Tag Archives: love

Love and Attachment

Love and Attachment

I had a long conversation with a friend on Gchat the other day about the meaning of life.  I find its a great topic of conversation for folks when they first meet.  Buddhist philosophy doesn’t just indicate that the meaning of life is to gain knowledge as many other great philosophies, instead its to gain the “right” knowledge.  I guess that means if you learn and grow in ways that is the wrong way you’re not really advancing much.

Buddhist philosophy also acknowledges that there are things in life that give great joy and happiness and pleasure, but that none of those things ever last and our attachment to them only causes more suffering.  Does that mean that love is based on attachment?  We love someone and thus we’re attached to them.  Whether they leave us or pass away our attachment to them causes suffering.  But how do you free yourself from the attachment of love?  Is that what loving yourself is about?  Is love from other people really just a representation or validation that we should be loved or deserve to be loved?  And thus if we only loved ourselves enough we wouldn’t need the love and approval of others.

My friend rejected this outright saying that we are social creatures and that we are all meant to love each other and be loved by others.  That’s who we are and we should accept it and embrace it.

But to end suffering – it makes sense to end attachment.  If you’re not attached to anything or anyone then you have nothing to lose, which means you’re free of suffering.  But who wants to live a life that misses out on being loved by someone or loving someone else?  Does that mean we’re these emotional masochists who somehow keep hurting ourselves and others but go back for more?

Having it Both Ways

Having it Both Ways

havingitbothwaysI came out of the closet as a lesbian when I was 16 and fell in love with my best friend and now ex-girlfriend.  She was hilarious and amazing and gave me a lot of courage to say all of the funny things I only said in my head most of the time.  She pushed me to be smarter, to learn more, and I loved every minute of our life together through high school.  From first meeting to break up we were together for a total of 6 years.  I wore a ring.  We talked constantly, despite me being 5 hours away in college in another state.  That proved to be the nail in the coffin.  A lot transpired, but growing distance both in proximity and eventually emotionality …..and more spelled the relationship’s demise.

Not long after, I was pretty obsessed with another woman I went to college with, but our relationship ended pretty abruptly when I went to California to work on a campaign and she called asking for my blessing to date her now wife.

Total, I’ve spent 9 years of my life in long term relationships with women – and I’ve only really been dating for about 15 years.  The truth is that I’ve always had an interest and a curiosity in men both sexually and, I suppose, philosophically.  But moments where I was attracted to a guy who was also attracted to me and one or both of us was brave enough to say something about it… well, those were few and far between.  Until I met Mr. X about 3 years ago.   We’ll just say Mr. X was a dirty old man of 42 obsessed with me and my lack of experience with the man-parts.  He longed to show me the ways of the men-folk and frankly… I didn’t have anything better to do and hadn’t been dating or interested in anyone for years.

For 6 months he pursued me, and for a year we were each others sexual play-toys while I learned and explored The Ways of The Dude.  But after all of the “dating” games, I found out there was never a relationship… at least between us.  He was actually in one with another woman, younger than me, it turns out.   Dirty dirty old man.

After that was a good friend I knew from college who found out that I’d been with a guy and was frustrated because he’d wanted me so much all those years we knew each other.  We struck up a year and a half affair that is still sort of ongoing … but it’s complicated because we live half a country away and he too…. is in a relationship.  I care about him a lot, but I’m not sure we have enough in common to spell LTR.

Dude 3 and I were colleagues and friends for about 3 years.  The last 7 months of our friendship I made the mistake of falling in love with him.  We were incredibly emotionally intimate after years of being Clintonian in our sexual flirtation.  We came from the same home state and were in the same political world together.  The dream of the two of us having a compartmentalized liferelationship where our worlds could collide into one adventurous political love story was too much to pass up.  I’m imagining Air Force One with more romance or The American President with more action.  My mind ran wild with the idea of him as a partner – I would have moved back home from Washington DC in a heartbeat for him.  I helped him with his career and business, I stood in front of bullets for him, I defended him to adversaries both personal and professional, and I expressed my love in every possible way I knew how WITHOUT actually telling him.  Until month 7, of course, when I saw something with him on Facebook and called him about it.  Turns out he’s had a 20 year on again off again relationship he’d gone back to 4 months previously and neglected to tell me…… we don’t speak now, and I’ve been compartmentalized into a vinn diaphragm where circles never touch.

So that brings me here and now.  My experience with men has been that they lie, they cheat, and they’ll do anything they can to get what they want.  They wonder around aimlessly trying to figure things out, oblivious, curious, and capable of only tiny evolutions.  I think most men want to be with women because they’re afraid of being alone.  I think women want to be with men because they fall in love with them.  It makes it easy for men to stray and hard for women to recover.  And for someone that wants love AND fun it makes me stuck trying to have it both ways.

The sex is totally different.  With women (in my experience) it is romantic and emotional.  It’s whispy curtains and classical music with someone you’re in love with.  With dudes it can be that but it can also be fun, adventurous, spontaneous, wild, and completely unemotional.  With men, I’m sure you can have romance, emotional intimacy, intense connectivity and with women I’m sure you can have adventure – it’s just that, I haven’t found been able to find that in a potential male or female partner.

I’ve heard these people exist, it turns out many of my friends are married to creatures of versatility.  After the last 15 years of experience dating both men and women I think I’m just going to try and see if I can have it both ways.  See if I can date in both worlds and figure out if some combination of the two genders can be embodied into one socially conscious partner that returns my affections.  I’m determined to find someone that works, and this marks the beginning of my journey and pursuit.