Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Love Story (I Think)

First,A love story....well, maybe.

Let me tell you about my friend Jerry.
Jerry and his partner Tom ( I will refrain from referring to them as Tom &Jerry ) have been in a solid, loving relationship for the last ten years. They have a very wide range of interests and a great circle of friends so it's very easy to see a well established,caring relationship. It really could be considered the envy to the aspiring single person's eye. Jerry and I are pretty close and he recently confessed to me that he thinks he is falling  in love. The problem is,It's not with Tom. What's more surprising during this confession is Jerry's admittance that he has never been in love. Three major relationships in his life all averaging 6 years and Jerry has never been in love? This was shocking to hear. I guess we should realize that there is a major difference in loving someone,which we all do,than to be completely in love(which some never achieve).
I am not 100% certain how Jerry and Tom treat their relationship. Is it monogamous? Open or closed?

I'm not trying to turn this blog entry into a gossip column or a tabloid scene but its made me reflect on my own life hearing these issues Jerry is experiencing. I find myself wondering how I feel about life's major complications and how to handle them. The story continues:

Jerry has trusted me enough to confide in me that he has been having a full blown affair for the last five months.He met KD a little over a year ago and they would see each other from time to time,but recently it has snow balled into a very frequent occurrence. At first,according to Jerry,it was a very ideal situation for both parties.Jerry was wanting to experience something new on the side with no strings attached and with no potential future emotional feelings.And KD was apparently the perfect guy for this seeing how KD was/is not long term relationship oriented or has had at least a couple bad experiences with attempting a substantial relationship. So while KD is extremely guarded and has many barriers to break,Jerry has let his guard down and done only what comes natural to him and now he  thinks he may be in love with KD. He confesses new emotions that he is experiencing for the first time in his life. Emotions(which shall remain nameless) that has set KD above all the rest. The fact that Jerry can cry to me while admitting this speaks volumes to its validity. I've never known Jerry to get emotional over anything involving relationships. So there is no doubt he is sincere. Its kinda scary and I do not know what to say. Or how to respond.

Jerry has reached a crossroad in his life. And the way I see it he has two options:

A) Continue to see KD and explore these new emotions and feelings and try to conquer this concept of being in love. I think Jerry deserves to experience being in love once in his life. But it could come at a great cost. He doesn't even know how KD feels about him. Can KD mutually give to Jerry everything in return?Are the feelings mutual? Or at least will be at some point? or...

B) Run away. Deny and suppress the feelings for KD. Let them pass and continue onward in his very secure well established relationship with Tom. Jerry and Tom have a huge security blanket wrapped around them....Dear Jerry, This is a huge gamble to risk that. Do you want to end up with nothing at all? KD is not a guarantee. That said: To avoid feelings of being in really are denying something you may never get to experience again.

What a sad situation.I've never seen Jerry act this way in the years that I've known him but this decision is Jerry's and Jerry's alone. I can only listen and offer advice. It really is a Catch22 or a red herring. To allow yourself to fall in love with someone is always a gamble...I can only imagine what my friend Jerry must be going through.

When it comes to relationships I consider myself a very liberal person. I do not pass judgements on anyone so easily. From committed relationships to being in an open one,same sex and straight couples should always strive to communicate and make every effort to come to an understanding and see to it that no one will get hurt.
I've always been amazed  how quickly people are to end relationships once they have been cheated on. Years in an established relationship full of love and commitment are flushed away because one partner has a "weak" moment. There are worse things my partner could confess to me than having  hear him declare he cheated on me. He is after all,only human. I am not going to fool myself into thinking that my partner is never going to experience sex outside our relationship. But if it ever happens;It's 100% fact its a non issue. There's no doubt in my mind that men and women alike are not wired for monogamy. We just happen to live by social contracts in a society that's not willing to admit this. So we will just have to live and love the best way we can.

The anthropologist Helen Fisher wrote a book "Why We Love" in which she defines the term polyamory. Polyamory is a belief that one can love several members of the opposite sex simultaneously. Just as one can love more than one beer,movie,sport,or artist. Professor Richard Dawkins pointed out in one of his books:
"We happily accept that we can love more than one child,parent,sibling,teacher,friend or pet.When you think of it like that,isn't the total exclusiveness that we expect of spousal love positively weird? Yet it is what we expect,and it is what we set out to achieve"

Life is cheap,
and cruel,
and unfair.
We live it the best we can,as happily as humanly possible.

Good Luck Jerry....

Note: I changed the names of friends and time sequences to not give away any information that was secretly confided to me. Thanks for trusting in me Jerry.

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