13 March 2008

Romance 101, Preface

Personal Story

I've had very limited experience in the arena of romance. I'm somewhat of a novice, really. My title is not intended as a declaration that I am about to expound to you, the reader, the basics of romantic attraction and relationships, but rather a declaration that what is to follow is my notes from my own beginner-level experience in romance. Because I'm almost exclusively attracted to guys, and have beliefs which conflict with acting on that desire in most ways people think of as "romantic", I have had to rely on other people's experiences to gain an understanding of romance. I have had little experience. I didn't really live any sappy teenage love stories, or endure the vulnerability and loss of "break-ups", the blindness of infatuation, the thrill of a first kiss, or the warmth of mutually expressed romantic affection as a teenager. At least, not the way most people did. I felt some intimations of the feelings, but I wasn't "Mr. Discipline" as much as people thought I was. I just didn't want what everyone else wanted as much as I was "supposed to". Though I can pontificate on the principles of true love and what romance means intellectually, the very experience of romance is still relatively new to me, which feels a bit embarrassing to admit, but hey, it's the way it is.

Though I feel I've been pretty fair in my presentation of my conundrums regarding dating girls and feeling unmotivated to be with a girl, or why it seems, at least, so different from being with a guy, I wanted to throw something out there which I haven't done very clearly before: personal experience to illustrate. I will not go into the personal details of any relationships. That just seems inappropriate, even on an anoymous blog. But I will expound some feelings and emotions and a few lessons learned thus far.

No, there's not a lot of religious or spiritual discussion in these thoughts. These thoughts are somewhat raw, natural, concerning here and now. I have found it cathartic to examine such feelings and thoughts without discounting or downplaying them in light of faith or doctrine. Faith plays a role. Belief tempers the emotions and thoughts over time. But whether I allowed my faith to waiver, or whether I simply dabbled in the present at the exclusion of eternity, or whatever the reason and however faith plays a role or does not, the emotions and the questions are real and deserving of attention, in my opinion. And my opinion matters in this little world I call my blog.

I may or may not have more to say on the matter afterwards. Publishing this feels like getting something off my chest.

I may or may not allow comments. I think there's been a lot of discussion already on my blog about the whole "dilemma", and seeing how what I've written may be slightly more personal than what I've published in the past, I may not think it appropriate to have a drawn-out, intellectual debate over it or receive suggestions on how to deal with it.

I just wanted to share what I have experienced in the past, remnants of which I still grapple with somewhat today. It's long, mind you. Only the most faithful of my small blog readership will probably make it through. It's not particularly colorful or fun in its style. It's just conversational and straightforward, I think, in my fairly typical fashion. It's also a rought draft. I may refine it. I may leave it alone. But I wanted to publish it here anyway.

So if you're interested, read on to the additional portions I'll post after this.

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