It pisses me off not to have been able to date the people to whom I was attracted in my youth, in my teens and early twenties, when I was still formulating endless future possibilities, when time was spent mostly in spontaneous bursts of carefree fun and youthful physicality, the time when couples in love throw on backpacks without second thoughts and trek Europe together.
Now it’s more about a mere week’s vacation away from work obligations, returning to an entrenched lifestyle.
Very few people my age are free enough to follow a whim to spend summers together working to help the needy in developing countries, exploring unknown cul-de-sacs of other cultures in the off hours. They don’t lie out in the grass of a darkened park gazing up at the stars before a night class followed by an all-night study session or music jam.
Instead, my dates are more about seeing if my mostly-formed life fits with someone else’s mostly-formed life.
It lacks a sense of the two of us together bounding endless horizons of potential. It doesn’t feel like two mounds of clay massing together to create a new life molded together. Instead, it’s more like two cast sculptures seeing if they can fit into the same décor of a room that already has a developed theme. Less creative, more methodical and calculated.
The men whom I now meet and with whom I share any hint of such free-flowing pleasures are typically young, single, straight men. They are carefree and have time to spare and share. They might even have a curious sense of sexual exploration. But we are like two parallel lines, that, at best, will enjoy some time together, moving along in the same direction until he finds a mate, marries, has children and the shared time diminishes. There isn’t any sense of the two lines moving closer to each other.
So I’m faced with a dilemma: do I allow myself to enjoy the time that we do have while protecting my heart from desiring anything more? Do I withdraw just enough to have moments of fun while keeping my desires below the radar screen of actually feeling them?
It’s not a great formula for freely jumping in and fully enjoying the moment.