Last weekend, I had a great dinner with a longtime friend. Somewhere about halfway through that 1.5 liter bottle of Shiraz-Grenache, the conversation turned to how we had imagined things would be for us by this point in life.
She told me she always thought I’d end up partnered forever and ever with HeWhoShallRemainNameless. I sighed, shook my head, and said, “Yeah, I did, too, but he never ever said he wanted it, us, just us, or I would’ve said yes.”
“Obviously, he wanted you guys to be together,” she replied.
“Yes, but he never said it, and I think a man should say it. Say I want you only.”
She nodded and agreed, “Yes, the man should be the one to say it.”
I’ve given this a lot of thought…too much thought because of course I over-think everything all day long. When I think back over my life all the way back to my teen years, I’ve had only two, maybe three (that 3rd one’s kinda iffy, maybe he’s just an honorable mention), Great Loves. Great Loves: the ones I would do anything for if they asked, and I’m pretty sure at the right moment in time, they would have done anything for me. They understood me, got me, and were OK with the real me, the one behind the scenes when the public facade is gone. The Great Loves and I were comfortable together, but still sexy together…sometimes comfortable is the opposite of sexy, y’know? I laughed with my Great Loves, traveled with my Great Loves, kissed until we had chapped lips, listened to so much amazing music, watched movies in bed, and had candlelit pizza dinners with the Great Loves. With the Great Loves, life and love were adventures. Life and love were delicious, something to savor, be in awe of, wallow in, immerse the soul. I believed in a tomorrow with a Great Love by my side.
I also believed that is was my Great Love’s job, duty, role to be the one to say, “I want you only.” It was his job to say “let’s do this,” whether that meant an engagement or a seriously committed monogamous relationship, whatever, it was his place to man up. I’ll be the one to say “you hung the moon; I love you.” I’ll be the one to say “I miss you.” I’ll do and say all the things that indicate that the door is open, but to me, it’s critical that the man be the one to call dibs, commit, shut down the options.
So. What have I missed by insisting that the man be the one to say “go?” Is the whole shebang my fault for having an expectation of manly men who speak up??
Sigh. I still want that. I still want the man to be the man, even if that’s a ridiculous concept. I like the ridiculous concept. I want the ridiculous concept.