15 February 2010

Why Does It Feel So Good?

There's so much about this question I have wanted to explore, but I'll stick to the short version for now. This time, this issue/question was jogged by reading a post on Dichotomy and commenting on it, though my question is from a non-married, slightly different perspective, stemming from that discussion but not meant to be directly applicable to his scenario.

I've asked myself, many times, why it is that an embrace from someone I feel chemistry with or just "clicked" with, who is a potential romantic interest (assuming we were both available or looking) by virtue of their being a gay male I find attractive, but have known for two months can feel so much more comforting and fulfilling than an embrace from someone who is not a potential romantic/sexual interest but has known me my whole life and has proven their love and commitment as a friend. What's with that? Isn't that backwards? Isn't it somehow juvenile? Is it my own emotional immaturity or search for fulfillment in all the wrong places? Is it totally normal? Should it be normal? It's certainly not rational. Stupid romance, attraction, and sexuality...maybe they'll make more sense to me someday.

On a very related note, why can the former hurt me so much more easily than the latter? Why do I open myself more to vulnerability with them? What does that say about my emotional health in relationships, or is that a normal human condition, to become vulnerable inordinately quickly where there's attraction, whether it be sexual and/or romantic and/or emotional? Shouldn't my long-term friends be more able to hurt me? Do I not give as much or invest enough in those friendships to feel emotionally at risk or vulnerable to be sliced asunder? Or are they truly able but choose not to, and that's why our friendship has lasted? Or have I been hurt, but our history attested to the fact that we were committed to our friendship through the rough times?

And how are some people seemingly immune to that? Have they just never opened up with someone enough to vulnerable? Have they never loved enough or cared enough or let down their guard or emotional walls enough? I think I used to be so guarded that I never "let anyone in" enough to lose the emotional upper hand in a friendship. But even when, in moments of pain, I wish I were as impervious as I once thought I was, I still would not go back to how I was in order to gain that protective shielding.

But I still imagine I have plenty to learn about real intimacy, earned vulnerability, deliberate commitment...and with that, ladies and gentlemen, I've decided it is way too late for me to be blogging. It might end up a rambling mess so long nobody will ever read it.

...shut up, Max, no my posts are not all like that. Gosh.


Jon said...

Yeah. I wonder where the healthy line is between allowing people in enough to give them the power to be able to hurt and keeping them at bay enough so that they don't have that power. For me, I think I've given a handful of people that power, but they are people who I believe have little chance of deliberately hurting me. So does that mean I'm making myself not vulnerable enough? Or avoiding unnecessary vulnerability?

Jon said...

Oh, and from the title of your post, I thought this was going to be much dirtier than it was. So disappointing O-mo.

Original Mohomie said...

Ha, I've been disappointing people with my blog post titles right and left lately. Maybe one day, I'll satisfy your lustful anticipation...eh...you know what I mean.

Max Power said...

What? Good thing I've known you for a few years and have built sufficient emotional barriers against you, otherwise I would be offended. ;)

Anyway, I think the questions you are asking has nothing to do with being juvenile. It has everything to do with the human experience of wanting to love and be loved.

If you work too hard at putting up barriers so that you'll never get hurt, then you'll also never really love. You have to take chances in your life, emotional and otherwise, lest it be dreary and clinical.

And I still think you should find a job down here in So Cal and get the hell out of the inter-mountain west.

Ned said...

And then there are those of us who fall for those who are not emitionally or sexually available to us. Like me and my long string of crushes on straight guys. I'm safe with 'em, sure, but it's like being on 500 calorie a day diet, by the time you get used to it, you've died of malnutrition.

Nonetheless I though you and your commentors might be interested in this little article on Limerance.


Original Mohomie said...

Ned, you bring up another subject I've thought about posting on many times. ...that is, a post about which I've thought, many times, of posting.

I think I've done something similar: girls who are far too much of a handful for me to hold on to, guys who are enthusiastic but either not an option by virtue of our religious goals or geographic distance or who are emotionally distant, self-centered, or otherwise unavailable...meh. It could also just be that it's easy to see it that way because of how things have worked out thus far. Dunno.

And yes, interesting article indeed!

Max, duly noted. :-)

El Genio said...

What's with that? Isn't that backwards? Isn't it somehow juvenile? Is it my own emotional immaturity or search for fulfillment in all the wrong places? Is it totally normal? Should it be normal?

Seems perfectly normal & rational to me. Those feelings are due to the romantic potential that some relationship have. You're hoping for what any normal single dude (especially one raised in the LDS culture) wants. An eternal companion, etc. etc.. There is simply a difference in intimacy between those we view as potential partners and our friends.