Some of this site's readers, whether they are regular visitors or one-timers, are understandably confused and curious regarding my situation with Anna. I've given conflicting signals on the subject, and haven't really taken the time to explain what's going on. What piques peoples' curiosity, I suppose, is that that's not how I usually deal with things through this site. I don't really try to be obtuse and ambiguous on most topics.
Well, I don't plan on writing it all down here for you to read. First of all, I don't even know what's going on, to be honest. Things are just kind of idle. I wouldn't even know where to begin in describing how things are, regarding Anna and me. If I were to write it all down, it'd be just another collection of inane, silly, and annoying pieces on the constant tug of war between two people in a relationship. And I think you get enough of that on other shit sites. If I have to read one more melodramatic, highly metaphoric piece of trash about some poor Web soul's love life, I think I'm gonna puke.
Unfortunately, how do I proceed without being guilty of the same thing? ;)
I know for sure Anna doesn't want me going into much detail about things. In the past I've been pretty good about writing enough that readers have a general idea of what's going on without actually knowing every single thing about what Anna and I do together. I haven't crossed the line very much, except for a couple times, and if I do, I can rely on Anna to let me know when I do.
So here's basically all I want to say. If you're in a relationship, overall it doesn't matter whether you have disagreements regarding politics or taste in food or fashion sense or recreational pastimes. All that stuff can't pry two people away from each other as long as they respect the other's feelings on them. Personal, financial, and other problems also shouldn't keep people apart, even though they obviously cause a lot of stress. That shouldn't displace the feeling of love and desire to be with someone though.
I am aware that many people disagree with me there. I understand opposing views. The critical difference is that one opinion believes a partner to be a component equal to many other factors in one's life, while the other believes that a partner is the most basic and important form of support one can fall back on.
What's important in a relationship, as far as I can tell, is sharing a very similar view on the importance of a relationship. It's key that people see eye to eye on the impact of a relationship on both of their lives. It doesn't work if one person's in it for the long haul and the other's just in it for a cheap thrill. Also, if one person doesn't believe in spending a whole life with just one partner, and the other does, then it will cause problems. Some people see dating and marriage as a way to pass a certain period of time, while others see them as the most serious (yet fun) things they will ever undertake in their lives.
I don't think this is the problem in my relationship. However, I have been thinking a lot about what love means to me recently, and about what components constitute a meaningful relationship, and what benefits and drawbacks people derive from intertwining their hearts with other people.
The feeling that pervades my thoughts regarding my relationship is sadness. I do not think there is a more appropriate word to describe the emotions I have towards Anna and me. It's just sad to me to see couples not at their finest. You see people waiting at the airport for the plane to arrive so their loved one can step off the plane, and you see their nervousness and excitement building as the moment comes closer. You see them overjoyed when they hug each other and don't even need to speak words. And you contrast that with seeing other couples exchange volleys of terse, hurtful, and hurt responses to each other. You can't have the good without the bad, but watching the bad always has a most profound effect on me. I hate it. I loathe it. I wish it didn't exist. For anyone.
I've recently been reading a bit about Elliott Wave theory. I hope it applies to relationships. On an upswing, of course.
Humans never fail to make their lives infinitely more complicated for themselves. It must be a natural impulse, like how the Sun continues to radiate light and heat out into the solar system, even though it brings him one day closer to his own death; or perhaps, more appropriately, like how pigeons continue to try to walk into the street, despite being scared off by approaching cars, until a sixteen-wheeler inevitably surprises them and crushes them into a flurry of feathers and splashing guts.
Heh... Why can't we just avoid trouble and keep things simple for ourselves?
Changing the topic slightly, reading my e-mail occasionally tends to uncover several gems of digital infatuation. What I'm talking about is the random e-mail I'll get from some momentarily smitten girl usually my age or younger who glows with warmth and flows her first impressions of me into a rambly, flattering e-mail of introduction. Alright. How dare Ben flaunt this, you say. Be patient, generous reader, and await the tie-in...
It's wonderful seeing someone be inspired by what you write, and to see them identify with the things you let loose from your mind and heart. If anything, the best part is seeing the flicker of hope that these women get that perhaps there's a good man out there. Or maybe that's the saddest part, that they've come to expect disappointment from relationships and when they see something that shows any shred of passion for goodness and optimism towards love, they fall for it. At any rate, it's said that writers are able to put down on paper what other people think in their heads but can't unravel into anything comprehendible, and if I'm able to do that, then I've accomplished something quite important.
There are several problems with these infatuated e-mails, though. And I want to make sure it's understood that every single individual e-mail is unique in its own way, and not to be lumped together with others. I appreciate the rush of emotions into e-mails, particularly considering how difficult it is to get readers to contribute ANYTHING these days. (unless you're running a Linux advocacy site. :) ) The first problem is that since I don't usually respond to e-mail until a couple weeks or more, by the time I respond (and I write HORRIBLE, boring, seemingly disinterested e-mail, when actually I'm just that bad at it), they're not smitten anymore. I don't get many followups. The ones who do write back after the delay are the keepers. Otherwise, I suspect people just fall vulnerable to their emotions on reading the work, and it has nothing really to do with the author of that work.
The other problem is that I am NOT who I seem to be, and I am NOT philosophical and romantic and good-hearted and all that nonsense directed my way. That's the critical mistake. Especially judging someone solely based on what they write on a web site, for God's sake. If we were to believe everything about someone that was posted on his or her web site, then virtually EVERY personal site would seem to be the haven of a god or goddess living on Earth. I mean, come on, how many personal site authors are completely honest about who they are? Don't you just hate people who try to come off as intellectual snobs, unwilling to lower themselves to the level of pop culture? Do you wonder whether they ever have ANY fun? Come off it, we all know only really intelligent people are able to find interest in the kind of shit that the posers put on their web sites... And how many intelligent people have web sites? Not many, if you ask me. And yes, I include myself as an unintelligent person. Who I'm referring to are the amazing intellectuals and geniuses who change things solely with their ideas and their theories. They don't usually have their own web sites (although I've been fortunate enough to design web sites for two people who do change things simply by thinking). No, the Web gets the normal bathroom ring scum who just lurrve the fact that they can pay only $20 to run a web site with a vanity domain name (usually named after themselves in some respect...Narcissistic fools!) where they can tell the world how pissed off they are!
The reality of it is that those people are losers, bitter towards anything popular and successful, and their web sites are veritable showcases of insecurities and half-truths. Like mine. ;)
So anyway, I was talking about smitten chicks, yeah. Don't judge people by their web sites, and certainly don't make any assumptions about who they are based on what they put online, because those assumptions are almost guaranteed to be false. For all the shit I put online here, I can say without a doubt that no strangers will ever have any idea who I am, even though they think they do. It's the same for anyone who offers a part of themselves to complete strangers to peruse and read... Only the people who have been closest to you will ever understand who you truly are. I think only about four people really understand what I do and where I'm going. And that seems to be approximately the number of close people that most folks have. Talking about yourself on the Web doesn't make you less private, really. Not where it matters, anyway. Talking to someone directly, one-on-one, is how you learn what someone's like. When only one person's talking, who's to say what they're saying is honest?
I'm sure most people insist that I love attention and that I crave it. In fact, I can't escape people telling me that, or insinuating it, or plastering it all over their damn reviews of my site. So these few e-mails I get should be right up my alley, right? Well, I'm flattered by the attention, and keep sending it...but... The absolute truth is that if I were given the choice to have one person who loved me completely and eternally for who I am (regardless of what obstacles are thrown between us), or to receive lots of attention and press and fanaticism, I'd choose the former in a heartbeat.
Given that I can spend days at a time without even communicating with another human being, just because my activities allow me to do so and still be productive, it surprises me that I still have this trait of desire for public acceptance grafted onto me.
None of this stuff we strive to gain every day really matters. They are means to an end, but that's it. Money and fame and respect from others are nice, but that can't make you happy if you don't have that one person who will always stand next to you no matter what happens.
I would still die a happy man, if all I had were someone else. And right now, I don't.
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