Bilbo asked for this one.
About ten years ago I decided that love was probably a rare thing and having found it, (unexpectedly and due to that unexpectedness having lost it pretty damned quickly) I figured I was unlikely to find it again. I also decided that even if I did it got in the way of what I wanted to do with my life and so I would not pay attention to it.
This proved surprisingly possible if emotionally hard.
I find it difficult to trust people, I have found it getting easier over the years and that I definitely attribute to having moved away from the Green County and Royston Vasey. The idea of trusting someone enough to have an emotionally honest and committed relationship with them was a bizarre one for me (but the Jellicle proved eminently trustworthy). The idea of being open to someone is a scary one, and thus something I push upon people I’m not in intimate situations with. The idea of someone intimately involved with me wanting me to share myself with one was also a strange notion, again moving away from Royston Vasey really helped with that.
I have always had very definite things I want to do with my life – travel and writing. They are not always conducive to relationships. I will not commit to someone or some relationship that does not allow me to travel and write.
Afraid of commitment. Yes, I have been, I’m in the (very long, slow, quite boring to people outside of my head) process of learning to deal with that fear. If I commit to someone who doesn’t share my dreams, if they are a particular sort of person, emotionally manipulative, having a bit of a temper, then I will allow myself and my soul and my dreams to drown and die.
If I commit to someone and make promises then I absolutely need to know I can keep those promises or I will die trying.
Having for so long had only the Jellicle in terms of completely committed relationships I was stating things clearly to Weasel before we became lovers (this seems a fair conversation to have to me so that no one gets the wrong end of the stick). As far as I was concerned I was explaining how lovers was a flexible and fluctuating state and how I didn’t make any promises unless I utterly meant them. He turned around and said, ‘You really don’t do casual do you?’ This was something of a surprise to me as I’m used to imagining people think of me as the benchmark for casual.
I don’t though, ‘do casual’. Not by a lot of people’s standards. Casual for me is something I’m not allowed to do anymore, it’s where you go home with someone after a night dancing, have (hopefully) crazy and fantastic protected sex and leave without ever knowing a last name (sometimes even a first). Haven’t done that in over six years (The Jellicle and I celebrate our sixth anniversary in December).
I have lovers, in my head they’re always in this special group even after we’re no longer together (usually because they get a significant other). Sometimes, when there’s a group of them together it feels like I have a tribe of teasing, sarcastic supporters. I love my lovers, no two ways about it and even when it’s MoT or Cornish Bloke who I haven’t been with in years or the Confused Highwayman or Lady Byron who technically only just fall into this category they’re still part of this bizarre tribe I pay attention to.
In running away from commitment I ended up making promises I can keep, even if they’re only silent ones I keep to myself. I doubt I’ll ever get married unless the vows are ones I’m totally comfortable with but I made silent unknowable promises to this crowd of people I’ve known intimately and the longest of them I’ve kept for eight years…it’s longer than some marriages.
In short, what society calls commitment I wouldn’t trust myself to commit to but on my own terms commitment doesn’t scare me.