While I was in undergrad, me and one of my boys had one of those conversations that women swear we never have that involved feelings, emotions, and questioning myself. It was real emo. I’d recently broken up with a girlfriend and was more or less through with dating. When times are good, everything’s unicorns, Esther Baxter bodies, and rainbows in straight clubs. But when times are bad they tend to be real bad. In fact, some of the loneliest times I ever had in my life were while I was IN a relationship.
Well, during this convo that obviously never happens, I remember telling my boy that I think I was more concerned about being a father than a husband. While I could find some way to concubine my way through life with the freedom I wanted, I couldn’t imagine my life without any children. I come from a big family. Everybody’s got multiple children. I love kids. And to be really real…sometimes I wonder if these relationships are even worth it.
Being wrong sucks monkeynuts. And after another failed romance you’ve put time into you start looking for patterns and in the middle of self-reflection question whether or not you’re cut out to be in a relationship at all.
Again, that was all in undergrad. Truth is, I had no idea what the hell I was talking about. Plus, as soon as I found another woman that I liked enough to want to consider gondola rides and matching his-and-hers towel sets with, I stopped thinking so negatively. Plus…what kind of dbag actually WANTS to contribute to a society without enough two-parent households, etc.
Here’s the real talk. I’m a man which means despite the best laid plans of mice and men (and despite the fact that I kind of get paid to communicate) when it comes to interpersonal communication at times, I suck at it. Stupendously. I shut down when my feelings get hurt and I put up a wall that not even my mother can get through. I realize that I have communication issues which as we all know is the effectively the crux of maintaining a healthy relationship. Agreed? Agreed. Like anybody else trying to get to heaven, I’m working on myself and all that good stuff. But man…the only way to work on yourself in this capacity is to be in another relationship. Oy vey. So basically, the only way to grow as a person in this regard is to put yourself out there again and hope for the best and do your best to not be the reason sh*t falls apart.
Okay? Alright? Okay. Alright.
Again ladies, men have these conversations.
Another failed relationship. Another failed relationship.
Another failed relationship.
To say that I’ve contributed to the downfall of all of my relationships would be an understatement. While it definitely takes two to tango I’ve learned how inherently selfish men can be. And the thing is, it isn’t even on purpose. We’re just built to do things the way we see them. Women are built to view the world the way they want it. It’s the ultimate catch-22 if two people aren’t on the same page. You can meander through life as a man with all of the female company you need but without the proven life enhancer that comes with being a husband. The interesting piece is that none of my decisions that ended up causing damage were even malicious in the slightest. What starts out as an oversight that could easily be rectified or a conversation that just hasn’t happened comes with an indictment of wrong-doing. Which as any man will tell you, will go really bad really quickly. It’s not that we don’t know we’re wrong, most of us just don’t like being accused of doing your wrong on purpose. If we truly love you, we just aren’t going to do that. We may (and will) f*ck up to varying degrees but it’s usually never on purpose. I think women tend to benefit from Monday Morning Quarterbacking most of those f*ckups. We look ridiculous for something and it’s only because of the end result which gets turned into the purpose. It’s an odd dance.
All of that is quite exhausting and exasperating. It truly is. And sometimes, again, it doesn’t seem worth it.
Oddly enough, the same skill set you need to exist in a healthy relationship with a partner is necessary for a kid. And yet, it’s so much different. Maybe it’s the unconditional love. I don’t know, but I don’t mind having to be an effective communicator with my daughter because I need to instill that into her so that she can take that with her forward. I don’t mind being patient with her because I want her to understand patience. I love being affectionate with my daughter. That’s my flesh and blood. Little girls need hugs and they need to hear from their fathers how much he loves them or she’ll end up dating some guy…
…who’ll want to be a father more than a husband.
Interesting enough, I have neither commitment issues or fear of being married. In fact, I look forward to doing both. But maybe it’s our newfangled generation’s entitlement issues or hope for perfection and ease. Or maybe I’m just lazy. But how can you be a lazy partner and a great father. Except, that happens all of the time. There are lots of women out there with children by men who are as attentive and effective and involved as one could ask for to their kids. And cold as hell to the women who birthed them. Odd future.
I hope I’m alone in this, but I feel like I’m not. Women? Fellas? Does anybody else struggle with this dichotomy? Why?
Talk to me. Petey.
-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka YOUNG P DA FLY THEIF aka FATHER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE NUMBER 1 aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3
***If you haven’t already, head on over to The Good Men Project and check out “Eating While Black” — The Champ’s take on being black in America today***