard nearby.