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Monday, March 28, 2005

Declaration of Independence

One night in January, I went to a party. I didn't really want to be in the presence of lots of people, but since it was a combined birthday party for my friends Juju and Ubergirl, I couldn't possibly say no. As I sat telling my friend Buffy that I was through with dating, a beautiful man approached me and asked me to come have a drink with him. Throughout the night we got to know each other. I was standing behind the bar mixing him a drink at this party, and I remember thinking to myself, "is he into me?" It was at that moment he motioned for me to lean over the bar, and when I did, he kissed me.

We cuddled on the couch and talked. He sang a karaoke song and inserted my name into it over and over. By the end of the evening, I was enthralled with this person who kissed me passionately and said I was beautiful. A few hours earlier, I had declared that I was taking a break from dating. My resolve went out the window later that night, and he left with my phone number. Two minutes after leaving, he came running back into the room to give me one more kiss. It was so sweet.

We spent the next few weeks flirting and kissing. Sometimes he would pull away, claiming that he just wanted to be friends, and I would declare in my heart that I was, once again, through with dating. It was just too soon to feel the hurt again. Then my phone would ring, and he'd ask if we could hang out. Weakly, I would agree because he excited me and was so much fun. It didn't hurt that he was hot and sexy and had a great smile. But I was determined not to cross one particular boundary. I was determined that we would not have sex. I broke that promise too. I am so weak.

It didn't end well. It ended sort of like that scene in Dangerous Liaisons where John Malkovich strikes out at Michelle Pfeiffer and tells her she means nothing to him. And, as there are two sides to every story, maybe he would cast me as the evil one. Regardless of who did what to whom, I felt like I gave it my best shot and tried to accommodate him.

So where am I with all this now? Some people have asked if I ever hear from or see "The Present" anymore. No, I don't. He asked that I never contact him again and I agree now that this is for the best. I think he is the first person I have ever been involved with who doesn't want any sort of friendship with me. The good news is, I have learned from this experience. Something has changed, for real this time.

Yes, it finally happened. The internal shift of desire, the acceptance of what life has handed me, the belief that I am right where I need to be as a single man has become quite clear to me lately. People have begged and pleaded with me to strive for acceptance (Hi, Myron!). My friends have counseled me time and time again that I must learn to be content being alone. What finally brought me to this enlightened state?

Watching my friends fight with their boyfriends.

At last I can say I am happy to be single and really mean it. I don't desire a boyfriend. I am willing to wait as long as it takes. When it happens for me, I want a relationship that feels as natural as breathing. Right now I'm enjoying drama-free living. And for once, I am content with my independence.

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